PSP to pet owners: Take care of your furry family

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Take care of your furry family members, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is reminding pet owners. That includes outdoor pets.

Pennsylvania law requires that pet owners provide their animals with basic needs, as defined by law, or face potential animal neglect and/or cruelty charges.

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“Basic needs include the proper sustenance to maintain a healthy body weight; as well as clean, unfrozen water to avoid dehydration,” said Corporal Michael Spada, PSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation Animal Cruelty Officer. “It is important to note that animals need just as much water in the cold of winter as they do in the heat of summer.”

Animals must also have access to an appropriate-sized shelter that provides protection from the weather. That shelter must keep the animal dry and allow it to retain its body heat. The shelter must also be clean and sanitary.

Veterinary care must be provided for pets in need of medical attention.

According to Title 18, Chapter 55, Subchapter B of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, there are requirements when tethering a dog outside.

Animals — popular gifts during the holiday season — don’t always work out long-term. Many times, they wind up at humane societies or in rescue shelters a few months later.

To avoid this, consider the following: its breed and inherent behavioral traits; its size as an adult and its needs as it gets older; and the costs to care for the animal, including veterinary expenses. “Cute and cuddly” pets are all too often forgotten about as they grow and age.

Support your local shelters, rescues

Consider supporting your local shelters and rescues with donations and even adopting an older pet that needs a loving home.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit

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