Two New Federal Bills Aim to Keep Pets and Their Families Together
Adam Schiff’s The Pets Belong with Families Act and the PUPP Act would make housing more inclusive for pets and people.
Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
In a (frankly adorable) video posted to his social media today, Representative Adam Schiff explained to his dog, Tallulah, that he’s going to be introducing two necessary new bills to the house floor: the Pets Belong with Families Act and the PUPP Act. Both bills aim to help prevent dogs from being separated from their families.
The Pets Belong with Families Act is designed “to make sure that housing facilities don’t discriminate against dogs based on their breed,” Representative Schiff told Tallulah. “It’s just not backed up by the science, and it’s not fair to a lot of people that want to bring their pet with them into public housing to be told you have to choose either housing or your pet but you can’t have both.”
Breed-specific legislation most often prohibits Pit Bull-type dogs from living in certain residences or cities. German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers, Chow Chows, and other breeds have also been banned by BSL. Breed-specific legislation is widely opposed by animal rights and scientific groups, including The Centers for Disease Control and the National Animal Control Association.
The Pets Belong with Families Act has been endorsed by the American Kennel Club, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Bar Association, National Housing Law Project, Animal Legal Defense Fund, and more.
The second bill, written by Representative Jason Crow, is the Providing for Unhoused People with Pets Act — aka the PUPP Act. The PUPP Act would provide grants to housing shelters to help them accommodate pets, so unhoused people could more easily seek shelter without risking separation from their animals. The funding would cover the acquisition and renovation of new pet-friendly spaces, basic veterinary services for pets, and training for staff and volunteers in basic pet care.
The PUPP Act is also endorsed by many major animal and human rights groups. If passed, these two bills will be huge steps toward preventing discrimination against unfairly targeted dog breeds, protecting the bonds between unhoused people and their pets, and providing care for people and pets who need financial assistance. Luckily, both bills have already garnered major support — and it goes without saying that, as Representative Adam Schiff explained after shaking Tallulah’s paw, “The dogs are totally in favor of this bill.”
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Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.