Joint Hearing Explores Legislation to Prevent Animal Cruelty

GETTYSBURG — The Senate Majority Policy Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee studied proposed legislation to prevent animal cruelty during a public hearing in Gettysburg today.

Senate Bill 373, introduced by Sen. Richard Alloway II (R-33), would prevent dogs from being tethered in unsafe conditions, such as weather emergencies or in situations that deprive them of food, water and shelter. The bill also sets standards to ensure animal shelters adequately protect dogs and cats against inclement weather.

The public hearing included testimony from Adams County Animal Shelter Manager and Humane Officer Abby Avery; Western Pennsylvania Humane Society Director of Government and Community Relations/Assistant Director of Behavior and Enrichment Mary Kennedy Withrow; and Humane Society of the United States Director of Shelter and Rescue Group Services Inga Fricke.

Alloway noted that his bill is part of a larger package of pet protection bills that will be discussed at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg on April 19. The press conference will be followed by the “Be Kind to Pets” pet protection rally.

“It is important to raise awareness of some of the steps we can take to prevent animal abuse and ensure all pets can live in a safe, loving environment,” Alloway said. “Pets offer a tremendous amount of love and companionship for families throughout the state. The least we can do is ensure these vulnerable animals receive the care and attention they deserve.”

The hearing was followed by a news conference and pet rally at the Gettysburg Recreation Center and Dog Park.

Video and photos from the hearing and news conference will be available at


Melissa Knepper
(717) 787-4651