Wicomico Puppy Mill Inspires New Laws in Maryland - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico Puppy Mill Inspires New Laws in Maryland

Posted: Updated:
Gov. Larry Hogan and Gem, a rescued Pomeranian from Wicomico County. (Photo: Aaron Balsamo) Gov. Larry Hogan and Gem, a rescued Pomeranian from Wicomico County. (Photo: Aaron Balsamo)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - On Thursday, Maryland Gov.  Larry Hogan had some company with him in Annapolis as his signature created new laws in the state. Hogan was joined by Gem, who is one of the 310 dogs that were rescued from a puppy mill operation in the Wicomico County community of Eden last April.  A couple of the new laws signed by Hogan will look to prevent similar situations, or provided much needed assistance when animals need to be rescued.

The first new law makes changes to an old one when it comes to kennel licenses in the state.  Previously, any dog owner with 15 or more unspayed females used for breeding, and who sold dogs from six or more litters a year, needed to get a kennel license in Maryland.  A new law signed by Hogan on Thursday reduces the number to six unspayed females.  The law also removes the word "and" and replaces it with "or."  So, now any dog owner with six or more unspayed females, or sells dogs from six or more litters must get a license.

Aaron Balsamo, executive director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County, said Friday that the new law will allow local jurisdictions to keep an eye on breeding operations.

Another bill that Hogan signed created the Animal Abuse Emergency Compensation fund.

"It's going to take fines from animal cruelty and neglect cases that would typically go into the general fund or elsewhere in the state and it's going to divert those funds into this fund that was newly created," Balsamo said.

Next year, state budget money can also be put into that fund.  The money will be used in emergency situations, when animals are seized and a large number of them need to be cared for.

"There's stories from all over the state, even smaller scale seizures, 30 to 40 dogs, that some shelters weren't able to pull in the funds.  And I know some shelters that are thankful they had good lines of credit to use for it. So, it's going to be very useful," Balsamo told WBOC Friday.

The new laws officially go into effect Oct. 1.

There were two other pieces of legislation, sponsored by Senator Jim Mathias, that did not make their way out of committee.  The first said that a person charged with animal cruelty to 10 or more dogs would face a felony charge, rather than the current misdemeanor in Maryland.  The second bill looked to create an animal abuse registry for people convicted of the offense.  Despite the failure of the two bills, Mathias and Balsamo said they would try again next year, during the legislative session, to get them passed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Seaford Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Charges

    Seaford Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Charges

    May 25, 2018 9:49 PM2018-05-26 01:49:00 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 10:38 PM EDT2018-05-26 02:38:58 GMT
    (L) Larry Milburn, 52 of Delmar Del. (R) Theresa Trice, 50 of Laurel, Del.(L) Larry Milburn, 52 of Delmar Del. (R) Theresa Trice, 50 of Laurel, Del.
    (L) Larry Milburn, 52 of Delmar Del. (R) Theresa Trice, 50 of Laurel, Del.(L) Larry Milburn, 52 of Delmar Del. (R) Theresa Trice, 50 of Laurel, Del.
    Seaford Police said they arrested two people after police were conducting a traffic stop and found them to be in possession of 50 bags of heroin.More
    Seaford Police said they arrested a Delmar man after they were conduction a traffic stop and found him to be in possession of 50 bags of heroin. More
  • Motorcyclist Dead in Ocean City Crash

    Motorcyclist Dead in Ocean City Crash

    May 26, 2018 3:45 PM2018-05-26 19:45:00 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 3:45 PM EDT2018-05-26 19:45:32 GMT
    OCEAN CITY, Md.--The Ocean City Police Department says a motorcyclist dead after a crash near 77th street. According to the department, officers were dispatched to the area of 77th Street and Coastal Highway around 12:30 p.m. The department says they wereMore
    OCEAN CITY, Md.--The Ocean City Police Department says a motorcyclist dead after a crash near 77th street. According to the department, officers were dispatched to the area of 77th Street and Coastal Highway around 12:30 p.m. The department says they wereMore
  • Thunderbirds To Take Flight & Headline 2018 OC Air Show

    Thunderbirds To Take Flight & Headline 2018 OC Air Show

    May 25, 2018 12:33 PM2018-05-25 16:33:00 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 12:54 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:54:54 GMT
    USAF Thunderbirds and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Photo Credit: OC Air ShowUSAF Thunderbirds and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Photo Credit: OC Air Show
    USAF Thunderbirds and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Photo Credit: OC Air ShowUSAF Thunderbirds and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Photo Credit: OC Air Show
    OCEAN CITY, Md. -- The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will take flight in this year's Ocean City Air Show.More
    The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will take flight in this year's Ocean City Air Show.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices