Category Archives: News

MAC’s Statement on MDAR’s Proposed Shelter/Rescue Regulations

Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) accepted the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (MDAR) invitation to attend meetings and to provide feedback regarding the proposed shelter regulations in order to represent the diverse needs of its constituent organizations.  MAC appreciates the importance of, and supports, regulations for animal shelters and rescues.  We believe that the primary role of an animal shelter and rescue should be animal welfare and the needs of the animals.

At this time those regulations remain in draft form; they are merely intended to serve as the scaffolding upon which final regulations will be built. On April 23rd MDAR will hold a public hearing where all stakeholders, including individual shelter and rescue organizations, will have the opportunity to be heard. Alternatively, organizations may submit their comments to MDAR in written form by April 29. MDAR is obligated to take all comments into consideration in developing final regulations.  MAC encourages individuals and organizations that wish to give input to take advantage of these opportunities.  

Please click here to see notice from MDAR.


Massachusetts Animal Coalition Awards $185K in “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Spay/Neuter Grants

25 programs across Massachusetts will receive support thanks to animal friendly drivers

The Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) is pleased to announce 25 spay/neuter programs will receive 2018 “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate grants.

This year, MAC, a non-profit organization leading efforts to care for and protect homeless animals across the state, was able to distribute a total of $185,0000 in grants to support spay/neuter programs for shelter animals, community and feral cats, and animals owned by Massachusetts residents in financial need.

2018 “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Grant Recipients

Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue House Rabbit Network Merrimack Valley Spay/Neuter Initiative
Animal Rescue League of Boston, Community Cats Initiative HubCats/Feral Cat Fund of Boston PitteLove Rescue
Belchertown Animal Control Humane Coalition for Animals of Greater New Bedford Second Chance Animal Shelter
Berkshire Humane Society It’s All About the Animals South Shore Humane Society
Charles River Alley Cats Medfield Animal Shelter Thomas J. O’Connor
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society Town of Dartmouth Animal Control
Dakin Humane Society MSPCA, Pit Pals Program Town of Westport Animal Contril
Friends of the Scituate Shelter MSPCA, Boston Adoption Center
Here Today Adopted Tomorrow Animal Sanctuary MSPCA, Cape Cod

What Is The “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Program?

MAC launched the “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate program in 2003 to raise money for spay/neuter efforts at shelters, rescues, and municipal animal control agencies.  Past grant recipients have also included coalitions of animal welfare groups targeting specific communities or geographic areas with very limited access to affordable spay/neuter surgery.

Thanks to individuals who purchase and renew the Massachusetts “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate, MAC is able to award grants on an annual basis.  Thousands of cats, dogs, and rabbits receive spay and neuter services every year through funds provided by the program.

MAC’s founder and president Anne Lindsay notes that this year once again, the funding requests MAC received for help were far greater than what the organization can currently provide from the funds raised by the “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate.

She encourages every animal lover to order the plate from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.

“The more people who purchase and renew the ‘I’m Animal Friendly’ plate, the bigger the difference we can make for local animals,” says Lindsay.

READY TO GET THE PLATE? Visit to order the “I’m Animal Friendly” plate or sign up for a reminder to purchase when it’s time to renew your registration.


Thank You 2017 “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Grant Recipients

31 organizations made a difference with spay/neuter programs supported by the Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s license plate program 

In 2017, the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) awarded 31 organizations over $177,000 to implement a variety of spay/neuter programs in cities and towns from the Berkshires to Cape Cod.  With plans to announce the 2018 “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Grant Recipients in September, we wanted to recognize the incredible work the 2017 grantees did to spay and neuter thousands of cats, dogs, and rabbits over the past year.

Thank you to the dedicated animal welfare advocates, employees, and volunteers at…

Ahimsa Haven Animal Rescue All Dog Rescue Berkshire Humane Society Boston Homeless Cats Coalition
Charles River Alley Cats Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts Dakin Humane Society Fall River Animal Control
Friends of Beverly Animals Friends of the Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter Friends of the Scituate Shelter Halfway Home Cat Rescue
Here Today Adopted Tomorrow Animal Sanctuary Humane Coalition for Animals of Greater New Bedford It’s All About the Animals Kitty Connection
Lowell TNR Coalition Marty’s Cat Rescue Medfield Animal Shelter Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society
Merrimack Valley Spay Neuter Initiative MSPCA Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals New England Society for Abandoned Animals
PittieLove Rescue PoundHounds Second Chance Animal Shelter South Shore Humane Society
Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center Town of Westport Animal Control [efsiconheading type=”h1″ style=”fi-heart”][/efsiconheading] [efsiconheading type=”h1″ style=”fi-heart”][/efsiconheading]

…MAC was proud to support your efforts to reduce the number of homeless cats, dogs, and rabbits in Massachusetts!

What Is An “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Grant?

Every June, MAC distributes funds raised through sales of the “I’m Animal Friendly” specialty license plate to non-profit animal shelters, rescue groups, and municipal animal control agencies across the Commonwealth to provide much needed spay and neuter services.

Grants help support spay/neuter surgeries for shelter animals, community and feral cats, and animals owned by Massachusetts residents in financial need.

Past grant recipients include shelters and rescues, as well as coalitions of animal welfare groups and municipal animal control agencies targeting specific communities or geographic areas with very limited access to affordable spay/neuter surgery.

“We are incredibly lucky in Massachusetts to have a resource such as MAC’s ‘I’m Animal Friendly’ license plate grant program that provides funding for spays and neuters,” says Maryann Regan, the executive director of Scituate Animal Shelter, a 2017 grant recipient.

Regan explains that shelters like Scituate and community spay/neuter efforts need support, “not only to help our shelter animals, but also to subsidize the cost of the surgery for people who otherwise might not be financially able to provide it for their pets. In some instances, getting help with the cost of spay/neuter probably also prevents pet owners from having to surrender their beloved pet to shelters.”

Stay Tuned For September 2018 Grant Recipient Announcement!

We’re very excited to share the list of 2018 “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Grant Recipients in September!

Are you a municipal agency or non-profit 501(c)(3) organization?  You may be eligible to can apply to receive funds for spay and neuter programs!  For more on grant application process, visit

5-Point “I’m Animal Friendly” Checklist for Summer Drivers

The Massachusetts Animal Coalition’s “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate Offers 5 Pet Friendly Summer Travel Tips to Help You Drive Like An Animal (Lover) 

With summer vacation season in full-swing, more and more drivers will hit the road in the coming weeks to get to their holiday destinations of choice.  Traveling by car is a top choice for many families, especially when pets are coming along on the trip.

To make your summer road trip a good one for all your two- and four-legged passengers, the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC), the non-profit organization behind the “I’m Animal Friendly” special license plate, has developed a five-point pet-friendly travel checklist.

As the roads get crowded, drivers will have a hard time avoiding bumper-to-bumper traffic and unexpected delays on their way to and from popular vacation spots like the Berkshires, Cape Ann, Cape Cod, and the South Shore.

“We’re often so focused on packing our suitcases and getting on the road to beat the traffic, we forget to consider how to keep our pets comfortable, relaxed, quiet, and occupied during what could easily turn into a long car ride during the summer,” explains Anne Lindsay, founder and president of MAC.

5 Pet-Friendly Road Trip Tips

Following MAC’s “I’m Animal Friendly” Five-Point Pet Friendly Checklist will help you drive like an animal (lover) when you hit the road:

  1. Familiarize your pet with the car. Many cats and dogs are not big fans of automotive travel – often because the only time they are in the car is to go to the vet’s office!  Put some treats or toys in your cat’s carrier or make your dog comfortable in the backseat in a crate or other restraint and take short drives to get them used to the car ride.
  2. Prepare snacks and activities. If your pet is likely to need something to keep them busy on a long road trip, consider bringing a food puzzle such as a treat ball or a stuffed Kong, or another favorite special treat. Think ahead on the treats though – anything with a fishy smell is traveling with you, too!
  3. Plan for potty breaks. Mapping ahead of time where the animal-friendly rest stops or places a dog can get out to stretch his legs minimizes the time you have to drive around searching for one. Especially if you get stuck in traffic, knowing where you can stop when he/she needs to go makes a big difference!
  4. Pack the H20. Make sure you have a bowl and water bottle easily accessible in the car so you can offer water to your pet as needed along the way.
  5. Arrange your pit stops. Pets don’t sweat and the temperature in a car can quickly rise to dangerous levels – even in cooler temperatures in the shade with the windows open.  A Stanford University School of Medicine study showed a car’s interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, even on a mild 60-degree sunny day. Make a plan for how to handle your pit stops so you never leave a pet in a hot car!

Watch The Road For The “I’m Animal Friendly” License Plate!

When you’re on the road this summer, keep an eye out for the “I’m Animal Friendly” Massachusetts special license plate!  Animal-friendly drivers can support statewide spay and neuter efforts at shelters, rescue groups, and municipal agencies by purchasing the special license plate.

READY TO DRIVE LIKE AN ANIMAL(LOVER)? Visit to sign up for a reminder to order the “I’m Animal Friendly” plate when it’s time to renew your registration online with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.


The Massachusetts Animal Coalition Explores State’s Changing Shelter Dog Population

Upcoming “All About Dogs” to help animal welfare professionals and volunteers support successful adoptions of dogs in need

What do we know about our changing dog population?

How do we define “saved?”

How do we help our most behaviorally vulnerable dog population?

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) will explore these questions at the All About Dogs educational seminar.

How Is Massachusetts’ Shelter Dog Population Changing?

For over a decade, shelters and rescue groups in Massachusetts have worked together with partners in other regions of the country to bring dogs in need of homes into the state for adoption.

“Whether because of natural disasters or lack of access to affordable spay/neuter services, the population of homeless dogs in other parts of the country often outpaces the resources local organizations have available to help them,” explains Anne Lindsay, founder and president of the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC), a non-profit organization leading efforts to care for and protect homeless animals statewide.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, the demand from residents looking to adopt can outstrip the number of dogs that shelters have available.

“The opportunity to find dogs loving homes and have a positive impact on animal homelessness is at the heart of this activity—and why we’ve seen it continue to expand so much in Massachusetts,” says Lindsay.

But physically bringing dogs in need of a home to the people ready to give them one is just one step in the process. Dogs brought into Massachusetts frequently have a long trip from their home state.  They have to adjust to changing surroundings, people, and schedules.

As any pet owner knows, travel, change, and unfamiliarity can be very stressful for an animal.  Just like people, dogs can express fear and stress in response to so many changes happening all at once, and sometimes need extra help when their behavior indicates they are in distress.

According to Lindsay, “Every dog is different, and that’s why as animal welfare professionals we need to make sure we’re ready to respond to the individual needs of the growing number of dogs coming from out-of-state to help them find permanent homes.”

MAC Leading Discussion, Encouraging Collaboration

MAC is currently surveying shelter and rescue organizations to learn more about the changes in their dog populations.

The discussion at All About Dogs will also help shelter and rescue group staff, volunteers, veterinarians, behaviorists, trainers, and animal control officers consider ways to adapt to changes and support dogs with different behavioral needs before and after adoption.

“Our goal is to encourage collaboration among animal welfare professionals and volunteers to respond to this trend,” says Lindsay.

“Shelters and rescue groups often work with limited resources, so the more we can share our knowledge, the more we can help animals in Massachusetts.”

Workshop Program and Speakers

The Future As It Relates to Dogs
Sheryl Blancato, President, Second Chance Animal Services

Sheryl will talk about where we are with dogs in Massachusetts, where she thinks we are going, and what Second Chance’s plans are relative to what we know about changing dog populations in our state.

Defining Saved: A Look at the Law, Good Intentions, and Rescue
Melissa McCue McGrath, CPDT, KA

With an increase in sites like Petfinder and Adoptapet, more and more people are acquiring their dogs in unconventional ways. Some go to the shelter while others go to a mall parking lot to get their newly adopted dog off a transport truck. While there is no actual study on pre- and post-transport behavior there are behaviors dog trainers and other professionals are reporting with increased frequency.

Is there a link connecting how dogs are transported or selected for transport and the likelihood of a dog successfully integrating into a home?  How much does our fascination with click-and-ship culture affect our pet purchasing decisions?

Melissa dissects some troubling issues that are growing in frequency from the perspective of a dog trainer. She lays out some solutions that we can all implement so we can truly help these dogs by identifying responsible rescues and shelters. Most importantly, she asks us all to look at the word “saved.”

How Can We Help Fearful Dogs?
Debbie Jacobs, CPDT and CAP2 (Kay Laurence’s Program) and Author, A Guide to Living With and Training a Fearful Dog

Debbie will talk about what a shy, fearful or anxious dog goes through when he enters your shelter or foster home.  Since stress can impede progress and can even send dogs backwards, Debbie will provide specific take-aways that you can bring back to your organization for immediate implementation to enhance the chances of future success for the dogs in your care.

Thank You to the Animal Legal Defense Fund

Thank you to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) for sponsoring All About Dogs!

MAC hosts educational workshops three times a year to provide a way for its members to hear from peers, experts, and leading voices on companion animal care and welfare issues.

The support of the ALDF is helping provide this important informational resource to the Massachusetts animal welfare community!

For more information about the benefits of corporate sponsorship, visit

Drive Like an Animal(Lover) and Support Spay/Neuter Efforts in Massachusetts

3 ways you can help drive sales of the “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate and aid cats, dogs, and rabbits!

Tap here to purchase the plate now>>

Spay/neuter is one of the most humane ways to decrease the number of animals who need homes.  Unfortunately, it can be very expensive, especially for animal shelters, rescue groups, and municipal agencies working with limited budgets.

That’s why the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) launched the “I’m Animal Friendly” license plate program with the Registry of Motor Vehicles  in 2003.  Sales of the plate support on-going spay and neuter efforts and thousands of cats, dogs, and rabbits receive the surgery every year through funds provided by the license plate program.

But the need for support is growing fast!

In 2017, MAC received over 30 requests for $368,724 in spay/neuter funding – over twice the amount MAC can currently provide through funds raised by the plate program.

How Can I Help?

To meet the needs of animals, we’re running a year-long campaign for animals to drive sales of the “I’m Animal Friendly” plate.  The campaign is called “Drive Like an Animal(Lover),” and our goal is to let more Massachusetts drivers know how to help animals by purchasing the plate.

And you can help!

#1 – Check to see if it is time to renew your registration.

Click here to check your vehicle’s renewal status

#2 – Tell friends, family, and businesses about the plate.

Know an animal-friendly business or business owner?  Ask if they’d like to support the “Drive like an animal(lover)” campaign for animals as a promotional partner.

Interested businesses can contact Anne Lindsay, president and founder, Massachusetts Animal Coalition, at [email protected] for more information.

And check out our growing list of promotional partners below!

#3 – Share our funny cat and dog “Drive Like an Animal(Lover)” videos with your social networks.

Share them on Facebook, on your website, and through email. Make sure to tag @massanimalcoalition on Facebook and use #petplate.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more campaign videos and contests you can share to let more people know about the plate!

Thank You to Our Partners!

We’re grateful for the generosity of many businesses and media in our state for helping us drive sales of the “I’m Animal Friendly” plate and help more animals!

A major thank you to Boston-based advertising, PR, and digital agency Conover Tuttle Pace The agency created the campaign including radio and TV announcements and funny social media videos, all pro-bono for us.

Very special thanks to all our promotional partners…