HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 79        FILED ON: 1/7/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1444

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Steven S. Howitt

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act changing the legal status of "pets" from personal property to "companion animals".

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Steven S. Howitt

4th Bristol


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 79        FILED ON: 1/7/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1444

By Mr. Howitt of Seekonk, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1444) of Steven S. Howitt relative to the penalties for guardiana abusing domesticated companion animals.  The Judiciary.

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 2290 OF 2017-2018.]

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
(2019-2020)

_______________

 

An Act changing the legal status of "pets" from personal property to "companion animals".

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

For the purposes of this bill a “companion animal” shall be considered a dog, cat or any domesticated animal. Domesticated animal for purposes of this bill shall include birds, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, or any animal sharing a home with a caregiver.

Caregivers of “companion animals” shall be considered “guardians”.

Guardians of “companion animals” have a duty to protect the health and safety of the animal. A companion animal may not be left outside during extreme weather including extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, or hail or any weather condition which poses an adverse risk to the health and safety of the “companion animal”.

Guardians and/or any person who abuses a “companion animal” shall have the animal seized by animal control and shall be punished by:

First offense - imprisonment in the house of correction for a period of 6 months, but not longer than 2 ½ years and a $2,500 fine, “companion animal” abusers may not be permitted to obtain another animal.

Second offense – imprisonment in the house of correction for a period of 1 year but not longer than 2 ½ years and a $5,000 fine and shall be put on a “do not adopt to” list. This list will be published publicly. the list will be provided to all shelters, rescues, animal controls offices and pet stores.

Third offense – imprisonment in the house of correction for a period of 2 ½ years and a $10,000 fine and shall be put on a “do not adopt to” list. This list will be published publicly. the list will be provided to all shelters, rescues, animal controls offices and pet stores.