At the end of the 2011 session of the Maryland General Assembly, animal welfare advocates are celebrating passage of five major animal protection bills, and the defeat of two that they say would have had an adverse impact on animal welfare.
And to top it all off, as of July, dogs can legally dine in the outside seating areas of restaurants that opt to permit them.
“In the past animal protection laws in Maryland have been weaker than other states. But now we are making huge progress to improve the treatment of Maryland’s animals,” said Carolyn Kilborn, chair of Maryland Votes for Animals.
Kilborn attributes the gains to animal welfare advocates being better organized and more outspoken.
The General Assembly passed the following bills during the 2011 session:
- Senate Bill 839, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Gladden, D-Baltimore City, which requires commercial dog breeders to be licensed by the county in which they operate, and requires counties to report basic information about these commercial breeders once a year to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. This bill will provide critical information to understand the impact of puppy mills in the state. Companion legislation, HB 990, was sponsored by Del. Tom Hucker, D-Montgomery County.
- Senate Bill 639, sponsored by Sen. Joanne Benson, D-Prince George’s County, which will set up a task force to study the need for funding of spay and neuter programs in Maryland. An estimated 48,000 homeless dogs and cats are euthanized in Maryland shelters annually. Affordable, accessible spay/neuter programs can help prevent this tragedy. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have a public funding mechanism to subsidize the cost of spay/neuter surgeries for those who cannot afford it. The task force will be comprised of representatives from animal control, humane societies, non-profit spay/neuter organizations, the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, the Department of Agriculture and others. Companion legislation, HB 339, was sponsored by Del. Barbara Frush, D-Prince George’s County.
- House Bill 227 sponsored by Del. Jeff Waldstreicher, D-Montgomery County, which will allow courts to prohibit someone convicted of animal cruelty from owning animals as a term of probation. This legislation had strong backing from organizations addressing the issue of domestic violence. Companion legislation, SB 115, was co-sponsored by Sen. James Robey, D-Howard County.
- Senate Bill 747 sponsored by Sen. Norman Stone, D-Baltimore County, which allows courts to include protections for pets in domestic violence protective orders. Research has repeatedly shown a link between animal abuse and domestic violence. Children and animals in the family are often threatened, or actually harmed, as a way to manipulate and coerce others in the family. Victims of domestic violence often delay leaving abusive situations because they fear for the safety of their companion animals. This legislation benefits both people and animals and had strong support for organizations which address the problem of domestic violence. Companion legislation, HB 407, was sponsored by Del. Susan McComas, R-Harford County.
- House Bill 897, sponsored by Del. Peter Murphy, D-Charles County, to require the addition of a bittering agent to antifreeze. Ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in most major antifreeze brands, has an aroma and a sweet flavor which can tempt animals to drink the highly toxic substance. Adding a bittering agent makes it less attractive to companion animals and wildlife.
- House Bill 941, sponsored by Del. Dan Morhaim, D- Baltimore County, which permits restaurants to allow dogs in outdoor seating areas.
Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) works to create an ever-growing voting bloc of animal advocates who will elect representatives willing to champion and vote for animal protection legislation.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2011, advocacy, animal, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, antifreeze, bills, breeders, breeding, commercial, dining with dogs, dogs, domestic violence, general assembly, house, laws, legislation, legislature, maryland, maryland votes for animals, neuter, outdoor, pets, protection, senate, spay
Virginia last week became the seventh state to require antifreeze be spiked with a bitter tasting agent that keeps pets from consuming the toxic liquid.
About 10,000 pets a year, lured by its sweet taste, are fatally poisoned by antifreeze, according to the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kirk Cox, a Republican who introduced the bill in January, after a constituent told him of two dogs on her postal route that had fallen victim to antifreeze.
Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Arizona, Tennessee, Maine and California have similar laws, according to Zootoo.com.
The law calls for all imported car engine coolants/antifreeze that have more than 10 percent ethylene glycol also contain denatonium benzoate, a notoriously bitter, but otherwise harmless chemical compound.
“For a 25-pound dog, it can take just as much as a few licks for this stuff to take effect,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
Oregon first passed a law to make antifreeze more unappealing nearly 15 years ago.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, antifreeze, arizona, california, deaths, denatonium benzoate, dog, dogs, ethylene glycol, humane society, kill, killing, law, laws, legislative fund, licks, maine, new mexico, oregon, pets, poison, poisoning, smell, states, sweet, taste, tennessee, toxic, virginia, washington
A 12-year veteran of the Columbus, Ohio fire department is under investigation for allegedly shooting and killing his two dogs.
Dave Santuomo is accused of shooting the animals several times and dumping their remains in a Dumpster outside his fire station, 10TV in Columbus reported. An anonymous tip led officers from the Capital Area Humane Society to the Dumpster, behind Station 27, where they found two bloody bags containing the dogs’ bodies.
Investigators believe Santuomo killed the dogs inside his home, and were looking into reports that Santuomo strung the dogs up on a beam in his basement before shooting them.
“This is a very grave, very horrific situation,” said Kerry Manion of the Capital Area Humane Society. “We’re treating it very seriously.” Read more »
Posted by John Woestendiek December 12th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, antifreeze, columbus, dave santuomo, dog, dogs, dumpster, firefighter, gun, humane society, kills, ohio, pets, shot, toxic, vacation