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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 26, 2013 04:09 PM

From: Senator Andrew Dinniman

To: All Senate members

Subject: Civil Damages for Harm to or Killing of Dog or Cat


I will soon introduce a bill to amend the Judicial Code to expand the civil action one may take against one who hurts or kills their dog or cat by a negligent or intentional act. Currently, such civil action may only ask for economic damages; basically the price paid for the pet. Under my bill, one could sue up to $12,000 in non-economic damages in magisterial district court.

I introduce this bill in recognition of the companionship and affection provided to us by such pets, and subsequently the real, non-economic loss we suffer when someone takes our pets from us through a negligent or intentional act.

<span style="font-weight: bold">Under my bill, a court could award the maximum $12,000 civil penalty if the act killing the pet is deemed “unlawful” or “intentional.” If the act leading to the pet’s harm or death is simply deemed “negligent,” a court could award a maximum civil penalty of $5,000.</span> A finding of negligence could only occur if the death or injury occurs on the pet-owner’s property or if the dog or cat was under the direct control and supervision of the pet owner at the time it was harmed or killed. Incidents in parks where dogs are unleashed would not be covered under my bill.

By coincidence, a resident of my district recently shot and killed two dogs that had gotten into his yard. He has been charged with cruelty to animals. The local district attorney said he filed the charges after determining “There was no justification for the killing of these two dogs.”

The unfortunate incident represents an example of the type of future incident for which the owners of the deceased dogs could seek civil damages for the loss of their pets.

My bill specifically exempts veterinarians, non-profit entities, governments, and their employees acting on behalf of public health and animal welfare and the killing of any dog killing or pursuing livestock. I intend to introduce this bill at the close of business on Friday, March 1.


http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legi...;cosponId=11898
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I was going to find one of the threads on feral cats and post this for the SSS crowd as it would apply.

But this has implications on several sides for dog owners across the board.
 

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What about fining those that do not take responsibility for their pets.Like just letting their cats out at night to wander the neighborhood or just letting their dogs roam about.

Sorry, a dog wanders into my yard when my kids and or my dogs are out, and shows any sign of aggression i will defend and protect my own.

Cats, wandering about the neighborhood also shows an irresponsible owner. If I have to ensure my dogs are controlled on my property then you better keep your cat in your own yard. When your cat comes on my property and intimidates my dogs, sorry.
 

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treed74 said:
What about fining those that do not take responsibility for their pets.Like just letting their cats out at night to wander the neighborhood or just letting their dogs roam about.

Sorry, a dog wanders into my yard when my kids and or my dogs are out, and shows any sign of aggression i will defend and protect my own.
that was my thought as well, nothing like punishing those who take action, but no punishment for those failing to control their own animal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is no cat law. Unlike dogs, the animal warden will take no action on cats unless rabid or thought to be so. There is no animal control law on cats - just dogs.
 

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We already have at least three/four laws permitting the shooting of dogs. Chasing deer so close that the deer is harmed, worrying sheep, harming livestock, and attacking a human.

We already have a law that makes it a major crime to destroy another's animal without consent or legal right.

Personally, the insurance companies will be all over this for fear of the damages they will have to pay when fluffy gets smashed trying to bite tires on moving cars. Or because a motorist didn't slam on the brakes hard/soon enough when the animal runs across the street.

$12,000 loss of affection for a cat? We don't give parents that right for loss of an adult child?

Another case of the bunny huggers placing the worth of animals above humans and amazing ignorance of the realities of rural life.
 

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Nothing makes me more mad than when I get up early on a crisp summer morning to go out and work in the garden, and the first thing that happens is I step in a pile of cat crap. I just have to take that? No thanks, SSS will always apply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Then you might consider making sure this bill gets no traction.

SSS might apply, but if your caught after this passes, it could be very costly.

I have to wonder with the fines as high as they are, will this be graded a felony?


On bills like this, we can NEVER assume others will see it as stupid. On bills like this we do need to be as active as if it were a gun ban bill.

Stupid happens all the time, mostly due to no one raising a voice against it.
 

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There is an article about a couple whose two dogs were killed approaching (read attacking) sheep on the front page of the York Daily Record today, whining and wanting a new law passed about such shootings.

Apparently, the local spokeswoman for the SPCA is doing an investigation about whether it was cruelty or lawful. Nothing as objective as letting the bunny huggers enforce the animal cruelty laws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
But all animal control officers in Pennsylvania must be sponsored by the animal rights groups. Only with this sponsorship cab they go for the training for the job.

The list of groups sponsoring said current officers reads like a watch list for direct action (not all, but some). And the legislature allows it. Worse, a non-affiliated person of good character and good heart can not apply for the job or the training unless they join with the animal rights groups.

At a minimum, these jobs should be open to every citizen of the state with minimal initial qualification. The training is provided after selection as it is.
 

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But all animal control officers in Pennsylvania must be sponsored by the animal rights groups. Only with this sponsorship cab they go for the training for the job.
This is just one of many areas where they creep while we sleep. Waugh!
 
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