(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) today joined Reps. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and 82 Members of Congress in sending a bipartisan letter to House Leadership urging support for animal shelters and rescue organizations in any upcoming coronavirus aid package. 

The Members wrote: "In this difficult time, the organizations that care for and adopt out animals are heavily engaged in disseminating  information and providing direct services to citizens, designed to help them ensure the safety and well-being of their pets. Many of these organizations provide access to emergency pet food for families struggling to feed their pets, as well as basic services and veterinary care, and valuable counsel and support regarding pet health and nutrition. Amid this crisis, these services remain vital in keeping pets and families together and in helping to stave off an increase in pets being surrendered to shelters or abandoned in this time of crisis."

The Members continued: "There are an estimated 3,500 brick and mortar animal shelters and 10,000 rescue groups in the United States providing services for pets in our communities. In addition, agencies and private authorities with animal control contracts spend approximately $800 million to $1 billion annually to pick-up, treat, and promote the adoption of stray animals. This too is an important public health service and should have funding as such for the benefit of millions of Americans, their pets, and their communities."

The letter is endorsed by the Humane Society Legislative Fund. 

A copy of the letter below is available here.