There are lots of people who love and treat their dogs like humans; feeding them, giving them a bath and even dressing them and looking after their health. Unfortunately, there are some cruel pet owners who don’t have the same compassion and love for dogs.
Some people don’t really care about their dogs and leave them outside despite the really cold weather. But thanks to the touching story of Libre, a survivor dog, pet owners who leave their dogs in the cold can now face felony charges.
Libre, the Dying Puppy, Rescued in the Cold
One example of an unattended, abandoned dog in the cold is Libre. Libre is a Boston terrier and was only seven weeks old when found and rescued by a produce driver named Dextin.
Apparently, his owner left him in the cold too long that he developed a serious skin condition called demodectic mange which made him crusty and hairless. He had secondary infections and ulcers had also developed in his eyes.
The doctors who assessed his condition said there’s a very low chance of survival for Libre. Luckily, the helpless dog survived and is now adopted and taken care of by a loving pet owner, Janine Guido.
Janine said she fell in love with Libre at first sight, “I just really connected with him. I don’t know why, because I’ve rescued so many dogs. I get butterflies before I visit him. Something about Libre really captured my heart.”
House Bill 1238 Successfully Signed into Law
The story of Libre touched many people’s hearts and Pennsylvania lawmakers were no exception. Apart from Libre, there are many other dogs in the state that are abandoned in the cold by their owners.
This alarming situation made them step in and develop a law in hopes of preventing animal abuse and punishing people who abandon their dogs, especially in extreme weather conditions.
This year, House Bill 1238, also known as Libre’s law was signed into law. Pennsylvania residents who will leave their dogs outside in the cold can now face felony, particularly animal cruelty charges.
“Don’t leave them outside,” says Paul Tobin, a Mercer County Humane Officer. “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.”
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Teach Neglectful Pet Owners a Lesson
Residents who will break this law will need to pay a $15,000 fine and can be jailed for up to seven years. Significantly, Pennsylvania lawmakers are creating tougher animal protection laws not only to save animals but to also send a message that animal cruelty should not be tolerated and whoever abuses and neglects their pets should be punished.
According to Jennifer Nields, a worker at the Lancaster County Animal Coalition, “this won’t stop animal abuse but it will emphasize the importance of justice for animal suffering.
Libre’s Law Makes Pennsylvania “Most Improved” for Animal Protection Laws
Though Libre’s law was signed into law just recently, Governor Tom Wolf has long been running his advocacy on animal protection. He signed the Libre’s law last June 2017 and it is one of the laws that made the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society acknowledge Pennsylvania as the most improved for animal protection laws.
Since Governor Wolf signed the Libre’s law, residents and pet owners became more responsible and gave back their dogs to shelters if they thought they could not take care of them properly.
Last July 28, Governor Tom Wolf celebrated one year of animal protection with Libre himself with a doggy cake. Wolf wrote on his Twitter account, “I’m here with Libre to celebrate the first anniversary of #LibresLaw. Together we signed Pennsylvania’s animal welfare reforms into law one year ago today, making the commonwealth a safer place for PA pets.”
A lot of trending and inspiring stories have touched the hearts of many individuals but Libre’s story did not just make people cry but it also taught them an important lesson on animal protection. Most importantly, it made a big difference in the lives of many animals and the entire community of Pennsylvania.
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Watch the news coverage about the Libre law: