On June 30, 2013, the Pennsylvania Senate passed HB 82, the Costs of Care of Seized Animals Act. The bill, which originated in the House, will now return to the House for consideration of the bill containing the Senate’s amendments.
House Bill 82 states that owners of animals have a duty of care, therefore, the owner is responsible for the costs of caring for the animals and that responsibility extends to care of the animals if they are seized. This bill specifically exempts activities undertaken in a normal agricultural operation.
The Costs of Care of Seized Animals Act would allow municipalities and humane shelters to petition the court to recover all reasonable costs of care for animals which have been seized from their owners, who have been charged with violation of Pennsylvania’s anti-cruelty statute. The reasonable costs of care recoverable under the statute include food, water, shelter and documented veterinary expenses. The statute limits such costs to $15 per day for each animal, plus any additional necessary medical care. Petitions for reimbursement by municipalities and humane shelters must be filed before the issuance of the final order in the criminal trial for violation of PA’s anti-cruelty statute.
For more information, please see the PA General Assembly’s website.
Written By Gaby Gilbeau – Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
July 1, 2013