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What You Need to Know If You Run a Horse Boarding Facility

Maryland has many protections, regulations, and guidelines regarding the care of horses. Several of these directly impact owners of horse boarding facilities. As a boarding facility owner, it is crucial that you understand your obligations under the law. Whether you are running a large-scale horse operation, are just only one boarder to help defray your horse expenses, giving lessons, have a horse rental service, or are a rescue or stable sanctuary in the state of Maryland, you are required by law to be licensed through the Maryland Horse Industry Board. (Additionally, a few counties have further licensing requirements for boarding facilities.) Regulations Affecting Horse Boarding Facilities The MHIB requires that each horse be provided with shelter that is clean, dry, well-ventilated (but not drafty), and protects the horse from inclement weather. The stables and surrounding areas must also be kept neat and orderly and in good repair. This includes making sure…

Scope and Parameters of Animal Seizures by Private Entities under Maryland Code, Criminal Law Article Section 10-615

In January 2017, Attorney Rebekah Lusk, argued Rohrer v. Humane Society of Washington County, in front of the Maryland Court of Appeals. A decision was issued in June 2017. Rohrer v. Humane Society of Washington County, No. 32, September Term, 2016, is the first case in Maryland to interpret Maryland Code, Criminal Article, §10-615, which provides authority to “an officer, the humane society or public official” to seize and remove an animal to protect the animal from cruelty or if necessary for the health of the animal. Rohrer v. Humane Society involves the scope of the civil removal process within the criminal code, the interplay with a concurrent criminal prosecution, and ownership rights when animals have been removed by a private entity, such as the Humane Society. Rebekah Lusk started representing Mr. Rohrer in December 2014, after the Washington County State’s Attorney with assistance from the Humane Society, seized 95…

Maryland Gets Low Marks for Animal Protection Laws

Every year since 2006, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has issued its report, "U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings." States with the most comprehensive animal protection laws get high marks from ALDF. Although Maryland recently strengthened some animal protection laws, it ranked number 47 last year, out of 56 total U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The 2016 report mentions some positive aspects of Maryland animal protection laws: A new prohibition on breed-specific legislation (such as laws that forbid "vicious" breeds in some cmmunities) A new prohibition on any "implement of dogfighting," such as any object, device, or drug that is used to enhance a dog's fighting ability or is used during a dogfighting event. ALDF explains the reasoning behind its choices for the five best-ranked and five worst-ranked states, but it does not say specifically why Maryland is near the bottom. ALDF tends to assign lower marks to…