Guest blog by ASPCA Regulatory Affairs Manager Deborah Press
Our pets are family, and when they get sick we want to make sure they get the best care possible. We rely on the wonderful vets in our communities to keep our pets healthy and ease their suffering. But for many pet parents struggling to keep their animals healthy in this tough economy, the costs can often be overwhelming—even impossible to afford.
In 2011, Americans spent nearly $7 billion for prescription and over-the-counter pet medications. Though purchasing meds from the vet is convenient, in some cases pet parents can save money by filling pets’ prescriptions at their local retail pharmacies. For many pet lovers struggling to keep their animals healthy in a tough economy, being able to fill prescriptions at the lowest cost could mean the difference between being able to afford the medicine—or even being able to afford keeping the pet—or not.
Most vets are happy to write prescriptions for their clients to fill anywhere they choose, but others may not be. We think pet parents deserve the freedom to comparison-shop for pet meds, but to do that, they need a copy of their animals’ prescriptions.
Here’s where you come in.
The Federal Trade Commission wants to hear from you! The FTC wants to understand how to make prescription pet medications more affordable to consumers. They want to know how much you’re spending on pet meds, where you’re buying them, and whether a law requiring vets to give you a prescription to fill wherever you choose would help make pet care more affordable and accessible to you and your animals.
Tell FTC that for the sake of cost and convenience, you would like to have the option of receiving a written prescription from your vet that you could fill wherever you choose.
In addition, please tell them:
How much you spend on prescription pet meds
Where you buy your pet meds—at the vet or at a pharmacy?
What you like/dislike about filling your pet’s prescriptions with the vet as opposed to a pharmacy where you’d fill your own prescriptions
Please note: FTC is accepting comments beyond the September 14th deadline and wants to hear from you!
Back in June, the New Jersey Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill to prohibit the slaughter, transport, and sale of horses for human consumption within the state. Unfortunately, Governor Chris Christie has not yet signed the bill into law, and it’s not clear that he intends to.
With the clock ticking, several prominent New Jersey horse owners, equestrians and animal advocates, including Jessica Springsteen—daughter of Bruce—have sent a letter to Governor Chris Christie urging him to approve the horse slaughter ban. Christie is famously a huge Bruce Springsteen fan: Will a direct plea from The Boss’s daughter move him to finally act?
Americans don’t eat horse meat (it is shipped overseas), and 80% of American voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. What are you waiting for, Governor Christie?
See our latest press release to read a portion of the letter to the governor and learn more about New Jersey’s pending horse slaughter ban. And if you live in New Jersey, we urge you to send your own letter to the governor—visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to get started!
California, Texas, Illinois, Mississippi and Oklahoma have already banned horse slaughter and/or the sale of horse meat for human consumption, and we’re hoping New Jersey will be next. A bill banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption, as well as related activities such as selling and transporting horse meat and live horses for slaughter, overwhelmingly passed the New Jersey Legislature in June.
There are currently no slaughterhouses processing horse meat for human consumption in the U.S.—the last ones shut down in 2007. However, the foreign-owned companies that used to profit from selling the meat of American horses overseas are trying hard to get this industry back up and running.
Because the resumption of horse slaughter would be a giant step backward for animals, the ASPCA, along with the entire animal welfare community, has spent years lobbying Congress to ban horse slaughter and the transport of horses for slaughter nationwide. Until we succeed, it is vital that individual states continue to stand against this horrific practice by passing their own bans.
You did it! In the final days of California’s legislative session, animal advocates have scored a major victory by securing passage of S.B. 1221, a bill to prohibit the use of dogs to pursue and kill wildlife like bears, cougars and bobcats.
It was a real nail-biter and there was very loud opposition by hunters, but thanks to our amazing California Advocacy Brigade, outstanding leadership from the bill’s sponsor, Senator Ted Lieu, and help from Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, this important humane measure passed the Senate last night and is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
Californians, we still need you! Governor Brown has until September 30 to act on this bill—and of course, hound hunters are bombarding him with phone calls demanding he veto it. If you are a California resident, we urge you to call the governor’s office at (916) 445-2841 to leave a message stating your support for S.B. 1221.
Keep your message short and polite:
“I urge Governor Brown to sign into law S.B. 1221 to ban the cruel practice of hounding our bears and bobcats. Californians strongly oppose this inhumane and unsporting activity because it harms wildlife as well as dogs who are injured and abandoned. Thank you.”
Guest blog by Richard Patch, Vice President of Federal Affairs, ASPCA Government Relations.
Today I had the honor of meeting one of our nation’s four-legged heroes! I was invited to the official retirement ceremony of military working dog Rambo at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina. Rambo loyally served our country, protecting human soldiers and keeping America safe, and will enjoy his well-earned retirement in the loving home of Lisa Phillips, a former soldier and founder and CEO of the Retired Military Working Dog Assistance Organization.
Rambo will have a happy ending, but his canine colleagues are not always so lucky. Despite their heroic efforts, military working dogs (MWDs) are currently classified by the U.S. Department of Defense as “equipment.” Not only does this classification trivialize their life-saving contributions, but it also makes it difficult to transport the dogs from foreign warzones back to the United States after their service is completed so they can be adopted.
The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) and in the Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), reclassifies military dogs as “canine members of the armed forces” instead of equipment. The bill also simplifies the adoption process for retired military dogs and directs the military to set up a program for retired dogs’ veterinary care, at no cost to the taxpayer. It also directs the Secretary of Defense to create a decoration or other recognition for military dogs who are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to their country.
We need your help to build Senate support for the bill. For the sake of our canine heroes, please contact your U.S. senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 2134, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Like their human counterparts, MWDs deserve to be respected and cared for, both during and after their periods of service.
On behalf of Rambo and all our nation’s military canine heroes, thank you!