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Massachusetts

Massachusetts General Law Statutes 1921: Sections 77-96

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Mass. Gen. L., 77-96 (1921)



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Summary:   The 1921 Massachusetts General Laws sections 77-96 cover the following topics: animal cruelty, treatment of horses, bird fighting, shooting of pigeons, procedural issues concerning an arrest for cruelty to animals, and transportation of animals.  


Statute in Full:

THE GENERAL LAWS OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS 1921

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION

  1. Cruelty to animals.
  2. Disabled horses: buying, selling, driving, leading, etc.
  3. Corporation liability.
  4. Mutilation of horses.
  5. Rest for animals during transportation.
  6. Arrest for cruelty to animals.
  7. Search warrants.
  8. Officers to prosecute. Disposition of fines.
  9. Same subject.
  10. Stabling horse, etc., above first floor, except, etc.
  11. Pigeon shooting, etc.
  12. Search warrant for fighting birds, etc.
  13. Entry without a warrant, etc.
  14. Persons arrested to be taken before court, etc.
  15. Judgement of forfeiture, etc. Proceedings thereon.
  16. Appeal.
  17. Expenses of care.
  18. Penalty on owner, etc.
  19. Penalty for being present at exhibition, etc.
  20. False notice of birth, etc.

Section 77. Whoever overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or kills an animal, or causes or procures an animal to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, cruelly beaten, mutilated or killed, and whoever, having the charge or custody of an animal, either as owner or otherwise, inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon it, or unnecessarily fails to provide it with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather, and whoever, as owner, possessor or person having the charge or custody of an animal, cruelly drives or works it when unfit for labor, or cruelly abandons it, or carries it or causes it to be carried in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhumane manner, or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty dollars, or both.

R.S. 130, Section 22. 1859, 96. G.S. 165, Section 41. 1868, 212.

Section 78. No person holding an auctioneer's license shall receive or offer for sale or sell at public auction, nor shall any person sell at private sale, or lead, ride or drive on any public way, for any purpose except that of conveying the horse to a proper place for its humane keeping or killing, or for medical or surgical treatment, any horse which, by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked in the commonwealth without violating the laws against cruelty to animals. This section shall not prohibit the purchase of horses by humane societies incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the purpose of humanely killing the same. Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months. If a licensed auctioneer violates this section, he shall also forfeit his license.

Section 79. A corporation violating either of the two preceding sections shall be punished by a fine as therein provided, and shall be responsible for the knowledge and acts of its agents and servants relative to animals transported, owned or used by it or in its custody.

Section 80. Whoever cuts the bone of the tail of a horse for the purpose of docking the tail, or whoever causes or knowingly permits the same to be done upon the premises of which he is the owner, lessee, proprietor or user, or whoever assists in or is present at such cutting, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than three hundred dollars. If a horse is found with its tail so cut and with the wound resulting from such cutting unhealed, upon the premises or in the charge and custody of any person, such fact shall be pima facie evidence of a violation of this section by the owner or user of such premises or the person having such charge or custody, respectively.

Section 81. Railroad corporations shall not permit animals carried or transported by them to be confined in cars longer than twenty-eight consecutive hours without unloading them for at least five consecutive hours for rest, water and feeding, unless prevented by storm or accident. In estimating such confinement, the time during which the animals have been confined without rest on connecting roads from which they are received shall be included. Animals so unloaded shall during such rest be properly fed, watered and sheltered by the owner or person having the custody of them, or, in case of his default, by the railroad corporation transporting them, at the expense of said owner or person having the custody of them, or, in case of his default, by the railroad corporation transporting them, at the expense of said owner or person in custody thereof. In such case the corporation shall have a lien upon such animals of r food, care and custody furnished, and shall not be liable for such detention. A Corporation, owner or custodian of such animals failing to comply with this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars. This section shall not apply to animals carried in cars in which they can and do have proper food, water, space and opportunity to rest.

Rest for animals transported. 1868, 282, Section 5. 1869, 344, Section 3. 1874, 372, Section 142. P.S. 207, Section 55. R.L. 212, Section 71. 170 Mass. 44.

Section 82. A person found violating any provision of section seventy-seven or eighty-one may be arrested and held without a warrant as provided in section fifty-four; the person making an arrest with or without a warrant shall use reasonable diligence to give notice thereof to the owner of animals found in the charge or custody of the person arrested, shall properly care and provide for such animals until the owner thereof takes charge of them, not, however, exceeding sixty days from the date of said notice, and shall have a lien on said animals for the expense of such care and provision.

Section 83. If complaint is made to a court or magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases that the complaint has reasonable cause to believe that the laws relative to cruelty to animals have been or are violated in any particular building or place, such court or magistrate, if satisfied that there is reasonable cause for such belief, shall issue a search warrant authorizing any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer to search such building or place; but no such search shall be made after sunset, unless specially authorized by the magistrate upon satisfactory cause shown.

Section 84. Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and police officers shall prosecute all violations of sections seventy-seven to eighty-one, inclusive, which come to their notice, and, upon all convictions for cruelty too animals, fines collected upon or resulting from the complaint or information, of an officer or agent of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shall, except as provided in the following section, be paid to said society after deducting therefrom for the expense of prosecution such amount as the court or trial justice shall order.

Section 85. One half of all fines collected upon convictions under section eighty upon or resulting from the complaint or information of any officer or agent of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shall be paid to said society.

Section 86. Whoever stables a horse or mule on the second or any higher floor of any building, unless there are two means of exit therefrom, at opposite ends of the building, to the main or street floor, unless such building is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars.

Section 87. Whoever keeps or uses any live bird, to be shot at either for amusement or as a test of skill in marksmanship, or shoots at a bird kept or used aforesaid, or is a party to such shooting, or lets any building, room, field or premises, or knowingly permits the use thereof, for the purpose of such shooting, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one month, or both. Nothing herein contained shall apply to the shooting of wild game.

Section 88. If complaint is made to a court or magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases that the complainant has reasonable cause to believe that preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting of birds, dogs or other animals, or that such exhibition is in progress, or that birds, dogs or other animals are kept or trained for fighting at any place or in any building or tenement, such court or magistrate, if satisfied that there is reasonable cause for such belief, shall issue a search warrant authorizing any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer, or special police officer duly appointed by the governor at the request of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to search such place, building or tenement at any hour of the day or night and take possession of all such birds, dogs or other animals there found, and arrest all persons there present at any such exhibition or where preparations for such exhibition are being made, or where birds, dogs or other animals are kept or trained for fighting.

Section 89. Any officer authorized to serve criminal process, or special police officer duly appointed by the governor at the request of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, may, without a warrant, enter any place, building or tenement in which there is an exhibition of the fighting of birds, dogs or other animals, or in which preparations are being made for such an exhibition, and arrest all persons there present and take possession of and remove from the place of seizure the birds, dogs or other animals engaged in fighting, or there found and intended to be used or engaged in fighting, or kept or trained for fighting, and hold the same in custody subject to the order of the court as hereinafter provided.

Entry without a Warrant, etc. 1869, 435, Section 1. 1876, 85, Section 2. P.S. 207, Section 61. R.L. 212, Section 80. 1918, 99, Section 2.

Section 90. Persons arrested under either of the two preceding sections shall be kept in jail or other convenient place not more than twenty-four hours, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, at or before a district court or a trial justice and proceeded against according to law.

R.L. 212, Section 81.

Section 91. After such seizure and removal of such birds, dogs or other animals, application shall be made to a district court or a trial justice for a decree of forfeiture of the same; and if, upon the hearing of such application, notice thereof having been previously given as the justice or court orders, it shall be found that such birds, dogs or other animals, or any of them, at the time of such seizure were engaged in fighting at an exhibition thereof, or were owned, kept, possessed or trained by any person with the intent that they should be so engaged, such birds, dogs or other animals shall be adjudged forfeited and such justice or court shall thereupon, unless an appeal is taken as provided in the following section, issue an order for killing them, which shall be directed to any officer authorized to serve criminal process; and the officer receiving said order shall cause such birds, dogs or other animal to be killed within twenty-four hours thereafter. Birds, dogs or other animals seized as hereinbefore provided, which are not adjudged forfeited, shall be delivered to the person entitled to the possession thereof. Any person shall be allowed to appear as claimant in the proceeding upon the application for a decree of forfeiture.

Section 92. An owner or claimant aggrieved by such judgement may, within twenty-four hours after the entry thereof and before its execution, appeal therefrom to the superior court; and all proceedings upon and after such appeal, including the right of exception, shall conform, so far as may be, to those in criminal cases, except that before such appeal is allowed the appellant shall recognize to the commonwealth in the sum of two hundred dollars, with sufficient sureties, to prosecute his appeal and to pay such expenses of the prosecution as the court may order and such expenses as may be thereafter incurred in the care and keeping of the birds, dogs or other animals held in custody to abide such judgement shall be disposed of, under the direction of the superior court, in like manner as the court or justice might have disposed of them if no appeal had been taken. During the pendency of the appeal, all birds, dogs or other animals adjudged forfeited shall be kept in custody in a place other than that from which they were taken.

Section 93. The necessary expenses incurred in the care and destruction of such birds, dogs and other animals may be allowed and paid in the same manner as expanses in criminal prosecutions.

P.S. 207, Section 65. R.L. 212, Section 84.

Section 94. Whoever owns, possesses, keeps or trains a bird, dog or other animal, with intent that it shall be engaged in an exhibition of fighting, or whoever establishes or promotes an exhibition of the fighting of birds, dogs or other animals, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 95. Whoever is present at any place, building or tenement where preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting of birds, dogs or other animals, with intent to be present at such exhibition, or is present at, aids in or contributes to such exhibition, shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one month, or both.

Section 96. Whoever willfully sends to the publisher of a newspaper for publication a false notice of birth, marriage or death shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.



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