New federal bills would prohibit breed restrictions in public housing and provide critically needed support for unhoused people with pets.
On June 9th, 2023, Representatives Jason Crow (D-CO), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) introduced the bi-partisan Providing for Unhoused People with Pets (PUPP) Act to Congress. If passed, the bill would establish a grant program to support shelters and transitional housing facilities that accommodate both people and their pets. This proactive approach recognizes the impact of the human-animal bond and aims to reduce the barriers that often prevent families with pets from accessing shelter.
Alongside the PUPP Act, the Pets Belong with Families Act, takes a broader perspective on supporting families experiencing housing insecurity and their pets. If passed, this bill would prohibit public housing providers from imposing breed restrictions on residents’ pets, protecting 1.2 million households who rely on public housing from unsupported, discriminatory policies.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can help shelter pets and the people who love them by contacting your U.S. Representative and urging them to cosponsor these bills.
Use our sample message below or draft your own!
Dear [Representative _______ ],
I am writing today to ask you to cosponsor and support two important bills that would help provide shelter to pets and the people who love them. I believe that pets are family, and that no one should have to choose between family and shelter.
66% of U.S. households include pets and the social support they offer has been shown to improve both the physical and mental health of their owners. Pets provide comfort, companionship, a sense of safety, and promote stronger feelings of self-worth. Among the unhoused population, animal companionship is particularly fortifying and may encourage individuals to achieve sobriety, avoid incarceration, or leave an abuser. Despite persistent misconceptions, the pets of people experiencing homelessness are typically well loved and well cared for. Still, many pet-owning individuals and families continue to face limited access to shelter, services, and housing.
I urge you to cosponsor and support the following pieces of legislation:
Providing for Unhoused People with Pets Act of 2022: H.R.8074 (Rep. Crow [D-CO])
If passed, H.R.8074 would establish a grant program for interim and permanent housing that accommodates individuals (or families) who are homeless and have pets. These funds would also provide for additional veterinary services, including spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and other basic medical care. This essential funding will help the most vulnerable members of our community access the support they need to care for their pets.
Pets Belong With Families Act: H.R.5828 (Rep. Schiff [D-CA-28])
If passed, H.R.5828 would prohibit public housing agencies from imposing breed restrictions on pets owned by residents of public housing units.
There is no evidence that breed-specific restrictions make communities safer. In fact, a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations have rejected the validity of breed restrictions, including the Center for Disease Control, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the American Bar Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This bill will protect the 1.2 million households who rely on public housing from discriminatory policies based on the breed of their pet.
As your constituent, I urge you to cosponsor both the Providing for Unhoused People with Pets Act of 2022 and the Pets Belong With Families Act to protect and shelter people and animals in our community. Thank you for your attention to these critical issues.
[First and Last Name]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Danielle Works is a Community Outreach Coordinator for RedRover. With more than 10 years of experience in animal welfare, Danielle consults with shelters throughout the country to identify collaborative solutions for pets and owners in crisis. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.