Barriers to Adoption In Massachusetts
We sincerely apologize to those Massachusetts residents who wish to open their homes to a homeless animal but are faced with this barrier. We are committed to providing a superior and efficient adoption experience for our dogs, volunteers and adopters, and the current regulatory climate in Massachusetts does not allow for that experience on a large scale.
While we have always followed and adapted to the numerous legal MA adoption regulations no matter how challenging or arbitrary they have been, our experience has shown that MA importation requirements:
- add no inherent value to the SOSARL adoption experience;
- do not increase the safety or health potential of the animal;
- do not increase the success rate of our adoptions;
- create additional paperwork/documentation/
vetting tracking work;
- create additional stress (kenneling, handling and exams) on our dogs during an already very trying transition period;
- create additional [busy] work for and stress on our volunteer Adoption Counselors (we have a limited number of counselors) who are already maxed out;
- create additional transport and foster/RI ISO work for our volunteers;
- create barriers to matchmaking and efficient placement into adoptive homes;
- create additional burdens on our veterinary partners, who could otherwise be dealing with actual sick/in need animals, rescue or private;
- create additional expenses to adopters.
While the above has always been the case, we have facilitated MA adoptions in the past to help give MA adopters a responsible rescue option as well as broaden the adopter pool for our dogs. We continue with this practice but on a smaller scale now.
At any time, we typically have several LOCAL dogs cleared and available for adoption into Massachusetts; if an SOS dog is already available for adoption into Massachusetts, it will be explicitly noted in their online bio here. Other LOCAL SOS dogs may be eligible for becoming cleared for adoption into Massachusetts once an adopter is approved, but requesting to meet the dog prior to adoption can further complicate the situation.
If you live in Massachusetts and are looking to add a pet to your family, we hope that you will consider adoption from another MA-licensed rescue or shelter (see list here). There are many great organizations licensed in Massachusetts. Having an in-state facility is one helpful factor as a shelter/rescue in MA, but there are still many barriers to the rescue/adoption process.
We would like to ask that you share your pet adoption experience with your state Legislators. Your feedback is imperative to help these decision-makers understand the regulations and make the enforcement affecting animal homelessnes and suffering more consistent, efficient, and appropriate. Please feel free to copy and paste our verbiage above to help shed insight into the challenges presented by the current regulations.
Thank you for considering adoption; we wish you the best in your search!