Breed Bans, Housing and Insurance Discrimination
The Maryland Dog Federation favors balanced, enforceable and fair "breed-neutral" dangerous dog laws based on a dog’s behavior, not breed, type, or size. If a dog is a well behaved member of the household and community, there is no reason to ban by breed or deny insurance coverage.
Breed-specific laws (BSLs) set neighbor against neighbor, create a witchunt among neighbors, discriminate against responsible owners, create unsolvable breed identification and enforcement problems for animal control officers, waste precious public resources, and do not address problematic owner behavior. BSL costs municipalities a great deal of money each year (Prince George's County, for example, has calculated this to be well in excess of $500,000 every year --even 20 years after the ban was enacted), but does not increase public safety. For more information about the Prince George's County breed ban, click here.
Insurance companies should consider dogs an asset; a natural alarm system whose presence and bark deters intruders and prevents theft and personal injury. We work tirelessly to end breed specific legislation and arbitrary insurance cancellations for owners of “sensationalized” breeds. We encourage landlords and property managers to allow more large dogs to live in apartments.
What did Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker say about his own breed ban? Watch here. We encourage him to remember what he said back when he was running for office.
Dog Parks/Dogs in Parks
MDF protects your ability to enjoy public lands with your dogs. Dog owners are tax paying citizens who should be permitted to enjoy the same amenities in parks and recreational places as other tax paying citizens. When dog owners utilize these facilities they are no more a burden on the space as most other citizens.
Dogs in Shelters
Time and time again, dogs seized in raids are brought to Maryland area shelters from other states and regions to be adopted. Studies indicate there are far more available homes than there are dogs that need homes. Each and every year, thousands and thousands of dogs (and cats) are needlessly killed in most Maryland shelters while other shelters achieve fantastic "save" rates of well over 90%. The ability of some shelters to achieve this life-saving goal makes us ask of the shelter who are not achieving this goal, "why not"? Clearly, well-performing shelters are finding those available homes, while failing shelters are not. The Federation calls for shelters to innovate, do a better job of finding homes for homeless dogs, and make killing the last optoin instead of a convenient choice. The Maryland Dog Federation co-authored and championed the Maryland Animal Shelter Standards Act of 2015 and will work for this legislation to be passed in the 2016 session.
Limit Laws/Breeder Limit Laws
The number of pets one can own should be based on the ability of the owner to adequately care for them and the impact made on the neighborhood...not an arbitrarily determined number. Maryland Dog Federation supports rational and enforceable laws that protect the health and welfare of dogs and do not unreasonably restrict dog owners.
Mandatory, coercive spay/neuter laws have been proven ineffective. The Federation supports and encourages voluntary spaying and neutering of pets and encourages all shelters and rescues to require all ADOPTED pets to be sterilized, but opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws for owned pets. Sterilization is an invasive surgical procedure, not without risk, and should be a reasoned decision made between owner and veterinarian without government interference or coercion.