Calling All Residents of New Haven, Hamden, and North Haven!

Residents of New Haven, Hamden, and North Haven: You have a special opportunity to ask your State Senator Martin Looney for his support for anti-puppy mill legislation!
Saturday, March 29, 10am, at Books & Co, in Hamden, 1235 Whitney Ave.
See you there!

Puppy Mill Program_Hamden_3-29-14

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The truth about the origins of CT’s pet shop puppies…

Have you read this report on CT’s pet shops?

Carefully researched over several years from CT Dept of Ag records, in painstaking detail, with photos, and quotes from USDA inspectors, this factual compendium proves that nearly all CT pet store puppies come from puppy millsClick here to read.
Some lawmakers feel pet shops simply need to eliminate a “few bad apples” from their supply chain and that will fix everything. But this report clearly proves we have a fully rotten industry with pet shops as complicit partners in cruelty.

Please review this report and learn the truth. Then contact your State legislators and be sure they understand that allowing pet shops to sell dogs from commercial breeders means we are supporting animal cruelty, and that is unacceptable. Please visit http://bit.ly/1dvLh8T for instructions on writing your message.

Thank you for speaking for puppy mill dogs.

Now is the time to contact your elected officials

Victory for puppy mill dogs is within reach, but only you can make it happen.

During the past year, animal advocates have made great strides in exposing the truth about where pet store puppies come from, and built a solid argument in favor of humane pet shops.

 

But no matter how strong our argument is, the single biggest factor in our success is the number of phone calls and emails lawmakers receive from all of you.
 
Many lawmakers are hesitant to pass legislation that may hurt a small business, and they claim they do not hear from enough animal advocates. It is up to you to remind them that these pet shop businesses are founded on cruelty, that there are well over hundred other pet businesses in CT that do not sell commercially bred animals, and that as a voter, you believe pet shops should be required to upgrade their business to a humane model.

 

Unless your elected officials hear from you this week, this legislation may not get proposed in the form we would like. Please email or call your State Representative and State Senator, you can find their contact information here:
http://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CGAFindLeg.asp  Even if you have contacted them before, please do so again. You may use the language below, or, compose your own message.

 

Together, we can win this, but you must make your voice heard!

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[SAMPLE MESSAGE]

 

Dear Rep. or Sen. _________
As your constituent, I am writing to ask for your support for 2014 legislation to stop the sale of puppy mill dogs in Connecticut’s pet shops.
I believe CT should require its puppy-selling pet shops to stop selling commercially-bred cats and dogs and instead upgrade their business model. More than 115 other CT pet stores have built strong businesses by partnering with pet adoption organizations, stocking pet food and supplies, offering training and grooming, and more.
Please consider the following facts:
  • CT’s pet shops have built a business on cruelty. Researched testimony submitted to the Task Force on this topic indicates that fully 70% of the USDA-licensed breeders used by CT’s pet shops in 2012 have documented violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The full report on the origins of CT’s pet shop puppies is available online here, and includes photos and quotes from USDA inspectors that are chillingly cruel.
  • Even the breeders without USDA violations need only meet a minimum set of standards that are woefully inadequate. A representative of the ASPCA prepared a summary of the regulations within the AWA that essentially allow for federally-sanctioned cruelty, including wire floors, lack of bedding, and dangerously non-specific veterinary care requirements. This means that a “clean” report from the USDA in no way indicates a humane, healthy breeding environment. 
  • The CT Alliance for Humane Pet Shops counts 75 business and organizations who believe CT can do better. These members (listed on the right side of the Web page)  represent nearly all major animal welfare organizations in Connecticut, and many caring merchants who believe in ethically-run businesses. They believe the time has come for Connecticut to take a stand against puppy mills and they fully support legislation to stop the sale of commercially-bred dogs and cats in CT pet stores.
In Connecticut, we have an obligation to cease doing business with the rampant cruelty in the commercial breeding industry. Instead, we should support the local business of responsible home breeders, shelters, and rescue organizations.

Again, I thank you for your service in the legislature, and hope you will  support Humane Pet Shop legislation.

Sincerely,

[Name]

[Town of residence]

Task Force Meetings Update

The state legislative task force is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, January 14 at 10:30, and on Thursday, January 23 at noon to discuss testimony and prepare its report. Meetings are open to the public, and will be held at the Legislative Office building in Hartford in room 2D. They may also be broadcast on CT-N http://ct-n.com/

 

A Quick Update from CVA…

Happy New Year! January will be very busy for the Alliance. The Task Force will meet on January 8 and 14 to discuss testimony and prepare a report. Please check back for updates about the results. Both of these meetings are open to the public, and will be held at 10:30, at the Legislative Office building in Hartford in room 2D. They may also be broadcast on CT-N http://ct-n.com/

Humane Pet Shop Campaign Update

This fall has been an incredibly busy season, but we are pleased to report that we have made significant progress toward stopping the sale of puppy mill dogs in Connecticut’s pet shops! Here is a summary of our accomplishments so far:

State Task Force hearings

The state task force held two hearings, one in October, one in early December. We are so thankful to everyone who submitted letters, or came in person to show support at these hearings.

We received very compelling testimony in favor of humane sourcing in our pet shops, including representatives from rescue organizations, veterinarians who have witnessed medical issues of puppy mill dogs, local reputable breeders who condemn the traditional pet shop model, and many citizens with well-reasoned arguments against supporting puppy mills. We also heard from an owner of H3 Pet Supply in Stratford who spoke to the many benefits of the humane business model.

Finally, we received two lengthy reports, researched and submitted by Karen Rasmussen, of Wilton, CT, which directly expose the breeders that supply our pet shops. These reports tell us that in 2012, a total of 608 breeders were used to supply 11 pet shops in CT. 52% of these breeders had USDA violations. 26% of them were not found in the USDA database, and are presumably unlicensed. I urge each of you to further review the important information in these reports: the first focuses on 30 breeders on the HSUS list of the “Horrible Hundred” puppy millers. The second is a complete compilation of 2012 breeders that supply each of our pet shops.

The Task force will reconvene in January for two meetings to discuss received testimony, before making a final recommendation to the Environment Committee. The legislative session starts in February 2014.

News and media coverage

The humane pet shop issue has generated significant news coverage, appearing on local nightly news, all major newspapers, and many radio stations. See this page for a selection of articles, letters, and TV clips from this fall.

As an indication of the campaign’s spotlight status, the humane pet shop bill was named among the top issues for the 2014 Legislative session by the State Office of Legislative Research, and was featured in an online Courant gallery this week.

CT Alliance for Humane Pet Shops still growing

The CT Alliance for Humane Pet Shops has grown to 67 members and counting! Please take a look at the list of members on the right side of the page on the Alliance Web site, and if there are any missing, we will appreciate your help in recruiting! Membership is open to both organizations and businesses with activity in Connecticut. We thank CVA board member Karen Laski for her tireless work in building the Alliance’s membership.

It’s time to start the conversation with your elected lawmakers

Thanks to the hard work of the animal advocacy community, the humane pet shop campaign is off and running!

But the most powerful asset to our campaign is your voice. Please take a moment to send a short email to your State Senator and State Representative and ask them to support humane pet shop legislation (Find their contact info here). Ask them to require pet shops to stop selling commercially bred dogs and cats and instead allow them to partner with rescue organizations. There is sample language here you may use for your email.

Together, we are a powerful voice, and we can win the fight against puppy mills.