For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 13

involve allegations of animal cruelty against
the client. Anecdotally, veterinarians have
expressed concerns that their testimony on
behalf of a person charged with cruelty to
animals could bring unwanted attention to the
veterinarian and the veterinarian's practice.
This unwanted attention may take the form of
creating a negative consumer impression of the
veterinarian for "supporting" the accused and/
or causing the various licensing authorities that
oversee the veterinary practice to begin to "pay
more attention" to the veterinarian and her
practice. Although this is not a factor in every
case, a practitioner should be aware of the issue
and should not simply assume that the client's
veterinarian will automatically be a willing and
favorable witness.
Forfeiture
Both the old and new statutes have
provisions permitting the seizure and forfeiture
of animals involved in a violation of the
cruelty statute. Before the new law became
effective on August 28, 2017, the authority
imposing sentence was permitted to order
the forfeiture or surrender of any abused,
neglected or deprived animal to any society
or association for the prevention of cruelty to
animals duly incorporated under the laws of this
Commonwealth.24
Under the new law, in addition to
granting the authority imposing sentence
the discretion to order forfeiture in summary
and misdemeanor cases, the forfeiture of an
abused or neglected animal to a society or
association for the prevention of cruelty to
animals duly incorporated under the laws of this
Commonwealth is mandatory if the defendant
is convicted for any offenses graded as a felony
under the Cruelty to Animals subchapter.25
Accordingly, if your client is charged with a
felony offense, they must be made aware that
a conviction will result in the forfeiture of the
animal. Practitioners also need to be cognizant
of this mandate when negotiating a potential
resolution to charges so that an unexpected and
unwanted forfeiture of your client's animal(s)
can be avoided, if possible.

Tethering
Previously, the Animal Cruelty statute was
silent with respect to the act of tethering of
dogs. The new law now defines presumptions
regarding the tethering of an unattended dog
and whether the given conduct constitutes
"neglect" within the meaning of the "Neglect
of Animal" sub-section.26 Depending on the
circumstances, neglect may be presumed and,
in other circumstances, neglect may not be
presumed. Obviously, under any circumstance,
any alleged neglect would ultimately need to
be proven beyond a reasonable doubt if charges
are filed.
Presumption that a Dog is Not Being
Neglected
When a dog has been tethered for less
than nine hours in a 24 hour period, there is a
rebuttable presumption created that the dog
has NOT been the subject of neglect when all
of the following conditions are present: (1) the
tether is a type commonly used for the size
and breed of dog and is at least three times
the length of the dog as measured from the
tip of its nose to the end of the tail or is at
least 10 ft., whichever is longer; (2) the tether
is secured to a well-fitted collar or harness by
means of a swivel anchor, swivel latch or other
mechanism designed to prevent the dog from
being tangled; (3) the tethered dog has access to
potable water and an area of shade for the dog
to escape the direct rays of the sun; and, (4) the
dog has not been tethered for longer than thirty
minutes in temperatures above 90 or below 32
degrees Fahrenheit.27
The practicality of providing sufficient
evidence to meet the presumption has yet to
be proven under the new law. For example,
practitioners may wish to inquire whether an
investigation involved continuous observation
for a 24-hour period to determine if, in fact, the
dog was (a) tethered and (b) unattended for
nine hours or more within that 24-hour period.
Additionally, one should ask whether the dog
was kept under constant observation to prove
it was tethered for longer than 30 minutes
in temperatures above 90 degrees or below

Vol. 3, Issue 1

l

For The Defense

13



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018

Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 1
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 2
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - Contents
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 4
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 5
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 6
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 7
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 8
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 9
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 10
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 11
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 12
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 13
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 14
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 15
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 16
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 17
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 18
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 19
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 20
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 21
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 22
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 23
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 24
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 25
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 26
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 27
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 28
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 29
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 30
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 31
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 32
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 33
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 34
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 35
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 36
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 37
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 38
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 39
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 40
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 41
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 42
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 43
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 44
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 45
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 46
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 47
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 48
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 49
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 50
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 51
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 52
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 53
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 54
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 55
For the Defense - Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2018 - 56
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