It's about time something positive happened to benefit animals with the law. So much has been circulating lately about victims of BSL and breed discrimination and animal abuse and neglect, it was refreshing to hear that Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts singed into law Bill S.2192 today. This bill is going to benefit every pet in Massachusetts and is a huge step for Anti-BSL activists. (Like me.) And if you haven't heard the asinine spewing of Congressman Steve King regarding his pro dog fighting stance, you can get caught up on that over on Blog Four Paws. But, for now, let's stay on the positive focus!
Some bullet points of MA Bill S.2192:
- It actually states, "No City or Town shall regulate dogs in a manner that is specific to Breed" - It's about time! It does strengthen dangerous dog laws, WITHOUT targeting specific breeds.
- It prohibits the use of gas chambers for euthanizing dogs and cats.
- It creates a spay/neuter program designed to reduce the number of homeless animals using a voluntary tax check off.
- It includes pets in domestic violence protection orders.
“Dangerous dog”, a dog that either: (i) without justification, attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or death; or (ii) behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death to 1 or more persons, domestic or owned animals; provided, however, that no dog shall be deemed dangerous:
(A) solely based upon growling or barking or solely growling and barking;
(B) based upon the breed of such dog; or
(C) if such dog was reacting to another animal or to a person and such dog’s reaction was not grossly disproportionate to any of the following circumstances:
(1) such dog was protecting or defending itself, its offspring, another domestic animal or a person from attack or assault;
(2) the person who was attacked or threatened by the dog was committing a crime upon the person or property of the owner or keeper of such dog;
(3) the person attacked or threatened by the dog was engaged in teasing, tormenting, battering, assaulting, injuring or otherwise provoking such dog; or
(4) at the time of such attack or threat, the person or animal that was attacked or threatened by such dog had breached an enclosure or structure in which the dog was kept apart from the public and such person or animal was not authorized by the owner of the premises to be within such enclosure including, but not limited to, a gated, fenced-in area if the gate was closed, whether locked or unlocked; provided, however, that if a person is under the age of 7, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that such person was not committing a crime, provoking the dog or trespassing.
Colorado's current Dangerous Dog language is this:
(b) "Dangerous dog" means any dog that:
(I) Inflicts bodily or serious bodily injury upon or causes the death of a person or domestic animal; or
(II) Demonstrates tendencies that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the dog may inflict bodily or serious bodily injury upon or cause the death of any person or domestic animal; or
(III) Engages in or is trained for animal fighting as described and prohibited in section 18-9-204.
Colorado's is WAY to general and needs to be changed. It seems like the time is now to push this forward. I certainly hope the momentum of late continues and we are able to make a difference in the lives of all the innocent pets out there that need us defending them. I know I'm going to do my best.
The Animal Farm Foundation put up an info graphic on their Facebook page about the MA bill, which is actually kind of funny. The first question is, "Do you care about animals?" An answer of No tells you that "It's hot where you are going..." Hehe. That made me laugh. And really, if you don't care about animals, I kinda wish you would get there faster. Just sayin'.
Kudos to Gov. Patrick of MA. Thank you for standing up for pets! What are you thankful for today?