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The HSUS Praises Calif. Senate for Passing Bills to Protect Animals

California Becomes 6th State to Adopt Anti-Puppy Mill Legislation This Year

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States commends the California Senate for approving three bills introduced by Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, aimed at improving the lives of animals in California. The bill package passed the Senate with solid bipartisan support. The Humane Society of the United States calls on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to enact all three pieces of legislation.

"We commend lawmakers in California for passing this raft of legislation to protect animals from cruelty and abuse, and especially Assemblyman Nava for his effective leadership," said Jennifer Fearing, The Humane Society of the United States' California senior state director. "The anti-cruelty laws of a state are a reflection of our basic values and attitudes toward animals, and this collection of bills is a measurable step forward for the state of California."

Nava introduced the three-bill package: Assembly Bill 241, the Responsible Breeder Act of 2009, will curb abuses at puppy mills by limiting to 50 the number of adult breeding dogs or cats confined in large-scale commercial operations. Assembly Bill 242, the Dogfighting Prevention Act of 2009, upgrades the penalties for attending a dogfight, to crack down on spectators who fuel this criminal industry with admission fees and gambling wagers. Assembly Bill 243, the Animal Abuse Prevention Act of 2009, will prevent convicted animal abusers from owning other animals in the future. California's adoption of the anti-dogfighting legislation means it is the 26th state to upgrade its animl fighting laws since the Michael Vick case came to light.

Facts about puppy mills and dogfighting:

  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life.
  • Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant heat cycles and are typically confined for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
  • Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog's health, genetic history or future welfare. Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or website; instead visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder's facility in person.
  • Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia passed laws in 2008, and Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington have passed laws this year.
  • Dogfighting is a felony in every state. Cockfighting is illegal across the country, with varying penalties. In some cases, animal fighting is also a violation of federal law.
  • Dogfighting is a criminal industry; more than 250,000 dogs are placed in dogfighting pits each year.
  • The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 40,000 people follow organized dogfighting circuits across the United States while an additional 100,000 meet on neighborhood streets, alleys and hideaways to engage in street dogfighting.


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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.

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