Federal Issue Brief

 H. Res. 220 National Animal Rescue Day

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AVMA Position:

No Action 

Summary:

Introduced by Congressman Robert Andrews (NJ-1st), this resolution expresses support for the designation of the first Saturday in October as "National Animal Rescue Day" to create awareness, educate humans of the importance of adoption, and create a humane environment for any pet, including the importance of spaying and neutering of animals, and encouragement of animal adoptions throughout the United States. 

Background:

  • The AVMA supports public education campaigns that help pet owners be more responsible and concerned.
  • Comprehensive public education campaigns to prevent relinquishment require the commitment and cooperation of state and local governmental agencies, humane organizations, and veterinary associations.
  • Education to prevent relinquishment should include tenets of responsible pet ownership, including appropriate selection, the importance of spaying and neutering, keeping pets indoors or in restricted environments, preventing or solving behavioral problems, and consulting with veterinarians for information on these issues.
  • The AVMA encourages all independent sources of pets (e.g., breeders, pet shops, shelters, animal control facilities, private individuals) to educate new owners about the importance of surgical or nonsurgical sterilization and regular veterinary care.

Justification:

  • While the AVMA is very supportive of the work local animal shelters do to educate the public on responsible pet ownership, the importance of spaying and neutering, and the availability of adoptable animals, no position was taken on this resolution due to some concerning factors including:
    • Support of the recommendations may have unintended consequences by having a sense of undue burden placed on shelters, rescues, and other adoption organizations that already run similar programs with their own goals.
    • Some of the data, wording, and goals in the resolution does not appear realistic.
    • The mentioning of the "Pawtograph signings" could be seen as supporting an individual group's personal agenda with profit to be made.
  • For more information see AVMA policy Dog and Cat Population Control.

Current Status:

  • House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Whitney L. Miller, Assistant Director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3211.