BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed the PAWS Act, a bill that would protect pets from abuse by their owners.
The PAWS Act isn’t just a cute name for a bill. It stands for an act “Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety” and it toughens the penalties for owners who abuse their pets.
Senator Bruce Tarr a Bill Sponsor told 22News, “There is a correlation with public safety because often times those who are willing to abuse a helpless animal will actually also hurt human beings and so we feel very strongly that we need to move forward with this legislation.”
The legislation enforces stronger penalties for second offenses of animal cruelty. First-time offenders could see a fine of 5,000 dollars, and up to 10,000 dollars for a second offense.
The maximum prison time for a first offense jumped from five years to seven years. A second offense could send you to prison for up to 10 years.
The bill would need unanimous approval by both the House and the Senate in order to make it to the Governor’s desk.