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On March 27, the Senate in West Virginia voted to eliminate funding for greyhound racing in the state with Senate Bill 437. The WV House also voted against funding for the industry on April 1. However, on April 8, a week after the end of the legislative session, Gov. Jim Justice vetoed SB 437, using the lame excuse, the bill would jeopardize the health of the state’s casino industry.

According to Delegate Eric Nelson, A Charleston, WV Republican who chairs the House Finance Committee, “Racing can still continue with this” because the bill would transfer almost $14 million in anticipated payouts to dog breeders next year to help close the state budget deficit, setting $1 million aside for dog adoptions and shelters. Note: The money goes to dog breeders!

Supporting the gambling or dog racing industry is one thing, but using the funds to support dog breeders while greyhound rescue organizations work tirelessly to save the lives of the dogs that have been retired (another term for no longer profitable), is totally unethical. Where is the common sense and justice for the dogs in this decision?

This would be equivalent to Gov. Tom Wolf taking money out of the budget and giving it to the puppy mills in Pennsylvania because many of them are run by the Amish, and of course, the Amish tourism industry brings money into the state, especially in Lancaster County. It doesn’t matter that millions of dogs die in our nation’s shelters every year because they are not wanted.If you share my concern about the care and protection of animals in Pennsylvania, I encourage you to attend “Humane Lobby Day” at the PA State Capitol, 1 East Wing, this Monday, April 24 from 9:00 AM until 1:15 PM. The address is 501 N.3rd St. in Harrisburg.

Humane Lobby Day attendees will speak with their legislators about passing laws to increase penalties for animal cruelty crimes, provide additional protection for horses, and more.

Pennsylvania citizens participating in Humane Lobby Day 2017 will meet with lawmakers to appeal for stronger animal protection laws. Humane Lobby Day is the most important animal advocacy event every year. This year is especially critical as a number of key anti-cruelty and animal protection bills, including HB 1238, an Animal Abuse Statute Overhaul incorporating Libre’s Law, Cordelia’s Law and mandatory forfeiture (formerly introduced as HB 13) are expected to be voted upon in the beginning of the 2017 legislative session.

Advocates are poised to make sure their voices are heard on behalf of those who have no voice—the animals of Pennsylvania.

Rep. Todd Stephens HB 1238, Animal Cruelty Overhaul, passed out of committee. Now on to the full House. Join us in advocating for this bill in person with your state representative and senator! Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1920548754831741/ If you can’t attend lobby day, call your state representative to express support.

Here is a link to current animal legislation in PA: https://humane-pa.org/current-legislation-2/

And finally, please support the York County SPCA!


Bob Rudy
Lancaster County

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