BOSTON (AP) — Animal rights activists and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling for passage of a bill that would increase fines and toughen prison sentences for those convicted of animal cruelty.
The so-called PAWS act would also create a statewide registry of people who have been convicted of animal abuse and make that list available to animal shelters, pet stores and breeders. The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill Thursday.
Senate Republican leader Bruce Tarr filed the measure following last year’s highly-publicized case involving a year-old pit bull, later nicknamed “Puppy Doe,” who was euthanized after being found beaten and tortured in Quincy.
Tarr says it’s time to take a serious and comprehensive look at the state’s animal protection laws, some of which haven’t been updated in more than a century.