Proposed law would increase animal cruelty penalties

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state’s animal cruelty laws are getting closer to being reformed.

Supporters of the so called PAWS Act are urging legislatures to beef up the state’s animal cruelty laws. The Act would put into place harsher penalties for people who abuse animals.

People that 22News spoke with told us they were supportive of the plan, particularly of the increase in penalties for those who are involved in hit-and-run accidents involving pets.

“Definitely punish them, but regulate it. You don’t want somebody to hit a dog by accident and suffer the consequences of someone that would do it on purpose,” Feliz Hernandez of Westfield said.

The bill was filed, following a highly-publicized case involving a young pit bull, later nicknamed “Puppy Doe,” who had been found beaten and tortured in Quincy last year.

Supporters of the change are hoping to create a statewide registry of people who have been convicted of animal abuse. That list would be made available to animal shelters, pet stores and breeders.

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