What We Do
Maryland Votes For Animals, Inc. works with advocates, organizations, and legislators to pass humane legislation that will improve the lives of animals in Maryland.
Founded in 2009 by Carolyn Kilborn and a dedicated group of animal rights activists, Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc. has been successfully advocating for Maryland’s animals. We are proud to have worked with a dedicated team of Maryland’s animal organizations, advocates, and legislators to pass – or oppose – important legislation affecting Maryland’s animals.
Priority Legislation Passed:
A complete list of all our bills can be found in the Legislation Section – highlighted below are some of our most recent and impactful ones.
Cat Declaw Prohibition
Prohibits cat declawing, a cruel and painful procedure which involves the surgical removal of the top knuckles of a cat’s toes on its paws. This bill would prohibit certain declawing procedures unless medically necessary to ensure the health of the cat.
Shelter for Dogs in Extreme Weather
Requires that dogs left unattended in extreme weather have suitable shelter. This bill provides minimum standards to ensure that dogs are protected from the hazards of being left outdoors in adverse weather conditions, the number one complaint heard by animal control agencies in our state.
Wildlife Trafficking Prevention
Prohibits the sale of parts or products from a list of 15 endangered or threatened wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, and pangolins.
Cost of Animal Care
Requires individuals whose animals have been seized due to charges of cruelty or severe neglect to pay the cost of caring for the animals while the case is pending, lessening the cost burden on the shelter that cares for them, and potentially providing opportunities to be adopted into loving homes if the owner does not want to retain ownership while the case is pending.
Creation of the Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund
Provides competitive grants to local governments and non-profit animal welfare organizations that in turn promote and provide free spay and neuter services to pets of low income Marylanders and to colonies of feral cats.
Banning Sales of Dogs and Cats from Puppy Mills
Prohibits pet stores from selling dogs and cats thereby stopping the flow of cats and dogs from puppy mills into Maryland.
Protection of Animals from Sexual Abuse
Makes animal sexual abuse a felony, closes loopholes in the current law, and strengthens Maryland’s prohibition against sexually abusing animals such as those who allow others to sexually abuse their pets, often for profit.
Humane Adoption of Companion Animals Used in Research
Allows healthy dogs and cats an opportunity to be adopted into loving homes after they have served their time in research. Research institutions must partner with local rescues and shelters to adopt out healthy dogs and cats who are no longer needed for research.
Protection of Pets and First Responders
Provides civil and criminal immunity for first responders providing aid to an animal during an emergency.
Ban on the Non-Therapeutic Use of Antibiotics on Farm Animals
Prohibits the usage of specified antimicrobial drugs in farm animals unless medically necessary.
Mandatory Veterinary Reporting
Requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse.
Strengthening Maryland’s Dog Fighting Law
Closes a loophole in Maryland’s dog fighting statute by making possession of these implements with intent to engage in dog fighting a crime in Maryland.
Bills We Opposed:
Defeating Statewide Sunday Hunting in Maryland
This bill would have opened ALL counties in Maryland to Sunday hunting by authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to allow hunting on private property and public land designated for hunting by the State and establish a uniform statewide safety zone for archery hunters.