BOSTON, MA – Animal protection groups including the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and MSPCA-Angell today lauded the passage of Senate Bill 2345 that establishes harsher punishments and financial penalties for animal cruelty and aims to prevent abuse from happening in Massachusetts.
The measures take effect in 90 days once the bill is signed into law by Governor Patrick.
The bill raises maximum penalties for animal cruelty convictions from five to seven years and increases the maximum fine from $2,500 to $5,000. The bill also allows a penalty of up to 10 years and/or a fine of $10,000 for repeat convictions. In addition, the bill requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse. Also included in the new law is the creation of a task force comprised of experts in law enforcement, animal protection, veterinary medicine and the law to systematically and comprehensively evaluate the state’s cruelty statutes to ensure continued progress.
“Today is a historic day for this legislative body, for the citizens of Massachusetts and—most especially—for animals,” said State Representative Lou Kafka, who was key in moving the bill through the House. “This law is an urgently needed update to outdated penalties and ensures that legislators continually receive the best advice on how to combat animal cruelty in our Commonwealth, directly from the experts who deal with it most frequently.”
“Thanks to the hard work of legislators and animal welfare supporters throughout Massachusetts, we will now have a law in place that strengthens our ability to prevent cruelty and will dramatically improve the welfare of animals in Massachusetts,” praised Mary Nee, president of the ARL.
Prior to the passage of this new law Massachusetts maintained some of the most lenient fines in the nation for animal abuse, with a maximum of $2,500. Many other states have higher prison sentences as well. The new law marks the first update of these penalties in nearly ten years and reflects broad public consensus that animal cruelty must never be tolerated.
Representative Bruce Ayers stated, “The passage of the bill is evidence that lawmakers are listening to their constituents, who—especially in the wake of the horrific Puppy Doe animal abuse case in Quincy, my district, last year —are demanding stricter penalties for those who abuse or kill animals. As the sponsor of this animal welfare bill, I am pleased with this outcome.”
Kara Holmquist, director of advocacy for the MSPCA-Angell states, “We’re very pleased that this crucial legislation has passed, and we extend our thanks to all of the bill’s sponsors and supporters who championed these reforms. We also thank every caring citizen who contacted state legislators to urge for stronger laws to both punish animal abusers and, importantly, work to prevent cruelty from happening the first place. Animal lovers around the state can today celebrate these efforts and hopefully can find some peace knowing that from such tragic incidents, like Puppy Doe and others, awareness has been generated that will now prevent harm to other helpless animals.”
“Abusive acts toward animals are unacceptable, and all too often can lead to violence toward people. Our laws need to strongly and clearly penalize those who commit the kinds of brutal acts we’ve seen in the Puppy Doe case and others, and this legislation makes major progress in achieving that goal,” said Senator Bruce Tarr. “It couldn’t have been accomplished without organizations like the ARL and the MSPCA the thousands of individuals who have driven this effort from the drafting of the bill to its arrival on the Governor’s desk.
About the Animal Rescue League of Boston
Founded in 1899, the ARL is dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. In 2013, the ARL served over 14,000 individual animals through our shelters in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham, and our law enforcement, rescue, and veterinary services. The ARL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of supporters to help animals in need. Visit arlboston.org for more information.
About the MSPCA-Angell
The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization.
It’s been a busy summer here at the Animal Rescue League. With new litters of kittens flooding our shelters every week, we now have many pawsome adult cats patiently awaiting their chance at a loving home. For one day only, all cats one year and older cost only $9 to adopt, so stop by an ARL shelter this Saturday, September 6 and adopt a fantastic feline!
Some of the adoptable adult cats at our Boston shelter.
Why adopt an adult cat? Because they’re super! For the most part, adult pets have passed their critical development stages, meaning the personality you see is the personality you get!
When you adopt a cat from the ARL, you can rest assured that your cat receives the following before you take him or her home:
Feline leukemia test
Flea, tick and mite treatment
Microchip identification and registration
*NEW* Trupanion pet insurance
We’ve got you covered! All adopters get a 30-day free trial of pet insurance with no further obligation. No money or credit card required and adopters must actively opt in after the 30 days if you want to continue. Trupanion will cover all non- pre-existing conditions or injuries should something happen within the first 30 days after you adopt. Ask a shelter agent for more details!
Massachusetts Animal Control Officer of the Year, 2014
The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) are now accepting nominations for the 2014 Massachusetts Animal Control Officer (ACO) of the Year Award.
This annual award honors an individual ACO’s efforts to promote responsible pet ownership in his/her local community throughout the year by:
manifesting a dedicated, humane attitude toward the treatment and well-being of all animals
effectively enforcing pet responsibility laws
conducting public awareness and humane education programs
maintaining cooperative working relationships with other agencies involved with animals, such as state and local government departments, other ACOs, and animal protection groups
We encourage government officials, other officers, animal protection organizations, or private citizens to nominate your favorite ACO for consideration.
Nominations should explain how the nominee has met the above criteria and should be sent to both ARL and MSPCA by September 15, 2014.
Please submit nominations to both of the following individuals:
Leaving a pet in a parked car can have dangerous consequences!
To raise awareness for this important summer pet safety issue, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Boston Fire Department, and Boston Veterinary Care ask media to share important information about the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars during the summer. Even when temperatures dip below 80, the threat for potentially fatal heat stroke still exists.
The following video and photos are from the ARL’s “Dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car ” media avail. For more information, please contact Ami Bowen, Director of Marketing and Communications, at email@example.com or (617) 226-5668.
Media are invited to download the video clips for use in summer pet safety stories.
Please credit the Animal Rescue League of Boston for all content.
Mary Nee, president of the Animal Rescue League of Boston:
“We live for the summers in New England. We want to be outside and do more things, and we want our dogs to be part of the fun. We need to keep in mind what’s fun for us, might actually cause discomfort and injury to our much-loved pet.”
“Leaving your dog at home as you head out for summer activities and events is the best thing for you and your pet. Prevention is responsible pet ownership.”
Dr. Rashel Shophet-Ratner, veterinarian at Boston Veterinary Care:
“On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can top one hundred degrees in less than 10 minutes – even with all the windows cracked. That’s why leaving a pet inside a parked car is the most common cause of potentially deadly heat stroke.”
Find More Information
Visit arlboston.org/summer-safetyfor tips about treating heatstroke, keeping your pet calm during a thunderstorm or safe during a house fire, and other advice from the ARL and BVC.
Too Hot for Spot Tuesday: Tips for Safely Camping with Your Dog
Labor Day weekend is just around the corner! For those of us trying to squeeze in a last minute weekend trip before the dog days of summer slip away, it’s important to keep our pet’s safety in mind if we plan on bringing the pup along for the adventure.
Here are 6 tips that will help keep your dog safe during your next over-night camping trip :
If your dog doesn’t regularly get flea/tick treatment, make sure you apply it at least a few days before the trip.
Make sure that your pet has proper ID on his/her collar at all times and a reflective collar if he/she will be out on the campsite at night.
Bring a pet first aid kit. It is always better to be prepared and often remote campsites will not have quick access to veterinary care. (We’ve been handing out pet emergency backpacks with pet first aid kits at our events)
Do some research and locate the closest animal emergency clinic and add its contact information to your phone.
Pet proof! Before you let your pet out on your campsite, thoroughly inspect the area to make sure other campers haven’t left anything behind like broken bottles or spoiled food.
Don’t let your pet roam. Because your pet is not familiar with the area, he could get lost, fall into a river, or become stuck. Other well-meaning campers may feed him something toxic or may have rat poison out in their campsite. He also may have a run in with some not-so-well meaning wildlife.
Glenn was an Animal Lover and Anna Harris Smith Legacy Supporter
Glenn Mekelburg with his cat
We would like to take a moment to remember a dear ARL friend who passed away last week. Glenn Ross Mekelburg departed this Earth at the age of 65. He was a passionate animal lover and will truly be missed by all of us here.
Caitlin Oates, manager of the ARL’s President’s Council, knew Glenn well and said “Glenn was an absolutely wonderful and kindhearted man. His love for animals was evident from the first moment I met him. I am honored to have called him a friend.”
Glenn was a supporter of the Animal Rescue League and stated that “the ARL is unlike any other non-profit.”
Our thoughts are with Glenn and his family at this difficult time.
A memorial donation in his name may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Boston arlboston.org/donate. Arrangements are under the care of Young Funeral Home and Cremation Services Searsport, ME.
Join the Animal Rescue League this evening for our Summer Social to celebrate our newly renovated K-9 play yard and reception area! The festivities start at 5:30PM and the first 100 people will receive a Boston Veterinary Care swag bag stuffed with special items for you and your pet.
Tuesday, August 19
5:30PM – 7:30PM
10 Chandler Street, Boston, MA 02116
S.2345 Passed Both Chambers! On its way to the Governor’s Desk!
Thanks to you, S.2345 passed the State House and Senate! The bill takes effect in 90 days once it’s signed into law by Governor Patrick.
S. 2345 (formerly called H.4328/ H.4244) increases maximum penalties for animal abuse from 5 years to 7 years in prison and $2,500 to $5,000 in fines.
In addition, the bill requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse. Also included in the new law is the creation of a task force comprised of experts in law enforcement, animal protection, veterinary medicine and the law to systematically and comprehensively evaluate the state’s cruelty statutes to ensure continued progress.
“Today is a historic day for this legislative body, for the citizens of Massachusetts and—most especially—for animals,” said State Representative Lou Kafka, who was key in moving the bill through the House.
Phone calls to legislators from animal lovers across the state made the critical difference in creating a sense of urgency to getting the bill through.
“Thanks to the hard work of legislators and animal welfare supporters throughout Massachusetts, we will now have a law in place that strengthens our ability to prevent cruelty and will dramatically improve the welfare of animals in Massachusetts,” praised ARL president, Mary Nee.
Thank you to everyone who took action and gave a voice to the victims of animal cruelty!
Pringle, Tater Tot and Porkchop Have Been Waiting Long Enough. Help Them Find Love!
“These three dogs are all very sweet and thoroughly enjoy the company of people – but who can blame them after having to spend 2.5 years in a kennel waiting for their chance at a home! It’s time to give them a loving family that they deserve!” – Marianne Gasbarro, ARL’s Boston Shelter Manager
If you’ve been following the story behind the crisis at Boston Animal Control’s Roslindale facility, then you’ve surely heard of Camilla, the dog brought our attention to the situation. Thankfully, Camilla was adopted and is finally experiencing what it means to have a loving home. However, Camilla is only one of four dogs who spent two and a half years at the BAC’s Roslindale pound and those dogs are patiently waiting for their chance to go home.
Pringle, Tater Tot and Porkchop came to the Animal Rescue League with Camilla on July 2 from Boston Animal Control. It’s clear that all of them crave human attention and love. There’s no reason for these dogs to be in shelters any longer. They deserve a true home.
Pringle is an adorable 4-year-old pup. She’s small and sweet and will love to sit on your lap. She’s done a couple sleepovers with a volunteer and did well crated for the car ride and for little bits of time when the volunteer left her. She loves to cuddle in bed and will wake you up with kisses and a thumping tail. Pringle loves meeting new human friends. Meet her at our Boston shelter!
Check out Pringle’s video below.
Porkchop is an easy going gal who just wants to be by your side! She can occaisonally be shy at first when meeting new people, but often times warms up right away. She’s very playful and will literally do anything you ask as long as it means she can spend time with you! She can be a bit pushy with other dogs, and will likely do best as the only dog in the house or potentially could do well with a compatible male dog. Meet her at our Brewster shelter on Cape Cod.
Tater Tot is 8-years-old and is hoping to spend her golden years with you. She is a sweet, easy going girl who loves to go for city walks and will want to say hello to every person she passes. Tater Tot loves people but would do best as an only dog. Being an older girl she does not like it when other dogs jump at her. Come in to our Boston shelter and meet this super cute girl today!
Isn’t two and a half years long enough to be homeless? Please help Pringle, Tater Tot and Porkchop find homes. Share their story with your friends and family.
WEATHER NOTICE FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17 Boston Veterinary Care, ARL’s Boston Adoption Center, and ARL’s Dedham Adoption Center are CLOSED.ARL’s Brewster Adoption Center, Spay Waggin’ (Carver), and Boston Administrative Offices are OPEN.ARL's Law Enforcement Department and Rescue Services will be ON THE ROAD 1:30-6:30pm.