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Charlie Crist, Brian Fitzpatrick Bring Back 'Puppies Protection Act'

May 2, 2019 - 12:00pm
Charlie Crist and Brian Fitzpatrick
Charlie Crist and Brian Fitzpatrick

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., both members of the Congressional Action Protection Caucus., brought back a bill reforming the Animal Welfare Act and another on how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) handles commercial breeding licenses. Also on board are U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Penn. 

The congressmen’s “Puppy Protection Act” tweaks USDA regulations under the Animal Welfare Act to enact  “stronger standards for veterinary care, housing, breeding practices, and specific standards for socialization and placement of retired breeding dogs” for commercial dog breeders that engage sell dogs to retailers and brokers. 

Fitzpatrick introduced the bill this week. 

“It’s crucial we stand up for animals—both as individuals and as a society. That means strengthening important regulations under the Animal Welfare Act to meet this goal,” said Fitzpatrick. “As a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring our government is doing its part to promote animal welfare.”

“Our four-legged, furry friends need us to be their advocate in the people’s Congress,” said Crist on Wednesday. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan piece of legislation that gives voice to the voiceless, protecting man’s best friend from exploitative dealers and breeders.” 

“I have long championed legislation that protects our nation’s animals from abuse and neglect,” said Reschenthaler. “By moving toward more humane standards for commercial dog breeders in our country, this bill will promote animal welfare and provide enhanced protections for the puppies throughout our country. I hope these efforts will improve the lives of our dogs and defend these creatures who cannot defend themselves. Too many of our dogs currently suffer from inhumane conditions, but I look forward to working with my colleagues Representatives Fitzpatrick, Crist, and McGovern to provide protections for these animals in the future.”

“Despite the Animal Welfare Act, too many dogs are still treated inhumanely by commercial breeders and spend their whole lives in conditions that most dog owners would find cruel and completely unacceptable,” said McGovern. “I’m proud to join Representatives Fitzpatrick, Crist, and Reschenthaler in introducing this important bipartisan bill.”

The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and the Animal Welfare Institute are supporting the bill. 

“We envision a day when a puppy will never again find her paws and legs trapped in the wire flooring of a stacked cage at a puppy mill.  The Puppy Protection Act will strengthen baseline standards of care that must be provided by large commercial dog breeders,” said Sara Amundson, the president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Thank you to the leadership of Reps. Fitzpatrick, Crist, McGovern, and Reschenthaler for introducing this important bipartisan measure to improve the living conditions of dogs and puppies. We will fight to support its passage.”

“The Puppy Protection Act will help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs kept in inhumane conditions by federally licensed commercial breeders,” said Richard Patch, the vice president of federal affairs for the ASPCA. “Current regulations allow dogs in federally licensed facilities to spend their entire lives in filthy, crowded cages stacked on top of one another with no access to adequate veterinary care or regular exercise. We thank Representatives Fitzpatrick, Crist, Reschenthaler, and McGovern for their continued leadership on the Puppy Protection Act and call upon USDA to ensure the thorough and proper enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.”

“AWI thanks Reps. Fitzpatrick, Crist, Reschenthaler, and McGovern for their efforts to update and enhance the requirements for the care of dogs in breeding facilities.  Such improvements are long overdue for both breeding facilities and all entities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act,” said Nancy Blaney, the director of government affairs at AWI.   

Crist and Fitzpatrick championed the same bill at the start of last year but were not able to get it over the finish line. 

The bill has been sent to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. So far, there is no Senate counterpart. 


Agree with many statements made here. Thanks for moving towards progress. surely much more needs to be done to hold people accountable. Please look up Humane Society, good for lining their own pockets..shameful:(

Agree with many statements made here. Thanks for moving towards progress. surely much more needs to be done to hold people accountable. Please look up Humane Society, good for lining their own pockets..shameful:(

Why can't you add in more punishments for abuse. We just had a guy sentenced with probation for starving a dog in Hazelton PA. to the point that it ate part of itself. Yes, it ate itself because it was being starved to death. Where is the legislation to punish people this cruel? What about the puppy mills run by the Amish in Lancaster Cty PA? Why can't you shut them down? They don't treat them as pets, they treat them as livestock to be slaughtered when they don't produce anymore. We're supposed to protect the ones that can't protect themselves, we need more meat in this legislation and less fluff.

What about the babies Brian? Old dogs didn't vote for you to save puppies, but adults voted for you to save preborn babies from murder at planned parenthood's!

This bill is about DOGS ... What did you not understand? Being pro-choice is for saving the lives of thousands of women who would die if abortion is illegal. Being pro-choice is pro-life and, most importantly, the more compassionate side of this debate. Compassion for the women, especially the poor. Keep your beliefs out of politics. If you are so concerned about preserving life, help the thousands of starving children in our country.

Nothing -- absolutely nothing supported by the HSUS will pass the smell test! If U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick are so gullible to actually believe the HSUS is an "animal protection" organization, they shouldn't be representing the citizens of their states! The HSUS is actually animal rights and an "animal ownership abolitionist" organization"!

I would love to be excited about this but the USDA inspectors don't do their jobs. How can we be assured they will enforce these wonderful changes when they have been allowing horrific animal cruelty to continue? For instance, all these horrible amish puppy mills have been allowed to continue and no doubt will. I have another good question. Why is our government allowing commercial breeders (puppy mills) to torture and BREED MILLIONS of animals (causing overpopulation) for profit and forcing us taxpayers to foot the bill to shelter, feed, vet then KILL MILLIONS of unwanted, beautiful, innocent, adoptable dogs?? Makes No Sense!! Time for the madness to stop! The USDA inspectors can inspect all the shelters instead IF they actually do their jobs. Otherwise it's time for someone else to oversee our shelters that currently no one is overseeing, allowing horrific abuse there as well! PLEASE STOP COMMERCIAL BREEDING if you really want to help the voiceless animals!! And let's start inspecting our shelters!

Lynda, you pointed in the correct direction at exactly the cause of the problem. Oversupply of animals makes them inexpensive to buy and easy to discard.. Shelters are just encouraging this trend. I stopped giving to animal shelters exactly for this reason, because saving unwanted animals creates vacuum in demand, encouraging breeders for profit. The ideal situation where there are no animals to shelter

Thank you Rep Christ for your compassion toward animals. I am a part time resident of both PA and Fla and am looking for something to be proud of in both states among our present dark political landscape. Thank you to both you and Rep Fitzpatrick for helping me find a bright spot in both places.

Thanks so much Rep Fitzpatrick. This makes me proud to be one of your constituents. Please keep up the good fight for our animals, wildlife and environment!

Thank you Mr. Fitzpatrick for supporting bills like this to protect those without a voice. No animal deserves to live in cruel conditions but especially dogs as they have been bred to be companion animals. I also want to thank you for your independence from just following the party line on many important issues.

A big thanks to Congressman Fitzpatrick for helping to introduce this bill to help curb unhealthy, greedy breeding tactics and to assist in providing better treatment of retired breeding dogs. Thank you to Congressmen, Crist, McGovern, and Reschenthaler as well. Less than two years ago, I was encouraged by the A.S.P.C.A to contact my local congressman, who is Congressman Fitzpatrick regarding this matter and I am very pleased by the prompt action to see this bill introduced to congress in the hope of providing better treatment for puppies and older dogs at this time. Thanks again Congressman Fitzpatrick!

Before there are more expansions in regulation on even small breeders (as few as five intact females?), the rescues and shelters MUST become regulated! Dogs in many of these places are living in worse conditions than breeder dogs. Yet little to NO oversight, inspections and regulation. Rescue dogs deserve quality living conditions too, and better safety from a plethora of highly infectious diseases and parasites than what is reality now for hundreds of thousands of rescue dogs too.

It is very clear that no matter what any given representative does, alone or cooperatively, there will be a LOUD number of naysayers, all too eager to slam and destroy.... So very little gets done in Congress anymore, and I doubt I will live long enough to see any notable improvement; so, I will honestly applaud the small gesture by a handful of compassionate legislators to do something....anything. Thanks, guys!

Crist and Jolly "bright spots"???? Ha,Ha,Ha!!!! They were BOTH "failures of the first order",.. and like "bad pennies", memories of them keep turning up whenever "carried by Democrats grasping at straws"!

Will someone please inform these idiots that the goal of the HSUS is zero animal ownership? They must be bought and paid for by the millions of donations from people who believe this organization does good things. They do NOT!

And animals come before people. Too bad they don't care that much about children kidnapped, especially through DHS and sold into sex slavery, attacks on Christians and Jews, all sorts of sexual debauchery being shoved down children's throats in the public school system, theft of private property though eminent domain or other sleazy tactics, loss of parental rights to make decisions about their children, elders abused and property stolen, protection and rewarding of criminals, AKA illegal aliens, and the list goes on.

Whoever submitted the negative comment insinuating that Brian Fitzpatrick has no regard for kidnapped children sold into sex slavery, obviously you do not follow our Congressman. He has done much to end the horrific sex slavery of children going on in this country. Please do you homework before posting such lies.

The ONLY bright spot in Republican governance of Florida over the last 21 years were the four years former Republican Charlie Crist was Florida's governor. (Former Florida U.S. Rep. David Jolly is another excellent, traditional, former Republican - now turned ani-Trump Independent.)

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