The Animal Welfare Act currently applies to breeders who sell to pet stores, but because online breeders sell directly to consumers, they’re considered retail outlets even though they breed hundreds of dogs. The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, known as the PUPS Act, will close this loophole.
If the PUPS Act is passed the regulations will require all commercial breeders to meet same basic care requirements. That includes the size and cleanliness of the living spaces and giving the puppies daily access to exercise in a way that is not forced, repetitive, or restrict. The dogs’ living quarters and exercise areas needs to be spacious, cleaned at least once a day and is free of infestation by pests or vermin, and is designed to prevent the dogs from escaping. There is an exemption–a licensed veterinarian may determine that a dog should not exercise because of a health condition, or well-being of the dog. All breeders would be licensed and subject to unannounced inspections. All breeders would be treated the same.
Common sense would wonder why would anyone be against this proposed law!
A similar PUPS Act was introduced last year. The proposed bill was sent to the Agricultural Committee for consideration. It was never brought up for discussion. No representatives had an opportunity to vote FOR or AGAINST the it. It is the Committee Chair, working closely with Speaker of the House, who decides which bills his committee gets to discuss and vote on.
Why didn’t the House Agriculture Committee bring up the PUPS Act is anybody’s guess. Let’s look at the Act politically. The Republican core philosophy strives for smaller government and to reduce the government regulations. This bill does the opposite. The Republicans do not look favorably when an Industry needs to spend more to stay within the law. Look at some comments to our first PUPS Act article letter from Rep. Reed’s facebook site:
“–How do you define “Commercial Breeder”, I agree that anyone that mistreats dogs should be prosecuted for their crimes, but do you really think that every litter should be signed off on by a politician?”
(NEW NY 23rd–This does not refer to ‘every litter’, only to breeders who try to sell 50 or more offsprings a year.)
–So the way this reads is that the Gov(ernment) just wants its fair share of the cut from puppy sales.
(NEW NY 23rd–I don’t see that in the law, but the law is actually an amendment of the American Welfare Act. If there are fines, then yes, the government will receive the money.)
The Republicans’ belief that internet sales of pets should be regulation-free is similar to their thoughts on gun sales and background checks. Purchasers of firearms from a gun shop are required to get a background check, but if they buy the same firearm at a gun show or over the internet no background check is needed. With that mindset, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be a block of Republican Representatives who will try to block the PUPS Act.
Last year was an election year. The Republican leadership would have wanted to protect their membership. Who wants to go into a campaign just after voting against Puppies?
That shouldn’t stop us from contacting our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed at his website http://reed.house.gov/ or his facebook page or by phoning/faxing his Washington office (phone (202) 225-3161, (fax) (202) 226-6599). I would suggest that we ask him to urge the Agricultural Committee to bring the PUPS Act up for a vote, and to support it.
We should also contact Rep. Frank D. Lucas, Chair of the Agricultural Committee, who let the PUPS Act died in his committee last year. His website’s address is http://lucas.house.gov/ , his phone/fax his Washington Office (202) 225 5565 (fax) (202) 225-8698. We should urge him to bring the PUPS Act up for a discussion and a vote.
I would also keep my eyes open for a Rep. Reed Town Hall Meeting near you and go to it and ask him directly. You could contact one of Rep. Reed’s District Offices (Corning, Jamestown, Geneva and Olean, the contact numbers are listed on the Connections tab at the top of this page under the picture) and let the Aide know how you feel.
Rep. Reed should know how we feel and we should know where he stands on the Act. If you contact Rep. Reed, or Rep. Lucas, or their offices, feel free to share their comments.