action > contact your State legislators
To find your political district and legislators (who represents you), go to:
Minnesota District Finder
The above link is easy to use. Simply enter your address, city, state and zipcode and the site will give you your district and lists your State Representative (MN House) and State Senator (MN Senate). NOTE: The site also lists federal congressmen/women, which is not needed for Minnesota bills — Minnesota state legislators vote on state bills.
Another option to find your legislators: If you're in the metro area, call 1-651-296-2146 (House Public Information Services) and asks who represents you based on your address/city/zip. Our of the metro area, call 1-800-657-3550. The '651' number is the House switchboard and they will connect you directly to your Representatives/ or Senator's office.
What to say or write
Legislators want to hear directly from constituents. All accept calls, emails or letters. (Calls work best because not all legislators respond to emails quickly.)
If you call, the legislator may pick up the phone and you can speak with him or her directly. In most cases, you’ll reach the legislator's voicemail (and you can leave a message) or you'll speak with a legislative aide. The aide will take your name and comments. If you haven’t called before, just be yourself. Keep it short, yet personal.
Dog and Cat Breeder Bill (S.F. 36/H.F. 84)
PLEASE KNOW: The bill in both the House and Senate has progressed. To follow the bill status, go to: Follow The Vote.
If you are a constituent of the legislator, please state that.
- HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES: If speaking with your Representative (to educate them about the issue and the bill and encourage their support) you can say: "My name is ______________. I'm asking that Representative _________________ (his or her name) support the MN Dog and Cat Breeder Bill, H.F. 84. This bill will help protect dogs and cats in breeding facilities by requiring that commerical dog and cat breeders get licensed, be inspected and follow animal care standards. Thank you for your support." NOTE: H.F. 84 was included as a provision in the House Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill (an omnibus bill contains multiple bills). The omnibus bill number is H.F. 3172. (You can still refer to it as H.F. 84 or the Dog and Cat Breeder Bill.)
- SENATORS: If speaking with your Senator (to educate them about the issue and the bill and encourage their support) you can say: "My name is ______________. I'm asking that Senator _____________________ (his or her name) support the MN Dog and Cat Breeder Bill, S.F. 36. This bill will help protect dogs and cats in breeding facilities by requiring that commerical dog and cat breeders get licensed, be inspected and follow animal care standards. Thank you for your support."
- If there's time or if the legislator asks why, briefly explain why this issue is important to you and your family: Maybe you have a dog or cat that you care about dearly, or have rescued animals from puppy and kitten mills. Maybe you've been sold a sick dog or cat and have seen firsthand the effects of inhumane breeding. Minnesota has no state laws to regulate dog and cat breeders and, as a result, animals are harmed, consumers are sold unhealthy pets, and communities, including law enforcement, the courts, humane societies and rescue groups, must "clean up" the problem without financial support from the breeding industry.
IMPORTANT: Some legislators have already publicly expressed their support for breeder regulation. Ask your legislators their stance. Some may have signed on "officially" as co-authors. To check names of co-authors, click on the links for each bill number at:
Dog and Cat Breeder Bill
All legislators vary in how and when they respond to constituents.
- Some legislators answer their own emails; some do not. Some prefer phone calls or letters. Some respond in days; others take months.
- Many times the legislative aide responds and may send a "form" email or letter to you. Because a legislator or aide may not know the details of every bill at the Legislature, they may choose from a variety of generic responses that have already been written: 1) support; 2) neutral; or 3) against. This is why it's important to get to know your legislators and provide them with information and insight — so they learn to trust you and your opinion and their responses reflect this insight.
- Even though certain legislators express opposition, they cannot ignore constituents with firsthand knowledge and stories that relate to their community.
- Some people and organizations provide legislators with misinformation. Sometimes this is done intentionally (so as to confuse legislators); sometimes it's based on ignorance (they may not have the facts). If a legislator opposes the bill, ask why. Every conversation is an opportunity to inform and educate.
If you hear from your legislators, please forward responses to Animal Folks MN.