State Rep. Bryan Lentz, D-Delaware, will hold a discussion on three bills currently being considered in the House that would strengthen current dog and animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania.

The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Radnor Township Building, 301 Iven Ave. in Wayne.

The bills would seek to raise standards for commercial breeding kennels without affecting other types of kennels that house dogs.

A panel of guest speakers will include Bill Smith, founder of the Main Line Animal Rescue, recently featured on “Oprah”; Tom Hickey, member of the governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board; and Jessie Smith, special deputy in the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

Lentz said many pet owners have contacted him about the dog legislation to express their support, and his local public forums provide an opportunity for everyone to share concerns and information about these proposals.

The first bill, H.B. 2525, would double the minimum floor space for dog enclosures and require solid flooring, as well as access to an outdoor exercise area twice the size of the dog’s primary enclosure. The legislation also would mandate annual veterinary care, and eliminate the stacking of cages for adult dogs.

A second measure, H.B. 2532, would allow only veterinarians to perform debarking, the practice of cutting or destroying a dog’s vocal cords. Tail docking would be allowed by individual owners until a dog is 3 days old, after which point it would have to be done by a veterinarian.

Under a third measure, H.B. 499, fines would be increased for cruelty to animals. It would also require owners of dogs seized for cruelty to pay reasonable expenses for the care and keep of a dog while it is held at a humane society or animal shelter – or surrender ownership of the dog.

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