MDF Position Statements


Breed Bans and Insurance Discrimination: The Maryland Dog Federation favors balanced, enforceable and fair dangerous dog laws based on a dog’s behavior, not breed, type, or size. If a dog is a well behaved member of the household and community, there is no reason to ban by breed or deny insurance coverage. Insurance companies should consider dogs an asset; a natural alarm system whose presence and bark deters intruders and prevents theft and personal injury. We work tirelessly to end breed specific legislation and arbitrary insurance cancellations for owners of “sensationalized” breeds. We encourage landlords and property managers to allow more large dogs to live in apartments.

Mandatory Spay/Neuter:  Mandatory, coercive spay/neuter laws have been proven ineffective. The Federation supports and encourages voluntary spaying and neutering of pets and encourages all shelters and rescues to require all ADOPTED pets to be sterilized, but opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws for owned pets. Sterilization is an invasive surgical procedure, not without risk, and should be a reasoned decision made between owner and veterinarian without government interference or coercion.

Limit Laws/Breeder Limit Laws:  The number of pets one can own should be based on the ability of the owner to adequately care for them and the impact made on the neighborhood…not an arbitrarily determined number. Maryland Dog Federation supports rational and enforceable laws that protect the health and welfare of dogs and do not unreasonably restrict breeders, owners, or those involved in the sports of dogs.

Cropping, Docking, Dewclaw Removal, Debarking:  Dewclaw removal, cropping and docking as described in certain breed standards are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and /or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided as necessary. Debarking is an acceptable and humane veterinary procedure and should remain a carefully made decision between a veterinarian and client. Debarking can sometimes mean the difference between a dog remaining in the home and relinquishment to a shelter or death.  Appropriate veterinary care should be provided and unnecessary regulation avoided.

Dog Parks/Dogs in Parks:  MDF protects your ability to enjoy public lands with your dogs. Dog owners are tax paying citizens who should be permitted to enjoy the same amenities in parks and recreational places as other tax paying citizens. When dog owners utilize these facilities they are no more a burden on the space as most other citizens.

Dogs in Shelters:  Time and time again, dogs seized in raids are brought to Maryland area shelters from other states and regions to be adopted. Studies indicate there are far more available homes than there are dogs that need homes. Dogs are needlessly killed in many Maryland shelters by the thousands each and every year while other shelters achieve fantastic “save” rates of well over 90% and virtually eliminate the need to kill dogs in shelters for lack of space. This clearly demonstrates there are indeed available homes and in fact, NOT a pet overpopulation problem. The desparity boils down to a lack of leadership, not a lack of homes. The Federation demands that shelters do a better job of finding homes for homeless dogs and stop the needless killing of dogs in their care.


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