Letter: Close loopholes in state animal abuse laws

Posted

To the editor:

With regards to the recent video and subsequent animal cruelty charge that was filed against Melinda Alston (Eagle, June 14), I believe that the public deserves an explanation as to why Massachusetts laws still seem to fail the helpless.

The video clearly documented animal abuse as is detailed under Mass. General Laws c.272 77 "Whoever, having care or custody of animal, carries it or causes it to be carried in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than seven years in state prison or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by both fine and imprisonment; provided, however, that a second or subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years or by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment."

The press release by Chief Michael Wynn states that "During subsequent interactions with Ms. Alston, the canine animal in question was observed and remains in apparent good health." My question to this statement is, why is it necessary to wait until the animal is no longer in apparent good health to protect it? This is clear failure to protect the animal! It is both unacceptable and unnecessary!

We must do better for them. We must be vigilant in continuing to report abuse and work towards tightening up the loopholes in our laws.

Sandy Livsey,

Dalton

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