Maryland's House and Senate are quite busy with bills and many of them do relate to pet ownership or other animal related issues such as hunting. Here are those that might apply to dog keepers.
Some have already been discussed in their respective committees. Usually, if they survive the committee they'll pass their respective houses. When they pass both houses they go to the Governor for signature and become law. If there is no corresponding bill in the opposing house, then the bill is not likely to become a law this session but possibly will be referred to the other house to be assigned to a committee for consideration. If any of these issues concern you, read the entire bill and contact the sponsors listed. Contact your elected official if they have already been through their committee.
SB 820/HB 767 Requiring the Department of Agriculture to establish a specified surcharge on commercial animal feed and deposit the revenue into the Fund; authorizing the Fund to be used to establish a statewide voucher program to support the provision of spay/neuter services; authorizing the Fund to be used to establish a competitive grant program to support the provision of spay/neuter services; etc.
SB 160/HB 78 Establishing that, in an action against an owner of a dog for damages for injury caused by dog, evidence that the dog caused the injury or death creates a presumption that the owner knew or should have known that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities; establishing that the common law prior to April 1, 2012, is retained as to owners of real property and other persons who have the right to control the presence of a dog on the property without regard to the breed or heritage of the dog; etc.
SB 37/ HB 865 Authorizing a court to order a defendant convicted of a specified charge of animal cruelty, as a condition of sentencing, to pay, in addition to any other fines and costs, all reasonable costs incurred in removing, housing, treating, or euthanizing an animal confiscated from the defendant.
SB 360/ HB 542 Prohibiting a person from using or allowing a dog to be used for teaching a fighting dog be more aggressive or lethal (called baiting); prohibiting a person from possessing, owning, selling, transporting, or training a dog with the intent to use the dog for baiting; and prohibiting a person from knowingly allowing specified premises to be used for baiting.
HB 371 Allowing an individual who adopts a cat or dog from an animal shelter or a rescue facility a maximum credit of $100 against the State income tax; providing that an individual may not claim the credit for more than 1 taxable year with respect to the same cat or dog; requiring the Comptroller to adopt regulations; applying the Act to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012; etc.
HB 178 Requiring the owner of a dangerous dog to obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from a local animal control unit within 10 days of a dog committing an act which renders it a dangerous dog; requiring the owner to pay a registration fee set by the animal control unit; requiring a dangerous dog registration certificate to include specified information; requiring a local animal control unit to issue a dangerous dog registration certificate if the dog's owner provides specified satisfactory evidence; etc.
SB 296/ HB 1203 Prohibiting an insurer from refusing to issue or renew a policy of homeowner's or renter's insurance solely because the applicant or insured owns a dog, regardless of the breed of dog; prohibiting a policy of homeowner's or renter's insurance that provides liability coverage from excluding specified coverage arising out of contact with a dog under specified circumstances; etc.
HB 922 Providing that a feral cat caregiver shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that specified feral cats are vaccinated for rabies, ear-tipped, and there is written record made of a specified vaccination; providing that an ear-tipped cat is deemed to have had a rabies vaccination; and defining terms.