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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Valarie White

I hope in the bill that was passed invovling MWD (military working dogs) helps bring them home instead of them being considered surplus equiptment. I would love to adopt one of these wonderful hero dogs. But the battle that has to be fought to get them back home is wrong. They are soldiers not surplus equiptment.

Rachelle Rissell

Good news! It is heartening to see so many people who care as I do. We need to see better legislation to protect our fellow living creatures, and the voiceless need it all the more. For the naysayers, animal abuse is proven to be directly related to violence and criminal behavior in humans, it is foolish to dismiss it. Also, those of us who are active are active in more than one arena, depending on our abilities, talents and passions. My charities and causes are the abuse and neglect of children and animals. If you have no regard for animals or believe other things are more important, why are you on the SPCA site and not volunteering in what you believe in? Or, stay on and educate yourself to care and become a better person. I respect the work of all who are volunteering and donating for a better world, in whatever way they are drawn to. For my fellow animal lovers, please, take a moment to think of one more thing - Along with our pets, there are millions of other animals being tortured and abused. To those who eat meat (I do), consider carefully where you are getting it from. I have completely changed where I shop and purchase my meat and dairy from. The mass stock animal market is doing horrendous things, and I am not even talking about the slaughterhouse, that is where many of these animals receive their "mercy". The practices by the large industrial "farms" are horrendous and inexcusable. I buy from small, local meat and dairy sources that I can personally visit or research, and know these animals have the proper food, medical care, treatment and space to live in. They may not be pets, but they are living beings, and deserve to be treated with decency and respect as such. Please educate yourself, if you do, you will not want to be part of this. I may not be able to stop it, but these people will NOT get money from me. The practices being accepted nationwide should be criminal, and I hope for the day when they are. To all of you, it is encouraging to see so many who care. However you do it, keep up whatever you do to help the voiceless neglected and abused that share your community, and I may not know you but I appreciate you.


Thank you now lets pass laws that they ban gas chambers in all shelters too.

Katie LaRoche

This is excellent news. I gave a presentation on this topic for a political science class. Military dogs have a very tough and sad history, and I am THRILLED that the US is willing to give more kindness to canine heroes. THANK YOU!

**Yes- please stop the wolf hunt, hunting wolves is barbaric-as a response to the person who wrote in all caps.