This page, Mass. General Laws c.19A § 42, is offered by

Mass. General Laws c.19A § 42

Dept. of Elder Affairs reporting of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect

This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law. For more information on this topic, please see law about animals.

Table of Contents

Updates

Added by St.2018, c. 219, § 3, effective November 7, 2018

(a)

During any investigation or evaluation reported under section 18, any employee of the department, its designated agency or any person employed pursuant to a contract with the department or its designated agency, when acting in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, who has knowledge of or observes an animal whom he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, may report the known or suspected animal cruelty, abuse or neglect to the entities that investigate reports of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, as described in section 57 of chapter 22C, or any local animal control authority.

(b)

The report may be made within 2 working days of receiving the information concerning the animal, by facsimile transmission or a written report or by telephone. In cases where an immediate response may be necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the animal, the report should be made by telephone as soon as possible.

(c)

When 2 or more employees of the department or its designated agency, or persons employed pursuant to a contract with the department or its designated agency, are present and jointly have knowledge of known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, and where there is agreement among them, a report may be made by 1 person by mutual agreement. Any reporter who has knowledge that the person designated to report has failed to do so may thereafter make the report.

(d)

No person making such report shall be liable in any civil or criminal action by reason of such report if it was made in good faith. Any privilege established by sections 135A and 135B of chapter 112 or by section 20B of chapter 233, relating to confidential communications, shall not prohibit the filing of a report pursuant to this section.

(e)

Nothing in this section shall impose a duty on the department or its designated agency to investigate known or reasonably suspected animal cruelty, abuse or neglect.

(f)

Nothing in this section shall prevent the department, area office or subdivision or its designated agency from entering into an agreement, contract or memorandum of understanding with the entities that investigate reports of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect as described in section 57 of chapter 22C, to require such reports or to engage in training in identification and reporting of animal abuse, cruelty and neglect.

Contact

Phone

Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only

Online

Reference librarians online Chat with a law librarian 
Reference librarians via email masslawlib@gmail.com

Address

Administrative office (no law library at this location)
2 Center Plaza
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated: May 8, 2019
Feedback