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If you’re a pet owner in Pennsylvania, it is now illegal to leave your dog outside in freezing temperatures. Furthermore, it’s also illegal to leave them in kennels that are covered in waste and aren’t sanitary.

You’d think this is common sense and laws shouldn’t have to be passed to protect animals. Unfortunately, there are people who just don’t get it. The new animal cruelty laws are a win for vulnerable animals.

Image via YouTube screengrab

House Bill 1238 states the following, according to Fox 43:

  • In temperatures below 32 degrees, you can only keep a dog tethered for 30 minutes.
  • Your dog can only be outside for a maximum of nine hours in a 24-hour period.
  • Dog kennels must be sanitary and kept clean of excessive waste.
  • If you see an animal being abused or neglected, you are asked to report it to the police.
  • If you don’t comply with these laws, you could be charged with a felony.

Pet owners who are charged with breaking this law can actually go to prison for 90 days to seven years and fined between $300 and $15,000.

While these laws are a win for animals, there are some people who are unhappy with the laws, unfortunately. But most people think it’s a good idea.

There are other laws in place to protect pets from being locked in hot cars, another huge problem in the U.S. Pennsylvania is the first state to step up and protect animals from the freezing cold temperatures.

This new law, called Libre’s Law in honor of a sweet Boston Terrier that was rescued from extreme conditions, is a part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to strengthen protections for pets and animals and to try to control animal cruelty. Libre was seven weeks old when someone contacted animal rescuers to report his owner for abuse and neglect.