For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Tampa – Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin has just made a play to help “backyard dogs”: This morning, the Super Bowl champion sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to state Rep. Wyman Duggan expressing support for House Bill 177, which would prohibit leaving dogs tethered outdoors alone, including during severe weather such as hurricanes.
“This vital piece of legislation would save the lives of countless vulnerable animals and reduce the need for kind, caring people to risk their own lives rescuing animals in dangerous weather conditions,” writes Godwin, who is the proud guardian of two dogs and founded an organization with his fiancée to help at-risk dogs.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Godwin’s letter to Duggan follows.
April 5, 2021
The Honorable Wyman Duggan
Florida House of Representatives
Dear Rep. Duggan:
As a Florida resident, a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a Super Bowl champion, and a proud guardian of two dogs who live happily indoors with my family, I’m writing to ask that you place House Bill 177 (Tethering of Domestic Dogs and Cats) on the Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee agenda.
Animals kept chained outside are always in danger of becoming tangled, hanging themselves, or being attacked by other animals, including cruel humans. They’re also at the mercy of the weather. Just a few years ago, more than 50 animals were left chained outside in Palm Beach County when their owners evacuated for Hurricane Irma. That number represents only the animals who could be rescued by local officials – there’s no telling how many more went unnoticed or couldn’t be helped after rescuers had to stop their efforts because the weather had become too hazardous for them to keep working. My fiancée and I started a foundation, Team Godwin Foundation, to support at-risk dogs through advocacy and financial support. We have had firsthand experience with animals who needed to be rescued after becoming trapped in dangerous outdoor conditions. HB 177 would prohibit keeping animals isolated on a tether outside, including during severe weather, such as thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes. This vital piece of legislation would save the lives of countless vulnerable animals and reduce the need for kind, caring people to risk their own lives rescuing animals in dangerous weather conditions.
Please add HB 177 to the Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee’s agenda. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you will give this lifesaving bill the chance to be heard.