PA Congressional delegation gets solid grade on animal votes

Okay, so Pennsylvania's not at the top of the class when it comes to supporting animal issues in the U.S. Congress.

Shout out to Rhode Island where U.S. House lawmakers scored a whopping 100 percent on humane legislation and its two Senators 90 percent.

But neither was the Pennsylvania delegation in the basement.

The Humane Society of the United States' midterm humane scorecard gives Pennsylvania's 19 U.S. House members an average of 51 percent and two Senators 20 on multitude of animal welfare bills.

Humane Society Legislative Fund Michael Markarian said PA "in general, performed well on animal protection issues compared to other states." 

The partisan divide was evident on animal issues. On average Democrats scored 70 to Republicans' 20.

But a leader among Pennsylvania lawmakers is Rep. Jim Gerlach, a Republican, who is the lead sponsor on a bill (HR 835) to crack down on internet puppy sales. The bill closes a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act by requiring that commercial breeders who sell 50 or more puppies per year directly to consumers online or by other means be licensed and inspected, just as breeders who supply to pet stores already must be. It will also requires that breeding dogs at commercial facilities be allowed to exercise daily.

House Rep. Tom Marino, a Republican, is lead sponsor on a bill to crack down on animal fighting spectators and Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat, is a leader in the effort to stop theft of pets by so-called "Class B' or random source dealers, for animal research and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Republican, successfully amended a bill to stop the weakening of the Endangered Species Act.

How did your Representative or Senator vote on bills relating to puppy mills, endangered species, horse slaughter, dog fighting, animal testing or agriculture subsidies?

Check out their records here.