Domestic Animals

They are our best friends, our boon companions and they deserve our protection.  Learn about the issues and what you can do---what together we can do---to help animals in Maryland:

Anti-Tethering Laws


"Anti-chaining laws help protect dogs from cruelty and enhances public safety by preventing aggressive animal behaviours that can result from inhumane tethering." --- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Chained for lifeImagine living your entire life as a prisoner at the end of a chain or in a small pen, just because that is what your “family” has decided for you.  Hour after hour, day after day, season after season, year after year, you are alone with no companionship, no exercise, no interaction with anyone except maybe a once-a-day feeding and a water refill---if you’re lucky.

You swelter in summer heat, shiver in the cold winter winds.  A doghouse cannot protect you from the frigid chill you feel in your bones-and in your heart.  Most of all you are unbearably lonely because dogs are social animals.

Other dogs chase balls, get petted, meet new friends, get silly, are comforted during thunderstorms, get relief from rashes.

You wish you could live like other dogs.  You wish someone would come and rescue you.  And now, thankfully, someone is coming...

Maryland Votes For Animals is committed to rescuing chained dogs through legislation.  That's because the situation described above is perfectly legal.  As long as the dog is being fed, has access to water, has a 3-sided shelter, and is not being physically beaten or similarly abused, our laws---as currently written--allow this sad situation to continue.

But what if we joined together to ban this practice by by getting legislation passed to outlaw it in the Maryland General Assembly?  What if we joined together to elect legislators who will support a law to end 24/7 dog chaining and penning?  What if all the dogs in your neighborhood, in your city, and in your state were freed from their chains and pens, treated like "family members" and allowed to live a happy dog's life?

If you care about animals, please DO THIS NOW!

Please join and support  Maryland Votes For Animals so you will be kept informed about the progress of this and similar bills to protect dogs.  Also, you’ll be updated on the voting record of your elected officials so you'll know whether they are a help or a hindrance in getting humane legislation passed.  Then you can vote accordingly.  Then, and only then, will Maryland become the humane, animal-friendly state we all want it to be.

Puppy Mills

How Much Is That Puppy In The Window?

Puppy mills are breeding operations where the animals are kept in over-crowded and unsanitary cages without adequate veterinary care, food, water or socialization.  The puppies born in these facilities are usually sold to pet stores or over the internet.  Dogs in mills are usually kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs.  The wire cages are often stacked in columns where the waste falls on the unfortunate animal below. The breeding animals in these facilities are over-bred and then killed when they can no longer reproduce.

There are no adequate laws in Maryland to prevent puppy mills.  There is no license required in Maryland to operate a breeding facility.  Inspections of breeding facilities must be announced ahead of time.

What you can do to stop puppy mills...
First, get active.  Join Maryland Votes for Animals and become a voice for change in Annapolis.   Write or call your state representative.  You can locate the names of your representatives by clicking on the Find your Elected Officials link on every page.   Tell them that you want all breeders to be licensed in Maryland.  You want inspections to be unannounced.  You want enough space in each cage for animals to stand up and move.  You want to eliminate overcrowding.  You want to eliminate wire cages.  You want all breeding animals to have access to food, water, veterinary care, and socialization.

Second, don't buy animals from pet stores or over the internet.  Breeders exist because there is profit in animal suffering.

Third, spread the word about puppy mills.  If you know someone who is thinking of buying a puppy, tell them about mills.  The sad truth is, nearly all animals sold in the Untied States come from puppy mills.   Urge them to adopt, not buy.
Because together we can end puppy mills in Maryland.

Spay & Neuter Progams


Spay and Neuter!

State-wide spay and neuter programs, reduce the number of homeless domestic animals, reducing the number of needless euthanizations and bringing down the public cost of kill shelters.

Thirty-four states plus Maryland have established funding mechanisms to support spay/neuter programs to reduce intake and euthanasia rates.


No other disease or condition of companion animals takes as many lives as euthanasia.
(Janet M. Scarlett, DVM, Ph.D, Cornell University)

  • Destroying cats and dogs in shelters day in and day out places significant cost burdens on local government and takes an indescribable toll on shelter workers.  Shelters are overwhelmed with many working in triage mode. 

    Girl with dog

  • This is a needless and avoidable tragedy.


Spay/neuter programs are proven to be the best antidote to mass euthanasia.  They are the most humane and fiscally responsible way to address the shelter pet population problem.

A state spay/neuter program is the best way to reduce Maryland's euthanasia rate and the millions of dollars spent to destroy Maryland’s homeless pets. Maryland's program saves lives and money

  • New Jersey witnessed a 61% decrease and New Hampshire had over a 75% decrease in euthanasia rates after implementing state programs.
  • For every $1 invested in the state spay/neuter program in New Hampshire, $3.15 were savedin reduced costs for intake and euthanasia.

MVFA thanks the thousands of individuals, businesses, organizations, agencies, veterinarians, and coalition partners who stood together, strong and in unprecedented numbers, ensuring this lifesaving legislation passed.  Because you cared, because you were not silent about things that matter, thousands of lives of Maryland's homeless pets will be saved. 

Maryland Votes for Animals list of Superstars of Maryland's Spay/Neuter Program

More info can also be found at

How can you help?

Join MVFA : add your voice to the thousands of Marylanders promoting humane legislation in our state.

Donate to MVFA: We operate with zero paid staff.  Every penny we receive goes into our final objectives; electing humane legislators and passing humane legislation.

Contact your legislators: Let your State Senator and Delegate know that animal protection is important to their constituents.

Think Like a General to Solve Animal Homelessness

Cages upon cages of beautiful, healthy animaDumpster Catls are sitting on death row all over Maryland right now.  It’s not a pretty sight.  If there were ever a time when the animals are crying out to us for help, it is now.  With the loss of jobs, homes and income that millions of people are experiencing throughout the country, the animals are too often the ones taking the biggest hit---including the loss of their very lives.  If there were ever a moment when we need to expand our hearts and use our political power to help Maryland’s animals, the moment is now and it couldn’t be more urgent.

Sad dogEuthanasia and gas chambers have always been and always will be a pathetic nonanswer for the needs of animals.  Maryland can do better even during the roughest of times.  So let’s join together as members of MVFA---the first and only voting bloc for animals in Maryland---to insist that that our lawmakers take notice of the suffering of animals and pass laws to solve this problem instead of just succumbing to the mindless killing of innocent, adoptable pets.

There is a Solution…


For far too long, “animal people” have been trying to solve the huge problem of animal homelessness using rescue only.  But isn’t that’s like trying to win a war using only the Red Cross?  Instead, MVFA is dedicated to thinking like a general whose job it is to win the war of animal homelessness.  This means that MVFA will think long-term, strategically and politically.  Here are a few examples:

  • MVFA will organize the huge number of Marylanders who already care deeply about animals into a powerful voting bloc.  This is how we get political power for animals.

  • MVFA will monitor the General Assembly and let you know when critical animal protection bills are coming up for a vote in the house or senate.  Then you can contact your legislator and tell her that you’d like her support on the bill.

  • MVFA will let you know which legislators support animal protection bills and which legislators do not.  Then we’ll put out a legislative scorecard so you can refer to it before you vote.

  • MVFA will work to elect officials who care about animals as much as we do!  Moreover, we’ll work to defeat those officials who consistently show indifference to the suffering of animals. 

  • MVFA will use media and get-out-the-vote campaigns to let the public know which candidates they should vote for.

To summarize, MVFA will use our collective political power to insist that our lawmakers put programs and laws in place that will make the heroic job of rescue much easier.  Then and only then will all our precious cats and dogs have the happy lives they deserve.


Don’t Buy While They Die

A quick reminder that adoption is the only conscientious way to bring a new animal into your home.  Until every adoptable cat and dog (or guinea pig or pet rat or horse!) has a good home, no one should ever buy an animal.  Adopting an animal helps solve the problem, buying an animal makes you part of the problem.


Do This Now!

Join MVFA if you have not done so already!  The animals need a powerful political voice made up of tens of thousands of Maryland voters---a humane voting bloc.  This is the only way to get our lawmakers to listen.  Period.  Only your voice (call your legislators and let them know that this is important to you) your vote (read our humane scorecard before the November 2010 election and vote for MVFA’s endorsed candidates) and your money (make a donation to MVFA to help us elect humane candidates in 2010) will end the suffering of these animals.  With your help, Maryland Votes For Animals is dedicated to electing compassionate, caring legislators who will help these animals.  The animals have no voice without us!  Join now!