There’s nothing that brings a smile to your face like watching a dog sprinting across a field to catch a flying Frisbee. Or glimpsing an adventurous cat prowling the garden for adventure.
And what do dogs and cats have to do with agriculture you ask? Well what you may not know is that the Department of Agricultural Resources is also responsible for the health and safety of all of the Commonwealth’s domestic animals. Dogs, cats, chickens, goats, cattle, horses, and more – DAR’s Division of Animal Health helps to ensure the general welfare of companion and food-producing animals across the state through inspections, licensing, awareness and education.
As to our canine and feline friends, dogs and cats enjoy the Great Outdoors as much if not more than we do. And now thanks to a new law recently passed, some of our less fortunate companion animals can receive the responsible care they need.
The Homeless Animal Prevention and Care Fund is part of a new law that took effect on October 31, 2012. Massachusetts residents may now check off a donation on Line 32f of their 2012 tax return; contributions to this fund will:
- Help reduce the number of homeless cats and dogs by spaying/ neutering animals in shelters and animal control facilities, and provide vaccinations
- Assist families who would not otherwise be able to afford these services for their pets
- Provide training to municipal animal control officers so that they can safely and effectively protect animals and people in their communities
The text of the authorizing statute can be found here.
Looking for a great dog park or hiking trail to go to? Check out the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s parks page: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/forparks.htm (dogs should be on leash) or there are also a number of off-leash dog parks to explore. These include:
Beecher Street Park, Jamaica Plain
Boston Harbor Islands Dog Cruise, Boston
Charlesgate Dog Run, Boston
Corey Hill Outlook Park, Brookline
Dufresne Park, Granby
Medway off Leash Dog Park, Boston
Peter’s Park, Boston
Pilgrim Bark Park, Provincetown
Sheepfold, Middlesex Fells Reservation, Stoneham
Stoddard Neck, Weymouth
Vietnam Veteran’s Park, Billerica
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January