Lobby Day for Animals 2014


Thank you to Polka Dog Bakery for the treat donations and to Stephanie Crumley for taking photos.


On March 18, more than 200 animal advocates from across the state spent the day at the Massachusetts State House to ask their legislators for stronger animal protection laws in the Commonwealth. Attendees heard from Representative Lori Ehrlich, Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Jason Lewis and Senate President Therese Murray. Some of the pending bills presented were:

Increasing Penalties for Animal Abuse
H. 1262 would increase the penalties for animal abuse from a maximum of $2,500 to $5,000 fine and a maximum of 5 years to 10 years imprisonment. Other bills would also improve our cruelty laws.
Protecting Puppies and Kittens
H. 3762 would prevent the sale of dogs or cats less than 8 weeks of age, provide a remedy for the sale of sick dogs and cats, and regulate breeders keeping 6 or more intact female dogs.
Farmed Animal Confinement
Most farmed animals are raised in intense confinement systems that thwart many, if not all, of their natural behaviors. H 1456 would prohibit the confinement of certain farmed animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.

Shark Protection
H. 3571 Prohibits the possession, trade, sale, offer for sale, and distribution of shark fins.

Protecting Abandoned Animals
S. 942 would require landlords (or banks for bank-owned properties in foreclosure) to check their properties for abandoned animals within 3 days after tenants move out; if abandoned animals are found, owners must report to animal control officer or other authorities.

Animal advocates also learned that S. 1172, An Act Ensuring the Safety of People with Pets in Disasters, had reached the Governor’s desk. This bill will ensure that pets are incorporated into municipal and the state disaster plans.

After the speaking program, advocates headed out to meetings with their state senators and representatives. The MSPCA’s advocacy team will use this information to help determine strategies as the legislative session continues.

The day came less than a week after the bill to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants was narrowly sent to a “study” by the Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, effectively killing the bill.  Attendees who had legislators that voted on this bill had notes in their packets to thank legislators who voted for the elephants (Reps. Mannal and Andrews and Senators O’Connor-Ives, Wolf, Hedlund, Chang-Diaz, Downing and Lovely) and to express disappointment to those who voted against the elephants (Reps. Atkins, Pignatelli, Walsh, Fernandes, Wong, Mark, Howitt, Donahue and Finn.)

Lobby Day for Animals was put on by the MSPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Massachusetts Animal Coalition and the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts.

For those who've never attended, Lobby Day is an exciting opportunity to meet directly with your elected officials about legislation that will significantly impact animals. The day will include awards for legistors who helped animals, a briefing with tips for lobbying your legislators, and an overview of pending animal legislation. This event is always a great way to meet other people who care about animals, too. See the tentative schedule here.

View photos and more at www.facebook.com/mspcaanimalactionteam.

For information from past Lobby Days, check out the amazing photos from Dog Breath Photography of the 2013 event and read the Lobby Day blog where animal advocates shared their experiences.

Make sure you're an Animal Action Team member and that you follow the AAT on Facebook to up-to-date info.

Order a mousepad
For a donation of $5, you can purchase a mousepad and we will mail it to you. Find out more.

If you are interested in future advocacy events, visit our calendar here.