A bill passed by Beacon Hill would impose harsher sentences on those convicted of animal cruelty.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives H-2132 would further increase fines and establish a dedicated fund to improve local animal shelters.
Currently, the penalties consist of a jail term of up to seven years and / or a fine of $ 5,000 for a first offense and a ten-year jail term and / or a fine of $ 10,000 for a subsequent offense.
Under the law, the fines would increase to $ 5,500 for a first offense and $ 11,000 for subsequent offenses. In addition, up to $ 500 of a single fine incurred for a first offense and up to $ 1,000 of a single fine incurred for subsequent offenses, would be allocated to a special account in the community where the offense occurred. been committed.
The money would be used only to fund improvements to a community animal shelter. Funds intended for communities without animal shelters under their jurisdiction will be used at the discretion of the local municipality, provided that they benefit local groups, non-profit organizations or public entities dedicated to the humane treatment of human beings. animals and / or promoting the adoption of shelter animals.
House Representative Bruce Ayers introduced the bill with Adam Scanlon and Colleen Garry as petitioners.
Today the House ordered a third reading after the bill was favorably reported by committee and referred to the Committee on House Direction, Policy and Calendar last week.