Are you voting for pet-friendly candidates?

by Nancy Hassel,

Years ago there was a campaign called “My Dog Votes” to raise awareness to people running for office who were pet-friendly and dog-friendly candidates.   It was a great idea that had legs and was gaining momentum – but this was pre-social media when things went viral quickly.   As a dog parent, you can still use the mantra and thought process #MyDogVotes when voting for your local candidates.   What are they running for, believe in, and what is their track record showing they are truly pet-friendly and animal-friendly candidates?  

Max My Dog Votes
My old dog Max, proudly wearing his My Dog Votes pin, he used to accompany to the voting polls on election day!

There are so many things to take into consideration when you are voting for someone running for office, but I often wonder how many pet parents and animal loving people are paying attention to the candidate’s agenda, good or bad when it comes to animals and your pets.  

Do you even know what the laws are locally pertaining to your dog?  Things get slipped into bills that sound great, but if you actually read the entire bill – you may find something in there that is not good for pets or animals and it is hidden in the fine print, or buried way down within the bill.   Any bill that sounds good for pets or animals might be just that, but I dare you to actually fully read the entire bill to make sure there is nothing in there that contradicts what the bill sounds like it is intended for before it turns into a law.

In my experience there have been bills in the past that everyone was super excited about in the animal community, and it sounded great, (the spin on it), and then you actually read it and find a couple things in there that are total BS and not helping pet owners – but putting their pets in more danger than they ever were before.  My point is to read the entire bill.

So before you head out to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, look at the candidates that you like, find out what bills they have sponsored or written when it pertains to your pets, animals, pet laws where you live.   You may be surprised what you find, happy that the candidate you already liked and were planning on voting for is looking out for your four-legged friends, or you may find something you don’t like and look for a better candidate when it comes to our pets and animals. 

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If you live in Florida, you more than likely have heard of Amendment 13, or #Yesto13 a bill that if passed will phase out Greyhound Racing by 2020 in the state.  Florida has one of the biggest Greyhound Racing…… in the country and this bill will stop this awful sport from continuing there.  Click here to see more information on the bill and those supporting it, and a snippet from the bill below:

Prohibition on racing of and wagering on greyhounds or other dogs.—The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. After December 31, 2020, a person authorized to conduct gaming or pari-mutuel operations may not race greyhounds or any member of the Canis Familiaris subspecies in connection with any wager for money or any other thing of value in this state, and persons in this state may not wager money or any other thing of value on the outcome of a live dog race occurring in this state.

In North Carolina, Steve Adams who is running for Sheriff of Moore County wants to make the county animal shelter a no-kill shelter at the beginning of his term if elected. 

In Pennsylvania, Humane-PA has a list of candidates they endorse based on where they stand on the humane treatment of animals.  From their website:

Our endorsement process is not taken lightly and we spend a great deal of time reviewing and evaluating an incumbent candidate’s voting record and leadership on animal bills.

In Texas, Roque Vela, Jr., who is running for Mayor of Loredo is promising to make the Laredo County Animal Shelter a no-kill shelter if he is elected.  You can see his Facebook post about it here.

If you are wondering about pet-friendly candidates near you or bills that may affect you and/or your pets, it does not take much effort to do a little research, get involved and vote for the candidate that is going to be good for your pets and animals in your world.   Here is a list of animal-friendly candidates that you may want to check out.

For more information about voting go to to find out where your polling place is, who and what is on your local ballots and more.





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