Pennsylvania Statutes

Statute by categorysort ascending Citation Summary
Pennsylvania Statute Laws 1920: Article 16: Agriculture Laws 14 Pa. Stat. §§ 394-402 (1920)

Pennsylvania laws concerning the treatment of animals in agriculture.  The laws cover such topics as maiming and disfiguring animals to the transportation of an animal.

Pennsylvania Statute Law 1920: Article 14: Criminal Law 14 Pa. Stat. §§ 7700-7783 (1920)

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. 

Pennsylvania Law of Session of 1860: Cruelty to Animals 1860 Pa. Laws 46

Section 46 of Pennsylvania Session Law from 1860 covers cruelty to animals.  The section describes what is cruelty to animal and the punishment for it.

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.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - § 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 - 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 - 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 - Hunting, Internet - § 7641. Computer-assisted remote harvesting of animals 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7641 This statute prohibits computer-assisted remote hunting and the operation of computer assisted hunting facilities in the state of Pennsylvania. Violation is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
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 - 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 - 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 - Fur - Dog and Cat Product Act 73 P.S. § 210-1 to 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 - Exotic Pets - Subchapter D. Permits Relating to Wildlife; Chapter 147. Special Permits. Subchapter N. Exotic Wildlife Posse 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 - Euthanasia - The Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law 3 P.S. § 328.101 - 3 P.S. § 328.1101

This Pennsylvania statute provides the prohibited and authorized methods to kill or "destroy" animals within the state. The statute provides a different method for small domestic animals and also specifies which state operations and entities are excluded from following the methods as described under the statute. The statute also specifies the fines and civil penalties for violation of the statute.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - Dog - § 550. General immunity from noise 3 P.S. § 550

This Pennsylvania statute provides that a ll 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 - 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 - Cruelty - § 5536. Tethering of unattended dog 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5536 This statute describes specific circumstances under which the tethering of an unattended dog outdoors may create a rebuttable presumption that the dog has been neglected. A dog tethered for less than nine hours in a 24-hour period with potable water, an area of shade, a tether at least three times the length of the dog with a swivel anchor and a well-fitted collar is not presumed to be neglect, unless tethered for more than a half hour in temperatures above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees. The statute is effective as of August 2017.
PA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531 - 5561; 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3129 This document contains Pennsylvania's anti-cruelty laws that were amended in 2017. Section 5532 covers neglect of animal and states that a person who has care of animal must provide: (1) necessary sustenance and potable water; (2) access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather; and (3) necessary veterinary care. Violation is a summary offense unless the violation causes bodily injury or puts the animal in imminent danger of bodily injury (then, it is a misdemeanor of third degree). A person commits cruelty to animals (Sec. 5533) if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons or abuses an animal. Aggravated cruelty is provided by Sec. 5534 and is defined as torture, or neglect or cruelty that causes serious bodily injury or death of an animal. Such conduct is a felony of the third degree. Another section creates legal presumptions with regard to tethering of a dog that relate to the length of time tethered, the type of collar/tether, and even the outside temperature (both low and high temperatures). Section 5539 makes it unlawful to transport an equine animal in or upon a vehicle with two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The state also prohibits the cropping of dogs' ears, debarking of dogs, docking of dogs' tails, performance of surgical births of dogs, and declawing of cats by persons other than veterinary doctors while the animals are anesthetized. Animal fighting is prohibited in the chapter as a felony of the third degree. Other provisions concern selling of dog and cat pelts, live animals as prizes, and harassment of service and police animals. Exemptions under the act include state game/hunting laws, the killing of a dog or cat in accordance with the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law, the killing of an animal found pursuing domestic animals/fowl, destruction of public nuisance dogs, pest control, "[s]hooting activities not otherwise prohibited under this subchapter," and the authorized use of research animals.
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 - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws 3 P.S. § 459-102, 217; 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 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.