Senator Bryan Simonaire and Delegate Tony McConkey are fighting to strengthen Maryland’s dog fighting law. Testimony was heard yesterday in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Senate Bill 360, new legislation that would treat the act of dog baiting the same as dog fighting.
The bill, called “Molly’s Law,” is named after a nine-month-old puppy Molly, a pit bull mix, adopted through the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Molly, who was used as a bait dog, was found badly injured in an abandoned home in Baltimore City last October. Molly recently died and Lisa Morabito, who testified in support of SB360, calls Molly’s death and the case a sad situation.
“Baiting” is the use of a dog to train a fighting dog or to test the fighting or killing instinct of another dog. Bait dogs usually have their legs and mouth tied together, their teeth filed off and their claws removed. The dogs are then chained up and left for the fighting dog.
Under the legislation, the penalty would carry a maximum of three years in jail and/or fines of up to $5,000.
Simonaire says surrounding states have “Bait Dog” laws, but in Maryland the law is ‘silent’ on the issue. He indicated that currently Maryland has a cruelty to animals law, but it relates to a person inflicting pain on an animal. He explained that SB360 relates to pain inflicted by an animal on an animal.”
Maryland residents, please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to support this bill! This link takes you to a contact form for each member.