The health and safety of the Commonwealth’s domestic animals is the Division of Animal Health’s primary responsibility. Through inspections, licensing, awareness and education the Division helps to ensure the general welfare of companion and food-producing animals across the state.
When problematic situations develop, Animal Health staff work with the Department of Public Health, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the MSPCA, local veterinarians, local health departments, municipal animal inspectors and animal control officers to respond. Mounting a rapid response ensures the fewest number of animals and animal owners are affected.
MDAR's Division of Animal Health Shelter/Rescue program ensures the health and safety of animals coming into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts , through registration of individual shelters and rescue groups who operate adoption programs within Massachusetts or adopt animals into Massachusetts from other states.
All for-hire riding instructors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must be licensed as stated in our regulations . The license period extends from April 1 through March 31 of each year.
Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. The virus attacks the central nervous system and can be secreted in saliva. Because rabies affects people as well as animals, control of this disease has become a top priority for the Division of Animal Health. With the cooperation of the Department of Public Health and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, every angle of potential rabies exposures gets covered in order to prevent further rabies infections.
Although bat strain rabies has been known to exist in Massachusetts since the 1960's, a small bat population in the state and infrequent exposures limited the need for widespread awareness and control. The raccoon rabies epidemic beginning in 1992 posed new problems for public health officials. Since raccoons are so prevalent in rural and suburban areas, the potential for a large number of human and domestic animal exposures rose.