UPDATE 9-18-08 – PA Puppy Mill Bill Passes House!

Yesterday hundreds of people and their dogs came surged on the Capital to show their support of PA’s proposed ‘Puppy Mill’ bill which would reform the standards in commercial kennels in Pennsylvania.

HB 2525 would double cage sizes, ban wire flooring, require annual veterinary exams and outdoor exercise areas, and set lighting, temperature and ventilation standards in kennels among it’s changes. It would also provide that only veterinarians could euthanize dogs which is an important part of this, especially after last months brutal killing of 80 dogs by the Zimmerman brothers who rather than care for the dogs in their kennels after being cited for problems, decided just to shoot them all.

“The support for legislation to ensure the humane treatment of dogs in Pennsylvania’s large, commercial breeding kennels has never been higher, and the momentum to get these improvements to Pennsylvania’s dog law made has never been greater,” Rep. James Casorio Jr. said.

On Monday, the House slapped down many amendments that were designed to do nothing more than hold things up and water down the bill whose only aim is to bring humane standards to an industry that is rife with cruelty and abuses.

The bill is expected to pass the House then it heads to the Senate where it will likely face the same challenges again and the biggest problem is that if it’s not passed quickly, it will die this session and have to start all over again. And if it dies, so will many more dogs that live in deplorable conditions.

“There are a lot of special-interest groups in this building fighting to defeat this legislation,” Rendell said on the Capitol steps during the noon rally, which drew animal advocates from around the country.

“What does it say about us that we allow people to shoot and kill dogs?” he asked the crowd.

Rendell said the bill still faces a fight in the Senate, so he urged people to contact their state senators to encourage their support.

“Go to your senators and tell them this is an issue they should vote on,” he said before Maggie cut him off with sudden, persistent barking. “Tell them you’re not going to apologize for being a single-issue voter. … “

There are numerous special interest groups, armed with high-paid lobbyists, are fighting the bill, for fear it would force them to invest their profits back into the treatment of their dogs, which can sell for hundreds of dollars each.

“There are many reputable commercial breeders in Pennsylvania, and the department has worked with them and other segments of the kennel community to make sure this legislation does not impede their ability to breed and raise high-quality show dogs, sporting dogs, and companion dogs,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolf. “Unfortunately, there is still opposition from the groups for whom this legislation aims to raise the bar — those who raise dogs for tremendous profit with little or no regard for the dogs’ welfare or the welfare of the families who come to own them.”

TAKE ACTION!

Don’t be afraid to give your state representative a last minute push. Is your representative on board? Find out HERE! If not, contact them NOW! There is no time to lose! Not sure who your state representative is? Find out HERE, just enter you zip code. You can find all their contact information. See the Important Points below to hit when you talk to them. Be polite but firm!!

So even if HB 2525 passes the House today which it is likely to do, the fight is far from over!

I urge all Pennsylvanians to contact you senators – you can find the list HERE, and let them know that you support the bill.

Important Points!

1. Remind your Senator that dogs in Pennsylvania have been suffering for far too long and deserve better conditions and protection than they are currently afforded by law;

2. Mention that House Bill 2532 is NOT Democratic or Republican issues – the humane treatment of dogs is a concern for ALL Pennsylvanians in every part of the state;

3. If your state Senator is NOT supporting HB 2525, ask how they can possibly side with an industry that places profit over the health and welfare of innocent dogs;

If your state Senator IS supporting the Bills, remind them how important the humane care and treatment of dogs in breeding kennels is to you and thank them for their continued support and anticipated vote FOR the legislation.

Each day that goes by without the passage of House Bill 2525 represents yet another day that dogs in Pennsylvania are suffering for the sake of profit. By working together and letting our officials know how strongly we feel about both pieces of legislation we may actually make the summer of 2008 the last summer breeder dogs in Pennsylvania spend sweltering in rabbit hutches or stacked in cages in unventilated barns.

For those outside Pennsylvania, you can still contact the PA Senators. You can let them know that the eyes of the country and the world are watching them. Let them know that you will not support Pennsylvania through tourism or industry and you will urge friends and family to do likewise. Where the bill is being held up, it is only because they worry about loss of revenue from special interest groups supporting this vile industry. Let them know they will lose a lot more revenue if they don’t support it!

Everyone please, this is not just a Pennsylvania problem! Don’t think the dogs bred in PA puppy mills stay in Pennsylvania. They are shipped all across the country and with the puppies come diseases and a plethora of other medical problems. We all pay the price!

So now it’s time to pick up the phones, write email, write letters… raise your voices! Be polite but be firm! Actual letter will send the strongest message. Start now and don’t stop!

Please , help to get the word out too. Send this to everyone you know, friends, family… post this on forums and groups. You may be one person and I am only one person, but together with many others, we can be a force to be reckoned with.

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