The law that protects animals in a hoarding situation is Chapter 272 Section 77. This is the Animal Cruelty Statute in Massachusetts, and it can make an owner or care taker of the animals accountable. It is a Felony which carries a penalty of imprisonment in a Commonwealth of Massachusetts state prison for not more than 5 years or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by both such fine and imprisonment. This can only be enforced by either local Law Enforcement Agencies or through the two Animal Welfare organizations in the state; the MSPCA Cruelty Line 800-628-5808 or Animal Rescue League of Boston Cruelty Line 617-226-5610. The first step in an animal hoarding situation is to contact the local Animal Control Department that can be reached through the local Police Department. The Animal Welfare Agencies can be additional resources.