Dogs left outside in dangerous weather is one of the most common forms of animal cruelty. Police and animal cruelty agencies investigate this form of abuse more than any other form of animal abuse.
But dogs in Pennsylvania will now have stronger protection thanks to a new law that makes it a felony for residents to leave their dogs outside in the cold.
Dog owners who leave a dog outside in extremely cold weather for too long could now face felony animal cruelty charges of up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Libre’s Law (or Pennsylvania, House Bill 1238) was signed into law recently, and specifies that dogs cannot be left outside in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 30 minutes at a time.
The law was one of several new protections for animals signed into law, that were sparked by the abuse and neglect of a puppy named Libre.
Libre was at the signing with Gov. Tom Wolf as he signed the bill into law (and even applied an inky paw print to the document).
This is a long overdue change, but a positive one. Considering that dogs left outside in extreme cold risk hypothermia, frostbite and death, it seems only appropriate that owners face stronger criminal charges for their actions.
If you see a dog left outside in extreme temperatures, please contact your local law enforcement and/or humane society report it.