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Animal Bullies in Baltimore County to Pay Higher Fines for Their Behavior

Baltimore County fines will be steeper for those who abuse animals and/or possess dangerous animals.

Though there is no set date for construction to begin, Baltimore County government has committed to building a new animal services complex in Baldwin. Image courtesy of Baltimore County
Though there is no set date for construction to begin, Baltimore County government has committed to building a new animal services complex in Baldwin. Image courtesy of Baltimore County
The Baltimore County Council has passed a package of bills that local council members say is responsive to constituent requests asking that cases of animal abuse and dangerous animals result in harsher punishment.

Legislation affecting  how the county handles animals and deals with those suspected of mistreating animals was passed unanimously at the council's Dec. 16 legislative session, according to a statement from Fifth District Councilman David Marks.

"Many of my constituents have expressed concerns about the welfare of animals in Baltimore County," Sixth District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said in the statement. "We listened to those concerns and I was pleased to support this legislation."

The bill also modifies the way the Animal Hearing Board handles complaints, and will help the county recover the cost of caring for animals that are seized by requiring the animal owner to pre-pay boarding costs, according to Marks.

Under the new new law, the fines for owners of dangerous animals will increase from $500 to $1,000. An amendment sponsored by Marks calls for animal cruelty fines to increase from $100 to $250 per day per occurrence, the councilman said in the statement.

"I would like to thank my colleagues for supporting an increase in the animal cruelty fine," Marks said in the statement. "We sometimes deal with barbaric cases of animal cruelty and need to send a clear message that those incidents will be punished appropriately."

Other amendments addressed conditions at the Baltimore County Animal Shelter—which is slated to be replaced with a new facility—and will require the county to maintain a volunteer program, cording to the statement.

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