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Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 1, 2010
Contact: ELIZABETH PAROWSKI, or 240-482-1984; FRANCIE ISRAELI, or 202-207-1134


State legislation would increase jail time and fines for cruelty against animals

BETHESDA, MD —Alley Cat Allies, the national advocate for stray and feral cats, today
expressed support for a pending bill in the Maryland state legislature that would impose stiffer
criminal penalties for cruelty against animals.

The organization is calling on supporters in Maryland to contact their local lawmakers and press
for passage of the bill. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Thursday, March 4.

“Alley Cat Allies fully supports all efforts to strengthen state anti-cruelty laws,” said Becky
Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “Scientific research shows a strong link between animal
abuse and human violence. Perpetrators of these vicious crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest
extent of the law, because they are a danger to the community.”

The bill would increase the maximum jail sentence for misdemeanor animal cruelty convictions,
making offenders eligible for a year of jail time rather than the current 90 days. It would also
increase the maximum fine for misdemeanor cruelty violations to $2,500 from the current $1,000.
If passed, the provisions would make Maryland’s penalties for animal cruelty tougher than those in
neighboring jurisdictions, including West Virginia and the District of Columbia, both of which
punish acts of animal cruelty with jail sentences of 6 months.

“We applaud Maryland lawmakers for recognizing the need to treat acts of animal cruelty very
seriously,” said Robinson. “Increasing the penalty from 90 days to one year demonstrates the
appropriate moral condemnation that society demands for such terrible acts.”

Supporters can visit for more information and for resources to help contact local
lawmakers and voice support for the legislation.


About Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is the nation’s leading advocate for stray and feral cats. Their website is