Don’t Let Dogs Die From Unknown Disease

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Help veterinarians identify source of mystery illnesses affecting pets.

Respiratory sickness is spreading quickly across the country, leaving many medical experts baffled. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, loss of appetite, and tiredness.  Older patients and patients with preexisting conditions are at increased risk. While these circumstances may seem familiar, one key difference has emerged. The targets of the latest medical mystery are dogs.

Canine parents have been understandably concerned, especially after reports emerged that some animals had died. But veterinary professionals cannot say for certain if the uptick in illness is the result of commonplace ailments or the emergence of a new disease. The one thing they can agree on, however, is that a national tracking system for pet illnesses could help solve the mystery or, at the very least, provide needed information.

Unfortunately, no such system currently exists in the United States. Sign the petition below to urge a change in this critical oversight.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

The world learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that transparency and tracking of illnesses is crucial in developing a robust plan of action. Currently, the veterinary world is learning just how much America’s lack of such a tracking system for companion animals can harm both public education and plans of treatment. An increase in canine-related illnesses is causing concern for many dog owners, but experts can provide no clear answers because they do not have the tools and resources to detect key patterns and trends.

Anecdotal cases of pets falling ill for weeks or months with progressive pneumonia of unknown origin are creating alarming headlines but little in the way of valuable, insightful information. As the agency representative responsible for overseeing animal welfare in the United States, please help rectify these circumstances for animals and the people who love them. Advocate for a nationwide, comprehensive veterinary tracking system that can help stop the next epidemic in its tracks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Diogo Miranda

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