Innocent until proven guilty, that's the standard on which our laws are based. Yet living, breathing, animal victims of crime and abuse are being sentenced to long periods in prison. We can change this right now, with a great piece of legislation, but only if we pass it before the legislative session ends in December!
Animals confiscated from suspected dogfighting rings often wind up in the custody of the U.S. government to be used as evidence. This "evidence" can languish for weeks to months, even years, while the alleged perpetrators work their way through the legal system. The Help Extract Animals from Red Tape Act, aka the HEART Act, H.R. 398/S. 2633, will speed up the process so animals can be moved into foster care, adoptive homes, or rescues.
Animals live in hell while part of a dogfighting ring. Without the passage of the HEART Act, they will continue to live in yet another circle of hell, albeit with proper care and attention, even though they did nothing wrong. They are in prison while their abusers are often free to walk the streets.
Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. When the federal government seizes animals from a suspected dogfighting ring, the accused are charged with criminal offenses while the animals become part of a civil case. The "owners" of the animals often request their "property" be returned to them, keeping the animals in limbo until the criminal case is decided.
The HEART Act will oblige criminals convicted of dogfighting, drug trafficking, and sex trafficking to pay for their animals' care while in custody.
As things stand now, animal "owners" don't have to reimburse a cent for anything related to their animals' care in custody, even if they are convicted. The accused have no incentive to free the animals so they can continue to live their lives.
With this bill, guilty criminals will be forced to think twice before locking animals in seemingly-endless custody since they will be forced to foot the bill. The animals have a better chance to get out of jail free!
Don't let animals caught up in dogfighting rings suffer further misery while awaiting release from custody. Act now to help pass the HEART Act to give animals a better chance to start on the road to a normal life.
Animals who have suffered in the hell that is dogfighting deserve a break, not another sentence. Help us make sure this bill passes by making a few phone calls to your legislators and by sending our letter.
1. Contact your representative and senators and let them know you support the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape Act, H.R. 398/S. 2633, aka HEART Act, and ask them to support it, too. Please be brief and polite.
Click this link to find the numbers for your one US rep and your two US senators:
You can say, "I am a constituent and I encourage you to support H.R. 398/S. 2633, The HEART Act, to Help Extract Animals from Red Tape."
2. Send our letter, by filling out our form on this page, using your own words where possible to personalize the message.
(Valid U.S. street addresses only - P.O. Boxes cannot be used*)
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Innocent Animals Don't Belong in Prison, Support the HEART Act
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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