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A Republican and A Democrat are Teaming Up In The US Congress To Help Dogs

Paws Up!

To Senators Kamala. D. Harris (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) for introducing S 2633, the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act to help dogs seized from dog fighting operations.

Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states. Many dogs never live to be rescued. They die in fights, are killed by dog-fighters, or die miserable deaths from neglect. So what happens to the dogs who are rescued? Those who are lucky enough to be rescued by law-enforcement may be seized from a property, but in addition to being victims, they are also evidence. Therefore, many of these dogs must wait in holding until the conclusion of a case. Dog fighting cases may not be resolved for over a year in court. Meanwhile, animal shelters housing abused animals endure many months of expenses and the dogs endure increased stress from many weeks in a kennel environment. 

Specifically, the HEART Act would:

  • Change the law so that the government must notify interested parties within 30 days after an animal’s seizure.  Currently, the law allows a 60-day period.
  • Require the court to consider the animals’ welfare when seeking to extend a notice period.
  • Require offenders to to reimburse the government for costs of caring for seized animals in federal fighting cases.

Take action. U.S. residents, contact your legislators in the U.S. Congress and urge them to support the HEART Act. Feel free to use NHES’ sample action letter below.

Re: S 2633, the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act

Dear Sen. or Rep. [Last Name]

My name is [Your Name] and I am writing to encourage you to support S. 2633 or the HEART Act, a bipartisan bill to promote the expedient legal processing of animals seized from federal fighting cases and a bill to compel offenders to reimburse the government for the costs of caring for seized animals. In cases like dog fighting, the dogs themselves are both victims, and evidence. While the charges play out in court, many times these dogs are left in shelters where their care is paid for by public funds, and where the dogs themselves must wait in a kennel environment before rehabilitation or adoption can take place. Depending on the case, this may go on for over a year. The HEART Act aims to hold offenders accountable for their crimes by compelling them to assume care costs and hopes to minimize any additional stress to animals who have already suffered trauma. I hope very much you will support The HEART Act.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

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