The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Maryland Votes for Animals were joined by advocates from across Maryland at 'Voices for Animals Day' in Annapolis today to meet state lawmakers to push for legislation to increase protections for animals. The lawmakers were urged to pass legislation to protect pets in extreme weather conditions and to streamline the process of paying for the care of animals seized in cruelty cases. Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery) and Delegates Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery) and Dana Stein (D-Baltimore County) attended the event, and representatives from local animal control agencies participated in a panel discussion focusing on the legal and financial challenges they face when caring for animals seized in cruelty cases.

"This is an important bill, but it's not a complicated one. I believe abusers, not taxpayers, should bear those costs of caring for mistreated animals," said Del. Waldstreicher.

“The high cost to medically treat and shelter animals lawfully seized in cruelty cases poses one of the greatest obstacles to enforcing Maryland’s animal cruelty laws,” said Chloe Waterman, senior manager of state legislative strategy for the ASPCA. “A strong ‘cost of animal care’ law will provide much-needed relief to local animal control agencies and taxpayers, and will save the lives of countless animals. The ASPCA is proud to host this event with our partners at Maryland Votes for Animals and to be joined by animal control agencies from across the state to raise awareness of these issues.”

"I am proud to partner with animal welfare advocates to support common sense legislation that protects dogs from being tethered in extreme temperatures,” said Del. Stein. “Our bill HB 153 will save the lives of dogs and reduce suffering.  With the support of Maryland Votes for Animals, the ASPCA and the Humane Society, I look forward to the bill's passage."

"Maryland Votes for Animals is a strong supporter of opportunities for Marylanders to connect with their legislators about important animal protection issues that impact people and animals in their districts,” said Lisa Radov, executive director of Maryland Votes for Animals. “The animals who have no voice rely on Maryland's humane voters and legislators to protect them to ensure they are treated humanely. With the recent temperature extremes and hazardous weather events impacting our area, people across Maryland are concerned about the welfare of Maryland's animals, particularly dogs chained outside. Tethered and chained dogs need protection from inhumane conditions in extreme weather and Del. Dana Stein's Extreme Weather Protection bill does just that."

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