Today, Senators Reverend Warnock, Tillis introduce the Bring Animals Relief and Kibble (BARK) Act, which encourages donations to animal shelters by amending the liability protections on good-faith donations
New legislation would aid local animal shelters in Georgia, including the Paws Humane Society in Columbus, Georgia, that have struggled to meet the needs of their communities due to inflation and lower donation levels
Senator Reverend Warnock: “This commonsense legislation reduces pet store food waste, and supports critical shelters, like Paws Humane Society in Columbus, that do so much to meet the needs of our community”
Senator Tillis: “No shelter pet should have to go hungry when so many pet stores have a surplus of readily available food”
ICYMI from WRBL: Senator Raphael Warnock introduces BARK Act to encourage animal shelter donations
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Bring Animals Relief and Kibble (BARK) Act, which encourages donations to animal shelters by amending the liability protections on good-faith donations. The legislation would amend the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, which waives liability for good-faith donations that go to non-profits serving humans, by also waiving liability for good-faith donations to animal shelters.
“We all know it’s a dog’s life for many Georgia animal shelters, but it doesn’t have to be,” said noted dog-lover Senator Reverend Warnock, “This commonsense legislation reduces pet store food waste, and supports critical shelters, like Paws Humane Society in Columbus, that do so much to meet the needs of our community. I’m proud to partner with Senator Tillis on this bipartisan legislation that will help support our four-legged friends.”
“Every year, pet stores throw out surplus pet food, which could easily be donated to feed hungry pets in animal shelters,” said Senator Tillis. “This commonsense legislation removes unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions that keep many pet stores from donating food to animal shelters. No shelter pet should have to go hungry when so many pet stores have a surplus of readily available food.”
“Today, some animal shelters struggle to buy enough pet food for all the animals in their care—while many pet stores routinely throw away perfectly good pet food,” said Representative Raskin. “The BARK Act makes a straightforward fix to the law governing food donation to make donating pet food as easy as donating people food. The BARK Act is a commonsense, bipartisan opportunity to help shelter animals and reduce waste. I’m thankful to Reps. Kim, McBath and Joyce and Senators Warnock and Tillis for joining me in this effort.”
Every year, pet stores throw away tons of expired pet food instead of donating to animal shelters out of fear that they can be held legally liable by the shelters. At the same time, animal shelters have struggled to meet the needs of their communities due to inflation and lower donation levels, and in recent months, animal shelters around the country have reported overcrowding, concerns about running low on pet food and a drop-off in charitable donations during the pandemic. The BARK Act would help mitigate the food shortages facing shelters, while also helping to reduce the millions of pounds of pet food that end up wasted in landfills each year. The legislation is endorsed by 58 organizations, including the Georgia Humane Society, Georgia Pet Coalition, Georgia Shelter Alliance, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, and Best Friends. The House companion legislation is led by Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8), Lucy McBath (D-GA-7), Young Kim (R-CA-40), and David Joyce (R-OH-10).
Bill text available HERE.