Some lawmakers and Governor Tom Wolf took a break from budget negotiations Wednesday to sign a high-profile package of bills into law.
They significantly overhaul the commonwealth’s animal rights legislation, and include a measure that has brought a lot of attention to the issue in the past year: Libre’s Law.
The bill signing saw more fanfare — and barking — than most.
Wolf put his pen to paper on the Capitol lawn, surrounded by a large crowd of animal rights advocates and pets.
His wasn’t the only signature, either. Libre — the rescued Boston terrier puppy from Lancaster County who inspired the legislation — had his paw print inked on the page.
“This is really landmark legislation,” Wolf said. “As you know, this is important because it’s taken far too long for Pennsylvania to get here.”
Among other things, the bills would set standards for acceptable tethering of dogs outdoors, and would enhance penalties for animal cruelty.
Under the old law, Pennsylvania was one of only three states that couldn’t charge animal abusers with felonies.
Republican Senator Richard Alloway of Adams County was one of the measure’s main drivers.
He attended the signing as part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, noting that “it’s great, because this issue brings Democrats and Republicans together. Maybe we can take the good will of today and spill it over onto the budget process.”