Today, the Virginia House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed SB 1381, requiring shelters in Virginia to be “operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes.” In other words, it does what the public already thinks shelters do and what the dictionary says they do. But some don’t. The bill is a response to PETA—which is licensed in Virginia as a shelter—killing over 90% of the animals, with no effort to find them homes and their taking Maya, a happy and healthy dog, from her porch while her family was out and killing her that very day.
Despite PETA’s intense lobbying effort to derail the vote, despite their hiring a professional lobbyist with donor funds to kill it, despite manipulating their supporters to urge its defeat by lying to them, today’s vote was not even close: 95 to 2. The bill has already passed the Senate. Not only does the outcome prove that participating in the political process—as thousands of Virginians did by writing, email and telephoning their Delegates urging a “yes” vote—can have a profound impact, but it shows that PETA has lost all credibility with the Virginia legislature.
The bill also forced PETA to once again reveal it’s true colors: that an organization claiming to represent the “ethical treatment of animals” would hire a lobbyist at donor expense to defeat an important piece of animal protection legislation demonstrates once again that PETA is not committed to furthering the rights of animals, but rather, to actively subverting them.
While the bill continues to make its way through the legislature and then to the Governor, on behalf of the No Kill Advocacy Center I have asked the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture to issue regulations requiring shelters in Virginia to maintain and provide records to the public that cover when and how each animal was taken in, why the animal was taken in, the condition of each animal, what attempts were made to reunite the animal with the family, the kinds of care and treatment each animal received, the disposition of each animal, and if the animal was killed, when and why the animal was killed.
A copy of the petition is here.
As I write in the petition for rulemaking,
“We believe that by passing the requested regulations, organizations will be less likely to abuse state benefits—benefits such as their ability to acquire the controlled substances used to kill Maya and others—to the detriment of the animals of the Commonwealth and the people who love them…
“We are asking you to pass regulations that will protect families in Virginia, protect animals, assist state regulators in monitoring the activities of its licensees, and provide taxpayers with the information they need to be informed citizens… As Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote, ‘sunlight is… the best of disinfectants.'”
The Commissioner of VDACS “directed staff to prepare and submit” the petition for consideration. The comment period opens today. If you live in Virginia, please email in support of the No Kill Advocacy Center petition. Your voice makes a difference.
You can do by clicking here.
If you do not live in Virginia, please share it with those who do.
Have a comment? Join the discussion by clicking here.