MSPCA-Angell Calls on Supporters to Advocate for Animals on Lobby Day 2012

April 23, 2012

BOSTON, April 23, 2012 – The MSPCA-Angell will call on supporters to join its Advocacy team at the State House on Thursday, April 26 for Lobby Day—an exciting annual opportunity for concerned citizens to meet directly with elected officials to encourage passage of legislation to protect animals.  The MSPCA will provide expert lobbying tips and an overview of pending legislation to ensure attendees can advocate persuasively and effectively.

 

No previous experience is necessary to participate in Lobby Day.  The MSPCA has created a simple Web-based sign-up form that all interested individuals must complete to participate.  The event will take place at the Grand Staircase on the 2nd floor of the State House from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Registration begins at 10:00 a.m. followed by legislators speaking about specific bills and awards to certain legislators at 10:45 a.m. Participants will then meet with their own legislators from 11:30 until 3:30 p.m.   Participants and legislators are also invited to bring extra towels, blankets and pet food that will be then donated to local shelters, and to meet a dog available for adoption at the MSPCA.

 

A Watershed Year for Animal Protection Legislation

The Lobby Day will take place just as a number of high-profile (and high-impact) animal protection bills are advancing through the legislative process.  A summary of the most important bills and activity includes:

 

  • Animal Control bill (S.2192) – a comprehensive update to the state’s animal control law that will create  a state-wide spay/neuter program to reduce the number of homeless animals; ensure all animals adopted from animal shelters are spayed or neutered before going to new homes; require training for animal control officers; improve the dangerous dog law (and prevent ineffective breed-specific ordinances); and protect domestic violence victims and pets by mandating inclusion of pets in domestic violence protection orders.

 

  • Veterinary Care bill (H. 2326) – a bill that would clarify the existing parameters of the Massachusetts’ animal cruelty laws to obligate animal owners to address their animals’ unnecessary suffering.  Filed in response to many MSPCA law enforcement cases, this bill has been ordered to a third reading in the House.

 

  • Sale of Puppies bill (H. 2886) – This bill would prohibit the sale of puppies under 8 weeks of age, thereby reducing the behavior problems that can accompany early separation from the mother.  The bill has been ordered to a second reading in the House.

 

  • Wildlife – Animal advocates are still protecting animals against bills that would loosen trapping restrictions (H. 3315), allow for hunting on Sundays (H. 3946) and allow moose hunting (H. 1996).  These have all received approval from the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

 

  • Farm Animal confinement (H. 458/S. 786) – This bill would prohibit the confinement of certain farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs.  This bill is pending in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

 

  • Antifreeze bill (S.88) – This bill would build on the bill that passed last session that required the addition of a bittering agent to retail containers of engine coolant or antifreeze.  This bill would extend the law to wholesale containers and is in Senate Ethics and Rules. 

 

Said Kara Holmquist, the Director of Advocacy for the MSPCA-Angell: “We’ve worked extremely hard to advance an array of important animal protection measures over the last year, and we’re very happy to see the progress these bills have made.”  She added, “Our work is never done—and accomplishing meaningful change for animals in our state is only possible when the public joins its voice with ours.  I encourage all animal lovers to attend Lobby Day to ensure animal protection remains a top priority for our lawmakers.”


This year’s event is a collaboration between the MSPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

 

In addition to attending Lobby Day 2012, the MSPCA Advocacy team encourages anyone who would like to be kept up to date on animal related legislation to join its Animal Action Team by signing up at www.mspca.org/JoinTheTeam 

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The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions from individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.