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Is that Barking Dog Keeping You Up All Night?

A new Massachusetts animal control law, which became effective November 1, 2012, may now address some of the issues when a vociferous dog is causing interruptions to your good night’s sleep.

The new law provides a mechanism for finding an animal to be a “nuisance dog” or ‘‘dangerous dog.” It also makes clear that a dog shall not be deemed “dangerous” based on its breed. The Acts of 2012, Chapter 193 defines a nuisance dog and dangerous dog as follows:

“Nuisance dog”, a dog that:

(i) by excessive barking or other disturbance, is a source of annoyance to a sick person residing in the vicinity; or (ii) by excessive barking, causing damage or other interference, a reasonable person would find such behavior disruptive to one’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment; or (iii) has threatened or attacked livestock, a domestic animal or a person, but such threat or attack was not a grossly disproportionate reaction under all the circumstances.

“Dangerous dog”, a dog that either:

(i) without justification, attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or

death; or (ii) behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death to a person or to a domestic or owned animal.

Armed with these new definitions, you may have more ammunition to help get a barking dog under control. For more information on the law, go to: http://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2012/Chapter193