Maryland: Thank Your Lawmakers for Protecting Animals in 2017!
The Maryland General Assembly recently adjourned for the year, but not before passing a host of important animal welfare legislation! Now, these bills need Governor Larry Hogan's signature in order to become law:
• S.B. 573/H.B. 334: Lowers the commercial dog breeder licensure threshold from 15 to six dogs so puppy mills cannot go undetected and unaddressed.
• S.B. 631/H.B. 941: Establishes a fund to reimburse animal shelters the costs associated with caring for animals seized in cruelty cases.
• S.B. 790/H.B. 455: Updates the cruelty code to make it clear that various acts of animal cruelty should be charged separately, helping ensure that abusers receive adequate sentences.
• H.B. 626: Requires certain animal shelters to meet uniform standards of humane care and be subject to inspections by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
• H.B. 1463: Requires veterinarians to report animal cruelty in the same way that doctors or teachers are required to report child abuse.
While we are thrilled to see these bills pass, there was one important bill that did not make it past the finish line this year: the “Beagle bill” (S.B. 420/H.B. 528). This commonsense, humane bill would have required research institutions to work with willing animal rescue organizations to adopt out dogs and cats once they are no longer needed for research.
What You Can Do
Simply use the form below to send an email to Governor Hogan encouraging him to sign the animal welfare bills on his desk into law. Then place a quick, polite follow-up call to the Governor at (410) 974-3901 with the same message of support.
When you email the Governor, you’ll also be able to email your state senator and delegate(s) at the same time to thank them for making 2017 a great session for animals and encourage them to prioritize the “Beagle bill” next session. You’ll also be able to urge the presidents of John Hopkins University and the University of Maryland to reconsider their opposition to the “Beagle bill”!
It’s so important to thank your state lawmakers when they vote the right way for animals! We hope that by receiving positive feedback, they will continue to work to protect Maryland’s vulnerable animals. If you want to find out how your specific legislators voted on these bills, please email email@example.com.
Thank you Maryland!