Nine things to consider before boarding a pet...
With vacation season right around the corner, today the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is launching “The Kennel-9” – a public awareness and safety campaign to help ensure pets are properly cared for while at a boarding facility.
Currently, there are no state-wide regulations that govern boarding kennels and animal daycare facilities in Massachusetts. ARL and other animal welfare organizations are advocating for standards that would mandate the creation of new state laws to protect pets. The bill, S. 114, H. 1774: An Act protecting the health and safety of puppies and kittens in cities and towns, is sponsored by Senator Harriett Chandler and Representative Linda Dean Campbell.
Cape and Islands Senator Julian Cyr is co-sponsoring S. 114, while 4th Barnstable District Representative Sarah Peak and 5th Barnstable District Representative Randy Hunt are co-sponsoring H. 1774.
ARL has unfortunately seen a number of incidents involving animals in boarding kennels who were injured, sometimes fatally, due to insufficient facilities, staff training, or protocols.
“There are many fine boarding facilities throughout Massachusetts, but unfortunately due to a lack of state-wide standards and regulations, the Animal Rescue League of Boston recommends pet owners do their homework and ask the right questions to ensure their animal is safe,” said ARL President Mary Nee.
Before boarding your beloved pet, research as much as possible and keep these nine considerations in mind:
- See for Yourself. Can you see the kennels and common areas where your animal will be boarded? During your pet’s stay can you check on them remotely via webcam?
- Sound the Alarm. Does the facility have a written emergency response procedure in the event of fire, power outage, or natural disaster? Does the kennel have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems and a back-up power generator?
- License, Please. Does the kennel have a current operating license issued by a local city or town? According to the license, how many animals can be boarded at one time? How many animals are currently housed?
- In Case of a Medical Emergency. Are you contacted if your animals experiences an unexpected medical condition or injury? Is there a veterinarian on staff, or does the facility have a veterinarian on call? Do you sign a waiver giving permission to have your animal treated?
- TLC. What is the ratio of staff to animals? Is there 24-hour on-site supervision? If not, are animals monitored by video camera? What training or experience does the staff caring for animals have?
- Social Circle. Do dogs play together in common areas? Are these play groups supervised at all times? Are dogs grouped together by size and/or temperament? Can you choose to have your dog not participate in group activities?
- Infection Precautions. Does the facility require up-to-date vaccination records for all boarders? What documentation is required for your pet to be admitted?
- Feline Friends. Does the facility allow cats and are they separated from the sight and noise of dogs?
- Get it in Writing. Will the facility give you written documentation of their procedures or confirmation of any special requests for your pet?
Click here to download ARL’s “The Kennel-9” flyer. For more information, log onto ARL’s website.