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Will PA pups ever get a break?

September 13, 2010 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode

What can you do to help our furry friends who cannot speak for themselves?

Pennsylvania remains one of the weakest states in our nation when it comes to enacting proper legislation to protect our domesticated animals. Pennsylvania laws protecting animal welfare are so antiquated and our legislators are so reluctant to act that the advocates who have been working to seek new legislation have found themselves spinning their wheels for more than six years. Meanwhile thousands of dogs continue to die of abuse and neglect every day - many freezing in the winter and dying of heat stroke in the summer - because there are no adequate laws to protect them from careless, or, worse yet, uncaring owners. - Amy, Bo, Gracie, and Oakley

Currently, the battle continues to be only fought by passionate individuals and groups whose attempts continue to go unheard by the Pennsylvania legislature.

GOOD NEWS! California, Texas, Nevada limit tethering of dogs! Read all about it and see what other states are working on laws HERE. Pennsylvania legislators need your phone calls and letters ASAP!


Not sure who your current PA State Representative is? Click here and enter your zip code in the top right corner: CLICK HERE


Contact members of Congress/House of Representatives HERE and find sample letters HERE on how to draft correspondence on companion animal legislation.


Pennsylvania Advocates to Rally at State Capitol on September 13

Animal advocates from across Pennsylvania rallied today, September 13,  on Harrisburg’s Capitol Steps sending a message to state legislators: Pass Animal Legislation now.

...The rally on the 3rd Street steps from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is a follow-up to years of effort by animal welfare advocates to pass legislation to improve the lives of all companion animals living in the state’s shelters, commercial breeding kennels and homes.

“In this significant election year, here's our chance to make sure legislators hear us: pass meaningful animal welfare legislation,” said Helen Ebersole, president and co-founder of United Against Puppy Mills, one of several groups organizing the rally.

Legislation relating to how long animals may be tethered outside, health and sanitation regulations in commercial breeding kennels, and eliminating carbon monoxide “gas chamber” euthanasia of shelter animals has long languished in the General Assembly or been diluted before being passed.

Steven Hoover, director of the League of Humane Voters’ Western PA Chapter, supports Senate Bill 672 to outlaw carbon monoxide euthanasia in animal shelters. The bill was introduced in 2006, but has yet to be passed, even though legislators assured Hoover it would be.

“This General Assembly is lagging way behind other states,” Hoover said. “This rally is to try to get them in step with states that have made great strides in getting animal welfare legislation passed. All of us in the animal protection community vote. If the people in this General Assembly won’t listen to us, we will find someone who will.”

Legislators returning from summer break Sept. 13 were met by rally attendees and their canine companions who are asking all legislators to create animal welfare policy statements – essentially putting their intentions on paper to ensure accountability.

“Over the last five years we’ve heard many promises that, in some cases, amounted to lip-service and we’d like to see our elected officials live up to the guarantees they made,” said Jenny Stephens, director of the animal advocacy group North Penn Puppy Mill Watch.

Tamira Thayne, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, which seeks to limit the length of time dogs may be chained outside (S.B. 1435), will also speak at the rally about similar laws that easily passed in many other states.

“Here in Pennsylvania, six years have gone by while we attempt to pass much more modest legislation,” Thayne said.

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