Brenda Demers, formerly of Upton, recently testified in support of legislation filed to regulate boarding kennels and daycare facilities for dogs (H630). Brenda’s two tea size cup pups were mauled to death by a Siberian husky while boarding at Gibson’s Natural Pet Resort in Grafton, Ma in the spring of 2015.
Rep. James M. Cantwell (D-Marshfield), Rep. Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton), and Rep. Carolyn C. Dykema (D-Holliston) filed legislation to ensure dogs are safe while staying at boarding kennels or doggie daycares. The legislation addresses staff qualifications and staff/dog ratios. The legislation also addresses group sizes, supervision of dogs, housing and care requirements, indoor and outdoor physical facility requirements, utilities, dog handling, body language interpretation, breed familiarity, and emergency response training. The legislation would include fines for violations.
Demers said, “This is a high-profit business with no one overseeing them, no regulations, and very low standards. There is nothing for the business to lose and everything for the customer to lose.”
“These facilities need to be regulated as they are taking care of living beings,” said Demers. “Behind a well-maintained storefront facade was a broken down facility that had not been inspected by the town in 13 years,” said Demers.
She testified her two small dogs were killed within the first 36 hours of their stay because of unmaintained cages, untrained employees, a failure to separate dogs by size, and rotted/faulty cages. According to Demers, Gibson’s did not immediately contact her or the pups vet the day the dogs were killed. “Instead they put our boys in a freezer for eight days. The facility owners, employees, and town dog officer carelessly handled this grave situation,” she said.
“This legislation provides a common-sense approach to expanding protections for pets in our Commonwealth,” said Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury), who offered testimony to the Committee. “Existing laws remain silent on establishing universal standards relative to boarding kennels and daycare facilities for dogs, which has led to cases of endangerment. By establishing statewide standards, the Commonwealth can help to ensure consumer confidence and a universal quality of care.”