Senator Lesser Votes to Strengthen Animal Welfare Laws

BOSTON—This Tuesday, Senator Eric P. Lesser voted to strengthen animal welfare laws in Massachusetts. The Senate passed a bill to strengthen restrictions on breeders to ensure that pets are well cared-for and healthy, in addition to bills that would protect pets left in hot cars or abandoned when families move. “These measures will help prevent animal cruelty and prevent mistreatment of defenseless animals,” said Senator Lesser. “Any society is measured by how it treats those without the ability to protect themselves, and I believe these protections will do much to protect our pets, breeders, and pet owners.”

This legislation applies safety and breeding standards to protect pets and pet owners. The bill prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens younger than eight weeks old, increasing the likelihood that they will grow to be healthy dogs and cats, and outlines a process for a veterinarian to declare an animal suffering from a significant adverse health condition “unfit for purchase.”

Further, the Senate has acted to apply civil penalties to those who leave their pets unattended for extended periods in hot cars. The bills passed also require that landlords or foreclosing owners check for abandoned pets soon after a property is vacated, and immediately notify animal control or police officers if any animals are found.

The bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.