SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Presidential hopeful Julian Castro took to twitter early this morning to announce that he has qualified for the next debate.  He thanked  his supporters and posted a link to a CNN article which reports he got his fourth qualifying poll today. That means he has met both the polling and fundraising requirements to participate in the Democratic primary debate in September in Houston.

In order to make it to the stage, presidential hopefuls must receive 2 percent or more in at least four separate polls between June 28 and August 28 and they must receive donations from at least 130,000 individual donors from several states. Castro got 2 percent in the CNN poll released today.

Nine other candidates have qualified for the debate next month, including former Vice President Joe Biden,  Sen. Beto O’Rourke, Senator Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, businessman Andrew Yang and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Castro was in San Antonio Monday evening to announce the “Protecting Animals and Wildlife (PAW) Plan.  It would make animal abuse a federal crime and crack down on trophy hunting.

“From our most loyal companions at home to the most majestic creatures in the wild, animals make our lives healthier and happier,” said Castro.

He notes that animals 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.

The PAW plan would stop the killing of domestic cats and dogs, implement pet-friendly policies in federally-supported affordable housing construction and military housing, and establish a $40 million Local Animal Communities grant program within the U. S. Department of Agriculture. He said that in San Antonio where he served as mayor, the city went from a place that killed the most pets per capita in the United States to a no-kill status in less than a decade.

Castro wants to make animal cruelty a federal crime and strengthen animal welfare standards in factory farms.    Castro wants to establish minimum standards for animal welfare in agriculture, including minimum space standards for livestock and poultry.   He also wants to prohibit the testing of cosmetic products on animals and ban unlicensed private ownership of big cats, such as lions and tigers.

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