Over 200 Animal Advocates to Visit State House, Lobby Lawmakers for Better Animal Protection Laws

April 22, 2013

BOSTON, April 22, 2013 – The MSPCA-Angell will join animal advocates from across the Commonwealth in lobbying lawmakers to advance animal protection legislation during Lobby Day for Animals 2013, the organization announced today.  The MSPCA and its supporters will be joined by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts.  

Registration for Lobby Day kicks off at 11:00a.m. on Thursday, April 25 at the Grand Staircase at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill.  The full program—which includes speakers such as State Representative Jason Lewis and Senator Karen Spilka—begins at 12:00p.m.

Lobby Day for Animals comes on the heels of a visit to the State House from actor and passionate animal advocate Casey Affleck, who will be there on Tuesday, April 23 to meet one-on-one with lawmakers in advance of Lobby Day to urge passage of legislation that would end intensive confinement systems for certain farm animals. 

Capitalizing on Significant Animal Protection Momentum

This year’s Lobby Day for Animals comes at a time when animal protection is top of mind for lawmakers.  2012 saw the passage of comprehensive animal protection laws that established a state-wide homeless animal spay & neuter fund; included the ability to add family pets in domestic violence restraining orders; eliminated breed specific discrimination of dogs and expanded regulations to protect animals from antifreeze poisoning.   The MSPCA has been on the front lines of drafting and stewarding much of this legislation through the State House and hopes to capitalize on its momentum in 2013.

“2012 was a watershed year as we finally passed a number of comprehensive animal protection laws that will improve the lives of countless animals and their owners—and many of these laws were years in the making,” said Kara Holmquist, Director of Advocacy for the MSPCA-Angell. 

The MSPCA-Angell is targeting 2013 for the passage of several new laws.  A snapshot includes:

 

  • Clarify existing animal cruelty laws to ensure animal owners know they must pursue veterinary care for animals suffering from injury or illness
  • Require that pets be included in local disaster plans
  • Prohibit certain confinement practices for egg-laying hens, veal calves and pregnant pigs
  • Require landlords and owners of vacant properties to inspect them for abandoned animals
  • Ensure that dangerous dog laws remain breed-neutral  

For a complete list of pending legislation the MSPCA-Angell supports or opposes click here.  The MSPCA has held a series of information sessions leading up to Lobby day to brief participants on the pending legislation and prepare them for meetings with lawmakers.  “We’re really excited about the potential to effect enormous improvements for animals in 2013.  Lobby Day for Animals is incredibly helpful to our efforts as it’s a special day of the year when hundreds of animal advocates join their voice with ours,” added Holmquist.

To coincide with Lobby Day the MSPCA will roll out its new directory of pets who live with legislators and their staff.  The site, www.statehousepets.com, is designed to provide another piece of biographic information to help attendees effectively engage with lawmakers.

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.

 

###

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 and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mspcaangell