Protect Shelter Animals From Harm and Unnecessary Death

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Make federal standards of care for animal shelters a top priority.

Nearly a third of states have a failing grade in animal protection laws, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. At least three states have no shelter requirements whatsoever for pets, and many more state standards are mediocre at best. And the entire nation is a patchwork of deficient guidelines when it comes to formal animal shelters for stray animals.

The latter problem is especially tragic because deplorable shelter conditions can place animals in worse circumstances than they would have encountered on the streets or in the wild. Plus, because of insufficient care, lacking adoption programs, and sparsely funded spaying and neutering initiatives, millions of shelter animals are euthanized every year. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has released a set of recommended minimal standards that every authorized shelter in the country should follow to safeguard as many animals as possible.

Sign the petition below to urge the agency responsible for America’s animal welfare to advocate for these wellness standards on a national level.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

Seemingly every day, local headlines abound with stories about animal shelters accused of a litany of misdeeds: abuse and neglect, improper euthanizing, inadequate or illegal adoption programs, and more. This nation entrusts shelters with the care and well-being of millions of its most vulnerable animals, and too many of these animals unfortunately never leave shelters alive. The complete lack of a uniform standard of care is not acceptable.

The ASPCA has outlined in detail a set of guidelines that, if implemented on a broad scale, could save countless animal lives while making shelters a refuge rather than a prison or death detention center. These guidelines would strengthen standards for the structures, activities, sanitation, and programs of shelters and make these safeguards a federal pledge of protection for shelter animals.

Please work with this organization to support and implement these initiatives that would hold shelters to a higher standard while ensuring the safety of every living being within their ranks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Irina Zhur

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