Arizona Governor: “Matthew’s Law” To Protect Pets, Families

Arizona Governor: “Matthew’s Law” To Protect Pets, Families

PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that allows landlords to safely move a tenant’s pet to a shelter or release the pet to a relative if the tenant is deceased or incapacitated and can no longer care for the animal.

House Bill 2507, also known as “Matthew’s Law,” is in honor of Matthew Meisner, who tragically lost his life last year after being shot.  After his death, Matthew’s loved ones were unable to access his apartment to rescue his cats for days because they were considered personal property and couldn’t be touched by the landlord for a certain amount of time following Matthew’s death.

“Family members should be able to protect a loved one’s pet after a tragic event,” said Governor Ducey.  “ legislation protects pets and families, and I’m hopeful no one else has to face what Matthew’s family experienced after he was taken far too soon.  I’m grateful to Representative Shawnna Bolick for leading on this important issue.”

Matthew’s Law, introduced by Representative Bolick, addresses the issue Matthew’s family faced by allowing a landlord to release an animal to a relative of a deceased or incapacitated tenant.  It also allows a landlord to deem an animal abandoned and remove the animal to an animal shelter or boarding facility if the landlord is unable to contact the authorized person or the authorized person fails to respond within one day after the initial written contact.

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