I heard on the radio last week while driving home from work with Toby Knapp of Hot 99.5 make an announcement about Montgomery County out to really enforce an ordinance that prohibits people from leaving animals outside in the cold. They would be fined $500. I find it unbelievable that people in this day and age will leave animals out in such severe weather during winter. I think its a great thing to have an ordinance already out there and locally in the Washington DC Area. It shows that people do care and laws have been put in place.
I think the $500 is fair but the animal advocacy side of me wish it would be more like $2000 to make sure they would never do it again. And make them take a training course on animal welfare and a 2nd-3rd offense would warrant the dog taken away. The post on Hot 99.5 garnered quite a bit attention on the topic more than most other posts. You can tell these type of issues strike a cord with people. Its a matter of who knows and who can do what.
I called Montgomery County early last week to get some more info. They actually have a number of laws that wanted to be passed but haven’t. I spoke to a Policy Officer with the Animal Protection department who was going to send me a brochure about various laws in place. If it can be done in Montgomery County, I’m sure it can be done in many other places in the Washington D.C. area aka Maryland. Virginia has the nuisance law of the Dillon Rule that doesn’t allow Virginia to make their own ordinances without state granting them those rights.
I’m glad to see such support and that people feel passionate about the issue when they do come to learn about it. It makes me optimistic on my efforts and that something can be accomplished.