This week, Take Action Thursday offers support for AWA amendments to keep animals out of the hands of suspended license holders.
HR 1002, the Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF!) Act, tackles the problem of dog dealers whose licenses under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) were suspended or revoked, yet who continue their animal operations under other peoples’ names. The suspension or revocation of a license is not taken lightly and often entails serious violations of the AWA.
Under the proposed revisions, immediate family members of a suspended licensee would be barred from obtaining a license to operate a dog operation at the same location for 10 years after the original dealer’s license was suspended or revoked. This bill includes a definition of “immediate family members,” specifying who would be barred from obtaining a new or renewed license to operate the business.
The same prohibition would apply to any person who had a business association with that dealer. An exception would apply if the family member or former business associate could demonstrate that the original licensee is no longer involved in the care of animals or operation of the facility, but only after an on-site facility inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While it may seem like a small change to the law, the WOOF! Act has the potential to protect the welfare of countless dogs who would be otherwise subjected to continued abuse and neglect.
Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to support the WOOF! Act.