Dog law action update

Editor’s note: It’s important that you contact your state Rep. and Senator to get a “yes” vote on this. To locate your representative and senator, visit www.legis.state.pa.us.

House Bills 2525 and 2532 are Advancing!

Thanks to the dedication of Pennsylvania dog lovers who called, wrote and e-mailed their representatives, these two important pieces of legislation have moved out of committee and on to the House of Representatives for a vote.

While this is a huge step forward, there is still work to be done.

The bills have passed their first hurdle, but there are many more steps they must take before getting to the Governor for signature to become law. There is opposition to these bills, and time is running out to get them passed in 2008. Not passing these bills now could mean Pennsylvania dogs living in commercial kennels would spend another winter in the freezing cold, snow and rain.

Protecting Dogs:

Among other protections for dogs, H.B. 2525 doubles the minimum floor space for dogs and requires solid flooring, as well as access to an outdoor exercise area twice the size of the dog’s primary enclosure. The legislation would also mandate annual veterinary care, and eliminate the stacking of cages for adult dogs.

Improvements to the welfare of all dogs are included in H.B. 2532. Specifically, debarking, the practice of cutting or destroying a dog’s vocal cords, would only be done by a veterinarian, as would surgical or cesarean birth. Tail docking would be allowed by individual owners until the dog is three days old, after which point it must be done by a veterinarian.

For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us/doglawaction.

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