Written by Becky Monroe
Across the country, the pet industry is grasping to hold on.
They are appealing and fighting legislation across the states and cities, using all the money and power they can muster to win and stay in business.
They have gone so far as to create faux organizations that appear to be humane, so that they can confuse voters and get them to think legislation that is bad for animal welfare is actually good.
In Florida, Petland started an organization called “FL Pet Protections” in order to create confusion. They put in bill SB994 and called it “The Pet Protection Act,” yet it is anything but protective of animals. In fact, the bill itself would prohibit future humane ordinances that prevent pet stores from selling mass bred animals. Right now Petland is also pushing for SB620, a bill that would punish cities that pass any ordinance that affects a business’ profits by more than 15%. This bill would stop all future humane ordinance work.
In Illinois, a similar story unfolded. The pet stores in Illinois created a similar faux group titled “Protect our Pets Illinois” and pushed for a repeal bill that would undo the statewide law that requires them to partner with rescues and shelters.
Just days before the effective date of the state law that would prohibit pet stores from selling mass bred dogs and cats statewide, the pet industry sued the state and filed an emergency injunction to stop it. Thankfully the judge denied their temporary restraining order and the stores have to go humane.
They are desperate and willing to do anything because the truth is finally catching up with them.
They try to say that “we” are taking away the only income they know. They argue that they have every right to earn a living.
I think what is important to dissect here is that “we” are not a competitor. Unlike Apple versus Android or Facebook versus Twitter, we are not here to compete and gain market share.
They are fighting to stay in business and make money – to profit from the helpless dogs they keep as prisoners. And “we” are doing everything we can to free those dogs and get them the life they always deserved.
Please read the paragraph again because it is critical in this fight against the puppy industry.
They keep dogs in heinous, cruel environments while breeding them both carelessly and inhumanely- all to make money.
We want to end this cruelty. I think, sometimes, where things get confusing for people is that they believe that this cruel world of mass breeding is already illegal and that we are, perhaps, overextending our demands on people just trying to make a living.
Factory breeding of dogs is NOT illegal. Puppy mils are NOT illegal.
Our goal is to make them illegal, but we can’t do it without your help and your friend’s help and your neighbor’s help.
Many people have told me for years, “I don’t know how you do it. I could never go into a mill auction and rescue a dog – it would break my heart.”
i understand, but what if I told you that you can save a mill dog by staying in the comfort of your own home. You can change the lives of thousands of dogs across the country, by never leaving your house.
Not everyone realizes what it takes to make change, In our country, much if it happens through legislation.
The people we vote into office at both the state and federal levels matter. And it is really important to know who they are and to be in contact with them – especially when issues that mean something to you come into play.
Right now, it is very likely that there is a bill floating around your state legislature that will either help or hurt animals. Without ever having to step foot in a shelter or see a helpless dog who will make you sad, YOU CAN STILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!
We need voters to contact their legislators and let them know what they want for the animals.
We are up against a business that will stop at nothing to keep operating. They have millions of dollars to spend on lobbyists, commercials, social media, etc.
We, as a whole, do not have the funds they do because we are non-profits. We don’t work to make money. We work to create a kinder, more humane world.
Our biggest asset is our voice and our voice is only as loud as the supporters we have. You are a supporter and we need you now more than ever.
I believe we are on the precipice of real change for the first time ever concerning the pet stores and puppy mills, but that also means that they are on edge and doing whatever they can to stop us.
Help us put an end to puppy mills. Help us end the money driven cruelty.
You don’t need to expose yourself to a shelter. You don’t need to donate a dime. You just need to contact your legislators and tell them you don’t want pet stores selling mass bred puppies or kittens and you want to see puppy mills be a thing of the past.
Bailing Out Benji prides itself on staying current with important animal welfare legislation. For a look at what needs your voice visit us here.
I know it might seem a bit scary to contact a legislator, but keep in mind they work for you and your vote. Their number one job is to listen to their constituents. Phone calls, letters, emails to them do not have to be masterpieces, they can be short and to the point. Just simply tell them how you feel about the issue or the bill at hand.
If you do like to write, one other thing you can do to help animals from your living room is submit a letter to the editor of your local paper describing current legislation and how it will affect the animals. This helps spread the word about the issue and prompts other people to get involved.
Your voice matters and for the animals – it is the only voice they have.
We recently sat down with Amy Jesse, the Policy Director of the HSUS Stop Puppy Mills Campaign to talk about the bills and ordinances that are being discussed across the country. You can listen here or watch on YouTube!
And please don’t forget to sign up for our action alerts! We will let you know what is happening in your city and state, so you can easily get involved!