Massachusetts

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Lieberman v. Powers


In this Massachusetts case, Noah Lieberman sustained injuries when he was scratched and bitten by a cat while visiting a “cat lounge” at the Sheldon branch animal shelter, which was operated by the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). Plaintiff alleged that his injuries resulted from the defendants' negligent design and maintenance of the cat lounge. The Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk reversed the lower court's grant of summary judgment for defendants. Specifically, the court found that the plaintiff has provided sufficient evidence, in the form of expert opinion, that an ordinarily prudent person in the circumstances of this case-which include the defendants' knowledge regarding the behavior (and potential for aggression) of cats-would have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of visitors to the cat lounge. At the very least, the defendants should have foreseen that the small size of the room, as well as the set-up (one food bowl, one litter box, two perches) and unsupervised operation of the cat lounge was such that it was more likely than not to increase stress in cats, which in turn made it more likely than not that the cats would behave aggressively.

MA - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and service dog laws.
MA - Cambridge - Title 6: Animals (Chapter 6.12: Care and Use of Laboratory Animals)


In Cambridge, Massachusetts, research institutions that perform experiments on animals must do so in conformity with all federal, state and local statutes, ordinances and regulations, as well as maintain or establish an autonomous animal care and use committee with the power to disapprove or restrict research, experiments or regarding the care and use of laboratory animals. This ordinance also establishes a Commissioner of Laboratory Animals (CLA) for the purpose of overseeing research institutions and their committees. Penalties for violating these provisions are also provided.

MA - Captive Wildlife - 2.12: Artificial Propagation of Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians Massachusetts law prohibits possession of wild animals without a license. Licenses are only given out for limited reasons, none of which include the keeping of animals as pets. The classes for which licenses may be granted are propagator's licenses, public stocking licenses, dealer's licenses, possessor's licenses, and dog training licenses.
MA - Cat of commonwealth - Chapter 2. Arms, Great Seal and Other Emblems of the Commonwealth. The Tabby cat shall be the official cat of the Massachusetts commonwealth.
MA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes These Massachusetts laws contain the state's anti-cruelty provisions. Sec. 77 is the operative anti-cruelty statute and provides that whoever overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or kills an animal, and whoever uses in a cruel or inhuman manner in a race, game, or contest, or in training, as lure or bait a live animal (except as bait in fishing), or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 7 years or imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Other laws prohibit the dyeing of baby chicks, the docking of horse tails, and animal fighting, among other provisions. In 2010, the state made non-medically necessary devocalization of dogs or cats illegal.
MA - Cruelty, reporting - § 85. Department employees reporting animal cruelty, abuse or neglect; immunity from liability This Massachusetts statute provides that a state employee acting within the scope of his or her employment, who has knowledge of or observes an animal whom he knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect may report it to the entities that investigate these reports or any local animal control. The statute describes how to make the report, timing to submit, and who can make the report if 2 or more employees witness the abuse. The statute also makes clear that no person who makes a report shall be liable in any civil or criminal action if the report was made in good faith.
MA - Disaster Planning - Massachusetts Emergency Animal Annex The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is an all hazards plan developed to address the natural and man-caused hazards that threaten Massachusetts. The CEMP and ESF Annexes describes the system that will be used in Massachusetts to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency or disaster. It also identifies and assigns specific areas of responsibility for coordinating resources to support the response to an emergency or disaster. The Massachusetts Emergency Support Function 11 (MAESF-11) Agriculture, Animals and Natural Resources provides a framework for coordination and cooperation across state agencies and other organizations regarding the control and support of animal sheltering, search, rescue, recovery, and reunification needs and activities before, during, and after a disaster, or emergency.
MA - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws These Massachusetts statutes comprise the state's dog laws. Among the provisions include licensing laws, dangerous dog laws, and rabies vaccination provisions.
MA - Domestic Violence - § 11. Possession, care and control of domesticated animal owned by persons involved in certain protecti This Massachusetts law, effective October of 2012, allows the court to order the possession, care and control of any domesticated animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household to the plaintiff or petitioner in a no contact or restraining order. The court may order the defendant to refrain from abusing, threatening, taking, interfering with, transferring, encumbering, concealing, harming or otherwise disposing of such animal.

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