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(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
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(339) 970-0790
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Angell at Essex

565 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 304-4648
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888
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Protecting Animals from Abusers

S. 1076/H. 1703: Protecting Animals from Convicted Animal Abusers

MSPCA Position: Support
Sponsors: Senator Mike Moore; Representatives Tram Nguyen and Vanna Howard
Status: Referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary. Hearing held on April 4, 2023. Accompanied study order.

Placing reasonable restrictions on owning or accessing animals following an animal cruelty conviction can help end the cycle of animal cruelty.

Massachusetts law already prohibits convicted animal abusers from working with animals (Ch. 272 §77). Further, the law relating to animal sexual abuse explicitly allows courts to prohibit ownership of, or contact with, animals after a conviction of animal sexual abuse (Ch. 272 §77C). However, a legal gap exists because the law currently does not allow a prohibition on ownership or contact after other kinds of animal cruelty convictions. This legal gap can lead to increased recidivism rates and needless suffering for animals.

This legislation would establish that a person convicted of an animal cruelty crime may not harbor, own, possess, or exercise control over an animal or adopt or foster an animal for five years post-conviction, or a greater length of time that the court deems reasonable. Additionally, the bill establishes a petition process wherein a first-time offender may appeal their possession ban status if they can demonstrate rehabilitation in a number of specific ways.

This legislation does not create a new crime. It is a preventative measure that places reasonable restrictions on those convicted of animal cruelty crimes, such as torture, mutilation, or dogfighting. Additionally, it gives the court the discretion to consider each case individually.

These bills complement Massachusetts’s strong cruelty laws by providing an additional tool for law enforcement to help prevent cruelty in their communities. In fact, in its 2016 report, the Animal Cruelty Task Force highlighted the value of such a provision.

As of January 2021, 39 states have post-conviction possession ban laws, 17 of which have mandatory possession ban laws and 22 of which have permissive possession ban laws.

This legislation would also direct certain funds to the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund (“Mass Animal Fund”). The Mass Animal Fund provides spay, neuter, and vaccination services to animals in need, including homeless dogs and cats and those living with low-income families. The financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have turned many assistance requests into urgent pleas for help due to housing issues or medical emergencies. Many animals are going unserved, lacking critical health services. This funding will help animals in families impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic downturn.


Updated 5/9/2024

State Senators:

Name District/Address
Michael O. Moore Second Worcester
James B. Eldridge Middlesex and Worcester
Adam Gomez Hampden
Patrick M. O’Connor First Plymouth and Norfolk
Bruce E. Tarr First Essex and Middlesex
Joanne M. Comerford Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester
Walter F. Timilty Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol
Paul W. Mark Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire
Pavel M. Payano First Essex


State Representatives:

Name District/Address
Tram T. Nguyen 18th Essex
Vanna Howard 17th Middlesex
Jack Patrick Lewis 7th Middlesex
Sean Garballey 23rd Middlesex
Steven George Xiarhos 5th Barnstable
Hannah Kane 11th Worcester
Brian M. Ashe 2nd Hampden
Carol A. Doherty 3rd Bristol
Thomas P. Walsh 12th Essex
Ryan M. Hamilton 15th Essex
Lindsay N. Sabadosa 1st Hampshire
Natalie M. Higgins 4th Worcester
Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. 12th Hampden
David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf 17th Worcester
Adrian C. Madaro 1st Suffolk
James J. O’Day 14th Worcester
William C. Galvin 6th Norfolk
Michelle M. DuBois 10th Plymouth
Paul McMurtry 11th Norfolk
Colleen M. Garry 36th Middlesex
Samantha Montaño 15th Suffolk
Kimberly N. Ferguson 1st Worcester
James K. Hawkins 2nd Bristol
Adrianne Pusateri Ramos 14th Essex
Bradley H. Jones, Jr. 20th Middlesex
Brian W. Murray 10th Worcester
Kristin E. Kassner 2nd Essex
Natalie M. Blais 1st Franklin
Simon Cataldo 14th Middlesex
Norman J. Orrall 12th Bristol
Manny Cruz 7th Essex
Tackey Chan 2nd Norfolk
David T. Vieira 3rd Barnstable
Marjorie C. Decker 25th Middlesex
Patricia A. Duffy 5th Hampden
Jennifer Balinsky Armini 8th Essex
Thomas M. Stanley 9th Middlesex
Dylan A. Fernandes Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket
Margaret R. Scarsdale 1st Middlesex
Josh S. Cutler 6th Plymouth

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