Search Menu

Late last week, Goldie’s Act (HR 1788/S 4033), was introduced in the U.S. Senate. This harmful bill:

  • Redefines “violations” of the federal Animal Welfare Act;
  • Allows for immediate seizure or euthanasia of animals suffering from “psychological harm”, a term it does not define;
  • Removes distinctions between minor non-compliances such as paperwork errors and animal care violations. AWA enforcement emphasis should be on the health and welfare of animals;
  • Requires posting of images of violations on a publicly accessible database; and
  • Undermines the property rights of responsible breeders.

Scroll down for more details and talking points.


 Call, email, or write to your member of Congress and U.S. Senators today.  Visit AKC’s Legislative Action Center legislator contact page at and type in your address to find the names and contact information for your Member of Congress and U.S. Senators.

Respectfully Tell them:

 Please oppose Goldie’s Act. This is a “feel good” proposal that is being promoted as improving Animal Welfare Act enforcement, but will actually do the opposite by creating confusion and mistrust, and reducing emphasis on education and proper care for dogs.

  1. Explain you are a constituent. Respectfully share your experience and concerns as a dog owner/breeder/expert. For example, what criteria would an inspector use to determine “psychological harm”, which is not defined?
  2. Despite claims being made by AR groups, these bills do impact responsible small breeders.
  3. Dog owners should not have to fear arbitrary seizure or euthanasia of their animals based on vague allegations of “psychological harm”, a term that the bill is not defined.
  4. Ask them to instead support additional financial resources for USDA educational and enforcement programs so they can appropriately educate licensees and enforce existing requirements.
  5. If you can, let the AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) team ( know you contacted your lawmakers and if you received any response.


 Summary of “Goldie’s Act” (H.R. 1788/ S. 4033)


Goldie’s Act (HR 1788) establishes government mandates that:

  • Redefine AWA violations and undermine priority for the care and wellbeing of animals.  Proponents claim that the bill is designed to crack down on violators of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), but in fact it will do the opposite. By removing the distinction between care and welfare (direct) violations and paperwork/non-welfare related (indirect) violations the measure will make enforcement of animal care violations more difficult. While zero violations of any rules or laws should be the goal, the care and wellbeing of animals must always be a priority. Reporting paperwork errors in the same manner as care violations also creates a misleading perception about breeder licensees and creates a new target for animal extremists who use those public databases to identify breeders.
  • Require inspectors to destroy or remove an animal if they believe it is experiencing physical or “psychological harm”. The bill does not define or determine how “psychological harm” would be determined, or by whom. This creates an environment for abuse and unnecessary euthanasia of animals.
  • State the intent to expand enforcement of federal breeder licensing requirements, but in fact it throws out recent enforcement enhancements currently undergoing a 3-year implementation process, scheduled for completion in October 2024. Instead of improving enforcement of the AWA, it creates confusing and onerous new mandates, and undermines recently established enforcement efforts. Constantly changing arbitrary rules create a confusing, expensive, and potentially harmful environment for animal care in which neither licensees nor regulators may be certain of requirements.

Who This Applies To:

Anyone subject to USDA breeder/dealer licensing.  Breeders are subject to USDA licensing if they maintain more than 4 “breeding females” (a term that is undefined but is generally considered to mean an intact female) and transfer even one of the offspring “sight unseen”. “Breeding females” include any combination of cats, dogs, or other small pet mammals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.

For questions or more information, contact, visit AKC’s Legislative Action Center or contact 919-816-3720.

Thank you for your action to protect the future of our breeds and the integrity of responsible, expert breeders. Your voice does make a difference!