Massachusetts Lawmakers Want to Tighten Leash on Dog Owners

Excuse me, sir, does Fido have his seatbelt on?

And, by the way, is that a loaded dog you're carrying?

Both fanciful questions might soon be reality if Massachusetts legislators get their way.

“When I drive down the road and I see a dog running around the car, particularly on the lap and front seat, that’s crazy,” state Rep. Martin Walsh told the Boston Herald. The Dorchester Democrat is considering filing legislation requiring drivers to buckle up their canines.

Click here to read the Boston Herald story.

Walsh's sentiments are the latest in a drive at the local and state levels to crackdown on canine owners.

“You can’t allow people to be afraid all the time,” said Avril T. Elkort, vice chairwoman of the Canton Board of Selectmen, where a new ordinance limits residents to one pit bull per household, the Herald reported. “It was a public safety issue.”

State legislators, meanwhile, will hold a hearing later this month on whether to outlaw pit bulls, the Herald reports, though Walsh said lawmakers hope to look into broader issues regarding dog safety.

State Rep. Vincent Pelone said the state may consider either banning pit bulls outright or requiring owners to get training or a dangerous dog license, the newspaper said.

“If you want to own a pit bull, which in my estimation can be the same as owning a weapon, the owner and the dog should receive training,” the Worcester Democrat told the Herald.

The Boston Herald contributed to this report.