Attn Mass Dog Owners: Mass Bill 5092 Public Hearing 10/23

by Susan Getgood on October 13, 2008

in Animals, Politics, Vermont

UPDATE 10/26/08: The proposed bill discussed in the post below was sent to study following an extremely well-attended hearing on October 23rd. This means that the bill is effectively dead for this session.

Below is the text of an update I received today from the American Kennel Club’s Government Relations Department about a public hearing on Mass Bill 5092.

[Monday, October 13, 2008]

Massachusetts House Bill 5092 has been referred to the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, and is /tentatively/ scheduled for public hearing on Thursday, October 23rd, at 10 AM in Room A2 of the State House in Boston. The bill includes many extreme provisions that, if enacted, will prove devastating to responsible dog breeders and owners, including state-wide mandatory spay/neuter, permitting localities to enact breed-specific ordinances, and onerous nuisance laws.

“The American Kennel Club and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners both strongly oppose HB 5092, and are encouraging all concerned dog owners from Massachusetts to do the same.”

For more information on the details of HB 5092, click here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The American Kennel Club strongly urges all concerned Massachusetts responsible dog breeders and owners to attend the committee hearing on October 23rd, and express your fervent opposition to HB 5092. Additionally, all Massachusetts dog owners are encouraged to write the members of the committee and express your vehement opposition to the bill. For a sample letter, click here.

*SENATOR ANTHONY W. PETRUCCELLI*
Room 413-B, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-1634
E-Mail: Anthony.Petruccelli@state.ma.us

*SENATOR PATRICIA D. JEHLEN*
Room 513, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-1578
Fax: 617-722-1117
E-Mail: Patricia.Jehlen@state.ma.us

*SENATOR STEVEN A. BADDOUR*
Room 208, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1604
E-Mail: Steven.Baddour@state.ma.us

*SENATOR SUSAN C. FARGO*
Room 504, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1572
E-Mail: Susan.Fargo@state.ma.us

*SENATOR RICHARD R. TISEI*
Room 308, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1206
Fax: (617) 722-1063
E-Mail: Richard.Tisei@state.ma.us

*REPRESENTATIVE VINCENT A. PEDONE*
Room 540, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2090
Facsimile: 617-626-0551
E-Mail: Rep.VincentPedone@hou.state.ma.us

*REPRESENTATIVE MARTIN J. WALSH*
Room 540, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2090
E-Mail: Rep.MartinWalsh@hou.state.ma.us

*REPRESENTATIVE MATTHEW C. PATRICK*
Room 540, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2090
Facsimile: 617-722-2848
E-Mail: Rep.MatthewPatrick@hou.state.ma.us
E-Mail: repmattp@cape.com

*REPRESENTATIVE STEPHEN R. CANESSA*
Room 443, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2460
Facsimile: 617-626-0839
E-Mail: Rep.StephenCanessa@Hou.State.MA.US

*REPRESENTATIVE DENIS E. GUYER*
State House, Room 443
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2460
E-Mail: Rep.DenisGuyer@Hou.State.MA.US

*REPRESENTATIVE SARAH K. PEAKE*
Room 473F, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2210
Facsimile: 617-626-0551
E-Mail: Rep.SarahPeake@Hou.State.MA.US

*REPRESENTATIVE JAMES J. O’DAY*
Room 39, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2014
Facsimile: 617-626-0884
E-Mail: Rep.JamesO’Day@Hou.State.MA.US

*REPRESENTATIVE PAUL MCMURTRY*
Room 443, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2460
Facsimile: 617-722-2353
E-Mail: Rep.PaulMcMurtry@hou.state.ma.us

*REPRESENTATIVE SEAN GARBALLEY*
Room 134, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-2400
Facsimile: 617-722-2850
E-Mail: Rep.SeanGarballey@Hou.State.MA.US

*REPRESENTATIVE F. JAY BARROWS*
Room 542, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2488
Facsimile: 617-722-2390
E-Mail: Rep.FJayBarrows@Hou.State.MA.US

*REPRESENTATIVE TODD M. SMOLA*
Room 156, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: 617-722-2240
E-Mail: Rep.ToddSmola@Hou.State.MA.US

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3503, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org. Please also contact the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners at http://www.massfeddogs.org/

My Opinion

This law is bad news all around. Here are just some of the most problematic provisions:

  • Mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs over 12 months of age or annually purchase an intact animal permit at a cost of up to $500 per dog. This is effectively double-taxation, as breeders already pay a higher fee to register an intact animal. Massachusetts does not have a dog over-population problem, but limiting the activities of reputable home breeders will end up limiting the availability of purebred dogs in the state.
  • Requiring the reporting of all sales of puppies to local jurisdictions. For what real purpose? This just adds an additional and irrelevant record-keeping burden on the local communities.
  • Eliminating the practice of humane tethering, without allowances for hunting or sled dogs.
  • Allowing towns and cities to impose breed-specific ordinances and establishing unreasonable nuisance laws that can result in the forced sterilization, banishment, or euthanization of dogs.  This is an open invitation for abuse, politics and pandering.
  • Instituting state-mandated vaccination schedules, instead of allowing vaccination schedules to be provided by, and in consultation with, a veterinarian.

I will be going to the State House on the 23rd. If you live in Massachusetts and own a dog, try to take the day off to attend.

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