The House of Representatives recently approved legislation by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) that would create a sentencing enhancement for when a pet or farm animal is harmed or killed during the course of a burglary or criminal trespass. Farry has been working on this issue for five years.
This legislation, known as “Cash’s Law,” was crafted in honor of a Levittown family dog named Cash, who woke his owner to investigate noises outside the home. Upon opening the door, the homeowner was faced at gunpoint with a convicted, violent felon and two accomplices. As they tried to force their way into the home by grabbing the homeowner, Cash managed to slip outside in an attempt to protect the homeowner, and one of the men turned the gun on the loyal dog, killing Cash as the homeowner locked the door to protect his family. However, there was no additional punishment for killing Cash.
“It is inconceivable to me that a person could unlawfully enter the property of an individual and shoot the property owner’s dog with impunity,” Farry said. “My legislation would ensure there is additional punishment in cases of deliberate animal cruelty.”
Specifically, Farry’s legislation was amended into House Bill 940, which is named after a K-9 police dog who died in the line of duty last November. “Titan’s Law” provides for criminal penalties when a criminal injures or kills a police animal during the course of perpetrating a felony.
“I thank my colleagues for supporting legislation that will force perpetrators who injure or kill animals to face the consequences and take responsibility for the harm actually inflicted,” Farry said.
House Bill 940, which includes the language Farry authored, was passed by the state House on June 9, by a vote of 145-56. The legislation now awaits consideration in the state Senate.