Just weeks after one of the worst cases of animal abuse in the state came to light in the case of “Puppy Doe,” lawmakers plan to file legislation today to create a first-of-its kind registry of convicted pet abusers in Massachusetts, the Boston Herald is reporting this morning.
The legislation would list all those convicted of animal cruelty in the Bay State, and would be loosely modeled on the state’s Sex Offender Registry to help keep pets out of dangerous hands, according to the Herald report.
“Puppy Doe,” was a young adult female dog found Aug. 31 in Quincy. When found, she weighed less than half what a normal, healthy dog her size should. She was starved, beaten and tortured, and due to the extent of her injuries she could not be saved by veterinarians. She was likely 1 to 2 years old.
House Bill S. 807, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, seeks to establish and maintain a central, computerized registry of those convicted of an animal abuse crime.
The Animal Abuse Registry would be updated with information from the Department of Criminal Information Services, and would include: the offender’s name, residential address, date and description of the crime which required registration and a photograph of the offender.
Any Massachusetts resident 18 or older, tried as an adult and convicted of an animal abuse crime would need to register within 10 days of either the date of judgment or date of release from prison. Out of state residents convicted of an animal abuse crime who move to Massachusetts would need to register in the first 10 days of living in the state.According to the Boston Herald, the bill also calls for beefing up penalties, specifically for repeat offenders who would face 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.