Fighting for animals is often an uphill battle. Animals don’t usually get a lot of respect of attention in the legislature. That’s why it’s important to let your state reps know that animals matter!
For the 2014 session, several animal-related bills will be brought before the legislature.
SB 5202 Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Assistance. This is a follow-up of the substitute spay/neuter bill that passed the senate in 2013. The substitute bill doesn’t include the original pet-food fee funding source, but it does provide the basic outline of a statewide spay/neuter assistance program. The bill will need to be reconsidered in the senate before it can proceed to the house.
SB 5203 Limiting Sales of Animals in Public Places. This bill would restrict certain sales of animals in public places, such as roadside sales. A draft substitute bill, that improves the original bill introduced in 2013, is currently being prepared .
SB 5204 Animal Cruelty Prevention. This bill covers several issues. It tightens up the animal fighting law, addresses animals confined in vehicles and other spaces during extreme temperatures, and cleans up the definition of second-degree animal cruelty. A draft substitute bill has already been prepared, which includes a new provision to correct weaknesses in the first-degree animal cruelty statute.
HB 2117 Breed Based Dog Regulations. More than two dozen cities in this state have breed-based bans. The bans place restrictions on certain breeds (usually pit bulls). In the 2014 session, a bill is being introduced that, if passed, would prevent a dog’s breed from being a factor in a ban or in classifying him or her as dangerous or potentially dangerous. Read more about how you can help bring pass this bill here.
Thanks to Save Washington Pets (Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation) for the info about these bills.
Here in Washington State, more than two dozen cities have breed-based bans in place. The bans place restrictions on certain breeds (usually pit bulls). In the 2014 session, HB 2117 (Breed-Based Dog Regulations) is being introduced. This bill would prevent a dog’s breed from being a factor in a ban or in classifying him or her as dangerous or potentially dangerous. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Sherry Appleton.
Contact Your State Representatives!
All members of the Washington State House of Representatives have until 2 pm on January 13 to sign on as cosponsors of the bill. Please contact your two state reps today or tomorrow and encourage them to sign on and support this bill.
You can find your reps here and you can find their phone numbers here. If you can’t call, or would rather email, here’s a template by Best Friends Animal Society.
Please offer a brief, polite message with your full name, address and phone number, asking your rep to cosponsor HB 2117, a bill that addresses dog breed discrimination, and explain why it’s important to you.
Thanks to Save Washington Pets for the information about this bill.
Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act
The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R.1094/S.541), a crucial bill to protect both consumers’ health and American horses, was recently introduced in Congress. This legislation will prohibit the sale and transport of horse meat and horses intended for human consumption, thereby keeping toxic meat out of the nation’s food supply.
Because horses in the United States are raised as companions and sport animals—not for human consumption—they are routinely given hundreds of drugs and chemicals that could cause harm to human health if their meat is ingested. Many of these substances have never been tested on humans, while some are known to be deadly if ingested by people. These pharmaceuticals—steroids, antibiotics, growth promoters, sedatives, artificial hormones, vaccines, painkillers, and others—are often labeled “not for use in animals used for food/that will be eaten by humans,” and more than 50 drugs regularly administered to horses are expressly prohibited by federal regulations for use in food animals.
There is no system in place to track these medications and veterinary treatments to ensure that horse meat is safe for human consumption. Even small traces of these chemicals in adulterated horse meat could pose serious health risks, most of which are completely unknown.
Please click here to urge your members of Congress to keep toxic horse meat out of the food supply by co-sponsoring and supporting the SAFE Act.
NARN now has a donation box at Wayward Vegan Café!
We’re having a donation drive to collect supplies for the companions animals of the low income and homeless. We’re working in particular with the organization Peace on the Streets by Kids on the Streets.
Please stop by Wayward, and drop in a can of cat or dog food, a doggie or kitty bed, a leash, flea treatment, or other item for animals.
Where: 5253 University Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (open 9-9 every day)
Help the kids and the animals this holiday season!
We need safe and loving transportation for a little box tortoise named Richard to a Texas sanctuary. Email Aleyrac@aol.com if you think you might be able to help. Thanks!
Do you all remember Patrick? The pit bull who was starved until he was almost dead by his owner, Kisha Curtis, and then stuffed in a trash sack and thrown 19 stories down an apartment trash chute in Newark? It was hard to believe from the pictures at the time that
he could possibly still be alive. But he was, and he is well and happy today. His story and pictures sparked massive outrage around the WORLD, and led to the demand that stronger laws be put in place to deter and punish animal abusers (Curtis will not be receiving jail time). Tens of thousands of you called or wrote in, demanding some semblance of justice, if not for Patrick, then for other animal victims in the future. Last week, on August 7th, “Patrick’s Law”, unanimously passed the NJ Senate and was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
Under Patrick’s Law, starving or otherwise abusing an animal will be considered to be a fourth degree crime, which is a step up from a disorderly persons offense. If the abuse causes the animal’s death, it would be a third degree offense. Fines would increase from $1,000 to $3,000 for the first offense and range between $3,000 to $5,000 for any further offenses.
You and I know this is still a grim joke of a punishment for a crime so terrible, so prolonged, and so deliberate. Would Curtis fit, I wonder, down the trash chute?
Sounds like a no-brainer, but it is a first: the New York Senate has passed a bill requiring convicted animal abusers, like convicted sex offenders, to register with the appropriate criminal justice department. In addition, those convicted of torture have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and are banned from ever owning a pet again. I am glad it is clear to at least one state that animal torture isn’t a merely a momentary lapse in the judgement of otherwise good people — like giving someone the finger in traffic after a bad day at work.
Now, the names and addresses of convicted animal abuses in New York will be made readily accessible to the public — meaning, just for example, that shelters can check the registry before finalizing to an adoption. This bill is on its way to the NY Assembly, where it will be sponsored by Jim Tedisco, the same man behind NY’s original 1997 ‘Buster’s Law” making animal abuse a felony. (I could tell you about Buster but I won’t.)
Considering that it is no easy feat to be convicted of animal abuse to begin with, and that there is a high rate of recidivism (partly because it’s so EASY), let’s hope NY’s registry is just the beginning. Michigan and California are also considering animal abuser registries, but an attempt to pass a similar law earlier this year in Maryland failed, largely due to the efforts of the PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Committee), which claimed that keeping animals out of the hands of psychos would make life too hard for pet retailers.
Urge Congress to Crack Down on Puppy Mills
Legislation to crack down on puppy mills has been reintroduced in Congress. S. 395 / H.R. 847, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, will close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act regulations that currently allows puppy mills to sell dogs over the Internet without any oversight or standards of care.
This bipartisan bill will require the following changes to the AWA: 1.) All dog breeders who sell more than 50 puppies per year directly to the public will be federally licensed and inspected; 2.) Dogs at commercial breeding facilities must be given the opportunity to exercise for 60 minutes a day; and 3.) The bill will not affect small breeders and hobby breeders who sell fewer than 50 dogs per year directly to the public, but is crafted to cover only large commercial breeding facilities.
The PUPS Act is sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif.
Complete the form [https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5934&autologin=true&s_src=web_hp_bb1052913] to automatically send a message to your legislators expressing your support for the PUPS Act. Look up your legislators’ phone numbers here.
After making your phone call (please do not skip that crucial step!), fill in and submit the form [https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5934&autologin=true&s_src=web_hp_bb1052913] to automatically send a follow-up message to your legislators. Members of Congress receive a lot of email, so remember to personalize your email message below so that your message stands out.