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Local Voices: ‘Empty the Shelter Weekend’ at Humane Indiana – a plea to veto Indiana bill 1412

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Submitted by Humane Indiana

Humane Indiana is proud to announce Empty the Shelter Weekend. This event, scheduled for March 2-3, 2024, aims to draw attention to the challenges faced by local shelters and urges Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to veto HB 1412.

Why Veto HB 1412: Humane Indiana believes that vetoing HB 1412 is crucial to safeguarding the welfare of Indiana’s pets, families and the tireless individuals working towards creating a more humane state. The Empty the Shelter Weekend serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by shelters and the necessity for responsible legislation aligned with Governor Holcomb’s commitment to animal welfare.

How Humane Indiana is Participating: Humane Indiana invites the community to join them during the Empty the Shelter Weekend on March 2-3, 2024. Humane Indiana will be waiving the fees on all qualifying adult animals.

“We really want to show how important supporting Hoosier shelters is to the community and to Indiana legislators. The passing of HB 1412 comes at a devastating time when shelters are all full and the need for these adoption events is paramount to simply keeping up with our community needs,” said Jessica Petalas, Senior Director of Clinic and Shelter Operations at Humane Indiana.

About HB 1412: HB 1412 ignores the growing problem of pet homelessness and the crisis that Indiana shelters and rescues are facing and would even worsen the problem in many communities throughout the state by forcing our cities and counties to allow pet stores to import and resell puppy mill puppies. It would void 21 local pet store ordinances, removing an important tool in managing pet overpopulation.

Drafted and rushed through the legislature without input from animal welfare organizations, HB 1412 is an industry-driven bill. It imposes additional burdens on already overwhelmed shelters and rescues, mandating their registration with the Board of Animal Health under the threat of a $10,000 penalty. It would also require local animal control agencies who are stretched thin to help enforce the bill’s complicated and weak provisions that appear to regulate the very entities they protect.

This bill is in direct conflict with Governor Holcomb’s November 2023 “Adopt A Hoosier Shelter Pet Week” proclamation that declared “the state of Indiana is committed to promoting the welfare and well-being of its animal companions” and “it is our duty to encourage responsible pet ownership and to promote the benefits of adopting shelter animals.”

HB 1412 must be vetoed to support Indiana pets, families and the hundreds of dedicated Hoosiers working to make our state more humane for animals and people alike.

The Humane Indiana Shelter and Adoption Center is located at 421 45th Avenue, Munster, Indiana.

Local Voices
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Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.