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Resources for Pet Shop Operators

Pet Shop Licensing and Inspection Program

The Division of Animal Health has the statutory responsibility to license all pet shops. Pet shop inspections are required for licensure and annual re-licensure of all Massachusetts pet shops .Each establishment must meet facilities requirements outlined in 330 CMR 12.00 in order to receive a license. These requirements are in place to protect the health of the animals, as well as that of the visiting public and the employees who work in these shops.

Pet Shop Licensing Procedure

Licensing Procedure

  1. Review M. G. L. Chapter 129, Section 39A and Rules and Regulations 330 CMR 12.00.
  2. Request application for License to Operate a Pet Shop, and hard copy of Rules and Regulations if necessary. Prospective Pet Shop owners can receive advice from one of our Animal Health Inspectors prior to applying or starting construction.
  3. Fill out application completely. Make sure Date of Opening is indicated. Return with the fee to the address on the application about three weeks before planned opening date.
  4. When the office receives the application, we will notify the proper staff member who will do an inspection on or about the date of opening indicated.
  5. If the inspector finds no violations, the report will be forwarded to the office and a license will be issued. If the inspection is unsatisfactory, the inspection will be forwarded to the office and the business will be given the appropriate amount of time to correct any violations.
  6. If, upon reinspection, the violations have not been corrected and the license is denied, 330 CMR 12.02 (3) is in effect.
  7. Any questions, please call 617-626-1795.
  8. Remember: No animals are allowed in the store until the license is approved.

Additional Resources

Puppy and Dog Health Protocol

The Puppy and Dog Health Protocol: Guidelines for Pet Shops and Animal Shelters offers guidance to Massachusetts pet shops and shelters about:

  • examining puppies and dogs upon arrival and when signs of disease are observed;
  •  providing veterinary care; and
  •  providing routine care.

This document supplements state statutes and regulations. For the most part, this document describes minimum requirements imposed by these laws. Pet shop licensees should be familiar with the state statute, M.G.L. Chapter 129, Section 39A, and the Bureau of Animal Health’s regulations on pet shops, 330 CMR 12.00, to ensure compliance with their obligations. While publicly owned animal pounds (shelters) are not subject to the pet shop statute and regulations, they are subject to other animal laws such as the import law, and they are encouraged to apply all of the suggestions in this protocol to further the health of their animals.

The Protocol can be found as a .pdf file in Additional Resources, below.

Additional Resources

Pet Shop Records and Documents

MDAR provides pet shops with the forms for required record-keeping, signs, and biosecurity information.  

These can be found as .pdf files in the Additional Resources section, below.

Additional Resources


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