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Massachusetts Animal Shelters Need Help

Cat in cage

The recent meeting of the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) focused on the overcrowding challenge that Massachusetts shelters are facing. Animal shelters across the Commonwealth report that adoption inquiries are way down and surrenders are up, leading to overcrowding and longer stays.

One reason for the increases in surrenders is that many landlords restrict pet ownership. Housing is hard enough to find; these restrictions make it even more difficult for families to keep their pets. If you want to help, reach out to your state representative and ask them to support S. 876/H. 1367: An Act to maintain stable housing for families with pets in an economic crisis and beyond. The bill seeks to ensure that certain types of public housing authorities cannot discriminate against a tenant or resident’s dog based on size, weight, or perceived breed. It also prevents insurance companies from discriminating based on dog breed. See and

The recent coalition reported out on additional reasons for the increase in surrendering and lack of adoptions, including:

  • Cost of living, debt, financial instability

  • Families who adopted while working from home during Covid may no longer be able to care for them as their schedules change

  • The high number of adoptions during Covid may mean that fewer people are interested in adopting now

  • Accessing vet care is challenging

  • Limited access to pet-friendly housing

The coalition recommends many ways you can help:


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