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Monday, July 15, 2019

On Monday, July 22nd, two bills of concern will be reviewed by the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.  Those who reside in Massachusetts are strongly encouraged to contact the committee to express concerns with these bills, which would significantly impact dog trainers and consumer protection.


  • SB 118 would require dog trainers to be licensed in Massachusetts under the Division of Professional Licensure. Although well-intentioned, the bill defines “dog training” as the handling or training of dogs for a fee, salary, or other form of compensation.  Requiring non-profit dog club members who provide a community service when offering puppy kindergarten, conformation or obedience classes or canine good citizen evaluations to be professionally licensed could significantly limit responsible dog ownership programming across the state. Professional handlers may be impacted as well.
  • SB 175 bans retail entities from sourcing dogs and cats from anywhere but non-profit animal rescue or shelter organizations. In Massachusetts, animal shelters and rescues are required to be registered, but there are no rules in place to ensure adequate care and conditions for their animals.  In addition, shelters and rescues are not restricted from placing animals that are sick, present behavioral concerns or are younger than eight weeks of age.  The state currently licenses and inspects pet shops to ensure standards such as primary enclosure size, ventilation, environmental, and construction requirements are met.  Consumers should have freedom of choice in selecting a dog that is right for them and their lifestyle.  This bill will dramatically reduce the average person’s access and ability to choose a pet with the predictable type, mandated care, and substantiated health background that come with purebred pets from regulated sources.

    Click here to read Why Pet Shop Laws Affect You! 

Contact the committee and express your concerns with Senate Bills 118 and 175.  Let them know that passage of these proposals as filed may: confuse the public, discourage responsible dog ownership education and limit available consumer protections.

  • Sign in and speak at the hearing on July 22nd at 1pm in Room A-1 of the Massachusetts Statehouse, 24 Beacon St. Boston, MA, or
  • Contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure before this coming Monday:

    Senate Chairman Paul Feeney
    Phone: (617) 722- 1222 or Email:

    House Chairman Tacky Chan
    Phone: (617) 722- 2014  or Email:

For more information on these or other legislative issues in Massachusetts, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or; or MassFed at