Massachusetts continues to be a leader in animal welfare in 2016
2016 was a historic year for advancing important animal advocacy laws in our state. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) worked tirelessly alongside local and national organizations to help move the needle when it came to the prevention of animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect across Massachusetts.
“There are many things to celebrate this year with respect to animal welfare and protection,” says Nadine Pellegrini, ARL’s Director of Advocacy. “Massachusetts residents should take great pride in being part of a historic ballot initiative which will go a long way in improving the lives of farm animals here and elsewhere. And, we now have a strong law in place to protect animals in vehicles as well as animals who are tethered or housed outdoors.”
Today we celebrate the top 5 wins in animal advocacy in 2016. Click the links below to learn more about each piece of legislation.
1. “Too Hot for Spot” becomes law (see pg. 8) – As of November 16, 2016, S.2369, An Act to Prevent Animal Suffering and Death prohibits pet owners from confining any animal in a motor vehicle when extreme heat or cold could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal. This new law also amends the anti-tethering statute and allows law enforcement officers from ARL and MSPCA to issue citations to violators.
2. Massachusetts residents vote YES to stop farm animal cruelty – On election night, November 9, 2016, 77.7% of Bay State residents voted yes on ballot Question 3, The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals. This groundbreaking ballot question was a great first step toward farm animal welfare protection in the Commonwealth. By 2022, highly-restrictive cages must be phased out giving farm animals enough space to turn around and extend their limbs. The ballot question will also protect MA families from substandard and unsafe food products.
3. Rabies quarantine period reduced for shelter animals – On October 10, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker and key members of his administration gathered at ARL’s Boston shelter to discuss a change in regulation to the rabies quarantine period for shelter animals. Under the new law, the quarantine period has been reduced from six to four months, allowing cats and dogs to find loving homes sooner. This decision will improve the lives of animals in need and increase space and flexibility for animal shelters like the ARL.
4. Animal Cruelty & Protection Task Force Report completed (see pg 9) – On July 12, 2016, the Task Force Findings and Recommendations Report was voted on and approved by members of the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force, including ARL’s President Mary Nee. The Task Force was created after the passage of S.2345, An Act Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (“PAWS”) in 2014, a result of the “Puppy Doe” case. For the 19 months following the passage of this new legislation, the Task Force addressed topics; such as current structure and use of anti-cruelty laws, education, housing, training, seizure of animals, and the creation of an animal abuse registry. Click here to read the full Task Force Findings and Recommendations Report.
5. Conviction upheld for inhumane confinement and chaining of dogs – In June 2016, a Cape Cod woman’s convictions for violating state law by confining her two dogs in a condemned home and a fenced-in yard, was upheld by the MA Appeals Court. The woman challenged her convictions claiming that she did not violate the law because her dogs were not confined outside. The Court disagreed, finding that keeping dogs in filthy and dirty confinement both inside and outside was, in fact, a violation of law. The dogs had been left alone virtually all day every day for over a year with only intermittent contact with friends. Both dogs were both tick-infested and described as “matted”, “ravaged” and “traumatized.”
Let’s help even more animals in 2017 – together!
While we have much to celebrate from this year, Nadine reminds us that, “There is still so much to do. We must and will continue to advocate for better protection for companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife.”
Only because of YOUR support is ARL able to carry on its important work. Make a gift today to ensure that ARL can continue to prevent animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect across Massachusetts in 2017 and beyond.
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