Schemery Zicolello

The danger of exotic animals in Pennsylvania

Many Pennsylvania residents have pets, and these animals become valuable members of these people's families. People don't often recognize that their pets can become a danger to those around them. Instead, people see their pets as loving, affectionate and perfectly safe. While this is often true for people who choose to have pets like cats or dogs, this is not always the case for people who choose to keep exotic animals as pets.

Exotic pets include a variety of dangerous animals not normally kept in captivity. Under Pennsylvania law, wild animals include wolves, tigers, coyotes, jaguars, leopards, bears and other similar species. These animals have the ability to cause serious harm to those around them. Therefore, Pennsylvania law has limited citizen's ability to own these exotic animals. These laws are meant to help people avoid dangerous situations involving wildlife. Under these laws, it is illegal for any Pennsylvania resident to own an exotic animal without having received a proper permit.

The permit will only be issued once the state can determine that a person can properly care for a wild animal. Therefore, the state must ensure that a person has provided the proper housing and provisions for an exotic animal prior to issuing a permit.

Additionally, is also illegal for a Pennsylvania resident to release any wildlife previously held in captivity back into the wild. Under Pennsylvania laws, those owning exotic wildlife must also exercise due care to safeguard the public from an attack by that animal. People are also required to avoid recklessly engaging in any activity that places another person in harm's way by the exotic animal.

There are a variety of penalties that can be applied if people choose to keep exotic wildlife without following these rules. Also, those injured by exotic wildlife at another's residence may have legal rights. It is an animal's owner's duty to keep others safe from his or her pets. Under premises liability laws, those injured by the negligence of an animal owner may have the right to bring a personal injury suit. Those who have been injured by an animal of any kind should speak to an attorney to understand their legal rights.

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