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A Maryland Senate Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on February 11 that will provide further protections for owners of service animals. 

Senate Bill 264 creates two new provisions that would protect service dogs and their owners.  It amends the crime of aggravated cruelty to state that a person may not intentionally inflict bodily harm or permanent disability, or cause the death of a service animal as defined in law, except in cases of self-defense. 

The bill also would make it a misdemeanor for someone to knowingly and willfully make a “false representation that an animal is a service animal” in order to gain admittance for the animal or obtain any other right or privilege specifically established for those with genuine service animals as defined in law.

The AKC supports this legislation which protects the safety of service dogs and the rights of their owners, handlers and trainers.  Maryland residents are encouraged to contact the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and ask them to support Senate Bill 264.  A list of committee contact information can be found here.

Talking Points:

Read AKC’s official position statement on service dogs

Read the AKC Government Relations blog “Misuse of Service Dogs Hurts the Disabled and Responsible Dog Owners”

A Maryland Senate Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on February 11 that will provide further protections for owners of service animals. The AKC supports this legislation which protects the safety of service dogs and the rights of their owners, handlers and trainers.

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