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Petitioning The Maryland General Assembly

Pass bill requiring animal abusers to be added to statewide registry.

Earlier this year, a 7-month-old golden retriever named Heidi was fatally shot while she played in her yard. Her killer was never found.

Cases like this happen every year in Maryland because people know they can get away with it. That’s why this bill needs to be passed; to make people think twice before harming an animal.

This bill, if passed, will require convicted offenders to register in a statewide database. Like the sex offender registry, it will help the public know who has been find guilty of animal crime. Animal shelters, breeders, and anyone could check the registry and refuse to provide pets to people who are on the registry.

Senator Ron Young, (Frederick County) who supports the bill, requested convicted individuals will have to pay an annual fee of $50 to cover the charge to manage the system. Also, an abuser will be eligible to clear his/her name from the registry after 10 years, only if he/she does not reoffend.

Every year, thousands of animals are abused and killed by cruel and heartless individuals. In 2011, the Human Society of United States (HSUS) released its annual report on animal protection laws. Maryland received a score of 34/66 and ranked 15th in the country. The report covered issues from animal fighting to companion animals. 

In 2011, the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranked Maryland as the 36th state in their annual study about animal laws. So, there is much room for improvement and the registry will be a major help.

Stopping animal abuse is almost impossible, but with a statewide registry, we can control who is allowed access to animals. This will ensure the safety for many pets. It’s time we stand up for the voiceless. Support this cause and make a difference.


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