University of Vermont AAHS

Pennsylvania Cruelty to Animals Statutes


PENNSYLVANIA STATUTES
TITLE 3. AGRICULTURE
CHAPTER 7. DOMESTIC ANIMALS
IN GENERAL
DESTRUCTION OF INJURED, ETC., ANIMALS


325. Authority to destroy

Any policeman or constable of any borough, township, or city, or any agent of any duly incorporated society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, is hereby authorized to destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any animal or animals in his charge, when, in the judgment of such policeman, constable, or agent, and by the written certificate of two reputable citizens called to view such animal or animals in his presence,--one of whom may be selected by the owner of the said animal or animals, if he shall so request,--such animal or animals appears to be injured, disabled, diseased past recovery, or unfit for any useful purpose.


326. Inquiry as to condition of animal

Any magistrate, alderman, or justice of the peace, upon the trial of any person charged with the violation of any act for the prevention of cruelty to animals, shall inquire into the condition of the animal or animals charged with being ill-treated or otherwise abused; and if it is proven to his satisfaction that said animal or animals are so injured, disabled, or diseased past recovery, or unfit for any useful purpose, he shall direct as part of the sentence that such animal or animals shall be humanely destroyed, and shall authorize any policeman or constable of any borough, township, or city, or any agent of any duly incorporated society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, to carry that part of the sentence into effect.


327. Construction

All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed: Provided, however, That this act shall not be construed to conflict in any way with any of the powers, duties, or privileges of the State Livestock Sanitary Board, or its agents.


328.1. Prohibited means of destruction of animals

No animal shall be destroyed by means of a high altitude decompression chamber or decompression device.


328.2. Methods of destruction of animals

(a) Required method.--The required method of destruction shall be by the administration of an overdose of a barbiturate, barbiturate combinations, drug or drug combinations approved for this purpose by the Federal Drug Administration and in accordance with guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

(b) Authorized method.--Nothing in this act shall prevent a person or humane society organization from destroying a pet animal by means of firearms.


328.3. Administration of drugs

The barbiturates, barbiturate combinations or other Federal Drug Administration approved drugs or drug combinations shall be administered by intravenous, intraperitoneal or intracardiac injections or orally by a licensed veterinarian or as set forth in section 6.


328.4. Exclusions

Sections 2 and 3 of this act shall not apply to a medical school or school of veterinary medicine or a research institution affiliated with a hospital or university.


328.5. Use of carbon monoxide systems

(1) Carbon monoxide gas may be used to destroy animals seven weeks of age or older.

(2) Chloroform, ether, halothane or fluothane may be used to destroy animals under seven weeks of age when administered in an airtight chamber or transparent plastic bag providing for segregation of animals by size and age which is capable of permitting unobstructed visual observation and which does not permit direct contact with any device containing chloroform.

(3) Carbon monoxide gas systems shall consist of and be equipped with:

(i) A tightly enclosed cabinet for the purpose of containing the animals during the destruction process.

(ii) Internal lighting and a window for direct visual observation in the cabinet at all times.

(iii) A gas generation capable of achieving a concentration of carbon monoxide gas of at least 5% throughout the cabinet.

(iv) A gauge or gas concentration indicator or recording device.

(v) A means of separating animals from each other within the cabinet, if the cabinet is of sufficient size to facilitate more than one animal.

(vi) A means of fully removing the carbon monoxide gas from the cabinet upon completion of the destruction process.

(vii) If an internal combustion engine is used, a means of cooling the gas to a temperature not to exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit at the point of entry into the cabinet and not to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit at any point in the cabinet as determined by temperature gauges permanently installed at point of entry and inside the cabinet.

(viii) If the gas is generated by an internal combustion engine, a means of removing or filtering out all noxious fumes, irritating acids and carbon particles from the gas before it enters the cabinet.

(ix) If an internal combustion engine is used, a means of substantially deadening the sound and vibration transmission from the engine to the cabinet, by placing them in separate rooms or soundproof compartments connecting them with flexible tubing or pipe at least 24 inches in length, so that the noise level within the cabinet shall not exceed 70 decibels.

(x) If an internal combustion engine is used, a means for exhausting the internal combustion engine gas during the period of engine warmup.

(4) Upon completion of the destruction process, animals shall not be removed from the cabinet until the carbon monoxide gas has been fully removed from the cabinet.


328.6. Humane societies' and animal shelters' use of drugs

(a) Limited license.--On and after the effective date of this act, a humane society organization or an animal control organization may apply to the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy for registration pursuant to the applicable law for the sole purpose of being authorized to purchase, possess and administer sodium pentobarbital to destroy injured, sick, homeless or unwanted domestic pet animals. A limited license may be issued by the board to eligible applicants. Any agency so registered shall not permit a person to administer sodium pentobarbital unless such person has demonstrated adequate knowledge of the potential hazards and proper techniques to be used in administering this drug.

(b) Regulation and enforcement.--The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture shall regulate and enforce the provisions of this section.


328.7. Existing devices

Any humane society organization or any other similar organization which, on the effective date of this act, has in its possession a chamber or device, the use of which is prohibited by this act, shall, within 30 days of the effective date of this act, dismantle and render inoperative the chamber or device.


328.9. Penalty

Any person or organization found guilty of violating the provisions of this act shall be fined not to exceed $250 per violation day.


331. "Domestic animal" defined

The words "domestic animal," as used in this act, shall mean any equine animal or bovine animal, sheep, goat, pig, dog, cat, poultry, bird, fowl, or any wild or semiwild animal held in captivity; and shall be taken to include the singular or plural as may be necessary in any given case.

The phrase "wild or semiwild animal," as used in this act, shall mean a domestic animal which is now or historically has been found in the wild, including, but not limited to, bison, deer, elk, llamas or any species of foreign or domestic cattle, such as ankole, gayal and yak.


332. "Owner" defined

The word "owner," as used in this act, shall mean any person owning any domestic animal, or leasing any domestic animal from another; or any person who allows a domestic animal habitually to remain about the premises inhabited by such person.


333. "Person" defined

The word "person," as used in this act, shall mean any person, copartnership, association, or corporation, and shall be taken to include the singular or plural as may be necessary in any given case.


334. "Premises" defined

The word "premises," as used in this act, is to be taken in its widest sense; and is to include land, any structure erected on land, and any vehicle or vessel used in transporting passengers, goods, or animals by land or by water.


TITLE 3. AGRICULTURE
CHAPTER 7B. HUMANE SOCIETY POLICE OFFICER ENFORCEMENT ACT


456.2. Definitions

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agricultural animal." Any bovine animal, equine animal, sheep, goat, pig, poultry, bird, fowl, wild or semiwild animal or fish or other aquatic animal which is being raised, kept, transported or utilized for the purpose of or pursuant to agricultural production.

"Agricultural production." The production and preparation for market of agricultural animals and their products and of agricultural, agronomic, horticultural, silvicultural and aquacultural crops and commodities.

"Cruelty to animals laws." The provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. s 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals).

"Department." The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth.

"Humane society police officer." Any person duly appointed pursuant to 22 Pa.C.S. s 501 (relating to appointment by nonprofit corporations) to act as a police officer for a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals. The term shall include any person who is an "agent" of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals as "agent" is used in 18 Pa.C.S. s 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals).

"Land grant institution." Educational institutions located within or outside the geographic boundaries of this Commonwealth which have received a grant of public land made by the Congress of the United States for the support of education pursuant to the act of July 2, 1862 (12 Stat. 503, 7 U.S.C. s 301 et seq.), known as the Morrill Act.

"Society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals." A nonprofit society or association duly incorporated pursuant to 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 53 Subch. A (relating to incorporation generally) for the purpose of the prevention of cruelty to animals.


456.3. Appointment by court of common pleas; jurisdiction of humane society police officers

An individual may not exercise the powers conferred under 18 Pa.C.S. s 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals) upon an agent of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals or the powers conferred under 22 Pa.C.S. s 501(c) (relating to appointment by nonprofit corporations) upon a humane society police officer within the boundaries of a county unless the individual has been appointed as a humane society police officer in that county in accordance with 22 Pa.C.S. s 501.


456.4. Humane society police officers

(a) Applications for appointment of humane society police officers.-- No society, association, corporation or organization, other than a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, is eligible under 22 Pa.C.S. s 501 (relating to appointment by nonprofit corporations) to apply for or receive appointment of any individual as a police officer in the enforcement of cruelty to animals laws. Each society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals which makes application to the court of common pleas pursuant to 22 Pa.C.S. s 501 for the appointment of an individual to act as a police officer for the society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals must provide with the application the documentation the court may require that the person has satisfactorily completed a training program established in accordance with subsection (c)(1), (2), (3) and (4).

(b) Additional training requirements.--During each two-year period following the date in which a humane society police officer has been initially appointed, the officer shall successfully complete the minimum requirements for additional training prescribed in the program for continuous training of humane society police officers established in accordance with subsection (c)(5). The society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals for which an individual is acting as humane society police officer shall maintain complete and accurate records documenting that such individual has successfully completed all requirements for additional training of humane society police officers established in accordance with subsection (c)(5). The society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals shall make such records available, upon request, to the court of common pleas which appointed the individual as a humane society police officer and to any person.

(c) Humane society police officer training program.--A land grant institution may establish a program for training of individuals to act as humane society police officers.

(1) The program for initial training of humane society police officers must include, at a minimum, a total of 56 hours of instruction, in accordance with paragraphs (2), (3) and (4).

(2) At least 32 hours of instruction in the initial training program must be provided in the following group of instructional areas: (i) Cruelty to animals laws. (ii) Care and treatment of animals. (iii) Pennsylvania rules of criminal law and criminal procedure.

(3) At least 24 hours of instruction in the initial training program must be provided in the following group of instructional areas: (i) Animal husbandry practices constituting normal agricultural operation. (ii) Practices accepted in the agricultural industry in the raising, keeping and production of agricultural animals. (iii) Characteristics of agricultural animals likely evidencing care that is violative of the cruelty to animals laws. (iv) Proper care and handling of agricultural animals pursuant to enforcement of the cruelty to animals laws.

(4) The initial training program must also require an individual, as a prerequisite to successful completion of the training program, to take and pass a final examination that sufficiently measures the individual's knowledge and understanding of the instructional material.

(5) The program for continuous training of humane society police officers must provide for such instruction as will allow an individual to receive, at a minimum, a total of six hours of additional instruction every two years. At least two of the six hours of instruction must be provided in areas of instruction prescribed in paragraph (3). The program must attempt to provide to an individual instruction that differs from instruction previously provided to the individual during the individual's initial or continuous training.

(d) Criminal history information.--The application for the appointment of a person to act as a humane society police officer shall include a report of criminal history record information from the Pennsylvania State Police, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating to criminal history record information), or a statement from the Pennsylvania State Police that the Pennsylvania State Police central repository contains no such information relating to the person who is the subject of the application. The criminal history record information shall be limited to that which may be disseminated pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. s 9121(b)(2) (relating to general regulations).

(e) Limitation on the possession of firearms.--No person appointed as a humane society police officer shall carry, possess or use a firearm in the performance of his or her duties unless such person holds a current and valid certification in the use and handling of firearms pursuant to at least one of the following:

(1) The act of June 18, 1974 (P.L. 359, No. 120), referred to as the Municipal Police Education and Training Law.

(2) The act of October 10, 1974 (P.L. 705, No. 235), known as the Lethal Weapons Training Act.

(3) The act of February 9, 1984 (P.L. 3, No. 2), known as the Deputy Sheriffs' Education and Training Act.

(4) Any other firearms program which has been determined by the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police to be of sufficient scope and duration as to provide the participant with basic training in the use and handling of firearms.

(f) Application of act to prior appointees.--

(1) Any humane society police officer who, prior to the effective date of this act, has successfully completed a training program similar to that required under subsections (a) and (c) shall, after review by the court of common pleas, be certified as having met the training requirements of this act. Any humane society police officer who, prior to the effective date of this act, has not successfully completed a training program similar to that required under subsections (a) and (c) may continue to perform the duties of a humane society police officer until such person has successfully completed the required training program, but not longer than two years from the effective date of this act.

(2) Any humane society police officer who, prior to the effective date of this act, has not been certified in the use and handling of firearms pursuant to one or more of the acts set forth in subsection (e)(1), (2) and (3) shall not carry or possess a firearm in the performance of the duties of a humane society police officer on or after the effective date of this act until the person has, under subsection (e), been certified in the use and handling of firearms.

(g) Optional training programs.--A humane society police officer may satisfy the training requirements of subsections (a), (b) and (c) by successfully completing a training program developed and administered by an accredited college or university or community college or by a public or private entity if the training program has been approved by the department as meeting the training requirements of subsection (c). The department shall, by regulation, establish standards and procedures for approving optional training programs. Pending promulgation of such regulations, the department may adopt interim guidelines for approval of optional training programs.


456.5. Refusal, suspension or revocation of appointment

(a) Refusal, suspension or revocation required.--The court of common pleas shall refuse to appoint a person to act as a humane society police officer or shall suspend or revoke the appointment of a person who is acting as a humane society police officer if the court determines that the person has:

(1) Failed to satisfy the training requirements of section 4(a), (b) and (c).

(2) Failed to provide or to have provided any documentation which, under section 4(a), is required to be submitted with an application for appointment or which the court may reasonably request.

(3) Had a criminal history record which would disqualify the applicant from becoming a private police officer pursuant to 22 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 (relating to private police).

(4) Been convicted of violating 18 Pa.C.S. s 5301 (relating to official oppression).

(b) Additional grounds.--The court of common pleas may refuse to appoint a person to act as a humane society police officer or may suspend or revoke the appointment of a person who is acting as a humane society police officer if the court determines that the person has:

(1) Failed to keep, maintain or make available such records as are required to be kept, maintained or made available under section 4(b) for certification of completion of additional training requirements.

(2) Made a false or misleading statement in the application for appointment or a certification of completion of additional training or submitted or had submitted an application for appointment or a certification for completion of additional training containing a false or misleading statement.

(3) Carried or possessed a firearm in the performance of his or her duties without certification pursuant to section 4(e).

(4) Engaged in conduct which constitutes a prima facie violation of 18 Pa.C.S. s 5301.

(5) Violated any of the provisions of this act.

(c) Effect on 22 Pa.C.S. s 501.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of a court of common pleas to deny the appointment of any person or to place upon any person any additional prerequisites or conditions of appointment, pursuant to 22 Pa.C.S. s 501(a) (relating to appointment by nonprofit corporations).


456.6. Search warrants

Notwithstanding 18 Pa.C.S. s 5511(1) (relating to cruelty to animals) or any other provision of law to the contrary, the district attorney of any county shall require that search warrant applications filed in the county in connection with an alleged violation of the cruelty to animals laws have the approval of the district attorney prior to filing. The court of common pleas shall establish a procedure for approval of search warrant applications in emergency situations if the district attorney is unavailable.


456.7. Temporary appointment

(a) General rule.--An agent of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals may petition the court of common pleas for temporary appointment as a humane society police officer, provided that:

(1) No other agent for the society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals is currently appointed to act as a humane society police officer for that society.

(2) Such agent has not been previously appointed under this section to act as a humane society police officer.

(3) Such agent submits to the court of common pleas the criminal history information prescribed in section 4(d) and such information shows that such agent would not be disqualified from appointment under section 5(a)(3).

(b) Expiration.--A temporary appointment under this section shall expire at the end of six months or such time as the agent or any other agent of the humane society has been permanently appointed by the court of common pleas to act as humane society police officer in the county, whichever is earlier. No more than one temporary appointment shall be effective for any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals at any time.


TITLE 16. COUNTIES
CHAPTER 1. THE COUNTY CODE
ARTICLE XIX. SPECIAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNTIES
(E) ANIMAL AND PLANT HUSBANDRY


1935. Appropriations to Societies for Prevention of cruelty to animals

The board of commissioners may appropriate moneys toward the maintenance of any organization or society, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, for the prevention of cruelty to animals and which, for a period of at least two years prior to the making of such appropriation, shall have been engaged in carrying out the purposes of its incorporation, in whole or in part, within said county.


5135. Appropriations to societies for prevention of cruelty to animals

The board of commissioners may appropriate moneys toward the maintenance of any organization or society, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, for the prevention of cruelty to animals and which, for a period of at least two years prior to the making of such appropriation, shall have been engaged in carrying out the purposes of its incorporation, in whole or in part, within said county.


CHAPTER 3. COUNTIES OF THE FIRST CLASS
ARTICLE XIV. FISCAL AFFAIRS
(B) MISCELLANEOUS APPROPRIATIONS


7928. Societies for prevention of cruelty to animals

From and after the passage of this act, it shall be lawful for the county commissioners of any county to appropriate moneys toward the maintenance of any organization or society incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth for the prevention of cruelty to animals and which, for a period of at least two years prior to the making of such appropriation, shall have been engaged in carrying out the purposes of its incorporation in whole or in part within said county.


TITLE 18. CRIMES AND OFFENSES
PART II. DEFINITION OF SPECIFIC OFFENSES
ARTICLE F. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND DECENCY
CHAPTER 55. RIOT, DISORDERLY CONDUCT AND RELATED OFFENSES


5511. Cruelty to animals

(a) Killing, maiming or poisoning domestic animals or zoo animals, etc.--

(1) A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he willfully and maliciously kills, maims or disfigures any domestic animal of another person or any zoo animal in captivity, or willfully and maliciously, administers poison to any such domestic or zoo animal, or exposes any poisonous substance, with intent that the same shall be taken or swallowed by animals, fowl or birds.

(2) This subsection shall not apply to: (i) the killing of any animal taken or found in the act of actually destroying any domestic animal or domestic fowl; (ii) the killing of any animal pursuant to 34 Pa.C.S. ss 2384 (relating to declaring dogs public nuisances) and 2385 (relating to destruction of dogs declared public nuisances); or (iii) such reasonable activity as may be undertaken in connection with vermin control or pest control.

(b) Regulating certain actions concerning fowl or rabbits.--A person commits a summary offense if he sells, offers for sale, barters, or gives away baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl, under one month of age, or rabbits under two months of age, as pets, toys, premiums or novelties or if he colors, dyes, stains or otherwise changes the natural color of baby chickens, ducklings or other fowl, or rabbits or if he brings or transports the same into this Commonwealth. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale or display of such baby chickens, ducklings, or other fowl, or such rabbits, in proper facilities by persons engaged in the business of selling them for purposes of commercial breeding and raising.

(c) Cruelty to animals.--A person commits a summary offense if he wantonly or cruelly illtreats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal'S body heat and keep it dry. This subsection shall not apply to activity undertaken in normal agricultural operation.

(d) Selling or using disabled horse.--A person commits a summary offense if he offers for sale or sells any horse, which by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked or used without violating the laws against cruelty to animals, or leads, rides, drives or transports any such horse for any purpose, except that of conveying the horse to the nearest available appropriate facility for its humane keeping or destruction or for medical or surgical treatment.

(e) Transporting animals in cruel manner.--A person commits a summary offense if he carries, or causes, or allows to be carried in or upon any cart, or other vehicle whatsoever, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. The person taking him into custody may take charge of the animal and of any such vehicle and its contents, and deposit the same in some safe place of custody, and any necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking charge of and keeping the same, and sustaining any such animal, shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can lawfully be recovered, or the said expenses or any part thereof remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same from the owner of said creature in any action therefor. For the purposes of this section, it shall not be deemed cruel or inhumane to transport live poultry in crates so long as not more than 15 pounds of live poultry are allocated to each cubic foot of space in the crate.

(e.1) Transporting equine animals in cruel manner.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person commits a summary offense for each equine animal if the person carries, or causes or allows to be carried any equine animal in or upon any conveyance, or other vehicle whatsoever with two or more levels stacked on top of one another.  A person who violates this subsection on a second or subsequent occasion commits a misdemeanor of the third degree for each equine animal transported.

(f) Hours of labor of animals.--A person commits a summary offense if he leads, drives, rides or works or causes or permits any other person to lead, drive, ride or work any horse, mare, mule, ox, or any other animal, whether belonging to himself or in his possession or control, for more than 15 hours in any 24 hour period, or more than 90 hours in any one week. Nothing in this subsection contained shall be construed to warrant any persons leading, driving, riding or walking any animal a less period than 15 hours, when so doing shall in any way violate the laws against cruelty to animals.

(g) Cruelty to cow to enhance appearance of udder.--A person commits a summary offense if he kneads or beats or pads the udder of any cow, or willfully allows it to go unmilked for a period of 24 hours or more, for the purpose of enhancing the appearance or size of the udder of said cow, or by a muzzle or any other device prevents its calf, if less than six weeks old, from obtaining nourishment, and thereby relieving the udder of said cow, for a period of 24 hours.

(h) Cropping ears of dog; prima facie evidence of violation.--A person commits a summary offense if he crops or cuts off, or causes or procures to be cropped or cut off, the whole, or part of the ear or ears of a dog or shows or exhibits or procures the showing or exhibition of any dog whose ear is or ears are cropped or cut off, in whole or in part, unless the person showing such dog has in his possession either a certificate of veterinarian stating that such cropping was done by the veterinarian or a certificate of registration from a county treasurer, showing that such dog was cut or cropped before this section became effective.

The provisions of this section shall not prevent a veterinarian from cutting or cropping the whole or part of the ear or ears of a dog when such dog is anesthetized, and shall not prevent any person from causing or procuring such cutting or cropping of a dog's ear or ears by a veterinarian.

The possession by any person of a dog with an ear or ears cut off or cropped and with the wound resulting therefrom unhealed, or any such dog being found in the charge or custody of any person or confined upon the premises owned by or under the control of any person, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this subsection by such person except as provided for in this subsection.

The owner of any dog whose ear or ears have been cut off or cropped before this section became effective may, if a resident of this Commonwealth, register such dog with the treasurer of the county where he resides, and if a nonresident of this Commonwealth, with the treasurer of any county of this Commonwealth, by certifying, under oath, that the ear or ears of such dog were cut or cropped before this section became effective, and the payment of a fee of $1 into the county treasury. The said treasurer shall thereupon issue to such person a certificate showing such dog to be a lawfully cropped dog.

(h.1) Animal fighting.--A person commits a felony of the third degree if he: (1) for amusement or gain, causes, allows or permits any animal to engage in animal fighting; (2) receives compensation for the admission of another person to any place kept or used for animal fighting; (3) owns, possesses, keeps, trains, promotes, purchases or knowingly sells any animal for animal fighting; (4) in any way knowingly encourages, aids or assists therein; (5) wagers on the outcome of an animal fight; (6) pays for admission to an animal fight or attends an animal fight as a spectator; or (7) knowingly permits any place under his control or possession to be kept or used for animal fighting.

This subsection shall not apply to activity undertaken in a normal agricultural operation.

(i) Power to initiate criminal proceedings.--An agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth, shall have the same powers to initiate criminal proceedings provided for police officers by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. An agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall have standing to request any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any violation of this section.

(j) Seizure of animals kept or used for animal fighting.--Any police officer or agent of a society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall have power to seize any animal kept, used, or intended to be used for animal fighting. When the seizure is made, the animal or animals so seized shall not be deemed absolutely forfeited, but shall be held by the officer or agent seizing the same until a conviction of some person is first obtained for a violation of subsection

(h.1). The officer or agent making such seizure shall make due return to the issuing authority, of the number and kind of animals or creatures so seized by him. Where an animal is thus seized, the police officer or agent is authorized to provide such care as is reasonably necessary, and where any animal thus seized is found to be disabled, injured or diseased beyond reasonable hope of recovery, the police officer or agent is authorized to provide for the humane destruction of the animal. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, the authority imposing sentence upon a conviction for any violation of subsection (h.1) shall order the forfeiture or surrender of any abused, neglected or deprived animal of the defendant to any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth and shall require that the owner pay the cost of the keeping, care and destruction of the animal.

(k) Killing homing pigeons.--A person commits a summary offense if he shoots, maims or kills any antwerp or homing pigeon, either while on flight or at rest, or detains or entraps any such pigeon which carries the name of its owner.

(l) Search warrants.--Where a violation of this section is alleged, any issuing authority may, in compliance with the applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, issue to any police officer or any agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth a search warrant authorizing the search of any building or any enclosure in which any violation of this section is occurring or has occurred, and authorizing the seizure of evidence of the violation including, but not limited to, the animals which were the subject of the violation. Where an animal thus seized is found to be neglected or starving, the police officer or agent is authorized to provide such care as is reasonably necessary, and where any animal thus seized is found to be disabled, injured or diseased beyond reasonable hope of recovery, the police officer or agent is authorized to provide for the humane destruction of the animal. The cost of the keeping, care and destruction of the animal shall be paid by the owner thereof and claims for the costs shall constitute a lien upon the animal. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, the authority imposing sentence upon a conviction for any violation of this section may require that the owner pay the cost of the keeping, care and destruction of the animal. No search warrant shall be issued based upon an alleged violation of this section which authorizes any police officer or agent or other person to enter upon or search premises where scientific research work is being conducted by, or under the supervision of, graduates of duly accredited scientific schools or where biological products are being produced for the care or prevention of disease.

(m) Forfeiture.--In addition to any other penalty provided by law, the authority imposing sentence upon a conviction for any violation of this section may order the forfeiture or surrender of any abused, neglected or deprived animal of the defendant to any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth.

(m.1) Fine for summary offense.--In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person convicted of a summary offense under this section shall pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $750 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.

(n) Skinning of and selling or buying pelts of dogs and cats.--A person commits a summary offense if he skins a dog or cat or offers for sale or exchange or offers to buy or exchange the pelt or pelts of any dog or cat.

(o) Representation of humane society by attorney.--Upon prior authorization and approval by the district attorney of the county in which the proceeding is held, an association or agent may be represented in any proceeding under this section by any attorney admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and in good standing. Attorney's fees shall be borne by the humane society or association which is represented.

(o.1) Construction of section.--The provisions of this section shall not supersede the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L. 784, No. 225), known as the Dog Law.

(p) Applicability of section.--This section shall not apply to, interfere with or hinder any activity which is authorized or permitted pursuant to Title 34 (relating to game).

(q) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection: "Animal fighting." Fighting or baiting any bull, bear, dog, cock or other creature.

"Audibly impaired." The inability to hear air conduction thresholds at an average of 40 decibels or greater in the better ear.

"Blind." Having a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction or having a limitation of the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than 20 degrees.

"Deaf." Totally impaired hearing or hearing with or without amplification which is so seriously impaired that the primary means of receiving spoken language is through other sensory input, including, but not limited to, lip reading, sign language, finger spelling or reading.

"Domestic animal." Any dog, cat, equine animal, bovine animal, sheep, goat or porcine animal.

"Domestic fowl." Any avis raised for food, hobby or sport.

"Normal agricultural operation." Normal activities, practices and procedures that farmers adopt, use or engage in year after year in the production and preparation for market of poultry, livestock and their products in the production and harvesting of agricultural, agronomic, horticultural, silvicultural and aquicultural crops and commodities.

"Physically limited." Having limited ambulation, including, but not limited to, a temporary or permanent impairment or condition that causes an individual to use a wheelchair or walk with difficulty or insecurity, affects sight or hearing to the extent that an individual is insecure or exposed to danger, causes faulty coordination or reduces mobility, flexibility, coordination or perceptiveness.

"Zoo animal." Any member of the class of mammalia, aves, amphibia or reptilia which is kept in a confined area by a public body or private individual for purposes of observation by the general public.


TITLE 61. PENAL AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS
CHAPTER 25. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
ARRESTS FOR CRUELTY TO ANIMALS


2101. Keepers of jails, etc., to receive persons arrested for cruelty to animals

The keepers or persons in charge of all jails, lock-ups and station-houses within this commonwealth shall receive all persons arrested for any violation of the provisions of the act of the general assembly of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, entitled "An act for the punishment of cruelty to animals in this commonwealth," approved the twenty-ninth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.


Reviewed by AAHS in September 2001.
Section (e.1) of the cruelty statute, which prohibits double hauling of horses, was enacted June 25, 2001.


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