Senator Michael Rush has presented a petition (accompanied by Senate Bill 969) to the Massachusetts legislature relative to “dangerous dogs in cities and towns.” The petition and bill are also supported by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Representative Carlo Basile. S969 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).
Put simply, this bill would reverse the provision of the new Massachusetts state law that not only prohibits breed specific ordinances, but voided all existing breed specific laws in the state as of October 31, 2012.
S969 has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.
MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS: Please contact the members of the Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, as well as your state senator and state representative, and politely and respectfully ask that they NOT co-sponsor S969. This bill would allow cities and towns to enact ineffective breed-specific legislation, and would, in essence, undo six years of comprehensive planning and study that led to the overhaul of the State’s animal control act which only went into effect in October 2012, without giving that law an opportunity to prove itself effective.
Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
(Block copy & paste e-mail for committee members)
You can find the legislators for your district here. In addition, all state legislators can be reached at: 617-722-2000
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 969
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Michael F. Rush
An Act relative to dangerous dogs in cities and towns.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Subsection (a) of section 157 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 32 of chapter 193 of the acts of 2012, is hereby amended by inserting in the first paragraph, in clause (ii), after the word “dog”, the following words:- unless municipal attack data indicates a specific breed may be deemed dangerous.
SECTION 2. Subsection (c) of section 157 of said chapter 140 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting in the last paragraph, after the word “breed”, the following sentence:-
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.