April 30, 2018

Take Action on National Animal Advocacy Day!

Zaza, a rescued pitbull

People always cheer when animal fighting rings are shut down. Sadly, though, that is just the beginning of what can be a long and even harmful process for the animal victims of this gruesome bloodsport. Because these animals are considered evidence as well as property, they must be “processed” as such. You can help change that and honor National Animal Advocacy Day today by supporting the HEART Act

The Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act (H.R. 398/S. 2633) would expedite the long process for rehoming and rehabilitating animals seized in federal animal fighting cases. It would also hold their owners financially responsible for their cost of care, relieving the burden on the shelters that house and care for victims pending the outcome of court proceedings. 

Importantly, the HEART Act would allow courts to take the animals’ welfare into account when considering delays in the judicial process. These victims of animal fighting deserve every chance we can give them to move swiftly to their new lives, and the shelters and law enforcement agencies who come to their rescue should not be hampered with the sometimes overwhelming financial burden of their care. 

Tom Colvin, Chief Executive Officer of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, has led his organization through dogfighting cases and said, “With the passage of the HEART Act, the costs involved in taking down large-scale dogfighting operations would be significantly reduced. Many more dogs could find the new homes they deserve if they did not have to endure the stress of long-term confinement during court proceedings. The HEART Act would be critical support for shelters, the government, and the true victims of these crimes.”

The federal government may hold dogs for months, or even years, after their rescue due to bureaucratic red tape—but we’re working to change that, and we need you by our side. You can help shine a spotlight on what happens after fighting rings are closed down. The most important thing you can do today is join our HEART Team, a nationwide network of advocates dedicated to passing the HEART Act. These advocates include everyone from directors at animal shelters and animal control officers to students to everyday people who care and want to speak up for animal fighting victims. We really need to grow this important team, so we’re making this our first request this year on National Animal Advocacy Day. 

Second, contact your federal legislators to ask them to cosponsor H.R. 398/S. 2633, the HEART Act. Survivors of animal fighting deserve second chances, and you can help make that happen by speaking to your federal elected officials on their behalf. Please also encourage your friends and followers on social media to take action! If we all work together we can get this important bill passed.

You’re reading this because you have room in your heart for animals. Take action today to help pass the HEART Act so that animal fighting victims, who have suffered so much, can more quickly find the forever homes waiting for them.