The SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George’s County, Inc. is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to animal welfare. We do not operate the county shelter. We are chartered by the State of Maryland, but we receive no state or county funds. Our activities are supported solely by contributions, dues, and fundraising events.
ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION
PGSPCA in Annapolis for Humane Lobby Day By Anita Summers, PGSPCA Volunteer
As a small rescue group, most of our energy and efforts are concentrated on the county level, but state law also impacts our work. For the first 90 days of every year, Maryland’s General Assembly meets to discuss and enact legislation, some of which affects the animals we care about. So when the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) invited us to its annual Humane Lobby Day, we gladly accepted.
Held in Annapolis on February 25th, Humane Lobby Day events enabled animal advocates to speak with state lawmakers about animal-related bills and other important issues. Representing the PGSPCA, Lalita Ankem and I set up a table with the other citizen advocates and distributed information about our programs.
Several delegates and senators spoke to our group about animal-friendly legislation, and HSUS staff hosted a Lobby 101 training session and a discussion of their three priority bills. Afterward, we each met with our delegates and senators (or their staff) to encourage them to support the issues we care about. Lalita and I visited four delegates’ offices and two senators’ offices. Each of the meetings lasted about 10 minutes and we left information sheets at each office on the priority bills for the legislators to peruse when they had more time. It was a great day working with other groups and legislators, and we felt we made a difference. And good news: two of the HSUS Lobby Day’s priority bills have passed and will become law this year!
Pet Store Sourcing (SB 663/HB 1113) restricts pet stores to selling only animals that come from certain USDA licensed breeders. It will cut the worst breeders--unlicensed breeders and those with multiple repeat violations--from the supply chain.
Implements of Dogfighting (SB 283/HB 583) creates a penalty for possession of dogfighting implements; previously this has been illegal only if the intended use of the items is for animal fighting. This legislation will close an important loophole in the current law.
We encourage everyone to contact their state legislators’ offices to let them know you support animal-friendly legislation. The legislative session doesn’t end until April 11, and there is still progress to be made on additional proposed bills that could affect Maryland’s animals. Learn more about the bills under consideration on the Maryland General Assembly website. Under “Narrow Subject” select “Animals” and you can see all the bills and their status. You can also follow Maryland’s humane legislation issues through HSUS, Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) or the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Stay informed and speak up!
Play Ball! Baysox Support PGSPCA Pet Adoption
Once again, PGSPCA dogs will be at the ballpark with the Bowie Baysox! They’ll be featuring one of our foster dogs at every Saturday night home game. The lucky pup will hit the field with the game announcer before or after the ceremonial first pitch, and he or she will get a close-up on the big screen! Talk about exposure!
And if you and your dog are baseball fans, check out the Baysox’s Four-Legged Friend Pack! It includes 4 tickets: one ticket to each of three Mutt Monday games and one ticket to the Bark in the Park game on April 24. Your dog does not need a ticket. The package costs $45 and we receive $5.00 from each pack sold. This is a limited time offer, available for purchase in the Baysox online store.
If you are interested in volunteering with the PGSPCA, then these events are for you!