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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 30: Inspection of vacated property for presence of abandoned animals

Section 30. Not more than 3 days after a property owner or a lessor knew or should have known that a property has been vacated through termination of tenancy, abandonment or other removal or exclusion of a tenant from the premises under this chapter or chapter 186A, the property owner, lessor or a designee shall inspect the property for the presence of abandoned animals.

If the property owner, lessor or a designee encounters an abandoned animal, that person shall immediately notify an animal control officer as defined in section 136A of chapter 140, a police officer or other authorized agent of the presence and condition of the animal.

The property owner, lessor or a designee who encounters an abandoned animal under this section shall not be considered the owner, possessor or person having charge or custody of the animal under section 77 of chapter 272.

For the purposes of this section, an animal shall be considered abandoned if it is found on or in a property vacated through termination of tenancy, abandonment or other removal or exclusion of a tenant from the premises under this chapter or said chapter 186A.

If the property owner, lessor or designee fails to comply with this section, the lessor or property owner shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500 for a first offense and not more than $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense. Funds collected under this section shall be deposited into the Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund established in section 35WW of chapter 10.