Lawmakers Put Puppies Above Politics at Paws for Love Events!

February 15, 2019

a dog and a lawmaker

On Wednesday, members of Congress put their politics aside to hang out with some very cute adoptable puppies at this year’s Paws for Love, our annual Capitol Hill Valentine’s Day event hosted by the ASPCA with our guests the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus (CAPC). The event seeks to highlight the importance of pet adoption, as well as the work that shelters and rescues do every day.

During the event, legislators and their staff cuddled up to adoptable dogs and puppies who were on site from local D.C.-area rescues—and were even treated to a real-life cat in the hat! Staff were encouraged to enter the ASPCA’s #CutestCouples Photo Contest to join the fight for love and speak out against the cruel puppy breeding industry.

Formed in 2009, the bipartisan CAPC raises awareness of animal welfare issues. Over the years, the Caucus has helped pass critical new legislation, including laws to crack down on spectators at animal fights and protect victims of domestic violence and their pets. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)—who co-chairs the Caucus along with Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)—spoke to Wednesday’s crowd, calling attention to the role pet adoption plays in saving lives and urging his colleagues to join him in the Caucus. 

Nineteen members of Congress were in attendance to show their support, including Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA), John Katko (R-NY), Ami Bera (D-CA) and Dave Joyce (R-OH). Former Kansas Senator and lifelong animal advocate Bob Dole even made a guest appearance! By the day’s end, approximately 1,000 people had attended the event.

But that’s not all! In New York City, the ASPCA teamed up with Mayor de Blasio’s office to host a Paws for Love event for the Mayor’s staff. The event, which was held in the Blue Room at City Hall, educated staff about adoption, fostering and volunteering, and marked the first time the ASPCA had brought adoptable animals inside the historic building. Event-goers lined up nearly an hour early to meet adoptable animals; City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmember Carlina Rivera even crashed the event! By the end of the day, four ASPCA adoptable kittens found new, loving homes. 

We want to thank the members of Congress, the New York City Mayor’s office, and the staff members who were able to join us for these exciting events! Check out the photos below to see lawmakers and their four-legged friends at Paws for Love.

Is your member of Congress in the CAPC? If not, please urge them to join by visiting the ASPCA Advocacy Center now!

cat with a hat

Bob Dole

Judy Chu

two people holding a cat