Pet Laws: Alligator Found in Charles River - Boston Real Estate Law News

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Pet Laws: Alligator Found in Charles River

Perhaps it is the modern condition, but we in our urban environments get very excited when encountering wild animals (co-workers don’t count). Whether it is a beached whale, an escaped grizzly, or as was the case recently in Massachusetts, an alligator in Charles River, as reported by The Boston Globe.

In this case, the alligator in Charles River was about four feet long and discovered by a canoeist. The canoeist had purchased a canoe on Craigslist and was taking it out for a ride. The man, named Topher Cox, is an advertising photographer (who else would buy a canoe and discover an alligator?).

Once Topher Cox called 911, it took a little while for the authorities to figure out that he wasn't making a prank call. They then came and captured the alligator.

It turns out that the alligator was not some lost lonely guy far away from his family in the Everglades. He had been turned loose illegally. He is expected to grow up to twelve feet long. He will be transferred to Texas.

This raises an important legal issue for Boston area homeowners, many of whom like to keep pets.

The bottom line is that while you can keep an alligator as a pet, you have to get a special license to keep an exotic pet in this state.

The specific law, available at Mass. General Laws Title 19, Chapter 131, Section 23, states that you need to obtain a dealer's license or a propagator's license. Note: a propagator is not an alligator's cousin.

For more information about what kind of pets you can keep at home and what laws you must follow regarding your property, please speak to a local real estate attorney.

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