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From 7 August 2005 Issue

P.A.W.S.

If you could put a federal inspector inside a puppy mill -- one of those large, unsanitary and largely inhumane breeding operations that has never known regulation before -- would you? Well, now's your chance.

The Pet Animal Welfare Statute, or PAWS, will allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect puppy mills that are currently beyond the reach of federal law. These mass commercial breeders are taking advantage of a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that allows them to sell puppies directly to the public and avoid all federal oversight. This means that no matter how horrific the conditions may be at the puppy mill, the USDA is not permitted to even look at the animals.

PAWS would change all this. Carefully written to avoid covering smaller "hobby breeders," PAWS would make sure that large breeding operations (those that sell seven or more litters in a year) are subject to the minimum requirements of the AWA.

Despite the bill's humane intentions, businesses that profit from mass producing puppies are opposing PAWS. These individuals have launched an aggressive misinformation campaign to scare animal rescue groups into believing that they would be covered under PAWS. Nothing could be further from the truth <http://www.hsus.org/pets/pets_related_news_and_events/paws.html> . Don't let those who profit from the factory-style breeding of puppies win in their effort to keep the doors shut on puppy mills.

1. Take action. Contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to co-sponsor and strongly support the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS).

2. Make a call. The puppy mill lobby is working hard to scare and confuse rescue groups into opposing PAWS. Your voice is needed NOW to help dogs in puppy mills. Please take a moment to make a short phone call urging your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor and strongly support the PAWS legislation.

3. Spread the word. Every single U.S. Senator and Representative needs to hear from constituents who care about animals. Ask your friends and family to call their Senators and Representatives as well.

Without PAWS, mass breeding operations will continue to escape federal oversight, and the animals will continue to suffer.

Thank you for taking action and for all you do on behalf of animals,

Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States
www.hsus.org

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