To keep you informed of pet-related laws being considered or enacted across the US, we have provided a few summaries. This edition discusses new pet legislation occurring in Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado and Minnesota.
Massachusetts: In MA, Quarantined Dogs and Cats Will Find New Homes Faster
In the process of Gov. Charlie Baker’s move to streamline his state’s regulatory scheme, the length of quarantine for unvaccinated cats and dogs possibly exposed to rabies is now four months instead of six. Animal rights organizations and activists applauded the changes, citing the reduction in stress and depression experienced by pets after long-term isolation from their usual familial environments. More information here: Massachusetts Changes Quarantine Regulations.
Florida: FL Miami-Dade County Considers Lifting Controversial Pit Bull Ban Again
When the “confinement, registration and liability insurance” requirement was first enacted, it was applied strictly to the pit bull breed. In the 80’s, several incidents of violent interactions between pit bulls and humans gave rise to this ordinance, supported by the public outcry after one especially horrific outcome: a pit bull mauled an 8-year-old girl in the tony West Kendall area. After many years of struggle, the efforts of the AKC, UKC, AVMA and even the American Bar Association to repeal this “racial profiling” of a specific dog breed may be finally coming to fruition. More information here: Miami-Dade County Revisits Pit Bull Ban Amid Controversy.
Colorado: In CO, Adams County May Impose Nuisance Fines For Barking Dogs
Recently, the Adams County Board passed a measure which people, no matter where they live, will be able to genuinely appreciate. When a dog’s barking is so continuous as to constitute a nuisance, Animal Control personnel may now use video evidence from the complainant in lieu of actually being present when the barking occurs. The first incident will incur a warning, the second, a $50 fine, and the third incident will result in a $75 fine. If your dog is a constant barker, check out these tips for managing their chatter.
Minnesota: MN Gives Pets Beneficiary Status
Minnesota recently enacted “pet trust” legislation. A pet trust allows for the assignment of a caretaker to receive regular payments for the care of the pet after the owner dies, and provides for regular veterinary visits, type of food and feeding schedule, exercise, and other specific needs of their pet. Minnesota was the 50th state to enact such legislation. Better late than never! More information here: Minnesota Pet Trust Statute.
Nationwide: DOT Champions Airport Pet Relief Stations
The Department of Transportation has recently changed Federal law to provide funding for mandatory pet relief stations at airports. Some major airports have already installed these pet potty stations, and by August 2016, all air terminals serving over 10,000 passengers a day are required to have a post-security pet relief area. It seems that our airports are being overrun by man’s best friend, and they really need a place to do their duty, without forcing their humans to go outside, then back through security checks a second time. Some of the amenities include an ornamental fire hydrant, faux turf areas, waste bags for clean ups, and a sink for people to wash up afterwards. No word on whether paw washing facilities will be included!
David Chambers is a retired paralegal living in Chicago with his partner, Stephanie, and two fluffy cats, Jasper and Joy.