A Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor is pledging to fight for animals if he is elected.
Jonathan Saidel - the former Philadelphia city controller and one of three Democrats seeking the nomination in next month's primary election - says he would campaign to make Pennsylvania a no-kill state, seek to make mandatory a holding period for cats in shelters, and end pigeon shoots and dog chaining if he wins.
The president of the Humane USAPA PAC, former state Sen. Roy Afflerbach, said it was the strongest pro-animal he's seen in 50 years of polticial activity.
Saidel is the second candidate in a statewide race this spring to take a stand for animals. Gubernatorial candidate Jack Wagner, who was endorsed this month by the League of Humane Voters said he too would end dog chainging and pigeon shoots.
Where do the others stand on animal issues?
Saidel's statement in full from his Facebook page is below.
Jonathan Saidel is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor who can be trusted to take necessary action on all issues related to the mistreatment of living creatures. He has the courage and determination to support legislation, ordinances, and regulations which would address and outlaw acts of animal cruelty in Pennsylvania. Saidel also maintains a high level of awareness and understanding of the issues that face animals and animal lovers in Pennsylvania, as he passionately believes that all living creatures should be treated with respect and compassion.
Some of the most important issues that Saidel is currently championing in regards to the compassionate treatment of animals are putting an end to the use of live animals for target practice, increasing penalties for poaching, putting an end to puppy mills, and ensuring that all kennels and pounds are "no-kill."
One of the most prominent issues that Saidel is taking an interest in championing is the passing the bill to stop "pigeon shoots," making the use of live animals for target practice illegal in Pennsylvania. As Pennsylvania is the only state that still holds these events openly, out-of-state shooters flock here and leave behind the detrimental effect of the shoots for Pennsylvania's tax payers. It should be noted that oftentimes taxpayer funded state policemen are necessary to keep order at these barbaric shoots and that this practice has been illegal in many states for nearly 100 years.
Another piece of legislation which Johnathan Saidel intends to work hard at seeing through the State legislature is the anti-tethering bill. He understands that chaining or tethering a dog for extended periods of time is not only cruel to the animal, but can cause dangerous and aggressive behaviors which put humans and other animals at risk as well. For this reason, Saidel supports the restriction of the number of hours that a dog can be left tethered and the requirement of adequate care standards for dogs left outdoors.
Saidel also plans to fight for the passage of a bill to make mandatory holding period in shelters for cats. Currently in Pennsylvania, there is a mandatory holding period for dogs before they can be euthanized; however, the law makes no such provisions for cats who are being held at shelters. While Saidel would prefer and plans to support any legislation which would move towards universal "no-kill" shelters, he finds this to be a necessary step in the right direction.