Animal Legal Defense Fund Ranks U.S. State Animal Protection Laws

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) recently released its 14th annual U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Ranking Report for the year 2019.

The ALDF assesses each state’s animal protection legislation and ranks them from strongest to weakest.  For 2019, Illinois ranked first, followed by Oregon, Colorado, Maine, and Rhode Island.

At the bottom of the rankings, Mississippi has the weakest animal protection laws, followed by Iowa, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Wyoming.

New Hampshire and Montana are the most-improved states, thanks to recent legislation to ban animal fighting paraphernalia and to remove animals from abuse and neglect situations.

The banning of animal fighting objects and instruments is a trend in several states.  Also trending are state laws that prohibit people convicted of animal abuse from owning (or living in the same household with) an animal.

You can click on their interactive map to see how your state ranks, and you can download the full ALDF rankings report HERE.

 

Video: NFL Star Raises Awareness About Dogs Left Outside in the Cold

Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu has teamed up with PETA to create a public awareness video on the dangers of dogs being kept outside in freezing cold weather.

Tyrann stepped into a walk-in freezer to experience what it must be like for dogs left out in the cold.  He pointed out that their food and water also freeze solid when left outdoors in the cold.

Tyrann lasted about 20 minutes, but some dogs are left outside all day and night.

PETA recommends talking to your neighbors if you see that their dogs are left outside in the cold.  You can also see if your local government has a policy on chained dogs.

Check out the full video below and click this link for helpful tips on keeping pets warm in cold weather.

 

House Passes PACT Act to Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Crime

The PACT (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture) Act was passed unanimously in the US House of Representatives this week.

This act would expand on a prior law that criminalizes the production and distribution of animal torture videos.  Passage of the PACT Act would criminalize acts of animal torture at the federal level as well.

Representatives Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) sponsored the bill, which states that any person who intentionally engages in animal cruelty would face federal charges.

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate in February.  If the Senate passes the bill and the PACT Act becomes law, convicted individuals will face fines and up to 7 years in prison.

Check out this fact sheet on the PACT Act from Congressman Deutch to learn more.

 

California Bans “Easter Bunny” Sales in New Animal Welfare Law

This Easter marks the first year a new California animal welfare law designed to protect rabbits goes into effect.  California is the first state in the US to ban live rabbit sales at pet stores—an effort to cut back on the number of rabbits that are either abandoned, surrendered to shelters, or euthanized after Easter.

This is the same law that also bans the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores.  Pet stores can still house adoptable dogs, cats, and rabbits from local animal shelters.

According to an article from Reuters, animal shelters see a spike in rabbit intakes one to three months after Easter.  The House Rabbit Society notes that thousands of rabbits, many still under one year old, are surrendered to California shelters.

Under the new law, rabbits will still be available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups, so California rabbit fans have the opportunity to provide a new forever home for rabbits in need!

 

Happy National Pet Day!

April 11th is National Pet Day, a great time to celebrate our pets…and to raise awareness about the many dogs, cats, and other animals waiting for their new forever families in shelters right now!

Pictured above is recent FACE Success Story Pup, a 9 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).  Pup received life-saving spinal surgery with the help of a FACE grant and is now doing well!