On December 18, the New Jersey State Legislature unanimously passed S.1870, ASPCA-supported legislation to amend the state’s Pet Purchase Protection Law. The bill would institute new rules for pet stores that sell puppies, including a requirement that these stores inform customers about the sources of the puppies they sell. It would also prohibit pet shops in the Garden State from obtaining puppies from breeders or brokers who fail to comply with even minimal federal and state animal welfare standards.
If signed into law by Governor Chris Christie, the bill will give potential animal owners a chance to make informed decisions, while also putting much-needed pressure on some of the most unethical breeders in the industry to significantly improve their practices. Governor Christie has until early February to sign the bill, and he has yet to reveal his opinion or his intentions.
Thankfully, our friend Jessica Springsteen—an ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador, rescue-dog lover and proud New Jerseyan—has stepped up to help by sending a letter to Governor Christie urging him to sign the bill. Governor Christie is a huge fan of Jessica’s dad, and we’re hoping a direct plea from The Boss’s daughter will catch his attention!
The Wall Street Journal recently asked, “Will 2015 Be the Year of the Chicken?” As it noted, today’s modern meat birds are bred to “live fast, die young,” but consumers are concerned—and put off—by the standard practices of the chicken industry. The ASPCA’s Truth About Chicken campaign is working to improve those practices. With your help, it can be chickens’ big year!
If you haven’t seen this incredible drone footage of a North Carolina industrial pig farm, we recommend it. But maybe wait until after lunch. Factory farming is not just bad for animals; as you’ll see, it wreaks havoc on the environment and local communities, too.
California has been in the news a lot lately, as new state laws took effect on January 1 banning cage confinement for pigs, egg-laying hens and veal calves. This change reflects consumer values and it’s time for it to spread to other states.
We know that you care about animals and want to protect them from cruelty and exploitation, but that it can be hard to know where to begin. And in this hectic world where so many of us have precious little free time, is it even possible to make a real impact in just minutes? We say “yes, it is,” and we’d love to show you how.
The explosion of online social media and mobile technology means that advocating for stronger animal-protection laws has never been easier. We’ve collected our top five tips for social-networking newbies in an informative, one-sheet E-Advocacy Guide that you can download or even print and distribute to like-minded animal lovers!
Concerned that legislators and policymakers don’t take online advocacy seriously? In fact, the opposite is true: a recent survey of House and Senate staffers revealed that social media interactions are indeed viewed as authentic communication—and even just a few comments from constituents on platforms like Facebook and Twitter are enough to capture their attention.
With the new year comes new legislative sessions in D.C. and in states coast to coast—the time to get started is now. Please download our free E-Advocacy Guide below!
In a letter to the editor published today in The Star Ledger, ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker urges New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to take action on a pending pet purchasing bill.
When a family buys a puppy from a New Jersey pet store, they’re doing more than just exchanging money for a pet. Most pet store puppies come from puppy mills, so when consumers buy these dogs from pet stores, they are in fact supporting an industry that systematically abuses animals for profit.
In puppy mills across the country, dogs are typically stacked on top of one another in tiny, wire-floored cages that can injure their paws and legs. Female breeding dogs are forced to bear litter after litter without any time for their bodies to recover. Once they can no longer produce puppies, these mothers are often callously discarded or killed.
Conditions at puppy mills are reprehensible and intolerable, but many consumers are unaware that these sites are by far the leading source of pet store puppies. If pet stores are legally allowed to use unethical and inhumane breeders and brokers and to keep those sources secret, consumers have no way of making informed decisions when they bring a new pet into their family.
In December, New Jersey lawmakers took a strong step to insert accountability and transparency into the industry by unanimously passing S.1870 to amend New Jersey’s current Pet Purchase Protection Law. This new law would force New Jersey pet stores to disclose the breeders and brokers that supply them, giving consumers a chance to make informed decisions. It would also prohibit pet stores from selling puppies from breeders that fail to comply with even minimal federal and state standards, helping to put pressure on some of the worst industry participants to significantly improve their practices.
This law protects both animals and consumers, and we’re grateful to have worked closely with the bill’s sponsors and to have helped push it through the legislative process.
Now it’s up to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to take the final step by signing this bill. New Jersey residents can help by contacting the governor and telling him that Garden State animals and consumers deserve to be protected, not exploited.
All 50 state legislatures will meet this year, and almost all of them have hit the “reset” button on pending legislation: Any bills that didn’t pass in 2014 are dead, and the slate has been wiped clean. The same also applies to the 114th United States Congress, which convened on January 6 for the first of its two one-year sessions.
Here at the ASPCA, we’re already off and running: Meeting with new and returning legislators, helping to draft new animal-friendly legislation and garnering support for the reintroduction of our priority bills from last year.
On the federal side, we remain fiercely committed to passing legislation that would permanently ban horse slaughter within the U.S. as well as stop the export of American horses for that purpose. Other familiar federal bills we intend to revive include disaster planning for animals and protecting domestic violence survivors and their pets. Establishing quicker processes for re-homing animal victims of cruelty cases and working with the USDA to shape the organic animal welfare standards for chickens are just a few of the new issues we’ll tackle this year.
We also have an ambitious state-level agenda for 2015. Among other priorities, we’re working toward the day when all 50 states will regulate large-scale commercial dog breeders (puppy mills); making sure veterinarians can take action to help animals during disasters and rescues that occur outside their home states; and supporting animal shelters and law enforcement agencies that rescue and care for animal cruelty victims. We’ll also continue to battle insidious and dangerous ag-gag bills that aim to cover up animal cruelty on farms and other agricultural enterprises.
Input from constituents is often the tipping point in your elected officials’ voting decisions. It is up to you to let them know that you care deeply about protecting animals. Here are a few ways you can get involved in the legislative process and ensure that animals have the protections they deserve:
Participate in an ASPCA Voices for Animals Day to lobby at your state capitol, or join one of our online training sessions on citizen advocacy. After joining the Advocacy Brigade, watch your inbox for the ASPCA’s invitations to events in your area.
Make a New Year’s resolution to get involved and be a strong voice for animals!