Those who care about animals in Massachusetts can rat out those they suspect of abuse. And, police have been given permission by the MA Supreme Court to enter the premises and investigate, without a warrant.
That's what has been ruled in "Commonwealth v. Heather M. Duncan." The animals could be removed and the alleged abusers brought up on charges. What the appropriate action, including entering the property, is will be decided on a case by case basis. Guidance for the decision relied on precedents from California, District of Columbia, Rhode Island and a few other states. Here is the coverage in the National Law Journal.
This ruling, if it gets enough publicity, will embolden those not only in MA to report suspected animal abuse - and expect law enforcement action to be taken. In itself that kind of action can deter the mean-spirited from harming animals.