Animal Advocacy

Animal Advocate

Animals can’t speak for themselves, that’s why they need you! Stay informed about animal advocacy issues and pending legislation in the Tampa Bay area, the State of Florida, and Nationally by visiting this page, then contact your representatives to make your voice heard!

Federal Level

Sign the Petition to Crack Down on Puppy Mills

“To prevent the suffering of dogs and puppies in puppy mills, will the President act to close the current regulatory loophole and require large-scale, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to be covered by USDA’s Animal Welfare Act regulations, including minimum standards for humane care and treatment? This will help to protect consumers from unknowingly buying sick puppies from inhumane facilities and help to eliminate the horrible conditions in large-scale puppy mills.”

Sign Here

U.S. Fish & Wildlife: Stop Using Tax Dollars to Declare War on Cats

Sponsor: Best Friends Animal Society HSTB Position: Support Action Needed: Sign petition (see link below)

Why this is important

On November 5, 2011, U.S. Fish & Wildlife personnel will be offering an all-day workshop in Hawaii, entitled “Influencing Local Scale Feral Cat Trap-Neuter-Release Decisions.” This workshop will provide attendees with the training and tools necessary to undermine non-lethal strategies being considered by elected officials during the decision-making process.

A full-day workshop declaring war on cats is a dreadful waste of tax-paying funds. Additionally, the lethal control of animals is ineffective and publicly unpalatable. The USFWS should begin promoting non-lethal alternatives for addressing wildlife concerns — specifically, the trap-neuter-return of free-roaming cats.

What you can do

Sign the Petition and get more information here. Tell Your Senators it’s Time to End Horse Slaughter

U.S. S. 1176—American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 Sponsor: Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) HSTB Position: Support Action Needed: Please call and email your two U.S. senators today to urge them to cosponsor and support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Find your senators’ phone numbers here.

Americans don’t raise horses as food and we don’t eat them. Sadly, even though the last horse slaughter plants in the U.S. were closed in 2007, American horses are still being shipped over our borders for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act would end this gruesome practice by prohibiting the transport of our horses for slaughter for human consumption. One quarter of the U.S. Senate now supports this legislation—we need to get a majority of the Senate to cosponsor it. Please help us!

Horse slaughter is not humane and it is not a form of euthanasia. And contrary to the misinformation spread by the horse slaughter lobby, it is not a “kind” act for our horses, nor would its resumption in this country create jobs.

Many of the horses who go to slaughter would have gone to good homes or sanctuaries, but the kill buyers outbid them and prevent these humane options. Our horses are then subjected to overcrowded transport over long distances: many are trampled, injured or killed en route to slaughter. Once they arrive, they are killed by inhumane methods. Some are actually dismembered while conscious.

Horses give their hearts to us. They helped us settle this country, carried us into battle, and continue to work hard for us every day. It is a betrayal to sell them to foreign butchers.

What you can do

Email your U.S. senators now and urge them to cosponsor the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act!


Place a brief, simple phone call to your two U.S. Senators in Washington, D.C., to request that they “Cosponsor S. 1176, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, and vote to prevent horse slaughter in the U.S.!”


Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act- H.R. 835 / S. 707 Sponsors: Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA); Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) HSTB Position: Support Action Needed: Email your federal legislators to ask them to support and cosponsor the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act!

This act would require all dog breeders nationwide who sell over 50 animals per year fall under the oversight of the USDA and be required to comply with regulations of the Animal Welfare Act, including providing the dogs daily exercise. In addition, the act permits the USDA to conduct inspections of the breeding facilities. Currently, only breeders who sell their dogs to puppy brokers or pet stores are required to be licensed and inspected by the USDA. If passed, the PUPS Act would require any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually directly to the public—including over the Internet—to also be licensed and inspected

What you can do

Please email your U.S. representative and senators today and ask them to support and cosponsor the PUPS Act!

STATE LEVEL Florida: Bills to Prohibit Sexual Abuse of Animals Pass! FL SB 344/HB 125—Sexual Activities Involving Animals Sponsors: Senator Nan Rich / Rep. Marty Kiar HSTB Position: Support Action Needed: None at this time.

Update, May 5, 2011: These bills have passed both chambers of the Florida Legislature and now go to Governor Rick Scott for his approval. Great job, animal advocates!

Sexually abusing any animal is always wrong—but due to an omission in Florida law, it is legal. Please contact your state legislators in Tallahassee now to let them know you want a good law against bestiality enacted this session.

Florida Senate Bill 344 and its House companion, House Bill 125, define sexual “conduct” and “contact” with animals and prohibit such acts. They also make it illegal to: “Knowingly organize, promote, conduct, advertise, aid, abet, participate in as an observer, or perform any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal for a commercial or recreational purpose.”

Most states have had laws against the sexual abuse of animals since the 1800s. In 16 states, this manner of animal abuse is a felony offense punishable by up to five, seven or even 20 years in prison. The Florida Legislature must clearly address and stop this abuse now!

Florida: Greyhound Racing Bill Fails in Final Hours FL SB 1594/HB 1145—Greyhound Racing Sponsors: Senator Maria Lorts Sachs (D-3); Rep. Dana Young (R-57) HSTB Position: Support Action Needed: None at this time.

Update, May 7, 2011: The Florida State Legislature adjourned for the year yesterday without passing Greyhound racing decoupling legislation. Although the House and Senate both passed their versions of the bill, these two versions contained slightly different language, which was not reconciled in time. Thank you for your help, advocates—you’ll be hearing from us again on this issue in 2012!

Amazingly, current law mandates that gambling facilities that have dog tracks must run races—even if the facility’s owner doesn’t want to because it is a money-losing effort! This mandatory racing requirement forces dogs to endure the inhumane conditions common at so many tracks while it wastes taxpayer dollars to regulate a dying industry.

SB 1594 and HB 1145 are not outright bans on dog racing. Instead, they would remove the “dog racing mandate” in state gambling law, which would result in many gaming facilities choosing to discontinue running dogs and, ultimately, bring about an end to Greyhound racing in Florida. This legislation does not impact other forms of gambling, such as slot machines and table games, which are more profitable than dog racing and do not cause animals to suffer.

Florida is one of only seven states still racing dogs, but it operates more tracks than all the other states combined. Passage of this “decoupling” legislation here will be a huge victory for Greyhounds everywhere! FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

Find your Representatives!
Happy Tails # 191
We adopted Harry and Charlie last summer after our 10-year-old chow mix passed away unexpectedly. Not only did they help us get over our loss, but they also helped my father recover from knee surgery by constantly being by his side. Now, they are the best of friends and we couldn’t be happier!

~Jerrica Serrano

  • 2016 (33)
  • 2015 (44)
  • 2014 (108)
  • 2013 (211)
  • 2012 (298)
  • 2011 (14)
  • 2010 (3)
  • 2009 (4)
  • 2008 (2)