Four New Laws to Protect Animals Take Effect October 1st!


Cat Declaw Prohibition (SB67/HB22) Senator Cheryl Kagan/Delegate Lorig Charkoudian Maryland becomes the second state to ban this cruel and painful procedure except in medically necessary circumstances that involve the health of the cat. New York outlawed elective declawing in 2019. Fourteen US cities have banned the practice including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. Elective declawing is illegal in most of Europe as well as in Brazil, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand.

Shelter for Dogs in Extreme Weather (SB44/HB16) Senator Chris West/Delegate Mary Lehman – 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– (SB381/HB52) Senator Will C. Smith/Delegate Sara Love Prohibits the sale of parts or products from a list of 15 endangered or threatened wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, and pangolins. Federal law already prohibits the import of these parts or products and their sale across state lines. Maryland joins 13 States and the District of Columbia in prohibiting these sales within our borders.

Cost of Animal Care (SB877/HB1062) Senator Jeff Waldstreicher /Delegate David Moon 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. Maryland joins 38 states, including our neighbors, in passing this legislation.

We are working on our 2023 Humane Agenda. Please sign up for Maryland Votes for Animals Action Alerts to get information about how you can let your delegates and senators know about bills to help animals in Maryland.