On Thursday, April 20, 2017, a bill was voted on in the state of Alabama by the Governmental Affairs Committee of senators to help stop the cruelty of the puppy mill industry in the state. The bill, titled “Atti’s Law,” was created by the Alabama Puppy Mill Project and named after a pug that had come from a puppy mill but was purchased in a pet store in Dothan, Alabama and died of parvovirus shortly after being taken home. Alabama is one of many states that have yet to pass laws regulating the sale and management of breeding facilites for animals. Twenty-nine other states have passed similar bills to Atti’s Law that have successfully prevented or stopped the destruction that the animal mill industry creates, but our state has yet to pass one.
To summarize, the bill’s purpose was to establish a standard of care and regulations that animal breeders would have to meet. These standards would be observed through inspections and investigations on facilites, license requirements, and regulated through a committees database of breeders and sellers, disciplinary actions, and consumer interest information. All in all, everything the bill would entail selllers and breeders to do would be fair and benefit those in the industry drastically that already have proper management and care situations. You can read more about the exact bill.
If you are unaware, the puppy mill industry is one that has more of an outreach than you would expect. A few statistics are that in the United States alone, there are approximately 10,000 puppy mills, annually there are about 1.8 million puppy mill puppies sold, and around 152,772 dogs kept soley for breeding purposes. For even more information you can take a look at the APSCA’s website to understand what “life” at a puppy mill is like, health problems that puppy mill puppies commonly have, legislation, and how to avoid to puchasing a puppy mill pet.
After being told that certain senators were committed to voting yes on the bill, there were some that did not show or went against their word and voted against the bill. The five senators that voted “no” against Atti’s Law are Senator Clay Scofield (who was said to persuade the other “no” voters), Senator Shay Shelnutt, Senator Paul Bussman, Senator Paul Sanford, and Senator Phil Williams. Below I will list all of their contact information including their counties, phone numbers, and emails.
- Sentor Clay Scofield- Blount, DeKalb, Madison and Marshall
- Senator Shay Shelnutt- Jefferson, Blount, St. Clair, and Talledega
- Senator Paul Bussman- Cullman, Lawrence, Marion, and Winston
- Senator Paul Sanford- Madison
- Senator Phil Williams- Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, and St. Clair
If you are someone that feels passionately about this matter or even someone that just does not like the idea of sweet, innocent animals suffering for no reason, contact these senators and express your disappointment in them. Their job is to fulfill how we as citizens believe bills should be voted on, and not their own personal agendas. Remain respectful, but stern when contacting them because this bill is something that we hope to see passed at a later time, and we may still need these specific senator’s votes at a later date.
Please also remember these names when U.S. Senate elections are held in November of next year. If these are not the people sharing your voice and voting how you would want them to, it is very important to vote accordingly come election time and keep those names off of your ballot!