Advisory Group To Weigh Animal Issues

August 30, 2009|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold announced Thursday the creation of an animal advisory group to examine county laws and policies relating to issues such as animal abuse, pet waste and leashing dogs.

The 16-member Animal Welfare Council will be responsible for community outreach relating to animals, reviewing pet rules and regulations, and developing public education efforts on issues such as reporting animal abuse and neglect.

Wendy Cozzone, who heads Cheryl's Rescue Ranch in Odenton, was named chairwoman of the council.

Cozzone, the owner of two female border collies, Cheryl, 14, and Belle, 9, and rescued farm animals, said she hopes to bring more awareness to abused animals and to increase the number of animals that are spayed and neutered.

"I don't want there to be any more Michael Vicks out there," Cozzone said, referring to the NFL player involved in dogfighting. "When the judge gives them a sentence, don't get away with a smack on the hand. Somebody's got to help these little guys. I just want everything for them. I just want to hit the Lotto and build a barn and put animal control out of business."

Leopold, the owner of a 13-year-old cat named Francois Rabelais and a 2-year-old black Lab named Dora, said, pets are "such a central part of our lives and they're viewed as family members. I want this council to thoroughly examine our laws and see if they need to be strengthened."

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