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Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Pets/Weather Bill Clears First Hurdle, Thanks to You! sticky icon

Bring your pets inside!Thanks to you and your many emails and calls to your legislators, H.B. 1503, Leaving Dogs Outside in Extreme Temperatures, is on the schedule and has a hearing on Wednesday of this week! We are grateful to the prime sponsor of the bill, Delegate Stein and the co-sponsor, Delegate McMillan, for responding to your emails and immediately taking action, writing a bill and quickly submitting it even after the filing deadline. Thank you Delegate Stein and Delegate McMillan!

This bill provides much-needed additional protection for tethered dogs during snow emergencies and freezing temperatures by prohibiting them from being left outside in those conditions. This winter has been extremely cold with temperatures falling into the single digits and with record snowfalls. Maryland's dogs who are tethered outside, some 24 hours a day 7 days a week, are suffering terribly.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has stated:

"Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It's a common belief that dogs and cats are cold weather because of their fur, but it's untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather."

Several states including Connecticut and Texas have passed laws prohibiting tethering during extreme weather. Pennsylvania has a bill pending. While Maryland law requires animals to be provided with protection from the weather, those involved in animal control and in rescue work are well aware that this law lacks specifics and is difficult to enforce. This is an incremental step forward and the least Maryland can do for man's best friend who has suffered so terribly this winter and will suffer again next winter without this committee's intervention.

The wording of the bill can be seen here.

If you'd like to show your support by attending the hearing, here are details:

Wednesday, March 19th at 1:00
House Judiciary Committee
House Office Building, Room 101
6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401

Note: If your legislator sits on House Judiciary Committee you'll be receiving an action alert from MVFA on Wednesday morning. So watch for it and please take action!  And if you're not a member of MVFA click the JOIN button above to get our alerts.

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Demand "Safe Sundays" for Anne Arundel County - ACT NOW! sticky icon

Did you know that rifle bullets can travel up to a mile making it dangerous to be outdoors during hunting season?

Don't you agree that there should be at least one day a week – SAFE SUNDAYS – when we can enjoy outdoor recreation in peace and without fear of being hit by a stray bullet?

THIS TUESDAY, 3/4/14, the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee will be hearing the FINAL testimony for an UNFAIR and INHUMANE bill, S.B. 191, that will allow Sunday hunting in Anne Arundel County - for the first time in history.

The Anne Arundel County hunting bill is just part of an effort by hunters to pass Sunday hunting bills throughout the state. Please help stop Sunday hunting in Anne Aundel County before we lose the ability to safely hike, ride horses, walk our dogs and observe wildlife on Sundays in Maryland.

How: Please come to the hearing to speak out against Sunday hunting if you live in Anne Arundel County or have a Senator who sits on the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.  Here's a list of those Senators:

When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 1:00

Where: Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
             Miller Senate Office Building, 2 West Wing
             11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401 - 1991

RSVP: If you'd like to testify you'll need to be signed up on the roster before noon on Tuesday. Email if you'd like MVFA to sign you up.

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Act Now - Emergency Legislation Needed..... sticky icon

Ask the Maryland General Assembly to pass Emergency Legislation to bring Pets inside during Extreme Weather!

Don't leave your pets outside.Illustration by

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

2014 - A Crucial Year for Maryland's Animals sticky icon

Now's your chance to help elect humane candidates to office!

It's a big year for MVFA because as a political action committee (PAC), we can engage in political activity by endorsing candidates for office. We are the only PAC for animals in Maryland and your best source of information about voting records and the stated positions of candidates on crucial animal welfare issues. Our goal is to supply animal lovers like you across Maryland with the information that will turn you into "Political Animals for Animals." Then you can make an educated decision about which candidates deserve your humane vote - and which ones don't.

MVFA is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal welfare issues in Maryland. MVFA does not judge candidates based on party affiliation or any other issue. We're all about helping animals by helping you elect humane candidates to the Maryland General Assembly.


MVFA's Endorsement Questionnaire - In a few short weeks, MVFA will post our Endorsement Questionnaire on our website. This document will be sent to every candidate to the Maryland General Assembly. How candidates answer this questionnaire, coupled with their voting record and their interview with MVFA board members will determine whether they obtain MVFA's endorsement.

MVFA's Humane Scorecard - In June MVFA will post our Humane Scorecard on our website for your review. There's no need to guess about whether your delegates and state senator have supported humane legislation over the past 4 years - we'll provide you with their voting records and give each legislator a score.

MVFA's Primary Election Endorsements - This spring and early summer is the season for endorsements! It's an exciting time to stay tuned to MVFA in advance of Maryland's primary election. Early voting begins on June 12th so we'll have posted all our primary election endorsements by that date.

MVFA's General Election Endorsements - Summer 2014 will be hot! That's because MVFA will be posting our endorsements for the all-important general election. Early voting begins October 23rd so we'll have posted all our general election endorsements by that date.

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

JOIN US! Humane Lobby Day is Tuesday, February 4, 2014 sticky icon

JOIN US! - in Annapolis, MD for Humane Lobby Day on Tuesday, February 4, 2014!

Humane Lobby Day is an exciting opportunity to meet directly with your elected officials and their staff about legislation that will significantly impact animals. There will be a briefing with tips for lobbying, and an overview of pending animal legislation which will prepare you to meet your elected officials and advocate for animals.

If you'd like to make a tremendous difference for Maryland's animals, please RSVP online here.

What: Maryland Humane Lobby Day
Date: Tuesday, February 4th
Time: 8:30am – 3:00pm
Where: St. Anne's Parish, Parish Hall, 199 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD 21401

FrankCBranchini's picture


Maryland Votes for Animals focuses on state legislative issues but we would like to recognize one of our federal elected officials from Maryland for his leadership in the US Congress on an important animal protection issue.

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Superstars for Voluntary Low-cost Statewide Spay/Neuter Program!

The Voluntary Low-cost Statewide Spay/Neuter Program has passed the Maryland General Assembly! If you made a phone call, sent an email or came to Humane Lobby Day then know that you played an important part in passage of this landmark legislation! You joined together with other animal advocates to make this happen. Thank you, each and every one!

Now it's time to CELEBRATE!  Maryland Votes For Animals (MVFA) worked with your legislators over the past 3 years to make sure Maryland passed a spay/neuter bill that will save the lives of thousands of homeless cats and dogs.  Our legislative champions work very hard on behalf of animals and we are delighted to invite you to a CELEBRATION to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to those who made it happen.  Click HERE to CELEBRATE!

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Unprecedented Success for Animals in 2013

Maryland Votes For Animals Announces Unprecedented Success for Animal Protection Legislation in 2013 Session of Maryland General Assembly

Annapolis, MD - Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) applauds the Maryland General Assembly for passing two critical pieces of humane legislation: 1) establishment of a State Spay/Neuter Program and 2) closure of a loophole in dog-fighting law with a "bait" dog bill .

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Last Chance to Save Pit Bull Bill – ACT NOW!

House and Senate Conference Committee Meeting Regularly NOW – Need to Hear from Maryland Residents NOW!

As expected, two different bills that would nullify a court ruling declaring pit bulls "inherently dangerous" are heading to a House-Senate conference committee. Six legislators have been selected as members of the committee. They are meeting TODAY so please ACT NOW by making a POLITE phone call to them. Below is a script and phone numbers for the conference committee members.

"My name is _________ and I'm calling because I'm concerned that we are running out of time on the pit bull legislation (HB 78/SB 160). Can you please expedite a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the bills? I'm concerned that people will be forced to choose between their dog and their home if this isn't resolved. Thank you.

Senator Jamie Raskin – (410) 841-3634

Senator Bobby Zirkin - (410) 841-3131

Senator Christopher Shank - (410) 841-3903

Delegate Kathleen Dumais - (410) 841-3052

Delegate Luke Clippinger - (410) 841-3303

Delegate John Cluster - (410) 841-3526

Remember, if your calls are less than polite it can actually hurt, not help.  Neither bill will become law if legislators don't agree on a compromise by April 8. So, if you are a Maryland resident, make POLITE phone calls ASAP TODAY, preferably this morning.  (Calls from non-Maryland residents are considered an annoyance so please call ONLY if you live in Maryland.)  You can even call and leave a message before their offices open this morning!

Carolyn Kilborn's picture

Pit Bull Bill goes to Conference Committee


As expected, a measure to nullify a court ruling that designated pit bulls as "inherently dangerous" is headed to a House-Senate conference committee.

The House voted unanimously Monday to pass a bill on dog-bite lawsuits different from the one the Senate approved earlier this month.

Under the House approach, owners of all breeds of dogs would need to prove by a preponderance of evidence that they had no prior knowledge their dog was prone to biting.

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