We told you last week about our plans to have a booth at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this year, so we wanted to make sure to let you know how it went. Our booth, which we used to raise awareness about our campaign to fight puppy mills, was a bit of an outlier at the event, as you might expect. But, with just a few exceptions, our booth was generally well received.
We talked to people who came by about the sad realities of puppy mills, where dogs are severely neglected and left suffering for the sake of profit, showing them our written materials and pictures from puppy mill breeders. Some were surprised to learn that many of those breeders are USDA licensed. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that USDA licenses thousands of breeders who keep dogs in tiny, wire-bottomed cages and churn out as many puppies as possible to be sold in pet stores.
Other visitors asked us about a New York Times article that appeared on the front page of the Sunday sports section taking a hard look at the American Kennel Club’s role in the puppy mill industry. In it, the ASPCA revealed that a majority of the puppy mills in raids that we have participated in had ties to the AKC-registered litters. According to the AKC’s own website, “[r]egistry with the AKC indicates that a puppy had two parents of the same breed; it does not indicate that the dog comes from healthy blood lines or guarantee that a puppy will be in good health.”
Unfortunately, AKC registration papers often give the public a false sense of reassurance that the puppy did not come from a puppy mill, which is not necessarily the case. AKC registration is in no way a guarantee of humane care for the breeding dogs or their puppies. We would like to thank the over 200 dog show attendees who took our “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge to not buy anything in pet stores or on websites that sell puppies—no pet food, kitty litter or even toys . If you weren’t able to stop by our booth, you can take the pledge at nopetstorepuppies.com/take-the-pledge and spread the word!
Although the dogs exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show were all beautiful, it’s important to keep in mind that approximately 5 to 7 million companion animals end up in shelters every year—and half of those are dogs. If you’re looking to bring a new pet into your home, please make adoption your first option. And remember that mixed breed and older dogs can make just as great companions as purebred puppies, and you get to save a life, too!
Capitol Hill has gone to the dogs…and cats! Today our Government Relations Team will join the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus in hosting the “Paws for Love” animal adoption event.
“On this annual celebration of love, we think it is most appropriate to offer a truly unconditional bond, regardless of your party affiliation—the love of a wonderful cat or dog,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “There are millions of dogs and cats waiting to be adopted into loving, permanent homes. Republican or Democrat, we all want to do our part to help.”
“I’m proud to be a sponsor of Paws for Love and am looking forward to welcoming so many rescued dogs and cats, as well as the dedicated volunteers and staff that care for them, to Capitol Hill,” says Representative John Campbell, co-host of today’s event. “Not only will this be a fun and memorable event for all involved, it will be an opportunity for many to adopt these pets and raise support and awareness for the millions of rescued animals that need homes each year.”
“There is no better time than Valentine’s Day to express our appreciation for the unconditional love that shelter pets bring to our lives,” says Representative Jim Moran. “Thanks to the ASPCA and all the shelters and rescues here today for showcasing the hard work done across the country to help homeless pets find loving homes. ”
The event is expected to draw hundreds, including members of Congress and their staff.
We recently hosted a special reception in the U.S. Capitol welcoming members of the House of Representatives to the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC). The CAPC is a bipartisan organization committed to raising awareness of animal welfare issues in Congress.
The event was also an opportunity to recognize a new Co-Chair of the Caucus, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), along with returning Co-Chair Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA).
Richard Patch (ASPCA), Rep. John Campbell, Nancy Perry (ASPCA), Carolyn Schnurr (ASPCA), Rep. Jim Moran
“I’m very pleased and honored to have the opportunity to work alongside of Congressman Moran in leading this important caucus,” said Rep. Campbell. “I look forward to the opportunities the Caucus will have this year to come together in a bipartisan fashion to highlight the animal protection needs that remain unaddressed in this nation.”
Take Action Members of the ASPCA’s D.C.-based Government Relations team had a chance to mingle with legislators, their staff, and others who are interested in animal protection issues. It was a great opportunity to meet new and returning Members of Congress and talk with them about current issues, including passing a ban on horse slaughter and the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act. Have you asked your representative to support these initiatives? If not, visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center and get started today!
Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) holding Bunker the Dog, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
It’s both sad and gross at the same time. After nearly two weeks of trying to reassure the public that Burger King’s products were safe, the fast food giant just announced that an internal investigation confirmed that burgers containing horse meat have been sold in its United Kingdom locations!
Rumors of the contamination were first triggered by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland after it found horse meat in the frozen beef burgers of several major grocery suppliers in Ireland and the UK. The contaminated meat is from the Ireland-based processing company Silvercrest, which is a subsidiary of ABP Food Group.
"These recent revelations of horse meat in European hamburgers are proof that the predatory horse slaughter industry isn't worried about who it victimizes—horses and diners are all at risk," says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “In addition to the inherent cruelty of horse slaughter, the toxicity of horse meat is a big problem. We’ve become increasingly aware of all the drugs routinely given to horses that are dangerous to humans and banned for use in animals raised for human consumption.”
Take Action! This incident happened across the ocean, but horses are at risk of terrifying, inhumane deaths at slaughterhouses right here at home: Horse slaughter proponents are taking drastic steps to re-open horse slaughter plants in the United States! Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reject any application to operate a horse slaughter facility in the U.S.
Great news, animal advocates! Yesterday U.S. Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Campbell (R-CA) and Jim Moran (D-VA) reintroduced the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, an ASPCA-supported bill to strengthen our federal laws against animal fighting.
While it’s already a federal crime to actively participate in an animal fight, it’s the spectators who drive the enterprise and make it profitable. This bill would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight and impose additional penalties for bringing a child to a fight.
The Senate passed this bill in the previous Congress, but even with over half the House in support, Congress was unable to pass a final bill. Reintroducing this bill in the early days of the new Congress gives us an opportunity to build on the momentum from the last Congress and help finally close the federal loophole for animal fighting spectators.
Ask your own House representative to support this important humane legislation! Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center right now to quickly email your U.S. rep in Washington and urge him or her to cosponsor the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act.