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02-10-09 -- Casorio Reacts to Breeders' Federal Lawsuit Over PA Dog Law
Press Release
By: Michael J. Herzing
Deputy Director, Democratic Legislative Communications Office
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Phone: 717-787-7895 / E-Mail: [email protected]

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. James E. Casorio Jr., D-Westmoreland, the prime sponsor of Pennsylvania's revamped dog law – Act 119 of 2008 – released the following statement today in response to a federal lawsuit filed Monday by the Professional Dog Breeders Advisory Council claiming that the law is unconstitutional:

"It is extremely disappointing, but not surprising, to see commercial dog breeders attempt to challenge this law. Instead of moving forward under the law, which gives many of them as much as three years to comply, to do the right thing for the dogs in their care, they have chosen instead to try and kill the law and the commonsense regulations it contains, and to allow thousands of breeder dogs in Pennsylvania to continue suffering and dying under horrible conditions.

"Commercial breeders in Pennsylvania were given every opportunity to participate during the many months that House Bill 2525 was being crafted and debated. Instead, they chose to focus their efforts on killing the legislation. It is clear that commercial breeders don't want responsible, equal regulation – they want absolutely no regulation, and have apparently turned to the federal courts to accomplish what they could not accomplish in the legislature.

"Act 119 is not, and never has been, about putting responsible commercial dog breeders out of business. The number of concessions they received in the law – and the amount of time they have been given to comply – is testament to that. This is a spurious argument by the breeders that has no basis in fact.

"The purpose of Act 119, and the aim of the provisions in Act 119, is not to put commercial breeders out of business, but to make sure their business is responsible and humane. The law is aimed at breeders that are selling dogs to Pennsylvania consumers. The state has a legitimate right to regulate this business just like any other for-profit business in the state. This is a consumer protection law as well as an animal welfare law, and as such, I believe its focus and scope are appropriate.

"The people of Pennsylvania have sent a clear message – a message that this lawsuit, regardless of its outcome, will have no bearing on. In Pennsylvania, the days of puppy mills, and of treating dogs as just another disposable cash crop, are over. The hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians – dog owners and non dog owners alike – who helped us pass Act 119 are committed to ensuring that."

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Thanks, Mary. I think we all knew the lawsuit was coming & I'm glad that PA is holding firm. I hope that doesn't change.

Please keep us updated as it will effect other laws being considered around the country.

OK has legislation pending that would make it extremely difficult for rescues to operate - either in the state or, like me, out of state but pulling dogs from OK. I'm praying it doesn't pass as written.
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