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Category: Advocacy
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT) Signed into Law

President Trump signed into law the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or the PACT Act. The PACT Act is the first felony animal cruelty charge at the federal level.

The PACT Act may be the first felony animal cruelty law at the federal level, but it is a continuation of work that began almost 20 years ago. In 1999, Congress passed a law prohibiting creation, sale, and ownership of so called “animal crush videos.” These videos, a cruel and horrific depiction, were not illegal under any federal law. This 1999 law sought to stop the spread of these videos by targeting the videos themselves. However, there were concerns about the wording of the original law, and in 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States found the law was unconstitutional on the basis that the wording was broad and vague. After this setback, Congress passed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010. This law more narrowly prohibited the creation and distribution of such videos, but failed to criminalize the underlying animal cruelty in these videos.

Animal advocates have pushed for years to include these protections at the federal level, and finally, in 2019, we have a federal felony for the worst kinds of animal cruelty. This law prohibits conduct where mammals are “purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury…” Federal laws have limits as to what they can reach. To be a federal crime, it has to affect interstate commerce, or occur on federal lands. What this means practically is that many animal cruelty cases, which do not go across state lines, and may not include interstate commerce, can only be prosecuted at the state level. However, the omnipresent use of the internet brings “interstate commerce” into our lives almost every day.  

Animal cruelty is illegal in all 50 states. However, this law gives law enforcement another tool to stop the most horrendous of acts towards animals, often done for monetary gain.

ARL Advocacy in Action
The Animal Rescue League of Boston continues to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals. Click here to view our 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda.

 


Committee Hearings Continue on Beacon Hill

This past week the Joint Committees on the Judiciary and Financial Services both convened to hear testimony on more than 40 bills, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was present for both sessions to advocate on behalf of animals throughout the Commonwealth.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary heard testimony regarding S. 989: An Act Enhancing the Issuance of Citations for Cruel Conditions for Animals, a piece of legislation that ARL is actively supporting.

ARL President Mary Nee addresses the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

This bill would allow law enforcement to issue citations for animals kept in “cruel conditions” which would include exposure to excessive waste, non-potable water, noxious odors that post a health risk to animals or people, among others.

Right now, the only tool law enforcement has to address animal cruelty is a felony cruelty charge. If passed, this bill would provide an additional resource to address cruelty and would act as a deterrent, rather than a form of punishment.

The Joint Committee on Financial Services heard testimony from ARL regarding three bills – S. 595/H. 1037: An Act Concerning the Use of Certain Insurance Underwriting Guidelines Pertaining to Dogs Harbored Upon the Insured Property.

Simply put, this bill would prohibit homeowners or renters insurance from refusing to issue or renew, cancel or charge an increased rate on a specific breed(s) of dog on the property.

The Committee also heard testimony on H. 1038: An Act to Prohibit Housing Discrimination Against Responsible Dog Owners.

This bill would prohibit condo associations from banning certain types of dogs based on breed/weight/size. Further it would prohibit similar bans on any lease/rental agreements.

Additionally, it would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish and maintain a program of pet ownership for those residing in state-aided public housing.

ARL’s testimony highlighted that breed specific legislation and insurance prohibitions are not supported by science – breed bias are often assumptions based on physical characteristics.

Breed has no bearing on individual animal behavior – the most accurate predictor of animal behavior is an individual assessment of the animal, including a check into the pet’s background with training, behavior and social abilities.

ARL believes that like people, dogs are individuals no matter what breed they happen to be, and hopes this important piece of legislation moves favorably out of committee.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process.

But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.


Press Release: Emaciated Puppy Could Be Facing Extensive Surgery

Puppy lost for a month, surrendered to ARL

Charlotte, an 8-month-old mixed-breed puppy, has experienced a lot in her young life, including surviving on her own for a month. Although she’s now in the care of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL), Charlotte is not only fighting to regain her total trust with humans, but is also grossly underweight and facing fracture repair surgery.

Despite being incredibly sweet, Charlotte has a long road ahead of her. ARL is dedicated to doing everything possible to get her healthy and into a forever home, however, the cost of Charlotte’s care is already in the thousands and ARL is asking for the public’s assistance.

Charlotte came to ARL via Belmont’s Animal Control Officer after she had been lost for approximately a month – it’s miraculous she even survived.

She was only 23 pounds upon her arrival, about half of what she should weigh and is still extremely skittish.

X-rays have indicated a fracture in the balled-end of the femur which connects to the hip joint. She will at least need surgery to remove the fractured part of the bone to alleviate the pain and discomfort – but there are risks involved given that she’s a growing puppy and ARL Shelter Medicine staff do not want this issue to be on-going.

Once a medical plan is established and she undergoes surgery, Charlotte will be recovering for approximately two months and will be constantly monitored and rechecked to avoid any complications.

With a clean bill of health, Charlotte will hopefully be in a new home just in time for the holidays.

Banning Roadside Sales

Charlotte was originally transported from a rescue group in Alabama, but her former owner picked her up at a parking lot in Connecticut just over the Massachusetts border – she was lost just 4 hours after being adopted.

State law mandates a 48-hour quarantine for animals brought over the state line (this was completed when Charlotte arrived at ARL) to properly assess their health and wellbeing. These types of parking lot pickups side-step the mandate and if the animal is ill, threaten harm to other animals they may come in contact with.

When you adopt from a reputable organization like ARL, animals are properly quarantined, medically checked, vaccinated and spayed/neutered before they are adopted. This typically is not the case when an animal is purchased during a roadside sale which also includes ads in the paper, Craigslist, illegal breeders, among others.

Roadside sales are a dangerous practice as the person who buys the animal does not have a clear picture of exactly what they’re getting – and should an issue pop up, the adopter has no recourse for reimbursement to cover medical costs.

S.114, H.1774: An Act Protecting the Health and Safety of Puppies and Kittens in Cities and Towns is currently in committee at the Massachusetts State House, and if passed would ban these types of animal sales.

ARL strongly supports this bill, and urges anyone interested in furthering animal protection law in Massachusetts to contact their elected officials to voice support.

Help Charlotte and Others Like Her

ARL Shelter Medicine provides all levels of high-quality care – from wellness exams to complex surgeries. Our goal is to ensure that animals are healthy and happy, and it’s because of the support from caring and compassionate people like you who make this possible. Please consider a donation to ARL today to help Charlotte and other animals like her.

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Kennel Regulations, Increasing MAF Funds, Blue Hills Forest Take Center Stage at State House

ARL Addresses Joint Committee

On Tuesday, the Joint Committee of Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture convened to hear testimony on nearly two dozen bills, many of which were animal-related.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) provided testimony on six separate bills, all of which are a part of the organization’s 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda.

While S. 114/H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns encompasses several elements, including establishing state-wide regulations regarding boarding kennel and daycare facilities; S. 510/H. 3603/H. 812 are all stand-alone bills that specifically address boarding kennel regulations.

The wording of these individual bills may differ slightly, but each aims to establish regulations for boarding kennel and daycare facilities to include staff qualifications and development, provider/dog ratios and interaction, group sizes and supervision, minimum housing and care requirements, indoor and outdoor facility requirements, utilities, dog handling, emergency response protocols and training, insurance, and penalties for violation, among others.

ARL Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal shows the committee images of an animal who was mauled at a South Shore boarding facility.

“Right now it is up to the consumer to be their own advocate and to do their own homework,” Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services, expressed to the committee. “However, most consumers are unaware of this and trust the facility that they choose to take care of their pet, unknowing of the lack of regulations.”

Earlier this year, ARL launched the Kennel-9 safety campaign, giving pet owners 9 things to consider before boarding their pet in an effort to protect animals and their owners from a potentially dangerous situation.

ARL has unfortunately been involved in numerous incidents at boarding facilities where a lack of oversite, improper facilities or protocols led to injury or even death for animals in their care. Law Enforcement Director Lt. Alan Borgal shared one of these incidents with the panel to show the need for regulations.

The organization feels state-wide regulations are critical to improve safety and quality of care for facilities across the Commonwealth.

Mass Animal Fund

ARL also testified on S.501: An Act to provide additional funding for animal welfare and safety programming.

This measure would provide additional monies to the Mass Animal Fund, an organization which strives to prevent animal homelessness by offsetting costs for vaccination and spay/neuter of homeless dogs and cats, as well as dogs and cats owned by low-income residents, and to assist with training of animal control officers.

ARL is a provider of services for the Mass Animal Fund spay/neuter voucher program and through the Community Surgical Clinic and Spay Waggin’, ARL has provided more than 200 spay/neuter surgeries in the past two years.

If passed, this bill would direct funds collected through administrative fines pursuant to Section 37 of Chapter 129. This would be in addition to donations currently generated through Line 33f on the state income tax form.

Blue Hills Reservation

Finally, ARL also testified on H. 757: An Act to study the health of the Blue Hills Forest and ecology to inform long-term reservation management.

This bill would commission a study and scientific survey on the Blue Hills Reservation to determine why the forest health is in decline.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process.

But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.


ARL Advocates for Banishment of Retail Sale of Dogs/Cats in Pet Shops

On Monday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) joined fellow animal welfare organizations to address the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on two pieces of legislation that ARL is actively supporting.

The hearing chambers were standing room only, indicating the passion behind these bills.

The bills were part of a lengthy agenda at the Massachusetts State House, and address two important issues: the retail sale of animals at pet shops, and the inhumane practice of declawing.

For WFXT’s coverage of the hearing click here!

S.175 and H.800 – An Act Banning the Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats in Pet Shops aims to cease the operation by pet stores of obtaining animals from “puppy mills” because they allow the cruelty at the mills to remain hidden from consumers.

“Plain and simple, where pet shops acquire their animals are inhumane,” stated Dr. Edward Schettino, ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services. “Although these breeding facilities are inspected by the USDA, the standards are extremely low and continually allow for this inhumane treatment.”

The legislation does not prevent consumers from acquiring a dog, cat, or rabbit from a responsible breeder or shelter or rescue organization. Further, it does not prohibit pet shops from partnering with shelters or rescues to provide animals in their store.

ARL also made public comment on S.169 – An Act Prohibiting Inhumane Feline Declawing.

This proposed bill would prohibit declawing as an elective procedure, simply for the purposes of convenience or to mitigate property destruction.

Under the proposed bill, declawing would only be allowed for “therapeutic purposes”. These would include addressing an existing or recurring infection, disease, injury, or abnormal condition in the claw that jeopardizes the cat’s health as a medical necessity.

Violations of the proposed bill would include fines upward of $2,500 for repeated offenses and the possibility of forfeiture of the animal as well.

ARL believes that declawing a healthy cat is not only inhumane, but may cause the cat a multitude of long-term medical issues.

“We (ARL) are opposed to these needless, elective surgeries which can and do cause unnecessary pain and discomfort that can affect the cat for its entire life,” Dr. Schettino testified.

Get Involved

Government is of course “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and you can have a direct impact on these important bills moving forward in the legislative process.

If you support these measures, contact your elected officials and urge them to further animal protection law in Massachusetts by supporting the proposed bills.

We encourage you to read ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda. See what bills ARL supports and opposes and what you can do to make sure your voice is heard!


ARL Advocates Animal Protection Bills at State House

On Tuesday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) travelled to the Massachusetts State House to provide testimony on two animal protection bills for the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

Committee hearings are an important step for proposed legislation – if the bill is reported favorably by the committee, it will then move on in the legislative process. Click here to see how a bill becomes a law in Massachusetts.

ARL’s first round of testimony focused on S.114/H.1774 – An Act Protecting the Health and Safety of Puppies and Kittens in Cities and Towns. This bill has several components including:

  • Prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks of age;
  • Update laws relating to kennel licensing;
  • End the roadside sale of animals; and
  • Require the establishment of state-wide rules and regulations used for boarding and daycare facilities.

Currently there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts, and ARL believes this bill is vital to help keep our pets safe when left in someone else’s hands.

ARL also recently launched The Kennel 9, a new animal safety campaign giving pet owners nine things to consider before boarding their pet.

Testifying in favor of the bill were ARL Vice President of Animal Welfare & Veterinary Services Dr. Edward Schettino and ARL Director of Law Enforcement Lt. Alan Borgal.

Also joining the panel were Auburn Animal Control Officer Aimee Contois, Auburn Director of Development and Inspectional Services Darlene Coyle – Auburn officials worked jointly with ARL in 2018 to remove 61 animals from a hoarding situation in the town.

Lastly, Scituate resident Tracey Siciliano provided testimony pertaining to the need of boarding kennel regulations.

In 2016, Siciliano’s three-year-old Golden Doodle “Ben” suffered fatal injuries after being attacked by a dog belonging to the owner of a Hanover kennel facility, which has since closed. In addition to the dozens of attack wounds, Ben was also suffering from heat stroke. The owner was found “not-guilty” for negligence, due in part to a lack of regulations.

“I believe that regulations and enforcement might have prevented Ben’s death or, at a minimum, regulations could have persuaded a jury to hold the kennel owner responsible for his actions,” Siciliano said. “I urge the legislature to enact this law so that no other family ever has to experience the pain my family has endured from having lost our beloved Ben.”

Cruel Conditions

ARL President Mary Nee and Lt. Borgal testified in favor of S.989, H.1822 – An Act Enhancing the issuance of Citations for Cruel Conditions for Animals. This bill amends MA General Law Ch. 140 Section 174E to include all domestic animals. Currently the law only allows citations for dogs.

This amendment would allow an effective response to problematic and escalating issues including animal hoarding, and farm animal cruelty situations i.e. the 2016 Westport cruelty case.

Citations provide officers a tool to achieve corrective action before a situation rises to a violation of the animal cruelty statute.

Be an Advocate for Animals

With more than 90 animal-related bills filed for this legislative session, this hearing was critical to help move these important animal protection bills forward in the legislative process. But we can’t do it alone. Your elected officials work for you, so please take a look at ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda, and contact your representatives to show your support for improving laws to protect animals in Massachusetts.


Press Release: ARL Unveils “The Kennel-9” Campaign

Nine things to consider before boarding a pet

With vacation season right around the corner, today the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is launching “The Kennel-9” – a public awareness and safety campaign to help ensure pets are properly cared for while at a boarding facility.

Currently, there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts.

As part of its 2019-2020 legislative agenda, ARL is advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets. The bill, S. 114, H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns, is sponsored by Senator Harriett Chandler and Representative Linda Dean Campbell.

ARL has unfortunately seen a number of incidents involving animals in boarding kennels who were injured, sometimes fatally, due to insufficient facilities, staff training, or protocols.

“There are many fine boarding facilities throughout Massachusetts, but unfortunately due to a lack of state-wide standards and regulations, the Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends pet owners do their homework and ask the right questions to ensure their animal is safe,” said ARL President Mary Nee.

Before boarding your beloved pet, research as much as possible and keep these nine considerations in mind:

  1. See for Yourself. Can you see the kennels and common areas where your animal will be boarded? During your pet’s stay can you check on them remotely via webcam?
  2. Sound the Alarm. Does the facility have a written emergency response procedure in the event of fire, power outage, or natural disaster? Does the kennel have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems and a back-up power generator?
  3. License, Please. Does the kennel have a current operating license issued by a local city or town? According to the license, how many animals can be boarded at one time? How many animals are currently housed?
  4. In Case of a Medical Emergency. Are you contacted if your animals experiences an unexpected medical condition or injury? Is there a veterinarian on staff, or does the facility have a veterinarian on call? Do you sign a waiver giving permission to have your animal treated?
  5. TLC. What is the ratio of staff to animals? Is there 24-hour on-site supervision? If not, are animals monitored by video camera? What training or experience does the staff caring for animals have?
  6. Social Circle. Do dogs play together in common areas? Are these play groups supervised at all times? Are dogs grouped together by size and/or temperament? Can you choose to have your dog not participate in group activities?
  7. Infection Precautions. Does the facility require up-to-date vaccination records for all boarders? What documentation is required for your pet to be admitted?
  8. Feline Friends. Does the facility allow cats and are they separated from the sight and noise of dogs?
  9. Get it in Writing. Will the facility give you written documentation of their procedures or confirmation of any special requests for your pet?

Click here to download ARL’s “The Kennel-9” flyer.


How a Bill Becomes Law in Massachusetts

On January 2, 2019, the Massachusetts General Court began its 2019-2020 session. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) will continue to support legislation that enhances and improves protections for animals and to oppose reforms that endanger the welfare of animals in Massachusetts.

Click here to see ARL’s 2019-2020 legislative agenda.

The Massachusetts Legislature runs in a two-year cycle by calendar year, with each new cycle beginning in the January after the biennial state election.

Legislation may be filed by members of the House and Senate, and by the Governor. The state constitution also allows citizens to ask their legislators to present bills “by request”.

Each new session, hundreds to thousands bills are filed, but only a select few actually become law.

While the process is quite complex, here are 8 main steps a bill needs to go through before it becomes law:

  1. Bill Drafting. This document details every aspect of the proposed statute.
  2. Securing a Sponsor. The legislative sponsor will be the champion and voice for the statute.
  3. Bill Filing. Upon filing, each bill is assigned a number and referred to a committee.
  4. Joint Committee Hearing. This public forum allows members of the public, government officials, and office holders to speak either in favor of or against a proposed statute.
  5. Joint Committee Executive Session and Report. Following the hearing, the committee will decide if the statute will continue in the process.
  6. Bill Readings.
    a. First Reading. If reported favorably by committee, the bill appears in the Journal of the House or Senate, and given its first reading. The bill is then typically referred to another committee for further review.
    b. Second Reading. At this stage, the bill is debated and subject to motions and amendments.
    c. Third Reading. The bill continues to be subject to debate, motions, and amendments in the House or Senate. Once debated, a vote is taken to pass the bill to be engrossed. If passed, the bill moves on to the other legislative branch.
  7. Consideration. If the bill advances through three readings and is engrossed in the second legislative branch, it will be sent to the Legislative Engrossing Division to be typed on special parchment – as required by law.
  8. Bill Enacted. A vote to enact by both legislative branches passes the bill, and the newly created law will then be sent to the governor for consideration. The governor can: sign the bill into law; veto the bill; or send the bill back to the Legislature with recommended amendments. In general, laws become effective 30-90 days after the Governor’s signature.

Take Action!

Lobbying is the key to a bill’s momentum as it goes through the legislative process. It’s more than just standing up and saying “I support this”.

A successful lobbying strategy includes the following:

  • Compiling an informational packet containing a one-page fact sheet on the bill, and any relevant news articles that support the bill
  • Meeting with elected officials is critical – don’t just drop by, arrange a sit-down meeting to discuss the legislation and ALWAYS follow-up with a thank you note!
  • Reach out to local media through press releases in order to publically discuss the bill and to introduce it to a wider audience to garner further support

PAWS II Signed into Law

PAWS II further bolsters Massachusetts animal protection law

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is pleased to announce that Governor Charlie Baker has officially signed PAWS II into law. An Act to Protect Animal Welfare and Safety in Cities and Towns passed unanimously in both the Senate and House, and was part of a whirlwind of activity for Governor Baker this past Thursday, who signed 53 bills into law.

PAWS II is an enormous step forward for animal protection law in Massachusetts and includes the following provisions:

  • Establishes a commission to explore mandatory reporting of animal cruelty (ARL will have a designated representative)
  • Ensures property owners check vacant properties for abandoned animals
  • Prohibits the automatic euthanasia of animal fighting victims
  • Ensures more efficient enforcement of animal control laws
  • Prohibits sexual contact with an animal
  • Prohibits the drowning of animals
  • Requires insurance companies offering homeowners or renters insurance to record and report circumstances surrounding dog-related incident claims to the MA Division of Insurance, the clerks in the Senate and House, and the ways and means committees for three years (last report to be filed by Jan 1, 2022)

“This legislation is a huge leap forward for animal protection in Massachusetts and was several years in the making,” said ARL President Mary Nee. “The Animal Rescue League of Boston is thrilled with its passage and appreciate the hard work and dedication of our elected officials to make the welfare of animals throughout the Commonwealth a priority.”

PAWS II builds upon the original PAWS Act that was passed in 2014 and was born out of the horrific discovery of the dog forever known as Puppy Doe in 2013. Along with increasing animal cruelty penalties and requiring veterinarians to report suspected abuse, the PAWS Act created the Animal Cruelty and Protection Task Force. ARL President Mary Nee was part of the 11-member group who was charged with investigating the effectiveness of existing laws, and determining where gaps still exist.

The PAWS II Act is a direct reflection of the Task Force’s hard work and recommendations.

ARL worked in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, MSPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society to educate the public and advocate for the passage of this bill and would sincerely like to thank the following legislators for their leadership and commitment to animal protection:

PAWS II Sponsors: Senator Mark Montigny; Senator Bruce Tarr; Representative Louis Kafka
Conference Committee: Representative Jim O’Day; Representative David Muradian, Representative Sarah Peake; Senator Tarr; Senator Montigny; Senator Adam Hinds

MA House: Representative Robert DeLeo (House Speaker); Representative Jeffery Sanchez (House Ways and Means Chair)

MA Senate: Senator Karen Spilka (Senate President); Senator Harriette Chandler (Former Senate President)


Governor Baker and MSP Join ARL for Too Hot for Spot Demonstration

ARL’s fifth annual public awareness campaign

This past Friday, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) was joined by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, legislators, and the Massachusetts State Police Major Richard Ball to once again remind pet owners of the dangers of heat stroke for pets, particularly in hot cars.

It is the fifth year ARL has imparted the “Too Hot for Spot” summer pet safety message throughout the Commonwealth. ARL is spreading this message through social media, flyers, car magnets, media partnerships, and digital billboards throughout the state thanks to billboard space generously donated by MassDOT and IBEW Local 103.

The event took place in front of the Massachusetts State House, and included a demonstration with ARL’s stuffed dog “Spot” to show how quickly the inside of a car can heat up – even with seemingly mild temperatures and the windows cracked.

It was a perfect summer day with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees. In just 10 minutes the temperature inside ARL’s Rescue Services vehicle rose to well over 120 degrees. It’s important to remember that animals do not sweat like humans do, and cannot efficiently regulate their body temperature in an environment such as a hot car.

Massachusetts General Law Ch. 140, Section 174f was signed by Governor Baker in 2016, and prohibits confining an animal “in a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme or cold”. The law also allows first responders and ordinary citizens to enter a vehicle to remove an animal if it’s deemed that its life is in imminent danger.

“While our hope is that no one ever has to rescue an animal from a hot car, we understand those situations unfortunately do arise and lives can depend on a quick response,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Educating the public on the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars and the measures they can take to rescue an animal in need is a key prevention tool, and I thank the ARL for once again launching this important campaign.”

“Our pets provide limitless love and companionship, and we must do everything to protect them from neglectful owners who time and time again have shown a cruel disregard for their welfare,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, lead sponsor of the 2016 law penalizing the leaving of pets in hot cars.

Despite having a law on the books in Massachusetts, unfortunately Animal Control Officers and law enforcement are still seeing a high number of incidents where animals are left in hot vehicle and enduring needless suffering.

“The Massachusetts State Police and all law enforcement agencies consider animal cruelty and neglect to be serious crimes and assist animal rights organizations in investigating such crimes aggressively,” said Major Richard Ball, commander of MSP Troop H. “We urge the public to be familiar with the law that allows them to take action to rescue an animal confined in a hot car, and to tell law enforcement about any type of animal abuse they see or suspect. If you see something, say something.”

“The ‘dog days’ of summer are the perfect time to keep the safety of our pets in mind,” said State Representative Lori Ehrlich. “I hope this law never has to be used, but everyone should know the dangers of a hot car and what to do if you see an animal in danger. Prevention is best so I’m grateful to the Animal Rescue League of Boston for raising awareness.”

Prevention is Key

ARL’s “Too Hot for Spot” campaign is focused on reminding the public that prevention is always the best solution. When temperatures rise, ARL urges pet owners to leave their animals at home.