The ASPCA's Top 10 State Legislative Victories in 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 2:45pm
Tan and white bulldog

As 2013 comes to a close, the ASPCA is celebrating meaningful changes in state animal welfare laws that will improve the lives of thousands of animals across the country. This year, the ASPCA worked with state legislators and other humane advocacy groups to score 87 victories for animals by enacting new laws or defeating hostile legislation, making 2013 one of the most successful years for our animal welfare policy work.

Here is a small sampling of new laws that the ASPCA and our Advocacy Brigade helped secure—as well as misguided bills we helped defeat—in 2013:

(1) Maryland passed a law to establish one of the strongest, most robustly-funded statewide spay/neuter programs in the country, and West Virginia enacted a comprehensive spay/neuter program as well. These new laws will help reduce pet homelessness and euthanasia of healthy animals. 

(2) In Texas, cruel and unnecessary gas chambers can no longer be used to euthanize animals in shelters.

(3) Working with a coalition of animal welfare, environmental, and human rights organizations, the ASPCA helped ensure that none of the 11 ag-gag bills introduced in 2013 (in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Wyoming) were passed into law. Pushed by industrial agribusiness, these bills were blatant attempts to cover up illegal and unethical activities on factory farms. Defeating them was critical not only for the protection of animals and the whistleblowers exposing their mistreatment, but also for the safety of the public.

(4) Thanks to groundbreaking legislation passed in Colorado, law enforcement officers will receive training on canine behavior and alternative methods to the use of lethal force in order to reduce accidental dog shootings. A new law in New York State will increase criminal penalties for the intentional killing of police dogs and horses

(5) In California, legislation passed that will phase out lead ammunition for hunting throughout the state to protect wildlife, who are at risk of ingesting contaminated remains, as well as California’s diverse ecosystem.

(6) This was a phenomenal year for animals in Nevada, where seven animal protection bills passed, including legislation to ban horse tripping, enhance penalties for animal fighting and protect wild horses.

(7) In New Jersey, penalties for neglect have been strengthened with the passage of “Patrick’s Law,” named after a dog who was starved nearly to death and thrown down a garbage chute.

(8) Illinois enacted new laws protecting chained dogs, stray farm animals, puppy mill puppies and animals who fall victim to animal fighting.

(9) Animals in Alabama and Ohio are safer from abuse thanks to new laws that strengthen cruelty penalties.

(10) ASPCA-backed legislation passed in Connecticut established a task force to study the origin of dogs and cats in pet shops that will, ideally, pave the way for groundbreaking legislation in 2014 to prevent pet stores from selling puppy mill puppies. 

Many state legislatures will reconvene in January, and the ASPCA looks forward to expanding protections for even more for animals in all 50 states.

To find out about animal advocacy events in your area and how you can be more involved in the fight to protect animals, visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center.


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I absolutely hate seeing a dog tied up in a yard. If there is no fencing then the dog should be inside until the owner is able to let it outside on a leash for a walk. There was a sad looking pit tied to a tree on a road near me and it never seemed to have any interaction with the trashy looking owners; it is now gone (don't know where) but I think it died during our last rainy cold spell. I wish I could have helped it.


Mandatory spay/neuter is a one-size-fits-all approach. You are the choir: you will continue spay/neutering. Those with legitimate qualms will stop adopting or stop bringing their pets to legitimate veterinarians. There is a difference between encouraging irresponsible breeding - which, by the way, all of these mandatory spay/neuter laws do, because of dog breeder business blocs - and saying people have a right to do their research, and decide what works for some pets/pet families is cruel in theirs.

jackiie (anonyme)

merveilleux. merci


After reading this artical, the SPCA is just another "Dog" hating outfit, as they back sterilaztion laws. They act like they want to eliminate all dogs off of the face of the earth. Dogs contribute so much to humans and the way SPCA wants to reword them is sterilaztion. Sterlizing a dog should be one of my freedoms of choice. I guess since we don't really ever own a dog and only rent it from the state (when I say rent, once a year I receive a notice in the mail rent is due (called license fee) if I don't pay it the pound takes the dog away from me, sells it or kills it). If I owned the dog it would be my property and they couldn't take it away from me.


People like you are the reason so many animals die in shelters. Your way of thinking guarantees that there will always be more dogs than available homes. It's all about you amd your perceived "rights", isn't it? Get a clue.
Why are you even looking at the ASPCA website, unless you're just a troll?


Mojokat, you appear to be one of the dog haters and want to elinate all dogs threw sterilization. Why don't you fight for sterilization of the most vicious, distructive, hateful creatures that is allowed to breed uncontrolled that roam the earth, known as the human. There there isn't any thing that they don't kill or destroy. They kill and destroy for pleasure, hate, food and fear. They kill and destroy everything from the smallest germ, bug, animal, plant to even its own ( another human). They destroy life in our oceans, lakes and rivers. They chop down and kill trees and plants by the thousands. They posions the air we breath and the water we drink. Dogs contribute so much to humans and only ask in return for a secure place to live, some one to love them and something to eat. So what do dog haters like you want to reword them with? sterilization which will in time eliminate all dogs on earth.


You're an imbecile.


Dania, You are right. JOHOKAT is an imbecile. One of the reasons that the pounds have a lot of dogs to kill is, they take them away from people that can't afford to comply with their sterilization requirements, so take the dog away from them and put them up for sale or kill them. By saling dogs they make money to help pay their operating expences and their wages.

M Taylor

Yea Connecticut! Let's continue to fight to prevent pet stores from selling puppies provided by puppy mills, thus, keeping the horrible puppy mills in business. Let's provide pet stores with wonderful rescue animals instead.

M Taylor

Yea Connecticut! Let's continue to fight to prevent pet stores from selling puppies provided by puppy mills, thus, keeping the horrible puppy mills in business. Let's provide pet stores with wonderful rescue animals instead.