TAX Credit for PETS! Support THIS Measure and Rep McCotter!
If the Video does not come up of play click here: The Happy Act
According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, people love pets especially their own, which probably explains why 63 percent of US households have a pet. For many pet owners, happiness is pets.
Pets also provide health benefits for their human. Studies have shown that pets can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce stress, sniff out diabetes and cancer and provide companionship to ease feeling of loneliness.
In fact, the Human-Animal Bond has shown to be so beneficial to people’s emotional and physical health and happiness that Congressional Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R, MI) has been inspired to introduce a bill (HR3501) to amend the Internal Revenue Code to deduct pet care expenses. The Act is know as the “Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Year Act” or HAPPY Act.
If the HAPPY Act passes, pet owners would be allowed to deduct qualified pet care expenses such as pet products and pet services, including veterinary, that are related to the care of the qualified pet up to $3500.
To get this bill to pass, pet owners need to contact their Congressional Representative. Contact can be made by phone, letter or email just let them know you are in favor of HR3501.
House of Rep Switchboard – 1-202-224-3121
Dear California Advocates,
The California Responsible Breeder Act of 2009 is moving quickly toward becoming state law—the Senate is expected to vote on it as early as this week. It is crucial that your senator votes YES on this humane legislation that will help crack down on puppy mills.
If passed, the Responsible Breeder Act will limit the number of intact animals that large-scale breeding facilities are permitted to own. With this law on the books, law enforcement will finally have the authority to put an end to inhumane, overcrowded conditions at puppy mills.
Similar legislation limiting the number of dogs who may be kept by commercial breeders has already passed in Louisiana, Virginia and Washington. You can help California be next!
What You Can Do
We all hate puppy mills. This is your chance to really do something about them—call your state senator’s office today to urge him or her to vote in favor of the Responsible Breeder Act (AB 241).
Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to find your senator’s phone numbers and to let us know you called.
Thank you, California, for joining the battle against puppy mills.
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SB 250 – full Senate votes this week!
Here We Go Again… Help California SB 250
California SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter for dogs and cats, passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 28 and was amended yet again. It now moves to the full state Senate, which will be voting on it sometime during the week of June 1. The 2nd reading rule was waived, meaning that SB 250 could be voted on as early as Monday.
It is imperative that Californians contact their state senator immediately and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 250. Faxes can be sent and phone messages can be left over the weekend. We need a much larger response, from many more Californians, to stop this bill. Clubs, associations, businesses, and other organizations also need to act quickly. Please act! Here’s what you can do:
- The quickest way for individual Californians to send an opposition email or compose a letter to their own state senator is with the updated NAIA action alert. It just takes a few minutes.
- call the capital office of your state senator and ask him or her to oppose SB 250. Your senator’s capital office phone number can be found here. It takes less than a minute to make the call. Leave a voice message if no one answers. Politely say:
“Hello, my name is <your name>. I live in <your city’s name>. I’m calling to ask Senator <senator’s name> to please vote NO on SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter for dogs and cats, when it comes to the senate floor for a vote.”
- call the capital office of Senator Steinberg (the leader of the senate) at 916-651-4006 and ask him to oppose SB 250 as indicated above.
- fax a letter to your state senator and to Senator Steinberg. Use the NAIA letter writing tool or else our template for policy or fiscal arguments against the bill. The senators’ fax numbers are here.
- talk to your friends, co-workers, and club members and ask all of them to oppose SB 250. Send them to this site for instructions.
- convince your clubs, rescue groups, businesses, and associations to oppose SB 250
Organizations (clubs, rescue groups, associations, businesses, etc.)
- fax a letter to all of the state senators, asking them to oppose SB 250. You can get talking points using the NAIA letter writing tool or else use our template for policy or fiscal arguments against the bill. Customize it into your own words, or write your own own custom letter. Then either fax it to all committee members — the senators’ fax numbers are here — or else email it to us and we will fax it for you.
- contact every member of your organization and ask them to respond as noted above for Individuals
Your phone calls and letters will make a difference. Your vocal opposition to AB 1634 is what finally killed that bill. We can kill SB 250 but only with your help. There is no time to waste. The Senate could vote to approve mandatory spay/neuter as soon as Monday. Call and write now.
Legislation Passes in Pennslyvania HB 2525 to Regulate Puppy Mills
Trying to shed its reputation as “The Puppy Mill Capital of the East,” the Pennsylvania Legislature on Wednesday night passed HB 2525, a bill that will improve the lives of tens of thousands of dogs living in Pennsylvania’s puppy mills.
Introduced in May, HB 2525 doubles the cage space required for dogs in Pennsylvania’s commercial breeding facilities, prohibits wire flooring and the stacking of cages, mandates exercise and twice-yearly veterinary exams for all dogs, and requires that animals be humanely euthanized by licensed veterinarians.
The ASPCA has been working with the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for over three years to increase enforcement and standards of care for dogs in the state’s commercial kennels. We lobbied for passage of HB 2525 by activating the Pennsylvania members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and by spending much of the past several months in Harrisburg, the state capital, promoting the bill to legislators. Governor Ed Rendell signed HB 2525 into law the day after it was passed.
They treat animals like units of production. They overcrowd them and put our food supply at risk. They pollute the land and water.
“They” are Big Agribusiness, and they have raised and allocated $10 million to defeat a landmark initiative in California that would ease the suffering of millions of animals now confined in tiny crates on factory farms and suffering terribly. It’s called Proposition 2, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof called it “the most important election you’ve never heard of.” Indeed, because California is a trendsetter, this election has the potential to establish a better future for farm animals across the U.S.
Because of that, Big Agribusiness is investing millions in deceptive and false ads to disparage Prop 2.
The only thing that can stop them is you and me. We can match them ad for ad and tell our story to the people of California.
That’s why I am urging you to make a special gift today to the YES! on Prop 2 campaign
What’s Really Behind Forced Spay/Neuter Laws?
August 18, 2008
[Update: The California State Senate adjourned on Monday without voting on AB 1634. They’ll be back in session 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. If you’re in California, call and fax all the Senators and let them know you want real solutions for animals, not the empty promise and punitive measures of AB 1634. Be sure to tell them you’re a California voter, and that the AKC’s shift to neutral does NOT address the problems with this bill. Pet Connection Reader JenniferJ posted a list of phone and fax numbers here. ]
There’s a definite place in the dialog on animal welfare for civil discourse. We’re all different people, coming from different places, and we can learn a great deal from considering each other’s points of views, and exploring the nuances of our differences.
But sometimes what we need is someone to stand up and point out that the emperor is buck-naked, and oh yeah: it ain’t pretty.
And that, my dear readers, is when and why we need Nathan Winograd.
This week, Nathan’s got mandatory spay/neuter, and California’s AB 1634, in his sights.
At a recent California State Senate hearing on AB 1634, the bill that started out as mandatory spay/neuter law but has since devolved and been amended into oblivion, a Senator asked Ed Boks, the General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) and one of the bill’s chief proponents: “Mr. Boks, this bill doesn’t even pretend to be about saving animals, does it?”
To which Boks responded: “No Senator, this is not about saving dogs and cats.”
Ed Boks should know. Since passage of his local version of AB 1634, impounds and killing have skyrocketed at the Los Angeles pound he oversees, exactly as concerned animal lovers feared. In fact, the increased killing was the first at LAAS in over a decade.
As seen time and time again, mandatory sterilization laws are largely a distraction, increasing the power of animal control to impound and kill yet more animals, while they divert resources from programs that do work so that agencies can hire yet more officers to write yet more tickets and impound more animals—or threaten to do so—to no avail. So if it is not about saving dogs and cats, what is it about?
Good question, and one I wish more mandatory spay-neuter advocates, and the lawmakers they keep lobbying, would be faced with — and answer — more often. Because unlike Boks, most of them insist their efforts are, indeed, about saving animals, despite the absolute dearth of any evidence that forced sterilization of pets has ever reduced shelter killing anywhere it’s been tried.
So what’s it really about?
It is about taking the pressure off of their own failures. As the chorus of voices about the killing in California shelters and their own inability or unwillingness to do anything substantive about it grows, so do their attempts to divert attention elsewhere. For a diversion to work, you need someone to blame. And blame needs a boogeyman to be effective. The boogeyman here is that the shelter is merely doing the dirty work of an “irresponsible public” and all those who stand in their way are labeled animal haters.
This approach takes its cues from Karl Rove’s post 9/11 three-step strategy:
1. Invoke 9/11
2. Do whatever you want
3. Silence concerned critics by claiming they don’t care about protecting Americans
The proponents of AB 1634 have tried to sell it in much the same way:
1. Invoke 9/11 pet overpopulation
2. Do whatever you want
3. Silence concerned critics by claiming they don’t care about protecting Americans animals
That explains the true believers, but Nathan also points out that there’s something darker at play here: the desire to punish “bad” pet owners.
While they claim to be motivated by saving lives, there is something much more powerful driving them: the desire to punish. An activist truly focused on lifesaving, who subsequently learns that punitive legislation is not only a dismal failure, but that it has the opposite results (more impounds, more killing), would end their support of such methods and begin to push for more compassionate leadership at animal control or the programs and services of the No Kill Equation.
In an article I’m writing on how the growing housing crisis in America is affecting pets and pet owners, I’m seeing this in play again and again: shelter directors and animal workers who implement policies and perpetuate attitudes that actively harm pets, simply to punish their owners for not living up to their lofty standards of “responsible pet ownership.”
So, as we watch the advocates of the gutted-and-amended-and-amended-and-amended-again AB 1634 make one more grab at the brass ring in California’s senate this week, I can’t help but ask: what if we’d spent all this time and money and energy in trying to achieve a better future — and life — for the state’s dogs and cats by implementing the programs and policies that have worked in communities all over the country (including in California) to bring shelter live release rates above the 90 percent that is the goal of the no-kill movement?
Of course, that wouldn’t have taught those rotten irresponsible pet owners anything, would it?
In the last two decades or so, the number of dogs and cats being killed in shelters has dropped from 23 million to less than 4 million. The number of dogs and cats adopted from shelters rose from 17 percent to 23 percent. As Rich Avanzino from Maddie’s Fund has pointed out, simply bumping that up to 25 percent would cover the number of dogs killed for population control in American shelters. And nearly all dogs and owned cats are already sterilized — voluntarily. And yet the demonization of American pet owners continues, and is even on the rise.
By Christine Keith, Pet Connection
Forced Spay-Neuter Update: AB 1634 on Schedule For Today
August 12, 2008
No additional amendments … yet.
Update with proposed amendments. At this point, this does nothing to address the problem of people being forced to give up pets because they can’t afford the fines … and that means more pets in shelters, more pets killed in shelters and more cost to taxpayers.
Meanwhile, the people who gave up a pet will just get another, from all the people who don’t pay attention to the laws now. After all, would you go adopt a pet from a shelter that worked so very hard to kill your previous pet and makes it very clear you are considered law-breaking scum?
Here’s previous information. If you’re a California resident and haven’t called or faxed your state Senator, please take the time to do so now.
Contrary to the claims of its sponsors (and counter-intuitive to many), forced-spay neuter laws increase shelter populations and shelter killing, as people give up their pets rather than pay fines, and then get another pet, but not from the shelters that they now see as “the bad guy” after animal control took their pet.
Instead of pushing a policy that doesn’t work, community-based no-kill solutions bring pet-lovers together to put and keep pets in homes, and to help bring spay-neuter and other services where people need them, at a price they can afford. This is the direction we need to take to bringing shelter populations down, not sound-bite, sound-good legislation with disastrous unintended consequences for people and pets.
California forced spay-neuter update: Amended, still alive
August 6, 2008
In California, the new AB 1634, which makes spayed and neutered pets the status quo, with no exceptions, no due process and no protection from harassing neighbors or vindictive civil servants, was amended yesterday without addressing the state’s Department of Finance objections that the increase in shelter population and shelter killing forced spay-neuter laws bring would cost the state money.
If you’re a California resident, call and fax your state Senator today to tell him or her that you don’t want more pets to die, and especially not on your tab. Forced spay-neuter regulations have increased shelter populations and shelter killings everywhere they’ve been tried, as people who can’t afford either spay-neuter or fines dump their animals and get new ones from people who ignore the law or are outside the jurisdiction — or are exempted, as in the case of ”licensed breeders” — a/k/a puppy mills — and their Internet or retail outlets.
People want to do the right thing, and will spay-neuter if services are made affordable and taken to where they can get to them, as with a mobile clinic. If the people who believe punish the poor laws will help, in denial of all evidence, would embrace no-kill, pet-friendly carrot-not-stick initiatives, we’d really see success in reducing shelter kill rates.
Instead, we get more legislation that kills more pets, at tax payer expense. And, as a bonus, we lay the groundwork for the destruction of our heritage breeds and allow the government one more area of control over our lives, by making them the decision-makers for what should be an informed decision by a pet-owner after a discussion with a veterinarian.
Call. Fax. This is bad public policy. Speak up and stop it.
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