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SUPPORT: Crimes- Unattended Dogs in Extreme Weather Conditions- HB 406/SB 627.
HB 406/627 specifies that a person may not leave a dog outside and unattended for more than 30 minutes without continuous suitable shelter. Elements of a suitable shelter include, but are not limited to: four walls, a solid floor raised off the ground, a weatherproof roof, proper ventilation where the dog is able to maintain its body temperature and is appropriate for the species, size, age and condition of the dog – and more as defined in the bill. Extreme weather is defined by temperatures below 32 or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or during an active weather warning issued by the National Weather Service.
These commonsense requirements will establish statewide minimum standards to protect unattended dogs left outside for a specified period of time from suffering in extreme weather conditions.
Animal control officers are usually called when it is almost too late and dogs are suffering seizures, heatstroke, hypothermia, and death after being outdoors for long periods of time in extreme weather conditions. Maryland families and children are deeply affected by the cruelty they witness when neighborhood dogs are left outside in extreme temperatures and weather. This bill will reduce the suffering these animals endure, and the serious consequences, including death, caused by these conditions. It will provide a consistent standard across Maryland that does not change as a dog is moved between jurisdictions.
Establishing guidelines about dogs left outdoors enables animal control officers to intervene before a dog shows symptoms of acute distress. Moreover, adding clarity to the law can foster both public awareness and compliance, which could potentially avert some of these life-threatening situations before they occur.
Please contact your legislators and tell them that you SUPPORT HB 406/627!
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Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.