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