Stephens to Host First Anniversary Celebration of Libre’s Law at Horsham Dog Park
HARRISBURG -- State Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) is inviting residents and their canine family members to join him in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the passage of Libre’s Law.

The gathering will take place on Tuesday, July 31, noon to 2 p.m., at the Horsham Dog Park, 1013 Horsham Road in Horsham. Stephens’ comprehensive animal cruelty overhaul, House 1238, became Act 10 of 2017 on June 28 last year.

“We were able to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty in a bipartisan way thanks to the support of families throughout the state,” Stephens said. “This event is a way to acknowledge all the people who helped enact this law and learn more about where we still need to go to protect all animals in Pennsylvania.”

The new law includes a section known as Libre’s Law, named after an emaciated Boston terrier saved from a Lancaster County farm and named Libre by his rescuers. Stephens was also motivated by horrific cases of animal abuse involving turtles blown up with M-80s, and horses beaten severely for collapsing in the summer heat while pulling a wagon full of watermelons.

House Bill 1238 has been called the most comprehensive animal protection bill in Pennsylvania history,” Stephens said. “Legislation like this doesn't happen on its own; it was crafted from ideas championed by many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle and in the House and Senate.”

Rather than different penalties for different animals, the new law breaks down cruelty to animals into three categories based on the egregiousness of the conduct, including neglect of an animal, which includes denying an animal necessary food and potable water, clean and sanitary shelter; cruelty to an animal, which includes intentionally, knowingly or recklessly ill-treating, overloading, beating, abandoning or abusing an animal; and aggravated cruelty to an animal, which includes intentionally or knowingly torturing an animal or causing serious bodily injury or death of the animal.

In addition to increasing the penalties, the bill also provides:
  • Guidelines for legally tethering dogs outdoors.
  • Immunity for veterinarians who report animal abuse.
  • Immunity for Humane Society police officers.
  • Greater oversight and accountability of Humane Society police officers.
  • Mandatory forfeiture of an animal subject to felony-level abuse.
Call Stephens’ office at 215-368-5165 with any questions.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster

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