Bizzarro introduces measure to curb animal cruelty in Pa.

HARRISBURG, April 2 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, has recently introduced legislation designed to prevent animal cruelty and prohibit convicted animal abusers from further caring for animals they have harmed.

Bizzarro’s H.B. 869 would require people convicted of animal abuse to forfeit the abused animals to shelters.

"Too often, animals are allowed to return to the very owners who have been convicted of abusing them, only continuing the cycle of abuse and neglect," Bizzarro said. "It is truly heartbreaking to hear stories of just how poorly some animals are treated. By removing these animals from the homes where they have suffered, we can help give them the loving, healthy lives they deserve."

Bizzarro noted moving animals to animal shelters, instead of allowing them to return to their abusers, would also cut down on the need for further seizure costs and frequent checks from law enforcement officers.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports an animal is abused every 60 seconds in the United States. The ASPCA notes physical signs that an animal might be abused vary, but may include extreme thinness or emaciation, untreated skin conditions causing hair loss or rashes, open wounds and weakness. Pets may also be abused if they are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without sufficient food or water, or housed in kennels or cages that are too small for them.

H.B. 869 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.