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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Legislation / Campaigns

“Dogs Chained for Life” Campaign Update Print E-mail

In March of 2005, MFOA successfully passed legislation that addressed dogs being left outside on a continual basis. It required increased specifications to protect dogs that are left outside, and, at that time, was a first-in-the nation legislation.

With that legislative success, MFOA decided to continue the “Dogs Chained for Life” campaign, which has also been featured in our 2006 and 2007 newsletters, and to submit subsequent legislation that included a requirement that the dog be taken off tether each day for three hours.

The follow-up bill failed, in part because the Maine Municipal Association lobbied against it because of concerns for the additional work incurred by the Animal Control Officers. However, by law each municipality must have someone to oversee animal control and be responsible in responding to cases of abuse and cruelty.

What You Should Do if You See a “Dog Chained For Life” Print E-mail

10 Ways to Help

1 Know the law regarding “Outside Dogs.”
Although Maine currently allows tethering 24/7, the State does have very specific requirements regarding dogs left outside for more then 12 hours per day. This Law along with other State Animal Welfare laws can be found at: http://

2 Gather Information
Document the neglect and violations of existing law using pictures and written accountings. Keep record of all communications that you have with authorities concerning the dog’s welfare.

Maine Animal-friendly Legislators Elected Print E-mail

In each of the last five legislative elections MFOA has sent a questionnaire to all the candidates running for the state legislature. The return of those questionnaires is important in selecting MFOA endorsed candidates and to gauge the interest in animal protection and the MFOA legislative agenda.  In previous elections the connection with animal-friendly legislators has been sufficient to find good bill sponsors and to get our message out to other legislators. Occasionally we find an exceptional legislator like Chris Muse of South Portland, who in 2003 aggressively and passionately championed the circus elephant ban legislation and campaign. But the number and strength of the responses from this year’s legislative questionnaires far surpassed any other election in 10 years of tracking and supporting animal-friendly legislators.

123rd Legislature MFOA Sponsored Legislation Print E-mail

Membership on the Committee  on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

For ten years MFOA has called for more balance on the membership make-up of the legislative committee that oversees wildlife issues. The issue has been that non-hunters should be considered for the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, especially considering that non-consumptive users of wildlife in Maine outnumber sportsmen two to one, yet  they have essentially no meaningful way  to get legislation passed if Maine’s inflexible hunting lobby opposes it.  MFOA lobbied the new leadership and some 50 animal-friendly legislators, and we are very pleased to report that for the first time it appears the hunting monopoly on the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been broken. The committee is still very unbalanced, but the change is welcome.



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