Strengthen Animal Cruelty Punishments

animal abuse

Target: Governor Deval Patrick

Goal: Support the strengthening of animal cruelty punishments in Massachusetts

New animal cruelty prevention and punishment legislation is currently underway in Massachusetts, and if passed, will lead to more stringent punishments for perpetrators of animal cruelty. Especially in the wake of the well-known case of cruel torturing and starvation of a stolen puppy in Massachusetts, people have been expressing their discontent with the current, relatively lenient, punishments that animal abusers face.

The redrafted version of a Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Act would make acts of animal cruelty punishable by up to seven years in prison, instead of five years, and perpetrators would face a $5,000 fine, which is double the previous amount of $2,500. This bill would also make it mandatory for veterinarians to report suspected acts of animal abuse to law officials. Additionally, a task force of officials would have 18 months to send a report with advice on further actions.

State Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr has reflected his determination that the bill would pass in some form. The bill clearly has strong support from the public, and the Judiciary Committee had recently released this new bill on a favorable note. The formal sessions for this bill are to end on July 31, 2014.

Unfortunately, animal abuse is ubiquitous throughout the world, and oftentimes cases of animal abuse are not looked on as priority cases by the judicial system. Many animal activist groups are working to change this indifferent view that many societies have on animal abuse cases, and to raise awareness about it. Please sign the petition below to show your support for the Massachusetts government’s redrafting of the PAWS Act, and to encourage other states to also consider restructuring their animal abuse laws to enforce stricter punishments.


Dear Governor Deval Patrick,

Reading about the possible redrafting of the PAWS Act in Massachusetts was heartening, in that the law would better uphold justice against perpetrators of animal cruelty. Animal abuse is a rampant issue throughout the world, and oftentimes the laws regarding punishments for animal abuse perpetrators are inappropriately lenient. The shocking case of “Puppy Doe” in your state has indefinitely awakened the public to the true horrors of animal abuse, and has catalyzed much-needed action.

Please work to ensure that the redrafting of the animal abuse bill is successfully passed in your state. Doing so would bring more justice to abused animals, and would also serve as a role model for other states to tighten their laws on animal abuse perpetrators.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Columbo222 via Wikimedia Commons

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757 Signatures

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  • Nan Stevenson
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