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MASSACHUSETTS STATUTES
PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE II. EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
CHAPTER 22C. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE

57. Agents of humane societies and associations; appointment as special officers
The colonel may appoint, at the request of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Berkshire Animal Protective Society, Inc., the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Boston Work Horse Relief Association, the Lowell Humane Society, the Worcester Animal Rescue League or the Animal Rescue League of New Bedford, duly accredited agents of said corporations as special state police officers to serve for one year subject to removal by the colonel. Such special state police officers shall report to him relative to their official acts as such police officers at such times and in such manner as the colonel may require. They shall serve without pay, except their regular compensation as agents of said corporation. They shall receive no fees for services or return of any criminal process and shall have throughout the commonwealth the powers of constables and police officers to arrest and detain any person violating any law for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XIX. AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION
CHAPTER 129. LIVESTOCK DISEASE CONTROL [ANIMAL HEALTH]

9. Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Animal Rescue League of Boston; agents; powers and duties
The agents of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the agents of the Animal Rescue League of Boston may visit all places at which neat cattle, horses, mules, sheep, swine or other animals are delivered for transportation or are slaughtered, any pet shop where animals, birds, fish or reptiles are sold, or exhibited, or for sale, any guard dog business, any hearing dog business and any stable where horses are kept for hire or boarded for a fee, or any licensed kennel where animals are boarded for a fee or any animal dealer licensed with the United States Department of Agriculture, for the purpose of preventing violations of any law and of detecting and punishing the same and such agents shall have the power to prosecute any such violation coming to their notice. Records of inspection made under authority of this section shall be filed with the office of the division of animal health, within the department of agriculture no later than three months after such inspection. Any person who prevents, obstructs or interferes with any such agent in the performance of such duties shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two months, or both.

PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XX. PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER
CHAPTER 133. DISPOSITION OF OLD AND INFIRM ANIMALS

1. Application to kill old, diseased or injured animals; service of application upon owner; hearing; notice; petition for damages assessment
Any officer or agent of any society incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the prevention of cruelty to animals or for the care and protection of homeless or suffering animals, provided he is also a special state police officer appointed under section fifty-seven of chapter twenty-two C, or a constable, sheriff or deputy sheriff, or a police officer of any town, may take possession of any old, maimed, disabled, diseased or injured animal and apply to a district court, within whose district the animal is taken, for process to cause it to be killed humanely. If the owner is known, and can after reasonable search be found, a copy of such application shall be served upon him in hand with an order of court to appear at a time and place named to show cause why such animal should not be killed and its value determined. If he is unknown, or cannot after reasonable search be found, the court shall order notices to be posted in two public places in the town where the animal was taken, stating the facts of the case, and giving twenty-four hours' notice of a hearing on said application. At such hearing, if it appears that such animal is so old, maimed, disabled, diseased or injured as to be unfit for humane use, the court shall issue process directing any officer designated herein to kill the same humanely, and shall determine its value. If the owner is aggrieved by such determination he may petition the superior court for the assessment of his damages under chapter seventy-nine.

4. Disposition of disabled or diseased horses owned by cities or towns
Whenever any horses used in any department of any town shall, by reason of disability or disease, become unfit for use therein, the officer in charge of such department, in cities with the approval of the mayor, and in towns with the approval of the selectmen, instead of causing such horses to be sold, may transfer them to the custody of the Red Acre Farm, Incorporated, or any charitable society incorporated in the commonwealth for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or for the care and protection of dumb animals, if the society is willing to accept the custody thereof, to be disposed of as the society may deem best; provided, that the society upon receiving any such horse shall give a written agreement not to sell the horse or let the same for hire. If any horse so received shall thereafter be sold or let for hire, the proceeds of such sale or letting shall be the property of the town, and custody of the horse shall revert thereto.

PART IV. CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
TITLE I. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
CHAPTER 272. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY, DECENCY AND GOOD ORDER

77. Cruelty to animals
Whoever overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, cruelly beats, mutilates or kills an animal, or causes or procures an animal to be overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, cruelly beaten, mutilated or killed; and whoever uses in a cruel or inhuman manner in a race, game, or contest, or in training therefor, as lure or bait a live animal, except an animal if used as lure or bait in fishing; and whoever, having the charge or custody of an animal, either as owner or otherwise, inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon it, or unnecessarily fails to provide it with proper food, drink, shelter, sanitary environment, or protection from the weather, and whoever, as owner, possessor, or person having the charge or custody of an animal, cruelly drives or works it when unfit for labor, or willfully abandons it, or carries it or causes it to be carried in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon, or knowingly and willfully authorizes or permits it to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty of any kind shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

In addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction for any violation of this section or of sections seventy-seven A, seventy-eight, seventy-eight A, seventy-nine A, seventy-nine B, eighty A, eighty B, eighty C, eighty D, eighty F, eighty-six, eighty-six A, eighty-six B or ninety-four the defendant may, after an appropriate hearing to determine the defendant's fitness for continued custody of the abused animal, be ordered to surrender or forfeit to the custody of any society, incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the prevention of cruelty to animals or for the care and protection of homeless or suffering animals, the animal whose treatment was the basis of such conviction.

78. Selling, leading, or using horses not fit for work; forfeiture of auctioneer's license
No person holding an auctioneer's license shall receive or offer for sale or sell at public auction, nor shall any person sell at private sale, or lead, ride or drive on any public way, for any purpose except that of conveying the horse to a proper place for its humane keeping or killing, or for medical or surgical treatment, any horse which, by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked in the commonwealth without violating the laws against cruelty to animals. This section shall not prohibit the purchase of horses by humane societies incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth for the purpose of humanely killing the same. Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months. If a licensed auctioneer violates this section, he shall also forfeit his license.

83. Complaint, warrant and search relative to cruelty to animals
If complaint is made to a court or magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases that the complainant has reasonable cause to believe that the laws relative to cruelty to animals have been or are violated in any particular building or place, such court or magistrate, if satisfied that there is reasonable cause for such belief, shall issue a search warrant authorizing any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer to search such building or place; but no such search shall be made after sunset, unless specially authorized by the magistrate upon satisfactory cause shown.

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