The Iowa Pet Alliance is focused on the two most critical issues facing pets in Iowa:
- The lack of adequate companion animal cruelty laws
- The large puppy mill problem within Iowa’s commercial dog breeding industry
We work with representatives to draft positive legislation, track bills through the legislative process, provide relevant documentation and data, testify at committee meetings, and lobby throughout the year on behalf of Iowa pets. We not only work extensively to create and support positive laws, we also oppose negative legislation or policies that would harm Iowa pets.
While Iowa’s legislative session takes place from January to May, the IPA lobbies on behalf of pets throughout the year.
2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
COMMUNITY AND PET PROTECTION ACT (HF737)
IPA – SUPPORTS
The Community and Pet Protection Act (HF737) received more support — within both parties and both chambers — during the 2019 legislative than any such bill has ever previously received!
While it was ultimately stalled in the Senate, HF737 passed the Iowa House of Representatives unanimously, in a 96-0 vote! It also passed the full Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Holt (R-Denison)
Floor Manager (House): Rep. Ross Paustian (R-Walcott)
Floor Manager (Senate): Rep. Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale)
HF737 strengthens and clarifies Iowa’s current companion animal cruelty laws by increasing penalties for animal cruelty; removing the current owner exemption that bars an owner from being charged with animal abuse for abusing their own pet; clarifying standards of care requirements including water, shelter, and veterinary care; and requiring mental health evaluation and treatment.
COMMERCIAL DOG BREEDING BILL (HF738)
IPA – SUPPORTS
The Commercial Dog Breeding Bill (HF738) is a robust bill focused on addressing the puppy mill problem within Iowa’s commercial dog breeding industry.
HF738 received remarkable support and progress compared to previous years, particularly considering that this was the first year such language was introduced. The bill passed initial legislative hurdles – a subcommittee and the full House State Government Committee – with broad bipartisan support.
Sponsor and Floor Manager: Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton)
IPA – OPPOSES
The original bill language removes all requirements for an individual to provide a proof of identification when applying for an animal welfare license to operate a commercial establishment (defined in Iowa code as: boarding kennels, animal shelters, commercial breeders, commercial kennels, dealers, pet shops, pounds, public auctions, and research facilities) in Iowa. This would also result in the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the agency tasked with issuing and overseeing such businesses, having no way to determine if each applicant has been previously convicted of “animal cruelty or neglect” and so barred from receiving such a license for at least five years, in accordance with Iowa Administrative Code.
Sponsor: Rep. Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids)
Floor Manager (House): Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson)
Floor Manager (Senate): Sen. Dan Zumbach (R-Ryan)
HF311 moved quickly through the House Agriculture Subcommittee and full House Agriculture Committee at the start of the session.
Fortunately, thanks to Iowa Pet Alliance supporters joining us in speaking in opposition to the bill, House representatives paused and reconsidered the possible negative consequences.
The Iowa Pet Alliance then worked with the bill’s floor manager, Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson) and Reps. Louie Zumbach (R-Coggon), Mary Wolfe (D-Clinton), and Rick Olson (D-Des Moines) to draft an appropriate amendment. A big thank you to each of these representatives!
The House then passed HF311 with Rep. Maxwell’s amendment, ensuring a proof of identification would still be required.
Once in the Senate, however, Sen. Dan Zumbach (R-Ryan) filed an amendment to remove Rep. Maxwell’s amendment language.
The bill stalled in the Senate.