It’s been an incredible week for the animals! I’m excited to announce the passage of our bill in South Dakota that will prohibit discrimination against dogs of all kinds. And also the news from Chicago, where Best Friends played a key role in the passage of an ordinance to ban pet stores from selling dogs from puppy mills.
First, we turn to the Great Plains. South Dakota is known as the Mount Rushmore State. Well, move over Teddy and George! We’ve got a suggestion for a new face to chisel into the rock face … our own Ledy VanKavage, who, along with the crack legislative team at Best Friends, deserves the credit for the passage of this bill. Ledy spent quite a bit of time in South Dakota this year working with lawmakers, providing compelling testimony, and doing what she does best – protecting dogs from unjust and ineffective laws. We think she’d look good in granite! Of course, thank you to every South Dakotan who supported this and every lawmaker who voted yes.
Senate Bill 75 will prohibit any city or town in the state from enacting breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL). We know that BDL does nothing to make communities safer, and it costs too much money and far too many innocent lives. South Dakota joins a growing list of states that are working to ensure safe communities using a levelheaded approach.
If you’re in South Dakota, we still need your help. This is not a done deal until the governor has signed his name. He has five days to decide, so please click this link to take action right away!
Other states are considering this law right now. If you’re in Utah or Missouri, please take a minute to make sure you’ve told your lawmakers how you feel. We’ve made it very easy to do so; just a few clicks will make it happen.
Now to the Windy City. Chicago has become one of the largest cities in the country to ban the sale of mill-bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, following the lead of Los Angeles (the nation’s second-largest city saw their ordinance go into effect last year).
The Chicago proposal had broad support from many, and was led by the Illinois-based organization the Puppy Mill Project and Chicago City clerk Susana Mendoza. Our own Elizabeth Oreck was in Chicago to testify and reports that the measure will allow current pet stores a full year to “sell off” their inventory and convert to a humane model (adopt out dogs from shelters versus dogs from large-scale breeding operations). With Chicago’s proximity to the puppy mill industry in the country’s heartland, it’s a massive victory that will take a tremendous chunk out of the breeding-for-profit industry. We applaud all 49 city aldermen who voted yes.
Every day in some part of the country, your voice is needed to stand up for the animals. Please check out this link to see all of the legislative actions happening around the country. They’re ordered by state, so just look for those wherever you live.
What a week! Onward!
Together, we can Save Them All.
Best Friends Animal Society