Dec. 03, 2019

HARRISBURG-- Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), the author of Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty law explained there is no question the men should be prosecuted for felony level charges under the state’s new animal cruelty law.

A video showing the reprehensible conduct surfaced over the weekend. It shows the men kicking a wounded deer in the face multiple times. It also shows one of the men trying to tear off one of the deer’s antlers while the other presses his foot on the deer’s neck.

“This is deeply disturbing and clearly a violation of the law,” Stephens said. “Those seen in the video are committing blatant acts of cruelty and the men should be prosecuted. What makes this especially vile and disturbing is we know there are links between animal abuse and acts of violence against people.”

Stephens contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which is investigating where and when the incident occurred, and argued that those in the video be charged with a felony under Act 10 of 2017, the animal abuse law Stephens wrote.

The new law breaks down cruelty to animals into three categories based on the egregiousness of the conduct, including aggravated cruelty to an animal, which includes intentionally or knowingly torturing an animal or causing serious bodily injury or death of the animal. This is a third-degree felony.

“This is the most comprehensive animal protection law in the Commonwealth’s history,” Stephens said. “It was written for cases exactly like this.”

The Game Commission is asking anyone with information related to the video to call 1-888–PGC-8001 or the commission’s Northwest Region Dispatch Office at 814-432-3187.

Representative Todd Stephens
151st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster