Pennsylvania Statutes Title 3 P.S. Agriculture § 459-601. Theft;  poison;  abandonment of animals by owner

(a) Dogs to be personal property.--All dogs are hereby declared to be personal property and subjects of theft.

(b) Placement of poison illegal.--It shall be unlawful for a person to place any poison or harmful substance of any description in any place, on his own premises or elsewhere, where it may be easily found and eaten by dogs. Anyone convicted of violating this subsection commits a summary offense.

(b.1) Intentional poisoning of dogs illegal.--It shall be unlawful for any person to place any poison or harmful substance of any description in any place, on his own premises or elsewhere with the intent that the poison or substance be eaten by dogs.  Anyone convicted of violating this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.  A subsequent conviction under this subsection shall constitute a felony of the third degree.

(c) Abandonment of animals by owner.--

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or attempt to abandon any dog within the Commonwealth.  Anyone convicted of abandoning or attempting to abandon any dog within the Commonwealth shall pay a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1,000, plus costs.

(2) Any animal placed in the custody of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine for treatment, boarding or other care, or placed in the custody of a licensed boarding kennel for board or other care, which shall be abandoned by its owner or his representative for a period of more than ten days after written notice by personal service or registered mail, return receipt requested, is given to the owner or his representative at his last known address and return receipt is received by the doctor or the licensed boarding kennel, may be turned over to the custody of the nearest humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals or dog pound in the area.  After 48 hours of receipt, such custodian may humanely kill such animal or place it for adoption.  During such 48-hour period, the animal may be released only to the owner or his representative.  If the owner claims the animal, he shall be liable for room and board charges for the animal during the abandonment period.

(3) The giving of notice to the owner, or the representative of the owner, of such animal by the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or licensed boarding kennel as provided in paragraph (2) and receipt of return receipt by the doctor or licensed boarding kennel, which shall be retained for 12 days, shall relieve the doctor of veterinary medicine, licensed boarding kennel and any custodian to whom such animal may be given of any further liability for disposal.  It is further provided that such procedure by the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or licensed boarding kennel shall not constitute grounds for disciplinary procedure under this act.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard