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The Maryland Senate is expected to consider a bill any day that contains some very troubling legislative findings (including implying that breeders are the reason dogs end up in shelters).

The purpose of the bill is to ensure that pet stores and dealers in Maryland only obtain dogs from reputable breeders, and many positive amendments have been made to the bill.  AKC believes, however, that the legislative findings are inaccurate and offensive and have no place in the bill. 

AKC encourages Maryland residents to contact their Senator and respectfully educate them on all responsible breeders do on behalf of dogs and ask them to remove the legislative findings in House Bill 1113.  Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to get the name and contact information for your State Senator.  A full list of State Senators may be found here.

Summary:

House Bill 1113 ensures that pet stores and dealers are working with humane, reputable breeders, and the AKC appreciates many amendments that have been made to improve this measure.  The legislative findings, however, are inappropriate and do not belong in the Maryland statute.  AKC’s concerns with the findings include the following:

  • The bill asserts that there are “countless” unwanted dogs and cats, but lacks data or references to back up this claim. Before implementing further laws, the state should first accurately ascertain the facts about the nature of the population of pets in Maryland shelters. In addition to numbers, the source and disposition of the animals, including the percentage from the local community and imported from out of state, should be studied. Pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons including owner relinquishment, stray and lost pets, and importation from other states.
     
  • The term “puppy mill” is offensive to high quality breeders who take excellent care of their animals. This term should not be placed in state law. 
     
  • The bill asserts that the commercial retail sale of dogs is “immoral and inhumane.”  This is a very broad assertion that is insulting to those who take excellent care of their animals and ensure that they are placed in safe, loving homes. 
     
  • The AKC agrees that animals do feel pain, fear, and hunger. However a comparison between humans and animals in statutory language, suggests a legal status for animals that is inconsistent with current Maryland law. 

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org

The Maryland Senate is expected to consider a bill any day that contains some very troubling legislative findings (including implying that breeders are the reason dogs end up in shelters). AKC encourages Maryland residents to contact their Senator and respectfully educate them on all responsible breeders do on behalf of dogs and ask them to remove the legislative findings in House Bill 1113.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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