Friday, August 10, 2012

Governor Corbett signs law to protect service dogs

Governor Tom Corbett signed legislation on Aug. 8 that will offer help to service dogs and their owners. Sponsored by Rep. John Evans (R-Erie), House Bill 165 imposes a criminal penalty upon the owner or co-owner of a dog that kills, maims or disfigures a service dog without provocation.
Service dogs are specifically trained to assist individuals who have disabilities or other health-related concerns. Corbett was joined by Evans and several citizens, who advocated for the legislation. Corbett then ceremonially signed the law at the Susquehanna Service Dogs storefront location at the Harrisburg Mall. The storefront is used for service dog training classes.
Coincidentally, this week is International Assistance Dog Week, an observance created to recognize and raise awareness about these highly trained and hardworking animals. Under the new law, the criminal penalty includes fines of up to $5,000 and, if necessary, the veterinary or replacement costs of the service dog.

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