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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Statute Law 1920: Article 14: Criminal Law - CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 14 Pa. Stat. 7700-7783 (1920)



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Summary:   Pennsylvania laws concerning the criminal punishment for cruelty to animals from 1921.  The laws cover such topics as transportation of an animal to the powers of an agent from any Anti-Cruelty society. 


Statute in Full:

PENNSYLVANIA

STATUTE LAW 1920

Cruelty to Animals


Cruelty to domestic animals.

  1. Maliciously killing, maiming or disfiguring domestic animal.

  2. Cruelty to animals, informer as witness; appeals

  3. Penalty to be payable to society prosecuting

  4. Punishment on conviction in quarter sessions

  5. Transporting animals in cruel manner; custody of animals

  6. Abandoning sick animals; destruction or removal

  7. Selling disabled horse

  8. Leading, riding, or driving disabled horse.

  9. Punishment; disposition of fine

  10. Hours of manual labor

  11. Punishment for violation

  12. Cruelty to cow to enhance appearance of udder

  13. Arrest on view of offense; appeals; common carriers

  14. Arrests; sale or use of disabled horse

  15. Arrests; working excessive hours

  16. Agents of societies may seize animals kept for baiting or fighting

  17. Search warrants

  18. Care of animals; lien for expenses; exception as to scientific work

    CRIMINAL LAWS

    Section 7770. Cruelty to domestic animals. If any person shall wantonly and cruelly beat, torture, kill or maim any horse or other domestic animal, whether belonging to himself or another, every such person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars, or undergo an imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, or either, at the discretion of the court.

    (1860, March 31; P.L. 382, Section 46.)

    Section 7771. Maliciously killing, maiming or disfiguring domestic animal. Every person who shall willfully and maliciously kill, maim or disfigure any horse, cattle, dog, or other domestic animals of another person; who shall willfully and maliciously administer poison to any such beasts, or expose any poisonous substance with the intent that the same shall be taken or swallowed by them, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and being thereof convicted, shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or to undergo an imprisonment, by separate or solitary confinement at labor, not exceeding three years, or either, or both, at the discretion of the court: Provided, That the provisions of this act shall not apply to the killing of any animal taken or found in the act of actually destroying any other domestic animal.,

    Section 7772. Cruelty to animals; informer as witness; appeals. Any person who shall, within this commonwealth, wantonly or cruelly ill-treat, overload, beat or otherwise abuse any animal, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or shall keep or use, or in any way be connected with, or interested in the management of, or shall receive money for the admission of any person to any place kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any bull, bear, dog, cock, or other creature, and every person who shall encourage, aid or assist therein, or who shall permit, or suffer any place to be so kept or used, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on being convicted thereof, before any alderman or magistrate, shall be fined by the said alderman or magistrate for the first offense in a sum of not less than ten dollars nor more than twenty dollars, and for the second and every subsequent offense in a sum of not less than twenty, nor exceeding fifty dollars, to be paid one-half to the informer (who shall be a competent witness notwithstanding such interest), and the other half to the county where the offense may be committed; and if said fine or penalty and the costs of the proceedings be not paid, then said alderman or magistrate shall commit said offender to the county prison, there to remain until discharged by due course of law: Provided, That when the fine imposed exceeds the sum of ten dollars the party complained against may appeal from the decision of said alderman or magistrate to the court of quarter sessions, upon his entering bail in the nature of a recognizance, in the usual manner, for his appearance at said court, when the offense shall be prosecuted in the same manner as is now directed by law in other cases of misdemeanor.,

    (1869, March 29; P.L. 22, Section 1.)

    Section 7773. Penalty to be payable to society prosecuting. From and after the passage of this act, all fines and penalties imposed by any alderman or magistrate under the act of March 29, 1869, to which the act of June 2, 1871, is amendatory, shall be payable to any regular incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, bringing suit and prosecuting the charge.,,

    (1891, June 9; P.L. 260, Section 1.)

    Section 7774. Punishment on conviction in quarter sessions. If, in lieu of deciding the cause, such alderman or magistrate shall bind over or commit such person to appear at the court of quarter sessions, or if such person shall appeal as aforesaid, or upon such binding over or commitment, appear before the said court and be there convicted of such misdemeanor, he shall be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars, payable as aforesaid, or undergo an imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, at the discretion of the court.

    (1869, March 29; P.L. 22, Section 2.)


    Section 7775. Transporting animals in a cruel manner; custody of animals. If any person shall be arrested for carrying, or causing, or allowing to be carried in or upon any cart, or other vehicle whatsoever, any creature in a cruel or inhuman manner, the person taking him into custody may take charge of 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 animal attached thereto, shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can be lawfully be recovered, or the said expenses or any part thereof remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same of the owner of said creature in any action therefor.

    (1869, March 29; P.L. 22, Section 3.)

    Section 7776. Abandoning sick animals; destruction or removal. If any maimed, sick, infirm or disabled creature shall, by any person, be abandoned to die in any public place, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and it shall be lawful for any alderman or magistrate to appoint suitable persons to destroy and remove such creature, if unfit for further use, at the cost of the owner thereof, recoverable before the said alderman or magistrate.

    (1869, March 29; P.L. 22, Section 4.)

    Section 7777. Selling disabled horse. It shall be unlawful for any owner to offer for sale or sell any horse, which, by reason of debility, disease, or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked in this Commonwealth without violating the laws against cruelty to animals.

    (1909, May 6; P.L. 443, Section 1.)

    Section 7778. Leading, riding, or driving disabled horse. It shall be unlawful for any person to lead, ride, or drive, on any public way, for any purpose except that of conveying the animal to a proper place for its humane keeping or killing or for medical or surgical treatment, any horse which, by reason of debility, disease, or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked in this Commonwealth without violating the laws against cruelty to animals.

    (1909, May 6; P.L. 443, Section 2.)

    Section 7779. Punishment; disposition of fine. Any owner violating any provision of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on being convicted thereof before any alderman, magistrate or justice of the peace shall be fined by the said alderman, magistrate, or justice of the peace in a sum of not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months; said fine to be paid to any regularly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals bringing suit or prosecuting the charge.

    (1909, May 6; P.L. 443, Section 3.)

    Section 7780. Hours of labor of animals. It shall be unlawful for any person to lead, drive, ride, or work, or cause or permit 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 fifteen hours in any twenty-four hour period, nor more than ninety hours in any one week, in any city of the first or second class: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to warrant any persons leading, driving, riding or walking, any animal a less period than fifteen hours, when so doing shall in any way violate the laws against cruelty to animals.

    (1913, July 22; P.L. 913, Section 1.)

    Section 7781. Punishment for violation. Any person found guilty before any magistrate, or alderman, of violating the provisions of this act shall be fined in a sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months; said fine to be paid to any regularly incorporated society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals which shall have jurisdiction in the county wherein suit is brought.

    (1913, July 22; P.L. 913, Section 2.)

    Section 7782. Cruelty to cow to enhance appearance of udder. Any farmer, dealer, or drover, or any other person, who shall willfully allow it to go unmilked for a period of twenty-four hours or more, for the purpose of enhancing the appearance or size of the udder of said cow; or who shall buy a muzzle or any other device prevent its calf, if less than six weeks old, from obtaining nourishment, and thereby relieving the udder of said cow, for a period of twenty-four hours; shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, before any alderman, magistrate, or justice of the peace, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars, or to undergo an imprisonment in the jail of the proper county for a period of not more than thirty days, or both, at the discretion of such alderman, magistrate, or justice.

    (1911, May 5; P.L. 178, Section 1.)

    Section 7783. Arrest on view of offence; appeals; common carriers. Any policeman or constable of any city or county, or any agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated under the laws of this commonwealth, shall upon his own view of any such misdemeanor make arrests and bring before any alderman or magistrate thereof, offenders found violating the provisions of this act: Provided, That any person convicted under the provisions of the act, to which this is an amendment, shall have the right to appeal to the court of quarter sessions of the proper county: Provided further, That where a car is performing the duty of a common carrier, there shall be only the right of any policeman or constable of any city or county, or any agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated under the laws of this commonwealth, to remove a sick, wounded or disabled horse or mule from any street car that is performing the duty of a common carrier, but not to the power to arrest the conductor or driver of any such car until they reach the depot or terminus of the road.

    (1891, June 20; P.L. 378, Section 1.)

    Section 7784. Arrests; sale or use of disabled horse. Any policeman or constable of any city or county, or any agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall, upon his own view of any such misdemeanor or offense, make an arrest, and bring before an alderman, magistrate, or justice of the peace offenders found violating the provisions of this act; and any policeman or constable, or any agent of any society, as aforesaid, shall also make arrests of such offenders on warrants duly issued according to law, when such misdemeanor or offence is not committed in view of said officer, constable, or agent.

    (1909, May 6; P.L. 443, Section 1.)

    Section 7785. Arrests; working excessive hours. Any policeman or constable of any city of the first or second class, or any agent of any regularly incorporated society shall, upon his own view of any such offence, make arrest and bring before any magistrate or alderman offenders found violating the provisions of this act; and any policeman or constable, or any agent of any society as aforesaid, shall also make arrests of such offenders on warrants duly issued according to law, when such offense is not committed in view of said policeman, constable or agent.

    (1913, July 22; P.L. 913, Section 3.)

    Section 7786. Agents of societies may seize animals kept for baiting or fighting. Any agent of the Pennsylvania society, or of any other society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, be and is hereby authorized and empowered to seize any bull, bear, dog, cock, or other creature, kept, used, or intended to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting, and to sell the same for the benefit of said society: Provided, That when the seizure is made, the animal or animals so seized shall not be deemed absolutely forfeited, but shall be held by the officer seizing them until a conviction of some person is first obtained under the first section of the act to which this is a supplement, for keeping or using, or being connected with or interested in the management of any place used for fighting or baiting animals, and the animal or creature seized shall have been found on the premises which are the subject of the complaint: And further provided, That the agent making such seizure shall make due return to the magistrate or alderman, before whom the complaint is heard, of the number and kind of animals or creatures so seized by him; and it shall be the duty of the magistrate or alderman hearing the complaint, in case of a conviction, to make the forfeiture of such animals or creatures seized a part of the sentence.

    (1872, April 3; P.L. 38, Section 1.)

    Section 7787. Search warrants. Any police officer or any constable of any city or county, or any other peace officer, or any agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, who shall make oath before any justice of the peace, alderman, or magistrate that he has reasons to believe or does believe that an act of cruelty to animals is being committed in a building, barn, or other enclosure, the said justice of the peace, alderman, or magistrate shall thereupon, on proof of demand having been made, issue a search warrant, directed to any police officer or constable of any city or county, or any agent of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated under the laws of this Commonwealth, or other peace officer, to search the said premises; and if, upon such search, it is found that an act of cruelty to animals is being perpetrated, to forthwith arrest such offender or offenders and bring him or them before the said justice of the peace, alderman, or magistrate for trial.

    (1911, June 3; P.L. 654, Section 1.)

    Section 7788. Care of animals; lien for expenses; exception as to scientific work. If, upon such search, any creature or creatures be found upon such premises, in a neglected or starving condition, the officer making such search shall immediately take action to have said creature or creatures properly fed and watered; and if he finds it to be impossible to give said creature or creatures proper care on the premises, to have same removed to a safe place, where proper food, water, and attention can be given. All costs in giving said creature or creatures care, food, and attention to be paid by the owner; and the person taking same in charge shall have a lien thereon for the expense of keep, to be paid before the same can lawfully be recovered; or the said expense or any part thereof remaining unpaid may be recovered by the person incurring the same, of the owner of said creature or creatures, in any action therefor: Provided, That no search warrant shall be issued, under the provision of this act, which shall authorize any officer, policeman, constable, agent of a society, or other person, to enter upon or search premises where scientific research work is being conducted by or under the supervision of graduates of reputable scientific schools, or where biological products are being produced for the care or prevention of disease.

    (1911, June 3; P.L. 654, Section 2.)



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