Pictured: Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)
Capitol Hill was once again the site of some serious human-animal bonding when the ASPCA hosted our annual “Paws for Love” gathering on April 4 along with the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. At least 20 Members of Congress and nearly 1,200 congressional staff members happily interrupted their hectic workdays to cuddle with adorable dogs and cats from local animal shelters and rescues. Attendees learned about the vital work that these compassionate people do for animals every day—both in the nation’s capital and throughout the country.
“The ASPCA and the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus have come together to show our bipartisan ‘love’ for shelter animals,” said Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “We are celebrating the life-saving work of community animal shelters and rescues nationwide and honoring the millions of lovable homeless dogs and cats currently waiting to be adopted.”
Sincere thanks to the wonderful animal rescue organizations that participated in the 2014 Paws for Love:
Animal Welfare League of Arlington Homeward Trails Last Chance Animal Rescue Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation Prince George’s County Animal Shelter Washington Animal Rescue League Washington Humane Society
We are very pleased to announce that the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (H.R. 1528) Thursday, bringing this priority legislation an important step closer to final passage in the House.
The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, introduced by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL)—the only two veterinarians in Congress—will ensure that veterinarians are able to transport and use medicines while practicing in the field. Interventions by our Field Investigative Response team in animal fighting raids, puppy mill investigations and disaster relief efforts are critical to the ASPCA’s work nationwide. Our mobile veterinarians must travel to many unpredictable locations, and their ability to provide often life-saving veterinary care for animal victims in crises is absolutely necessary.
This bill is critical to rural and large-animal veterinarians, as well as veterinarians who provide at-home hospice care for family pets. The capacity to care for animals, regardless of location, is vital to their work. We at the ASPCA have worked hard for its passage, bringing a very large coalition of animal welfare groups together to support its forward motion and spearheading conversations about its pathway in the troubled waters of a Congress not known for swift legislative activity.
The Senate version of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act already passed, unanimously, in January. Let’s all work together now to get this bill over the finish line! Contact your Representative today and ask him or her to support and cosponsor H.R. 1528 if they have not done so already. We will push for a House floor vote. On behalf of the mobile and field veterinarians, and the animals they care for, thank you for your help!
More than 90% of cats and dogs in the U.S. are fed commercial pet food, yet our government does not play a role in overseeing and ensuring its safe production. 2007’s pet food crisis and massive recall (caused by the adulteration of pet food with melamine) showed pet owners and policymakers that like the production of human food, the production of pet food must be regulated for safety.
That’s why we’d like to praise the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for proposing a rule that, for the first time, would create preventive measures to keep pet food safe from the introduction of disease-causing bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants during the production process. The proposed rule targets those who manufacture, process, pack and hold animal food. It creates good manufacturing practices and requires facilities to have a food safety plan and assess and minimize contamination risks.
It is time to clean up the U.S. horse racing industry by passing the federal Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (HISA), H.R. 2012/S. 973. Introduced by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in the House, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) in the Senate, this bill will ban performance-enhancing drugs in U.S. horse racing and designate the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as the governing body to create and oversee the implementation of uniform medication rules to protect horse welfare. The Jockey Club recently acknowledged the importance of this bill and agreed that the USADA “has the experience, the knowledge and the credibility to bring much-needed integrity to our sport.”
The ASPCA is on the ground in Lansing lending our voice to the campaign to Keep Michigan’s Wolves Protected. Yesterday, Vicki Deisner, State Director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Midwest Region, helped deliver nearly 230,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to place a measure on November’s ballot that will restore the right of citizens to have a say in wildlife decisions.
In spite of strong public opposition, in 2013 the Michigan Legislature passed a law allowing the gray wolf to be hunted for the first time in nearly 50 years. When faced with the threat of repeal via ballot measure (popular vote by citizens on Election Day), the Legislature quickly passed another law to take away voters’ right to have a say in the wildlife management matters, giving all decision-making power to a panel of political appointees whose decisions cannot be challenged by citizens.
Take Action Please join us in defense of Michigan’s wolves—visit Keep Michigan’s Wolves Protected to spread the word about the threat to wolves and to the democratic process, which has been upended by Michigan’s government.