MFOA Legislation Protecting Maine Companion Animals

Successful MFOA legislation from 1998-2019 protecting companion animals, particularly dogs

1999: Passed legislation to increase animal cruelty penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony offense.

1998: Lobbied for legislation that prevented the pari-mutual simulcast wagering of greyhound racing in Maine. 

2000: Led the fight to revamp Maine’s Animal Welfare Program and the formation of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, making it more effective in responding to animal cruelty cases.

2003: Passes legislation that requires dogs in the ‘back of pick-up trucks’ be secured so that it cannot fall, jump or be thrown from an open vehicle. 

2003: 2 MFOA members move to form ‘Spay Maine,’ a program designed to reduce cat and dog euthanasia, which was subsequently incorporated into the state Animal Welfare Program.

2006: Raised public awareness of dog cruelty cases throughout the state through press releases, demonstrations, the use of the media and court appearances. 

2006: Passed the first enforceable legislation in the nation addressing ‘Dogs Chained for Life,’ establishing greater requirements for dogs left outside on a continuous basis.

2007: Made ‘Dogs Chained for Life’ an ongoing program with education materials, a TV public service announcement, and office assistance in securing the release of a DCFL.

2007: Sponsored legislation, which became law in 2011, requiring that a bittering agent be added to anti-freeze to help prevent poisoning of pets and wildlife.

2010: Partnered with Madison Elementary School to develop a ‘Pet Club’ model for elementary schools, teaching children about the responsibilities the care and protection of companion animals. 

2011: Sponsored successful legislation that provides greater response for first responders in the protection for animals in distress left in unattended vehicles.

2013  MFOA sponsors “An Act to Make Post Conviction Possession of Animals a Criminal Offense”. This legislation would make it a criminal offense for an individual to own animals after being convicted of animal cruelty, adding a needed deterrent for repeat offenders. The bill passed in the Legislature, but was vetoed by Governor LePage.  The same legislation will be re-introduced in 2019.

2015  MFOA sponsors (in partnership with Maine Citizens Against Puppy Mills) first-in-the-nation “anti-puppy mill” legislation to ban the retail sales of dogs and cats in Maine pet shops, which often acquire their puppies and kittens from terribly inhumane out-of-state mass breeding facilities. The bill passed in both bodies of the legislature, but was vetoed by the Governor. The same legislation will be re-introduced in 2019.


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