Thursday, March 4, 2010

De-Vocalization Bill Passes Massachusetts House!

Thanks to the hard work and support of a grassroots movement of dog lovers, the Massachusetts House just moved forward on HB 344, An Act Prohibiting De-vocalization, as written! In an overwhelming 150-1 vote, the House moved the bill forward where it will now be heard by the state Senate (the lone dissenting vote was Rep. George Peterson, R-Seventh Worcester).

What to do today? Hug a legislator!

Call, email or most appreciated of all, send a hard-copy note. It doesn't have to be long. Thank- you notes are important, and not just because your mom said so; they help cement relationships with legislators, encouraging them to embrace future humane bills.

If you choose to email, put “Thank you for supporting H344!” in the subject line. Then write a short message, with your name and address. Constituents rule.

Please also thank the heroes of the day, who saved the bill, even if they're not your representatives.

They fended off amendments proposed by the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association, which would have effectively killed the bill. If the following are not your Reps, don't bombard them with calls. Send an email (with "thank you for supporting H344" in the subject line) or, the gold standard, a note that you put a stamp on and mail:

Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera,
Rep. Bill Bowles,
Rep. Will Brownsberger,
Rep. Jennifer Callahan,
Rep. Gene O’Flaherty,
Snail mail: State House, Boston 02133

Rep. Coakley-Rivera, from Springfield, made an impassioned plea for passage of the bill without amendment. She said, "(My dogs) are members of my family. They may not be search dogs who find people…or assistance dogs working with children. But they are special to me. (De-vocalization) involves monetary profit, not love of animals. (It) is inhumane and must be stopped. Most people who de-vocalize their dogs don't take the time and training. Little dogs have a tendency to yelp, it's their only defense. I brought my friend who has sat here for the last 40 minutes and not said a word. He gets love and humane treatment from my family. Please accept this bill as written."

Thank you, Rep. Coakley-Rivera! And thank you all the legislators who moved this bill forward!

What's next? The Massachusetts Senate! Stay tuned for updates on this measure as we continue to work to get it passed without amendment. Keep an eye on Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society's Facebook page for up-to-the minute news.

No comments:

Post a Comment