Beagle and Poaching Bills Become Law!
The Beagle Bill AND the Poaching Bill were both enacted by the MA House and Senate in July and were signed into law by Governor Baker!
Thank you to advocates who reached out in support of this legislation over this session, and years before! It also could not have been done without the leadership of bill sponsors Senator Mike Moore, Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Rep. Michelle DuBois, and former Reps. Lori Ehrlich and Carolyn Dykema. Learn more about these new laws.
$100,000 for Animals in State Budget
You did it! At the end of July, the Governor signed the 2023 State Budget which includes $100,000 for the Massachusetts Animal Fund. This money will allow the Fund to continue funding spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for animals in need in the Commonwealth. Thank you to budget amendment sponsors Rep. Ted Philips and Senator John Velis for your leadership. And a BIG thank you to all the advocates who contacted their legislators in support of these budget amendments!
The new simulcasting law includes a ban on wagering in Massachusetts on greyhound races run in other states or countries! Finally, the Greyhound Protection Act, passed by voters in 2008, will be fully implemented when this takes effect in 2023. Thanks to Senator Creem for sponsoring this measure and GREY2KUSA for their advocacy.
Big Cat Act Passes U.S. House
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263)! The bill would prohibit keeping tigers, lions, and other big cat species as pets. It would also ban direct public contact like cub petting. All 9 MA representatives voted in favor of this bill. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Check out other federal legislation we support!
Coexist with Coyotes Campaign
In some areas, coyotes may be less likely to fear people and more likely to associate them with an easy, dependable food source. Becoming comfortable around humans is dangerous for coyotes, so it is important to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. That’s why we launched the ‘Coexist with Coyotes’ pledge!
Take our coexist with coyotes pledge!
The new state transportation bond law requires a study on the feasibility of wildlife crossing projects for the purpose of establishing and maintaining these projects! Wildlife crossings are bridges and tunnels specifically designed for animals can reduce the environmental impact of highways. Learn more about this form of conservation. Thank you to Senator Moore for sponsoring this measure.
New Resources from Advocacy
Pet Safety Awareness: Hazards
Potential hazards to our pets are all around our homes and beyond. Sometimes they seem benign to us, but are not to your four-legged —or feathered — family member. Our goal at the MSPCA is to provide pet owners with information to prevent situations from occurring that could prevent a trip to your veterinarian’s office or, more importantly, could save your pet’s life. Check out these safety tips to prevent your pet from getting hurt.
Animal Advocacy for Teens
Helping animals does not have to start after graduating high school. There are many ways to make a difference for animals in your community at a younger age. If you know, or are, a teen who wants to advocate for animals, check out our resources to help make young voices heard.
Legislation Spotlight: Session Review
It was quite a session! While the halls were still quiet at the beginning of the legislative session due to COVID, there was a flurry of activity as formal sessions ended in July. All of our meetings and outreach were virtual until the State House opened in March. Though this was not ideal, we were still able to make many positive changes for animals.
Here you can read our entire session recap. Thank you to the many legislators, advocates, and organizations who we partnered with to move statewide animal protection measures forward this legislative session.
MSPCA Launches Coyote Campaign
The MSPCA launched a new campaign to help people live peacefully alongside the animals called Coexist with Coyotes. “Never feed coyotes,” said Magner. “I think most people know not to do this but some people still do. When you do that you’re potentially putting people at risk, pets at risk and even the coyote at risk.” – Elizabeth Magner, MSPCA
Poaching Bill Moves
This law increases fines and penalties levied on offenders who exploit wildlife in Mass., and includes our state in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact. “Joining this Compact, along with modernizing outdated poaching penalties, will bring the commonwealth into the 21st century when it comes to protecting our wildlife.” – Melissa Ekvall, MSPCA
The Public Wants Pets in the Workplace
Our recent poll of 500 pet owners found that 92% support pet friendly offices. “The poll makes clear that now is the time for employers to start thinking about developing pet friendly office policies as both a recruiting and retention incentive,’ said Kara Holmquist, MSPCA-Angell’s director of advocacy, in a statement.”
Profile: Bethany DeZolt
Bethany is the Animal Advocacy Extern at the MSPCA this summer. She is finishing her MS in Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations with a Concentration in Conflict Resolution from George Washington University.
While living in D.C, Bethany interned with the ASPCA Government Relations team and developed a passion for animal advocacy. She is from Amsterdam, New York, and lives with her 15-year-old dog named Buddy.