Animal Abuse Registry Bill ‘Dead’ in Maryland
The bill was proposed amid reports of animal abuse in Maryland.
This story was updated Friday at 9:30 a.m. with comments from Maryland State Sen. Ronald Young's office.
A bill that would have placed an animal abuser’s photo and address on a registry for 10 years did not survive during this session of the Maryland General Assembly, according to a national lobbying group for pet stores.
The House Judiciary Committee voted against House Bill 1020 bill on March 20 and the companion Senate bill failed to advance from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which was lobbying against passage of the bill.
The council posted an update about the bill on its Facebook page Thursday.
According to CBS, if the bill would have passed, an animal abuser’s photo and address would be listed in the registry for 10 years. Such information would be placed on a public website.
A person would be subject to the registry for such mistreatment as neglecting an animal, poisoning an animal or leaving a pet unattended.
A spokeswoman from Young's office said Friday she was unsure if the senator would reintroduce the bill next session, but that he would be examining the issue in the interim.
Representatives from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council testified against the bill, saying it would create excessive burdens on pet owners, according to a legislative update from the group.
Council officials said pet store owners, or anyone who sells a pet, would have been responsible for determining whether a person looking to buy an animal was on the registry and would have faced fines up to $10,000 for failing to do so.
The bill was proposed as accounts of animal abuse made headlines in Maryland.
In January, a Yorkshire Terrier was brought to an animal shelter after being thrown from a 23-foot balcony in Owings Mills.
And in Columbia, 40 dead animals were found in a home being occupied by a woman police say may have been involved in an animal rescue group. A Columbia woman was charged earlier in March in the incident.
A grand jury indicted Elizabeth Martha Lindenau, 40, with 69 counts of animal cruelty. She faces up to three years in prison and a $345,000 fine.