On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. The bill would make certain types of harm to animals a federal felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The PACT Act has been cheered not only by animal welfare groups but by many members of law enforcement who want federal tools to stop animal abusers who are likely to commit acts of violence against people.
While countries all over the world have updated or enacted effective animal cruelty legislation, Canada has not made substantial changes to the federal animal cruelty laws that were first introduced in 1892.
There are many ways that you can help to prevent animal abuse and improve the lives of companion animals in Canada:
- Choose and promote the adoption option: Each year in Canada, more than 250,000 homeless cats and dogs are temporarily housed in animal shelters. Unfortunately, many people choose instead to buy pets from breeders or pet stores instead. Sadly, many of the pets that are sold in Canada come from abusive puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. If you are looking for a new pet, please make adoption your option, and urge every animal lover you know to do the same.
Volunteer: In nearly every community across Canada, there are animal shelters or rescue groups that need volunteers to help them find homes for stray, abandoned or abused companion animals. From walking dogs or temporarily fostering cats in your home, to organizing a fundraiser or joining a shelter’s board of directors, there are many ways you can contribute your time and talents to the humane movement. Find out how to volunteer with the Pembina Valley Humane Society.
- Write a letter to your MP or MLA: The federal Criminal Code is extremely outdated and does not adequately protect animals from abuse. Canada needs comprehensive federal legislation to help improve and safeguard the lives of animals. Local governments can also improve the lives of animals by changing their animal control bylaws.