ANNAPOLIS, Md.—As the Maryland legislative session comes to an end, animal advocates celebrate the passage of critical reforms. Most notably, during this session Maryland became the 13th state (in addition to Washington, D.C.) to prohibit the sale of parts and pieces from endangered and imperiled wildlife, the second state to ban the cruel and unnecessary practice of declawing cats, and joined 38 states in passing a law to address the cost of caring for animals seized from cruelty or severe neglect.
“This was the year to get it done for the animals and pass critical reforms that have been debated but never before moved,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Maryland state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful that our legislature took action to protect so many animals from inhumane treatment.”
The legislature passed several additional reforms that will protect animals, including:
Requiring dogs left unattended in extreme weather to have suitable shelter (SB44/HB16)
Re-authorizing the state’s successful Spay/Neuter Fund for another ten years (SB206/HB191)
Legislation that would have assisted renters by creating a tax credit to incentivize more pet-friendly rental housing (SB443/HB681) and establishing protections for pet-owners facing eviction (SB816/HB1064) did not receive a vote in either chamber, despite broad support.
“We are especially proud that the legislature finally passed legislation protecting dogs left outdoors in extreme weather. This has been a priority bill for many years and will save lives,” said Bevan-Dangel. “We look forward to working with housing advocates and lawmakers to advance more solutions to protect pet owners facing evictions in the coming term.”
“We could not be prouder of the actions of the legislature on these important bills and thank advocates and partners from the Eastern Shore to the mountains of western Maryland for helping to make Maryland a more humane state for all of our residents,” said Bevan-Dangel.
- Melissa Smith