Somerset sees one of the worse animal cruelty cases; Activists talk about improving laws
MARYLAND – Many are speaking out after it was revealed a woman would receive no jail time for one of the worst cases of animal cruelty Somerset County officials say they have ever seen.
Linda Brown, who took a plea deal, only faces three years of unsupervised probation. And because of this, there are concerns on what the current laws for our furry friends are.
We’re told there are animal protection bills proposed in the Maryland General Assembly every year, many of which come from specific abuse cases that have surfaced. Just last year, they increased penalties in dog fighting. Also in 2018, there was a bill that prohibited retail stores from selling dogs or cats from puppy or kitten mills. But after a case like the one in Somerset County, advocates say more can be done.
A board member from the Somerset County Humane Society, Kathleen Crossan says, “Financial and some probably jail time to really get people’s attention and let them know that this is not good behavior. We would like to see some stiffer penalties for abandonment of animals.”
Jessica Summers, the manager from Worcester’s Humane Society, “More restriction on the number of animals that people can have.” Summers also says another suggestion they have for legislators is if they can offer more opportunities for spaying and neutering.
But in order to get more laws into play, they need to speak to their lawmakers.
Senator-elect Mary Beth Carozza says if someone is convicted, they can face up to 90 days in prison and receive a $1,000 fine. But increasing those penalties may be tough. “When it comes to increasing any penalties that this Maryland general assembly tends to trend to decreasing penalties to oppose to increasing them so it would have to be a very narrow bill that would increase penalties in a certain area,” Carozza says. We’re told instead of increasing jail time, the outcomes would be more of a teachable moment.
Carozza says that in order to get the ball rolling for specific needs, she will talk one-on-one with humane societies. And activists say, they’re ready to work. “We would back her 100% for any legislation on the ethical treatment of animals,” Crossan tells 47 ABC.
General Assembly starts January 9th.