COMPANION ANIMALS BILL ON BEACON HILL

By Bob Katzen

This bill refers to pets as “companion animals” and requires people to protect the health and safety of these animals including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters and ferrets. It prohibits companion animals from being left outside during extreme heat, cold, wind, rain or hail or any weather condition which poses a risk to their health and safety.

An offender is subject to a 2.5-year prison sentence for each incident of animal abuse. A first offense includes a $2,500 fine and loss of the right to obtain another animal. A second offense includes a $5,000 fine and placement of the offender’s name on A “Do Not Adopt To” list that will be made public and provided to all shelters, rescues, animal controls offices and pet stores. A third offense includes a $10,000 fine and their name on a “Do Not Adopt To” list.

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