Oppose Maryland HB 169- Lacks Due Process for Dog Owners/Guardians
  • Petitioned Maryland State Senate

This petition was delivered to:

Maryland State Senate
Maryland State House
State Rep. Cheryl Glenn

Oppose Maryland HB 169- Lacks Due Process for Dog Owners/Guardians

    1. Ledy VanKavage
    2. Petition by

      Ledy VanKavage

      Collinsville, IL

Safe, humane communities are important. So are a dog owner/guardian's right not to have his pet declared "dangerous" without notice, a hearing, or an appeal process. HB 169 lacks all of those constitutional protections.

The "dangerous" defintion, in addition to the lack of due process, is troubling. For example, if my dog went to a dog park and another dog attacked him and my dog fought back, it could be deemed "dangerous" without a notice or a hearing.

HB 169 would require any dog who was automatically deemed "dangerous" because it killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal while it was off its owners property to be confined at home or in a pen, and the owners would have to provide $300,000 worth of liability insurance to keep their pet.

The bill is scheduled to be heard February 10. Please sign the petition and oppose this bill unless it is amended.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Due Process for Dog Owners Under Attack in Maryland

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Maryland Delegate Cheryl Glenn has good intentions — she introduced HB 169 to crack down on reckless owners and dangerous dogs. Everyone wants safe, humane communities. But we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


    Reasons for signing

    • michelle maiorca MANCHESTER, CT
      • about 3 years ago

      Ok, guess I'll say this again...Any kind of breed profiling is STUPID!!! Dogs are individuals, just like people. Instead of making stupid laws, how about common sense?!

    • Margot Woods LAUREL, MD
      • about 3 years ago

      This bill reads as if the true goal is to trash yet another part of our Bill of Rights and to further the process of preventing all human/animal contact. Sweeping charges? Not if you actually read the bill carefully.

    • Marianna LaFollette MT. AIRY, MD
      • about 3 years ago

      Please OPPOSE HB-169 (introduced by Rep. Cheryl Glenn, MD-045B) because it does not have 'due process' within its framework, AS REQUIRED by the rule of law dictated by both the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Bill of Rights' 4th and 5th Amendments, and the Maryland State Constitution's Article 2, Article 19--in addition, HB-169 does not properly treat the dog as 'property' as required by Maryland's State Constitution Article 24 (code 11-506), and, the dog owner is not given the 'due process' for his/her property (the dog) as required by law in the U.S. Constitution and the Maryland State Constitution. All of which means that HB-169 ALSO does not also provide a compassionate, humane framework in which to deal with a situation of a supposed-aggressive dog, and, therefore, HB-169 does not allow ALL methods and ALL punishments to be considered for resolving a situation (such as the better, more viable, compassionate method of RE-TRAINING a pet and EDUCATING the pet owner). To better explain why I oppose HB-169 and why I ask that you also oppose this bill, the following elaborates the reasons for opposing this HB-169 bill = (1): HB-169 does not include 'due process' for any owner of a pet/dog, and 'due process' is a required element in our U.S. society as gaurenteed to the pet owner by the U.S. Constitution and the Maryland State Consitution. For more elaboration of this lack of due process in this HB-169 bill: 'Due process' is an important, necessary, required element in our U.S. society. As explained better than I can here, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_process, "Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land protecting individual persons from the state. When a government harms a person, without following the exact course of the law, then that is a due process violation which offends the rule of law." Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights says, "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury...; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;..." More specifically, Maryland's State Constitution, Article 2 states, "The Constitution of the United States, and the Laws made, or which shall be made, in pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, are, and shall be the Supreme Law of the State; and the Judges of this State, and all the People of this State, are, and shall be bound thereby; anything in the Constitution or Law of this State to the contrary notwithstanding." And, more specifically, Maryland's State Constitution, Article 19, states, "That every man, for any injury done to him in his person or property, ought to have remedy by the course of the Law of the Land, and ought to have justice and right, freely without sale, fully without any denial, and speedily without delay, according to the Law of the Land." And, so, as guarenteed by both the U.S. and Maryland Constitutions, 'Due Process' is an important element for any situation in which an animal (and human!) is accused of improper behavior and is 100% necessary in order to resolve any situation. Situations are not 'black and white' and clear cut, with an immediate, easily understood understanding of the situation because instead, each participant has different viewpoints, and regarding animal situations, animals respond to different stimuli that could create different responses, which could be misinterpreted by the humans, and, therefore, this animal behavior and response needs to be examined thoroughly in order to understand more truly the situation. Each situation later needs to be examined thoroughly FIRST, with 'due process,' before a ruling is made. 'Due process' is the best method that will allow all human parties to give their side of the story, in order for a judge and jury to more truly understand and decide upon an informed, fair, honest resolution of the situation in question. This 'due process' -- which HB-169 does NOT have -- is an important element that is 100% necessary for judges and all involved parties to discuss the situation; to navigate through the different perspectives of what happened during the situation; and to get to the heart of the situation, which will, therefore, lead to a humane, REASONABLE ruling with good results and resolutions (good results in which the pet will be treated humanely without first resorting to the quick, unfair resolution of death, nor first resorting to the unfair resolution of lifelong home imprisonment that leads to unreasonable financial straits of insurance insurance involved, as currently required by HB-169). This type of a reasonable, fair ruling that is obtained through 'due process' (again, which HB 169 does NOT have) will provide more methods and resolutions of good, reasonable animal behavioral changes that does not only include death, nor only include expensive, unreasonable financial liabilities such as $300,000 insurance liability. Please keep in mind that when a dog 'acts out,' the dog's behavior can be changed and controlled through proper dog training, which is MUCH less expensive to the dog owner, in addition to providing more control by the dog itself (and better mental state by the dog itself), rather than the method currently dictacted by HB-169, which will require either death to the dog, or life-long home/pen imprisonment (thereby requiring the exhorbitantly high, $300K insurance). (2): HB-169 breaks the Maryland State law in which the dog is considered 'property', and, therefore, as property, the dog owner must have 'due process' to defend all accusations against his/her property (the dog). Under Maryland state law, Article 24 (Political Subdivisions--Miscellaneous Provisions. Title 11. Licenses. Subtitle 5. Regulation of Animals), and specifically, Article 24's code 11-506, a dog is "Deemed personal property. All lawfully licensed dogs in the counties of this State, the ownership of which can be proved, shall be deemed personal property, said provision not to apply to Somerset County." (http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusmdcode11_501_514.htm#s11_506). Therefore, according to the Maryland State Constitution, Article 24, code 11-506, a dog--any pet--is 'property' and like any 'property', there HAS to be 'due process' for the owner in defending his/her property (the dog) from any accusations. Furthermore, in addition this owner must also be able to defend herself/himself from any unreasonable seizures and punishments, which are part of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Furthermore, again, as stated in Maryland's State Constitution, Article 19, "That every man, for any injury done to him in his person or property, ought to have remedy by the course of the Law of the Land, and ought to have justice and right, freely without sale, fully without any denial, and speedily without delay, according to the Law of the Land. To elaborate the 'property' aspect that is applicable to a pet and the owner, and, therefore, HB-169: for example, your car is considered 'property', and can not be impounded by a bank/car mortgage company without any notice or explanation when a financial situation is involved (a car loan, for instance); instead, a bank/car mortgage company MUST provide paperwork and a timeline framework for future payments and any future repercussions if payments are not made in due course per prior agreements--meetings, trials and judges/jury decisions are part of all the reasonable methods between a car owner and a bank/car mortgage company in order to resolve a car-loan financial situation. Similarly, your pet, as 'property' under Maryland State law--like a car--needs the same consideration for anything that is occuring with its situation! If there are any problems with this pet, then all involved parties must have the ability to sit down and discuss thoroughly the specifics of the situation -- who did what -- between concerned parties, judges and juries, which will lead to all, many methods of resolutions that will be best for all parties involved. Again, 'due process' is part of this process in which the dog owner needs the forum and time to defend her dog--her 'property' under Maryland State law -- from any unreasonable seizures and punishments, as guarenteed by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Reason, and Article 19 of the Maryland State Constitution. (3): HB-169 does not provide any kind of compassionate, caring, humane framework for resolving a situation of a supposed-aggressive dog--this lack of this kind of compassionate framework does not allow discussions of the problem and therefore, the parties involved can NOT decide upon a better, reasonable, caring solutions that will be agreeable to all parties involved (INCLUDING the dog! As written, HB-169 that requires death as a solution will not be agreeable to the dog itself!). Any pet--the dog--is a living animal that should be treated with compassion and caring for its life and living situation and should be treated humanely. So, therefore, 'due process' should be a REQUIRED element in any bill, in order to provide a just, REASONABLE, humane, caring, compasssionate resolution for the pet, the dog owner and any other humans involved. Though a pet is considered 'property' according to the State of Maryland, the pet, the dog, is a living animal, and as a human species, we must show compassion for the other living creatures that reside alongside us on this world, and especially, we must show compassion to pet companions, in order to be a better species overall. The ability to show compassion to another animal, to another species, is what sets our human species apart from the other animal species that is considered a lower form of life. And, the ability to show compassion to a pet is a sure sign for our human ability to show compassion to EACH OTHER, to our fellow humans. It is definite scientific fact that human aggression that is shown towards an animal -- which is also a lack of compassion -- then that human aggression will appear and be directed towards another human being. The compassion that is shown and directed towards an animal--the pet-- means that the compassion will also be shown and directed towards another human being--and, therefore, if compassion is shown to a pet, then compassion will also exist between the humans; therefore, a peaceful, agreeable resolution to a situation involving a pet will successfully, happily be obtained for ALL parties involved. I firmly believe that any situation involving pets and animals must have compassion in order to peacefully resolve situations between the human people themselves. To sum up my three (3) reasons for why I oppose HB-169 and why I ask you also to oppose this bill: HB-169, without 'due process' that is guarenteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Maryland State Constitution will (a) label and treat all dogs--no matter the situation, and no matter the true culprit and circumstance(s) of each particular situation-- as 'aggressive' and 'dangerous', and, therefore, (b) will create an immediate, unfair, unreasonable ruling that lacks compassion and has only two horrible resolutions that lead to a pet being put to death or placed under lifelong imprisonment (and will force the owner to a situation of unreasonable financial distress). Therefore, HB-169 as written without 'due process' and compassion--in addition to not properly treating the dog as 'property' and therefore, reducing the ability to defend one's property against accusations as provided BY LAW--is totally unacceptable, in addition to being completely inhumane and lacking compassion. And so, all of the required elements of 'due process', in addition to the many humane resolutions that exist and the necessary component of compassion, are completely, 100% required for our fellow American citizens and our U.S. society to be part of a better, livable, viable civilized society; without these required elements -- and HB-169 does NOT have these required elements -- then, our U.S. society will fall apart and lead to chaos. Please do NOT ACCEPT HB-169, as written without any kind of 'due process', for taking care of 'dangerous' dogs/owners. Please OPPOSE HB-169. Thank you for your consideration in my stance that OPPOSES HB-169.

    • Mary Morelion FORT WORTH, TX
      • about 3 years ago

      No one specific breed is more aggressive than the other.

    • ashley baker PALM BAY, FL
      • about 3 years ago

      You need to reread this I believe that the owner is resposable for what the dog dose not the breed of dog or the dog ao why should the breed pay instade of the person I think there should be laws to protect the dog


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