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Leash Laws in Pennsylvania

by Mere Davis

chicago-leash-laws-e1483989774981.jpg Just as a State Police rescue operation took place in Franklin County regarding 90 dogs at an animal rescue facility, we thought it would be prudent to remind our readers about the Pennsylvania leash law that came into effect this year.

It certainly important to allow your pet to get some fresh air, it's obviously another matter to condemn a dog to spend it's life at the end of a chain. It is important for pet owners to know the difference between the two and it's also a matter of complying with Pennsylvania's Leash Law. The law has been named LIBRE's Law and has been described as the most comprehensive animal protection law in Pennsylvania State history. For the first time a law lays out the rules on tethering or chaining an animal as follows:

  • A leash must be at least three times the length of a pet or 10 feet at a minimum.
  • No. tow or logged chain or pinch, chock, or pronged collars are now allowed or permitted.
  • The collar must be well fitted and the dog or pet must not show any visible or open sores on its body.
  • The lead to the tether must be on a swivel and made so that it won't get tangled.
  • The pet's play area must be kept clear of excessive feces with accessible drinking water and have a portion in the shade.
  • The pet may not spend more than 9 consecutive hours on a leash during any day. When temperatures are less than 32 degrees or more than 90 degrees the pet may not spend more than 30 minutes on the tether outdoors.

Pennsylvania State Director of the United States Humane Society of America, Kristen Tullo, "this is not just about the well being of the animal, this is also about the community. The most dangerous dog is an un-neutered male chained dog."

Representative Todd Stephens, of Montgomery County who championed the animal protection measure in House has stated that until this law was passed there was no guidance for Pennsylvania dog owners about legal or improper ways to tether a dog, leaving a gray area for humane society
officers when it came to enforcing animal cruelty laws. Dr. Mary Jane McNamee, a veterinarian of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association urged owners of pets to use common sense and to always look for signs of distress in their animals, "the important thing is the health and safety of the dogs of the State of Pennsylvania and of our pets." Some may think that the law is an over reach, however, Representative Stephens noted that data suggests there is a link between those who commit animal cruelty often engaged in child abuse and domestic violence.

Any law enforcement or humane society officer has the right to enforce the animal protection law. Violations range from a summary offense, which may carry a fine to a misdemeanor charge which, at times can be punished by a period of incarceration. It is also important to note that the law will not prohibit tethering while engaged in hunting with dogs or performance events. Those who worked hard to write and pass this law stress that it is not designed to be punitive but rather preventative. 

Uniontown Office:107 East Main St.Uniontown, PA 15401Phone: 724.437.2799
Brownsville Office:113 Thorton RoadBrownsville, PA Phone: 724.785.7733 

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Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law

107 East Main St.
Uniontown, PA 15401

Phone: 724-437-2799
Fax: 724-437-2035
Uniontown Law Office Map

113 Thorton Road
Brownsville, PA 15417

Phone: 724-437-2799
Phone: 724-785-7733
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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law