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 jwoestendiek 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
Participants, whether they are hiking the 1.5-mile walk-a-thon or checking out vendors and entertainment, will be helping to support homeless animals in the Baltimore area.
For the walk-thon, registration opens at 9 a.m. and starting line ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m.
The event also features a demonstration by Mid-Atlantic Disc Dogs, pet training tips, an agility course for dogs, low-cost micro-chipping, a “flea-less” market of pet friendly vendors, musical chairs for dogs, and a pet costume contest judged by celebrity guests, food and entertainment.
Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers, including a grand prize trip to the Bahamas. Participants will receive a special “doggy bag” that includes treats, corporate giveaways and other gifts. Dog bandanas will be given to those who raise at least $30, and the 2011 March for the Animals t-shirt will be given to walkers who raise at least $40.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, baltimore, demonstrations, dogs, Druid Hill Park, entertainment, event, events, fundraiser, March for the Animals, maryland, mdspca, pets, rescue, shelters, spca
O’Malley, whose family has two dogs, is expected to sign the bill, the Baltimore Sun reports on its Maryland Politics blog.
The bill permits restaurants with outdoor patios and tables to welcome dogs, if they want to.
Del. Dan Morhaim sponsored the legislation, and said it will provide a financial boost for restaurants and bars heading into the outdoor dining season.
The Dining Out Growth Act of 2011 permits restaurants statewide to have outdoor space for humans and dogs to eat together — as is already the case in Frederick County, for which similar legislation was passed last year.
Opponents of the bill said it could lead to more dog bites and other health hazards.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allowed, animals, bill, dan morhaim, dining, dining out growth act, dining with dogs, dog, dog friendly, dogs, frederick county, governor, health, laws, legislature, martin o'malley, maryland, outdoor, patio, pets, politics, restaurants, seating, signature
After numerous sightings, an elusive stray dubbed “Ducky” — because his snout was wrapped in duct tape — was snagged by animal control officers in western Maryland, and two men have been charged with animal cruelty in connection with his mistreatment.
Ducky, as he has been referred to on the “We Love Ducky” Facebook page, had eluded animal control officers and volunteers for a week.
On Sunday morning, though, he was found resting on the porch of a home in Lonaconing, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
The resident called the county 911 center, which dispatched animal control officials to pick up the dog. By Sunday afternoon, after biting one of the officers, Ducky was being treated at the Western Maryland Animal Hospital by Dr. John T. Fox, according to Elizabeth Care, a volunteer at Ark of Hope Rescue.
Sightings of Ducky had been reported Saturday on U.S. Route 40 near the Garrett County border. Ducky was first spotted near Corriganville more than a week ago.
“Overall, Ducky is in good health and is being treated for parasites,” said a veterinary technician at the animal hospital. Ducky is in quarantine, however, because of the bite, and will remain there for 10 days before a transfer to Ark of Hope.
“We will get him socialized and trusting people, then he will be put up for adoption,” said Care.
No one knows where the dog came from.
Updates on Ducky’s condition will be provided on the Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation Facebook page.
To help with Ducky’s vet expenses, contact Ark of Hope Rescue at 301-478-3300, or by click here.
(Photos: from the We Love Ducky Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, allegany county animal shelter, animal cruelty, animals, ark of hope rescue, arrested, charged, cruelty, cumberland, dog, duck tape, ducky, duct tape, facebook, found, frederick newton lease, lonaconing, maryland, pets, ricky allen adams, search, stray, we love ducky, western maryland, western maryland animal hospital
Seventy-one-year-old Paul Franklin Hudson Sr. got around Pocomoke City in a motorized wheelchair, often with his small dog, Foxy, a three-year-old “chickapoo,” riding in his lap.
On a Saturday earlier this month, they were on their way to McDonald’s — motoring along in the grass on the shoulder of Route 113 – when a black SUV ran off the road and struck him.
The impact knocked Hudson, a disabled Vietnam War veteran, from his wheelchair and killed Foxy. The SUV, Delmarvanow.com reported, fled the scene and police are still investigating.
Hudson said he spent the next day crying.
“She was like a part of my family,” Hudson said of Foxy, described as a Chihuahua and poodle mix. “She slept with me. She ate with me. We did everything together.”
Hudson told police four or five people stopped to help him after the accident — assisting him in getting back in his wheelchair and placing Foxy’s lifeless body on his lap.
Since burying Foxy, Hudson has been looking for a new dog, similar to his old one, and an anonymous donor has come forward to help him find one, Delmarvanow.com reported this week.
“God bless him,” Hudson said. “I’m going to keep looking, because I sure miss my baby.”
(Photo from Delmarvanow.com, by Amanda Rippen White)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, adopt, animals, bond, chickapoo, chihuahua, death, delaware, delmarva, dogs, foxy, grief, hit-and-run, loss, maryland, mix, motorized, paul franklin hudson, pets, pocomoke city, poodle, replace, rescue, shelters, suv, wheelchair