Thanks for your interest in taking action on animal issues – your help is essential to success for the animals. During the Virginia legislative session, we work on bills affecting wildlife, companion animals, and farm animals. Consider making a phone call or meeting with your legislator. If you cannot, please help by taking action below.
When dogs who have fallen victim to cruelty are seized in federal animal fighting busts, they may endure months-long stays in shelters before they’re permitted to be rehomed. Since the animals are considered “evidence,” they have to be held until the court cases finish.
Fortunately, legislation recently introduced in Congress will help cut through the red tape for victims of animal fighting. The HEART Act (S. 513/H.R. 1228) will help seized dogs begin new lives faster by expediting the court process that allows them to be rehabilitated and rehomed. Another plus: the bill requires defendants to reimburse the costs of caring for these animals.
Dogs in federally licensed facilities often spend their entire lives in filthy, crowded cages stacked on top of one another with no access to adequate veterinary care or exercise. Standards are far too low, so imagine how terrible conditions must be for a breeder to have his/her license taken away! Unfortunately, in these cases, unscrupulous breeders can skirt enforcement by having family members apply for a new license, allowing the same business to continue as before—terrible conditions and all.
The WOOF! Act will prevent a breeder whose license has been suspended or revoked from continuing to operate using the name of a family member or other member of the household.
Hurricane Katrina killed approximately 8,000 animals, including dogs and monkeys, at a medical school in New Orleans. Better planning could have likely saved more of those animals, just like better planning could save dogs currently in USDA licensed puppy mills from the ravages of a future storm.
With natural disasters on the rise, this legislation is needed now more than ever.
The Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act (H.R. 1042), will require facilities regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—such as commercial animal breeders (puppy mills), zoos and research institutions—to create detailed response plans for protecting animals in their care during disasters and ensure that employees know the steps to take when an emergency occurs.