COALITION OF PET INDUSTRY LEADERS TO CHAMPION PET OWNERSHIP

 Leaders of the industries and professions that serve American pet owners have banded together to engage positively and vigorously on the overarching issues that affect the 82.5 million American households enriched by pet ownership with the formation of the Pet Leadership Council.
 
The Pet Leadership Council members represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, veterinarians and breeders – all of whom passionately and enthusiastically serve the cause of pet ownership and seek to improve the quality of life for pets and owners alike.
 
The Pet Leadership Council (PLC) met in Dallas on Wednesday, October 23 with 32 industry leaders in attendance. Companies such as Petco, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and Central Pet and Garden were represented, as well as industry trade organizations such as American Pet Products Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, Pet Industry Distributors Association, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and World Pet Association, among others.
 
“Pets are part of the fabric of American life, a force for good in American society, and a tradition older than America itself,” said Bob Vetere, President & CEO of American Pet Products Association and founding member of the Pet Leadership Council. “Pet ownership makes people happier and healthier. And pet owners create a better life for the animals they love.
 
“The pet industry is overflowing with people who care deeply about pets and pet owners. But our industry historically has operated in a fragmented way, with each industry group representing narrower concerns. They deserve a unified voice. And they gain that unified voice with the Pet Leadership Council.”
 
Among the initiatives the PLC intends to address over time:
  • Advocating for the interests of pet owners and highlighting the virtues pet ownership brings to our society and our quality of life. “Promoting pet ownership is good for America – and for its citizens – and we will send that message everywhere we go,” said Vetere.
  • Articulating clear animal-breeding standards that protect breeded pets and help society to crack down on “puppy mills” and the bad actors that have given that term rise. At the same time, the PLC will enthusiastically champion the vast majority of breeders who care deeply about animals, and who operate above those standards because they care about the animals they breed.
  • Launching a full-throated defense for the right of American consumers to have choices when it comes to obtaining dogs and other pets, including the opportunity to buy the pet of their choice from a retail pet store. The remedy to the puppy mill problem must be clear standards and tough enforcement – not curtailing consumers’ right to buy the pet of their choice.
  • Exploring opportunities to consolidate the industry’s myriad advocacy groups int a more concentrated and effective structure.
“The Pet Leadership Council was formed to give pet owners a voice. We will champion their virtues and assert their rights, and we will do this as a strong, unified front for the first time in industry history,” Vetere continued.
 
To aid in its mission, the PLC has retained Boston and Philadelphia based Allen & Gerritsen to assist in its communications.
 
“The Pet Leadership Council is a passionate organization that has something important to say – and that wants to start a conversation that needs to be heard,” said Allen & Gerritsen Principal Tim Reeves. “It is a privilege to help them fill that void.”
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Help Us End Puppy Mills in Wisconsin

Call your legislators today…and keep calling them over these next few months, until Wisconsin enacts an End Puppy Mill Suffering Bill that is strong enough to TARGET and STOP the unspeakably cruel and inhumane conditions being legally tolerated in our state right now.

Urge your legislators to co-sponsor puppy mill legislation.  Legislation will be coming out soon.  Currently, two legislators-Senator Pat Kreitlow and Representative Jeff Smith-have been hard at work on a bill that will establish a much-needed regulatory program to end the suffering of dogs at the hands of unscrupulous dog breeders.  Click on this link (http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx) to find out who your legislators are and how to contact them. Tell your legislators to step up and co-sponsor this bill!

Please stand up and be a voice for dogs because of the following serious concerns:

— Thousands of dogs live in unspeakable pain.  Tell your legislators that you are concerned about the suffering dogs experience in puppy mills in Wisconsin.  Let them know that it is intolerable for our state to turn a blind eye to the thousands upon thousands of helpless dogs victimized by “puppy millers.”  These dogs are confined in cages their entire lives, locked away from light and warmth, deprived of sufficient food and water or comfort of any kind, surrounded by filth and waste, suffering from chronic, untreated medical conditions, deprived of socialization and touch, and often, injured and neglected.

— No Wisconsin laws exist to protect puppy mill dogs from suffering. Tell your legislators that you are sick of Wisconsin being one of the few states left with no laws, no set of regulations and no licensing or inspection program whatsoever to enforce even basic standards for the humane care of dogs being used for breeding, or of the puppies being sold to unknowing families.

— Wisconsin is a magnet for puppy mills.  Tell your legislators that it is unacceptable for Wisconsin to continue being the “dumping ground” for other states’ most abusive puppy millers.  Over the past few months alone, large numbers of puppy millers have been moving into Wisconsin from the state of Pennsylvania-with their puppy mill operations literally in tow-for the very purpose of avoiding the basic standards of care now required under Pennsylvania’s recently enacted puppy mill law.

— Basic standards are needed, as in any reputable business.  Tell your legislators that what we need is a STRONG law that will get at Wisconsin’s current problems. This means a law that will set up a license and inspection program that will apply to anyone selling more than 25 dogs a year.  This size breeding facility is growing in number, and abusiveness, within Wisconsin.  It is at this scale where the problem is worsening.  Beyond that, common sense tells us that individuals who are involved in the sale (as compared to the mere keeping) of more than 25 dogs a year, are most likely not just folks with a hobby, but are business people who can reasonably expect to be subject to regulations, in the same manner as practically every other legal business venture in the state.

TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS TO STEP UP AND CO-SPONSOR THIS BILL!

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