On March 1, lawmakers in the House of Representatives reintroduced legislation to close the loophole that allows large breeders to sell puppies over the internet and direct to the public without any federal oversight whatsoever. Lack of licensing and regulation has resulted in gross abuses of breeding animals and sick puppies sold to unsuspecting animal lovers by commercial dog breeders nationwide. The long-time obvious need for reform has galvanized animal lovers from coast to coast.
Called the PUPS Act, for “Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act” H.R. 835 is sponsored by Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif.
The bill amend the Animal Welfare Act to require all breeders selling 50 or more dogs per year directly to the public to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. Dogs must be provided opportunity for exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes per day, separate from their living enclosure.
Read text of the bill here. It was written in 2010. (The final version will likely be somewhat different.)
Call your congressman or woman today to voice your support of this bill. Thank you to sponsors Gerlach, Farr, Young, and Capps!
Weekly Watch Tip for week of March 28:
Watch and listen for pets that are being tormented or tortured by troubled teenagers or children, and call the authorities immediately to save their lives or talk to their parents as soon as possible. Even if animals are not physically injured, the emotional trauma resulting from intentional torment can create life-long fears and a potential for dire consequences.
Gucci and the Good Samaritan who loved him
On Wed., March 24, 2010, 16-year-old Gucci died. He was not “the” fashion designer–he was a dog who survived torture, and like Sunbear, inspired an animal abuse felony law, this one in Alabama called “Gucci’s Law.” The husky-chow mix was a sociable and handsome dog, and the distinctive ear stubs and facial scars from his ordeal made him recognizable everywhere. He became a celebrity, making countless appearances and even was featured in theatrical productions.
Gucci as a puppy was hanged by his neck and set on fire by a group of misguided youths in Alabama on May 19, 1994, and a Good Samaritan rescued him from certain death. Gucci was lucky that his torturers did not choose an isolated location. Instead of enduring extreme terror and pain until merciful death, he was rescued and immediately adopted by his rescuer, Doug James, who then provided access to the veterinary care and the treatments he needed to eventually recover fully. Gucci at the time of his rescue was owned by a teenage girl who wasn’t able to care for him, so she gave her dog to James.
James could have been too intimidated to take action, as many would have been. Or he could have called the authorities but Gucci most likely would have died horribly in the interim. He could have left Gucci in the care of his teenaged owner who did not have means to provide veterinary treatment. He might have provided immediate assistance and then passed him to an overburdened rescue or shelter. But instead this brave Good Samaritan went all the way and opened his home permanently to Gucci on the spot. Together Gucci and James inspired a law, and James devoted his life to spreading Gucci’s story, even writing a book about Gucci and other pet stories.
In one heartbeat, one warm spring night, while hearing a terrified puppy wail, James became an important animal advocate in Alabama. He took immediate action and he never looked back. Bless you a thousand times, Doug James; we share in your grief for the loss of your best friend Gucci. But be comforted by the fact that you and Gucci made a difference in Alabama and you both still inspire others today.
Way to go, Chinese animal protectors! China Daily announced a few hours ago that the Chinese government is passing new legislation to protect dogs and cats in a variety of ways, including eating them.
China has launched its first draft proposal to protect the country’s animals from maltreatment including a measure to jail people who eat dog for up to 15 days, the Chongqing Evening News reported today.
Interesting note on this is that the China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Corporation is backing the measure because they feel it will help with their down and cashmere exports. I would bet they feel that if China can’t export dog and cat pelts (usually marked as faux fur) then they will buy their products.
The fight is not over but what a good first step towards bringing China forward to a better society for people and animals!