BOSTON (CBS) – A new effort called Ollie’s Law would protect pets in dog kennels and day care centers across Massachusetts.
A family in western Massachusetts is hoping their terrible loss could help save more dogs. Amy Baxter makes her pitch, urging a handful of dog lovers to get behind the law.
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âA citizen can really make a difference,â said Baxter.
Last October, Baxter took his Labradoodle Ollie to a West Massachusetts kennel for dog day care – only to receive a text that he had been attacked by other dogs.
âThe dogs had broken his paws with their teeth. His entire body was covered in bites, âBaxter said.
Two months and $ 25,000 in vet bills later, Ollie was dead.
Officials in the city of East Longmeadow eventually shut down this kennel where Ollie was attacked.
But Baxter was stunned to learn that there are no statewide regulations for pet boarding or dog day care in Massachusetts.
âIt happens too often and it is preventable. You can put standards in place that ensure these animals are protected and that consumers know they can trust the place, âsaid Kara Holmquist.
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Baxter brought the MSPCA on board, along with State Representative Brian Ashe.
âWe just want to make sure the dogs are protected and people have a safety net,â Ashe said.
This safety net would replace the current patchwork of weak or no local guidelines with state-imposed regulations for personnel, training, animal care, emergency protocols and insurance coverage.
Responsible kennel operators like Jeni Mather helped develop it.
âFair and Achievable Business Practices. It’s not overdone, and it’s well overdue, âsaid Mather.
âIt’s a great first step. I think Massachusetts has the opportunity to lead the way, âadded Baxter.
The measure is still in joint committee at the Massachusetts Statehouse.
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But Baxter and his growing army are convinced it will catch on fire this fall with more and more people returning to the office and seeking reassurance that their pet won’t end up like Ollie.