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The ASPCA's Top 10 State Legislative Victories in 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 2:45pm
Tan and white bulldog

As 2013 comes to a close, the ASPCA is celebrating meaningful changes in state animal welfare laws that will improve the lives of thousands of animals across the country. This year, the ASPCA worked with state legislators and other humane advocacy groups to score 87 victories for animals by enacting new laws or defeating hostile legislation, making 2013 one of the most successful years for our animal welfare policy work.

Here is a small sampling of new laws that the ASPCA and our Advocacy Brigade helped secure—as well as misguided bills we helped defeat—in 2013:

(1) Maryland passed a law to establish one of the strongest, most robustly-funded statewide spay/neuter programs in the country, and West Virginia enacted a comprehensive spay/neuter program as well. These new laws will help reduce pet homelessness and euthanasia of healthy animals. 

(2) In Texas, cruel and unnecessary gas chambers can no longer be used to euthanize animals in shelters.

(3) Working with a coalition of animal welfare, environmental, and human rights organizations, the ASPCA helped ensure that none of the 11 ag-gag bills introduced in 2013 (in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming) were passed into law. Pushed by industrial agribusiness, these bills were blatant attempts to cover up illegal and unethical activities on factory farms. Defeating them was critical not only for the protection of animals and the whistleblowers exposing their mistreatment, but also for the safety of the public.

(4) Thanks to groundbreaking legislation passed in Colorado, law enforcement officers will receive training on canine behavior and alternative methods to the use of lethal force in order to reduce accidental dog shootings. A new law in New York State will increase criminal penalties for the intentional killing of police dogs and horses

(5) In California, legislation passed that will phase out lead ammunition for hunting throughout the state to protect wildlife, who are at risk of ingesting contaminated remains, as well as California’s diverse ecosystem.

(6) This was a phenomenal year for animals in Nevada, where seven animal protection bills passed, including legislation to ban horse tripping, enhance penalties for animal fighting and protect wild horses.

(7) In New Jersey, penalties for neglect have been strengthened with the passage of “Patrick’s Law,” named after a dog who was starved nearly to death and thrown down a garbage chute.

(8) Illinois enacted new laws protecting chained dogs, stray farm animals, puppy mill puppies and animals who fall victim to animal fighting.

(9) Animals in Alabama and Ohio are safer from abuse thanks to new laws that strengthen cruelty penalties.

(10) ASPCA-backed legislation passed in Connecticut established a task force to study the origin of dogs and cats in pet shops that will, ideally, pave the way for groundbreaking legislation in 2014 to prevent pet stores from selling puppy mill puppies. 

Many state legislatures will reconvene in January, and the ASPCA looks forward to expanding protections for even more for animals in all 50 states.

To find out about animal advocacy events in your area and how you can be more involved in the fight to protect animals, visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center.

 


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CK

West Virginia also passed into law a comprehensive Commercial Dog Breeding bill that will help to put an end to puppy mills. I think it is very important to mention that fact as we tried for five years to get the bill passed. Congratulations to all involved across the USA who have given so much time and effort to make life better for animals.

Rana

Also passed in Nevada was a law stopping the killing of dogs based on breed. i.e. no longer can a dog been deemed vicious just because it is a Rot, Pitbull, Shepard etc. That decicion will have to be made based on behavior and sctions of the dog.

Diane

Hurray for Nevada. I have never believed that the breed of a dog makes it mean or dangerous. Owners make their dogs what they are, give them love and a good home and you will have a wonderful pet. Instead of blaming the dogs, law enforcement needs to take a closer look at the owners.

Rana

Also passed in Nevada was a law stopping the killing of dogs based on breed. i.e. no longer can a dog been deemed vicious just because it is a Rot, Pitbull, Shepard etc. That decicion will have to be made based on behavior and sctions of the dog.

pymcat

patrick was not starved to death he was nearly starved to death and grew into a handsome big boy

Roxie

Yes that is correct.

Roxie

In reference to #7 above, Patrick's Law, I commend NJ for stiffening the penalties. It mentioned that Patrick the pitbull was starved to death and thrown down a garbage chute. However, when I research that law, it said that Patrick was "near starvation" but did NOT die and has been rehabilitated back to health. Just wanted to note that this turned out happy for Patrick and not tragic as stated. For all that do not do as well, I am so relieved to learn that Patrick survived this horrific ordeal.

Roxie

In reference to #7 above, Patrick's Law, I commend NJ for stiffening the penalties. It mentioned that Patrick the pitbull was starved to death and thrown down a garbage chute. However, when I research that law, it said that Patrick was "near starvation" but did NOT die and has been rehabilitated back to health. Just wanted to note that this turned out happy for Patrick and not tragic as stated. For all that do not do as well, I am so relieved to learn that Patrick survived this horrific ordeal.

Ectopistes Migr...

Thanks for the update,although a little late as I'm drying my eyes. Good job New Jersey! We could always use stricter laws in Fl. Although they have some stupid laws as well concerning dogs. I.E. no dogs tied in a yard, must be in a fenced pen!!???!

Ectopistes Migr...

I have to qualify that is a county ordinance, (Don't want to appear too ignorant)!

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