Support Increased Penalties for Animal Cruelty

Dog in Animal Shelter

Target: Governor Deval Patrick

Goal: Approve bill that increases penalties for animal cruelty in Massachusetts

Animal activists are rallying support for a bill that would increase penalties for animal cruelty in the state of Massachusetts. The bill would increase fines and prison time for those convicted of animal cruelty, along with creating a state registry of animal abusers. Sign this petition and ensure that this bill gains the support it needs.

Massachusetts new bill is sponsored by Republican Bruce Tarr, stating that “it’s time that we took a serious look at the laws that are intended to protect our animal friends and do what we can in a comprehensive way to prevent those kinds of heinous, brutal acts from occurring in the future.” Tarr speaks of the incident involving Puppy Doe who was found brutally tortured at a park. Unfortunately she could not be saved and had to euthanized. Radoslaw Czerkawsi, who was the dog’s owner, was arrested and charged with a dozen counts of animal cruelty and one count of misleading police. He is held on bail for $500,000 after pleading not guilty.

The bill will not only create harsher fines and increased prison sentences for animal cruelty, it will also create a statewide registry of all animal abusers, and the list will be made available for inspection by animal shelters, pet stores, and breeders. The legislation has been dubbed PAWS, short for “Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety.” If passed the bill will impose prison sentences for up to five years along with fines totaling up to $10,000. The maximum for these fines is $2,000, the lowest in the nation. Those who are repeat offenders will receive up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $20,000. And if such abuse were to take place when a child were about, the sentences could be increased by up to five years.

It is imperative that support for this legislation stays strong. It’s highly likely that PAWS will not be reviewed as the Judiciary Committee has nearly 800 bills to review, but if the committee cannot get to it this session, the public needs to remember this bill. For a century animal cruelty laws have not been updated in the state of Masachusetts. Our animals need the law on their side and you can help by signing this petition.


Dear Deval Patrick,

I am writing to you about the PAWS legislation, which is a bill designed to protect our animals and impose harsh penalties for animal abusers. It doesn’t matter what political party you are on, animal lovers are animal lovers and this law will benefit both humans and animals.

Your state’s current animal cruelty laws are outdated, and do very little to prevent animal abuse. If this bill were to pass, it would help shelters from adopting out pets to animal abusers. Animal activists have clamored for a state registry of animal abusers, and this bill could make it happen. Please show your support and make this bill a law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nhandler via Wikimedia

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  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    Animals have the right to be treated humanely by all people. Unfortunately, there are a certain segment of the population who feel they can abuse, torture and murder animals and get away with it, and they are right, they do get away with it. It is now time to increase penalties on those people – give them a harsh prison term – I like 10 years mandatory – no parole, no time off for good behavior.
    Until the officials realize animal abuse is the same as child abuse – the suffering of the innocent who cannot speak for themselves, this will not happen. It is time to stand up for these innocents – the animals. It has become a national disgrace.

  2. Poidogsanuenue has written newsletters regarding issues of abuse,registries and is a member of ALDF. (Animal Legal Defense Fund). They prosceute animal abusers from all walks of life. They also introduced the Animal Abuse Registry for all 50 states and helped make abuse and dog fighting a felony in all 50 states. I believe child abusers, will abuse animals to the extreme. We have a registry for Child Abusers/Molesters, now lets do for all our animals pawed and hoofed. I not only rescue all animals, but also work with the Juvenile Justice Courts, saving our children.

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