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Pennsylvania

Statute Name Citation Summary
PA - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws   3 P.S. 459-102, 217; 18 P.S. 5511; 43 P.S. 952, 953; 18 Pa.C.S.A. 7325; 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3549  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

 
PA - Cruelty - Chapter 37. Humane Society Police Officers.   22 Pa.C.S.A. 3701 - 3718   These statutes enable and regulate Pennsylvania's grant of police powers to humane society agents. Topics within these statutes include the appointment, termination, powers granted to, and training of humane society police officers.  
PA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes   18 Pa.C.S.A. 5511 - 5511.3; 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3129   This section constitutes the Pennsylvania anti-cruelty provisions.  The section distinguishes between misdemeanor and felony cruelty and the type of animal involved.  Misdemeanor cruelty (a fine of $500) occurs when a person kills, maims or disfigures any domestic animal of another person, administers or exposes a domestic animal to poison, or interferes with a guide or service animal.  A person commits a felony of the third degree if he or she willfully and maliciously kills, maims or disfigures any zoo animal in captivity or intentionally administers poison to such. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this paragraph shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both, and the court may also order a presentence mental evaluation.  A subsequent conviction under this paragraph shall be a felony of the third degree. Also included in these provisions is the Horse Transport Law, which prohibits the transporting of horses stacked on top of each other. Exclusions under the act include the killing of animals found to be destroying domestic animals, the hunting of game animals, the killing of dogs declared nuisances, and pest control.  
PA - Dangerous - 459-507-A. Construction of article (dangerous dogs)   3 P.S. 459-507-A   This Pennsylvania statute provides the construction of the dangerous dog chapter in the state.  It outlines the exceptions under the dangerous dog law as well as the enforcement procedure for one who is attacked by such dog.  It also specifically states that any provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated.  Further, a local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.  
PA - Dog - 550. General immunity from noise   3 P.S. 550   This Pennsylvania statute provides that all owners and operators of dog training and special retriever training areas licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission shall be exempt and immune from any civil action or criminal prosecution in any manner relating to noise provided they were and remain in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances at the time the permit for establishment of the training area was authorized.  
PA - Dog Law - Chapter 8. Dogs (consolidated dog laws)   3 P.S. 459-101 - 1205; 3 P.S. 501, 531 - 532, 550 - 551; 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2381 - 2386; 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2941 - 2945   These statutes represent Pennsylvania's Dog Law, and contain provisions related to licensing, rabies quarantines, kennels, and the dangerous dog chapter.  The significant features of the law include a statewide control requirement for dogs (Section 305) and provisions for "dangerous dogs" (Section 501 et. seq.).  Under the latter, any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal, including household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings, whether or not such a dog bears a required license tag.  There is no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.  
PA - Ecoterrorism - 3311. Ecoterrorism   18 Pa.C.S.A. 3309 - 3311; 42 Pa.C.S.A. 8319   This collective set of laws comprises Pennsylvania's ecoterrorim and agroterrorism provisions. The state has an agricultural vandalism law (misdemeanor or felony, depending on pecuniary loss)  and law prohibiting the destruction of agricultural crops (felony). A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the person commits a specified offense against property by: intimidating or coercing a person participating in an activity involving animals, plants, or natural resources; or preventing or obstructing a person involved in such an activity. The law has a provision that states a person who is on public property, or on private property with permission, and is peaceable exercising his or her constitutional rights is immune from prosecution and from civil liability under Pa.C.S. § 8319.  
PA - Endangered Species - Chapter 104. Wild Resource Conservation   34 Pa.C.S.A. 2167; 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2924; 34 Pa.C.S.A. 925; 32 P.S. 5301 - 14  

This set of Pennsylvania laws comprises the state's endangered species provisions. Section 2167 makes it unlawful for any person to bring into or remove from this Commonwealth, or to possess, transport, capture or kill, or attempt, aid, abet or conspire to capture or kill, any wild bird or wild animal, or any part thereof, or the eggs of any wild bird, which are endangered or threatened species. It is the duty of every officer having authority to enforce this title to seize all wild birds or wild animals, or any part thereof, or the eggs of any wild bird, which have been declared endangered or threatened. Any commerce in endangered species is also prohibited. For a first violation, a person may have his or her hunting privileges revoked for 7 years. A second violation during that period may result in forfeiture of the privilege to hunt for 10 years. A third violation brings the forfeiture to 15 years.

 
PA - Equine - Chapter 13. Equine Activity.   4 P.S. 601 - 606   These statutes comprise Pennsylvania's Equine Activity Act, which sent into effect on February 21, 2006. Under the law, liability for negligence shall only be barred where knowing voluntary assumption of risk is proven in a particular case. However, the Act provides immunity only where a sign that states, "You assume the risk of equine activities pursuant to Pennsylvania law," is conspicuously posted on the premises in two or more locations.  
PA - Exotic Pets - Subchapter D. Permits Relating to Wildlife; Chapter 147. Special Permits. Subchapter N. Exotic Wildlife Possession   34 Pa.C.S.A. 2961 - 2965; 58 Pa. Code 147.261 - 262   These Pennsylvania statutes represent the state's exotic pet laws. “Exotic wildlife" includes all bears, coyotes, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, cougars, wolves and any crossbreed of these animals. The commission may issue a permit to a person to act as an exotic wildlife dealer. No permit shall be granted by the commission until it is satisfied that the provisions for housing and caring for the exotic wildlife and protection for the public are proper and adequate and in accordance with the standards which may be established by regulations. It is unlawful to release any exotic wildlife into the wild, fail to exercise due care in safeguarding the public, or recklessly engage in conduct that places another person in danger of attack from exotic wildlife.  
PA - Fur - Dog and Cat Product Act   73 P.S. 210-1 - 6   This set of laws represents the Dog and Cat Product Act. The act provides that no person shall sell or offer for sale, wholesale or retail, the fur, skin or hair of a dog or cat or any product or part of a product containing the fur, skin or hair of a dog or cat. Violation of the act commits a misdemeanor of the third degree. Subsequent offenses committed within five years of a prior conviction for the same offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree.  
PA - Furtaking - Subchapter D. Furtaking Regulations   34 Pa.C.S.A. 2361 - 2364   These Pennsylvania statutes make it unlawful to take, kill, wound, capture or possess any furbearers except during open season and without a permit. It is also illegal to set traps closer than five feet from a den, use a pole trap, deadfall, poison, explosive, chemical, leg-hold trap with teeth on the jaws, to smoke out or dig out any den, to set or place a cage or box trap in the water, or use any trap unless tended every 36 hours and all animals are released or removed. A violation relating to bobcat or otter is a summary offense of the fourth degree; other violations are a summary offense of the fifth degree.  
PA - Humane Slaughter - Slaughter and Processing of Domestic Animals   3 Pa.C.S.A. 2361 - 2362   These laws comprise Pennsylvania's humane slaughter provisions.  The section begins with the enabling statute that grants authority to the relevant state agency.  It then declares that humane methods shall be used in the handling of domestic animals for slaughter and in the actual bleeding and slaughter of domestic animals except in the cases of slaughter for ritual purposes or individual (e.g., non-commercial) consumption.  The law itself does not proscribe penalties for non-compliance (but such may be listed in departmental regulations).  
PA - Hunting - 2302. Interference with lawful taking of wildlife or other activities permitted by this title prohibited   34 Pa.C.S.A. 2302   This reflects Pennsylvania's hunter harassment law. It is unlawful for another person at the location where the activity is taking place to intentionally obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife or other activities permitted by this title. Violation of this section is a summary offense of the second degree. A person adversely affected by prohibited activities may bring an action to restrain such conduct and to recover damages.  
PA - Immunity - 8331.1. Veterinary good Samaritan civil immunity   42 Pa.C.S.A. 8331.1   In Pennsylvania, any licensed veterinarian who, in good faith, renders emergency care to any animal which such individual has discovered at the scene of an accident or emergency situation is not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care. This immunity does not, however, apply to acts or omissions intentionally designed to cause harm, or any grossly negligent acts or omissions that cause harm to the animal. It also does not apply where the owner of the animal is present and can be consulted as to the proposed action by the veterinarian.  
PA - Kennels - 551. Nuisances and injunction   3 P.S. 551  

This Pennsylvania statute provides that the owners or operators of licensed dog training areas shall not be subject to any action for nuisance, and no court in this Commonwealth shall enjoin the use or operation of training areas on the basis of noise or noise pollution, provided that the owners were and remain in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances at the time the permit for establishment of the training areas was authorized.

 
PA - Ordinances - 23144. To tax and destroy dogs   53 P.S. 23144  

This briefly worded Pennsylvania statute presumably gives municipalities the authority "[t]o regulate and provide for taxing the owners and harborers of dogs, and to destroy dogs found at large contrary to any ordinance."

 
PA - Ordinances - 459-1201. Applicability to cities of the first class, second class, second class A and third class   3 P.S. 459-1201   This Pennsylvania statute provides that cities of the first and second class are not affected by state dog licensing programs; existing city-level programs remain in effect.  With cities of the third class, certain provisions of the state article on dog licensing shall not apply if the city has established a licensing program by ordinance.  
PA - Ordinances - 66530. Regulation of dogs   53 P.S. 66530 - 66531   This Pennsylvania statute provides that the board of supervisors may by ordinance prohibit and regulate the running at large of dogs.  
PA - Permits - Chapter 29. Special Licenses and Permits. Subchapter A. General Provisions.   34 Pa.C.S.A. 2901 - 2908   This chapter of Pennsylvania laws allows the commission to issue permits to take wildlife. Among the permit categories include endangered or threatened species permits, wildlife menagerie, wildlife (exotic) dealer, and wildlife (exotic) possession permits. It is unlawful to exercise any of the privileges granted by a permit issued under this title without first securing the required permit.  
PA - Pet Sales - 201-9.3. Dog purchaser protection   73 P.S. 201-9.3   This Pennsylvania statute comprises the state's Dog Purchaser Protection law.  The law mandates disclosure of a dog's health history by a seller (defined as pet shop operator or other individual who sells dogs to the public and who owns or operates a kennel or pet shop licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture or the United States Department of Agriculture).  If, within ten days after the date of purchase, a dog purchased from a seller is determined, through physical examination, diagnostic tests or necropsy by a veterinarian, to be clinically ill or dies from any contagious or infectious illness or any parasitic illness which renders it unfit for purchase or results in its death, the purchaser may exercise one of the described statutory elections.  
PA - Rabies - Chapter 7A. Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act   3 P.S. 455.1 - 12   This chapter is known as the Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act. Every person living in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, who owns or keeps a dog or cat over three months of age, must have that dog or cat to be vaccinated against rabies. A person who violates any provision of this act commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $300 for each violation. Each day of violation constitutes a separate offense.  
PA - Rabies - 459-301. Quarantines   3 P.S. 459-301   This Pennsylvania statute outlines the procedures and regulations relative to the state rabies quarantine procedure for dogs.  It also provides that any police officer or state dog warden may humanely kill any dog running at large in a rabies quarantined area without any liability for damages for such killing.  
PA - Sterilization - 459-910-A. Construction of article (sterilization of dogs & cats)   3 P.S. 459-910-A   This Pennsylvania statute relates to statutory mandatory sterilization of impounded dogs and cats.  It provides that a municipal ordinance, which meets or exceeds the state sterilization requirements, shall not be affected by this article.  
PA - Trust - 7738. Trust for care of animal - UTC 408   20 Pa.C.S.A. 7738  

In 2006, Pennsylvania became the 32nd state to adopt a pet trust law.  The law provides that a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal.

 
PA - Veterinary - Chapter 14A. Veterinary Medicine Practice.   63 P.S. 485.1 - 35  

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.

 

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