Massachusetts lawmakers are working on a bill to tighten animal abuse laws in the Commonwealth. The bill was filed after an extreme case of animal abuse two months ago. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has the details.
MASSACHUSETTS -- The bill would prevent some of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable beings.
"It's more a comprehensive piece of legislation that addresses not only increased penalties, but other issues," said Linda Huebner, deputy director at the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
She's talking about PAWS. The act is one of the latest ways lawmakers are hoping to combat animal abuse.
"There's a lot of different ways because really it's a complicated issue. We see cases like the Puppy Doe case, which is really extreme," said Huebner.
Last month, thousands of people in the country were outraged after Puppy Doe, a pit bull, was found beaten, starved and left for dead in Quincy. She was euthanized due to her injuries. This horrific case of animal abuse is fueling the support for updated laws.
"Unspeakable things were done to this dog and people believe penalties should be higher than currently allowed under Massachusetts laws," said Huebner.
The bill would increase the penalties for animal abuse, including killing, maiming or disfiguring from $2,500 to $10,000. The fine for a hit and run of a cat or dog would also be raised from $50 to $2,000.
"Animals aren't property under the law the way other things are. Technically, they're considered property. But they're living beings," said Huebner.
Also included in the bill is the establishment of animal abuser registry.
"We make decisions on animals' lives everyday based on conversation. If we had information like that first hand in front of us, it would make our jobs much, much easier," said John Perreault, Executive Director of the Berkshire Humane Society.
A public hearing needs to happen before the bill becomes law, a law advocates say on the matter will prevent another Puppy Doe situation in the future.