This bill creates a process that ensures pet owners are informed about their rights and responsibilities regarding their pets in the event of an eviction. Landlords would be required to provide a fact sheet prepared by the Department of Agriculture with resources for pet owners facing evictions including local shelter contact information. Immediately following an eviction, landlords would be required to check the property for pets, with the stipulation that any pets found on the property would either be reunited with their owner or taken to a shelter where the owner and shelter would both receive contact information from the landlord. Pets from an evicted family could not be left outside on the curb with a tenant’s property after an eviction.
Covid has not only exacerbated the problem of housing insecurity, but also it has cast a spotlight on the increasing number of families with pets who face eviction. While some landlords may provide notification to renters about what to do with their pets in the case of an eviction, we have heard from far too many families that they cannot find where their pets were taken after an eviction. Moreover, our shelter and rescue partners have been receiving pets from these properties with no contact information. This creates difficult situations for the shelters and rescues as they cannot determine if the pet was abandoned – or belongs to a family that would want to reclaim their cherished pet.
We need to ensure that “best practices” are codified and being done uniformly by landlords.
The steps required in this bill are not difficult to implement and will protect vulnerable families and their beloved pets during a very difficult time.
Please contact your legislators and ask them to SUPPORT SB 816/HB 1064!
Thank you again for being an advocate for Maryland’s animals. Remember, Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc. can only succeed with the help of animal advocates like you. Please consider making a donation to Maryland Votes for Animals at voteanimals.org/donate now, so we can continue fighting for Maryland animals.
Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.