ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed two bills into law that would impact dogs and cats in the state. The first would prohibit a person from leaving a dog outside and unattended for longer than 30 minutes without access to continuous suitable shelter or suitable shade during extreme weather conditions or temperatures, subject to certain exceptions. “Extreme weather conditions” is defined as temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or during an active winter or cold weather warning. Penalties would range from a warning for a first violation to a fine of up to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense. The second prohibits a veterinary practitioner from performing certain declawing procedures on a cat unless the procedure is necessary for a therapeutic purpose. The measure authorizes the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to impose certain disciplinary actions on a veterinary practitioner for willful violations of the prohibition. Violators would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000. Both measures go into effect October 1, 2022.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN