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Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-M.D.), Fred Upton (R-M.I.), Lucy McBath (D-G.A.) and Young Kim (R-C.A.) introduced the bipartisan Bring Animals Relief and Kibble (BARK) Act today to provide liability protections for pet suppliers donating food and supplies to animal shelters. By eliminating this donation deterrent, the BARK Act would help recover millions of pounds of food waste for animal shelters in need.
In response, Lisa LaFontaine, President and CEO at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., has issued the following statement in support of this legislation:
“Thank you Reps. Raskin, Upton, McBath and Kim for sponsoring the BARK Act to encourage pet stores to donate pet food and supplies to animal shelters. As the District’s only animal welfare organization, we rely on in-kind donations to care for the thousands of homeless animals who enter our shelters each year. The BARK Act would also help stock our Pet Pantry, which removes barriers for families having difficulty caring for their pets by providing pet food and supplies to those in need.”
In partnership with churches, food banks, mutual aid networks and human service organizations, HRA distributed nearly 200,000 pounds of free pet food in 2020, filling 500,000 empty food bowls with meals through its Pet Pantry and Help Out, Partner and Engage (HOPE) program, which addresses the lack of accessible, affordable pet care resources by providing free services and information.
The full text of the bill is available here.
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