• Animal abuse bill gaining support on Beacon Hill


    BOSTON (AP) - A bill that would create a statewide registry of individuals convicted of animal abuse is gaining support on Beacon Hill.

    The Republican-sponsored bill, which would also impose tougher fines and penalties for animal abusers, has won the backing of 75 lawmakers.
    Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican, said the support proves animal welfare transcends political party.
    The bill would increase the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals - including malicious killing, maiming, disfiguring, or exposing to poison - from $2,500 to $10,000.
    The bill would also increase the fine for the hit-and-run of a cat or dog from $50 to $2,000, establish an anonymous animal abuse hotline and fine veterinarians who don't report suspected cruelty.
    The bill is a response to the discovery of a dog found tortured in Quincy. The dog was later euthanized.

    Next Up: