Did you know that the legal system views our cherished pets like a piece of property, such as a desk!

How do you value your pets? As family members of course.  How does Massachusetts law value your family pet? As a piece of merchandise and a low priced one at that! It is time to change the way the law values your family pets.

Want to ask your legislator to support this? Find out who to reach out to  [CLICK HERE]

We have drafted legislation to change the way pets are valued in Massachusetts. It is our intention to have an “avenue of Justice” for pet owners/guardians when a dog or cat is killed due to the negligence or reckless act of another. The legislation has been filed, a copy of which is available on this website. We need your support to get this legislation passed. We expect that lobbyists for the Veterinarians and other groups will oppose this legislation, for their own selfish interests. If you agree that it is time to acknowledge by legislation that pets should no longer be valued as a piece of property, like a piece of furniture, but rather like members of your family, then please join with us and lend your support for our proposed legislation.

Who are the authors of the legislation and why are they doing it?  There are four people that came together to make a strong effort for change.  The original attempt was introduced just over 5 years ago by Kris MacDonald.  He worked with Senator Keenan’s office after he lost his beloved dog Crawford to an adverse reaction of a medicine prescribed.  In 2019 Chesley Oriel suffered a similar loss of his beloved Schnauzer Cody to an adverse reaction to a vaccine and wanted to address change as well.  The two were introduced and Chesley sought out others who would have an interest in changing the way the law values our pets.  They have partnered with Diane Sullivan Asst Dean at the Massachusetts School of Law.

Diane, Chesley, and Kris then spent several months putting together revised legislation to acknowledge that our pets should no longer be considered as personal property, but as members of our family.  It’s been referred to as Crawford’s Law.

It is important to note that the purpose of our proposed legislation is not to put money into the pockets of pet owners who have lost their beloved companion because of someone’s careless or reckless action, but rather to hold that person accountable.  No amount of money can replace our beloved companions.  It may also serve as a deterrent.  We believe that most pet owners, if not all who may recover monetary damages for the loss of their pet will donate any damages to an animal shelter or to an animal-related charity to memorialize their pet.

Our Sponsors in the House and Senate

Bruce E. TarrFirst Essex and Middlesex
James M. Kelcourse1st Essex
Bradford Hill4th Essex
Joan B. LovelySecond Essex
Tram T. Nguyen18th Essex
Alan Silvia7th Bristol
Ann-Margaret Ferrante5th Essex
Thomas M. Stanley9th Middlesex
Joseph D. McKenna18th Worcester
Colleen M. Garry36th Middlesex
David Allen Robertson19th Middlesex
Bradley H. Jones, Jr.20th Middlesex
Patrick M. O’ConnorPlymouth and Norfolk
Vanna Howard17th Middlesex
Kimberly N. Ferguson1st Worcester
Daniel J. Ryan2nd Suffolk

Even Industry Leaders Recognize Our Bonds

These same leaders that profit off our bonds with our pets are often the ones that challenge bills that would increase their valuation within our legal system! We can't say that Brian would oppose our bill, but many organizations and lobbyist paid by the pet care industry do. Our legislation isn't designed to increase costs, it is designed to increase caution. When there is liability of true consequence, people take the extra measures to ensure they perform their duties safely and responsibly.

We have heard and recognize the opposition to legislation that changes the value of our cherished furry family members. We believe the definition of "willful, wanton, reckless, or negligent " prevents this from become another tool for frivolous lawsuits.  

So, while industry leaders continue to profit and elevate the bonds that we share, we ask that they also support the desire to elevate the valuation used in our legal system equally. *Image provided is a screen capture of the Banfield Veterinarian Hospitals social media post, and available publicly.

There is an entire industry designed at profiting off the relationship we have with our pets, but they have almost no liability for errors. It’s time to change that!