Richard Blumenthal and Rick Scott Introduce Bipartisan Legislation, “Goldie’s Act,” to Promote Animal Welfare


U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced legislation this week to better protect animals in federally-licensed facilities.

The legislation, Goldie’s Act, amends and strengthens the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and provides solutions and clear authority for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors, promoting the safety and wellbeing of animals.

“This essential measure gives the USDA the tools and resources needed to hold abusers accountable and to protect innocent animals,” Blumenthal said in a release. “Neglect and mistreatment have no place in our society, and I am proud to introduce this legislation to uphold the health and safety of animals and to keep them out of harm’s way.”

Photo of #142 (Goldie) from the follow-up USDA inspection of puppy mill breeder in Iowa


Scott said, “Puppy mills are cruel and inhumane and I am proud to team up with Senator Blumenthal to introduce the Goldie’s Act to crack down on these despicable operations. This good bill will strengthen existing law and provide greater clarity and coordination with law enforcement to hold people who are cruel to animals accountable for their crimes with stronger civil penalties. I urge our colleagues to support this bill to better protect our four-legged friends.”

Goldie’s Act, named in honor of a golden retriever who was neglected and abused at a USDA-licensed puppy mill in Iowa, requires the USDA to both conduct more meaningful inspections and document all violations and to hold more frequent inspections for bad actors. The legislation also requires the USDA to increase coordination with law enforcement, enact stronger penalties for violations, and provide vital aid for suffering animals.

This bill is a companion to legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last year, led by U.S. Representatives Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Zach Nunn (R-IA).

Goldie’s Act is officially endorsed by over 150 organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Humane Society Legislative Fund, National Animal Care and Control Association, and Best Friends Animal Society.

Goldie’s Act, named after a dog who endured months of suffering under the USDA’s watch and tragically died in an Iowa puppy mill, will prevent thousands of other vulnerable dogs from meeting the same tragic and unacceptable fate,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President & CEO.

“We urge Congress to include Goldie’s Act in the upcoming Farm Bill to ensure the USDA fulfills its responsibility under the law – and to taxpayers – to protect dogs bred and warehoused for the pet trade,” Bershadker added.

Full text of the bill can be found here.