The Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (PAWS) will be discussed Thursday by the Massachusetts Legislature's Judiciary Committee with the objective of creating a statewide registry for people convicted of animal abuse and to increase penalties and fines for egregious crimes against animals reported the Boston Herald.
Prompted by last year's heinous crime, which drew national attention about a young dog nicknamed "Puppy Doe," who was maliciously stabbed in the eye, beaten, burned, and had her tongue split in two reminiscent of a serpent, Senate Republican leader Bruce Tarr introduced the bill stating he hoped the new legislation would become a model for other states.
In addition, PAWS will allocate money for the treatment of abused and tortured animals, fine veterinarians who purposely do not report cases of animal cruelty and abuse, establish a commission to review cases of animal cruelty and the effectiveness of the law, and use the registry as a reference to animal shelters, pet stores, and breeders.
Fines and punishments for serious offenses will increase to a maximum five year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
In certain cases, fines and punishment will double for a second offense.
On Senator Bruce Tarr's Facebook, the following statement was issued:
“News that a long awaited public hearing for the PAWS Act has been scheduled is indeed good. Sadly the heinous crimes against Puppy Doe, a dog who was left beaten, battered, and alone in a Quincy Park, is far from the first animal to be cruelly tortured. Multiple examples exist across the Commonwealth, and now is the time for the legislature to act swiftly to take action against those who commit such heinous crimes.
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