(WASHINGTON, DC)— Congressman Gus Bilirakis has announced he will champion the bi-partisan Fairness to Pet Owners Act as the lead Republican House sponsor joining lead Democrat Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA). This legislation would ensure pet owners automatically receive a copy of their pets’ prescriptions from their veterinarian without having to ask, pay an extra fee, or sign a waiver.
Leading animal welfare advocates assert this legislation would provide pet owners more money saving options while helping them take better care of their companion animals.
“Congressman Bilirakis clearly values the deep bond so many families share with their pets,” said Stephen Bennet, Founder of Suncoast Organized Animal Relief. “Sadly, 26 percent of pets are rehomed each year due to medical reasons and cost is clearly a factor. We believe the system for pet medications is broken and the Fairness to Pet Owners Act will bridge the need to make generics and other affordable options easier to access.”
The League of Humane Voters Florida, Suncoast Organized Animal Relief, Greyhound Rescues and Adoptions of Tampa Bay, Inc., Rescue Pink, and Change Animal Welfare Laws Pinellas among numerous other individual animal welfare advocates located in the Bay Area have worked closely with Congressman Bilirakis on this issue.
“We’re grateful Congressman Bilirakis took the time to hear the concerns of the animal welfare community regarding the harmful impact limited prescription access has on pet health,” said Kelly Faircloth, President of Greyhound Rescue & Adoptions of Tampa Bay, Inc. “Our rescue often takes in senior dogs with chronic conditions that can be easily managed with prescription medications. Being able to assure potential adopters that they will have access to more affordable options will mean the difference between a dog waiting months to sometimes even longer than a year to be placed in their forever home.”
The Fairness to Pet Owners Act would serve to infuse choice in the marketplace. Currently, half of all pet owners (and 72% of those aged 45-54) who visited a vet clinic did not automatically receive a copy of their pets’ prescription, and more than 35 percent of those who purchased pet medications were unaware they could ask for a copy of the prescription. Without a prescription, pet owners cannot seek out more affordable or convenient purchasing options.
To learn more about the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, please visit www.apaw.org.