Proposed state regulations for animal shelters
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A battle over animal welfare is brewing in Massachusetts. The state says new, proposed regulations will improve conditions for animals in shelters.
But animal shelters and rescue groups say some of the regulations could force shelters to close and put animals at risk.
The state is proposing new regulations that say "foster homes shall be subject to inspection" by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.
"If a police officer wants to come in my house they have to have a warrant, if my landlord wants to come into my house he has to give me 24 hours notice, but I'm supposed to let this stranger in my house,” Gayle Mahoney, a foster dog keeper, said.
Animal rights groups say the state's proposal doesn't only impact foster homes. It also calls for shelters to have more oversight than pet shops and breeders. And it will even hold shelters to standards higher than some national guidelines.
The MSPCA worries even it may not be able to afford some of the proposed modifications and is concerned about smaller shelters.
"It could close animal shelters. It could mean the euthanasia of more animals,” Mike Keiley, of the MSPCA, said.
The director of the Second Chance Animal Shelter in East Brookfield estimates the new rules would cost her thousands of dollars in remodeling and mandated vet check up's. Its money she doesn't have.
"Putting more responsibility on the organization to ensure that they're placing animals that are both healthy behavior wise and medical wise is important,” Michael Cahill, an employee of the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, said.
The Department of Agriculture says it wants to hear your opinion on the proposed rules. You have until October 8th to give the state your feedback.
If you’d like to check out the proposed regulations: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/animal-health/shelter-and-rescue/
If you’d like to send the Department of Agriculture your comments regarding the proposed regulations, please email Michael Cahill at: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org