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Massachusetts Could Change Animal Lives with this New Housing Bill - National Humane Education Society

February 22nd, 2024

Paws Up! Massachusetts Senate Proposes Bill to Protect Dogs from Housing Discrimination

A safe, warm home is one of the most basic necessities for any animal. Despite being a simple need, securing homes for families who have companion animals is becoming an increasingly complicated issue in our modern world. One of the issues families face is lease limitations on the size or number of dogs in a household. This restriction can lead families to choose not to adopt or worse, having to make the heartbreaking decision to surrender their beloved companion animal. With at least 36% of all Americans living as renters, this issue impacts many people. Fortunately, the Massachusetts Senate is stepping up to help protect housing for pets and their families with Senate Bill 876.

S.876 resembles California’s legislation of 2022, which bars discrimination against a dog’s breed, size, or weight in lease agreements and insurance policies for families. The same security will be provided for renters in both privately owned rentals and state-funded public housing. Additional protections are given to families with companion animals facing eviction or seeking shelter during a state of emergency. The ramifications of this bill are huge when you consider the growing number of emergencies our communities face that might lead families impacted by these emergencies to need to find a new home.

Dogs are loyal companions who bring joy to our lives, regardless of their breed or size. Imagine how many families would open their loving arms to a dog like Meadow, but have to choose between following their lease agreement or having her in their homes. Currently, S.876 is being reviewed by the Joint Committee on Housing. It is vital that we make our voices heard that S.876 is important. This bill is an opportunity for Massachusetts to set an example for all states on the East Coast that dogs are a part of our family, and everyone deserves the right to keep their family together.

Take Action: Contact the Joint Committee on Housing to show your support for S.876!

Photo Credits: Image by Sven Lachmann from Pixabay

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