SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A founder of a local animal shelter is leading the charge to change state regulations that place an unfair burden on Massachusetts animal shelters.

Massachusetts is the only state that requires shelters to isolate pets from out of state for 48 hours even though they come in with health certificates.

Pet supply stores generously offer free adoption centers, but the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture treats the animals as if they are now owned by the pet supply stores, requiring shelters to pay for a vet exam every 7-days instead of what is in the shelter regulations. No pet that has already been deemed healthy and ready for adoption needs to go to the vet every 7 days, instead of every 180 as is required in the shelter regulations.

22News spoke with Sheryl Blancato, CEO & founder of Second Chance Animal Services and whose leading the charge for change about the situation.

“We’re trying to raise awareness about this issue and how serious it is because there are shelters and rescues that are struggling to survive because they cannot keep up with the financial burden of this,” Blancato said.

Blancato authored an online petition to change regulations which have already received over 3,500 signatures.

For more information or if you’d like to sign the petition, click here.