RESULTS OF MEETING AT ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND HELD ON OCTOBER 19, 1998.

Special Thanks to Pam Loeb for the following report



Pam attended the meeting and following is excerpts of her report:

"It was a working session, supposedly for two committees, although there were a total of four alder"people" there, so I don't know how well the committees were actually represented.

They had a police officer speak, and asked him lots of questions on the current state of enforcement of existing laws. He pretty much told them that he's not aware of the police issuing any citations for violations of existing laws, including dogs at large or lack of a county dog license. He also said that any time the police are called for supposed dog fights, that there is no evidence of such activity once the police actually arrive. The council members asked lots of pertinent questions.

Also represented was the state veterinary assoc., as well as a local vet who had spoken at the last hearing. Someone suggested microchips as a viable identification method, as tags are often lost, and someone with many dogs can switch collars and pretend to be in compliance. The vets spoke positively about microchips in general, so this may come to be the "official" method of dog identification in Anne Arundel county.

I spoke as a member of the PG county animal control commission (again!), and told them that our law has proven unenforceable. When we hold hearings, our commission often hears "I didn't know you needed a county license" or "I've had dogs all my life, and never knew you needed a rabies vaccine"...... Since estimates have been that only 10% of the dogs in our county are actually licensed, how can we expect people to do even more than what's already required? If we can't seem to control this very common situation, who do we expect to enforce dog laws?

Lastly, Alderman McMillan said that since this was a working session, he felt it was important that the councilmembers opinions be heard. He read a 5 minute prepared statement that expressed his opposition to the proposal. He said that we need to do more than just enact laws so that we feel we've "done something". He said that laws need to be both fair and enforceable, and this law was neither. I really believe he just wants to see better enforcement of existing laws, and perhaps a stronger system of fines....."

THE VIEW THE BILL IN ITS ENTIRETY