In the final days of the Senate Session, Bruce E. Tarr- Republican Gloucester with his Senate colleagues advanced into law Animal Cruelty Protection Legislation. State Representative Wayne A. Matewsky – Democrat, Everett, for the House of Representatives pro-actively sought and advanced the criminalization of animal cruelty – abuse and the establishment of mandatory punishment guide lines for offenders. On this occasion both Tarr and Matewsky effectively brought about comprehensive legislation that is supported by Law Enforcement and National Animal Right Organizations. This now presents the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a standard for effectively monitoring offenders and diminishing animal abuse.
An Act Establishing an Animal Abuse Registry, sets forth:
• Animal Abuse is the commission of any crime against an animal under chapter 272, section 77 -81, inclusive of the General Laws, and the comparable animal cruelty statutes of any other state.
• Animal cruelty offenders are subject to a $1,000 dollar fine for the first offence and/or imprisonment. Second offenses will result in mandatory sentencing fines and imprisonment.
• The Animal Abuse Registry will provide all pet shops, shelters and breeders with a listing of prohibited persons from purchasing and/or acquiring pets and will continuously update the list.
• All persons 18 years of age or older, or minors convicted and tried as an adult, who reside in Massachusetts and are convicted of an animal abuse crime on or after the effective date of this law, shall register within ten (10) days following either the date of judgment or date of release from incarceration, whichever is later. Residents of other states convicted of animal abuse crime or on or after the effective date of this law who subsequently reside in Massachusetts, shall register within 10 (ten) days of residing in Massachusetts. Under this act each person required to register under this section shall submit within the guidelines of said registration to the Department of Criminal Justice.
Matewsky, in support of this legislation explained: “Pets for many in society are an extension of family and to see these poor defenseless animals abandoned, abused, maimed and slaughtered is indefensible. We could no longer accept laws that are arbitrary on animal abuse and for this reason we recognized the necessity to effectively establish new laws that punish offenders, enforce the protection of animals, while establishing a registry that prohibits convicted offenders from acquiring a pet. We encourage all that reside in the Commonwealth to report any cases in which they are suspect of animal abuse to their local police departments.”