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Puppy Doe bill awaiting Governor Patrick's signature in order to become law

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UPDATE: Governor Patrick signed the bill this afternoon, August 20, 2014. The Animal Welfare and Safety bill is now a law. It will be in effect 90 days from now.

On the one year anniversary of Puppy Doe's horrific death, the newly proposed Animal Welfare and Safety bill passed legislation just days before Radoslaw Czerkawski's pre-trial conference for the brutal torture of Puppy Doe, also known as Kiya. The young, female dog was sadistically tortured and had injuries so severe, she had to be humanely euthanized. The bill, which will increase the maximum penalties for animal cruelty, is headed to Governor Deval Patrick's desk, according to a press release from the MSPCA.

Bill S. 2345: An Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety, formerly known as An Act Relative to the Penalty for Killing, Maiming, or Poisoning Animals, would increase prison time from up to five years to seven years and fines from up to $2,500 to $5,000 for individuals convicted of animal cruelty in the state of Massachusetts. The bill would also increase penalties for repeat offenders: sentencing up to 10 years in prison and fining up to $10,000.

The Animal Welfare and Safety bill would also require veterinarians to report anything they suspect to be animal cruelty. A task force specific to animal cruelty would also be created, as a way to keep up on protecting the animals and strengthening the laws that enforce those protections.

The bill became known as the Puppy Doe bill because of the gruesome animal cruelty case one year ago this month. Kiya was sold on Craigslist to Radoslaw Czerkawski, an illegal immigrant from Poland. She was found by a passerby near a Quincy park, barely alive. Her injuries were described as “medieval” in nature, due to the drawn limbs, serpent-cut tongue, broken bones, burns and other atrocities.

A nationwide outrage over Puppy Doe prompted a change in the current animal cruelty laws in Massachusetts. Senator Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester and State Representative Bruce Ayers, D-Quincy worked diligently to propose an updated law that would reflect the seriousness of animal cruelty. The bill passed legislation on August 14, 2014 by both the House and Senate. The bill will become law 90 days after Governor Patrick signs it.

Related:
In light of Puppy Doe's case, Massachusetts politicians push for stricter laws
Czerkawski's lawyer to file motions for dismissal in “Puppy Doe” case
Massachusetts Senate passes bill to protect abandoned animals
Bill to ban shark finning in Massachusetts passes Senate

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