Ensure That Dogs and Their Families Can Stay Together (Massachusetts)
An Act to Maintain Stable Housing for Families with Pets in an Economic Crisis and Beyond (S.876/H.1367)
Expands access to housing by prohibiting certain discriminatory policies for tenants, residents, homeowners, and renters based on their dog’s breed and by helping ensure families can be housed together with companion animals during a state of emergency
For many Massachusetts families with companion animals, housing can be hard to find and retain — particularly for larger-size dogs or those of certain breeds. Lack of access to animal-friendly housing can lead to housing insecurity for vulnerable families or the surrender of a beloved companion animal to a shelter or rescue group.
An Act to Maintain Stable Housing for Families with Pets in an Economic Crisis and Beyond (S.876/H.1367) would help keep families housed together with their companion animals during and after the pandemic.
The bill would expand access to housing for families with companion animals by
- Prohibiting certain housing providers from arbitrarily refusing tenants or residents based solely on a dog’s size, weight, or perceived breed;
- Preventing evictions based on the presence of a dog for one year after a state of emergency ends;
- Requiring hotels to allow companion animals during a state of emergency; and
- Preventing homeowners and renters insurance from cancelling, refusing to renew or charging a higher premium based solely on a dog’s perceived breed.
If you live in Massachusetts, please urge your state senator and state representative to support this important animal protection legislation, including by co-sponsoring S.876 and H.1367.
Far too often, responsible guardians and their dogs are denied housing based on arbitrary factors, irrespective of the individual dog’s behavior or level of training and socialization.
Dogs should be judged as the individuals they are — not based on outdated stereotypes. This legislation would not allow homeowners’ or renters’ insurance companies to deny, cancel, fail to renew, or charge a higher premium based on a dog’s breed. It would allow insurance companies to refuse coverage for individual dogs deemed dangerous or with a bite history.
This legislation is filed jointly by State Representatives Dave Rogers (D-24th Middlesex) and Samantha Montaño (D-15th Suffolk), and State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex). It has been referred to the Joint Committee on Housing.
Learn more about animal-friendly Massachusetts legislation at aldf.org/massachusetts.