Thursday, December 27, 2007

FL- Miami-Dade County Proposed changes

Miami-Dade County Proposes Drastic Changes for Animal Owners
[Wednesday, December 12, 2007]

The Miami-Dade County Commission will be holding a public hearing at 9:30am on Tuesday, December 18th to discuss a variety of changes to the animal control ordinance including limiting the number of pets a resident may own, implementing hobby breeder licensing, requiring mandatory microchipping for dog breeders and restricting rescue organizations. Concerned dog owners and breeders are asked to attend and speak against these proposed changes. If you are unable to attend, please send an email to the county commissioners or call their offices. As always, please be polite and respectful.

Summary of the Proposed Changes

Zoning Changes and Pet Limits:
The revised ordinance will limit the number of dogs a resident may own based on the size of the property. If you own more than the allowed number, you will be considered a kennel and a public hearing will be held to decide if you may keep your animals. Additionally, you will be required to allow animal control to inspect your premises and must meet specified kennel standards.
These thresholds are arbitrary and do not take in to account the reproductive capability of the animals. A resident could be deemed a kennel even if none of the animals are capable of reproducing or are ever used for breeding! There does NOT appear to be a clause to protect those residents who already own more than the allowed number.

If the property is less than one acre, a resident may have no more than 4 dogs.
If the property is less than two acres, a resident may have no more than 6 dogs.
If the property is two acres or more, a resident may own up to eight dogs.

Hobby Breeder License: The county currently allows a lifetime license, but under the new proposal this would be an annual license. Additionally, the fee for the license is not specified in the ordinance and could easily be very expensive, placing an unreasonable burden on local, responsible breeders. State law provides a definition of pet dealer, which is the same as the one used in this ordinance. There is no compelling reason to spend resources and taxpayer money to license breeders who fall below that threshold.

Pet Dealer and Kennel Inspections:The new ordinance would require anyone who qualifies as a "pet dealer" (anyone who sells more than 20 dogs or 2 litters in one year, whichever is greater) or who requires a kennel license (anyone who exceeds the thresholds set above) to be inspected by animal control. The fees for these licenses are not specified within the ordinance, but due to the expense to animal control to conduct these inspections, it is reasonable to assume they would be very expensive. The standards set for kennels are designed for commercial enterprises, but may not be reasonable or workable for someone who simply owns 5 animals or who breeds perhaps 3 litters a year in their home. Additionally, these same standards do not apply to city or county facilities. If they are for the health and safety of the animals, then they should apply consistently to all facilities.

Breeders Must Microchip:The new ordinance would require that all animals sold be implanted with a microchip and provide that information to animal control. Many animals will be sold to new owners outside the county, therefore this provision creates an unnecessary financial burden for both breeders and animal services who must develop and administer a program to track this information. Animal control is not required to microchip animals that they place.As part of our ongoing efforts to promote responsible dog ownership, the AKC encourages dog owners to properly identify their pets. We believe, however, that the final decision about identification—whether by collar, tattoo or microchip—should be made by the owner, not the government.

Rescues:If adopted, the new ordinance would allow shelters to release animals only to animal rescues registered as a 501 (c)(3) in Florida. This will deprive the county of being able to use many breed and club rescues that for tax filing purposes have not elected to become 501(c)(3)s. This will mean fewer animals are fostered and placed, leading to more euthanizations.

Tethering:The new ordinance would make it illegal to tether a dog outside unless the dog can be supervised by the responsible party and limits tethering to three hours.
Additional Requirements:
Would hold landlords responsible for the actions of any animal maintained on premises they own. Fewer property owners will be willing to rent to animal owners, potentially increasing shelter populations.
License fees for intact and sterilized animals are not specified within the ordinance, so there is no way to judge if these will be reasonable. Residents are best served by having license fees set in the ordinance itself and then having the county commission adjust them when necessary. WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Attend the County Commission meeting on December 18th. 9:30 am Commission Chambers, Second Floor of the Stephen P. Clark Center111 N.W. First Street, Miami, FL 33128
Send a letter or email to the county commissioners asking them to oppose these changes.

District 1 - Barbara J Jordan305-375-5694 Fax District 2 - Dorrin D Rolle305-375-4833 - Fax
District 3 - Audrey M Edmonson305-375-5393 - Fax District 4 - Sally A Heyman305-375-5128 - Fax District 5 - Bruno Barreiro (Commission Chairman)305-643-8525 - Fax
District 6 - Rebeca Sosa305-375-5996 - Fax
District7 - Carlos A Gimenez305-375-5680 - Fax District 8 - Katy Sorenson305-375-5218 - Fax
District 9 - Dennis C, Moss305-375-4832 - Fax 305 District 10 - Javier D. Souto305-375-4835 - Fax 305 District 11 - Joe A Martinez305-375-5511 - Fax District 12 - Jose Diaz305-375-4343 - Fax 305
District 13 - Natacha Seijas305-375-4831 - Fax
Mayor Carlos Alvarez305-375-5071 - Fax
County Attorney Murray Greenberg 305-375-5151 - Fax County Manager George M. Burges 305-375-5311 - Fax

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Dog Tax"- Dog Licenses are obsolete

The reason to license dogs use to be two fold- 1. to make sure that people were having the dog vaccinated for Rabies and 2. If the dog got lost, it was a means of reuniting dogs and owners.

Private industry has taken care of #2- microchips and services such as the AKC Compaion Animal Recovery (Care) program, Home-Again, and other recovery services have mostly taken the place of the need for a license. Animal shelters are required to have microchip scanners and we would all like to think that they use them to help find homes for dogs picked up on the streets.

As for #1-well, all warm blooded animals can harbor Rabies- so why don't we license cats? More cats are unattended and roaming the streets than any other domestic animal. A bite from a cat with Rabies is equally as serious as a dog bite.

I guess that the only remaining reason to license dogs is for a "dog tax". It also serves as one more way you can "stick it" to your neighbor that you are having a dispute with- just call the "dog warden". Dog license provide good money to counties, townships, States, and so it is un-likely that anyone will do away with them- but this year, as you are renewing your dogs' license, ask yourself, is this money being used to HELP me and my dog. I think you will have to answer no- maybe a movement will start that says- "Hey Township- it is none of your business how many dogs I have! and I am not going to pay you any amount of money so that you can come knock on my door to see my rabies certificate."

PA- article in Philly Inquirer- Rendell to Push Broard Changes for Kennels

Posted on Sat, Dec. 22, 2007
Rendell to push broad changes for kennels
The state, which has been notorious for puppy mills, might have the most stringent dog laws in the nation.
By Amy Worden
Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Rendell, in a continuing effort to improve conditions for the tens of thousands of dogs in Pennsylvania kennels, wants to eliminate wire-floor cages as well as do-it-yourself cesareans and other at-home medical practices, and ban anyone convicted of animal cruelty from holding a kennel license.
Those are among proposals that Rendell will present next month in an effort to push bad kennel owners out of the industry, and improve housing and health care for dogs in the state's 2,600 commercial kennels.
A draft copy of the proposals, which would strengthen and expand statutes and regulations, was provided to The Inquirer by a person in the administration.
Among the most significant changes would be larger cage sizes with exercise runs and veterinary care requirements, additional tools for the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to enforce kennel regulations and cruelty laws, and increased fines and penalties for cruelty citations.
Experts in animal law say that if the legislation is approved, Pennsylvania - criticized as the "puppy mill capital of the East" - would have the most stringent kennel laws in the nation.
The legislation attempts to address critics who objected to regulations proposed by Rendell last year as part of his effort to overhaul the Bureau of Dog Law.
While hailed by animal welfare advocates, Rendell's proposal came under fire from breeders and sporting groups, which called it burdensome and costly.
In April, a state regulatory panel criticized the proposal as having "significantly understated the cost to breeders and failing to consider the diverse types of kennels in the state."
Administration officials say they have not abandoned the regulatory process but are seeking to move forward on a second track through the legislative process.
They say the legislation will more clearly define the target of the changes - commercial kennels that sell primarily to pet shops - while strengthening both the dog law and the animal cruelty law.
The new approach is aimed at "substantially improving the lives of breeding dogs . . . who could spend much of their lives in facilities in extremely small cages under existing law," according to the summary of the draft proposal.
The proposals were developed from a near-record 16,000 comments submitted by various interest groups, legislators and the public.
John Gibble, a member of the Dog Law Advisory Board who represents sporting groups, said he would have no comment on the proposals until after the board meets to discuss them on Jan. 16.
Board member Tom Hickey Sr. said the legislative proposals directly address continuing problems with the roughly 300 large commercial kennels in the state, the majority in Lancaster County.
"These are clearly more focused on what the governor wants to do with the requirements for larger enclosures with attached runs," said Hickey. "And you can't kill your own dogs; they must get medical treatment."
In 2006, Rendell, a dog lover fed up with the state's bad reputation, pledged to improve the lives of commercial breeding dogs - many of which get little socialization and never leave their cramped cages. He fired the members of the Dog Law Advisory Board; hired more kennel inspection staff, a new deputy secretary and a special prosecutor in the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement; and proposed sweeping kennel regulations.
His legislative package goes further.
"Absolutely, it would be the strongest law in the country," said Bob Baker, an ASPCA investigator who helped draft Pennsylvania's dog law in the early 1980s.
The bill would ban the stacking of cages and wire-floored cages, which are popular because they allow waste to drop through for easier cleaning. Wire floors can cause health problems, including sores on dogs' paw pads and injuries when a paw or leg slips through the wire.
It also would mandate license revocation for an owner convicted of animal cruelty within the previous 10 years. Now, the secretary of agriculture has the discretion to allow those convicted of animal abuse to continue to operate.
Another provision would require that dogs receive annual veterinary care and bar kennel operators from giving their own rabies shots.
Animal welfare advocates say allowing breeders to give their own rabies shots means many dogs rarely, if ever, see veterinarians for routine check-ups or even complex procedures. The new law would require a vet to perform cesareans and debarking procedures, a response to evidence that some kennel operators perform their own C-sections or debark their dogs by plunging sharp objects down the animals' throats.
"At least dogs would see the vet once a year when they get rabies shots," said Baker.
The bill also would require that old or sick animals be euthanized only by veterinarians. It is legal in Pennsylvania to destroy a dog by shooting it.
Contact staff writer Amy Worden at 717-783-2584 or

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pet puppies and Show Breeders

I feel this is a very good summary of how the AR movement has evolved. Thank you Sharyn for writing this.

Pet Puppies and Show Breeders
So is there no alternative to having dogs raised commercially in long rows of cages and sold at pet stores?

Yes, there is but it will take some major turning around in show breeders' thinking and not many of us are brave enough to stick our necks out and do it. Our ingrained "good breeder" beliefs are just too strong, but mostly it is peer pressure that keeps us from changing. Unfortunately we are going to lose our right to breed at all before anyone decides it's worth risking popularity to speak up.

How we got here: Before World War II, most people had mixed breed dogs because purebreds were just too expensive. No problem finding a puppy because spay/neuter was rare and there were lots of all kinds of pups to be had. As the sixties rolled around, in fact, whole litters were being euthanized at dog pounds because there were few leash laws -- dogs roamed around the neighborhood looking for love -- and no spaying. I was nine in 1960 and one of the joys of my life was the variety of dogs wandering around for me to play with. The dark side was that our neighbors' dogs sometimes had puppies that occasionally mysteriously disappeared around six weeks old with some mumblings from the adults about shelters and finding good homes. The truth was most, if not all, of them were euthanized. There were too many puppies for the homes available. That is pet overpopulation and we still have it in cats.

Around this same time, people were getting more affluent and the price of purebreds was coming down. The government had encouraged the commercial breeding of dogs as an economic measure and suddenly the ads in the paper were not only for Shepherd mixes, but for "German Shepherd puppies, $50." (One of those, incidentally, was my first purebred dog. when I was 16) So now families who had bought purebreds often bred a litter or two for extra income or just for the experience of having pups. And purebred puppies began entering the pound for euthanasia as well. That was pet overpopulation too. Too many puppies for the homes available.

Enter the various humane societies and the spay/neuter campaigns -- unarguably much needed to curb the overpopulation and stop needless euthanasia. Shelter euthanasia dropped 70 percent between 1970 and 1990 and has continued to drop since then. In the late '80s and '90s, good breeders also added spay/neuter contracts to their puppy sales, further reducing the number of unwanted litters. It gradually became unfashionable to allow your dog to have puppies unless you were a show or working dog breeder. "Nice people" just didn't allow their dogs to contribute to pet overpopulation. We breeders went it one better and started being seriously nasty (or at least condescending) to anyone expressing an interest in breeding and once the internet got going, all a person had to do was mention to one breeder that she MIGHT be interested in breeding, and there was a Do Not Adopt circulated throughout the breed lists. That person would play hell getting a puppy from a show breeder after that.

In the early '90s, perhaps a bit earlier, two things happened in the humane movement. Some of the organizations realized that without an overpopulation crisis, they didn't have a message to use to collect donations which were needed to pay the staff. But they didn't declare success and shut down. Ever known an organization to do that? Even the March of Dimes moved from polio to other birth defects when the polio vaccine ended their original crisis. No, they continued to scream "OVERPOPULATION" and they began to ease into a more radical movement called animal rights.

The animal rights philosophy is summarized on PETA's website as "animals have rights and deserve to have their best interests taken into consideration, regardless of whether they are useful to humans. Like you, they are capable of suffering and have an interest in leading their own lives; therefore, they are not ours to use — for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other reason." It's the last part of that that will end our right to breed them. The ARs will deny this on the phone (no one would send them money if they admitted it!), but if you dig deeply enough, you will find that, yes, they DO believe no one should keep pets.

"Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation." Ingrid Newkirk, national director, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), Just Like Us? Harper's, August 1988, p. 50.

"In a perfect world, all other than human animals would be free of human interference, and dogs and cats would be part of the ecological scheme." PeTA's Statement on Companion Animals

"One day, we would like an end to pet shops and the breeding of animals. [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild ... they would have full lives, not wasting at home for someone to come home in the evening and pet them and then sit there and watch TV," Ingrid Newkirk, national director, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), Chicago Daily Herald, March 1, 1990

PeTA's "No Birth Nation" program is not a moratorium on breeding. It is an END to it. So where will pets come from? Hmmmm. Think about that when you call them for information. Heck NO they are not going to admit it in so many words. (some of the people who work there may not even know it, and for sure most of the people who send them money don't know it) Who would donate to an organization working to end pet ownership, for heaven' s sake? PETA is not shy about saying ALL breeders are bad. And if we all stop breeding, WHERE WILL THE PETS COME FROM???

In the '80s HSUS was still a "good guy," but during the last couple of decades of the 20th century, it was slowly infiltrated by the extremists, who quietly obtained board and high level executive positions. There are still some good people working for them, but when Wayne Pacelle became president, the conversion was complete. Now that is one organization that will NEVER admit to wanting to end pet ownership, but what else do these quotes from Wayne Pacelle mean?

"We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. . One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993
When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, "If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don't want to see another dog or cat born." Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.
As hard as it is for many of us to believe, people LIE to achieve their goals. And those of us who have worked in this arena for a few years know for sure that animal rights advocates will lie at the drop of a hat if they believe it will help their Cause.
HSUS is not as radical as PETA. We call it "PETA with a suit and tie." HSUS claims to support "good" breeders, but they know well that there are not enough non-commercial breeders to supply even all the GREAT homes with the most popular breeds. If everyone HSUS wanted to stop breeding did stop breeding, only about two in ten people who wanted a dog would be able to get one.

Everything except the No Pets agenda is on the websites of these organizations, and you can find that too if you spend a little time.

In summary, though the spay/neuter campaign was badly needed, show breeders fell into the AR trap of taking it to the extreme. Now most of the purebred dogs in this country are produced from the worst stock we have. No one gets a dog from a show breeder with blessings to breed it -- so if you want to breed, you go to a commercial breeder or pet shop. Result? What you'd expect. Poorly socialized puppies, many with genetic problems and bad temperaments. So guess what -- they end up in shelters, and the ARs scream PUREBREDS IN THE SHELTERS!! WE HAVE OVERPOPULATION!!!! STOP BREEDING!!! So we cut back even more, the commercial breeders pick up the slack and down goes the quality of purebred dogs.

Think about this. It is exactly what has happened and is happening.
Tomorrow: What breeders have to do to "stop puppy mills" and save our breeds and our right to breed.

By Sharyn Hutchens

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dog shelters import from around the world to fill the need

Filling Empty Dog Pounds
As U.S. shelters help solve local stray problems, a Tufts expert says many are importing dogs from other countries to meet demand for animal adoptions.
Mass. At local animal shelters around the country, the dogs up for adoption may be a lot further from home than many people would imagine. With stray animals on the decline in many communities, but interest in adoption still high, a Tufts expert says many shelters are importing stray animals from around the world to meet the demand.
“Animal shelters in the USA are casting a wide net – from Puerto Rico to as far as Taiwan – to fill kennels,” reported USA Today. “Critics say many shelters have solved the stray problem in their own area – but rather than shut down, they become de facto pet stores. Some charge more than $200 per adoption for imported dogs.”
According to Tufts’ Gary Patronek – the director of Tufts’ Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tuft's School of Veterinary Medicine – U.S. shelters may be a victim of their own successes.
“The drive to have dogs spayed and neutered in the USA has cut down on unwanted litters. And adoption campaigns have helped empty dog pounds,” reported USA Today. “But [the Tufts expert says] people who want to adopt dogs increasingly find aged dogs or undesirable breeds like pit bulls at shelters.”
Imported animals are filling the demand.
“In the last seven years, one organization in Puerto Rico has shipped more than 14,000 strays to the states for adoption,” reported the newspaper. “Shipments from other countries also appear to be increasing. Most imports are small to medium-size dogs popular among adopters.”
In order to enter the U.S., the imported animals do not need to be quarantined – having certificates of good health and proof of rabies shots are sufficient.
“But Patronek said bringing dogs in from abroad runs a serious risk of importing a disease,” reported the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman.
According to the Tufts expert, “What makes it so scary is that you just don’t know what might emerge if you aren’t at least looking for it.”
And despite their similarities, shelters and pet stores have important distinctions from one another.
“Patronek says not-for-profit shelters may be chartered to insure animal welfare, but they are relatively unregulated,” reported USA Today. “Pet shops, on the other hand, generally operate under more stringent state and local regulations.”
But some pet owners don’t mind that the stray animals they’ve adopted are from other countries, not their local communities.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

PA- "Importing" dogs from other states

The state of dog imports
As rescued animals find homes across state lines, new concerns emerge.
By JON RUTTER, Staff writer
Sunday News
Published: Sep 30, 2007 12:08 AM EST

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa - Spike has come a long way, in more ways than one.Lancaster resident Steve Borruto contends that his black-and-white mixed-breed puppy was sickly when Harrisburg-based Castaway Critters put him up for adoption in June.Castaway Critters got Spike from a shelter in Virginia. Director Barbara Holmes disputes Borruto's claim that the rescue group knowingly turned over a pup infected with kennel cough and coccidia, an intestinal microbe.Spike, who lived in a foster home before he was adopted, has recovered.But some animal advocates see in the dispute a cautionary tale about importing dogs.Nobody knows exactly how many dogs are being brought into Pennsylvania from other states each year. The tally appears to be growing and is likely in the thousands, according to Jessie L. Smith, the state's deputy secretary for dog-law enforcement."It's somewhat controversial because there are plenty of Pennsylvania dogs that need homes."But others say the burgeoning trend toward cooperating and transporting animals around the country allows shelters and rescue groups to place more dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.Adoption demands vary widely, and welfare organizations have become more sophisticated about meeting them, noted Megan Gallagher Clark, director of community outreach at the Humane League of Lancaster County."We feel we're all in this together," Clark said. The real problem, especially in puppy-mill states such as Pennsylvania and Missouri, is mass production of puppies.If a family from North Carolina adopts a pup from Missouri, she added, "That's still one less animal that's homeless."Travels with FidoThe Humane League, 2195 L.300incoln Highway East, does not often handle out-of-state animals.Most of the 9,000 cats and 4,000 dogs that come in over a typical year are local, according to Clark. "Our first mission is to place our adoptable animals in our county."But adoption markets vary by community.There's more demand for big dogs in upstate Pennsylvania and little ones in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Clark explained, one shelter might be overwhelmed by dogs taken in a seizure while others want for animals. Special-needs pets can be another difficult fit.And so the groups cooperate.Clark said the Humane League works informally with facilities in Chester, Berks and Dauphin counties and also posts animals on, a national listing.The adoption movement grew more mobile in 2003 when the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and PETsMart Charities launched a pilot "Rescue Waggin" program to transport dogs from 15 overflowing shelters in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and northern Wisconsin.Animal refugees from Hurricane Katrina further opened the transport pipeline, Clark said.But some animal advocates resist the idea of shuttling dogs around the nation.They say spay/neuter programs would help solve the pet-overpopulation problem more substantively."I honestly believe that Pennsylvania dogs should be given first priority," said Jenny Stephens of North Penn Puppy Mill Watch in Lansdale."A lot of the dogs they bring up [from Southern states] are little ones" that are more adoptable than older animals given up by their owners. And, inevitably, some of the pets are sick.Borruto, the owner of Spike, contends that Castaway Critters should reimburse him for $300 in veterinary bills.Barbara Holmes said her five-year-old, volunteer group would soon fold if it paid post-adoption vet bills.According to an adoption contract completed by Borruto's girlfriend, the group provides fundamental veterinary care for all of its dogs and puppies but cannot guarantee that the animals are sickness-free.The state is entering the fray. Proposed guidelines would require rescue groups handling 26 dogs o r more a year to buy licenses or kennel tags for their animals.Pennsylvania would check to make sure animals have rabies shots, Jessie Smith said, "but we wouldn't go and inspect their [foster] home the way we would a kennel."Much responsibility falls to animal-welfare organizations and pet owners to maintain the highest standards, said Kim Intino, director of animal-sheltering issues for the Humane Society of the United States."There's always the risk" of an animal getting sick no matter where it comes from, Intino said. "It's not a very simple thing ... to transport animals for adoption."But neither is it necessarily bad, according to Clark and others."If someone started bringing truckloads of cats here, that would be a problem," Clark acknowledged.That hasn't happened.Nor have out-of-state pups displaced older local animals that would otherwise be taken home, said Joan Brown, the Humane League president and chief executive officer."We most assuredly do" have puppies and young dogs for adoption, Brown said. "We get an awful lot of owner surrenders ... all ages, all sizes, all types."Adoption rates have risen slightly in the last couple of years, according to Brown.People take home 51 percent of the animals that come to the shelter, said Kerry Flanagan, managing director of operations.About 70 percent of the dogs and 30 percent of the cats find a berth, she added; rescue groups get some of the unwanted animals but the majority are euthanized."I hate to think of us as being in competition," Brown said of distant animal-welfare organizations."They're in the same position we're in. They're desperately trying to find homes for animals."

PA- Groups Blast Dog Law Proposal

Groups blast dog law proposal

Thursday, 27 September 2007
Staff Writer

Sportsmen’s groups from across the state and beyond believe that proposed regulations aimed at cracking down on abusive commercial dog breeding operations will negatively impact small-scale breeders.
The proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s “Dog Law Enforcement” regulations are so stringent, the groups believe, that they could eventually put small sporting dog kennels and hobby breeders out of business.While opponents agree that something should be done to stop abusive commercial breeders, they don’t believe that a breeder who turns out a few puppies each year should be regulated in the same way as a kennel that produces thousands of puppies annually.Groups also take issue with the regulations because, they claim, no one in the sporting dog community was consulted for input.“The regulations put forth what would be akin to applying the same set of regulations to a factory that are applied to a mom and pop hardware store,” said Beth Ruth, director of communications for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), which is against the proposals. “The regulations do not distinguish between a large scale breeder and a hobby breeder.”Dozens of sportsmen’s and dog-breeding groups recently formed the USSA’s Sporting Dog Defense Coalition (SDDC) to protect the interests of sporting dog enthusiasts who hunt and participate in field trials.The SDDC – as well as other dog organizations, dog fanciers and animal rescue groups – have been urging Gov. Ed Rendell and state lawmakers to rewrite Dog Law Enforcement regulations to distinguish between large- and small-scale breeders.The regulations were introduced in December by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. They would classify an establishment that has 26 or more dogs as a kennel, and as such, they would be required to meet numerous health, safety and welfare standards.Ruth explained that the SDDC agrees with the regulations’ goals of protecting consumers, animals and reputable breeders. But what is required to meet those goals, she said, could serve to “cripple” small-scale breeders.Under the proposed regulations, each dog must be exercised on a leash for at least 20 minutes each day. Allowing the dog to run – or hunt – is not acceptable and a day of missed exercise requires an excuse from a veterinarian.Also, air exchangers must be installed in kennels, and the temperature must be regulated. In addition, if there is rust on a fence or a crack in the concrete, those issues must be immediately addressed.“These regulations are a lot more stringent than regulations for day care providers,” Ruth said, noting that a day care center would not be shut down if rust is found on a fence.Kennel pens that are currently in compliance with state and federal standards would need to be doubled in size. The Department of Agriculture estimates the cost of renovations would be about $10,000 for each kennel – and all kennels would have to be upgraded.“Right now, there is not one kennel in Pennsylvania that is up to the proposed code,” Ruth said.Kennel owners must also record information about exercising, feeding and cleaning. Opponents say that for a kennel containing 50 dogs, owners would have to complete 300 different forms each day. Those found in non-compliance of any regulation face costly fines and confiscation of dogs.Without costly renovations and a staff, Ruth said it would be impossible to raise dogs as required under the new regulations. Those who continue to raise dogs, she said, will likely charge an exorbitant price for them in an attempt to recoup costs.“Sportsmen are concerned that the regulations will drive the cost of a hunting dog through the roof,” Ruth said.“These regulations will drive sporting dog kennels and hobby breeders out of business,” said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president for government affairs. “They will apply to fox hunts, field trials and most houndsmen. These folks do not operate puppy mills. They should not be treated like criminals.”John Kline, Harrisburg, a lobbyist representing the USSA, said that when public comment was being taken on the proposed regulations, about 15,000 comments were received.“That was the most in history,” he said. “This is a very emotional issue.”The Department of Agriculture is expected to issue its response to those comments in October or November. Thereafter, the regulations will either be accepted or revamped.The proposed changes were recently reviewed by the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), the independent agency charged with studying regulations to determine whether they are in the best interest of the public.“The IRRC typically releases a 2- or 3-page report on the regulations it reviews. For this, the report was 22 pages,” Kline noted, and said he found the IRRC’s comments on the proposed regulations “scathing.”The IRRC wrote that the costs to renovate kennels would “far exceed what could be recovered by adoption fees for puppies or dogs.” It also asked that the Department of Agriculture explain the reason for its suggestion to manage all kennels with a uniform set of requirements, and asks how certain requirements – such as amount of exercise – were determined.Furthermore, the IRRC wrote, “We strongly encourage the department to organize stakeholder meetings with representatives from all types of kennels to develop a full understanding of their operations, dogs and clients. In this way, it can develop standards that will protect the health and safety of dogs while simultaneously recognizing the unique functions at different kennels.”“Besides being bad regulations, there are fundamental problems with the process,” Kline said, agreeing that representatives from the sporting dog community and other interest groups should have been consulted for input prior to the introduction of the regulations.As the owner of a sporting dog, Michael Gontar, Jim Thorpe, is also opposed to the new regulations.Gontar purchased his dog, a Clumber spaniel, from a private breeder in Pennsylvania.Although she only turns out a few dogs every few years, the breeder would be required to follow the proposed regulations, Gontar said. That would mean she’d have to construct runways on the acreage where she previously let the dogs run freely, and retain reams of paperwork about her dogs for three years.A member of the Pennsylvania Trappers’ Association, Gontar believes that the proposed regulations are too strict. He’s also convinced that the Department of Agriculture doesn’t want to hear from sportsmen who see the proposal as a threat to hunting.Ruth recalled a Dog Law Advisory Board hearing held in July in Malvern during which Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jessie Smith stopped testimony from the USSA and Holly Hill Beagles representatives.Because the changes are not proposed legislation – and can be likened to rewritten regulations – no votes are needed by either the state House or Senate.A number of organizations are opposed to the changes and include the American Kennel Club, American Canine Association, Cabela’s Inc., National Animal Interest Alliance, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, which believes the regulations will affect the Eukanuba Dog Show in Philadelphia. Also opposed are dog clubs, including the American Brittany Club, Carlisle Beagle Club, Jack Russell Terrier Clubs of America and the American Plott Hound Association, and several animal rescue organizations.Ruth, who visited Hazleton from the USSA headquarters in Ohio, said national groups are watching with interest what is unfurling in Pennsylvania. If the proposed changes are accepted, she said, other states might follow suit.Throughout the week, Ruth is scheduled to meet with sportsmen’s groups across the state to encourage members to contact their lawmakers and demand that the dog-care regulations be withdrawn.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

PA- HB to ban tethering dogs (except on farms)

Pa. measure would limit dog tethering
The House bill would ban tying up dogs overnight, except on farms.
By Amy Worden
Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - When the Pennsylvania SPCA picked up the 4-year-old chow chow last month, he had collapsed from starvation and dehydration on a Philadelphia street. A rope collar, embedded in his neck, had sliced deep wounds that were infested with maggots.
"This was a case of long-term tethering," said Howard Nelson, executive director of the PSPCA, which is caring for the stray dog, now named Mulan. "Another few weeks and the rope would have pierced his esophagus, and he would have died."
Nelson and other animal-welfare advocates say passage of a pending bill banning 24/7 dog chaining statewide would prevent dogs from suffering a similar fate.
House Bill 1065, voted out of the Judiciary Committee by an overwhelming majority yesterday, is among a growing number of anti-tethering bills approved or under consideration in 19 states.
The Pennsylvania bill would forbid chaining between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Violators could be cited for cruelty and, upon conviction, their dog could be seized. Tethering during the day and early evening would be allowed if shelter and food and clean water were provided. In a compromise with the powerful farm lobby, farmers would be exempt.
"It's been a long fight on a big issue," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mario M. Scavello (R., Monroe), who shared with the committee a story of a dog tied outside who froze to death in a snowstorm in his Pocono district two years ago.
Opponents said they were concerned that the law was overly restrictive.
"I'm concerned about the bill's unintended consequences," said Rep. Beverly Mackereth (R., York), one of four committee members who voted against the legislation. "You could lose your dog if you left him out for 15 minutes."
Scavello said the bill was not intended to seize dogs of responsible owners, but to protect dogs whose lives are threatened.
The American Kennel Club, which has opposed tethering bills elsewhere, has not taken a position on the Pennsylvania bill.
"Of course we are against inhumane tethering, but why do we need overly specific legislation?" asked Daisy Okas, the club's communications director. "We support enforcement of existing animal-cruelty laws."
Animal-welfare advocates say legislation dealing with round-the-clock tethering is needed because chained dogs are very often neglected, create a community nuisance with their barking, and can become dangerously aggressive.
Since 2003, at least 23 children nationwide have been killed and at least 170 injured when they were attacked by chained dogs, according to the Altoona-based anti-chaining advocacy group, Dogs Deserve Better.
"A large percentage of cruelty cases we see involve some form of tethering," Nelson said.
Fourteen states, including New Jersey, have considered tethering bills this year, compared with five last year. Of the 14, California, Maryland, Texas and Tennessee have passed them.
Anti-tethering ordinances approved by municipalities have also increased, though apparently none exist in Pennsylvania, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which has lobbied for the Pennsylvania bill.
Scavello said he was confident that the show of support in the committee meant the bill's chances of passage in the House were good.
Tom Andrews, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese (D., Greene), wrote in an e-mail that DeWeese would "vet (no pun intended)" the bill in the next several weeks.
For now, Mulan, his thick coat shaved, is recovering in the PSPCA's veterinary hospital. "He's very sweet," Nelson said. "A few more weeks and he'll be ready for adoption."

Muzzling pit bulls, or politicians Mutts
Mutts, a blog by John Woestendiek of The Baltimore Sun
« 100 dog breeds morphed, with music
Main Muzzling pit bulls, or politicians?

Today, inspired by recent events in Baltimore County, I would like to propose some legislation. Whereas, politicians have repeatedly screwed things up, and aforementioned mistakes often have long-lasting negative effects on the rest of our lives, and;

Whereas, politicians have again and again been caught up in illegal, corrupt and illicit activities and affairs that reflect poorly on the rest of our species, and;

Whereas, while all humans are capable of inflicting harm, politicians are stronger and have more of a bite, leading to the infliction of greater damage;

Therefore, be it resolved that the following bit of "occupation- specific" legislation is hereby enacted, requiring (A) politicians to be kept in a wire mesh enclosure at all times, and;
(B) When not occupying said wire mesh enclosures, all politicians shall be muzzled while amongst the public to prevent the spread of lies, deception and empty promises, and;
(C) When inside their homes and/or offices, those premises must be clearly marked with signs that say "Beware of Politician," or "Vicious Politician Inside" and ...

OK, maybe that's going too far, but that's exactly what two Baltimore County Council members have done by proposing a bill that would require pit bulls -- for starters, anyway -- be muzzled in public and kept locked up in private.

The bill, which also calls for extra licensing fees, mandatory insurance and inspection of homes with pit bulls, is scheduled for a vote next month.

Not only is that cruelty to animals, it's racist.

Or at least breedist. Because a dog is, or contains amounts of, what we generally refer to as pit bull is no reason to single it out to a caged and muzzled life.

As anyone who has seen my movie (plug coming up), "Hey, Mister, What Kind of Dog is That?" knows, the percentage of various breeds that might be in a dog is mostly meaningless.

Both the city and county have seen some tragic incidents this year involving what have been described as pit bulls. But breed-specific legislation in neither a reasonable nor humane response to it. The answer is tracking down and arresting the Michael Vicks of the world is -- those that would instill and encourage vicious behavior in dogs for their own sick enjoyment.

Those are my thoughts, anyway. Yours' are welcome. Comment by clicking the button immediately below this entry. If we get a good sampling, we may even pass them on to Baltimore County.
Posted by John Woestendiek on September 28, 2007

PA- an amendment to include spay/neuter

SB 1101 By Senators BROWNE, LOGAN, PUNT, WASHINGTON, RAFFERTY and DINNIMAN. Read the whole thing

*(this is just the begining of this SB- go read the whole thing)*

1 Amending the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225),
2 entitled, as amended, "An act relating to dogs, regulating
3 the keeping of dogs; providing for the licensing of dogs and
4 kennels; providing for the protection of dogs and the
5 detention and destruction of dogs in certain cases;
6 regulating the sale and transportation of dogs; declaring
7 dogs to be personal property and the subject of theft;
8 providing for the abandonment of animals; providing for the
9 assessment of damages done to animals; providing for payment
10 of damages by the Commonwealth in certain cases and the
11 liability of the owner or keeper of dogs for such damages;
12 imposing powers and duties on certain State and local
13 officers and employees; providing penalties; and creating a
14 Dog Law Restricted Account," further providing for spaying or
15 neutering as condition for release of certain animals; and
16 repealing certain provisions relating to sterilization of
17 dogs and cats.

PA- Editorial in October 1 Harrisburg Patriot News

OFF TRACK Instead of focus on puppy mills, dog law revisions on wrong path
Monday, October 01, 2007
With much fanfare, Gov. Ed Rendell took on the state's "puppy mills." He brought in a new dog law advisory board last year, created a sort of state "dog czar," and had the Department of Agriculture propose tough new kennel regulations. Although we originally applauded those efforts to address Pennsylvania's dreadful reputation for indiscriminate mass breeding of dogs in sometimes unsavory conditions, we now take pause. The process has become mired in controversy, with nearly 50 reputable breeding and sporting groups raising concerns under the umbrella of the U.S. Sportmen's Alliance. These groups, which include the American Kennel Club and the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, feel the new regulations are a "one size fits all" approach that fails to address the differences between kennel operations and specific breeds. More troubling is that representatives of these organizations say they've been shut out of process. John Gibble, president of the Northeast Beagle Gun Dog Federation who was appointed to the Dog Law Advisory Board last year, told The Patriot-News Editorial Board new regulations were mailed to board members last November, prior to their first meeting on Dec. 13. Three days later, they were posted in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. And he adds that his input since then has largely been ignored. Significantly, the critics are backed by the state's Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which last spring reported the proposals are too broadly applied and are "at odds with the recognition that not all kennels are alike." Regulations like standard crate sizes, the amount of exercise required and the surfaces exercise should be conducted on fail to recognize that the different breeds and size of dogs also have different space and exercise needs. T he Agriculture Department has estimated the costs of complying with these new regulations at between $5,000 and $20,000, a cost that will be much easier to bear for large commercial operations and not "hobby breeders," whose interests aren't profit-oriented but in carrying on a breed's history and characteristics. Members of the alliance contend existing laws are on the books to address puppy mills if there was adequate enforcement. They also suggest defining such operations in state law, and applying different regulations to different types of kennels. We continue to think that Gov. Rendell, a dog lover who has two golden retrievers he has taken in as rescues, is well-intentioned and on the right path in addressing Pennsylvania's reputation as "the puppy mill capital of the East." But those raising red flags are a cross-section of organizations and individuals across Pennsylvania who are experts in dog breeding through medically sound and humane methods. The governor should tell the Agriculture Department to go back to square one, revisit the proposed regulations in their entirety, and hold more public meetings in which everyone is satisfied they've had their say. After that, make any regulations part of a state law that requires legislative approval. To continue ramming these proposals through is going to further splinter interests that really have much more in common than they do differences, and possibly impose the heaviest financial and regulatory burdens on the wrong breeders.

PA- 2nd Draft of proposed changes to Dog Law not yet ready

2nd draft of dog law not yet ready
The first proposed revision yielded 16,000 public comments.
By Tom Venesky
Sports Reporter

The state Department of Agriculture is making a second revision to the proposed changes to the dog law regulations and the proposal should be released by the end of the year.
There will be a few changes from the first draft, according to Jessie Smith, the department’s special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement. Since the proposal yielded more than 16,000 public comments, it should take time before a document that is ready for a legislative vote.
Smith said the majority of the comments were positive.
“People said we need to do something about substandard commercial breeding operations in Pennsylvania,” she said.
Many hobby breeders and those who raise sporting dogs believed the revisions included them, which resulted in a wave of opposition from those groups.
Smith said there is no reason for the concern because the changes won’t affect groups that conduct field trials or dog shows.
The current law calls for anyone who possesses more than 26 dogs in one year to obtain a kennel license – those are the people who would be subject to the changes, Smith said.
“If you’re not licensed now, you won’t fall under the changes,” she said. “It’s very important that people understand this is not requiring someone who doesn’t have a kennel license now to get one.”
According to the Agriculture Department Web site, 48 Luzerne County establishments have either a boarding or kennel license.
Among the changes that Smith said are being considered for the upcoming second draft is a provision requiring that dogs be exercised for 20 minutes a day. The concern among those who raise sporting dogs is the provision did not allow for hunting or training time to fulfill the 20 minutes of exercise.
Smith said the intent of the provision was for dogs in a commercial breeding facility that can be permanently in a 2-by-3-foot enclosure.
“That’s pretty small,” she said. “And there’s no exercise required.”
Smith acknowledged that time spent hunting and training should count as exercise and the language will be changed to include such activity.
Other changes will be made to the draft to lessen the burden of increased record keeping, especially for small hobby breeders, and allow dogs to be exercised on grass.
In addition to writing a second draft, the department also has to complete a public-comment response document, which is a response to each of the 16,000 comments received. After a public hearing is held early next year, a third draft will be written, followed by a short public-comment period. Smith said they have until April 2009 to complete a fourth draft and submit it to the House and Senate agricultural committees and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
“We’re not trying to burden anyone, drive anyone out of business of stop anyone from hunting,” Smith said. “The idea behind this is to improve the health, safety and welfare of kenneled dogs.”
Tom Venesky, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7230.

PA- Gov. moving ahead with new regulations for dog breeders
Dog breeder rules rewritten
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Citing the concerns of hunters and dog hobbyists, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has altered an early draft of regulations for large-scale commercial dog breeders, a department spokeswoman said.
The regulations are being revised at the behest of Gov. Ed Rendell to address concerns about dog breeding companies where hundreds of puppies are bred for sale.
An early draft of the proposed revisions outraged kennel club members, dog show organizers and hunters who raise sporting dogs. They feared the new regulations would require them to spend tens of thousands of dollars on kennel upgrades, and subject them to licensing fees and steep fines for violations.
"It's clear these regulations are directed at 'puppy mills,' large scale abusive commercial breeding facilities," said Evan Heusinkveld, a lobbyist with the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance of Columbus, Ohio. "But the way it's written ... any group that houses 26 dogs in a year would be subject to these rules and would have to have $100,000 worth of upgrades. It puts hunting clubs and dog shows out of business."
The Sportsmen's Alliance has encouraged Pennsylvania hunters, gun clubs and dog raising groups to oppose the new regulations.
Jessie Smith, deputy secretary for dog law enforcement for the Department of Agriculture, said the new rules won't affect them.
"We've spent a lot of time saying this is not aimed at negatively impacting people who keep sporting dog kennels," she said. "Field trials, dog shows, training, grooming, camping ... none of that is covered by kennel regulations."
Mr. Heusinkveld cited several parts of the proposed "Dog Law Enforcement" regulation that he says could be interpreted to impact hunters, groomers and other groups that currently are not required to purchase kennel licenses.
Among them is an article dictating penalties that would apply to "any establishment that keeps, harbors, boards, shelters, sells, gives away or in any way transfers the cumulative total of 26 or more dogs in any one calendar year."
"That could be interpreted as field trials at gun clubs, dog shows, even friends who get together and run their dogs, as long as there were 26 dogs in a year," Mr. Heusinkveld said.
A public forum on the regulation revisions led to 16,000 comments -- a Department of Agriculture record.
The department is required to respond to each one, Ms. Smith said, which has delayed the publication of a second draft that includes new language intended to address dog owners' concerns.
"We're revising the regulations," she said. "We may go as far as to put in a sentence that says this isn't intended to apply to field trials, boarding, grooming."
Ms. Smith said a second draft containing the revisions will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by the end of the year and another public forum will be held in early 2008.
Ultimately, she said, three versions of the Dog Law regulations will have been drafted before the regulatory change is considered by agricultural committees of the state House and Senate.

First published on September 25, 2007 at 12:00 am
John Hayes can be reached at or 412-263-1991.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pennsylvania- Governor reassigns the Director of the Bureau of Dog Law

Pennsylvania's Gov. Ed Rendell is listening to Animal Rights Groups. Former Bureau of Dog Law, Mary Bender, listened to everyone. Who won this round? Clearly the Animal Rights.

PA.'s kennel chief reassigned
By Amy Worden
Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG - In a move applauded by animal-welfare advocates, Gov. Rendell has reassigned the director of the bureau of dog law - theperson responsible for enforcement in the state's 2,700 licensed kennels - to a new position within the Department of Agriculture. Mary Bender, who had served as the bureau's director since 2003, was named head of the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program, a new farmland-conservati on program within the department, Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said. Ardo would say only that it was a mutually agreed-upon transfer, but individuals who have advised the governor on ways to improve theproblem-plagued bureau say her removal was at the top of their list. "We always recommended wholesale changes in the bureau up to and including the director," said Bob Baker, an ASPCA investigator whoserved on the governor's ad hoc committee on dog law. He said lack of enforcement against kennels with serious and continuing violations, including unsanitary and hazardous conditions, had been a problem for decades. "The bureau would try to talk them into compliance, rather than prosecute them," Baker said. "All the talk and education has gottennowhere." The move comes almost a year after Rendell announced sweeping changes to the bureau's operations as part of his pledge to crack downon inhumane conditions in the state's large commercial dog-breeding facilities. A replacement for Bender has not yet been named.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Florida-- HB 101 now in Committee-

HB 101A bill to be entitled
An act relating to dangerous dogs; amending s. 767.14, F.S.; eliminating the prohibition of breed specific local government regulation of dangerous dogs; providing an effective date. Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: Section 1. Section 767.14, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 767.14 Additional local restrictions authorized. --Nothing in this act shall limit any local government from placing further restrictions or additional requirements on owners of dangerous dogs or developing procedures and criteria for the implementation of this act, provided that the provisions of this act are not lessened by suchadditional regulations or requirements. This section shall not apply to any local ordinance adopted priorto October 1, 1990.Section 2.
This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is your Politician listening to PETA?

PETA is ratcheting up our campaign against cat and dog breeders, and this beautiful billboard (saying Breeders KILL shelter dog's chances) in New York is the first of a number of strong statements you can look for over the next few months designed to remind people that buying animals from breeders or pet stores when millions are dying in shelters is, simply put, irresponsible and cruel. Of course, the real villains here are the breeders themselves. Not only are these people directly contributing to the animal overpopulation epidemic in this country—they’re also making a tidy profit out of it (in case it’s not immediately clear, I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy for animal breeders). There’s some more information on this topic here, and I’ll keep you posted as this campaign progresses—we’ve got some great stuff on the way ...

This is from PETA's website. Are YOU contacting your local, state, and Fed. politicians to tell them the REAL story?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Proposed Changes to the City of San Antonio's Animal Ordinance

San Antonio Proposal Bad for All Dog Owners

The American Kennel Club and its Texas federation of dog owners, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, are deeply concerned about the proposed changes to the City of San Antonio's animal ordinance. These changes, as will be proposed by the city's Animal Care Services Advisory Board, unfairly target responsible dog breeders and owners, have no chance of improving the quality of life for animals, and will have a significant negative impact on San Antonio's economy. It is imperative that breeders and concerned dog owners in San Antonio contact the Mayor and the members of the City Council to vehemently express their opposition.

The American Kennel Club supports reasonable and enforceable laws that govern dog ownership. We believe that the proposed animal ordinance is unreasonable, unenforceable, and a risk to the public welfare. Among its many onerous provisions, the current version of the proposal would require compliance with these most burdensome policies:

Mandate the spay/neuter of all dogs. In the alternative, owners would be required to annually purchase both a license ($75) and an intact permit ($50) for each unsterilized dog. Totaling $125, this is twelve-and-one-half times more expensive than the annual fees owners of a sterilized dog will be required to pay ($10). Egregiously high fees, like those that would be imposed by this proposal, make spaying and neutering de facto mandatory because only a small number of people could afford to pay such high fees.

Classify most kennels as a "commercial kennel" and impose considerable regulations upon such facilities. As currently defined by the proposal, most places where dogs are kept could reasonably qualify as commercial kennels, including homes of many hobby breeders and rescue groups. Such facilities will be subsequently subject to currently undefined license fees for such establishments, unreasonable building standards that will be impossible for smaller breeders and dog owners who maintain dogs in their own residential premises to comply with, and unproven animal husbandry standards that risk transfer of infectious and contagious diseases.

Require any person who breeds a female dog to obtain a $50 litter permit prior to, or within ten days of, a litter's birth. Such permit is limited to one litter per female dog per year. AKC wholeheartedly opposes this provision. Breeders are already regulated under existing ordinances for pet limits, animal nuisance laws, and cruelty laws. As such, additionally burdens on responsible breeders are unnecessary.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the Mayor and the members of the San Antonio City Council who will consider this proposal. Tell them that you are against the proposed changes to San Antonio's animal ordinance. Mail all letters to:

City of San Antonio
P.O. Box 839966San Antonio, TX 78283

For a sample letter, click here.

Mayor Phil Hardberger
Phone: (210) 207-7060
Fax: (210) 207-4168

City Manager Sheryl Sculley
Phone: (210) 207-7080
Fax: (210) 207-4217

Councilwoman Mary Alice Cisneros
Phone: (210) 207-7279
Fax: (210) 207- 6931

Councilwoman Sheila McNeil
Phone: (210) 207-7278
Fax: (210) 207-4496

Councilman Roland Gutierrez
Phone: (210) 207-7064
Fax: (210) 534-1931

Councilman Philip Cortez
Phone: (210) 207-7281
Fax: (210) 678-0099

Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan
Phone: (210) 207-7043
Fax: (210) 212-4860

Councilwoman Delicia Herrera
Phone: (210) 207-7065
Fax: (210) 207-8760

Councilman Justin Rodriguez
Phone: (210) 207-7044
Fax: (210) 207-8181

Councilwoman Diane Cibrian
Phone: (210) 207-708
Fax: (210) 949-0439

Councilman Kevin Wolff
Phone: (210) 207-7325
Fax: (210) 207-7027

Councilman John Clamp
Phone: (210) 207-7276
Fax: (210) 207-8777

For more information, contact the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at; or contact the AKC's Canine Legislation Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Just A Dog"- Ask your local politican if they feel that way

This is what will be taken away from you by many of the proposed laws

Its just A Dog
From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog," or,"that's a lot of money for just a dog."
They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog", but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a man or woman."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog" just smile... because they "just don't understand."
Written by an unknown Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
From the Therapy Dog Inc. News Magazine

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

National Animal Welfare Act

Model National Animal Welfare Act Summary:
This model law was drafted to provide a starting point for the drafting of national animal welfare law. It includes sections related to companion animals, animal cruelty, owner responsibilities, animal experimentation, and food animal provisions, among others.

Statute in Full:
Model National Animal Welfare Legislation
Drafted by Professor David Favre & Jaime Olin
Animal and Legal Historical Web Center
Michigan State University College of Law

Summary: This model statute represents general animal welfare legislation that can be easily adopted by developing countries. (A full translation into Spanish is available.) It sets out specific criminal actions, and a process for future regulatory acts by national and local governments. A full explanation of the draft law can be found in the accompanying paper. There is also an article that compares existing national statutes which might be helpful in understanding the issues that need to be addressed. (comparative paper)

Statute in Full: This law shall be know as the Animal Welfare Act of [2004] .
Sec. 1. Introduction
(a) Animals, having both intrinsic and extrinsic value to human societies, deserve special protection of their individual interests under the law. This statute acknowledges the obligations that humans have toward animals.
(b) All branches of the government shall endeavor to implement the spirit of this law in assuring the best possible life for animals within our community.
(c) This law acknowledges the rights of humans to keep and use animals, but only where the interests of the animals are recognized and protected.

Sec. 2. Definitions
(a) "Abandon" means the intentional relinquishment of dominion and control of domesticated animals without appropriate safeguards for the animal's well-being.
(b) "Abuse" means the intentional mistreatment of an animal, by example, but not limited to, the use of poison, torture, torment, electrical shock, wounding, unjustified killing, excessive beating, or removal of food or water.
(c) "Animal" means any living vertebrate other than human beings.
(d) "Animal sanctuary" means permanent housing for animals developed by a for-profit or non-profit organization.
(e) "Animal shelter" means physical facilities created by for-profit or non-profit organization to provide housing for unwanted or stray animals. These may be authorized by the National Agency to provide veterinary care, to investigate violations of this statute, to adopt out animals, and to administer euthanasia.
(f) "Companion animal" means animals kept in or near the household for the primary purpose of companionship for the member(s) of the household. This includes, but is not limited to, dogs, cats, and parrots. Dangerous wild animals, including all large cats, bears, and other species designated by the National Agency, shall not be allowed as companion animals.
(g) "Cruelty" means the intentional, unjustified killing, poisoning, physically injuring, causing physical pain, or causing psychological distress to any animal.
(h) "Dangerous dog" means any dog which, when unprovoked and in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being, or twice within a 12 month period has killed a domestic animal.
(i) "Euthanasia" means the humane killing of animals. The National Agency shall establish the acceptable methods of euthanasia, but in the absence of such provisions, only methods which bring quick unconsciousness or death shall be used.
(j) "Experimental animals" means animals used for scientific or educational purposes in the public or private sphere, including universities and other schools. This includes, but is not limited to, mice, rats, primates, other mammals and birds.
(k) "Experimenter" means a scientist involved with the development of protocols using animals and/or the person performing such experiments employed at a university or corporation engaged in scientific research.
(l) "Farm animals" means animals kept for the purposes of production of goods, including milk, meat, and clothing. Animals covered include, but may not be limited to, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and goats. [Based on local custom it is expected this list will be expanded by the adopting legislature.]
(m) "'Feral' wildlife" means animals once privately owned, or their progeny. These animals are no longer under the control of humans. This includes, but is not limited to, dogs and cats.
(n) "Inhumane" means the mistreatment of animals that goes against cultural norms for acceptable.
(o) "Keeper" means a person with primary caregiving responsibilities for the animal.
(p) "National Agency" means the _________ Department [or Ministry] which will have responsibility for the adoption and implementation of regulations required under this statute.
(q) "Owner" means a person at least 16 years of age who holds title to the animal.
(r) "Pain" means both the adverse physiological and psychological processes experienced by animals when injured or harmed. This may or may not be manifested by the animals' behavior.
(s) "Person" means any human, business partnership or corporation.
(t) "Unjustified" means actions for which a suitable reason other than cruelty cannot be found. [The breadth of this definition should be determined in accordance with the norms of the culture.]
(u) "Veterinarian" means a person with ample experience in performing medical procedures on animals. This can be ascertained by the existence of a state license or through compliance with standards adopted by the National Agency.
(v) "Working animals" means animals kept for the purpose of performing tasks. This includes, but is not limited to, carrying loads, performing in human entertainment, and assisting humans in other ways.

Sec. 3. General provisions.
(a) An owner or keeper of an animal shall not do any of the following:
(1) Fail to provide proper food, water, shelter, and ample space for bodily movement and reasonable exercise,
(2) Force an animal to do anything beyond its species-specific capabilities,
(3) Abandon an animal,
(4) Abuse or cruelly treat an animal,
(5) Refuse to supply veterinary care to an animal in debilitating pain.

(b) A person shall not do any of the following:
(1) Cruelly treat or abuse an animal,
(2) Fail to provide veterinary care to an animal in pain that they have caused,
(3) Neglect to report animal abuse or inhumane treatment, within their personal knowledge, to local officials. When such information is provided, no civil liability shall attach to the reporting of the information.

Sec. 4. Companion animals.
(a) Because of the importance of companion animals in human lives, and because of the known connection between animal abuse and child/spousal/elder abuse, this statute mandates compliance with the following provisions.
(b) The owner or keeper shall:
(1) Provide the animal with access to daylight and sufficient space for ease of movement,
(2) Provide the animal with sufficient shelter to protect against heat, rain, and cold,
(3) Ensure the animal has necessary freedom of movement and access to food and water,
(4) Vaccinate their animals against any diseases the National Agency deems necessary,
(5) Provide veterinary care when the animal is ill or injured. Home treatment may be provided where reasonable under the circumstances.
(6) Use live animals as prizes in contest and games, or as targets in shooting matches.

(c) The owner or keeper shall not:
(1) Tether the animal if doing so may lead to injuries or suffering, or if the tether is less than five feet or three times the length of the animal,
(2) Permanently chain an animal, indoors or outdoors,
(3) Allow a dog deemed to be dangerous to run at large.

(d) The local administrative body may [shall]:
(1) Require licensing of dogs,
(2) Implement a sliding scale for licensing fees, depending on the type and breeding status of the animals,
(3) Require easy identification of dogs, including tattooing, microchipping, and collar tags,
(4) Establish low- or no-cost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics [where possible]. Fees from dog licenses may be utilized to help pay for this program,
(5) Establish a maximum number of animals that may be kept per owner,
(6) Implement humane regulations concerning overpopulation, which may include mandatory spay/neuter programs, mandatory permits for owners intending to breed their animals, authorizing higher licensing fees for intact animals, and national education programs addressing overpopulation,
(7) Prohibit businesses from keeping more than six breeding females for the sole purpose of providing young to the market, ( Establish proper means for disposal of unwanted animals, including the creation of animal shelters, creation of sanctuaries, or where no alternative exists, humane euthanasia,
(9) Establish and fund animal control agencies and animal cruelty investigators,
(10) Establish ordinances to deal with dangerous dogs, although breed- specific bans are not allowed. Any such ordinance shall not provide for the killing of a dog without notice to the owner or keeper, nor without an administrative hearing for the owner of the dog. Restrictions on the dog and owner shall be utilized when it is possible to do so while protecting public safety.

Sec. 4. Experimental animals.
(a) Experiments and tests on animals are permissible only if they are necessary for scientific progress or protection of health for humans or animals, and if these objectives cannot be reached in another way because of the lack of appropriate alternative methods. A researcher is obligated to use international information in a given field of science in order to eliminate the risks of the unnecessary repetition of experiments. The three Rs (reduction, refinement, and replacement) should be utilized in the development of experimental protocols.
(b) The testing of consumer products on animals is prohibited.
(c) A national review board shall be established, within the National Agency, to set regulations for experimentation on animals. This board shall be comprised of five members, including a veterinarian, a researcher, and an animal welfare advocate. Individual institutional review boards must be established at all institutions licensed for animal research in order to do the initial review of individual protocols, to investigate laboratory conditions, and to provide general research support for the institution.
(d) The national review board shall:
(1) Set minimum and optimal requirements for the care and keeping of laboratory animals, addressing issues of physical space, provision of food and water, social requirements, and psychological requirements. Until such regulations are adopted, animal research institutions shall be guided by the "Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" as published by the United States National Research Council,
(2) Reevaluate and update these standards at least every five years to comply with newly discovered information about each particular species used,
(3) Grant, suspend and revoke scientific investigation permits to institutions carrying out animal experiments. And shall conduct annual investigations of all laboratories to ensure compliance with the regulations.

(e) An experimenter shall:
(1) Submit all experimental protocols involving animals to the institutional review board initially, and with their approval to the national review board before proceeding with the experiment,
(2) Follow the protocol approved by the review board. If he/she wishes to deviate from the approved procedure, he/she must receive prior approval in writing from the board,
(3) Obtain animals for experimentation only from approved sources. This excludes animal shelters, private owners, and wild-caught animals,
(4) Treat laboratory animals humanely, taking care to minimize pain and discomfort,
(5) Provide appropriate housing for laboratory animals, acknowledging physical, psychological, and social well-being of the species and individual animal,
(6) Administer anesthesia or painkillers to animals involved in painful experiments,
(7) Administer euthanasia to an animal that will suffer ongoing extreme pain after an experiment, ( Research and use alternatives to animal experimentation wherever possible.

(f) An experimenter shall not:
(1) Use an animal in more than one invasive and/or painful experiment,
(2) Euthanize any healthy animal,
(3) Use great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos) for any scientific experimentation.

(g) Scientific education.
(1) Dissection shall not be permitted in grade schools [through age 18],
(2) Where dissection is permitted at the university level, students must be allowed to opt out of the procedures without suffering any detriment to their grades,
(3) Dissection alternatives should be researched by universities and implemented where possible. Where a university finds dissection necessary to its educational goals, care should be taken to provide for the humane treatment and euthanasia of the animals.

Sec. 5. Farm animals.
(a) Animals that are raised and bred for the purposes of providing food and clothing for humans should be accorded humane treatment. Respect for each individual animal should be encouraged, and methods of husbandry, transport, and slaughter should be altered as new, more humane methods are developed.
(b) The owner or keeper shall:
(1) Only keep animals in enclosures where the animal has ample room to rise to its full height, turn around, lie down, and will not incur any danger from the enclosure itself,
(2) Acknowledge social behavior of the species when determining the number of animals to keep per enclosure,
(3) Provide regular food, water, space, fresh air, society, access to exercise, and appropriate social grouping,
(4) Provide veterinary care for diseased or injured animals,
(5) Slaughter farm animals using the most humane methods possible. The animal must either be unconscious before death or death must be instantaneous.

(c) The owner or keeper shall not:
(1) Keep animals in cages,
(2) Keep too many animals in each enclosure where this will lead to crowding, injury, or stress to the animals,
(3) Cut off beaks or tails,
(4) Give animals growth hormones,
(5) Fatten geese and ducks for the purpose of foie gras production,
(6) Keep calves in small single animal enclosures and withhold proper nutrition for the production of veal,
(7) Keep any animal permanently chained or caged for ongoing, physically invasive procedures.

(d) Persons who transport farm animals shall:
(1) Use the fastest and/or most comfortable route to maintain the well-being of the animals,
(2) Correctly position animals in the vehicle so that animals have the ability to lie down and get up during transport without discomfort,
(3) Keep the floors and walls of the vehicle clean and sanitary,
(4) Maintain appropriate temperature, ventilation, and space in the vehicle,
(5) During a transport of longer than eight consecutive hours, provide the animals with food and water at regular intervals, and give the animals an opportunity to rest,
(6) Provide sick or injured animals with veterinary care,
(7) Immediately remove animals that die during transport.

Sec. 6. Working animals.
(a) Animals that perform tasks for humans, whether seeing-eye dogs, load-pulling oxen, racehorses, or circus ponies, shall be accorded humane treatment. Because of this, the use of animals in shows and sports characterized by cruelty and/or pain, including but not limited to fights between or among bulls, dogs, and cocks, is strictly forbidden.
(b) Persons using animals for work shall:
(1) Provide a rest period both during the work and after the work for animals appropriate to their species to enable them to recuperate their strength,
(2) Appoint a duly qualified person to carry out animal training for the purposes of shows and entertainment. Pain shall never be used as a method of training an animal,
(3) Submit to inspections by national or international animal welfare organizations to ensure compliance with performing animal regulations.

(c) Persons using animals for work shall not:
(1) Overburden or force animals to perform behaviors beyond their species-specific capabilities,
(2) Use animals that are sick, too young, too old, or undernourished for work,
(3) Use objects or tools for driving or training animals that could cause bodily injuries or unnecessary pain,
(4) Use excessive force while the animal is performing its task,
(5) Give any substance to an animal for the sole reason of enhancing performance.
(6) Engage in the breeding or training of animals to be used in criminal fighting activity, or to organize or promote an animal fighting event.

(d) Circuses.
(1) The creation of new circuses or traveling menageries containing wild-caught animals is forbidden,
(2) Circuses and traveling menageries may not include elephants, lions, tigers, or bears. Those businesses that already contain these animals must retire the animals to sanctuaries. [Businesses complying with this regulation may be compensated by the non-profit organization running the sanctuary],
(3) Persons engaged in the training of animals for circus performances must comply with Sec. 6 (b) and (c).

(e) Zoos.
(1) Zoos must comply with the regulations set out by the [American Zoological Association]. They will have [two years] to come into compliance. [This may include the creation of a review board to investigate living conditions at the facilities],
(2) Zoos may implement breeding programs for animals only when there is space available for the offspring in the zoo or when the breeding is part of a program approved by the National Agency. [These programs must be approved by the review board before begun.],
(3) Zoos with excess or unhealthy animals must establish or utilize existing sanctuaries at which to retire these animals. Humane euthanasia should only be used as a last resort. Sec. 7. `Feral' wildlife.
(a) It is acknowledged that previously-domesticated animals running at large are a substantial problem in urban and other areas. These animals should be treated humanely and carefully while taking into account the public health and safety concerns they present.
(b) The local governing body shall:
(1) Implement a program for spay/neuter clinics to prevent population growth of these animals. [These clinics should be staffed by a veterinarian or veterinary technician],
(2) Encourage volunteers from the community to staff these clinics,
(3) Discourage citizens from feeding these wild populations,
(4) Establish easy contact information for citizens to report to the clinics as to the whereabouts and living conditions of these populations,
(5) Either release altered animals back to the place where they were found, or relocate them elsewhere,
(6) Provide funding for these clinics to administer vaccinations and veterinary care for the animals,
(7) Use humane euthanasia of these populations only as a last resort,
(8) Educate the community as to the proper ways to approach, trap, and transport these animals to the clinics,
(9) Educate the community as to the public health and safety concerns surrounding these animals.

Sec. 8 Enforcement.
(a) Both national and local police officials shall enforce the provisions of this law. Local government may appoint animal control officers to specifically deal with the requirements of this law,
(b) Private non-profit animal shelters may have employees authorized by local police as capable of engaging in criminal investigations and arrest under this law. Such a candidate must show a full understanding of law enforcement generally and the provisions of this law specifically,
(c) The National Agency may seek an injunction to stop an ongoing violation of this law. It may initiate a civil proceeding against any party who violates any regulation or procedure adopted by the National Agency. The outcome of such civil proceeding shall include to revoke or modify any permits granted, and/or to impose fines up to $1,000 per violation,
(d) Private non-profit animal shelters, designated by the National Agency for this purpose, are authorized to bring lawsuits to stop by injunction ongoing violations of this law. While such organizations may not seek money damages, the court may award cost of attorney fees.

Sec. 9. Penalties
(a) If a court finds that a defendant has violated Section 3 (b) or 6 (a), then the penalty shall be up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for the first such offence. For second and subsequent convictions, the penalty shall be up to three years in jail and $10,000 fine for each conviction, and a minimum of two months in jail shall be required. Each animal impacted by defendant's actions shall constitute a separate count under the law,
(b) For all other violations of the provisions of this law, the court shall impose a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a $100 fine for a first offence and six month and $1,000 fine for subsequent convictions. Each animal impacted by defendant's actions shall constitute a separate count under the law,
(c) A person or organization that is caring for an animal pending the resolution of criminal proceeding concerning the animal may make a motion to the court for the cost of caring for the animal and the court may require the owner to either pay the cost of care or relinquish title of the animal to the party holding the animal,
(d) A court may require a convicted defendant to give up the animal in question and may limit future ownership and possession of animals by the defendant.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Defending Dog- a good website on BSL

To find out where BSL is being proposed across the country
and how YOU can help,
click here for the latest weekly BSL update!
Breed Specific Legislation or "BSL" is exactly what it sounds like...regulation of your right to own or, in many cases, not own, a dog based solely on the breed or "type" of dog - not your responsibility as an owner. BSL can also refer to regulations and/or requirements placed only on a specific breed of dog and their owners.

No matter how you define it, BSL targets all dogs of a breed -- the innocent as well as the guilty, and it removes the responsibility from the dog's owner and towards the dog itself. Simple common sense tells you that laws are created to punish or deter the actions of humans - not those of animals.

Laws are being proposed every day that are intended to take away our rights to own particular dogs for no reason other than their breed - the way they look, the hype that surrounds them. BSL is the politician's inadequate and uneducated band-aid solution to address the gushing "wound" of irresponsible ownership and lack of personal accountability.

We made a lot of strides in 2006, including the Appellate Court ruling in Toledo v. Tellings (which has now been appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio). In addition, we made our collective voices heard and won several battles against BSL across the country. Click here to see the 2006 victories.
I certainly don't claim to be an "expert" on BSL, I am simply a concerned pit bull owner who wants to help other owners of dogs targed by breed discrimination. For me personally, the fight against BSL is incredibly intimidating, so I hope this helps and encourages people to stand up for their rights and their dogs.

This site was created to support the FightBSL Yahoo group:

PA-USSA urges State to give Increased Dog Law Enforcement A Chance To Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Beth Ruth (614) 888-4868 ext. 214
Aug. 17, 2007

The State Must Give Increased Dog Law Enforcement a Chance to Work

(Columbus) – Sportsmen want Pennsylvania to scrap new dog care regulations that will eliminate hunting with dogs while new enforcement measures for dog law violators are implemented and evaluated.

On Aug. 15, the attorney general’s office granted a recent Department of Agriculture request to allow prosecutors to try criminal cases dealing with the state dog law. The department had been requiring law enforcement officials, not lawyers, to represent the state in such cases. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, prosecutors have been acting strictly as advisors to dog wardens who have often been unable to convict animal abusers, many of whom are represented by professional attorneys.

While violators escaped justice, the department has pursued a restrictive set of new regulations that will put sporting dog kennels and hobby breeders out of business. Breeders who can afford to remain in operation after complying with the regulations will be forced to raise prices, since the state estimates the cost of implementation will be as much as $10,000 per breeder. These factors will leave hunters seeking to buy quality puppies to retrieve ducks, chase rabbits or point pheasants high and dry.

The regulations were proposed at the direction of Gov. Ed Rendell, whose stated goal is to “remove the stain of puppy mills from the commonwealth.” Unfortunately, the proposal will reach far beyond that target.

“The regulations will apply to the hobbyist the same as it will to the large commercial breeder,” explained Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president for government affairs. “It makes as much sense as having the same worker rules for U.S. Steel as for a neighborhood lemonade stand.”

The USSA and its allies in the fast-growing Sporting Dog Defense Coalition have tried for months to convince the Department of Agriculture to withdraw the regulations and rewrite the dog law to create a distinction between commercial operations and hobbyists. Sportsmen have repeatedly inquired whether there is sufficient enforcement ability to address abusive breeders. The exposé by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the resultant request by the Rendell administration to the attorney general prove that enforcement has been lacking.

Sportsmen’s groups continue to implore the department to abandon the meat-cleaver approach to the problem and give the new prosecutorial abilities a chance to show results. They have also committed to help change the dog law, which will allow the department to isolate the abusive commercial breeders.

However, the Department of Agriculture insists that the regulations continue to move forward. Making matters worse, recent rhetoric from the agency and the governor’s office refers to a need for “uniform regulations that apply to all kennels” in Pennsylvania.

A one-size-fits-all policy has contributed to many hunters’ beliefs that there is an anti-hunting agenda behind the effort.

“Hunters support bringing abusive commercial breeders to justice,” said Sexton. “However, the governor and the Department of Agriculture know how sportsmen will be hurt by the proposed rules, so our members and allies wonder who is behind the continual push that ignores hunters’ pleas.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), both support a ban on hunting and have advocated strongly for the regulations.

Sportsmen must continue to urge Gov. Ed Rendell to withdraw the dog care regulations. For a sample letter, use the Legislative Action Center at to take action. Send letters to Gov. Ed Rendell, 225 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA, 17120. Sportsmen should also take time to call the governor’s office and leave a message opposing the regulations. Phone: (717) 787-2500. Fax (717) 772-8284.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organization that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website,