Celebrating Victories for Virginia’s Animals

Celebrating Victories for Virginia’s Animals

To all my fellow animal lovers, I am thrilled to tell you that last week the Governor of Virginia signed three bills that will save and protect the lives of animals in Virginia! The 2014 Virginia General Assembly ended its annual legislative session on March 8th and these bills will become law on July 1st.

I need to breathe before I yell out …. YIPPPEEEE!!!! 

THANK YOU is not sufficient but it is the sincerest words that I have to convey my deep appreciation for all of the intense advocacy by all of you during the legislative session. These bills passed because of YOU, your countless phone calls, emails, Lobby Day visits and social media sharing! For example, the Pet Protective Order bill was almost a DECADE in the making and I am so thrilled it finally passed, a direct result of your engagement – you made it happen. Victims of domestic violence and their pets are now afforded this basic protective tool. Please send an email of thanks to the bill patrons if you have not done so already!

HB 972, introduced by Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, passed the Virginia Senate with overwhelming support this year. The bill allows people who file domestic violence charges against a partner to obtain custody of their family pets and prohibits further violence directed toward the pet.

“I am pleased that HB 972 has passed the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This important legislation will help provide victims with the security they need to successfully escape an abusive relationship,” said Del. Cline.

SB 228, also known as Bailey’s Law, led by Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, unanimously passed in the Virginia General Assembly. Under Bailey’s Law, pet stores must inform customers about the source of their dogs. This could prevent many people from unknowingly purchasing a dog bred by a cruel puppy mill. 

Bailey’s Law is a giant step forward for Virginia. Consumers will be able to make informed purchasing decisions about the pets they choose to bring into their families. This bill will prevent many people from suffering the heartbreak of having to bear the financial cost of acquiring a sick pet that was bred in a puppy mill.

SB 42, patroned by Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax, finally passed the General Assembly after three hard fought years. Fox pens host staged competitions where wild-caught foxes are thrown in electrified-fenced enclosures for dogs to chase down. This bill prohibits any new fox pens from being opened, which will spare the lives of thousands of foxes in the future. The bill also phases out existing pens over time.  

Attorney General Mark Herring’s office, along with Senator Marsden, have been true champions of this legislation and this fight. Without their testimony, efforts and support along each step of the way, this bill would have never succeeded through the legislature.

Again, these victories were possible thanks to the actions of compassionate advocates like you. When we stand together, we can make a tremendous difference for animals, and those that seek to perpetuate cruelty will fail against our strength and passion.

Please take a moment to click each link above and send an email of solidarity, appreciation, and support to each of these humane legislators. They have worked hard to bring commonsense humane laws to the state of Virginia. They deserve to hear the excellent job they are doing in Richmond.

– Laura

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