Pennsylvania

Updates about legal issues facing animals in the state

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals. This page is meant to be used as a resource to see what is happening in your state and what actions you can take for animals.

State Rankings

Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. It is the longest-running and most authoritative of its kind, assessing the strength of each state’s animal protection laws by examining over 3,400 pages of statutes. Each state is ranked based on 19 different categories of animal protection.

Pennsylvania
Overall Rank: #15 (Top Tier)

  • +Felony provisions for cruelty, neglect, abandonment, and fighting
  • +Legal mechanisms for pre-conviction restitution and forfeiture of cruelly treated animals
  • +Court may prohibit convicted animal offenders from owning or possessing animals
  • -Other agencies or departments are not required to report suspected animal cruelty
  • -No statutory authority to allow protective orders to include animals

Active Legislation

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Active Cases

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Challenging the Inhumane Treatment of Captive Wild Animals at Pymatuning Deer Park

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit against Pymatuning Deer Park, a roadside zoo in Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

Recent Victories

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Seeking Enforcement of Pennsylvania’s Dog Law

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture when the agency weakened minimum standards for commercial dog breeders.
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Animaland Zoological Park

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against Animaland Zoological Park for violations of the Endangered Species Act and state wildlife protection laws, prompting the facility to close its doors forever and release animals to sanctuaries.
black bear

Ricki the Bear Caged at Pennsylvania Ice Cream Shop

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit against Jim Mack’s Ice Cream Shop in 2014, arguing that the poor conditions under which a bear named Ricki was kept violated Pennsylvania regulations requiring the humane care and treatment of wild animals.

Take Action

Take action now to help animals in your state.

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Stop Ag-Gag Laws

Undercover investigations and whistleblowers have exposed some of the worst aspects of factory farming, but Ag-Gag laws punish people who speak out about cruelty in animal agriculture. Voice your opposition.
dog

No More Puppy Mills

Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible. As a result, unsanitary conditions, disease, and neglect are rampant. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can end cruel puppy mills.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Want to take the next step in your animal advocacy? Learn the skills you need to pass laws protecting animals at the local level! Local laws are critical – not only do they help individual animals in your community but prime state legislation.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Learn how wild animals are exploited in circuses and traveling shows, and how you can help!
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Learn how to fight back against the cruel fur industry by passing a fur ban in your community! Led by Animal Legal Defense Fund Campaigns Manager Elizabeth Holtz, this webinar will walk you through the mechanics of fur production, the policy issues, including animal cruelty, environmental impacts, and public health, and more.