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Massachusetts

Consolidated Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: MA ST 90 14A; MA ST 272 98A; MA ST 272 85B; MA ST 129 1; MA ST 129 39C, D, F, 43

Citation: M.G.L.A. 90 14A; M.G.L.A. 272 98A; M.G.L.A. 272 85B; M.G.L.A. 129 1; M.G.L.A. 129 39C, D, F, 43


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.



Statute in Full:

Link to Title XX. Public Safety and Good Order. Chapter 140. Licenses. Dogs. § 139. Fees; certificate or statement that dog has been spayed; dogs serving blind persons; dogs owned by persons aged 70 or over; dogs serving deaf persons; refunds

Massachusetts General Laws Annotated. Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182). Title XIV. Public Ways and Works (Ch. 81-92B). Chapter 90. Motor Vehicles and Aircraft. Motor Vehicles.

§ 14A. Protection of blind pedestrians crossing or attempting to cross ways

Part IV. Crimes, Punishments and Proceedings in Criminal Cases(Ch. 263-280). Title I. Crimes and Punishments (Ch. 263-274). Chapter 272. Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order.

§ 98A. Physically handicapped persons with dog guides; public places or conveyances; charges or fares; penalties

Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182). Title XIX. Agriculture and Conservation (Ch. 128-132B). Chapter 129. Livestock Disease Control.
§ 1. Definitions

§ 39C. Hearing dog business; licenses
 
§ 39D. Hearing dog business; access to public facilities
 
§ 39F. Service dogs; trainer rights
 
§ 43. Penalties for violation of Secs. 39 to 42
 
Part IV. Crimes, Punishments and Proceedings in Criminal Cases (Ch. 263-280). Title I. Crimes and Punishments (Ch. 263-274). Chapter 272. Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order.
 
§ 85B. Assistance animals stolen or attacked; actions for economic and non-economic damages

 

 

Massachusetts General Laws Annotated. Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182). Title XIV. Public Ways and Works (Ch. 81-92B). Chapter 90. Motor Vehicles and Aircraft. Motor Vehicles.

§ 14A. Protection of blind pedestrians crossing or attempting to cross ways

Whenever a totally or partially blind pedestrian, guided by a guide dog or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red, crosses or attempts to cross a way, the driver of every vehicle approaching the place where such pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross shall bring his vehicle to a full stop, and before proceeding shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian. A person who owns an animal shall restrain and control such animal on a leash when in proximity to a guide dog that is on a public or private way. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to deprive any totally or partially blind person, not carrying such a cane or walking stick or not being guided by a dog, of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing ways, nor shall the failure of such blind person to carry a cane or walking stick or to be guided by a guide dog while on the ways of this commonwealth be held to constitute or be evidence of contributory negligence. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of no less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars.

CREDIT(S)

Added by St.1949, c. 279. Amended by St.1961, c. 60; St.1992, c. 329, §§ 1, 2. 

 

Part IV. Crimes, Punishments and Proceedings in Criminal Cases(Ch. 263-280). Title I. Crimes and Punishments (Ch. 263-274). Chapter 272. Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order.

§ 98A. Physically handicapped persons with dog guides; public places or conveyances; charges or fares; penalties

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any blind person, or deaf or hearing handicapped person, or other physically handicapped person accompanied by a dog guide, shall be entitled to any and all accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, public amusements and places of public accommodation, within the commonwealth, to which persons not accompanied by dogs are entitled, subject only to the conditions and limitations applicable to all persons not accompanied by dogs, and no such blind person, or deaf or hearing handicapped, or other physically handicapped person shall be required to pay any charge or fare for or on account of the transportation on any public conveyance for himself and such dog so accompanying him in addition to the charge or fare lawfully chargeable for his own transportation. Whoever deprives any blind person, or deaf or hearing handicapped person, or other physically handicapped person of any right conferred by this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars and shall be liable to any person aggrieved thereby for such damages as are set forth in section five of chapter one hundred and fifty-one B; provided, however, that such civic forfeiture shall be of an amount not less than one hundred dollars.

CREDIT(S)

Added by St.1938, c. 155, § 1. Amended by St.1978, c. 93; St.1978, c. 458, § 2; St.1980, c. 71; St.1981, c. 445; St.1983, c. 585, § 10; St.1983, c. 628, § 8; St.1992, c. 286, § 266; St.2000, c. 126; St.2004, c. 149, § 211, eff. July 1, 2004.

 

Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182). Title XIX. Agriculture and Conservation (Ch. 128-132B). Chapter 129. Livestock Disease Control.
 
§ 1. Definitions
The following words as used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, shall have the following meanings:
“Agents”, employees of the division of animal health in the department of food and agriculture especially designated as agents by the director.
“Contagious disease”, such disease as is recognized by the United States department of agriculture, animal health division, to be contagious or infectious.
“Director”, director of animal health.
“Division”, the division of animal health of the department of food and agriculture.
“Domestic animals”, all animals including poultry that are kept or harbored as domesticated animals. Poultry as used in this section shall include chickens, roosters, capons, hens, turkeys, pigeons, guinea fowl, and ducks and geese other than wild species.
“Guard Dog Business”, the business of furnishing, whether by lease or sale, dogs trained as guard dogs to protect life or property, or of training such guard dogs.
“Hearing dog”, a dog that has completed a program of professional training to aid deaf and hearing impaired individuals whenever such dog is professionally trained by a person engaged in the hearing dog business to aid the deaf and actually being used for such purpose, or a dog owned by a person engaged in the hearing dog business within the commonwealth during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
“Hearing dog business”, the business of furnishing, whether by lease, sale or otherwise, dogs trained as hearing dogs, or of training such hearing dogs.
“Inspector”, inspector of animals appointed under section fifteen or sixteen.
“Pet shop”, every place or premise where birds, mammals or reptiles are kept for the purpose of sale at either wholesale or retail, import, export, barter, exchange or gift.
Credits
Amended by St.1934, c. 340, § 12; St.1935, c. 70; St.1966, c. 54; St.1967, c. 347, §§ 8, 9; St.1971, c. 993, § 1; St.1975, c. 706, §§ 204, 205; St.1981, c. 774, § 1; St.1983, c. 585, § 3.
§ 39C. Hearing dog business; licenses
 
Every person engaged in the hearing dog business shall obtain a license therefor from the director, the fee for which shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven for the filing thereof, and such license shall expire on December thirty-first following the date of issuance, unless sooner revoked. The director may make rules and regulations governing the issuance and revocation of such licenses and the conduct of any business so licensed, and relative to the maintenance of premises, buildings and conveyances, the health of the dogs and the method and time of inspection of such dogs and such business.
 
The director shall promptly furnish to the director of the office of deafness the name and address of each person licensed to conduct a hearing dog business, and the person so licensed shall promptly furnish to the director of the office of deafness with the name and address of each person to whom a hearing dog is furnished. A hearing dog shall, for identification purposes, be fitted with a collar and leash which are of a bright color.

CREDIT(S)

Added by St.1983, c. 585, § 5.
 
 
§ 39D. Hearing dog business; access to public facilities
 
A person engaged in the hearing dog business, while actually engaged in the training process and activities of hearing dogs, shall have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities with respect to access to public facilities as those applicable to deaf persons.
 
CREDIT(S)

Added by St.1983, c. 585, § 5.
 
 
§ 39F. Service dogs; trainer rights

A person accompanied by and engaged in the raising or training of a service dog, including a hearing, guide or assistance dog, shall have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as those afforded to an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Added by St.2002, c. 438, § 16.
 
§ 43. Penalties for violation of Secs. 39 to 42
 
Whoever violates any provisions of sections thirty-nine to forty-two, inclusive, or of any rule or regulation made under section thirty-nine or thirty-nine A, shall be punished for a first offence by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars and for any subsequent offence by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years, or both.

CREDIT(S)
 
Added by St.1941, c. 607, § 1. Amended by St.1946, c. 416, § 2; St.1971, c. 993, § 3.

 

Part IV. Crimes, Punishments and Proceedings in Criminal Cases (Ch. 263-280). Title I. Crimes and Punishments (Ch. 263-274). Chapter 272. Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order.

§ 85B. Assistance animals stolen or attacked; actions for economic and non-economic damages

(a) A physically impaired person who uses an assistance animal or the owner of the assistance animal, may bring an action for economic and non-economic damages against a person who steals or attacks the assistance animal. The action authorized by this subsection may be brought by the physically impaired person or owner notwithstanding that the assistance animal was in the custody or under the supervision of another person when the theft or attack occurred. If any other non-assistance animal should attack an assistance animal, the owner of the assistance animal may seek compensation from the owner or custodian of the non-assistance animal found to have caused harm to the assistance animal.

(b) If the theft or attack of an assistance animal as described in subsection (a) results in the death of the animal or the animal is not returned or if injuries sustained prevent the assistance animal from returning to service, the measure of economic damages shall include, but are not limited to, the veterinary medical expenses and the replacement cost of an equally trained assistance animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal.

(c) A cause of action shall not arise under this section if the physically impaired individual, owner or the individual having custody or supervision of the assistance animal was engaged in the commission of a crime at the time of injury sustained by the assistance animal.

CREDIT(S)

Added by St.2004, c. 104, eff. Aug. 18, 2004.



 



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