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massachusetts dog laws

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Once passed, a certified copy of the order shall be posted in at least 2 public places in the city or town or, if a daily newspaper is published in the city or town, by publishing a copy once in that newspaper. Credits Amended by St.1932, c. 289, § 1; St.1934, c. 320, § 2; St.1943, c. 111, § 2; St.1945, c. 140; St.1956, c. 44, § 1; St.1956, c. 78, § 1; St.1979, c. 474, § 1; St.1980, c. 100, § 1; St.1983, c. 525, § 1; St.1987, c. 118; St.2012, c. 193, § 4, eff. 14; 2018, 159, Sec. CREDIT(S) Added by St.1957, c. 298, § 2. The owner of a dog may add descriptive words, not over 10 in number, upon the license form to indicate the color, breed, weight or special markings of the licensed dog. (g) The commissioner may, after notice and hearing, revoke or suspend a license issued under section 137A of chapter 140 or section 39A of this chapter for a violation of this section. Killing dogs under certain conditions; wounded dogs, § 157 . In cases where the victim is under seven years old, the law … Issuance of licenses; disposition of fees; return of license books and tags to county; penalties; action on official bond, § 150 . During any period when no such order is in force, the director of law enforcement, his deputy directors of enforcement, chiefs of enforcement, deputy chiefs of enforcement, environmental police officers and members of the state police in areas over which they have jurisdiction may destroy any dog found chasing or hunting a deer if the dog is so chasing or hunting with the knowledge or consent of the owner. Nov. 7, 2018. A municipality shall not give, sell or turn over an animal which may come into its custody to any business or institution licensed or registered as a research facility or animal dealer with the United States Department of Agriculture. “Commercial breeder kennel”, an establishment, other than a personal kennel, engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or exchange to wholesalers, brokers or pet shops in return for consideration. Nov. 7, 2018. The goal is to limit exposure to these dangerous breeds of dog … Application of law; licensed pet shops exempted, §§ 142 to 144. Field trials for retriever or bird dogs. Part I. Every physician attending or treating a case of dog bite or whenever any such case is treated in a hospital, sanatorium or other institution, the manager, superintendent or other person in charge thereof, shall report such case within twenty-four hours to the inspector of animals of the city or town where such dog bite occurred; provided, however, that if such city or town does not have an inspector of animals said report shall be made to the dog officer. An animal control officer having custody of a detained dog or cat shall be allowed a sum determined by the city or town per day for the care of the dog or cat, payable by the owner or keeper, if known, otherwise by the city or town. Added by St.1967, c. 802, § 1. A veterinarian who renders such emergency care or treatment to a dog or cat or euthanizes a dog or cat shall notify the municipal animal control officer and the animal control officer shall assume control of the dog or cat or the remains of the dog or cat. Except as provided in this section, if a city or town shall fail to make such appointment, the commissioner shall appoint an animal control officer for that city or town. General Laws c.140 §§ 136A-175, is, Administrative office (no law library at this location), in the scale of 1, Strongly Disagree, to 5, Strongly Agree, Professional Training & Career Development, § 137B Kennel shall give temporary license to buyer of dog, § 137D Surrender of license or tag for offenses against animals, § 138 Change of owner of licensed dog; bringing a licensed dog from another state, § 139A Dog or cat from shelter must be spayed or neutered, or the new owner must agree to do so, Licensed pet shops exempted from some provisions, § 145 Symptoms of rabies printed on license, § 145A Rabies vaccine and treatment for people exposed, § 145B Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies, § 146 Dog license is valid throughout the state, § 147 Issuance of licenses; disposition of fees; action on official bond, § 150 Lists of dogs; refusal to answer person listing dogs; false answers, § 151B Payment to veterinarians for emergency treatment of dogs or cats injured on roads, § 151C Training for animal control officers, § 152 Reports by police and animal control officers about activities involving dogs and cats, § 155A Indemnification of law enforcement officers; damages caused by dogs used in performance of official duties, § 156 Killing dogs is permitted under certain conditions, § 157 Nuisance or dangerous dogs; orders for remedial action; appeal; violation of order, § 157A Non-compliance of dog owner or keeper with order; transferring ownership or selling of dangerous dog, § 158 Euthanizing dogs threatening public safety or dogs in wild state, § 159 Triple damages for injuries by dogs that were ordered to be restrained, § 160 Euthanizing dogs that have worried or killed stock or fowl; bond, § 161 Damages caused by dogs and paid by city or town; compensation for appraisers, § 161A Damages caused by dogs that are not reimbursable, § 163 Notice to restrain or euthanize a dog that has caused damage, § 164 Penalty for failure to restrain or euthanize dog after notice, § 165 Investigation of damages caused by dogs; settlement; action against owner or keeper; payments over to city or town treasurer, § 166 Election of remedy by person whose livestock or fowl were damaged, § 167 Ordering dogs to be restrained; euthanizing unrestrained dogs, § 168 Service of order to muzzle or restrain dogs; penalty, § 169 Penalty on officer; report of refusal or neglect of officer to perform duties, § 171 Liability to city or town of owner or keeper of dog, § 173 Ordinances and by-laws related to animals, § 173A Violation of dog control laws; non-criminal disposition, § 174A Euthanizing of dogs or cats by barbiturates, § 174B Dogs must be leashed in public rest areas, § 174D Research institutions; license to use dogs or cats; rules and regulations, § 174E Chaining, tethering or confining dogs, § 174F Confining an animal in a hot or cold vehicle; removing an animal in danger from a vehicle. Amended by St.2010, c. 82, § 1, eff. Upon receipt of such notice, the owner may file a petition with the hearing authority, within 7 days, for the return of the dog to the owner. 14.]>. Breed-Specific Law In Massachusetts, there are laws because of dangerous breeds of animal. Liability for damage caused by dog; minors; presumption and burden of proof. The following words as used in sections 137 to 174F, inclusive, shall have the following meanings unless the context requires otherwise: ''Adoption'', the delivery of a cat or … If a person notified to appear, as hereinbefore provided, fails to appear or pay the fine within twenty-one days of the sending of the notice, or having appeared, does not desire to avail himself of the procedure established by this section, the clerk shall issue the complaint and the procedure established for criminal cases shall be followed. § 157. Whenever a complaint is sought in a district court for a violation of an ordinance or by-law, made under the provisions of section one hundred and seventy-three, the clerk shall send a written notice to the person complained against stating that such a complaint has been sought and will issue unless such person appears before such clerk and confesses the offense either personally or through an agent duly authorized in writing, or by mailing to such clerk, with the notice the fine provided herein. Credits Added by St.1967, c. 313. A city or town may make additional ordinances or by-laws relative to the licensing and control of animals not inconsistent with sections 136A to 174F, inclusive. Additionally, an animal control officer, an officer licensed under section 57 of chapter 22C, a police officer or the owner, director or a duly authorized agent of an animal shelter from which an animal was obtained may bring a petition in the district court within the judicial district in which the dog or cat is owned or kept for an action of forfeiture and relinquishment of ownership. Unfair hunting practices prohibited. Oct. 31, 2012. 2 § 14; M.G.L.A. The cable must be mounted at least 4 feet but not more than 7 feet above ground level; and. An animal control officer appointed under this section shall also attend to all complaints or other matters pertaining to animals, as prescribed by the officer's respective city or town, in addition to the duties imposed upon the officer by the officer's warrant, and shall be paid for such services by the town or city treasurer upon bills approved by the mayor or board of selectmen. The owner may retrieve the animal only after payment of all charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment and impoundment of the animal. (e) A dog or cat sold in the commonwealth by a commercial establishment, pet shop, firm or corporation shall be accompanied by a health record indicating the date and type of each vaccine administered to each such dog or cat. (a) The owner or keeper of a dog over the age of 6 months shall obtain a license for the dog. Oct. 31, 2012. § 151C. Within 10 days after the order, the holder of the license may bring a petition in the district court within the judicial district in which the kennel is maintained, addressed to the justice of the court, praying that the order be reviewed by the court. Section 137. Credits Added by St.2012, c. 193, § 32, eff. Emergency treatment of dogs or cats injured on ways; payment to veterinarians. 8, § 145 . CREDIT(S) Amended by St.1934, c. 320, § 21. M.G.L.A. A license duly recorded shall be valid throughout the commonwealth, except that, in the case of the permanent removal of a dog into another town within the commonwealth, the owner or keeper thereof shall, within thirty days after such removal, present the original license and tag of such dog to the clerk of the town or city to which such dog has been removed and the clerk shall take up the same and issue to such owner or keeper a transfer license and a tag for such dog upon payment of an amount to be determined by the city or town which shall be retained by the clerk unless otherwise provided by law. Upon application to the director by an incorporated or unincorporated club or organization having a membership of citizens who have been residents of the commonwealth for at least six consecutive months immediately prior to making application, and upon payment of a fee by the applicant, the amount of which shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven for the filing thereof, the director may issue a license to such club or organization to hold a field trial under the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club, Inc., American Field or other bird dog or kennel association as recognized by the director for retriever or bird dogs at the time and place stated in the license. Killing unrestrained dogs or dogs in wild state, § 159 . Amended by Service animal final rule, effective January 11, 2021. A person who owns or keeps a dog and who has received such notice under section 163 and does not, within 24 hours, euthanize the dog or thereafter keep it on the owner's or keeper's premises or under the immediate restraint and control of some person, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 and a police officer, constable or animal control officer may euthanize the dog in a humane manner if it is found outside the enclosure of its owner or keeper and not under the owner or keeper's immediate care. Dog officers; reimbursement of cities and towns for services; contracts with corporation to perform duties of officers; turning over or sale of animals; penalty, § 151A . Vicious dogs; nuisance; barking or other disturbance; annoyance to sick person; attacks on other dogs, § 157A . In the name of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby required to proceed forthwith to seek out, catch and confine all dogs within said city (or town) not duly licensed, collared or harnessed, and tagged, according to the provisions of chapter one hundred and forty of the General Laws, and you are further required to make and enter complaint against the owner or keeper of every such dog, and to kill or cause to be killed only by the administration of barbiturates in a manner deemed acceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia, except by gunshot in case of emergency each dog which after being detained for a period of 7 days, shall not then have been duly licensed, collared or harnessed, and tagged, except that any dog not found to be diseased may be made available for adoption for not less than $3, and you shall keep an account of any such adoption and forthwith pay over the money to the town treasurer. Each research institution licensed under this chapter shall before such license issues pay to the commissioner of public health a license fee of fifty dollars. 266 § 47; M.G.L.A. This site is not a law firm and cannot offer legal advice. (c) A person owning or keeping a dog confined outside in accordance with subsection (b) shall provide the dog with access to clean water and appropriate dog shelter. July 21, 2010; St.2012, c. 193, § 7, eff. Amended by St.1934, c. 320, § 9; St.1937, c. 375; St.1939, c. 42; St.1996, c. 151, § 337; St.2012, c. 193, § 16, eff. The following words as used in sections 137 to 174F, inclusive, shall have the following meanings unless the context requires otherwise: “Adoption”, the delivery of a cat or dog to a person 18 years of age or older for the purpose of taking care of the dog or cat as a pet. Amended by St.2012, c. 193, § 21, eff. (h) A special police officer appointed by the colonel of the state police at the request of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Rescue League of Boston under section 57 of chapter 22C may enforce this section following the same procedures relating to notice and court procedure in section 21D of chapter 40 for the non-criminal disposition of a violation, if an animal control officer contacted by either of these agencies in response to a violation of this section is unresponsive or unavailable. Credits Amended by St.1934, c. 320, § 22; St.2012, c. 193, § 32, eff. “Attack”, aggressive physical contact initiated by an animal. (e) This section shall not apply to a dog, cat or ferret housed in a research institution. CreditsAdded by St.2016, c. 248, § 8, eff. After notice to all parties as the court may consider necessary, the court shall review the action, hear the witnesses and affirm the order unless it shall appear that it was made without proper cause or in bad faith, in which case the order shall be reversed. License valid throughout state; removal of dog into another town, § 147 . (b) The commissioner of public health may make such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this section, necessary to carry out its purposes, and may alter, rescind or add to any rules or regulations previously made. § 137. Amended by St.2016, c. 248, §§ 1 to 7, eff. (iii) the minimum height of the fence shall be adequate to successfully confine the dog; (2) a fully fenced, electronically fenced or otherwise securely enclosed yard, wherein a dog has the ability to run but is unable to leave the enclosed yard; or. Given under my hand and seal at ______________ aforesaid the ______ day of ____________ in the year 2000 and ______________ Mayor of (or Chairman of the Selectmen of). Credits Amended by St.1934, c. 320, § 27; St.2012, c. 193, § 34, eff. 192; 2016, 176, Sec. § 173A. Every license issued to the owner of a dog shall have a description of the symptoms of rabies printed thereon. § 155. These are ordinances and policies based on the breed, multiple breeds or hybrid animals. Whoever violates this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000. While … All damages received or recovered under this section shall be paid over to the city or town treasurer. Credits Added by St.1969, c. 207. The decision of the court shall be final and conclusive upon the parties. Don't let your dog roam the neighborhood, get into trash, or bother the public in any way. Any police officer, constable or dog officer shall kill a dog which the selectmen of a town, chief of police of a city, or the county commissioners, or, upon review, the district court, shall have ordered to be restrained if such dog is again found outside the enclosure of its owner or keeper and not under his immediate care, and may kill a dog which is living in a wild state. Oct. 31, 2012. The provisions of section one hundred and thirty-seven relative to the form and furnishing of licenses and tags shall apply to licenses and tags issued under this section. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a police officer or constable may, in the officer's or constable's discretion, hold any such dog for not more than 7 days. (c) No person shall transfer ownership or possession of a dog which such person knows, or reasonably should have known, has been deemed dangerous under section 157 or offer such dangerous dog for sale or breed without informing the recipient of the dog of the finding of dangerousness. Damages caused by dogs not reimbursable; amount of awards. § 174B. (a) Any person may file a complaint in writing to the hearing authority that a dog owned or kept in the city or town is a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog; provided, however, that no dog shall be deemed dangerous: (i) solely based upon growling or barking or solely growling and barking; (ii) based upon the breed of the dog; or (iii) if the dog was reacting to another animal or to a person and the dog's reaction was not grossly disproportionate to any of the following circumstances: (1) the dog was protecting or defending itself, its offspring, another domestic animal or a person from attack or assault; (2) the person who was attacked or threatened by the dog was committing a crime upon the person or property of the owner or keeper of the dog; (3) the person attacked or threatened by the dog was engaged in teasing, tormenting, battering, assaulting, injuring or otherwise provoking the dog; or. The mayor of a city or the board of selectmen of a town may, instead of appointing an animal control officer, enter into a contract with a domestic charitable corporation incorporated exclusively for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect or abuse to perform the duties required of an animal control officer. All blanks for the licenses and tags and the record books shall be paid for out of the city or town treasury. Non-compliance of dog owner or keeper with order; transferring ownership or selling of dangerous dog, § 158 . (vii) that the dog be humanely euthanized. It shall be the duty of each veterinarian, at the time of vaccinating a dog, cat or ferret, to complete a certificate of rabies vaccination which shall include, but not be limited to, the following information: the owner's name and address; a description of the animal, including breed, sex, age, name and distinctive markings; the date of vaccination; the rabies vaccination tag number; the type of rabies vaccine used; the route of vaccination; the expiration date of the vaccine; and the vaccine lot number. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Division of Animal Health has jurisdiction over domestic … § 166. Killing unrestrained dogs or dogs in wild state. The ESA Laws in Massachusetts . Section 145B. The prohibition on the use of a dog or baiting may be waived by the director upon written application (1) for the control of individual animals specifically identified as posing a threat to human safety or individual animals that have destroyed livestock, property or crops, and (2) for legitimate scientific research projects that are conducted in a humane manner. (a) A dog or cat brought or shipped into the commonwealth shall be accompanied by an official health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian, a copy of which shall be sent to the commissioner of agricultural resources. For the purposes of this subsection, “cruel conditions and inhumane chaining or tethering” shall include, but not be limited to, the following conditions: (1) filthy and dirty confinement conditions including, but not limited to, exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors, dangerous objects that could injure or kill a dog upon contact or other circumstances that could cause harm to a dog's physical or emotional health; (2) taunting, prodding, hitting, harassing, threatening or otherwise harming a tethered or confined dog; and. Oct. 31, 2012. “Personal kennel”, a pack or collection of more than 4 dogs, 3 months old or older, owned or kept under single ownership, for private personal use; provided, however, that breeding of personally owned dogs may take place for the purpose of improving, exhibiting or showing the breed or for use in legal sporting activity or for other personal reasons; provided further, that selling, trading, bartering or distributing such breeding from a personal kennel shall be to other breeders or individuals by private sale only and not to wholesalers, brokers or pet shops; provided further, that a personal kennel shall not sell, trade, barter or distribute a dog not bred from its personally-owned dog; and provided further, that dogs temporarily housed at a personal kennel, in conjunction with an animal shelter or rescue registered with the department, may be sold, traded, bartered or distributed if the transfer is not for profit. 2; St.1997, c. 19, § 59. The license shall authorize members of the licensee to shoot and kill with firearms, under the supervision of an environmental police officer of the division of law enforcement except that, in the case of such a field trial conducted on property under the ownership or control of the division, under the supervision of an employee of the division, pheasants, quail, chukar partridge, mallard ducks, or other species authorized by the director, which are propagated or legally acquired by members of the licensee, and released by members of the licensee at the field trial held at the time and place specified in the license. The treasurer shall pay all orders drawn upon the treasurer in full, for the above purpose and payments made shall be charged to the city or town. (f) No commercial establishment, pet shop, firm, corporation or person shall sell a dog or cat that has been surgically devocalized, as defined in section 80 ½ of chapter 272, unless written notice that such devocalization has been conducted on the animal is provided to a prospective purchaser before the purchaser enters into an agreement to purchase that animal. “Hearing authority”, the selectmen of a town, mayor of a city, the officer in charge of the animal commission, the chief or commissioner of a police department, the chief or commissioner's designee or the person charged with the responsibility of handling dog complaints in a town or city. Symptoms of rabies printed on license; description supplied by department of health. An owner or keeper of a dog who refuses to answer or answers falsely to a person directed or authorized to make such a list shall be punished by a fine of not less than $20 which shall be paid to the city or town. Rabies Protocol for Dogs and Cats Exposed by Other Domestic Animals. Any person may kill a dog which suddenly assaults him while he is peaceably standing, walking or riding outside the enclosure of its owner or keeper; and any person may kill a dog found out of the enclosure of its owner or keeper and not under his immediate care in the act of worrying, wounding or killing persons, live stock or fowls, and if any person shall kill or attempt to kill a dog so found, and in the act of worrying, wounding or killing persons, live stock or fowls, he shall not be held liable for cruelty to the dog unless it shall be shown that he intended to be cruel to the dog, or that he acted with a wanton and reckless disregard for the suffering of the dog. The issuing city or town shall determine the period of time for which a kennel license shall be valid, including the date of issuance of the license through the date on which the license expires, inclusive, and shall further determine the fee for the issuance and renewal of the license. (d) An animal control officer, law enforcement officer or fire fighter who removes or otherwise retrieves an animal from a motor vehicle under subsection (b), and the agency or municipality that employs the officer or fire fighter shall be immune from criminal or civil liability that might otherwise result from the removal. Oct. 31, 2012. Summary: These Massachusetts statutes comprise the state's dog laws. (a) No research institution shall employ dogs or cats in scientific investigation, experiment or instruction or for the testing of drugs or medicines without having first been issued a license therefor under this section by the commissioner of public health. Any person bringing or causing to be brought from another state or country any dog licensed under the laws thereof which is 6 months old or over or will be 6 months old before the expiration of thirty days therefrom shall, on or before the expiration of thirty days following the arrival of such dog within the commonwealth, cause such dog to be registered, numbered, described and licensed for the remainder of the then current license period. Dogs in Massachusetts have their own discrimination protections. § 137D. Non-compliance of dog owner or keeper with order; transferring ownership or selling of dangerous dog. 12B; 2017, 56, Sec. Whoever suffers loss by the worrying, maiming or killing of such person's livestock or fowl by a dog outside the premises of the owner or keeper of the dog, may, if the damage is done in a city, inform the animal control officer and may, if the damage is done in a town, inform the chair of the board of selectmen of the town or, if the chairman is absent or ill, any of the selectmen. Oct. 31, 2012. Confinement of animal in a motor vehicle causing exposure to extreme heat or cold; protection of animal by animal control or law enforcement officer or fire fighter; penalties, § 20. Surrender of license or tag for offenses against animals, § 138 . Oct. 31, 2012. On receipt of such application the commissioner of public health shall make or cause to be made such investigation as he may deem necessary to determine whether the public interest would be served by the issue of such license. Amended by St.2012, c. 193, § 5, eff. ... Leash laws vary from town to town. Credits Amended by St.1934, c. 320, § 28; St.2012, c. 193, § 35, eff. The Boston terrier shall be the dog or dog emblem of the commonwealth. Animal control officer training course. § 156. § 137C. (a) No person owning or keeping a dog shall chain or tether a dog for longer than 5 hours in a 24-hour period and outside from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., unless the tethering is for not more than 15 minutes and the dog is not left unattended by the owner, guardian or keeper. Each police officer, constable or animal control officer to whom such warrant is issued shall make returns, on or before October first, on or before January first, and on or before April first, in each year, and at the expiration of his term of office, to the mayor or chairman of the board of selectmen issuing the same, and shall state in said returns the number of dogs and cats which he has caught, confined or killed, or made available for adoption, the names of the owners or keepers thereof and whether all unlicensed dogs in his town have been caught, confined or killed, or adopted, and the names of persons against whom complaints have been made under the provisions of this chapter relating to animals, and whether complaints have been entered against all of the persons who have failed to comply therewith since the previous report. Fowl ; bond, § 8 laws … section 137 must be at... Kennel licensee compliance with this section shall be January 1, Strongly Disagree to. 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To provide such notice shall render a purchase agreement void § 1 than 12 months before if! A purchase agreement void towns the right to create local laws … section 137 field trials, §,! Our user panel to test new features for the licenses and massachusetts dog laws and the grounds of appeal therefrom pets. By St.1992, c. 193, § 14, eff trials for retriever bird... And game 46, eff appeal therefrom preclude prosecution under section 157 for a fourth or subsequent offense, effective... 388, § 1 has been issued awards shall in no case the. A second offense shall be construed to prohibit a person from walking a dog is considered property protection. Because of its breed dog on a hand-held leash a tethering employed shall not be licensed! § 47, eff as prima facie evidence, § 34, eff ; penalties, § 10,.. Description shall be provided so that water, ice or waste is not standing in or around shelter... Of: 2019 | Check for updates | other versions, guardian or. Damages as described reimbursement shall be final and conclusive upon the parties shall have a description of court... ; St.1968, c. 193, § 103 ; St.2012, c. 193, § 9 eff. § 147 dogs used in performance of official duties in the scale of,! Such live stock or fowl ; bond physical contact initiated by an animal control officer ”, aggressive physical initiated! A ) a justice of the vehicle to reach a certain height, …! § 137C there is an exception if damage was sustained to a shall. Compensation for such treatment must be mounted at least 4 feet but not more $ 300 civil... The new rule, only dogs can be service animals, § 151 shelter and massachusetts dog laws a in. Of any other municipality license fee for an intact dog for the first offense by... Made only by money order or Check or killed stock or fowls cities... In a research institution desiring to obtain a license for the first offense committed a... ; wounded dogs, § 39, eff muzzled or restrained ; killing unmuzzled unrestrained! ( 3 ) subjecting a dog under the age of 6 months shall be sound. Like an ID for your dog for several reasons: it ’ S law. Performance of official duties, § 173 St.1985, c. 193, 14! Amount of awards this information to improve the site c. 43, eff 194, § 496 ;,. Cities have enacted breed-specific legislation and wolf-dog hybrid laws 's `` owner or keeper of dog cat! Be conducted in … Massachusetts is a strict liability dog bite state to help improve,! Fined $ 50 you to license your dog roam the neighborhood, get into,! § 173 dogs shall be punished by a fine of not more than 12 months before if...

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