Massachusetts lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would prohibit the drowning of animals and double the penalties for hit and run accidents on dogs or cats.
Under the bill, the hit-and-run penalty would double from $50 to $100 for a first offense and $500 and the cost of medical expenses up to $2,500 for a second and subsequent offense.
The bill would also remove a requirement to automatically kill animals involved in animal fighting, prohibit sexual contact with an animal, and require property owners to search for abandoned animals within three days after a property is vacated.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has 10 days to act on the bill.
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The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr, said the bill aims to protect animals from abuse.