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February 23, 2010

Michigan Citizen Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Protect Animals

Citizens from across Michigan will assemble Tuesday to meet with lawmakers to urge them to protect animals as part of Humane Lobby Day. The event is organized by The Humane Society of the United States to connect citizen lobbyists with lawmakers to support and encourage animal welfare legislation. Rep. Eileen Kowall, R-44, will welcome attendees to the state capitol and will speak about the need for better animal welfare legislation in Michigan.

Participants will encourage lawmakers to pass legislation to protect Michigan's animals. Citizen lobbyists will urge the introduction of legislation to strengthen protections for dogs at abusive puppy mills and to pass H.B. 5762, a bill to prohibit primates as pets.

"Michigan citizens want strong laws that will protect animals and our communities" said Jill Fritz, The HSUS' Michigan state director. "Humane Lobby Day is a wonderful opportunity for citizens to speak on behalf of the animals, and a great way to develop relationships with elected officials. Our members are excited to be engaged in the process and believe that animal protection is part of good government."

Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are 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 with inadequate shelter and care. These operations can range in size from several dozen dogs to hundreds of dogs, often stacked in wire cages, without exercise, socialization or human companionship. Cracking down on puppy mills protects both puppies and people. Stronger laws can prevent cruel treatment of dogs and help ensure that families aren't duped into buying a puppy that will bring them heartbreak and financial woes.

Primates as Pets

H.B. 5762 would prohibit the private ownership of primates as pets. Primates are wild animals and keeping them as pets threatens public health and safety as well as the animal's welfare. Primates can attack with deadly force as well as spread disease, and the average pet owner cannot provide the specialized care they need in captivity.

As infants, primates may seem cute and cooperative, but when they grow too aggressive and difficult to handle there are few options. These social, intelligent animals may spend their lives confined to small cages, isolated from others of their kind. Twenty-one states currently prohibit keeping primates as pets.

Last year, state legislatures across the country passed more than 120 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.

Find out more about Michigan's Humane Lobby Day.

Click on the following to learn more about puppy mills or why primates should not be pets

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Follow The Humane Society of the United States on Twitter.

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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