Fitzpatrick Recognized for Animal Welfare Work
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08), a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, received the Humane Society’s Legislative Leader Award for his work on animal rights issues.
“It’s crucial we stand up for animals—both as individuals and as a society. As a member of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring our government is doing its part to promote animal welfare,” said Fitzpatrick. “I am grateful for this recognition and look forward to continuing my work with the animal advocates on common sense legislation that addresses this important issue.”
Fitzpatrick scored a perfect score of 100 on the annual Humane Society Congressional Scorecard. The scorecard provides a snapshot of animal protection issues considered by Congress and gives advocates a tool to assess the performance of their representatives by tracking key votes and co-sponsorship of important pro-animal bills and letters. More than 30,000 Humane Society supporters reside in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District.
"Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is a fierce advocate for the humane treatment of animals. He has supported several key animal protection bills and is currently leading legislation to crackdown on puppy mills - large, commercial dog breeding operations that keep dogs in filthy, inhumane conditions,” said Sara Amundson, Executive Director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We are grateful for Rep. Fitzpatrick's leadership and dedication."
Fitzpatrick has championed several pieces of animal welfare legislation, including:
- The WOOF! Act, H.R. 4691, will address significant deficiencies in Animal Welfare Act (AWA) enforcement that have been identified by multiple Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audits. The USDA often allows licensees with severe and multiple AWA violations to be licensed year after year. Additionally, problem breeders whose licenses have been suspended or revoked can essentially obtain a new license under a family member’s name, even while owning the same animals on the same property. This bill will prohibit the issuance or renewal of a license to breeders whose previous licenses have been revoked or suspended, or to their immediate family members at the same address.
- The Puppy Protection Act, H.R. 4693, will reform weak animal care standards that have been in place for over 50 years to ensure dogs are treated humanely. Currently, breeding dogs can spend their entire lives in cramped, stacked cages with wire flooring without key vaccinations or continuous access to water. The new standards will:
- Ban harmful practices such as cage stacking and wire flooring.
- Require larger enclosures, including spacious outdoor exercise runs for all adult dogs.
- Require that all dogs be fed at least twice a day and have continual access to clean, unfrozen water.
- Require dogs to be protected from sweltering or frigid temperatures.
- Require that each animal receive a hands-on veterinary examination each year, as well as routine vaccinations and parasite prevention.
- Require that each dog receive regular socialization with humans, such as petting and playing.
- Prohibit the overbreeding of dogs or the breeding of dogs that may pass on inherited diseases or defects to their offspring.
- Require that breeders make every effort to find humane placement for retired breeding dogs rather than destroying them.