Reinforce Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Laws: Save the Frackville Fifteen
  • Petitioned Pennsylvania Governor
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Pennsylvania Governor
Pennsylvania State House
Gov. Thomas Corbett
State Rep. Michael Tobash
State Rep. Jerry Knowles
See response
State Rep. Neal Goodman

Reinforce Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Laws: Save the Frackville Fifteen

    1. Krystle Willing
    2. Petition by

      Krystle Willing

      Jim Thorpe, PA

This petition is one small step for the animals in Pennsylvania right now, but it could be a giant leap for animal rights. Currently, the state of Pennsylvania considers animal abuse a summary offense or misdemeanor crime.  We need to let our government officials know that every life is valuable and we will not tolerate abuse or neglect of any living being. Lawmakers must take action to prevent such unnecessary pain. We need to let abusers know that their actions have consequences, not only on the animals they harm but also on themselves. They must be held accountable for their actions so that others will be deterred from committing the same crimes. We need to let these animals know that they are not only valued, but loved. Too many animals have felt the hurt of a human hand, we must show them the help in a human heart.

Ghandi has said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated." If we intend to call ourselves a great nation, we must treat our animals with respect and love. Animals ask that you show them what a great nation this is. Show them the respect and love they deserve, because despite the pain they have experienced they are full of love for us.

Reinforce Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Laws

In the state of Pennsylvania, domestic animals kept as pets or owned for agriculture are considered property.  In the event of an animal cruelty investigation, these living creatures serve as evidence against the accused.  Currently, such animals are housed in already crowded shelters or rescues for the duration of the trial unless the owner resigns custody for the animal to be adopted.  These temporary caregivers provide medical assistance, food, shelter, and love to the animals until the legal issues can be resolved.  In some cases, the court proceedings can take months or years.  In order to make this process more effective and efficient, we suggest our state legislators create one formal organization to manage cases of animal cruelty.  This organization will ensure all animals considered evidence are properly cared for and maintained during the related investigation and trial.  In addition, specialized facilities should be established across the state to house and care for these animals until they can be adopted or returned to their rightful owner.

We ask that you support House Bill 354, which would establish an animal abuser registry in each county in Pennsylvania.  Persons residing in a county who have been convicted of a felony offense of cruelty to animals will be required to register.  While this Bill alone will make a positive impact, its reach is limited by the fact that the majority of offenses are not considered felonies.

We must do more to ensure all animals are properly cared for in this state.  Cruelty to any animal - domestic, agricultural, zoological, or wild - must not be tolerated.  The existing laws and consequences must be reinforced.  Current fines and punishment require reevaluation and amendment in order to deter potential offenders from committing crimes against animals.  Action must be taken to prevent individuals identified as serious or repeat abusers from owning animals.  Pennsylvania law makers must listen to our voice, speaking for the animals in need of our protection.

The Frackville Fifteen

On the morning of Sunday July 22nd, fourteen dogs were rescued from a home in Schuylkill County Pennsylvania.  The dogs were removed from the basement along with the body of a dog that did not survive. In addition to their physical injuries, many of the dogs will bear the scars of senseless abuse long after their wounded hearts are mended by the love of new families.

The Hillside SPCA immediately offered much needed medical and emotional attention. Volunteers and potential adopters began showering the pitiful pits with love. It came as no surprise that these dogs returned that love tenfold. Despite the pain and abuse inflicted upon them by humans, the gentle Frackville Fifteen are eager to cuddle and kiss their new two-legged friends. Given their tragic beginning, the dogs were appointed the names of Disney characters in hopes they would each live happily ever after. A fairytale life did not seem out of reach for these survivors, as local news reports and word of mouth resulted in an outpouring of adoption requests.

Unfortunately, the owner of the dogs refused to sign custody over to the Hillside SPCA. That means the case will be decided in the courts and the dogs would be forced to remain at the shelter as evidence. That means none of the dogs could be adopted until the trial is resolved. The laws are often not on the side of animals; your lawmakers need to hear that you want them to take animal abuse seriously.

The Hillside SPCA was prepared to care for and pay for the care of these animals until the courts make a decision regarding the dogs' ownership. Of course, the volunteers are more than happy to help heal any wounded creatures at their own expense. Their concern was that the dogs may find themselves injured or worse if returned to their owner. As a community, we must fight to ensure no dogs ever have to fight again.

If you would like to help animals in need, contact your local shelter or rescue. Any donations of supplies, food, or volunteer time is very much appreciated. Of course, the greatest gift you can give is a home. Shelters around the globe have many more animals in need of love. If you are interested in helping a shelter in Pennsylvania, including the Hillside SPCA, please contact the creator of this petition for more information.

Since this petition was established, the custody of the Frackville Fifteen has been released to Hillside SPCA and these beautiful dogs are now available for adoption.  Some have already been placed in loving homes.

Your signature on this petition means a chance at happily ever after for these and many other abused dogs. Please spread the word and make a difference.

The population of Pennsylvania is just under 13,000,000... our goal is to reach at least that many signatures in support.   We hope the New Year will bring new laws to fight animal cruelty, so our deadline is December 31st 2012.  However, this petition will continue until the state of Pennsylvania reinforces the existing animal cruelty laws.

*Live outside of the United States and want to show your support?  Have an animal who wants to add a pawprint signature?  Find out how on our facebook page!

Recent signatures


    1. THIS needs to end.

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      Please continue sharing the petition and supporting this cause. We may be 8,000 strong now... but every day there are more animals in need of our protection. Animals in Pennsylvania are neglected, abandoned, poisoned, shot, stabbed, burned, kicked, choked, tortured, and abused on a daily basis. They are forced to fight, forced to breed, and forced to live in terrible conditions. We need to force lawmakers to put an end to this cruelty!

    2. Reached 8,000 signatures
    3. A Step in the Right Direction!

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      As of this post, over half of the surviving Frackville Fifteen have been adopted into loving homes! The Hillside SPCA is still seeking homes for the remaining six dogs as well as other animals currently at the shelter. Remember, animals around the globe need us. Consider volunteering or donating at a shelter or rescue near you! Thank you for your continued support as we strive to change the Animal Cruelty Laws of Pennsylvania!!

    4. Reached 7,000 signatures
    5. UNITED we stand!

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      We have now received signatures from every state in the United States of America! Thank you to all of our supporters for helping us make a difference. Without your help, our voice would be but a whisper... together we are a might ROAR for change!!

    6. Reached 5,000 signatures
    7. EVERY signature counts!

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      Because animals cannot sign the online petition: every animal's "Pawprint Signature" photo posted on the petition's facebook page will be sent along with the printed signatures, so our lawmakers can see who they are protecting.

      And, since told me our state lawmakers will not accept online signatures from other countries, anyone from outside of the USA who leaves a comment on the Global Support Signatures note on our petition facebook page will also be included in a printed signatures list.

    8. A United Front Against Animal Cruelty

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      Since my last update, we have received more support from around the nation. We now have signatures from 42 of the 50 United States! Please spread the word to your friends and family in Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont to let them know we still need support from these states.

      I have also been informed that our supporters from other countries are unable to add their signatures. Rest assured, I am working with to resolve this issue!! This is a GLOBAL concern and we need Pennsylvania lawmakers to see that the WORLD wants to make a difference!

    9. Reached 1,000 signatures
    10. Who cares about Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Laws?

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      Apparently... 33 of the Unites States! We have had signatures from Maine to Florida, New Mexico to Alaska, and most states in between. Be sure to let your friends know ANYONE can sign this petition. Every signature, no matter what state or country it is from, will help our animals!

    11. Lucky 777!

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      For our 777th signature, I'd like to share this news:
      Tomorrow is the Frackville Fifteen kiss-a-bully day! Find yourself a dog (a bully breed if possible) and give it a great big kiss! Share photos of you puckering up with your pooch on our facebook page, or visit the Hillside SPCA and share snapshots of smooches with their pooches here:
      (if a canine companion is out of reach, we'll also accept photos with various other species!)

    12. Reached 750 signatures
    13. Representative Jerry Knowles Acknowledges Petition

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      Today we not only reached 500 signatures, we also received an e-mail from Pennsylvania State Representative Jerry Knowles. The e-mail (posted on the petition facebook page) suggests Rep. Knowles is supportive of our cause and is working toward strengthening animal cruelty laws.

    14. Reached 500 signatures
    15. Decision-maker Jerry Knowles responds:

      Jerry Knowles

      Thanks for contacting me regarding animal cruelty laws and the terrible situation which occurred in Frackville leading to 14 dogs being placed at the Hillside SPCA.

      Unfortunately, all too often there are instance where individuals are...

    16. Reached 250 signatures
    17. Like Our Facebook Page

      Krystle Willing
      Petition Organizer

      To receive updates on the petition progress and continue to spread awareness, please like our facebook page and share the link. If we get 30 more signatures in the next hour, we will have 100 signatures in only 5 hours of being active!

    18. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Amanda Tejeda BROWNFIELD, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      If my friend believes strongly in it and shared it on my FaceBook page, she is strong and smart and i'd do what she asked.

    • Susan Newell GREENFIELD, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      I love animals

    • Sonia San Martin ALLENTOWN, PA
      • about 2 years ago

      Because im sick of people mistreating animals. When all they want is someone they can trust and love unconditionally.... :0(

    • Jessica Colorado LOS ANGELES, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      Animals have feelings and they dont have a voice to speak up... animal cruelty is not right!

    • john argent EL SEGUNDO, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      Animal abuse is disgusting and an insult to all civilized human beings.


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