Is Your Dog Legally a Member of Your Family in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts is a fantastic place to call home. It consistently ranks as one of the best states to live in based on overall quality of life. Its schools are some of the best in the nation, the job market is strong, and it's also one of the safest states in the nation.
So we know Massachusetts is a great place to raise families, but your "children" are covered in fur, you're actually in the minority. According to Forbes, 66% of households in the United States own dogs, yet only 24% of households in Massachusetts have dogs, a nationwide low.
While pups in general might not be uber popular in Massachusetts, the Labrador Retriever is the most common breed in the state, followed by Golden Retrievers and the Boston Terrier. Recently there has been a spike in the popularity of crossbreeds like Golden Doodles and Labradoodles.
Despite its low rate of dog ownership, every county in Massachusetts has at least three dog parks and the number dramatically increases in more populated areas. However, a new report from WalletHub named Boston, Massachusetts one of 2023’s Most and Least Pet-Friendly Cities.
In addition to its capital city lacking in love for doggos, Massachusetts also does NOT consider dogs a legal member of your family. Wait, what? Yes, that is a thing
Massachusetts Does Not Consider Dogs a Legal Member of Your Family
There are only six states in the U.S. that designate dogs as legal family members, but what exactly does that mean? What that means is in cases of splits or divorces dogs can be involved in custody battles in the same way a child could be. Dog ownership can be argued in a court of law, along with medical and veterinarian bills.
The six states that consider dogs legal family members are New York, Alaska, California, Illinois, Maine, and New Hampshire, according to Daily Mail.
LOOK: The most popular dog names of 2022 in every state
Gallery Credit: Amber Spencer-Knowles