The PAW Plan
Sign up to help make a future for all of us.
The Protecting Animals and Wildlife (PAW) Plan
Animals are an important part of our lives, families, communities, and the planet we share. From our most loyal companions at home to the most majestic creatures in the wild, animals make our lives healthier and happier. There is a special bond between people and animals: they comfort us when we’re in need, help us heal when we’re sick, calm our anxiety when we’re stressed, and bring us joy in moments of despair. Animals also work alongside us during disaster relief and every day as service animals. In short, animals inspire us with their natural beauty, and we have a responsibility to protect and care for them.
Hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs are in need of a loving home, and hundreds of millions of livestock and poultry suffer inhumane conditions.
Last year, over 700,000 animals were euthanized in America’s shelters, a cruel and unjust fate for far too many lives. But our nation can choose a different path. This month, Delaware became the first “no-kill” state, with more than 90 percent of animals returned to their owners or provided a home. In California, voters approved new standards for raising chickens, pigs, and cows, and established the most progressive animal farm welfare protections in the world. America’s laboratories of democracy are developing novel protections, yet animals at large still confront an existential threat.
One million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, according to a new United Nations scientific report.
The climate crisis is accelerating an unprecedented decline in biodiversity, threatening not only the future of animals but human life. The Trump Administration’s response has been to dramatically weaken the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), the landmark conservation law signed by President Nixon. Even though 99 percent of the animals, plants, and insects protected by the ESA have been saved from extinction, President Trump is privatizing public land to appease big oil and gas corporations at the expense of conservation and preservation. Trump values profits over people, individual fortunes over our collective future, and he is the most anti-animal president in our history.
I believe that we can do better at advancing animal welfare and protecting endangered species from extinction.
In my hometown of San Antonio, we’ve improved from a place that killed more pets per capita than anywhere in America to achieving a no-kill status in less than a decade. This type of rapid transformation was made possible by a concerted community effort, funding by public, private, and non-profit partners, and being ambitious with our goals. I’m committed to ending the euthanasia of domestic dogs and cats for population control by providing the resources to address the underlying causes of stray populations. We should expand access to spaying and neutering services with a $40 million Local Animal Communities grant program, promote adoption, hold puppy mills accountable, make animal abuse a federal crime, and raise standards in factory farms. Our plan to advance animal welfare is not only the right thing to do, but will improve people’s lives through responsible pet ownership and a more sustainable agricultural system.
Public policy must also confront the consequences of the climate crisis, including the threat of animal extinctions. History has demonstrated that the Endangered Species Act is an effective tool to save at-risk species. The bald eagle, an emblem of America’s strength and grace, was preserved by measures taken through this law. As president, I will appoint an Interior Secretary who’s not a lobbyist for oil and gas corporations, but a conservation scientist committed to cleaning up Trump’s environmental disaster. We will create a $2 billion National Wildlife Recovery Fund to combat the extinction threat, protect over 30 percent of America’s lands and oceans for wildlife preservation with a 50 percent goal by 2050, and crack down on hunting elephants and other endangered species by doubling the Multinational Species Conservation Fund. The grizzly bear, humpback whale, American alligator, grey wolf, spotted owl, and many more species were brought back from the brink of extinction and are alive today thanks to conservation efforts and a focus on the future.
We each have not only an opportunity, but a responsibility to advance the welfare of animals and protect endangered species from extinction.
People and animals have coexisted and thrived together since the start of history, but now with the climate crisis and human activity that symbiotic relationship is at risk. Imagine a world without majestic creatures like elephants or the soaring bald eagle on a sunny day. Imagine our communities without stray dogs and cats having hundreds of stranded off-spring, but rather every healthy pet in a caring home. It’s up to all of us neighbors, local leaders, activist and yes, even candidates for president of the United States to speak up and propose a plan for a more sustainable, happy, and healthy future.
Please consider rescuing an animal:
Advance Animal Welfare
1. Stop the Killing of Domestic Cats and Dogs
Over the last few decades, activism, animal welfare laws, and the practice of spaying and neutering pets has decreased the number of healthy dogs and cats euthanized in shelters from over 20 million in 1970 to under 1 million today. We can ensure that no healthy dogs and cats are killed, and that every pet can find a loving home. This requires supporting local communities and states, and implementing policies that strengthen animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.
2. Make animal cruelty a federal crime:
In 2010, Congress applied criminal penalties for the creation, sale, and distribution of videos depicting animals being killed in inhumane ways in a broad and bipartisan effort. We need to pass the bipartisan PACT Act, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch and Sen. Pat Toomey, and ensure these actions are prohibited, regardless of if they were filmed.
3. Strengthen animal welfare standards in factory farms
4. Prohibit the testing of cosmetic products on animals
5. Ban unlicensed private ownership of big cats, such as lions and tigers.
Thousands of lions, tigers, and other big cats that belong in the wild are in the hands of private owners. Some estimates indicate more tigers live in private ownership in the United States than in the wild. This poses a serious threat to public safety and welfare of these animals. We must transition these cats to conservation-oriented programs that are well-equipped to care for them.