From the AKC:
Massachusetts House Bill 1948, sponsored by Representative Bradford Hill, seeks to establish non-discriminatory, workable methods by which to deal with vicious and potentially dangerous dogs. It has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, which will consider the bill on Monday, May 14, 2007. It is vitally important that dog owners contact the members of the Committee to express their support.
The American Kennel Club supports reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs. We support laws that: establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as dangerous based on stated, measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. HB 1948 satisfies those desired qualities. For example, the bill provides that:
-Any dog, regardless of breed, breeding, type, or appearance, can be classified as a potentially dangerous dog or vicious dog.
-No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if any injury or damage is sustained by a person who was:
-committing a willful trespass or other tort;
-teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog;
-or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
-No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if the dog was protecting or defending a person or itself from an unjustified attack.
-No dog may be declared potentially dangerous or vicious if the injury or damage to an animal was sustained while the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog.
-Prescribes a reasonable system by which a dog considered potentially dangerous can have that designation removed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact the members of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government who will consider this bill and express your support.
Senate Committee Members:
Senator James E. Timilty, Chair
Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, Vice-Chair
Senator Steven A. Baddour
Senator Jarrett T. Barrios
Senator Susan C. Fargo
Senator Richard R. Tisei
House of Representatives Committee Members:
Representative Vincent A. Pedone, Chair
Representative Martin J. Walsh, Vice-Chair
Representative J. James Marzilli
Representative Douglas W. Petersen
Representative Matthew Patrick
Representative Stephen R. Canessa
Representative Denis E. Guyer
Representative Sarah Peake
Representative F. Jay Barrows
Representative Todd M. Smola
For more information contact:
- The Massachusetts General Court website
- The Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Owners
- The AKC Canine Legislation Department at (919) 816-3503, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.