New state regulation will move sheltered pets to homes sooner

The Animal Rescue League said the policy change won't be a threat to public health

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is making significant changes to hundreds of state regulations. On Monday, Governor Baker visited a Boston animal shelter to highlight a new policy that reduces the quarantine time from six to four months for unvaccinated dogs and cats possibly exposed to rabies.

He said, “You not only make it easier for the people in the field to comply with the regulations, you’re also making it easier for us to actually focus on and oversee and execute on the regulations itself.”

The rabies virus is dangerous to humans and can be deadly. The Animal Rescue League said the policy change won’t be a threat to public health, and is consistent with national standards.

Keeping cats and dogs in isolation for six months can be very stressful on the pet. Animals can get depressed and start hurting themselves. Dr. Edward Schettino of the Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services said reducing the quarantine time from six to four months will free up limited quarantine space.

“By decreasing the quarantine time by two months for animals with no known past rabies vaccine, we’re able to place more dogs and cats into homes,” said Dr. Schettino.

The new quarantine regulation went into effect in July.

Governor Baker said of the 1,700 state regulations that his office reviewed, they’ve updated 800 regulations and eliminated about 275.