The State of Massachusetts has abolished all breed-specific laws in the state, and has ensured that the rights of any dog owner would take priority. With breed-specific cases, like a dog named Lennox in Northern Ireland who gets shot just because he looked similar to a Pit Bull, and another dog from Colorado (a real Pit Bull named Dre) who did not hurt anyone or anything, was been given a death sentence, many animal rights activists and dog owners (especially those from apartments) can finally breathe easily, now that breed discrimination has ended in that specific state.
According to the bill that was signed by the governor of Massachusetts (Gov. Deval Patrick), “No city or town shall regulate dogs in a manner that is specific to breed.” The bill was signed August 2, 2012. It also states that “no dog shall be deemed dangerous … based upon the breed of such dog.” The bill is part of a wide-reaching animal control law, which has been “in the works” for 6 years. It contains sections that standardize requirements regarding spaying and neutering. as well as training requirements for animal control officers in Massachusetts.
The passed law was said to be the solution to the never-ending pointless killing of Pit Bulls due to breed discrimination, and the fact that many people have in their minds that such dogs are ruthless killers. State Senator Mark C. W. Montigny, a democrat from New Bedford, Mass., one of those who supported and pushed the law, states that “The breed-specific thing is a quick reaction to a complex problem,” and that Pit Bulls are a loving, caring breed if people and the dog owners do not treat them in gruesome ways and antagonize them. Clearly, Mr. Montigny is a good example of promoting equal rights for dogs, regardless of breed!
There were also other groups, such as people who work in animal control and animal rights advocacy groups, who supported the law. Some of them state that not all dogs that bite are necessarily evil or dangerous; it just depends on how they were raised, taken care of, and socialized.
Aside from the part of the law that bans the breed-specific legislation, it also contains some modifications on restraining order laws when it comes to domestic-violence cases. It means that dogs, cats and other pets can be safe and protected with a TRO that keeps other people and pets from potentially harming or getting back at them. Montigny also mentioned that some people use pets to take revenge on custody and divorce cases.
Law-enforcement official Joe Magani praised this part of the Massachusetts law, stating that it can really help them whenever there are cases when pet animals are used as “weapons” when it comes to domestic violence. Not only that, the law also puts a ban on euthanizing dogs with carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Some of the groups that supported the bill were:
• Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts
• Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
• Animal Rescue League of Boston