On Wednesday, January 24, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that includes establishing requirements for the microchipping of dogs upon a transfer of ownership if the dog has not already been a microchipped.
Those who wish may comment on this bill using the information below.
Senate Bill 157 would require that a person (defined as an individual, an animal rescue organization, a retail pet store, and an animal shelter or other animal rescue organization) who transfers ownership of a dog shall have a microchip implanted into the dog, if the dog has not already been chipped before the transfer of ownership. Additionally, the person is required to provide the new owner of the dog with the name of the microchip registration company and information on how to provide updated contact information with the company.
The bill further requires the owner of a dog with a microchip to maintain current contact information with the microchip registration company and requires the microchip registration company to retain records of the name and address of the owner associated with each dog for a period of at least 20 years.
The bill does not provide for any penalties; however, it allows each county to establish reasonable penalties for violations of the microchip requirements.
Finally, the bill would increase the penalties for abandoning a domestic animal on a road, in a public place, or on private property.
How to Submit Comments:
Those wishing to comment on SB 157 may contact members of the Committee or submit public comment either in writing, in person, or via Zoom.
Committee members contact information can be found here (click on the member’s name).
The Committee’s Witness Guidelines provides instructions and timelines for submitting written comments or signing up for in person or virtual comments.
AKC Government Relations continues to monitor legislation impacting dog owners in Maryland. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.