The Senate Goes to the Dogs: Two Important Bills Passed!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 11:15am
Close up of a German Shepherd

Guest blog by Andrew Binovi, ASPCA Federal Legislative Manager

With all the political gridlock in Washington D.C., it seems that Congress has nearly ground to a complete halt. So it was very exciting late yesterday when the U.S. Senate considered two important measures to help animals in need!

First, the Senate took up the cause of canine heroes who have served in our military and passed a provision that streamlines the adoption process for retired military dogs and authorizes the Department of Defense to provide veterinary care in the animals’ retirement without any cost to American taxpayers. Military dogs perform dangerous, critical tasks, and it is our duty to honor these dogs and ensure they are cared for after their service is complete. The House passed similar language in their version of the military bill earlier this year.

Then, just moments later, the Senate passed the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act by a unanimous voice vote. This bill, introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), along with Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Scott Brown (R-MA), will give law enforcement additional tools to crack down on animal fighting. The legislation will make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and will impose additional penalties for taking minors to animal fights.

Take Action!
We are encouraged that in the twilight hours of this Congress, animals in need have not been forgotten by federal lawmakers. Our team has been working around the clock with members of Congress to ensure passage of both bills, but we still need your help. Please call your representative and ask him or her to support the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act in the House. Animals victimized in this grisly blood sport are in desperate need—and they are counting on us to get the job done!

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Tim Rust

Yeah, this is great. I love animals and whatnot, but there are way more important things going on in this country that need to be fixed. School reform. Immigration laws etc. This is what we waste our time on? This country IS going to the dogs if this is how we prioritize.


Thank You, there is alot of people working very hard 24-7 for the animals in need of our protection. This is a great day in America the Home of the Free!!! YES!!! Very Happy.

Rosana Chin-Joseph

Music to my Ears... keep up the Good Work <3


These are 2 steps in the right direction.

However, it would have been equally nice if Senate Republicans weren't so afraid of the right wing crazies and challenges from the tea party that they'd ratified the treaty yesterday as well.

I can't imagine how they managed to walk past Bob Dole and cast that vote, making this country look like a pathetic shell of itself, since the U.N. treaty is based on OUR law, and only asks the rest of the world to come up to OUR standards, doing nothing to change our own.

Good thing the tea party isn't totally against dogs...

Pamela McCutcheon

I am truly impressed and hope the fight continues to convince ALL of congress, EVERYwhere to pass more and more bills for animal rights.....military or not, NO MORE dog fighting.....PLUS , not only just a slap on the wrist of animal abuse crime..ALL should be labeled as ANIMAL TORTURE and pose the utmost of fines/jail times!! Simple as that..........I PRAY :)


I am so happy this is going into effect! These dogs deserve good homes and to be taken care of but having family in the military who don't get health care after they retire when they do so much like these dogs it's bitter sweet. I hope this is a step towards giving our men and woman in uniform the health care they deserve! Everyone needs to be taken care of if they fight for our country two legged, or four legged!

To everyone posting about this isn't a priority it may not be in your book but you know what you should do? Write your Congress Person and ask what is being done about other key issues. Don't complain be proactive! This got changed because people fought for it they didn't sit behind a screen and complain.


Good news for our fellow creatures! Thank you lawmakers for doing something right! We can all be proud.


i agree that this is a stepp in the right direction but lets not forget this stupid BSL which is used against every american due to the stupidity of a few. if you ever need to get a morgage and or insurance on your house and you have a dog that is on the bsl list you wont be able to even if your dog is insured and a trained service dog and has the k9 "good citizenship award". this thing called the bsl needs to be done away with because it is a form of discrimination

Kathryn Baker

I am so glad to hear these bills were passed by the Senate. I hope they will do more in the future for the horse slaughter issues.

kate mccann

Thank you to Maria Cantwell & all the members of the Senate & Congress so much for suporting & passing the two bills concerning Military canines & Dogfighting. I hope they continue following these bills & that they will also bring into law a bill that makes discrimination of dog breeds (BSL) illegal.. And i ash that these same humane leaders seriously look into the legalities of Horse Slaughter....