After a 7-week-old pup named Libre was found in a near-death state due to gross neglect by the owners, the state of Pennsylvania decided to pass a law protecting the pooches from the harsh weather.
Back in 2018, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received more than 600 emergency call regarding pet dogs suffering during the heatwave in the United Kingdom. In light of the prevalent neglect, the organization laid down severe laws against any driver who left their dogs inside a heated car unattended. According to The Sun, owners could be charged an unlimited fine or even jailed for six months if the animal they left inside a heated car becomes ill or died. Although the measures seemed to be very strict, it did, however, make pet owners more responsible and alert about the deathly effects various weather conditions have on their pets.
Witnessing the effectiveness of such warnings, the state of Pennsylvania decided to do the same. State legislators passed a law making it illegal to leave dogs outside for more than 30 minutes if the weather is as cold as -30 degrees or as hot as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This law was actually inspired by a rescue dog named Libre, who was found grossly neglected, depressed, listless, and in an unstable condition in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. According to The Dodo, he was just 7-weeks-old when a passerby witnessed the abuse his breeder has put him through.
A good samaritan was quick to call the local animal rescue authorities and thus was saved from a tragic fate. Ever since his recovery, his story has greatly influenced the legislation that protects animals all across the state. Libre's Law has been created to prevent animal cruelty where they are exposed to extreme weather conditions by pet owners. According to a report by Lancaster Online, anyone found in violation of these laws could face jail time ranging anywhere between six months to one year. Cruelty officer for the Lancaster County Animal Coalition, Jennifer Nields revealed, "This won't stop cruelty but it will put an emphasis on the importance of justice for their suffering. The laws are recognition of their pain and what they deserve."
Even the director of the Humane Society in Pennsylvania, Kristen Tullo, regarded this law's passage as a "history in the making." Emphasizing on the significance of such a law she explained how "current laws do not carry penalties with suitable punishments for abuse, cruelty, and neglect committed against animals in our state." While it's true that several other states have already established laws in order to prevent pet owners from keeping their dogs on a shorter lease for a prolonged period of time, one cannot overlook the fact that Pennsylvania was the first to address the dangers harsh weather poses on our little pooches. So, if you have a dog make sure that you keep them safe from harmful weather conditions. Always remember to check their paws for injuries and take them for regular checkups during the fall and wintertime. Also, get them coats or sweaters while you're at it!