HB 1445 is a bill that seeks to provide requirements for the handling and care of domestic animals in connection with their adoption, sale, barter, transfer or exchange within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Yet HB 1445 would regulate only shelters and rescue organizations, leaving breeders unregulated. In fact, breeders in Massachusetts not only do not pay taxes, but they are left completely unrestricted by the Department of Agriculture. This prejudicial legislation must be defeated.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 5 million to 7 million animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Twenty-five percent of dogs who enter local shelters are purebred. The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. Twenty-six percent of dogs are purchased from breeders, 20 to 30 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues, and 2 to 10 percent are purchased from pet shops.
HB 1445 gives the Department of Agriculture unfettered power to pass regulations. There is no language regarding the involvement of the legislature to oversee approval of anything done by the Department of Agriculture. No agency should be permitted to operate without oversight. This power needs to belong to the legislature as the elected representatives of the people of Massachusetts.
The sponsor of the bill, Kay Khan, has specifically said she will not support regulations for breeders- even under HB 1445. Rules being purposed by the Department of Agriculture if HB 1445 is passed serve no purpose except to drive rescue organizations out of existence in MA. Responsible rescues already spend a fortune vetting their dogs including, but not limited to spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm, micro chipping, and obtaining health certificates- standards which breeders do not hold themselves too. These proposed regulations would add a massive layer of cost without any benefit.
There are huge constitutional issues with these regulations. It is clear that HB 1445 is part of an overt and systematic effort to undermine the efforts of animal rescue in Massachusetts. The fact is that dogs and cats no longer useful for breeding or exhibition are among those left homeless. Shelters and rescue groups absorb significant expense to heal and re-home these animals. Passing HB 1445 will not decrease the number of homeless animals in Massachusetts, but rather leave them with no place to go. Without the efforts of shelters and rescue organizations, the animal overpopulation problem in our state will only intensify.
Petition Letter from change.org