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Similar to other abuse registries, animal advocates have been petitioning legislatures to initiate an “animal abuse registry,” which would identify past animal abuse and cruelty law offenders. This year, Senator James N. Mathias, Jr. was the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 84 which sought to establish the Maryland Animal Abuse Registry through the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Specifically, the bill sought a requirement that all persons convicted of a crime involving animal cruelty register with the county sheriff within 10 days of conviction or the date of the release from incarceration for a period of 5 years from the date of judgment. The registrant would be required to provide certain information and pay an annual registration fee. The registry would be a valuable tool for various animal rescues and shelters to screen potential applicants as well as pet owners to be aware of their neighbors if they like to leave their pet outside on a nice day (with appropriate food, water and shelter, of course.) Although the bill did not pass this year, we have hope that our fellow animal advocates will not cede their efforts.

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