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May 17, 2024 Clouds | 56°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 151A: Issuance of warrant to officers; duties; confinement of dogs; allowance for care; records

Section 151A. (a) The mayor or board of selectmen, as the case may be, shall annually issue a warrant to the animal control officer directing the officer to seek out, catch and confine all dogs within the city or town which are not licensed, collared or harnessed, or tagged, as required by this chapter, and to enter and prosecute a complaint for failure to comply with this chapter against the owners or keepers of such dogs, if known, and to euthanize or cause to be euthanized only by the administration of barbiturates in a manner deemed acceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia, or by gunshot in case of emergency, each such dog not licensed, collared or harnessed, or tagged after being detained by or for the officer for a period of 7 days; provided, however, that after 7 days, the animal control officer may make available for adoption any dog found free of disease for a sum of not less than $3 to be determined by the city or town and shall keep an account of all moneys received by the officer for the adoption and shall immediately pay over the moneys to the treasurer who shall forward it to the city or town. Before delivery of a dog so adopted, the animal control officer shall require the purchaser to show identification and to procure a license and tag for the dog from the clerk of the city or town wherein the dog is to be kept. Dogs detained under this section shall be confined in a place suitable for the detention and care of dogs and kept in a sanitary condition, or they may be placed in the care of the holder of a kennel license or of a domestic charitable corporation incorporated exclusively for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect or abuse. The commissioner from time to time shall cause such places wherein animals are detained under this section to be inspected and shall make necessary orders in relation thereto. An animal control officer having custody of a detained dog or cat shall be allowed a sum determined by the city or town per day for the care of the dog or cat, payable by the owner or keeper, if known, otherwise by the city or town.

(b) Each animal control officer shall make, keep and maintain systems of records or forms which fully and correctly disclose the following information concerning each animal in the officer's custody: (1) the date and location of apprehension; (2) a description of the animal; (3) the place of detainment; (4) if tagged, the name and address of the owner of the animal; (5) the name and address of a new owner, if any, including the date of sale or transfer of the animal; (6) if the animal is euthanized, the method and date of such euthanization and the name of the person who euthanized the animal; and (7) the date, location and description of an animal euthanized by gunshot in case of emergency, the disposition of the animal remains and a description of the situation requiring the gunshot.

Each animal control officer shall forward a copy of the record to the town or city clerk within 30 days. Copies of the record shall be kept for 2 years in the office of the city or town clerk wherein such animal control officer is employed.