WEST CHESTER (August 23, 2019) – State Senators Andy Dinniman and Tom Killion will speak at a rally this Sunday to raise awareness and gain support for Senate Bill 44, legislation to eliminate puppy mills by prohibiting Pennsylvania pet stores from selling commercially raised puppies, kittens, and rabbits.

The special event, organized by The Humane Society of the United States and Finding Shelter Animal Rescue, is set for Sunday, August 25th, 2019 at 3 p.m. at Upper Merion Township Building Park, located at 175 W Valley Forge Rd in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 44, introduced by Killion and sponsored by Dinniman, aims to cut off economic support for inhumane pet and puppy mills by moving the pet market toward more humane sources. It will not affect responsible breeders, as they would never sell their dogs to pet stores.

The bill has been dubbed “Victoria’s Law” in honor and memory of Victoria, a German shepherd who bred over 150 puppies during her life in a puppy mill before being rescued by Finding Shelter Animal Rescue.  As a result, Victoria suffered from paralysis due to Degenerative Myelopathy, a slowly progressive spinal cord disorder that resembles Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in humans. Sadly, she also passed the incurable disease to her puppies and innocent consumers who purchased her puppies were faced with high vet bills and emotional turmoil trying to help their sick pets.

“It is an unfortunate reality that breeders who provide little-to-no care for their dogs still exist in Pennsylvania,” said Killion. “Many breeders do business under the radar – in barns, backyards, and garages, making it next to impossible to directly shut down puppy mills. By cutting off their ability to sell animals to pet store’s Victoria’s Law will eliminate their ability to generate revenue.”

“Senate Bill 44 is as much about animal protection as it is about consumer protection,” Dinniman said. “No dog or cat should have to suffer as Victoria did, being mercilessly overbred and subjected to neglectful, inhumane, and downright cruel conditions. And no pet lover should have to share in that suffering because their pet faces a litany of genetic or other serious health conditions because it was born in a puppy mill.”

In addition to Dinniman and Killion, multiple state lawmakers, officials and animal advocates are expected to attend and participate in the event, including state Representatives Tim Briggs, Joe Ciresi, and Frank Farry, as well as Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director for the Humane Society of the United States and Grace Kelly Herbert, President and co-founder of Finding Shelter Animal Rescue.

Several shelters and rescues will also be on hand with rescue puppies and puppy mill survivors. Supporters are encouraged to wear purple and bring their rescued furry friend.