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Governor Corbett Ceremonially Signs Law To Protect Service Dogs

Press Release

Location: Harrisburg, PA

Governor Tom Corbett today ceremonially signed legislation 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 provide a vital link between some of our most vulnerable citizens and the rest of the world,'' Corbett said. "By protecting these animals, we are protecting the people they serve. This bill leaves no uncertainty that a willful and malicious attack on a service dog is a crime and will be treated as such.''

The penalty includes fines of up to $5,000 and, if necessary, the veterinary or
replacement costs of the service dog.

Service dogs are specifically trained to assist individuals who have disabilities or
other health-related concerns.

Corbett, joined by Evans and several citizens who advocated for the legislation,
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.

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