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Sen. Moore Supports Multiple Bills Dealing With The Sale & Treatment of Animals

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Senator Michael Moore announced that the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation to improve multiple areas of existing law that deals with the sale and treatment of animals.

“As a proud dog owner, and having served as an Environmental Police Officer, I certainly recognize the importance of protecting vulnerable animal populations. I was pleased to offer my support for this legislation which offers commonsense reforms to enhance breeding, safety and care standards to protect pets and pet owners,” said Moore.

The Legislation

The first piece of legislation, S.1155, 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.

It prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks old, increasing the likelihood that they will grow to be healthy dogs and cats, and outlines a process for a veterinarian to declare an animal suffering from a significant adverse health condition “unfit for sale.”

The second bill, S.2332, encompasses several key components recommended by the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force which was constituted under the original PAWS act.

Task force members include the Massachusetts District Attorneys’ Association, State Police, Attorney General’s Office, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, veterinarians, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and others.

Key components of the bill include provisions to:

  • Require animal abuse be reported by the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Elder Affairs, and the Disabled Persons Protection Commission.  Adds animal control officers as mandatory reporters of child abuse, elder abuse, and abuse against disabled persons;
  • Increase penalties in animal control laws that provide non-criminal penalties for abuse.  Double the existing penalty of a $50 fine for a second offense to $100, and increased the $100 penalty for a fourth offense to $500;
  • Declare that drowning of animals as a violation of law;
  • Prohibit engaging in sexual contact with an animal punishable by up to 7 years in prison or a fine of not more than $5,000;
  • Remove a requirement to automatically kill animals involved in animal fighting. This bill creates other options for these animal victims;
  • Include the crimes of animal cruelty to serve as the basis for a request for a determination of detention and or release upon conditions;
  • Prohibit insurance companies and housing authorities to refuse insurance coverage or housing with breed restrictions;
  • Property owners and landlords must check the property for abandoned animals within three days following a foreclosure or termination of tenancy.


Both bills now go before the House of Representatives for consideration.


Related Slideshow: 10 Great Pets in Need of Loving Homes - March 20, 2018

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