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
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.