When we own a dog, it is our responsibility to make sure that they are cared for in every way possible. We provide them with the food that they need, some recreation, a good scratch behind the ears and a warm place to sleep when it is cold outside. Of course, that is the description of a responsible pet owner but unfortunately, not every family that owns a dog is going to take that responsibility seriously. In fact, some of them may shirk that responsibility altogether and put the dog in harm’s way.
If you live in an area that is cold in the winter, you realize how uncomfortable it can be to stay outside for an extended amount of time. In fact, many of us will avoid it if at all possible and if we do go outside, we do our best to wear the clothing necessary to stay warm and safe. The problem is, many pet owners assume that dogs are able to stay out in the cold for hours on end or perhaps even permanently because they have a natural fur coat. What they don’t realize is how quickly problems can occur. Fortunately, there are those out there who are looking out for their best interest.
The state of Pennsylvania has passed a law that is known as House Bill 1238. Perhaps you are familiar with this law by its better-known name, Libre’s Law. The principle behind the law is fairly basic and it has pet owners and dog lovers from around the world cheering out of excitement. Basically, it provides a new level of protection for pets against problems that include abuse, cruelty, and neglect. This law has been a long time coming but now that it’s here, it can protect our fur friends in many different ways.
It is unfortunate to think that any dog would have to put up with severe abuse or neglect but unfortunately, it happens all too often. In many cases, it happens at the hand of those who are supposed to be taking care of the animal and really have no interest in seeing that the animals are cared for properly. Any type of abuse or neglect would be covered under Libre’s law but there is one particular aspect of the law that is of interest to anyone who lives in a cold-weather environment.
Part of the law establishes a time limit on how long a pet can be left out in the cold weather during the winter. According to the terms of the law, there is a 30 minute limit on how long animals can be left outside when the temperatures are below freezing (32°F). In addition, if the temperatures are above 90°F, the same law would be in effect and there would be a 30-minute time limit on how long the dog could be outside. The penalty that is associated with breaking this law? It would be considered a felony offense!
You might be wondering about the specifics of punishment for somebody who breaks this law and leaves their pet out in the cold weather. Since it is a felony charge that is associated with animal cruelty, it could result in a $15,000 fine. The person who left the dog out in the cold weather might also find themselves in prison for up to seven years.
It is hoped that these strong laws are going to keep any pet owner from putting their animal outside and mistreating them in this way. It also relies on you and me to take care of reporting any issues with neglect or abuse that we see. If we find that these are an issue, we can call 911 and alert the authorities to the problem.
This law is a huge step in the right direction and it is one that we hope will have an impact on the life and health of animals in Pennsylvania. In addition, we hope that this single law is something that spurs other states and municipalities into action, handing out stronger punishments for those who put their pets through these types of difficulties.
You can watch more in this video. Be aware of the fact that the officer made a mistake of saying that it is 20 minutes, but it is actually 30 minutes.
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