Dogs
Cruel Owners That Leave Their Dogs In The Snow Can Now Get Jailed Over It
Pennsylvanian lawmakers signed Libre’s Law that makes it illegal for owners to leave their dogs outside for more than 30 minutes if it’s under 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or over 90 degrees F (32.2 degrees C).
Cruel Owners That Leave Their Dogs In The Snow Can Now Get Jailed Over It
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Taking good care of your pets ought to be common sense. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes this and, sometimes, the government has to lay down the law to make common sense more common.

That’s the case in the state of Pennsylvania where lawmakers took it upon themselves to protect dogs from harsh winter and scorching summer weather. They signed what’s known as Libre’s Law that makes it illegal for owners to leave their dogs outside for more than 30 minutes if it’s under 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or over 90 degrees F (32.2 degrees C).

This way, dogs are guaranteed a better quality of life, while owners who don’t follow the law face potential jail time and fines.

Scroll down for Bored Panda's interview with Todd Stephens, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, who introduced Libre's Law in the first place.

Stephens, who represents Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, is the one who introduced the bill. The Republican told Bored Panda that Libre's Law has been revolutionary: "With felony-level punishments, the overall animal abuse laws now have the teeth necessary to allow law enforcement to better protect our animals in Pennsylvania."

"I know law enforcement has used the law repeatedly to intervene when animals have been left outside in unsafe conditions."

Rep. Stephens also pointed out that sometimes laws have to be passed for common sense things because people might be unaware of the consequences of their actions. "Unfortunately, people often don’t recognize the harm that can come from leaving their pets outside in the elements. The goal of the law was to raise awareness to prevent animals from extended exposure to extreme weather conditions."

We also wanted to know if Rep. Stephens saw any ways in which the current law could be improved. "We need to provide sheltering standards. Too often people are providing inadequate structures for their animals when outside and we should provide standards for pet owners to follow," he said.

Mercer County Humane Officer Paul Tobin had this to say: “Don’t leave them outside. The new law is pretty clear. Anything under 32 degrees, anything over 90 degrees, your dogs are not allowed outside for more than 30 minutes.”

Those leaving dogs in cold or hot temperatures for more than half an hour can be jailed for up to 90 days or might have to pay up to 750 dollars in fines. However, those who intentionally do dogs harm and abuse their pets further can get up to 7 years in prison and might have to pay up to 15k dollars.

The law is named after Libre, a Boston terrier who was found tied up outside a farm in Lancaster County. Libre was very ill and starving but since then the dog’s made a full recovery and had a law named in its honor.

In fact, Libre was present when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed the law, introduced by Rep. Stephens, into effect. Libre even added its paw-print on the bill alongside the Governor’s signature.

“Today we are sending a clear message that Pennsylvania will not tolerate animal cruelty in our state and will punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law. This is the most comprehensive animal protection bill in the Commonwealth’s history and would not have been possible without the determined efforts of my colleagues in the House and Senate, the Governor and the thousands of advocates who contacted their elected officials expressing their support for the bill,” Rep. Stephens said.

Comments (56)
Full Name
At -5c you get arrested for leaving your husky out for 40 minutes? That's fucking retarded. I get the move to work on animal welfare, but that is just stupid. It's like making speed limits on the highway 50k since farm equipment doesn't go faster than that. Teacup poodle in freezing temps? Bad. A siberian husky? No big deal in the least. It scares the crap out of me when laws are made so that it's absolutely possible to get in trouble for totally normal behaviour. They may say "We won't enforce it for a husky at -4" but if that's the case, make that clear in the law. Some people WILL abuse the law and go after people they don't like just because they're technically violating the law.
daveej
My dog insists on being outdoors in cold weather, but conversely doesn't want to go out when it's hot. Not all dogs are the same, but pay attention to their needs. They depend on us.
panda to nobody
Sorry, that is MENTAL. As a Canadian it's totally normal to leave dogs out in the winter as long as they have somewhere to shelter. Many dogs LOVE to be out in the cold (huskies, malamutes, etc.). Below -15C and we can talk. It's far more dangerous to leave dogs out in the heat than the cold. It's much better to just take it on a case by case basis and if someone is abusing their dog then throw them in jail, but setting a temperature law is just going to have a major backlash and cause more harm than good.
Vivian Ingram
I totally agree with most of these- but huskies LOVE the snow and cold, so that one doesn't feel cruel to me...in the summer my cousins huskies like to hang out right in front of AC vents, and once when it was like 104 outside she put them in a chest freezer (propped open, obviously, she duck taped the lid to the wall thoroughly so they wouldn't get trapped ) and they refused to come out! Also newfies and at bernards probably love the cold and snow
Rench
My son has a husky that will seek out snow to lay in when he's outside
K.Kobayashi
I'm all for protecting dogs, but some types of dogs do really well in cold weather. Look up "Taro and Jiro" - those two Huskies were left behind in Antarctica, and survived a whole winter on their own.
Meeow
I don't care what anybody said, leave your pet outside is so fucking cruel. The pics above show you enough reasons to call.
Lazy Panda
This is ridiculous and completely discounts Nordic breeds and livestock guardians. They do not want to be inside, it is too hot and uncomfortable. It’s insane to arrest someone for leaving any sort of dog out for over 30 minutes, if should only be done for specific breeds that can’t tolerate the cold. Dogs like the Great Pyrenees would rather sleep in a snowbank than inside a warm house. How about if we see a dog freezing it’s tail off outside we just say something, instead of bringing a ridiculous law into play.
Karin Morris
The posts below this article sicken me. I have called the Humane Society many times on my neighbors for leaving their dogs out all night when it drops below 32. My Pitties don't go outside without coats and booties in the winter. I love my animals. If you have a dog and leave it outside all day long on a chain you should give that dog to someone else. They need your love and they get cold just like you do. The picture of the malumute above is probably the only exception as that's a sled dog, they chain is from a sled set up and they thrive in the winter.
Christy Smith
I hope it's informative, I unfortunately had to nope the hell out of there almost as soon as I saw there were pics. I wished someone fucking strip these owners down and then chain their asses up outside with no shelter.
Monty Glue
My next door neighbor had a Doberman that was chained outside. In three years the dog was never taken for a walk. One day the dog was gone and I asked where he was. The idiot told me the dogs legs stopped working a few days ago and then the dog died. Turns out every dog he had was chained up and was only off the chain after it died. The authorities in New Jersey said there was nothing they could do. But kharma is a bitch. My neighbor had a stroke and was confined to a wheel chair until he died of lung cancer. I hope he suffered as much as those poor animals did. My blood still boils
Jignesh Parekh
Cruelty towards not only dogs towards every animal must be a punishable offence
SBW71
Good. These poor animals can't speak up for themselves. Some people shouldn't be allowed to have or even be near animals if they can't take care of them properly.
Foxxy (The Original)
I doubt the would get jail time. I have heard too many stories of animal abusers getting off with a slap on the wrist (if that). The justice system across the globe is an absolute joke.
brian flower
Huskies and the like will actively seek cold temperatures as the can get extremely uncomfortable in normal temperatures !
Christina Uhlir
Please, give me a break, people don't recognize the harm that come from leaving their pets outside in the elements? They might be unaware of the consequences? So then they are not human. Do the animals need to freeze to death or die of thirst for people to recognize that pet is living, sentient being?
Mark Grudzinski
My 95 lb. malamute refuses to come inside when it's cold and will spend nearly the entire day outside. The intention of this law is good, but some dogs are bred for the cold.
Jasmine Walker
I just looked up his story and you will not help but cry.
Bunzilla
Obviously they still have fine-tuning to do on these laws. Some dog breeds love the outdoors and prefer being outside. While other dog breeds can't stand the cold. You can't just make a blanket statement and expect it to realistically (and humanely) apply to all dogs.
Bill
Im fine with my tax dollars being spent on keeping these people in jail.
Merry Pedroza
I think this law is LONG OVERDUE?❤!!
LisaM
I see the need for a law such as this. It will make things easier for animal control/law enforcement to do their job. Big difference though between a dirty dog, attached to a heavy chain and left outside 24 hours a day...and a huskie or pyranees laying in the snow, enjoying life!
Sivi
My french lop rabbit likes to sleep outside no matter the weather. Please go back inside Bamse its raining cats and dogs with 10m-a-second wind ;__;
Sterling Wible
What is the man doing he needs to get arrested or a fine for animal abuse like leaving dogs out in the snow that’s how they die and what about people that drive by they don’t do anything sometimes I just don’t get why people even get dogs if they can afford them.
Marc
Unfortunately, the punishments for cruelty to animals are often far too low. In Germany it was long time that animals were regarded as material objects and had approximately the same rights. This has changed in the meantime and we have a quite strict animal protection law, which regulates e.g. very detailed the keeping of dogs. In practice, however, even the most severe cruelty to animals often results in a suspended sentence or even a fine. Prison sentences are intended, but in reality they do not exist, because they are never imposed.
Connie May
yes and all of us who utilize Livestock Guardian Dogs (like Great Pyrenees) who live outdoors with their animals 24/7/365 really dont appreciate these laws. https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/max-and-belle-snow-5e6d4ec893308.jpg
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About time!! Now let's do this in all places where cold weather is a factor.
JeffC
For once I am really glad to live in PA....see it often and want to shoot the owner as they don't listen to reason but maybe they will listen to the sounds of prison? lol
Brenda Owens
Good. Jail them all.
Reagan James
That’s great. Those dogs will have a much happier life!??
chi-wei shen
The title says "you can get jail time for leaving your dog out in the cold snow in Pennsylvania", but I would like to add "you should get jail time for this everywhere in the world"
J. Kasilo
When are they going to arrest me for eating beef, or pork or chicken? Animals are put on this earth for our food & use - check the bible! Genesis 9:2-3 & Genesis 9:3 The fur on most animals will keep them warm in the cold the last time I checked - Yeah! bears, coyotes, wolves... YEAH! They have fur like dogs it'll keep them warm! We are going way overboard with the protection of animals !
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