February 2, 2017

New Bill Will Help Cut Red Tape for Victims of Animal Fighting

Heart Act

The ASPCA regularly assists law enforcement in rescuing animals from the cruelty of animal fighting. During dog fighting raids, we find dogs—even puppies—tethered to heavy chains living without food, water or proper shelter, and horrifically wounded and scarred. After medical attention and rehabilitation, many dogs rescued from these cruel situations can go on to enjoy happy lives in loving homes. But sadly, far too many suffer in limbo as their abusers’ court cases progress through our slow-moving legal system.

The lengthy holding periods in federal animal fighting cases can result in debilitating stress and health problems for the animals involved, even when shelters provide high-quality care. Also, the astronomical cost of holding and caring for seized animals for long periods unnecessarily burdens animal protection groups and local shelters. These problems can discourage future animal fighting investigations, meaning fewer animals get saved.

Thankfully, Reps. John Katko (R-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) have introduced the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act to help the innocent victims of animal fighting.

The HEART Act will require owners of animals seized in federal animal fighting cases to be responsible for the cost of their care. The bill will also expedite the rehabilitation and rehoming processes for these animals to get them into safe and loving homes faster.

This important bill needs your help! Contact your U.S. representative today and ask him or her to support the HEART Act to help save more animals from the cruelty of animal fighting.