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Federal: Ensure that Animal Dealers with Suspended Licenses Are Barred from the Business

Federal: Ensure that Animal Dealers with Suspended Licenses Are Barred from the Business

Name: Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF!) Act

Bill Number: HR 1002

The Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF!) Act would prohibit the issuance of an Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dealer’s license to close family members (including grandparents and grandchildren) of any individual whose license has been suspended or revoked at the location of the previously-licensed facility. This bill, which would amend the AWA, would similarly prevent business partners or associates from receiving a license to operate as dog dealers on the premises of the original licensee.

Exceptions to this prohibition would be made only in cases where family members or business associates can—by showing clear and convincing evidence—prove that the original dealer would not have any ownership interest or role in the care of the dogs. In these cases, an onsite inspection would be required before the new license would be issued.

Currently, when an animal dealer’s license is revoked, they are barred from holding a license for 10 years. Yet the dealer is left with their property, equipment and inventory (the animals). It is not uncommon for close family members or business associates to apply for a new license to operate the business, while in fact the individual whose license was revoked is doing the actual work.

The WOOF! Act amendment would close this loophole in the AWA.

 

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge them to support this legislation.
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  • Your Representative

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Message

Please support safeguards to bar suspended animal dealers from continuing to operate facilities

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask your support for HR 1002, the Welfare of Our Friends (WOOF!) Act, which would amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to prohibit a close family or business associate of an animal dealer whose license was revoked or suspended from obtaining a dealer's license for the same premises.

This bill addresses a long-standing loophole in current law wherein suspended licensees continue to operate their business by having family or business associates obtain a new license for the same premises. While the named licensee would be changed, the suspended individual would continue to run the business operations and handling the dogs, even though they are barred from holding a dealer's license for 10 years.

Exceptions to the prohibition would be made in cases where family members or business associates can demonstrate that the original dealer would not have any ownership interest or role in the care of the dogs. In these cases, the new license would be issued only after an on-site inspection of the facility.

I hope that you will give your support to the passage of the WOOF! Act, which would close this loophole in the AWA and help keep animals out of the hands of licensees whose practices violated the Animal Welfare Act and resulted in the suspension of their license. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]