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Animal activists petition governor for more protections for pets - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Animal activists petition governor for more protections for pets

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Animal advocates rallied at the Vermont Statehouse Thursday, pushing for new animal welfare legislation.

They presented Gov. Peter Shumlin with a petition signed by 1,300 people supporting stronger anti-cruelty laws. Top on their agenda is to expedite hearings on animal cruelty cases to allow for the adoption of animals into new homes more quickly. For example, six horses were seized from a home in Jeffersonville more than a year ago. Since the legal case is still pending, a local shelter is forced to pay the bills to keep the animals healthy until the case is over. Advocates want the cases settled in 40 days.

"It's not fair for a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization to have to spend all of their budget to care for horses who were poorly treated. We need to look at better systems to be able to care for these animals and not bankrupt animal rescue agencies," said Joanne Bourbeau of the Humane Society of the United States.

Other issues expressed to lawmakers: banning the extreme confinement of breeding pigs in gestation crates, tougher standards for commercial dog breeders and requiring complex surgical procedures on animals to be performed by veterinarians.

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