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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - When Winnie arrived at the Worcester, Mass. Animal Rescue League, the 10-year-old pitbull was in bad shape.
“She was so thin, 40 pounds maybe, and she should be 65; In the week and a half she's been here she's gained some of her weight back; she's a very lovely dog,” says Allie Tellier, the executive director.
Winnie was found abandoned, tied to a fire hydrant with no food and no water.
Hers isn’t the only case of animal cruelty the animal rescue league says it’s seen in recent months,
It's one reason why Tellier supports stricter penalties for abusers.
“As advocate for animals I applaud any effort to further charges for animal cruelty and neglect,” she says.
A bill being pushed by republicans in the senate would increase penalties for cruelty to animals. It would raise the maximum fine from $2500 to $10,000. It would also create a registry of convicted abusers.
The legislation follows the highly publicized case of puppy doe, a dog found tortured in Quincy.
“I think a registry is a fantastic idea,” Tellier says. “We do our best when people come in to adopt to have them fill out paperwork and the whole process but you still don't really know a person.”
Animal lovers and pet owners we spoke to in Shrewsbury say the bill is a no brainer.
“Might make them think twice and also prevent them from getting a pet,” says Robinson Castillo.
“I’m for it,” says Dave Koopman. “I think the laws should apply the same as sex offenders because somebody has to speak up for the animals.”