Shelter And Rescue Regulations Survey Results
This survey of Massachusetts animal shelters, rescue agencies, and animal control organizations sought to determine the extent and nature of animal importation into the state. Additional objectives were to evaluate attitudes and experiences with respect to importation and regulation, and to determine impact of a related emergency order put in place by the state Department of Agricultural Resources.
The survey results show that the importation of dogs and cats occurs regularly, and that the majority of respondents support allowing importation. Current regulations negatively impact organizations’ ability to adopt out animals, but despite this difficulty, the majority of respondents believe that some level of regulation is necessary.
Organizations in the state are importing more dogs than cats, at an average of 24 dogs and 36 cats per year. The New England region is the primary source of imported animals for both dogs and cats. The majority (78%) of surveyed groups believe that groups in Massachusetts should be able to bring animals in from out of state.
72% of organizations believe that some level of regulation is necessary. When 5 key aspects of animal importation were rated, quarantining animals and isolating animals from non-contiguous states were considered to be the most difficult regulatory aspects for compliance.
Specifically, the survey addressed respondents’ familiarity with and perceived impact of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Emergency Order from May 2005. 87% of respondents were familiar with the order and more than half indicated that the order had a neutral impact, while 35% indicated a negative impact and less than 10% said the impact was positive.
Moreover, 38% of respondents indicated that the DAR regulations impacted their organization’s ability to conduct adoptions in some way. An additional 19% said that the DAR limitation on the ability to adopt animals directly from a pet store that doesn’t have a pet shop license has impacted their ability to conduct adoptions.