Thanks to the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners, we now know the sponsor and Bill number of proposed legislation that would allow municipalities in Massachusetts to once again pass and enforce breed specific ordinances. Senator Michael Rush’s proposal, Senate Docket 1247, would allow a city or town to deem specific breeds of dogs dangerous through analysis of data and by a majority vote by officials in city council, special or annual town meetings (whichever is applicable by charter).
From the MFDC&RDO website:
The Mayor of Boston put forth statewide legislation to return to breed-specific legislation (BSL) in his priority package of bills that was released on January 15. The bill is being spearheaded by Councilor Rob Consalvo of Boston, though has been filed in the state legislature by State Senator Michael Rush.
Please contact both your state senator and state legislator and ask them NOT to co-sponsor SD 1247. The bill, text below, would allow cities and towns to enact ineffective breed-specific legislation. Even though it was initiated by Boston, the bill would allow BSL anywhere in the state.
If you live in Boston, this is especially important, as the Boston delegation (representative and senators who represent any part of Boston) will likely be heavily lobbied by Councilor Consalvo to sign on as co-sponsors.
The text of SD1247 is not yet posted on the Massacusetts legislature website, but the bill is noted under Senator Rush’s current proposals. I expect the text will be added to the website shortly, and you will be able to track the progress of the bill at that time.
SD 1247, An Act relative to Dangerous Dogs in Cities and Towns
SECTION 1. Subsection a of section 157 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 31 of chapter 193 of the acts of 2012, is hereby amended by inserting in the first paragraph, after the word “dog” in clause ii, the following:-
Unless municipal attack data indicates a specific breed may be deemed dangerous.
SECTION 2. Subsection c of section 157, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting in the last paragraph, after the word “breed”, the following:-
Unless a city or town deems a specific breed to be deemed dangerous through analysis of municipal attack data and by a majority vote of the city council with the approval of the mayor, in the case of a city with a Plan A, Plan B, or Plan F charter; by a majority vote of the city council, in the case of a city with a Plan C, Plan D, or Plan E charter; by a majority vote of the annual town meeting or a special meeting called for the purpose, in the case of a municipality with a town meeting form of government; or by a majority vote of the town council, in the case of a municipality with a town council form of government.
If you live in Massachusetts, please reach out to your legislators now and ask them to vote “no” on SD 1247.
Previous alert for Massachusetts: