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Changes to State Laws Governing Animal Control

Posted in News

Animal Control Officers’ Association of Massachusetts (ACOAM)
Cheryl L. Malone Phone (508)385-2808
Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Date: September 19, 2012
To: Town Administrators, Chiefs of Police, Animal Control Officers and other municipal parties
From: Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts (ACOAM) in conjunction with the MSPCA, Animal Rescue League of Boston, Massachusetts Animal Coalition, Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association
Re: Changes to state laws governing animal control (Senate Bill 2192)

Senate Bill 2192, An Act Further Regulating Animal Control, passed into law in August 2012; it will become effective on October 31, 2012. This law will affect many aspects of the animal control function in our municipalities. ACOAM, along with many other stakeholders, worked to draft and pass this legislation. We believe that, while it may require some changes to local bylaws and procedures, it will provide long term benefits to the animals and the public in your community and to the role of your ACOs, while saving your city or town money, too.

In broad terms, the law will update many of the statutes pertaining to animals in the Mass. General Laws Ch. 140 to reflect the current state of animal control in our municipalities today. For example, the changes remove references to the outdated and unused county system. Cities and towns can make bylaws that aren’t inconsistent with the provisions of MGL Ch. 140 sec. 136A through 174E.

We hope this summary will provide an introduction to these changes and we welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you and/or your municipal government. We hope you will view the law in its entirety at and share with the officials in your town that would benefit from this information. A document showing the changes between the current and new law can be found at

There are trainings being held by Commonwealth Police Service on October 4th in N. Grafton and November 12th in Taunton that your ACO and/or your municipal officials may find useful These trainings are not hosted by or affiliated with ACOAM; for more information on the trainings visit . Training offered by ACOAM on this topic are being formed and will be announced.

To continue reading, download the entire document:  SB 2192 letter to Administrators.pdf


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