Pennsylvania ranks in the middle in a national assessment of how well states protect animals, according to a Huffington Post report.
Cases of animal cruelty in the Lehigh Valley last year included neglected horses, a dog dumped in a ditch and a dog shot to death by a neighbor. Also, a Bethlehem man was charged with raping a dog.
Many U.S. states are failing to protect animals from cruelty, sexual assault, neglect and other forms of abuse, an Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) report finds.
The "2012 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings™" is the seventh annual report to evaluate animal protection laws across the United States, rating each region in fifteen categories. The sections include law enforcement, cruelty reporting and sexual assault. "Ag gag legislation" was added as a factor this year -- some states have made it illegal to gain access to a farm facility under false pretenses, punishing animal abuse whistleblowers.
The five best states for animal protection are Illinois, Maine, California, Michigan and Oregon.
The 10 worst states for animal abuse laws are:
2. North Dakota
4. South Dakota
5. New Mexico
7. New Jersey