MFOA passes another bill protecting Maine pets! Second-in-the-nation legislation addresses animals abandoned by tenants




LD 679 “An Act Regarding Animals Abandoned by Tenants” becomes law!  




In June 2020, 27-year-old Matthew Meisner was tragically murdered in Tempe, Arizona, leaving three senior cats in his apartment. At the time, Arizona law stated if the tenant cannot be found, the landlord cannot enter the apartment for 15 days. Fifteen days before landlord could enter the premise and rescue the cats, which are considered “property.” Besides lack of food and water during that time, one had diabetes and almost died. Matthew‘s cousin, Meg Epstein, from Phoenix, recognized the need to amend the law and became the driving force to successfully amending the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. 

MFOA introduced similar legislation in the 131st Maine Legislature, LD 679 “An Act Regarding Animals Abandoned by Tenants”,  and with its passage in June 2023, became only the second-in-the-nation state to have such law addressing unintended abandonment of pet animals.

The bill provides that a landlord may require a tenant to provide information about any animal present in a dwelling unit and request contact information of a person who the tenant authorizes to enter the property to retrieve or care for said animal in the event that the tenant has abandoned the animal or is unable to care for it as a result of death, incapacitation or disability. 

It also allows the landlord to require permission, as a condition of tenancy, to enter the dwelling unit in an emergency in order to determine whether the animal is in need of care, and establishes a process through which the landlord may remove an animal under the above-noted situations.

If the landlord determines that a tenant with a pet has vacated the premises or is unable to care for it, the landlord may call an authorized person to pick up and care for the animal. If within five days the landlord does not get a response from the person or entity taking custody of the animal, the landlord may contact a shelter or like entity for its removal and care. Information of such action will be provided to the authorized person if that person subsequently comes forward to claim the animal. The landlord may not be held liable in a civil action for personal injury, death, property damage or other damages from or arising out of an occurrence involving the animal.               

Not only was LD 679, “An Act Regarding Animals Abandoned by Tenants” forward-looking legislation, it helps break down the barrier stemming directly from the ambiguity over animals’ legal status in which the law still fails to clearly differentiate animate and inanimate property. This legislation is a small step in the evolution of that thinking.


Purchase “My Pet Is Home Alone” cards at


  • Pet Emergency Keychain

  • Pet Emergency Keychain

  • Pet Emergency Keychain - 1 Keychain - Pet Home Alone Cards


Pet Emergency Keychain

$5.95 $7.95

50% of each keychain sold will go to our partners D.E.L.T.A. No-Kill Sanctuary to help provide medical care, food, and shelter for abandoned animals.

Current Offer: Buy 2 Keychains, Get 1 Keychain FREE!

Each keychain purchased comes with pet care wallet cards.

Our durable pet emergency keychain is the perfect addition to our emergency pet care wallet cards and will help emergency responders find your pet care card in your wallet so they can let your emergency contact know your pet will need care while you are unable to do so.

These bright red pet emergency keychains are NOT sold in stores.

Please consider purchasing pet emergency keychains for friends and family with pets!



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