Massachusetts’ Dog Owners Take a Sigh of Relief

Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Senior Coordinator

On November 16, one of Massachusetts’ numerous restrictive kennel bills was sent to accompany a study order, easing some of the concerns that dog owners have had over the past two years. For clarification, when a bill is “sent to study,” it is commonly the end of the road. Therefore, this legislation – Senate Bill 989 (SB 989) – would have to overcome immeasurable hurdles to survive.

Under the guise of the term “outside and unattended,” SB 989 would prohibit an owner from keeping a dog in a fenced-in yard or kennel for longer than 5 hours, while simultaneously restricting an individual from keeping the dog outside from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. This bill is completely devoid of accounting for the dog’s specific breed or whether the dog has access to a covered shelter.

In 2019, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a letter of opposition to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, staunchly opposing this inconsiderate legislation. Additionally, earlier this year, CSF teamed up with the American Kennel Club in submitting a sign-on letter of opposition to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. The letter was also sent to the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government with regard to House Bill 1822 (HB 1822) – a similarly prohibitive kennel bill. On May 8, a redrafted bill regarding HB 1822 was published, wherein it excluded the arbitrary limitations.

Restrictive kennel legislation has been a common theme pushed by anti-sportsmen across the nation. CSF will continue to work with its partners, such as the American Kennel Club, in fighting these bills wherever they may arise.

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