Late last night, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved an amendment to the House Farm Bill to strengthen our nation’s laws against animal fighting. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), would make attending an organized animal fight a federal offense and impose additional penalties for bringing a child to an animal fight. This amendment is similar to the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, standalone legislation with strong bipartisan support from 147 cosponsors introduced by Reps. Tom Marino (R-PA), John Campbell (R-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA) and McGovern.
“Animal fights are cruel and gruesome spectacles where animals are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Children need protection from the dangerous culture of animal fighting, as well as its associated illegal activities such as drugs, weapons and gambling. The ASPCA applauds Representative McGovern and all our Congressional leaders for their continued leadership in strengthening laws to combat animal fighting and protect public safety.”
While clearing the House Agriculture Committee is a major success, we can’t declare victory just yet. The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill also includes the anti-animal fighting provisions, but both bills still must pass in their chambers of origin. Once that is achieved, the House and Senate have to reconcile any language differences prior to full passage.
We’d like to thank all the representatives on the House Agriculture Committee who voted to include the animal fighting spectator prohibition language in the House Farm Bill. If you see your rep in the list below, tell him or her thank you! You can find your rep’s contact info here.
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Ann McLane Kuster
Sean Patrick Maloney
Please be a voice for animals—join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and we’ll let you know when it’s time to contact members of Congress about this and other important animal-related bills.
In late March, Kelley D. visited the ASPCA Adoption Center in Manhattan in search of the perfect canine companion. There, she met Amber, a dog who initially showed a cautious interest in Kelley, but has since become a full-fledged family member. Kelley shared the following story with us.
We were looking for a dog that would match our lives well—one who could be an only dog, comfortable with anyone and everyone, not too small and not too large. We were also looking for a dog who was ready to live in a New York City apartment.
Amber was one of the dogs in the Adoption Center who showed an interest in us—she cautiously approached her door when we stood in front of her kennel.
It was our first time in the Adoption Center, and our first time adopting from the ASPCA. It was great! The Adoption Center is so busy, so we were so pleased we had as much time as we did speaking to different staff members. We didn't feel rushed or like we needed to make a decision right there. When we did make a decision, the staff was supportive and gave us a ton of info to take home with us. The package we got was great!
Amber has made huge strides since coming home! When we first adopted her, she was scared of pretty much everything and everyone. Now she is incredibly friendly, actively plays with all kinds of other dogs and is not jumpy at all. She is also quite clever and is learning tricks and obedience lessons quickly. We are getting her settled and confident in her new life.
Got a special adoption story? Share it (or Amber’s story!) on social media using the hashtag #HappyTail.
In an exciting victory for animals and advocates in the Lone Star State, Texas legislators have passed a law prohibiting the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals. Sponsored by Senator Kirk Watson, this new law, which became effective immediately upon Governor Rick Perry’s signature on May 10, will also protect shelter workers from dangerous exposure to carbon monoxide.
The ASPCA partnered with the Texas Humane Legislation Network to help ensure this critical legislation passed during the current session. The new law makes sodium pentobarbital injection, also referred to as euthanasia by injection (EBI), the state’s only approved method of euthanasia. Euthanasia by injection takes effect faster, acts more reliably and causes less pain and trauma than gas.
In situations where euthanasia must be administered, it should be done with compassion and care, which gas chambers do not provide. We applaud Governor Perry and Senator Watson, as well as all of our Texas Advocates, for taking this important step for animals.
As you’ve probably figured out, we love shelter pets! Rescuing an animal from a shelter saves lives, and you get lots of unconditional love in return. That’s why we’re so happy to see the entire state of Colorado put them front and center!
Yesterday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, accompanied by his own rescue dog, Sky, signed into law a bill making shelter dogs and cats the state’s official pet, The Denver Post reports. The bill, “Concerning the designation of dogs and cats that are adopted from Colorado Animal Shelters and rescues as the state pets,” was proposed by schoolchildren and signed into law at the Denver Animal Shelter.
Other states have chosen a specific dog breed to honor as state pet, but Colorado is honoring any dog or cat adopted from a shelter! How awesome is that?
If you’re interested in a shelter animal of your own, please visit our virtual Adoption Center! Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #ShelterPets.
According to the American Heart Association, research shows that people with dogs might get more physical activity; having pets might be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and a lower incidence of obesity; and that pets can reduce the physical effects of stress.
Of course, dog people like us already had a hunch that dogs were great for our health! And we didn’t need any more reasons to adopt a dog—they’re wonderful for so many reasons—but this announcement comes as great news to us.