This new law is Chapter 248 of the Acts of 2016! It will take effect on November 17.
We thank the Governor and the legislators for taking action and to everyone who took time to advocate for this law.
To see the new law, visit the state’s website.
See more photos of the bill signing on our flickr site.
Good tethering policies prevent dogs from living on chains and help both people and dogs. Dogs are naturally social animals who thrive on interaction. A dog kept continuously on a chain suffers immense psychological damage and an otherwise friendly and docile dog can become neurotic, anxious, or aggressive. Allowing MSPCA and Animal Rescue League of Boston officers to enforce this provision and another regarding cruel conditions will reduce animal suffering — especially during winter months where animals can suffer from inadequate shelter and protection from the elements.
The inside of a car can heat up to 100° F in 10 minutes on an 80° F day – even with the windows slightly open. Animals may suffer and can die quickly when left in a hot car. A car will heat up rapidly and an animal is unable to cool himself or herself down. Pets can suffer needlessly and could die when left in a car even on a moderately hot day.
Many animal control officers have expressed concern that waiting to remove an animal from a vehicle until the animal is suffering enough to be a violation of the cruelty statute is inhumane, wrong and can still be too late for the animal. Earlier intervention can save the animal and save the owner from being charged with animal cruelty, a felony in Massachusetts. This bill will also be helpful in educating the public about the dangers of leaving animals in cars in extreme weather. Citations will enable officers to promote animal safety and will hold offenders accountable for their actions.