Government Relations

The Maryland House of Representatives Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear a strict breeders...

The Maryland House of Representatives Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear a strict breeders bill on Thursday, February 12.

Maryland Delegate Michael Smigiel has introduced House Bill 495, which, like Senate Bill 318, aims to strictly regulate dog breeders in Maryland by imposing ownership limits, strict enclosure and exercise requirements, and other requirements.

The American Kennel Club’s mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC believes that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. Instead, the AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.

If adopted, HB 495 (For a copy of the full legislation, please click here) would, on the enactment date of October 1, 2009:

  • Mandate the implementation of rigid engineering requirements for enclosures for anyone owning 10 or more intact dogs over 4 months of age without regard to the fiscal impact that such standards would have on targeted breeders or the enforceability of such requirements. 
     
  • Prohibit anyone from owning, possessing, controlling, or have charge or custody of more than 50 “breeding” dogs over the age of 4 months at any time. 
     
  • Require detailed exercise regulations for anyone owning 10 or more intact dogs over 4 months of age.  This includes two separate daily 2 hour exercise regimens unless a veterinarian has determined that the dog is medically unable to exercise. 
     
  • Exempt public animal shelters, nonprofit humane societies/animal adoption organizations, veterinary facilities, retail pet stores, research institutions, and boarding facilities from the requirements of this law.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • The American Kennel Club encourages as many responsible dog breeders and owners as possible to attend the committee hearing on February 12.  Here are the details:

    Maryland House Judiciary Committee Hearing
    Thursday, February 12, 2009
    1:00 p.m.
    House Office Building, Room 101
    Annapolis, Maryland 21401
     

  • We also urge all responsible dog breeders and owners in Maryland to contact their State Delegates and the members of House Judiciary Committee and respectfully, yet strongly urge them to oppose House Bill 495.

 

For a sample letter to personalize and send, click here.

If you do not know who are your Delegates, click here.

To e-mail your Delegates and members of the committee, click here and select the name of the Delegate from the list.


House Judiciary Committee Members


Joseph Vallario, Jr.  Chair, House Judiciary Committee
Phone: (410) 841-3488, (301) 858-3488
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3488 (toll free)
E-mail: joseph.vallario@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3850, (301) 858-3850


Samuel "Sandy" Rosenberg, Vice Chair
Phone: (410) 841-3297, (301) 858-3297
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3297 (toll free)
E-mail: samuel.rosenberg@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3179, (301) 858-3179


Michael Smigiel, Sr. (Also Bill Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3555, (301) 858-3555
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3555 (toll free)
E-mail: michael.smigiel@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3434, (301) 858-3434


Curt Anderson
Phone: (410) 841-3291, (301) 858-3291
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3291 (toll free)
E-mail: curt.anderson@house.state.md.us


Benjamin Barnes
Phone: (410) 841-3046, (301) 858-3046
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3046 (toll free)
E-mail: ben.barnes@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3346, (301) 858-3346


Jill Carter
Phone: (410) 841-3283, (301) 858-3283
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3283 (toll free)
E-mail: jill.carter@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3251, (301) 858-3251


Frank Conaway, Jr.
Phone: (410) 841-3189, (301) 858-3189
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3189 (toll free)
E-mail: frank.conaway@house.state.md.us


Kathleen Dumais (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3052, (301) 858-3052
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3052 (toll free)
E-mail: kathleen.dumais@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3219, (301) 858-3219


Don Dwyer, Jr.
Phone: (410) 841-3047, (301) 858-3047
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3047 (toll free)
E-mail: don.dwyer@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3779, (301) 858-3779


William Frank
Phone: (410) 841-3793, (301) 858-3793
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3793 (toll free)
E-mail: william.frank@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3311, (301) 858-3311


J.B. Jennings
Phone: (410) 841-3698, (301) 858-3698
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3698 (toll free)
E-mail: jb.jennings@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3023, (301) 858-3023


Kevin Kelly (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3404, (301) 858-3404
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3404 (toll free)
Fax: (410) 841-3484, (301) 858-3484


Benjamin Kramer (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3485, (301) 858-3485
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3485 (toll free)
E-mail: benjamin.kramer@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3875, (301) 858-3875


Susan Lee (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3649, (301) 858-3649
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3649 (toll free)
E-mail: susan.lee@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3026, (301) 858-3026


Gerron Levi
Phone: (410) 841-3101, (301) 858-3101
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3101 (toll free)
E-mail: gerron.levi@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3850, (301) 858-3850


Susan McComas (Also a Co-Sponsor)
(410) 841-3272, (301) 858-3272
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3272 (toll free)
E-mail: susan.mccomas@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3202, (301) 858-3202


Tony McConckey (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3406, (301) 858-3406
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3406 (toll free)
E-mail: tony.mcconkey@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3209, (301) 858-3209


Victor Ramirez (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3340, (301) 858-3340
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3340 (toll free)
E-mail: victor.ramirez@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3239, (301) 858-3239


Todd Schuler
Phone: (410) 841-3526, (301) 848-3526
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3526 (toll free)
E-mail: todd.schuler@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3034


Luiz Simmons
Phone: (410) 841-3037, (301) 858-3037
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3037 (toll free)
E-mail: luiz.simmons@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3003, (301) 858-3003


Kriselda Valderrama (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3210, (301) 858-3210
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3210 (toll free)
E-mail: kris.valderrama@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3525, (301) 858-3525


Jeff Waldstreicher (Also a Co-Sponsor)
Phone: (410) 841-3130, (301) 858-3130
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3130 (toll free)
E-mail: jeff.waldstreicher@house.state.md.us
Fax: (410) 841-3233, (301) 858-3233

 

RESOURCES:

  • For tips on how to effectively communicate with legislators, please click here.  For a copy of our Disagree Diplomatically brochure, please click here
     
  • For more information on how you can help, contact the Maryland Dog Federation at marylanddogfederation@yahoo.com
     
  • For more information on this or other legislation, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or E-mail doglaw@akc.org.

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