Under new legislation introduced in the Massachusetts Senate, anyone who breeds a single dog or cat must be licensed and registered by the state, and open their home to intrusive home inspections. SD 2459, sponsored by Sen. Mark Montigny, requires anyone who breeds or intends to breed a dog or cat to first obtain a license from the local licensing authority prior to breeding. Under SD 2459 the local licensing authority is able to set the licensing fee at any level as long as it exceeds $100. Once purchased the license must be prominently displayed at the residence in a fashion that is visible to the public.
Once the license is purchased, it triggers a home inspection by an animal control officer to determine whether or not the premises is clean and large enough to accommodate breeding and whelping of dogs or cats. The officer will also take a photo ID and ask for proof of ownership of the residence. The animal control officer can determine whether or not it is necessary to provide notice of the inspection. Licensees are prohibited from allowing a cat or dog to be bred more than once per year.
In addition to the breeding restrictions, any dog or cat owner that wishes to sell, trade or even give away an animal must also obtain a license. Violators of the license requirements for breeders or those who wish to transfer a dog or cat will be fined at least $500 and could face jail time of up to 90 days.
The two licensing requirements in SD 2459 mean that virtually any dog owner that has puppies must be licensed. And, anyone who gives away, trades or sells even a single puppy must be licensed. Current law already heavily regulates kennels that are used for exhibiting and sporting purposes, and kennels owned by non-profit organizations which could include sportsmen’s clubs or fox hunts. SD 2459 would cover most anyone else who breeds, trades, or sells dogs, such as a sporting dog kennel owned by more than one person or small breeders.
“SD 2459 treats the everyday dog and cat owner like a common criminal,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Subjecting people to unannounced inspections, intrusive government record keeping, permission from the government to transfer possession of a dog or cat and high licensing fees is a massive overreach clearly designed to completely stop the breeding of dogs and cats.”
SD 2459 has not been assigned to a committee in the Massachusetts Senate. The sponsor, Mark Montigny, is Assistant Majority Leader, and chairs the powerful Rules committee. As a result, it is possible that this proposal could move quickly.
Take Action: Massachusetts sportsmen should contact your state senator asking them to oppose this incredible government overreach on law abiding dog and cat owners. For contact information of your senator, CLICK HERE.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance:The Sportsmen’s Alliance is a 501 (c) 4 organization that protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization that supports the same mission through public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.