Libre was found emaciated and covered with mange at a dog-breeding farm in 2016. If not for the awareness of a delivery driver, who noticed him several times over a two-month period, he never would have had a chance.

Thanks to the rescue efforts of Speranza Animal Rescue, Libre miraculously survived the experience and is now the namesake for Pennsylvania's Animal Protection Statute Overhaul, also known as Libre's Law.

The bill passed the state House earlier this month and passed unanimously in the Senate last Tuesday.

Earlier today, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Libre, who added a paw print signature of his own to show his appreciation and support for the bill.

What's in the bill?

The bill is set to take effect within two months and includes some strict guidelines. The most extreme changes are related to Tethering, with a focus on preventing dog guardians from leaving dogs tethered outside for long lengths of time. No dog can be tethered for more than 9 hours in a 24-hour period, and no longer than 30 minutes if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees.

Regardless of the length of time outside, the dog must have access to water and shade at all times, and the tether has to be three times the length of the dog.

First-time offenders will be able to be charged with a felony for extreme offenses, anyone convicted will be forced to give up their animal, and for the first time, horses will now be covered under the law equally with dogs and cats.

Additionally, there will be civil protection for authority figures, including Humane Society officers and veterinarians, who report animal cruelty cases.

Filling the gaps

State law to cover more situations related to animal cruelty became even more necessary when the federal PACT bill failed in the U.S. Senate due to issues related to the lack of hearings for President Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland.

The bill had unanimous support but was shot down by Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) because the vote happened while Republican leaders were refusing to hold the confirmation hearing, which Reid felt was not the proper way to maintain order.

Other places in the country have tried to crack down on Animal Abuse at the local level. Councilman Sunny Simon of Ohio attempted to pass local legislation that would establish an animal abuse registry, and the idea picked up support in municipalities across the country.

The registry idea was supported by the local Humane Society and would prevent anyone convicted of animal abuse from being able to own an animal.