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State Senate Passes Animal Protection Bills

Mar 25, 2018 07:17AM ● By Theresa Gilman

State Senator Barbara L'Italien

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by the office of State Senator Barbara L’Italien.)

BOSTON – The State Senate today passed two bills designed to protect house pets and other animals.  An Act relative to protecting puppies and kittens improves several areas of current law dealing with the sale and treatment of dogs and cats, and was also passed in the Senate last session with leadership from State Senator Barbara L’Italien when she chaired the Municipalities committee. An Act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns (PAWS II) protects the health, safety and well-being of animals, expanding on gains first secured in the original PAWS law which was filed in response to the Puppy Doe animal abuse case of 2014, now the subject of a trial in Dedham District Court.

An Act relative to protecting puppies and kittens ensures that puppies and kittens are bred and sold in safe and healthy environments and strengthens the Massachusetts “Puppy Lemon Law” to give pet owners more options if they unknowingly purchase a sick pet. The bill applies safety and breeding standards to protect pets and pet owners.
“As chair of the Municipalities committee last session, I was proud to join Sen. Karen Spilka to pass this important bill in the Senate; so I’m thrilled to see the bill engrossed again this year,” said State Senator Barbara L’Italien. “Animals are a big part of the lives of so many families throughout the Commonwealth and this bill ensures that our laws keep those animal family members safe and protected.”
PAWS II enhances humane treatment of animals, expands the role of mandated reporters, and punishes those who engage in animal cruelty. Key components of the bill include provisions to ensure abuse is reported, ensure efficient enforcement of animal control laws, prohibit the drowning of animals, remove automatic killing of animals involved in animal fighting, add animal crimes to the list of offenses that serve as the basis for a request for a determination of detention and or release upon conditions, and prohibit discrimination against specific dog breeds.

A recent Massachusetts study found that a person who has committed animal abuse is five times more likely to commit violence against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes.

Both bills now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
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