Massachusetts Enacts Landmark Animal Welfare Law With Protections For the State's Pets
The new law, An Act Further Regulating Animal Control, provides important enhancements and protections for the state’s stray and owned companion animals and their people.
On August 2, 2012 the MSPCA (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)-Angell’s Advocacy Team, which works tirelessly to advance stronger animal protection laws in Massachusetts, stood by Governor Deval Patrick at the Ashland Animal Control office as he signed S.2192, “An Act Further Regulating Animal Control,” into law. The new law provides extensive protection for animals across the Commonwealth.
“I am pleased to sign this legislation that strengthens and improves our animal control laws to better protect and care for our state’s homeless animals,” said Governor Patrick.
The new law includes a number of important animal protection measures long championed by the MSPCA. Highlights include:
· The establishment of a state-wide homeless animal fund, paid for with voluntary contributions from citizens, to fund spay and neuter surgeries in state animal shelters, which will significantly reduce the number of homeless animals in Massachusetts
· The addition of pets to domestic abuse prevention orders, ensuring that both human and animal victims of domestic violence can be covered by a restraining order
· Prohibiting inhumane methods of euthanasia for animals in shelters deemed too aggressive or too ill to be adopted into homes
· Mandatory training for animal control officers, spanning safe animal training, animal CPR and other key areas
“This important legislation bolsters animal control laws in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Jehlen, the sponsor of S. 2192. “The current laws are out of date; this bill will help municipalities deal with the problems they face today. Furthermore, it manages to modernize and improve animal control without raising fees or taxes, due to the voluntary donation via the Massachusetts state income tax forms.”
For more detail on S.2192 readers can review the MSPCA’s overview of the bill by clicking here.
“For years, organizations, individuals, and legislators have been seeking a comprehensive revision of Chapter 140, relating to animals; S. 2192 is the result of years of stakeholder discussions,” said Kara Holmquist, Director of Advocacy, MSPCA-Angell. “We are thrilled to see this important bill become law and believe it will make important progress in safeguarding both animals and the public.”
The MSPCA worked with a large coalition of animal welfare advocates to pass the legislation, including animal control officers, veterinarians, animal welfare professionals, dog owners, state and municipal officials.
“I’m proud of this important animal protection legislation,” stated Senator Katherine Clark. “The inclusion of the provisions that will allow a court in cases of domestic violence to include animals in protective orders will increase the safety of both people and their pets.”
The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.
Photos from Thursdayy’s signing ceremony at the Ashland Animal Control Office in Ashland, Mass., credit: MSPCA-Angell.