SECTION 1. Chapter 140 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 141B the following sections:-
Section XXX: Definitions
For the purposes of this act the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Animal”, any living nonhuman creature.
“Buyer”, a person who purchases an animal from a seller without the intent to resell the animal.
“Cat”, a member of the Felis catus family.
“Direct violation”, a violation of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131, et seq. or the regulations issued under the Animal Welfare Act, that has a high potential for adversely affecting the health of an animal as provided for by the Animal Welfare Inspection Guide, Appendix B, issued by the United States Department of Agriculture or a successor document published by the United States Department of Agriculture for the same purpose.
“Dog”, a member of the Canis familiaris family or a resultant hybrid.
“Kitten”, a cat under one year of age
“Offer for sale”, to sell, offer for sale or adoption, barter, auction, give away or otherwise or otherwise find a permanent physical placement for a dog or cat.
“Pet shop”, a business licensed under section 39A of chapter 129.
“Puppy”, a dog under one year of age.
“Rescue organization”, an organization whose primary mission and practice is the placement of abandoned, unwanted, neglected or abused animals and that does not obtain dogs or cats from a breeder or broker for payment or compensation and that is also a tax exempt organization under paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the federal Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 501, or any subsequent corresponding sections of the federal Internal Revenue Code, as from time to time amended.
“Seller”, an individual, partnership, association, corporation or an officer or employee of an individual, partnership, association or corporation that sells animals to the public.
“Unfit for purchase”, a defect which is congenital or hereditary and which has a significant adverse effect on the health of the animal or a disease, deformity, injury, physical condition or illness which has a significant adverse effect on the health of the animal and which was manifest, capable of diagnosis or likely to have been contracted prior to or at the time of the sale and delivery of the animal to the buyer.
“USDA exempt”, a breeder who, because of the number of breeding animals owned, does not qualify for a USDA license.
Section XXX: Sale of puppies and kittens under 8 weeks old
No dog or cat less than 8 weeks of age shall be transferred by a person. A violation of this subsection shall result in a $100 fine for each animal transferred.
Section XXX: Consumer Warranty
All pet shops doing business in the Commonwealth shall adhere to the following consumer warranty provisions of this section:
(a)If a puppy is declared unfit for purchase the seller shall provide the buyer with one of the following remedies chosen by the buyer within forty-eight hours of such declaration:
(1)Return the animal to the seller for treatment through the seller’s veterinarian at no cost to the consumer. When the puppy’s health is cleared by the veterinarian the animal will be returned back to the consumer; or
(2)Have the puppy treated at the veterinarian of the consumers’ choice through the use of the seller provided warranty. Seller shall provide reimbursement up to the purchase price of the puppy to consumers; or
(3)Return the puppy for a full refund of the purchase price.
(b)The Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation is hereby directed to create an arbitration process for pet warranty issues pursuant to this section.
Section XXX: Consumer Warranty - period of eligibility
(a)The following warranty eligibility provisions shall be in place by each pet shop.
(1)The incubation period of a pet found to have a communicable disease shall be fourteen days.
(2)The incubation period of a pet found to have a congenital disorder shall be six months.
Section XXX: Sourcing restrictions
(a) A pet shop shall not purchase a dog or cat for resale or offer for sale a dog or cat that originated at or was purchased from a breeder, person, firm or corporation that:
(1) is eligible for, but not in possession of, a current license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131, et seq, and any license that may be required by an applicable state agency;
(2) has had its federal or state license suspended in the last 5 years;
(3) was found to have committed a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131, et seq, during the 2-year period prior to the purchase;
(4)was found to have committed 3 or more non-administrative indirect violations of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131, et seq, during the 2-year period prior to the purchase; or
(5) is cited on the 2 most recent United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop for no-access violations pursuant to enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. 2131, et seq,.
(b) A pet shop shall not purchase a dog or cat for resale or offer for sale a dog or cat that originated at or was purchased from a breeder, person, firm or corporation that meets the definition of a commercial breeder but is not in compliance with the requirements for commercial breeder kennels or catteries or personal kennels or catteries under section 174F at the time of purchase of the animal by the pet shop.
(c) A pet shop offering a dog or cat for sale shall maintain records verifying compliance with this section and documenting the source of each dog or cat the pet shop acquires, including a description of the dog or cat and the name, address and United States Department of Agriculture license number of the breeder for a minimum of 2 years following the date of acquisition of the dog or cat. The records shall be made available immediately upon the request of the department, the mayor of a city, the selectmen of a town, the police commissioner in the city of Boston, a chief of police or an animal control officer.
(d) A pet shop offering a dog or cat for sale shall post, in a conspicuous location on or near the cage or enclosure for each dog or cat in the cage or enclosure, a sign declaring:
(1) the date and place of birth of each dog or cat and the actual age or, if not known, the approximate age of the dog or cat;
(2) the sex, color markings and other identifying information of each dog or cat, including any tag, tattoo, collar number or microchip information;
(e) Nothing in this section shall prevent a pet shop from acquiring a dog or cat for resale or from selling or offering for sale a dog or cat obtained from a shelter, as defined in section 136A, or a rescue organization.
(f) A pet shop that violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $50 for a first offense, a fine of not more than $100 for a second offense and a fine of not more than $300 for a third or subsequent offense. Each dog or cat sold in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
(g) No actions described in this Section XXX shall prohibit a pet shop from purchasing a dog or cat from a USDA exempt breeder.
Section XXX: Prohibiting road side sales
It is unlawful for any person to offer for sale or adoption, sell, barter, auction, or otherwise transfer any cat or dog for consideration from any roadside, public right-of-way or public property, park, commercial or retail parking lot regardless of whether such access is authorized, or any flea market or festival.
This section shall not apply to persons meeting to conduct the final transaction of a previously arranged sale or exchange.
Section XXX: Mandatory micro chipping requirement
(a)No pet shop or animal rescue group shall release a dog or cat to a purchaser or adopter unless:
(1) such animal has been implanted with a microchip as a permanent identification;
(2) such pet shop or animal rescue group has registered such animal's microchip with such purchaser's contact information with a bona fide pet microchip registration company; and
(3) such pet shop or animal rescue group has provided such purchaser with (i) usage instructions for such microchip provided by the manufacturer of such microchip or the company with which such microchip is registered and (ii) written certification of compliance with paragraphs one and two of this subdivision, signed by such purchaser as acknowledgement of receipt, in a form and manner set forth in rules promulgated by the department.
(b) Every pet shop and animal rescue group shall retain for a period of ten years from the date of sale of any dog or cat, a copy of the certification signed by the purchaser required by paragraph three of subdivision a of this section.
(c) A pet shop that allows an animal shelter or animal rescue group to use such pet shop's premises for the purpose of making animals available for adoption shall be exempt from the requirements of subdivisions a and b of this section with respect to such animals, provided such pet shop does not have an ownership interest in any of the animals that are being made available for adoption, and the pet shop does not derive a fee for providing such adoption services.
Section XXX: Shelter record keeping & reporting
(a) Definitions as used in this section.
Singular words shall include the plural. Masculine words shall include the feminine and neuter.
“Abandon.” To forsake entirely or neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal requirements for the care and support of an animal by its owner or his agent.
“Abandonment.” Relinquishment of all rights and claims to an animal by its owner.
“Adopt” or “Adoption.” The transfer of a dog or cat from a releasing agency to a new owner by any means, whether or not a fee is charged, value given or any form of reimbursement of expenses is received.
“Animal Control Agency” or “Pound.” A public agency or a private nonprofit society or a corporation under contract with a unit of government whose purpose includes holding seized or confiscated animals or taking in stray, lost or unwanted animals for the purpose of placing them in new homes or otherwise disposing of them.
“Animal Rescue Organization.” A non-profit society or corporation either duly incorporated pursuant to the laws of Massachusetts as a domestic corporation or duly registered with the state of Massachusetts as a foreign corporation the purpose of which includes taking in unwanted domestic animals for transfer to new homes and either houses animals, in its own facility or a network of homes affiliated with the society or corporation; or An individual taking in stray, lost or unwanted animals for the purpose of placing them in new homes, transferring them to Animal Control Agencies or Animal Rescue Organizations or otherwise disposing them and who handles such animals in aggregate numbers exceeding twenty-five per year.
“Cat.” The genus and species known as Felis catus.
"Confiscate." To appropriate property to the use of the government or to adjudge property to be forfeited to the public, without compensation to the owner of the property.
“Dealer.” A person who:
(1) Transfers or offers to transfer any dog or cat belonging to another person for consideration, a fee, or a commission or a percentage of the sales price; or
(2) Transfers dogs or cats at wholesale for resale to another; or
(3) Offers dogs or cats at wholesale for resale for another.
(4) Imports a cat or dog into the State with the intent of selling the dog or cat or transferring ownership of the cat or dog for value, unless the person is registered as an animal importer with the Department of Health.
“Department.” The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
“Dog.” The genus species and subspecies known as Canis lupis familiaris.
“Domestic animal.” Any dog, cat, equine animal or bovine animal, sheep, goat, pig, poultry, bird, fowl, confined hares, rabbits and mink, or any wild or semi-wild animal legally maintained in captivity.
“Humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals.” A nonprofit society or corporation duly incorporated for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to animals.
“Person.” The genus and species known as Homo sapiens, including State and local officers, or employees, individuals, corporations, co-partnerships and associations.
“Releasing Agency.” A public or private pound, animal control agency, animal shelter, humane society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or animal rescue organization, including any person acting on behalf of such organization, that transfers a domestic animal for placement or adoption, regardless of the state, country or source from which the animal was obtained.
“Commissioner.” The Commissioner of The Department of Agricultural Resources or any person to whom the authority has been delegated to by the Commissioner of DAR has delegated authority under this act.
"Seizure." The act of taking possession of property for a violation of law or the taking or removal from the possession of another. The term shall not include the taking of ownership of property.
“Shelter.” A nonprofit society or corporation duly incorporated for the purpose of which includes taking in stray, lost or unwanted domestic animals for the purpose of placing them in new homes.
“Transfer.” Transfer includes, but is not limited to, transporting, adopting, selling, buying, giving away, exchanging, bartering, offering an inducement, trading, auctioning, raffling, temporarily housing, or donating. Transporting a domestic animal to or from an agricultural, conformation, performance, exhibition or hunting event is not a transfer as defined herein.
"Veterinarian” or “Licensed doctor of veterinary medicine." A person who is currently licensed to practice by and in Massachusetts.
(b)The Commissioner shall issue regulations to require uniform records be kept by each releasing agency. The regulation shall be based on computerized software systems available and used by releasing agencies in the United States. At a minimum, the following records shall be required to be reported on a monthly basis and shall be kept for a period of five years for all animals received by the releasing agency:
(1) The source of the animal and the means obtained, defined as the total number of animals taken in, divided into species, in the following categories: surrendered by owner; stray; impounds; confiscations; imported into the state from another state, along with the name of the state; imported into the state from another country, along with the name of the country; returned after adoption from the Releasing Agency; and returned after adoption from another Releasing Agency, along with the name of the other Releasing Agency.
Feral cats shall be recorded as a separate category from other cats. Species other than domestic cats and domestic dogs should be recorded as “other.”
(2) Disposition of all animals taken in, divided into species, in a format determined by the Commissioner by regulation. These data must include: adoptions; reclaim by owner; died in kennel; destroyed at the owner's request; transferred to another releasing agency within the state, along with the name of the receiving releasing agency; transferred out of the state into a releasing agency in another state, along with the name of the receiving state and releasing agency; and the number euthanized.
The listing of euthanized animals shall include all species of animals euthanized. Feral cats euthanized shall be recorded separately from other cats euthanized.
(3) Total euthanasia percentage based on total intake must be presented. The euthanasia percentage shall be calculated by the following formula: the total animals euthanized minus owner-requested euthanasia minus feral euthanasia, divided by, the total intakes, minus owner-requested euthanasia intakes minus feral cat intakes.
(4) Euthanasia totals for each species shall be further broken down into the following categories at a minimum: medical; too young to survive; too old to survive; euthanized for space; euthanized for temperament; euthanized for breed.
(5) Releasing organizations that routinely euthanize dogs based on size or breed alone must provide a statement of such policy. Dogs euthanized due to breed, temperament or size must still be recorded as euthanized and must be included in the calculation of total euthanasia percentage.
(c) Each releasing agency shall submit an annual public report to the Department of Agricultural Resources by February 15th of the following year. The Department of Agricultural Resources shall compile the data into a statewide report and submit the report to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Massachusetts Senate, and to the Governor by April 15th of each year.
(d) The number of animal bites for every jurisdiction served by a shelter, Animal Control Agency, or Health Department shall be reported quarterly by the entity charged with receiving reports of animal bites.
(1) Bite numbers shall specifically include, at a minimum, information regarding: species; breed identification; provocation, if any; owned/stray status of animal; vaccinated/non-vaccinated status of the animal at the time of the bite; and severity of bite based on a quantifiable, specific bite assessment tool.
(2) Breed identification shall be based on clearly defined, accepted dog and cat breed assignments in accordance with the breed standards of a nationally recognized purebred dog or cat registry. Those animals which may appear to be within a family or group, but are not clearly identifiable as a particular breed shall be designated as “No Predominant Breed.”
(e) Any releasing agency that fails to report the information required under subsections (b), (c), or (d) of this act within 30 days of the date required shall be subject to a penalty of $100 per day for each day after the 30th day that the report is received from the 31st day through the 59th day after the due date.
(f) Any releasing agency that fails to report the information required under subsections (b), (c), or (d) of this act within 60 days of the date required shall be subject to a penalty of $300 per day for each day after the 60th day that the report is received from the 60th day though the 89th day after the due date.
(g) Any releasing agency that fails to report the information required under subsections (b), (c), or (d) of this act within 90 days of the date required may not adopt animals to the public or transfer animals to another releasing agency until the report is filed with the Department.
This act shall take effect in 180 days.
Section XXX: Statewide uniformity and enforcement
(a) A city, town, municipality, or county may enact or enforce an ordinance to enforce sections of this act against a pet store or pet dealer. Any local law, rule, regulation or ordinance that imposes requirements on pet dealers that exceed the requirements of this act or penalties prescribed in this act is preempted.
(b) Any local law, rule, regulation or ordinance may not directly or indirectly prohibit or be applied to prohibit the sale of animals by a pet store or pet dealer, expressly or in effect, based on the source from which the animal is obtained if obtained in compliance with the provisions of this act.
Section XXX: Sale of small animals; instructions on care.
(a) Definitions, as used in this section,
"small animal" shall mean any small mammal, excluding dogs or cats, including but not limited to, hamsters, chinchillas, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, mice, rats, ferrets and any small amphibians or reptiles, including but not limited to frogs, snakes and lizards, but shall not include any small animals that are expressly sold for the purpose of feeding other animals.
"retailer" shall mean any person who conducts a business of selling or offering for sale small animals at retail for profit to the public.
(b) Every retailer that sells small animals to the public, shall, at the time of sale, deliver or provide digital access to the purchaser of a small animal, written care recommendations for the class of small animal being purchased, which recommendations shall: include generally accepted information intended for an inexperienced pet owner on housing, equipment, sanitation, environment, feeding and watering, handling, and veterinary care; and have been created or published by a reliable source including but not limited to: a state or national professional veterinary association; an association established for the preservation and care of any such small animal; or an association representing pet retailers.
(c) All retailers that sell small animals to the public shall maintain a copy of the written care recommendations for each class of small animal they sell, which shall be available for inspection by the department of agriculture and markets.
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