Two bills to help pets find homes will be heard this Thursday, March 20, in the Oregon Legislature.
House Bill 2804 would prohibit a retail pet store from selling dogs, cats or rabbits unless they come from qualified shelters and rescues (a proposed amendment will likely limit this bill to dogs and cats). We support this bill because it will give homeless animals more opportunity to find a home, and also because it will help reduce the market for mass-breeding operations (aka puppy and kitten "mills"), which typically sell to retail pet stores.
Senate Bill 638 would require facilities using animals for laboratory research to make the animals available for adoption, instead of euthanizing them, when they are no longer needed for research (with exceptions for health and safety). We support this bill, too, because it just makes sense to give research animals a chance to find a home when they are no longer used in research.
Here are ways you can help us support these bills:
Send comments (by 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 19) to the committees hearing the bills. For HB 2804 (the retail pet store bill), the committee is the House Committee on Business and Labor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. For SB 638 (the research animal bill), the Committee is the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Send comments to email@example.com.
Tell your legislators you support these bills. Be sure to tell them you are a "constituent" (meaning you live in the district they represent.) They may be on the committees considering the bill (click on the hyperlinked bill numbers above for detailed bill information including links to committee members). Even if they are not, they will have to vote on the bills at some point for them to pass. They may also be able to help get the bills approved by the committees (the first step to moving forward) by talking to legislators on those committees.
Attend the hearings and testify in person. Both hearings are at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St. NE, Salem. The retail pet store bill will be heard in Hearing Room E. The research animals bill will be heard in Hearing Room C. Be sure to arrive before the hearing starts and sign up to testify on sign-in sheet on a table instead the hearing room. Plan to keep your testimony to three minutes or less. Here are some other tips on testifying.
Thank you for helping homeless animals find homes!