Legislative Agenda and Public Policies

In January , the Massachusetts General Court began its 2015-2016 session.  The Animal Rescue League of Boston will continue to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals, and to oppose reforms that endanger the welfare of animals in Massachusetts.

The ARL will keep you updated on the status of legislation impacting animal welfare in Massachusetts.  As always, please check this webpage, our social media channels, and email alerts and action items as different pieces of legislation progress through the General Court.

For information on how Massachusetts laws are formed, please visit https://malegislature.gov/Engage/HowIdeaBecomesLaw 

We are grateful to the legislators of the 2014 – 2015 session for the passage of:

S. 2345: An Act Increasing Penalties for Cruelty to Animals

This bill  increases the max fine from $2500 to $5000 and the maximum penalty from five to seven years; allows a penalty of up to 10 years and/or a fine of $10,000 for repeat convictions; requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse; creates a task force comprised of experts in law enforcement, animal protection, veterinary medicine and the law to systematically and comprehensively evaluate the state’s cruelty statutes to ensure continued progress.

Sponsors: State Representatives Lou Kafka and Bruce Ayers, and Senator Bruce Tarr

Status: Approved by Senate, August 14, 2014

S. 1172: An Act Ensuring the Safety of People with Pets in Disasters

This bill ensures that pets are incorporated into municipal and the state disaster plans.

Sponsor: Senator Karen Spilka

Status: Signed into law, March 2014