WEST CHESTER (March 25, 2019) – Puppy mill survivors and rescue dogs will visit state Senator Andy Dinniman’s West Chester District Office on Thursday, March 28 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. as part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness of inhumane puppy mills and pass legislation to better protect pet animals in Pennsylvania.
Dinniman, who is hosting the event in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States and Finding Shelter Animal Rescue, said that residents and members of the public were welcome to drop in and meet the dogs.
“We invite you to come in and meet the dogs for yourself, see for yourself that no pet animals deserve to be subjected to the cruel and inhumane conditions of puppy mills,” Dinniman said. “These dogs are a testament to the spirit of survival, resilience, and love, as well as living, breathing examples of why must pass Senate Bill 44 now to help put an end puppy mills in the Commonwealth.”
Dinniman is a sponsor of Senate Bill 44, dubbed Victoria’s Law, in honor of the Victoria, a 10-year-old German Shepherd puppy mill survivor rescued by Finding Shelter Animal Rescue.
The bill is designed to move the pet market toward more humane sources by prohibiting Pennsylvania pet stores from selling puppies, kittens, and rabbits coming from inhumane mills that treat mother dogs, cats, and rabbits as nothing more than breeding machines and their offspring as mere products.
In addition, the bill requires those advertising dogs for sale to provide their license number, name, and address in all advertisements to increase transparency.
Dinniman said it represents a reasonable way for the Commonwealth to start monitoring internet sellers and a good first step towards regulating internet sellers more in-depth.
Victoria was born at a puppy mill in Lancaster County and spent her entire life there as a breeding dog, being mercilessly overbred for more than a decade, before being rescued in 2017.
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. She and her foster caregivers, Finding Shelter co-founders Grace Kelly and Steve Herbert, spent the remainder of her life supporting important humane legislation to end puppy mills and protect animals.
“Sadly, Victoria passed away earlier this year, but she remains the namesake, inspiration, and impetus for this bill,” Dinniman said. “Our goal is to cut off the economic support of puppy mills, so that we can put them out of existence and ensure that no more dogs, like Victoria, are hurt by this cruel and inhumane practice.”
Dinniman has partnered with Senator Tom Killion in introducing the bill, which has been co-sponsored by 26 senators from both sides of the aisle.
The bill is similar to laws enacted in the state of California, Maryland, and more than 290 localities across the nation, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.