Guest blog post from Bill Ketzer, Senior Director of the Northeastern Region for ASPCA Government Relations.
Last week, a historic law went into effect that will vastly improve the quality of life for thousands of dogs and cats in Massachusetts .
Advanced by a forward-thinking state legislature led by Senator Patricia Jehlen and signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick this August, Massachusetts’ new animal control law is one of the best in the nation.
At Animal Advocacy Day in Boston earlier this year, I had the privilege of working directly with the MSPCA, the HSUS, the Animal Rescue League of Boston and more than 80 citizen advocates to discuss the importance of this bill with key members of the Massachusetts House and Senate. Everyone involved was engaged, well-informed and passionate—and as you can see, this clearly resonated with legislators and staff.
The new Massachusetts law:
- Creates a statewide spay/neuter program—funded by a voluntary tax check-off—to reduce the number of homeless animals in Massachusetts.
- Requires animal control officers to receive training.
- Prohibits the use of inhumane gassing to euthanize shelter animals.
- Eliminates ineffective, breed-specific local ordinances while improving dangerous dog laws.
- Allows pets to be included in domestic violence protection orders to protect both animals and people.
- Creates a framework for statewide oversight for animal control.
- Creates categories for kennel licensing.
- Creates consistency in the holding time for stray dogs at shelters statewide.
If you are a Massachusetts resident, please take a moment to thank your state legislators for a job well done! Look up your state senator and representative here.
Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen.