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!