Dog Shooting Should Be Curbed, State Sen. Says
Andy Dinniman wants to make it more difficult to legally shoot a dog, and easier for grieving pet owners to sue.
In the aftermath of the shooting of two Chester County dogs, state Sen. Andy Dinniman will introduce a pair of bills punishing animal abuse, the senator announced on his website last week.
According to the release, Dinniman’s first bill changes the circumstances under which it is legal to shoot a dog. Under Dinniman’s bill, some Pennsylvania residents would be allowed to shoot a dog that entered their property if it was chasing another animal “with apparent intent to harm.” The current law allows residents to shoot dogs that are simply pursuing another animal. The bill would apply only to state counties with populations of over 210,000, of which Chester County is one.
The second bill would allow grieving pet owners to sue if their pet is killed on their property. The maximum penalty would be $12,000.
Dinniman said the bills were written in response to the Feb. 12 West Vincent incident in which a man allegedly shot his neighbor’s two dogs after they ran onto his property, but wouldn’t punish the defendant.
“My bill, even if passed, is not retroactive and will have no direct affect on the parties in West Vincent one way or the other,” the state Senator said. “But this awful shooting illustrates what can happen and the need for our justice system to better recognize the unique role pets fill in our families.”