PETITION TARGET: Massachusetts Legislators
Gosha, an innocent cat, suffered horrific burns and was shot at least 11 times before rescuers found and tried to save the feline in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Later, authorities announced they were investigating Gosha’s death in conjunction with the suffering of two other cats in the same area who had survived — but been burned and shot in eerily similar ways as Gosha.
A growing amount of evidence links intentional, serious, and often fatal cruelty to animals to other acts of violence against animals and other humans by the same person. Now, Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would crack down on repeat offenders who seek to harm defenseless animals.
The Act to Protect Animals from Convicted Animal Abusers, also known as HB 1073, would prohibit anyone convicted of animal cruelty — including dog fighting and mutilating or torturing animals — from owning, adopting, fostering, or taking paid or unpaid positions where animals are present for up to five years on a first offense. Serial animal abusers would be prevented from being near animals for up to 15 years.
The bill also would establish restitution of up to $1,000 per animal victim, to be paid to the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund.
Without this law, there’s nothing to stop a convicted animal abuser from obtaining — and harming or killing — animals again. The only exception in current law is if the act of cruelty also involved a sex crime.
Thirty-eight other states and DC have some form of animal possession ban on the books — and it’s time for Massachusetts to do the same.
Sign our petition urging Massachusetts’ legislators to whole-heartedly pass this bill, which could stop preventable suffering by sending the message that people who intentionally harm animals will be held fully accountable for their heinous actions.