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Massachusetts Info: Last Minute Changes Made to Bill

(Wednesday, August 01, 2012)

Late Monday, both the Massachusetts House and Senate passed an amended version of Senate Bill 2192. Since its introduction, many distinct animal interest groups, including the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs, worked with legislators on this measure to effectively address animal control concerns in the Commonwealth. However, prior to final passage, a last-minute floor amendment was accepted that, among other things, mandates a controversial minimum space standard for outdoor enclosures. This amendment was offered without notice and without affording the public an opportunity to comment on the amended bill.

The bill includes the following major provisions:

  • Creates a new statewide definition of “dangerous dog” that prevents a dog from being declared dangerous only because of the dog’s breed.
  • Provides for state inspection of kennels.
  • Establishes the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund to help offset costs associated with the medical care of dogs and cats owned by low-income residents or that are not owned; and to assist with the training of animal control officers.
  • AMENDMENT – Requires all outdoor enclosures to be at least 100 square feet in size. This one-size-fits-all size standard does not take into account the breed of dog maintained and the specific needs of various breed. For example, the space needs and safety concerns of a Chihuahua will be different from those of a Great Dane. Additionally, many popular, commercially available standard size outdoor dog runs (i.e., a 6’-by-12’ run) will not meet the rigid requirements.

An amended version of the bill has not yet been made available to the public. The AKC will update this post as soon as an updated version of the bill is made available. The previous version of the bill may be viewed here.

Massachusetts residents concerned with the provisions of SB 2192 as approved by the legislature are encouraged to contact the office of Governor Deval Patrick as soon as possible and respectfully express your concerns.

Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 725-4005 or (888) 870-7770 (in state)
Fax: (617) 727-9725
For an e-mail form, click here.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 81-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

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