September 2016 Issue - page 6

Page 6
September 2016
cruelty. In that 2013 case in Centre
County, a repeat offender starved
his cattle herd and received only a
summary citation for each dead or
emaciated cow. But nonetheless an
aggressive district attorney sought
and won jail time for the farmer.
Still the district attorney,
Stacy Parks Miller, decried the
weak cruelty laws at the time and
vowed to petition the legislature
to strengthen them.
“A major disappointment in
Pennsylvania is the lack of an ag-
gravated cruelty statute to obtain
a felony for torture of an animal
on the first arrest,” Parks Miller
told in 2014.
Stedman expressed his own
frustration with the current law in
an interview with Pennsylvania
Equestrian last month. “You can
whip a horse to death and it’s a
summary violation,” he said. “We
have to have more penalties; we
need to have a deterrent.”
State Sen. Rich Alloway of
Franklin County is preparing to in-
troduce Libre’s law, named for the
puppy with severe mange left to
die in a pen by a Lancaster County
dog breeder in July before being
rescued and heroically nursed
back to health by veterinarians in
Dillsburg. Details of the bill were
not yet available at press time.
But Alloway’s bill would be
only the latest legislation to try to
stiffen cruelty penalties with an
abused dog’s name attached to it.
An earlier version, “Angel’s
Law,” failed to win passage after
its introduction in 2012. That
legislation would have amended
the Crimes Code to increase the
grading for all animal cruelty
summary offenses to third-degree
In the meantime, Gentle Gi-
ants Draft Horse Rescue has found
a way to give very sick, injured or
old horses a humane end.
After hearing about horses
left in fields to die or sold to the
“lion man” for exotic animal
food, Gentle Giants decided to
start an outreach program with
Amish and Mennonite farmers to
provide basic veterinary health
information and, if necessary,
humane euthanasia.
She said her rescue has begun
offering farmers a nominal amount
in order to ensure the animal is hu-
manely euthanized by a veterinari-
an. In a few cases they have found
horses that the farmers had written
off as dead and restored them to
health. They have purchased a trail-
er outfitted as an equine ambulance
to remove the horses safely.
“What we’ve seen is there is
a great need for access to emer-
gency care services,” Hajek said.
“It’s an ongoing problem.”
If you see animal cruelty call
the Pennsylvania SPCA Cruelty
Hotline at: 1-866-601-SPCA. The
tip line operates 24/7 and accepts
calls from Philadelphia and the
23 counties where the PSPCA
operates including Lancaster.
For more information visit www.
Horse Beating
Generates Calls
for Stiffer Animal
Cruelty Laws
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