Victory! Animals are in the State Budget!
Thanks to your advocacy, the Governor signed the FY2022 state budget that INCLUDES $100,000 to ensure the Massachusetts Animal Fund can fund spaying, neutering, and vaccinations for animals in need in the Commonwealth. The Fund currently has a waitlist and many animals are going unserved, lacking critical health services. This funding will significantly help hundreds of animals across the Commonwealth. Thank you to budget amendment sponsors, Senator John Velis and Representative Ted Philips!
Advocacy Videos You Need to See
Using the Media to Advocate for Animals
In June we help a virtual media training and were joined by Alex Goldstein, CEO and founder of communications and media relations firm, 90 West. Alex shared writing tips and the best ways to use print media, such as LTEs and Op-Eds, to advocate for animal issues. Watch this video and learn more.
Wildlife PSA: Bear
We have seen an increased buzz about bear sightings lately. While this can be scary, please remember that as humans build out more, we are taking away from the places where bears can live – they have had to adapt to having humans around. Becoming comfortable around humans is extremely dangerous for wildlife, so it is important to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. Watch this video, which is one of a series of our humorous takes on wildlife education, and learn more about living with bears.
Staying Safe This Summer
Hot Cars and Tethering
Many are now aware that leaving an animal in car during a hot day is illegal, but did you know there is more to this law? It is also illegal to keep your dog(s) tethered outside for longer than 15 minutes during a weather advisory, warning, or watch. With the multiple heat waves we have already had this year, it is important to remember that our pets can be affected by unsafe temperatures, just like us.
Avoiding Conflicts with Sharks
Since the debut of Jaws, sharks have struck fear into the hearts of many for decades. However, on the list of dangers in the ocean, sharks rank near the bottom. When there are shark attacks on humans, it’s a case of mistaken identity, as they are looking for seals or other usual prey. Bees, snakes, lightning, jellyfish, and dogs cause far more fatalities each year than sharks. A shark attack is a rare occurrence, but you can keep yourself and others safe by following shark safety tips when at the beach.
Legislation Spotlight: Ollie’s Law
H. 305: An Act to regulate pet daycare facilities in cities and towns, aka Ollie’s Law
Sponsor: Representative Brian Ashe
Ollie, who died after sustaining grievous injuries in a dog fight at a doggie daycare.
In 2020, Amy Baxter got an alarming text from Pampered Pets: her 7-month-old Labradoodle puppy, Ollie, had been injured in a dog fight. When she arrived to pick him up, he had wounds all over his body. Ollie needed round-the-clock care and surgery, and was in the hospital for two months before succumbing to his injuries. Amy never received answers from the facility on how and why her dog was injured so badly. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
Massachusetts pets suffer because of insufficient standards for boarding kennels and dog daycare facilities. H. 305, An Act to regulate pet daycare facilities in cities and towns, aka Ollie’s Law, would require the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to promulgate rules and regulations regarding boarding kennels and daycare facilities for dogs, such as specifications on staff to dog ratios, group sizes and supervision, minimum housing and care requirements, indoor and outdoor physical facility requirements, dog handling, and insurance. H. 305 is currently in front of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. Learn more.
In the News…
“Nero’s Law” Needed to Support K9 Officers
The death of K9 Officer Kitt in Braintree earlier this year continues to prove that we need to do all we can to help our canine officers in their times of need. “Nero’s law,” would allow emergency personnel to treat and bring police dogs to an animal hospital, would do just that.
The Future is Fur-Free
After decades of outcry, Canada Goose will end the use of coyote fur on it’s jackets. Consumers’ growing concern for animal welfare is leading fashion brands, cities, states, and countries to move away from animal fur once and for all, and MA can be part of that with new legislation filed this year.
A mysterious illness is killing songbirds in the mid-Atlantic. While the disease is not known to be in New England at this time, MassWildlife is recommending the public to stop using bird feeders and birdbaths at this time (hummingbird feeders are fine to leave up). Birds congregating at bird feeders and bird baths can transmit diseases to one another.
Profile: Senator John Velis
Senator John Velis represents Second Hampden and Hampshire, and joined the Massachusetts Senate at the beginning of this year, though he is not new to the legislator. A former state representative, Senator Velis has been representing the Springfield area since 2014.
Senator John Velis took his animal advocacy to the next level this session, sponsoring new legislation to ban the retail sale of fur in Massachusetts, which currently resides in the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. He also sponsored the successful amendment that allocates $100,000 to the Massachusetts Animal Fund in the FY2022 state budget. We are excited to continue working with him on animal protection issues, and seeing more pictures of his cute kitty, Finnegan!