Protecting Pets In Hot & Cold Cars Task Force

The purpose of the Task Force started in 2017 is to assist Animal Control Officers in educating the public about the dangers of pets being left in motor vehicles that get very hot or very cold inside due to extreme weather conditions.  From November 2016, there has been a new law in Massachusetts, M.G.L. Chapter 140, section 174F, that prohibits this conduct.  The law grants permission in an emergency situation to Police, Animal Control Officers, First Responders, and concerned citizens, after they first contact and gain direction from law enforcement, to free an animal suffering from the extreme heat or cold of a motor vehicle, without consequence.  The owner and/or keeper of the animal can be charged with a first offense up to $150 with second and third offenses involving even higher fines, and they could potentially face animal cruelty charges.  The Task Force plans to use social media and the MAC website to educate the public about these dangers, and to assist Animal Control Officers in enforcing this law and to educate their communities about these dangers with posters, brochures and signs.