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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 653        FILED ON: 1/12/2009

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 344

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_______________

PRESENTED BY:

Lida E. Harkins

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the passage of the accompanying bill:

An Act prohibiting devocalization of dogs and cats.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Jennifer L. Flanagan

Worcester and Middlesex

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Matthew C. Patrick

3rd Barnstable

Jennifer M. Callahan

18th Worcester

David P. Linsky

5th Middlesex

Robert L. Rice, Jr.

2nd Worcester

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger

24th Middlesex

Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera

10th Hampden

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Stephen M. Brewer

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin

Scott P. Brown

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex

Daniel E. Bosley

1st Berkshire

Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

Viriato Manuel deMacedo

1st Plymouth

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

John D. Keenan

7th Essex

Barbara A. L'Italien

18th Essex

David M. Nangle

17th Middlesex

Pam Richardson

6th Middlesex

Michael F. Rush

10th Suffolk

Cynthia Stone Creem

First Middlesex and Norfolk

Susan C. Fargo

Third Middlesex

John A. Hart, Jr.

First Suffolk

Geraldo Alicea

6th Worcester

Willie Mae Allen

6th Suffolk

James Arciero

2nd Middlesex

Bill Bowles

2nd Bristol

Garrett J. Bradley

3rd Plymouth

Stephen R. Canessa

12th Bristol

Steven J. D'Amico

4th Bristol

Paul J. Donato

35th Middlesex

John P. Fresolo

16th Worcester

Peter J. Koutoujian

10th Middlesex

Stephen Kulik

1st Franklin

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Martin J. Walsh

13th Suffolk

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

James T. Welch

6th Hampden

John F. Quinn

9th Bristol

Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

Anthony W. Petruccelli

First Suffolk and Middlesex

Susan C. Tucker

Second Essex and Middlesex

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

16th Suffolk

David M. Nangle

17th Middlesex

Karen E. Spilka

Second Middlesex and Norfolk

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Charles A. Murphy

21st Middlesex

Bruce E. Tarr

First Essex and Middlesex

Jennifer Benson

37th Middlesex

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

William Lantigua

16th Essex

Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand and Nine

_______________



 

An Act prohibiting devocalization of dogs and cats.


 

              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. Said Chapter 272 is amended by inserting the following section:

Section 80. (a) No person shall surgically debark or silence a dog or cat, or cause the surgical debarking or silencing of a dog or cat, unless a veterinarian licensed in this state has filed a written certification with the town clerk or in Boston, the police commissioner, stating that the surgical debarking or silencing is medically necessary to treat or relieve an illness, disease, or injury, or correct a congenital abnormality that is causing or will cause the dog or cat medical harm or pain.  

(b) The written certification described in (a) shall contain the date and description of the veterinarian’s examination and evaluation of the dog or cat, statement certifying that surgical debarking or silencing is medically necessary to treat or relieve an illness, disease, or injury, or correct a congenital abnormality that is causing or will cause the dog or cat harm or pain; any supporting diagnosis and findings, the name and current address and telephone number of the dog or cat’s owner or keeper, and the name and current address and telephone number, state license number, and signature of the veterinarian.

(c) No person except a veterinarian licensed in this state, using anesthesia, may surgically debark or silence a dog or cat.    

(d) Any person in violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by both such fine and imprisonment. A court may also order any person convicted under this section to submit to a mental health evaluation as determined by the court and undergo any recommended counseling or treatment. In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person convicted under this section may be barred from owning or possessing any animals, or living on the same property with someone who owns or possesses animals, for a period of time deemed appropriate by the court, and required to take humane education, pet ownership and dog training classes as ordered by the court.

SECTION 2. Said Chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following section:

Section ________. Any person or business selling a dog or cat for profit shall disclose whether the dog or cat has been surgically debarked or silenced and provide the purchaser with a copy of the veterinarian certification required by Chapter 272, Sec. 80. 

SECTION 3 . Said Section 137D of chapter 140 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting “eighty” between “seventy seven” and “eighty A”.

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