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In June 2019, the Massachusetts General Court’s Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee accepted two hours of public testimony on multiple bills seeking to impose regulatory oversight over personal and commercial kennels, mandate annual inspections of all kennels, and create consumer protection laws that exempt animal shelters and rescue organizations from providing appropriate remedies.  AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) has learned that the committee is deciding now if it will release any of these bills favorably.  Action is expected before February 5, 2020.

Both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed) have submitted written testimony opposing H.1774, S. 114, H. 1757, H.1758, H. 1822, H. 1823, and S. 1204 as written.  The AKC testimony can be reviewed here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Massachusetts residents, especially those living in Worcester and West Boylston, are strongly encouraged to contact the committee members to express their concerns with these bills.

Comments in opposition may include:

  • These bills fail to account for the estimated tens thousands of dogs and cats imported into Massachusetts each year for sale by “rescues” or shelters.
  • 1774 and S.114 result in disparate impacts on personal kennels and have unreasonably low thresholds (five intact females) for dogs kept under a municipal personal kennel license specifically for the betterment of their respective breed and/or for show, trialing, or other sports or purposes.
  • 1822 significantly restricts the time periods in which a dog may be securely confined in a fenced-in yard, among other arbitrary confinement measures.

Joint Committee Members and their contact information are listed below:

Jim O’Day, Chair    James.O’Day@mahouse.gov

Becca Rausch, Chair  becca.rausch@masenate.gov

Diana DiZoglio, Vice Chair  diana.dizoglio@masenate.gov

Tom Stanley, Vice Chair  thomas.stanley@mahouse.gov

John Barrett john.barrett@mahouse.gov

Natalie Blais natalie.blais@mahouse.gov

Julian Cyr julian.cyr@masenate.gov

Michelle DuBois michelle.dubois@mahouse.gov

Ken Gordon ken.gordon@mahouse.gov

Jon Hecht jonathan.hecht@mahouse.gov

Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov

Christina Minicucci christina.minicucci@mahouse.gov

Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov

Jim Welch james.welch@masenate.gov

Matt Muratore mathew.muratore@mahouse.gov

Michael Soter michael.soter@mahouse.gov

Dean Tran dean.tran@masenate.gov

For more information on these or other legislative issues in Massachusetts, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org; or MassFed at info@massfeddogs.org.

 

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