BREWSTER — With the holiday season fast approaching, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is releasing “The Kennel-9.”
This is a public awareness and safety campaign to help ensure pets are properly cared for while in boarding.
Currently, there are no statewide regulations that govern kennels and pet daycares in Massachusetts.
The ARL and other animal welfare organizations are advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets.
The bill, S. 114, H. 1774: An Act to Protect the Health and Safety of Puppies and Kittens in Cities and Towns, is sponsored by Senator Harriett Chandler and Representative Linda Dean Campbell.
Cape and Islands Senator Julian Cyr is co-sponsoring H. 114, while Barnstable 4th District Representative Sarah Peak and Barnstable 5th District Representative Randy Hunt are co-sponsors of H. 1774.
The ARL has reportedly witnessed a number of incidents involving animals in kennels who have been injured, sometimes fatally, due to insufficient facilities, staff training or protocols.
“There are many quality boarding houses throughout Massachusetts, but unfortunately, due to a lack of statewide standards and regulations, the Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends pet owners to company to do their homework and ask the right questions to make sure their pet is safe,” said ARL President Mary Nee.
The ARL urges owners of research animals as much as possible and to keep these nine considerations in mind when boarding their pets:
- See for yourself. Can you see the kennels and common areas where your pet will be boarded? During your pet’s stay, can you monitor it remotely via webcam?
- Sound the alarm. Does the facility have a written emergency response procedure in the event of fire, power failure, or natural disaster? Is the kennel equipped with fire and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems and a backup generator?
- License, please. Does the kennel have a current business license issued by a city or local town? According to the license, how many animals can be boarded at the same time? How many animals are currently housed?
- In case of medical emergency. Are you contacted if your pets experience an unexpected medical condition or injury? Is there a veterinarian on staff or does the facility have a duty veterinarian? Do you sign a waiver authorizing the treatment of your animal?
- CCM. What is the staff/animal ratio? Is there 24 hour onsite supervision? If not, are the animals monitored by video camera? What is the training or experience of staff caring for animals?
- Social circle. Do the dogs play together in the common areas? Are these playgroups supervised at all times? Are the dogs grouped by size and/or temperament? Can you choose not to include your dog in group activities?
- Infection precautions. Does the facility require up-to-date vaccination records for all residents? What documentation is required for your pet to be admitted?
- Feline friends. Does the facility allow cats and are they separated from the sight and sound of dogs?
- Get it in writing. Will the property provide you with written documentation of their procedures or confirmation of any special requests for your pet?