SB 122/HB 81 states that a person may not leave a dog outside and unattended for more than 30 minutes without suitable shelter where a dog can maintain its body temperature and is appropriate for the species, size, age, and condition of the dog 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 requirements will establish statewide minimum standards to protect unattended dogs left outside for a specified period of time from suffering in extreme weather conditions.
By the time animal control officers are called, dogs are often suffering from hypothermia or heat stroke 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 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.
Let’s make 2021 the year that we protect dogs suffering outside in extreme weather!
Please contact your legislators and tell them that you SUPPORT SB 122/HB 81!
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.