A state senator from Franklin County hopes to tighten up Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws with a bill to be dubbed Libre’s Law in honor of a puppy rescued earlier this month from a Lancaster County farm.
Sen. Richard Alloway II, a Republican from the 33rd district covering York, Franklin, Adams and Cumberland counties, was moved by the puppy’s plight, according to legislative director Chad Reichard.
“A bill will be forthcoming” to increase penalties for animal cruelty, Reichard said Monday, although he said Alloway’s legislative team is still researching how other states handle animal cruelty laws.
“Pennsylvania is one of three states that don’t have a felony level for animal abuse,” he said. “We are researching what needs to be done to strengthen Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws.”
While the specifics of the pending bill are still unknown, Reichard said Alloway is already pushing an unrelated bill to prohibit anyone with a prior conviction of animal abuse to secure a kennel license from the state.
Alloway hopes to present Libre’s Law to the Senate “within the next few weeks,” Reichard said, although he noted the Senate will not be back in session until the fall.
See more stories on Libre below.
Libre was rescued July 4 after a delivery man saw the puppy lying unresponsive in a pen. A rescuer, who has since adopted the puppy, said Libre was emaciated, dehydrated and barely breathing when taken to a Dillsburg veterinarian for round-the-clock care.
The veterinarian, who diagnosed Libre with demodectic mange, said the puppy was in critical condition and provided round-the-clock care.
Adopted and fostered
Janine Guido, of Speranza Animal Rescue in Mechanicsburg, announced last week that she will adopt Libre once his treatment is completed.
Dr. Ivan Pryor, of the Dillsburg Veterinary Center, has said he hopes Libre can be discharged from the hospital within two weeks.
The announcement follows news that Libre’s mother, Carla — a 15-month-old Boston terrier that was surrendered to the Lancaster County SPCA when she was also found to be suffering from mange — is responding to treatment and is being fostered by Amanda Perry, daughter of SPCA executive director Susan Martin.
Martin, who also serves as the county’s animal cruelty officer, has been beset with calls for her resignation since she announced that no charges would be filed against Libre’s former owner.
Martin said in a series of announcements to the press that she visited the breeder’s farm in southern Lancaster County, and there was not sufficient evidence to support charges.
Veterinarian of the Year
Also this week,the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association announced it has chosen Pryor as Veterinarian of the Year.
The association said he was picked for the award because of his ongoing treatment of Libre in the weeks since the puppy’s rescue.