Though no doubt a leader in many areas, Massachusetts is behind the times in its protection of pet owners. First off, its law, entitled "Operation and Licensing of Pet Shops," makes no mention of hobby breeders or kennels.
Like most states, Massachusetts gives the buyer of a puppy 14 days to document that the pet has a contagious or infectious disease. Shockingly, it also provides only 14 days to document the existence of congenital or hereditary defects -- not nearly long enough for many common conditions to manifest themselves.
A buyer who can document the existence of disease or defect is entitled to either a replacement of the pet or a refund of the purchase price. But, unlike most states, there is no provision for reimbursement of veterinary expenses. Nor is there any penalty for failure to produce advertised registration papers.
Verdict: the Bay State is a fine place to good to college or eat seafood, but a poor place to buy a pet.