Search Menu

Thursday, September 19, 2019

On Tuesday, September 24, the Massachusetts General Court’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary will consider SB 989 and SB 990, which prohibit the outside and unattended confinement of dogs from 10pm to 6am.  “Outside and unattended” would mean any dog exposed to the elements for a duration of longer than 15 minutes and not in visual range and physical presence of the owner,” …including “a dog in a fenced in yard, a dog in a kennel, or a dog tethered.” The proposed definitions would also result in a ban on outdoor kennels if they do not provide 100 square feet of space per dog.  SB 989 adds civil citations for anyone keeping a domestic animal in cruel conditions.

Also on the hearing schedule are HB 3258 regarding safe dog ownership by holding owners of dogs responsible for damage to property or any  injury, illness, or transmission of disease to a person  or another animal; SB 947 permitting sporting dog training areas in the state; and HB 3772 protecting animals from convicted animal abusers by prohibiting ownership.

  • Dog owners bear a special responsibility to provide proper care and humane treatment at all times; including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The American Kennel Club believes that dogs should not be kept in circumstances or numbers where these needs cannot be met.
  • Not only are outdoor kennels appropriate for hunting and working dogs, there are multiple instances where an outdoor kennel is a practical option for many dogs and must be allowed without unreasonable space requirements.

Massachusetts residents are encouraged to contact the Chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to express strong concern with SB 989 and SB 990 as written; or attend the September 24th hearing at 1PM in Room A-1 of the Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.  Be sure to sign in to speak.

Senate Chairman James Eldridge
Phone: (617) 722-1120 or Email:

House Chairwoman Claire Cronin
Phone: (617) 722-2396 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