HRA’s government relations work leverages our reputation as the premier animal service provider in our region, along with coalition-building and our network of supporters, to advocate for greater protections for vulnerable animals and people that includes a long-term commitment to helping families stay in their homes with their animals.
Keeping people and their pets together
HRA believes that companion animals are best cared for at home with the people who love them. Our advocacy approach includes engaging with stakeholders to support families in need. HRA works with human service organizations to broaden awareness of our community support programs, advocate for legislation to prevent evictions, and call for the extension and expansion of tenant assistance programs. Poverty and structural inequality can create obstacles to pet ownership. So, HRA is also working with the DC Council to introduce a package of legislation targeted to address some of the longstanding issues of unequal access to pet-friendly affordable housing exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, including issues with excessive pet rental fees and restrictive pet polices.
Ending dog breed discrimination
HRA’s work includes a focus on recognizing companion animals as individuals and supporting families to have the companion of their choice, regardless of breed. We formed a coalition with regional and national animal welfare partners to work to overturn legislation in neighboring Prince George’s County, MD that prohibits the possession of dogs identified by the county as pit bull type dogs. HRA, as a member of a national pets and housing coalition, also developed a white paper illustrating the inequity to consumers inherent with the use of insurance dog breed lists that we are using to advocate to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and industry leaders in the hopes of creating industry-wide change around breed restrictive policies that have no basis in science.
Fighting animal cruelty and neglect
HRA engages with local, state, and federal legislative bodies to support needed updates to animal protection laws to address systemic animal cruelty. We are leading advocacy efforts for the DC Animal Care and Control Omnibus Act that will give humane law enforcement needed tools to address animal cruelty in the District, and also working nationally and throughout our region to support legislation to address issues from humane management of outdoor cat population to nationwide reporting on the connections between animal abuse and child abuse.
HRA is a proud supporter of the Puppy Protection Act to upgrade the inadequate standards of care required under the federal Animal Welfare Act to ensure that animals being sold to the public as pets are provided basic humane care and are healthy and behaviorally sound.
Join our team of supporters
HRA's Animal Advocacy Alliance and Ward Captain Volunteer Leader Program are our grassroots advocacy initiatives designed to help improve animal welfare in our region and beyond by empowering advocates to turn their love for animals into action for needed legislative change. Activating passionate advocates to engage with their elected officials and policymakers at strategic times allows HRA to demonstrate strong community support for animal welfare policy goals.
Those interested in joining our advocacy efforts can sign up to become a member of HRA’s Animal Advocacy Alliance and stay up to date on our work to make needed updates to the District’s animal welfare laws and ensure DC residents have the animal protection they deserve by submitting the form below or emailing [email protected].