Massachusetts State Service Dog Laws
The full text of Massachusetts law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to read the sections specifically related to service animals.
Summary – An individually raising or training a service animal has the right to do so in public places.
Detailed – Administration of the Government Ch. 129, § 39F A person accompanied by and engaged in the raising or training of a service dog, including a hearing, guide or assistance dog, shall have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as those afforded to an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq.
(b) The license fee for a spayed or neutered dog shall be less than the license fee for an intact dog. Upon application for a license, a city or town clerk shall require a certificate from the veterinarian who spayed or neutered the dog as proof that the dog is spayed or neutered; provided, however, that if the city or town clerk is satisfied that the certificate of the veterinarian who spayed or neutered the dog cannot be obtained, the clerk may instead accept a receipt of a bill from the veterinarian who performed such procedure or a statement signed under the penalties of perjury by a veterinarian registered and practicing in the commonwealth describing the dog and stating that the veterinarian has examined the dog, which appears to have been spayed or neutered and incapable of propagation.
(c) No fee shall be charged for a license issued under this section for a service animal as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act or regulations promulgated thereunder. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog owned by a person aged 70 years or over in a city or town that accepts this provision. No license fee or portion thereof shall be refunded because of the subsequent death, loss, spaying or removal from the commonwealth or other disposal of the dog, nor shall a license fee or portion thereof paid by mistake be paid or recovered after it has been paid over to a city or town under section 147.
(b) If the theft or attack of an assistance animal as described in subsection (a) results in the death of the animal or the animal is not returned or if injuries sustained prevent the assistance animal from returning to service, the measure of economic damages shall include, but are not limited to, the veterinary medical expenses and the replacement cost of an equally trained assistance animal, without any differentiation for the age or the experience of the animal.
(c) A cause of action shall not arise under this section if the physically impaired individual, owner or the individual having custody or supervision of the assistance animal was engaged in the commission of a crime at the time of injury sustained by the assistance animal.