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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

On Tuesday, September 10th, multiple animal bills will be reviewed by the Massachusetts Joint Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) strongly encourages those who reside in Massachusetts to contact the committee to express significant concerns with two bills.

SB 504 “Irresponsible Breeding Practices” requiring anyone breeding one dog at their residence to obtain a $100 kennel license and allow at minimum, an annual inspection of their home by municipal authorities.  Licenses expire each year and failure to renew may result in a $2,500 fine or relinquishment of all dogs.  The AKC believes there are serious Due Process constitutional concerns with SB 504 and therefore opposes the bill as currently written.

HB 755 requires import and carrier state registration for organizations that import domestic animals for rescue, adoption, foster care, transfer. or remote sale, which is extremely important given more than 1 million dogs were imported into the U.S. last year and less than 1% received thorough health screenings.  However, the bill exempts registrants from regulations relating to the promotion and marketing of those imported animals.  The AKC recommends that HB 755 be amended to prevent the representation of imported dogs as particular breeds without proper documentation.

Other bills under review:

  • SB 502 prohibits application of pet shop standards on private shelter and rescue organizations.
  • SB 503, SB 510 and HB 812 create rules for boarding kennels and daycare facilities.
  • SB 534, HB 758 and HB 764 require research facilities to offer animals for adoption post-study.
  • SB 501 provides additional funding for animal welfare and safety programming.

Massachusetts residents are strongly encouraged to contact the committee Chairpersons to express their concerns with the aforementioned bills; or attend the September 10 hearing at 10am in Room A-2 of the Massachusetts Statehouse, 24 Beacon St. Boston, MA.  Be sure to sign in to speak.

Chairs of the Joint Committee are listed with their contact information below:

Senate Chairwoman Anne M. Gobi
Phone: (617) 722- 1540

House Chairman Smitty Pignatelli
Phone: (617) 722- 2210

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