Create Animal Abuser Registry in Massachusetts

Target: Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr

Goal: Strengthen animal cruelty laws and create an animal abuser registry in Massachusetts

One of the most heinous acts of animal cruelty seen in the United States has spurred Massachusetts to create a bill that would strengthen animal cruelty laws and also establish a state-wide animal abuser registry. Please support this bill and keep the pets of Massachusetts safe.

The incident involved a young pit bull that was found beaten, stabbed, burned, tortured, and left in a park. She was later named Puppy Doe. Unfortunately, because of the severity of her condition vets were forced to euthanize her. Local authorities have been working to track down the person responsible, tracking her ownership history to Connecticut, but no arrests have yet been made.

The new legislation has been named the Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act (PAWS) and, if passed into law, will quadruple fines for first-time offenders to $10,000, a 10-year prison sentences and $20,000 for repeat offenders, and also increasing penalties for hit-and-run drivers in incidents involving cats and dogs from $50 to $2,000 and possible jail time. A state-wide registry including anyone who has been convicted of animal abuse will also be created and require animal shelters, breeders and pet stores to perform a background check before selling an animal.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) authored the bill after hearing Puppy Doe’s story, saying, “Unfortunately I don’t think there’s been the kind of sensitivity to these crimes that there’s need to be. I don’t think animals have been seen as the kind of priority as they should be in the array of legislative issues that are before us.”

Massachusetts was already one of the first states to make animal cruelty a felony offense and the new law would create some of the most severe penalties in the country. Please sign the petition below to support the PAWS Act.


Dear Senate Minority Leader Tarr,

After a horrible incident involving the torture of puppy left in a park you sponsored the PAWS Act which will strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty in Massachusetts and also create a state-wide animal abuser registry. Thank you for your commitment to protecting animals in your state.

Massachusetts has already passed several landmark pieces of animal rights legislation, including becoming one of the first states to make animal cruelty a felony. I hope the PAWS Act passes and the state continues to lead the way for the rest of the country.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Raleene via Flickr

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  1. This would be ground breaking legislation and should be emulated Worldwide. Good on you Senator Tarr and good on you Massachusets.

  2. Muriel Servaege says:

    Good idea!

  3. Mel Westlund says:

    First Dexter and his brother Drake now this poor Angel. These laws have to pass.

  4. This idea is great!!!! I wwill ask my local shelters to back me on a petition like this! AWESOME!

  5. Despina M. Andrelus says:

    “A righteous man regards the life of animals” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs…(They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – MAHATMA GANDHI

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