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Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick: https://fitzpatrick.house.gov/email; Rep. Guy Reschenthaler: https://reschenthaler.house.gov/contact/email-me (use zip code 15650); Rep. James McGovern: https://mcgovern.house.gov/contact/zip-auth.htm (use zip code 01604); Rep. Jimmy Panetta: https://panetta.house.gov/contact (use zip code 93940); Senator Richard Durbin: https://www.durbin.senate.gov/contact/email

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PETITION TARGETS: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Guy Reschenthaler, James McGovern and Jimmy Panetta; Senator Dick Durbin

Puppies stacked in filthy cages on top of each other, without access to socialization or exercise — those were some of the appalling conditions cited by lawmakers who have introduced a new bill to crack down on puppy mill breeders and strengthen protections for all dogs.

Legislators said the minimal protections for dogs in the federal Animal Welfare Act — including access to food, water, and adequate veterinary care — aren’t enough to minimize the effects of puppy mills, or large-scale breeding operations where puppies and dogs are often kept in cruel, unsanitary conditions without what they need to thrive.

H.R.1624, or the Puppy Protection Act, would amend that act and require commercial breeders to provide solid flooring for dogs in their living areas, enough space to stand on their hind legs without touching the roofs of their enclosures, and consistent access to exercise and socialization — defined in the bill as at least 30 minutes a day with people or other dogs and “positive” interactions, such as grooming or petting. The bill also would limit the number of litters each animal could have — to six within a lifetime, and no more than two litters in an 18-month period — and would encourage safe retirements for mom and dad dogs with an adoptive family or through a shelter.

No dog or puppy should be treated like a machine for the sake of profit. These protections are long overdue, and legislators must act swiftly to end the preventable suffering of vulnerable puppies and dogs!

Sign our petition today to show your support for The Puppy Protection Act!

We at Lady Freethinker also want to remind everyone that you can help stop puppy mill cruelty by adopting companion animals from local shelters and by never purchasing them from pet stores.