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.
This morning, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoed his state’s dangerous anti-whistleblower/“ag-gag” bill, Senate Bill 1248/House Bill 1191. This is a major victory for animal welfare and consumer safety—if signed into law, this legislation would have thwarted investigations of agricultural enterprises and protected animal abusers instead of working to prevent such mistreatment.
Governor Haslam’s veto comes just days after Tennessee’s Attorney General declared the legislation “constitutionally suspect under the First Amendment on three grounds” and noted that it could violate a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Animal abusers in Tennessee have good reason to want to keep their cruel and illegal actions out of sight. While most states exempt farm animals from their animal cruelty statues entirely, last year Tennessee passed a bill, spearheaded by the ASPCA, to make extreme acts of cruelty to livestock subject to felony-level penalties.
Investigations on farms have been extremely successful in documenting the inhumane treatment of animals, uncovering crucial health and welfare information and spurring many groundbreaking reforms. If Tennessee’s ag-gag bill had become law, the cruelty revealed by these types of investigations—such as the gruesome beating and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses disclosed last year—would remain hidden from the public.
We thank Governor Haslam for listening to the citizens of Tennessee and preventing this harmful and unnecessary bill from becoming law. We also applaud and thank our Tennessee Advocates, local humane organizations, and groups representing other interests (including civil liberties, journalism, religion, food safety and the environment) put at risk by this bill for their support in fighting it!
Where does your state stand on anti-whistleblower legislation? Find out here, and be sure to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade so you can take action on current animal-related bills in your state!
Animal advocates, this is major: The ASPCA is working closely with Connecticut legislators, The Humane Society of the U.S., CT Votes for Animals and the CT Coalition Against Puppy Mills to enact a bill pending that—if amended in the Connecticut House of Representatives, as hoped—would prohibit pet stores from selling commercially bred dogs and cats! Instead, starting in 2016, Connecticut pet stores will be allowed to sell and/or adopt out only dogs and cats who came from animal shelters and non-profit rescue organizations.
If the hoped-for bipartisan amendment to H.B. 5027 succeeds, Connecticut will become the first state in the nation to enact this kind of law.
Passage of this measure would deliver a devastating blow to puppy mills, all while helping to reduce pet overpopulation in shelters. Talk about a win-win!