March 4, 2015, Natasha Mehu, MACo Policy Analyst, supported HB 362, Criminal Law- Costs of Care for Seized Animals to the House Judiciary Committee. Last week Natasha testified in support of SB 393, the cross file of this bill. This bill places the responsibility for the costs of the care of an animal that has been lawfully seized for abuse or neglect on the owner, not the county shelter or animal control. These costs can be extravagant; exceeding $100,000 in some cases.
The written testimony states:
Maryland is one of the few states that does not have safeguards in place so that local animal control agencies and shelters are not left alone to shoulder the costs of caring for these animals. Often these animals are suffering from the abuse and neglect, and are in need of special care. HB 362 places a fair burden on the owner to support this care.
For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.