We need stricter laws in Tennessee regarding treatment and breeding of animals.
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Animal shelters are overpopulated. People are breeding pets without licenses. There is no way for the Department of Agriculture to monitor or regulate that which is unknown. A majority of these "backyard breeders" are making money that is not reported to the IRS and is not taxed. This is money that could be generating revenue for the state and country. But because it is unregulated, it lines the pockets of these breeders.
On top of these issues, people are making untaxed income from selling these animals that were born to an animal that was seen as nothing but a dollar sign. They leave dogs and cats in barns, or sheds, with little to no food and breed them with no breaks in between litters. The pets are then disposed of by finding them new homes, dumping them, or surrendering them to shelters when they can no longer produce a puppy or kitten.
There is no nice way to put this. Animals are treated as property and our animal welfare laws are antiquated, to say the least. This is 2018 and animals can be killed with little to no concern by our public officials. Their hands are tied because our laws are outdated. We have an animal abuse registry that does no good because of this. Our pets are being stolen right out from under us. Pets are being killed by neighbors and we are powerless because the government deems them property. They live and breathe. They have a heartbeat. They are part of our families.
Every day people are posting, in social media outlets, that they need new homes for these unwanted pets. There are some that take on too many because they want to help, but quickly take on so much that they become overwhelmed. Those are usually the hoarding situations that we hear so much about.
Or in Amy Robertson's case, where she was just ready to abandon them. She was well-known in the rescue community as an advocate for animals. None of us expected to hear about her abandoning as many animals as she did, or that so many of them were already dead.
The citizens of The State of Tennessee deserve so much better. This is 2018. We need stricter animal welfare laws regarding breeders, animal abusers, and irresponsible owners.
We need breeders to be responsible and to stop causing overpopulation in animal shelters. We need irresponsible breeders to be charged to the fullest extent of the law for animal abuse. We need for breeders to register their businesses and pay taxes like every business owner is required to. This will help to put a stop to overpopulation in animal shelters. This will help the growing epidemic in our community of people that are irresponsible with pets. This will reduce the number of animals being euthanized in the shelters every year, it will reduce the funding needed for area shelters. Animal shelters are underfunded, to begin with, so this would be a win-win.
We need stricter laws regarding people that kill our family members. People that can kill animals without so much as batting an eyelid need to be accountable for their actions. They need to be put on the state registry for animal abuse.
We need stricter laws regarding irresponsible owners because they are also contributing to the growing, pet overpopulation crisis. They re-home pets and then they go out and get a new pet. That pet, in most cases, jumps from home to home which creates a behavioral problem. That pet will, 9 times out of 10, land in the shelter. If unable to be adopted the pet may end up euthanized. These are the owners that never take their pets to the veterinarian for care. All you have to do is log into Facebook to see the end result.
This is really simple. If we make people accountable for their actions, it will help stop the irresponsible behaviors. It will help stop the animal population problem. It will help a living, breathing creature from being abused or tortured.
We need our government to step up and make some changes to our outdated animal welfare laws. You were appointed to represent us, as your constituents. We need stricter animal laws. This has to stop.
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