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A Humane Massachusetts: My Agenda for Animal Protection

Earlier this year, I was proud to be endorsed by Massachusetts Voters for Animals – the statewide advocacy arm of the animal protection movement. I have a long history of working with animal protection organizations, dating back to my time working as legislative director to Rep. Lori Ehrlich from 2013-2016.

While in that role, our office helped advocate for and sign in to law legislation that responded to the “Puppy Doe” incident, when a pit bull was found so badly abused that she had to be euthanized. The bill updated the state’s animal cruelty laws to hold abusers accountable.

I also worked on legislation allowing Good Samaritans to legally rescue animals trapped in hot cars, crack down on “puppy mills,” end the exploitation of wild animals in traveling shows, and stop the illicit ivory trade, which is funding overseas criminal enterprises and threatening elephants with extinction.

How we treat animals says a lot about our values. In addition to the inherent care we should have for living beings, research shows that a person who has committed animal abuse is five times more likely to commit violence against people. Strong animal protection laws are important to protect all of us.

We have more work to do to protect animals moving forward. 

There are still too many loopholes in the ivory trade that threaten the future existence of elephants and rhinos, and we need to support legislation to close them. 35,000 elephants per year are being slaughtered, putting them on a path to extinction – and the illicit ivory trade funds criminal and terrorist enterprises. Massachusetts can do its part to fight back against this.

Additionally, legislation is pending before the Senate currently that protects consumers and animals from unsafe practices by banning the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age, and ensuring safety standards at kennels. The pet trade industry is pushing back and attempting to water down these efforts, but the Legislature must work to protect both consumers and animals. 

Marge Peppercorn, a member of the Massachusetts Voters for Animals steering committee, said her organization was backing my candidacy because this campaign “stands out as a… strong advocate for the prevention of cruelty.” If elected, I will do my best to live up to these words and support strong animal protection legislation.

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