Strengthen Animal Cruelty Laws

Target: Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley

Goal: Demand that Maryland strengthen its animal cruelty laws and implement an animal abuser registry

The Humane Society of Rockville, Maryland recently buried the remains of 240 dogs that had been taken in by a convicted animal hoarder. Dogs’ ashes were found in garbage bags in the home. Authorities believe thousands of dogs were kept there over a 30-year period. Despite her prior convictions, the woman responsible never had the animals taken away from her or was kept from acquiring more. This case is a perfect example of why animal cruelty laws need to be strengthened and also how animal abuser registries can prevent recurring acts of cruelty.

Judy Cahill was convicted of animal neglect in November 2009. She would place ads in newspapers stating that she would care for and find homes for any dogs that needed an owner.  She would usually have them euthanized, however. Cahill’s home was filled with dog crates and feces. Many of the crates had bent bars, meaning the dogs were desperately trying to escape. Dozens of dogs were also cremated and authorities suspect those were considered her favorites.

The charges Cahill received in 2009 were for neglect and for causing unsanitary conditions after police found dogs kept in wire cages inside her trash and feces infested house. One of the dogs had in infected foot because a toenail had grown into its foot pad and Cahill did not provide it with proper veterinary care. It was also discovered at the time that her rescue operation, which she called Rescue Inc., was actually listed as a humane society in the phone book for more than a decade. Despite local several local complaints to authorities, nothing was done to change this until now.

Perhaps the saddest detail in all of this is that all Cahill received for her original crime was a $600 fine. How many more hundreds or thousands of animals have to suffer and die because animal abusers aren’t properly punished or kept from owning animals again? If this case isn’t incentive enough for Maryland to strengthen its animal cruelty charges and open an animal abuser registry then what is? Please sign the petition below to demand that Maryland step up and never let something this horrible every happen to its animals again.


Dear Governor O’Malley,

The remains of 240 dogs were recently buried after it was discovered that a Rockville woman convicted of animal neglect and hoarding in 2009 had never stopped despite being “charged” with the crime. Judy Cahill appeared as a humane shelter in the phone book and placed ads in newspapers claiming that she would find homes for dogs who needed it. Really she was either hoarding or euthanizing them.

The punishment she received in 2009 was a mere $600 fine. The hundreds of animals she already had that were living in filth were never taken from her and she was never kept from owning another animal again. This case is a perfect example of why animal cruelty laws need to be strengthened. Those who abuse and neglect will repeat if they are not stopped and the punishment Maryland provided for her original crimes wasn’t nearly enough. As a result hundreds of dogs needlessly suffered and died. I demand that you strengthen Maryland’s animal cruelty laws immediately and also implement a statewide animal abuser registry that will prevent repeat offenses.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Le Howl Studio via Flickr

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  3. sandra mason says:

    please remember that cats are treated horribly as well

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