February 11, 2009
Citizen Advocates Converge on Minn. Capitol, Urge Lawmakers to Protect Animals
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Citizens from across Minnesota will assemble at the state capitol Wednesday to rally in support of animal protection legislation and to meet with lawmakers today to urge them to pass animal protection bills. Humane Lobby Day is being sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States.
Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-51, will attend the lobby day. Reps. Michael Paymar, DFL-64B, and Joe Mullery, DFL-58A, will meet with the citizen volunteers to help them learn about the legislative process and how they can be most effective in making their case for stronger laws protecting animals.
Humane Lobby Day participants will focus on two issues — the mistreatment of animals at abusive "puppy mills" in the state, and restoring the state's longstanding protections for mourning doves.
Minnesota has some of the worst puppy mills in the country, and currently the state has no licensing, inspection or regulation process for these mass breeding facilities. Puppy mills are factory style breeding facilities that mass produce puppies for sale in pet stores, over the Internet and directly to consumers. Puppy mills commonly house animals in overcrowded, filthy and inhumane conditions — breeding dogs are confined for their entire lives in wire cages stacked on top of each other, with no exercise, socialization, or human interaction.
Sen. Betzold has introduced S.F. 7, the Puppy/Kitten Mill Bill, to protect dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from inhumane breeding practices and conditions by giving the state of Minnesota the authority to license, inspect and regulate the dog and cat breeding industry.
The HSUS also supports an effort to restore protection of the mourning dove, with possible legislation later this year. Potential adopters are encouraged to visit humanesociety.org/stoppuppymills for information about how to discern a reputable breeder, if they can't find what the want at a local shelter.
"Humane Lobby Day provides an opportunity for animal advocates to make their voices heard in support of strong laws to protect animals in Minnesota," said Howard Goldman, Minnesota senior state director for The HSUS.
This year's Humane Lobby Days are scheduled at 41 state capitals.
Last year, state legislatures across the country passed 93 new laws for animals. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators across the country to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.