Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) is an organization with one overriding mission: To create an ever-growing voting bloc of animal advocates who will elect representatives willing to champion and vote for animal protection legislation, and to hold politicians accountable to their constituents.
Want to get involved with helping animals? Start here!
SB-393 / HB-362 - Costs of Care for Seized Animals - will hold owners of abused and neglected animals accountable!
Update 3/4/15: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing today on this important bill and can vote at anytime! The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee held its hearing last week and can also vote at anytime! If your legislator sits on one of these committees Act Now!
One of the greatest obstacles to enforcing animal cruelty laws in Maryland is the expense of caring for the animals while cruelty charges are prosecuted. As it now stands, shelters are often forced to care for abused animals for extended periods. Abuse cases can go on for months, even years, and the care to help these abused animals is paid for by the shelters and taxpayers, instead of the people who abused the animals. That's wrong and needs to be fixed.
Maryland has one of the weakest "Cost of Care" laws in the country. It's one of the reasons Maryland is ranked in the bottom tier in the nation on its animal cruelty laws.
UPDATE 2/20/15: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Extreme Weather Protection bill (HB153). ACT NOW to support this bill!
Del. Dana Stein, the bill's lead sponsor, introduced the bill and testified before the Committee, followed by the testimony of State, Local and National animal advocacy organizations, including Maryland Votes For Animals, HSUS, and ASPCA. Several Animal Control representatives from both rural and urban areas across the state presented important testimony and fielded questions from Committee members.
It is extremely important, to send your Delegate a letter NOW before the committee votes! The committee could vote at any time without further notice!
On the day this bill was heard, Maryland dogs chained and tethered outside suffered through a night of near zero degree weather, and no one could do a thing. Why? Because the current law lacks enforceable standards that define unsafe weather conditions for chained dogs.
Testimony included information that animal control divisions across the state receive a significant number of complaints associated with chained dogs left outside in extreme weather. The impact on these suffering dogs is devastating in extreme weather, and it is clear the problem is significant and widespread.
Testimony showed that enforcement is severely hampered because the current laws are vague as to weather, and lack enforceable standards. Animal Control supports HB153 because it provides standards and specificity that will help the public comply with the law and help law enforcement protect animals from cruelty with more certainty.
It was interesting to learn that a majority of animal control efforts take place, by necessity, on front porches and in conversations with people, not in lengthy courtroom proceedings. This underscored the need for a law that is consistent and can be easily understood and relied on by the public.
Keep Sundays protected for animals and people!
UPDATE 2/13/15: UPDATE: Excellent News! Baltimore County delegation voted this morning (Friday 2/13) to protect Baltimore County's way of life. Baltimore County residents get to keep their Sunday day of rest and outdoor safety for animals, people and families. Kudos to the legislators who bravely took a stand on this issue. Vote count will be published when available!
UPDATE 2/12/15: Baltimore County Legislators will vote THIS FRIDAY morning (2/13) on legislation to expand Sunday hunting into Baltimore County for the first time in nearly 300 years! If we do not ACT Now this bill could pass and our way of life in Baltimore County will be changed forever.Read the rest of: Baltimore County Weighs New Sunday Hunting
This event is now over. Thank you for coming to Annapolis and speaking for those who cannot. Without you, they have no voice. Your presence made a huge difference for animals all across Maryland. Thank you!
Read the rest of: You're Invited to Voices For Animals Day 2015!
Maryland Votes For Animals (MVFA) is gearing up for the 2015 legislative session, which starts in just a few short weeks. After the huge success for animals in the November election, we are working hard on animal protection bills for the upcoming session. Your participation in legislative action for animals is critically important! Together we will stand and make our voices heard - giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.
In this MVFA Update you will find information on:
- Election results for MVFA endorsed candidates;
- Info on Voices for Animals lobby day on January 28th;
- Spay/Neuter program funding news;
- Info about new MVFA Board appointments
MVFA November Election Results - BIG WIN for Animals!
MVFA worked overtime this year to make sure humane candidates were elected who will champion and vote for animal protection legislation. Thanks to you and your votes, we had big wins for the animals at the polls this November. Ninety-one percent (91%) of MVFA-endorsed Humane Candidates Won! A warm "Congratulations" to the Humane Candidates in the Maryland General Assembly on their victory!