Task Force to Study Canine Breeding Facilities and Sourcing Standards


Purpose & Background
In 2021, SB 103 established the Task Force to Study Canine Breeding Facilities and Sourcing Standards.

As required by the law, the task force must study canine breeding facilities, including online sales of canines through breeding facilities. 

While conducting the study, the task force must perform the following:

  • Review any achievements made in the past 20 years in combating substandard canine breeding practices;
  • Identify and assess current efforts being taken in the State, other states, and the federal government to address substandard canine breeding practices;
  • Identify nongovernmental comprehensive standards for canine breeding and tour facilities in full compliance with those standards;
  • Determine if any gaps exist between current State, federal, and nongovernmental comprehensive standards for canine breeding;
  • Recommend actions necessary to harmonize canine breeding standards in the State with those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); AND
  • Recommend any legislative actions necessary to create standards for any person who sells or negotiates the sale or purchase of dogs in the State.

Membership

  • Senator Benjamin F. Kramer
  • Delegate Kathleen Dumais
  • Steve Connelly, Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Animal Industries and Consumer Services
  • Michael SteadmanAssistant Attorney General, Maryland Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Katie Withowski, Small animal veterinarian with significant experience working with canine breeders
  • Susan Sarubin, Expert in canine behavior
  • Charley Hall, American Kennel Club
  • Sara Yassin, Bailing Out Benji
  • Lisa Radov, Maryland Votes for Animals
  • Kerry Rod, American Humane
  • Kathleen Summers, Humane Society of the United States
  • Jeremy Krum, Attorney with a practice concentration in animal welfare law
  • Jeff Shepherd, Supervisory Animal Care Specialist, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Animal Care Program
  • Owner of a small retail pet store​

Past Meetings

Primary Contact

Cassie Shirk
Director of Legislation & Government Relations
Phone: (410) 841-5886
Email: cassie.shirk@maryland.gov​​

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