New Cat Hoarding Law Suspended in Massachusetts

Residents claim the regulations are too narrow to be properly enforced.

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On Monday, Nov. 28, a Massachusetts town suspended a cat hoarding law that limited all households to three cats or less, after residents complained that the new regulation was too narrow.

The health board in Randolph, a suburb of Boston, concluded that the new policy was unenforceable as written and decided to rewrite the policy by January, according to a report in The Enterprise newspaper.

The policy currently states that residents cannot keep or house more than three cats or kittens for a period exceeding six weeks. Violators are subject to a daily fine of $25.

Cat hoarding laws are a relatively new aspect of animal cruelty laws and only one state Illinois has defined the term in its legislation, according to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium.

The Illinois law does not specify a specific number in its definition of animal hoarding, stating only that a hoarder keeps the animal companions in a severely overcrowded environment.

For more information, please visit the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium website.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2005, 3p.m. PST

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