Maryland passes two animal laws, one banning cat declawing

A big win for animal rights advocates in Maryland as Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law several animal rights bills. Two of the bills will protect cats and dogs. One of the laws now makes it illegal to declaw cats in Maryland. Another gives dog owners minimum safety standards they have to meet when leaving their pets outdoors.The Extreme Weather Bill bans a person from leaving a dog outside and unattended for longer than 30 minutes without access to shelter in extreme weather conditions defined as above 90 degrees in the heat and below 32 degrees in the cold.Maryland SPCA community care and advocacy director Katie Flory said this new law is a big help for law enforcement.”We get calls every day from people in our community who are very concerned about animals left outside in extreme weather. This bill really provides some guidelines and boundaries for animal control and police departments when an animal can stay outside and when it cannot,” Flory said. Another bill signed into law is an elective ban on declawing cats. Maryland is the second state in the nation to prohibit the surgery with exceptions made for health circumstances deemed medically necessary. Experts point out that declawing is not like getting a manicure. The procedure to remove the nail includes removing the cat’s knuckles, hindering their ability to function naturally, experts said. In total, the Maryland General Assembly passed five animal-related bills this session. Flory said it’s a big win for the entire state.”This year of 2022 was a really good year for animal welfare in Maryland and we as a state should be really, really proud of that. We know that a state that cares a lot about their animals cares about their humans as well,” Flory said. The ban on declawing cats takes effect Oct. 1.

A big win for animal rights advocates in Maryland as Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law several animal rights bills. Two of the bills will protect cats and dogs.

One of the laws now makes it illegal to declaw cats in Maryland. Another gives dog owners minimum safety standards they have to meet when leaving their pets outdoors.

The Extreme Weather Bill bans a person from leaving a dog outside and unattended for longer than 30 minutes without access to shelter in extreme weather conditions defined as above 90 degrees in the heat and below 32 degrees in the cold.

Maryland SPCA community care and advocacy director Katie Flory said this new law is a big help for law enforcement.

“We get calls every day from people in our community who are very concerned about animals left outside in extreme weather. This bill really provides some guidelines and boundaries for animal control and police departments when an animal can stay outside and when it cannot,” Flory said.

Another bill signed into law is an elective ban on declawing cats. Maryland is the second state in the nation to prohibit the surgery with exceptions made for health circumstances deemed medically necessary.

Experts point out that declawing is not like getting a manicure. The procedure to remove the nail includes removing the cat’s knuckles, hindering their ability to function naturally, experts said.

In total, the Maryland General Assembly passed five animal-related bills this session. Flory said it’s a big win for the entire state.

“This year of 2022 was a really good year for animal welfare in Maryland and we as a state should be really, really proud of that. We know that a state that cares a lot about their animals cares about their humans as well,” Flory said.

The ban on declawing cats takes effect Oct. 1.

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