Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., gives some attention to Lily, his 15-pound French bulldog, Feb. 15 in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lily once was rejected by Amtrak, but the House passed a measure Wednesday that would let her ride with her owner. Photo by
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act passed last week by a vote of 316-101 (132 Republicans joined 184 Democrats in voting for the bill; 101 Republicans voted against). The Act holds funding for Amtrak, the USA’s national rail network, at current levels.
But, the big news for dog lovers is that the rail line will designate at least one car per train, where feasible, for pets, so that passengers “may transport a domesticated cat or dog in the same manner as carry-on baggage.”
Representative Jeff Denham, a Republican from California, supported the bill because he likes to travel with Lily, his French Bulldog. Lily can ride on airplanes with Denham but has been unable to do so on train trips.
In 2014, Amtrak initiated a trial project into pet-friendly travel. That trial was only in the Chicago area – now Amtrak must accept pets on a much wider basis.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
This is Lily. She was the inspiration behind National Mill Dog Rescue, which is based in Peyton, Colorado. I love to find stories, sad and otherwise, which show how special dog inspire their owners to do new things.
Lily’s story is told eloquently by Rich Strader on the National Mill Dog Rescue website:
Lily was born, raised and perhaps had 13 litters of puppies at the Reedgate Kennels before we were able to buy her at auction. Her time there was spent in a wire cage with a board to sleep on and a rabbit water bottle to drink from. While in the mill she received little or no vet care and because of this she lost all her teeth and her lower jaw rotted off, which is not unusual for the smaller breeds in the puppy mills. Everything that was precious to her was taken away (her puppies). The human hand brought only misery.
When she came to me I took her to work everyday and she slept in the warmth of my Irish Wolfhound’s stomach. She slowly learned to trust and in seven months she would come to me to get on my lap! She now loves all humans as no one will ever hurt her again.
Lily is my inspiration. She can teach anyone about love, courage and the ability to forgive. Unfortunately the cancer she acquired through years of neglect is now close to ending her life. I have promised her she will never be alone again and I will be with her at the end. To date she is responsible for saving over 7700 dogs as she is the inspiration and founder of MDRN.
Lily died in my arms May 13, 2008. She will be missed.
You can find out more about National Mill Dog Rescue on their website and I encourage you to read Theresa Strader’s Letter to Lily’s Breeder to fully understand the scale of suffering by irresponsible breeders.
And to update the numbers…to date, National Mill Dog Rescue has saved 8,184 dogs … and still counting!