A man and woman have been charged under Libre’s Law, according to Steelton police.
Libre’s Law, which went into effect in August, stems from a case in which a puppy was found close to death after being tethered outside for an unknown period of time, resulting in serious medical issues.
Officers responded to the 300 block of Lincoln Street near Harrisburg on New Year’s Eve when several neighbors notified law enforcement that a dog had been whining and crying outside loud enough for them to hear. The police discovered a Siberian husky that was allegedly chained outside in 13-degree weather and had no food, water or shelter.
The man and woman refused to cooperate with police, according to a release.
Ivan Bailey, 25, and Catherine Shoenberger were charged with cruelty to animals, obstruction of justice, neglect of an animal, failure to have a dog vaccinated and failure to have a dog licensed.
Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws state that a dog cannot be tethered for longer than 30 minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32, and animals must be provided year-round shelter, water and space clear of waste. Misdemeanor neglect charges could carry up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine, and misdemeanor cruelty charges could carry up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Convictions may also prompt the forfeiture of animals for anyone convicted of a felony cruelty charge, which might also mean up to seven years in jail.
No one in Centre County has been charged in 2018 under Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws, though state police are investigating the December killing of two pit bulls in Orviston.