Goldie’s Act Is Back: Urge Congress to Pass It!
Last Friday, U.S. Representatives Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Zach Nunn (R-IA) took a stand against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) failure to protect animals at puppy mills by reintroducing Goldie’s Act, a federal bill to strengthen the USDA’s enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. Recent high-profile cases reveal the USDA’s total failure to protect animals in federally licensed facilities, as the law requires. Goldie’s Act is urgently needed to ensure that the USDA is fulfilling its legal obligation of protecting animals in commercial facilities by documenting violations, helping animals who are visibly suffering and sharing information with local law enforcement.
Goldie’s Act honors the memory of Goldie, known only to her breeder as “Golden Retriever #142” during her short life. She suffered and died in a huge USDA-licensed puppy mill in Iowa. The USDA watched as she and hundreds of other dogs languished for months in enclosures overrun with vermin and feces and without adequate food, water, or veterinary care. Rather than intervening, the USDA let Goldie die in the horrendous conditions at that facility.
There are currently a quarter of a million dogs in USDA-licensed commercial breeding facilities facing the same threat of neglect and cruelty that Goldie experienced. Despite a Congressional mandate to enforce the Animal Welfare Act—the law that is supposed to protect animals in these facilities—the USDA allows licensees to do as they please. Though there were hundreds of violations of the Animal Welfare Act last year, no dogs were confiscated from problematic dealers and no dog-dealer licenses were revoked.
We have a rare opportunity this year to include Goldie’s Act in the Farm Bill, must-pass legislation that funds and governs many USDA programs, but we need everyone raising their voices to bring Congressional attention to this government-sanctioned cruelty. Let’s ensure that Goldie’s death was not in vain. Contact your members of Congress in support of Goldie’s Act today!