Vermont’s State Dog Legislation Under Fire From PETA

Propping Up Puppy Mills Has Lethal Consequences for Animals

For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2015

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Burlington, Vt. – When news hit that Vermont State Sen. John S. Rodgers had introduced S.25—a bill proposing to name the beagle Vermont’s state dog—PETA rushed a letter to the senator’s desk to ask him to withdraw the legislation or consider naming healthy, lovable mutts instead. As PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” explains, increasing demand for any single breed would throw fuel on the fire of an already existing overpopulation problem, punishing dogs already imprisoned in puppy mills and costing animals in shelters their chance at finding a home.

“Designating any specific breed as Vermont’s state dog would increase the demand and entice puppy mills to churn out litter after litter of that particular breed,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is calling on Sen. Rodgers to set a positive example for constituents by taking a stand for all dogs—and encouraging adoption rather than buying purebreds.”

Each purebred puppy takes a potential home away from an animal awaiting adoption in a shelter. What’s more, families who buy dogs on a whim often find themselves unable or unwilling to care for them over the long run, causing many to end up in overburdened animal shelters. Dogs used by breeders also suffer—many are kept in wire hutches and denied even the most basic care as they produce puppy after puppy.

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PETA’s letter to Vermont State Sen. John S. Rodgers follows.

January 29, 2015

The Honorable John S. Rodgers
The Senate of Vermont

Dear Senator Rodgers,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters—including many in Vermont—to urge you to withdraw S.25, which would name the beagle the state dog of Vermont, or else to amend the bill so that it would recognize the lovable all-American mutt as the state dog instead.

Designating any specific breed as Vermont’s state dog would increase the demand and entice puppy mills to churn out litter after litter of that particular breed. As you may know, dogs in puppy mills are typically kept in tiny, feces-encrusted cages and never given love, attention, or the opportunity to do anything that is natural and important to them—not even roll in the grass. Food, veterinary care, and shelter are often inadequate, and female dogs are often killed when their worn-out bodies can no longer produce puppies. And every time someone patronizes a breeder or a pet store that profits from selling purebred dogs who aren’t rescues, a dog at an animal shelter is deprived of the chance to find a home.

More and more Americans are choosing to save lives by adopting their animal companions from shelters instead of buying them from breeders and pet stores. Please don’t encourage Vermont to take a step backwards by promoting a specific breed as the state dog and, in so doing, condemn other dogs to death. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Allison Fandl
Cruelty Investigations Department



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Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind