Laws + Public Policies

  • Breed Discrimination

    Breed-specific legislation

    Across the country, entire communities ban or restrict dogs because of their breed or perceived breed. Breed-based policies aren't founded on science or credible data, but on myths and misinformation surrounding different breeds. Yet their impact on dogs, families and animal shelters is heartbreakingly real. Breed bans and restrictions force dogs out of homes and into shelters, taking up kennel space and resources that could be used for animals who are truly homeless. Learn what you can do to fight breed-specific legislation in your area.

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  • a group of cats standing on a trampoline

    Cruelty + neglect

    Neglect, a failure to provide basic needs for an animal, makes up the vast majority of cruelty cases that animal control officers respond to. Neglect often includes hoarding, lack of shelter or veterinary care, abandonment, as well as other forms of abuse. Direct abuse is, for example, someone beating or physically attacking an animal. Organized cruelty includes dogfighting, cockfighting, and often go hand in hand with other crimes.

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  • Euthanasia


    Gas chambers have no place in our nation’s public or private animal shelters. They cannot provide a truly humane (pain- and stress-free) euthanasia for any animal; they are more expensive than the humane alternative, euthanasia by injection; they pose risk of injury and even death to shelter staff; and they have been condemned for routine shelter euthanasia by the AVMA, as well as by The HSUS, NACA and every other national animal welfare organization. See what The HSUS is doing to eliminate gas chambers from our nation’s shelters.

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  • Pet Friendly Housing

    Pet-inclusive housing

    Truly “pet-inclusive” housing options are scarce. Many housing units come with restrictions on breed, weight or size. When families are forced to make a decision between their home or their pet, they may see surrender as a last resort. Help eliminate the restrictions that cost them their homes in the first place. Use these tools to help ensure all pets are welcome in rental housing in your community.

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  • Girl Taking Cat To Vet To Be Examined


    Thanks to decades of hard work by the humane field and veterinary professionals, 80 to 90 percent of owned cats and dogs in the U.S. are sterilized, showing that spay/neuter has become a mainstream norm of pet-keeping. How do we continue to increase spay/neuter rates? Our resources are research-based and designed to help you identify the best strategy for your community.

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