Pet Animal Welfare Statute 2005

SAOVA played a leading role in educating legislators and fellow animal owners about the destructive federal bill known as "PAWS" - the Pet Animal Welfare Statute of 2005.

S1139 was introduced by former Senator Rick Santorum on 5/26/05 and PAWS mirror, HR2669, was introduced by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) PA-6. PAWS was promoted by Animal Rights groups as legislation that "will close a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)." Typical of the animal rights agenda, their description of what PAWS does is disingenuous, at best. At worst, it absolutely misleads legislators and the public into thinking this legislation will put an end to "puppymills," when nothing could be further from the truth.

What PAWS did was federalize a hobby - by subjecting home breeders and rescuers of cats and dogs to USDA licensure and over 60 pages of regulations. It further provided groundwork for imposing extra restrictions on "any person who buys, or sells any dog for hunting, security, or breeding purposes." [see definition of "Dealer"] Essentially, the best source for puppies and kittens - the home breeder - will be all but eliminated; thereby assuring that the only choice for consumers are commercially-bred pets.

On August 28th, the team of SAOVA, NCRAOA, and DFOW submitted the following to the Senate Agriculture Committee:

Cover Letter
S1139-HR2669 Opposition List
Rebuttal to Senator Santorum's Senate Floor speech delivered July 27, 2005
PAWS Legal Analysis by Jeff Helsdon, Esq., Director of the DPCA Legislative Committee
Thoughts About PAWS - an eloquent letter written by dog fancier and Idaho resident Ann Billington

To learn more about why PAWS was fatally flawed, we suggest the following reading:


The text of the bill integrated with current regulations: PAWS 2005 Integrated - PDF format

The impact of PAWS on rescue: PAWS and Rescue by Sharon A Coleman, Esq., President of The Animal Council

Selected Position Statements and letters:

English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association
The International Cat Fanciers Association
MoFed's concerns with PAWS
Cindy Cooke: Is PAWS Justified? Examining the Claims

SAOVA Alert, Discussion and Action Plan to defeat PAWS

Statement for inclusion in the November 5, 2005 Hearing Record of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcomittee

SAOVA PRESS RELEASE. Senator Rick Santorum Muzzles Opponents of his S1139 (PAWS) Bill

SAOVA ad in the ~30,000 circulation Capitol Hill political newspaper Roll Call

NCRAOA Editorial - PAWS Hearing and the Birth of PAWS II

Sen. Hearing 109-338 Pet Animal Welfare Statue of 2005 (PAWS) November 8, 2005, published by Diane Publishing
The final piece of the equation is the publication of witness testimony and public statements filed for the hearing. Over 1,100 pages of documentation for one bill is near record-setting. The publication can be viewed at the above google books link one page at a time but fast loading and is searchable.
The full 1110 pages can be also be viewed at the Government Printing Office access website for Senate hearings as a 42MB PDF. Hard copies are also available from the Government Printing Office.

PAWS 2005 Sponsors


USA Today. Animal activist groups praise Santorum