So, Davi reached out to Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., whom Davi had befriended after watching his work against the stimulus package. McCotter was intrigued enough by the concept to craft it into legislation he offered this summer.
The bill seems unlikely to advance very far. Both Republican and Democratic aides say it hasn't risen near the top of anyone's priority list, given the other huge challenges confronting lawmakers these days.
And reactions among conservatives are mixed at best.
Ed Morrissey, writing for HotAir.com, pointed out that carving out new tax deductions works against efforts to simplify the tax code.
"I like both Davi and McCotter, but this seems rather misguided, especially for a conservative Republican like McCotter," Morrissey wrote. "Republicans have been demanding tax simplification, not further complication, for the last few years, and for good reasons. The problem with the current tax code is precisely that 'using the tax code to encourage positive behavior is common practice.' Congress and presidents routinely press for tax breaks for their ideas of social engineering, which is why we now spend hundreds of billions of dollars in tax compliance."
Proponents of the HAPPY Act say pets are worth it.
"Pets release stress, give comfort, partnership in these hard times -- that's invaluable. They help people stay active. They teach compassion. In an unpredictable world, pets are consistent. They're really a part of the fabric of life," said Dribben. "This legislation is helping people so that they can keep the pets that they love."