Thursday, June 6, 2019
On Tuesday, June 4, 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.
The committee heard comments from numerous bill supporters who attempted to paint a dire picture of animal care and ownership in the Commonwealth. Some made statements such as, “breeders operate with no oversight” (though they may be subject to federal, state, and/or local oversight), while others shared stories of animal neglect cases. Two individuals told legislators their dogs were attacked and killed by other dogs after being dropped off for the day at boarding facilities.
On behalf of concerned breeders and owners in Massachusetts, American Kennel Club staff and three breeders from AKC-affiliated dog clubs testified before the committee to explain the current system of oversight in Massachusetts for kennels, demonstrate the value of responsible breeders to communities, and detail concerns with these proposed changes. The committee asked many questions during the hearing and were extremely attentive.
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. 1823, and S. 1204 as written. The AKC testimony can be reviewed here.
The American Kennel Club thanks those who contacted to the committee chairs this week. Please know it has made a difference!
Massachusetts residents: If you have not yet done so, please send a message to the committee chairs asking them to not move forward with changes to law that hamstring responsible breeders. To view the prior alert on these bills, including talking points, click here.
Joint Municipalities and Regional Government Committee
Senate Chair Rebecca Rausch – Becca.Rausch@masenate.gov or (617) 722-1555.
House Chair James O’Day – James.O’Day@mahouse.gov or (617) 722- 2090.
AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates on these bills, as well as other pending Massachusetts legislation, as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org, or MassFed at www.massfeddogs.org.