ASPCA Commends Maryland General Assembly for Passing Four Animal Protection Bills in 2016

Gov. Hogan signs bills to regulate the sale of commercially-bred puppies and help law enforcement prosecute dog fighting
May 19, 2016

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends the Maryland General Assembly and Gov. Larry Hogan for enacting four humane measures during the 2016 legislative session, including two critical bills earlier today to ban the possession of dog fighting implements and prevent Maryland pet stores from selling dogs from some of the worst puppy mills across the nation.

“These humane measures will go a long way towards protecting animals, consumers and public safety by closing loopholes that have enabled dog fighters and puppy millers to prey on the most vulnerable members of society,” said Chloe Waterman, senior manager of state legislation for the ASPCA. “The ASPCA thanks our bill sponsors and the General Assembly for their commitment to animal welfare, and we applaud Governor Hogan for signing these commonsense measures to better protect animals and people in Maryland.”

The Maryland General Assembly passed the following humane measures in 2016:

  • S.B. 283 (Sen. Susan Lee, D-16) criminalizes the possession of dog fighting implements with the intent to use them to train dogs for fighting or to conduct a fight.
  • S.B. 663 (Sen. Joanne Benson, D-24)/H.B. 1113 (Del. Ben Kramer, D-19) prevents Maryland pet sellers from fueling the cruel puppy mill industry by requiring pet stores to only sell puppies from licensed breeders who do not have certain violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and bans the sale of animals on roadsides and other public places.
  • H.B. 494 (Del. Christian Miele, R-8) requires animal shelters to create a veterinary protocol and proactively provide the public with their hours, procedures for redeeming lost animals and an annual summary of intake and disposition data.
  • H.B. 46 (Del. Mark Chang, D-32) clarifies that animal control units must scan stray animals for microchips and notify owners who have been identified.

Earlier this year, more than 120 animal advocates from across the state joined the ASPCA and Maryland Votes for Animals at Maryland Voices for Animals Day to enlist the support of lawmakers on the puppy mill and dog fighting bills. Advocates were joined by Hope, a bulldog and puppy mill survivor, who served as an ambassador to bring awareness to the cruel puppy mill industry, which prioritizes profit over the well-being of the dogs.

For more information about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit