HSUS Off To Fast Start In 2009, But
Dog Owners Triumph In VA And MT
Beware Bills Introduced In NJ, NY, ME, FL, MN, IL, CA, CO, VA, MT
And Expect Legislation Soon In TX, MA, WI, MI, IN, OH, OK, AZ, NM
by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
This article is archived:
Dog owners will face unprecedented and potentially devastating challenges in 2009, and it will take dedication and commitment to protect our rights. Sitting on the sidelines simply is not an option. It will take standing up and making your voice count.
The radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), buoyed by the victories of 95% of the state and federal candidates it endorsed in the November general election, has struck quickly in 2009 with legislation in 10 states that would severely restrict the rights of dog owners. Our sources also tell us that HSUS-anointed legislation will be introduced shortly in at least nine more states.
HSUS has launched this full-court press in only three weeks, and dog owners must act quickly and decisively or they will be overwhelmed.
However, there is some good news. This week, dog owners won the first two rounds in Virginia and Montana with the sound defeat of mandatory spay/neuter and breed-specific legislation.
In Virginia, HSUS and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were s trongly in support of Senate Bill 1151, which would have mandated the spaying or neutering of any dog taken to an animal shelter for a second time. The legislation was killed this week by the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee by an 8-6 vote.
This bill would have had a strong impact on hunting dogs, especially, and would have opened the door to many animal rights group kidnappings of hunting and companion dogs. Animal rights group kidnappings are becoming more common, and their goal is to take dogs to distant animal shelters were they will be euthanized.
In Montana, HSUS attempted to ram through breed-specific legislation after its usual media bombardment of inflammatory news stories, but it was killed in committee by a 17-1 vote after a reported 150 dog owners attended a hearing to voice opposition. Only three people spoke in favor of the bill.
While breed-specific legislation most often is seen as about “pit bulls,” many local ordinances have extended it to several other breeds ranging from Rottweilers to German shepherds. Moreover, the American Sporting Dog Alliance is concerned about this kind of le gislation because we see hunting breeds as next on the list of HSUS targets. Animal rights group websites frequently and falsely portray hunting dogs as vicious, some states are seriously considering banning or restricting hunting with hounds, and all hunting breeds were targeted specifically in failed federal legislation just two years ago.
HSUS-inspired legislation introduced in eight other states would affect all people who raise dogs. Those states are New York, New Jersey, Maine, Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Illinois and California. Legislation also will be introduced soon in Texas, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance is taking an active and aggressive role to defeat this legislation, which takes aim at people who raise dogs as an avocation and reflects the HSUS agenda of working toward the complete elimination of domestic animal ownership in America. We are urging dog owners to join with us to work to defeat this dangerous legislation.
Here is a synopsis of the legislation that has been introduced in each state:
It looks like HSUS has learned a new trick in New York and trying for a rerun on an old one.
Legislation has been introduced that would require every dog and every dog owner to complete certified obedience training as a condition of licensing. Another bill would mandate microchipping of all dogs in order to get a license for them. Assembly Member Jose Peralta (D-Queens) introduced both bills.
AB 1540 mandates obedience training and certification. No dog could be licensed without an obedience training certificate, and no owner could buy a dog license without undergoing training. Ironically, Peralta exempts residents of his own city from the legislation.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance strongly opposes this kind of legislation, which places a substantial burden on dog owners, bears no relationship to the realities of most dog ownership, is a solution in search of a problem, will result in a decrease in rabies and licensing law compliance, and will cause many pets to be abandoned when their owners can’t afford the services of a certified school.
Obedience courses are not available in many rural areas, and certification inevitably leads toward favoritism toward certain methods of training that are not endorsed by many dog owners. In addition, many dog owners are skilled trainers themselves and have no need for such services.
In many urban areas, a basic obedience course costs $1,000 or more. No evidence is shown that would justify imposing this kind of burden on the vast majority of dog owners. Moreover, many people simply will not be able to afford to provide this kind of training, especially in today’s poor economy, and this will force people to abandon their pets or fly under the radar without licensing their dogs or obtaining rabies vaccinations.
Here is a link to the text of this bill:
The second bill, AB 255, requires all dogs in New York to be microchipped by the age of four months.
In addition, a state registry would be created for microchip data for every dog in the state and their owners.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance strongly opposes mandatory microchipping, which is controversial among some dog owners. Other options are available, such as name tags or tattoos. We also strongly oppose creating a state registry, which allows animal control agencies to go on a “fishing expedition” to enforce a variety of other laws, and thus invades the privacy of everyone without cause.
Here is a link to the text of this bill:
Both bills have been referred to the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee. We urge New York dog owners to=2 0contact Agriculture Committee members to voice strong opposition. Here is a link to members of the committee:
We also are studying two other pieces of New York legislation.
The first is a bill redefining a “pet dealer” in a way that might lead to including hobby breeders. Last year, failed legislation would have brought all hobby breeders under strict “pet dealer” regulations. This year’s legislation creates some ambiguity in this regard, but basically does little to change the law. This alarms us, as it might lead to an attempt to make amendments on the floor similar to last year’s bill. Here is a link:
The second bill, AB 2069 would impose stringent regulations on boarding kennels, which include training kennels and day care services. It is a backdoor approach to regulation, because it is based on health code compliance (not on animal law) and requires health department inspection and certification.
We see much potential to harm kennel owners without any good reason from this approach, which also creates a new and cumbersome level of bureaucracy.
We are very alarmed that this legislation is both an attempt to redefine animal care as a public health issue, and to give health inspectors unrestricted access to kennels when there is no proof of any relationship between kennels and human health concerns in the community. We see it as an attempt to add another unjustified regulatory burden on kennel owners.
Here is a link to the legislation:
New Jersey dog owners=2 0are facing one of the toughest and most restrictive pieces of breeding legislation in history this year, and a second bill will have a heavy impact on lost hunting dogs.
Anyone who sells five or more dogs, cats, puppies or kittens in a year would have to be licensed and inspected as a commercial breeder and also as a pet dealer, which means facing Draconian restrictions and truly devastating fines and penalties.
That translates into a person having only one litter of puppies a year, in most cases. Even hobby breeding of the smallest possible scale would be unable to survive this legislation.
The legislation also pays snitches to turn in breeders, and the reward can be in the thousands of dollars.
AB 1591 is sponsored by Assemblywomen Joan M. Voss (D-Bergen) and Dawn Marie Addieggo (D-Burlington). It is before the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
A breeder is defined as anyon e who sells five or more dogs and cats a year. A pet dealer is defined as anyone who sells even one dog or cat for use as pets. A breeding facility is defined as a building or kennel, including a home, where two or more dogs or cats are kept for breeding.
Those definitions snag up everyone who raises dogs, and many people who simply keep a couple of dogs for hunting or pets.
The law also prohibits anyone from selling more than 25 dogs and/or cats a year, and specifically bans brother-sister matings.
Every word in the bill is inspired by HSUS and its agenda to eliminate animal ownership in America.
Every breeder (that’s you) must register with the Department of Health, which the legislations specifically says will develop regulations and standards of care through working closely with the radical HSUS. The bill says that the regulations also will cover spaying and neutering. Specific care and kenneling requirements also are covered. Extensive paperwork, veterinary examinations, and guarantees to buyers also20are required. A veterinarian must inspect and perform stool tests on every dog or puppy no longer than 14 days before a sale.
Anyone who buys or sells a dog without the proper New Jersey license, or who violates any of the above provisions, is subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000, heavy fines and imprisonment.
Even a first offense for a minor technical violation will result in a $5,000 civil penalty, fines and a ban against selling a dog or cat for five years. Someone who buys a dog or cat from an unlicensed breeder faces a $1,000 penalty for the first offense.
Accused dog owners will be denied their constitutional right to a day in court. They will be allowed only an administrative hearing before the same agency that charged them.
A frightening provision is that anyone who turns in a breeder will get 10-percent of the civil penalty as a reward, but not less than $250. Snitching by animal rights fanatics could become full-time and lucrative jobs in New Jersey if this bill passes!
Here is a link to the actual legislation:
The American Sporting Dog Alliance strongly urges all New Jersey dog owners to contact members of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to voice clear opposition to this terrible legislation, which will destroy a lifetime of work by many of the most dedicated and high quality hobby breeders in America.
Here is a link to the committee members’ contact information:
New Jersey dog owners also face a second piece of bad legislation, AB 1568, which requires all dogs taken to an animal shelter to be sterilized before they are reclaimed by their owners.
This legislation will have a strong impact if a dog gets lost while hunting and is taken to an animal shelter by a good Samaritan, is found by an animal control officer or is kidnapped by an animal rights activist.
Exemptions are possible only for currently active show dogs or show champions. No exemption is provided for field trial, performance or hunting dogs.
In addition, a dog can meet the requirements for being spayed only by having a tattoo put on its belly by a veterinarian.
AB 1568 is sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein (D- Mercer and Middlesex). It’s committee assignment has not been published.
Here is a link to the text of AB 1568:
Maine’s animal control director, Norma Worley, has clearly established herself as a staunch supporter of animal rights who is pursuing a personal crusade against people who raise dogs. There have been numerous reports of confrontational approaches to dog owners and heavy-handed enforcement since Worley’s appointment, and her writing and comments quoted in newspapers closely echoes HSUS position papers. She also uses the same derogatory labels as HSUS to describe people who raise dogs.
Worley rammed restrictive draft legislation through a task force, and now has presented it to the Legislature. The task force made few changes in the draft legislation prepared by Worley, and she wrote a report to the Legislature that ignored the views of most dog ownership advocates and made it falsely appear that they concurred. The attached minority reports recommended even tougher laws, and the Maine Federation of Dog Clubs refused to submit a minority report because of the biased nature of the participants and process.
This legislation would strip away dog owners’ constitutional rights to due process and equal treatment under the law, and eliminate constitutional requirements for search warrants, seizure warrants and appeals to a court of law. It is typical of all HSUS-backed legislation, which is designed to reduce dog owners to the status of second-class citizens.
Dog and kennel owners also would have their license costs increased dramatically, in order to pay for hiring many more enforcement personnel and funding a bureaucracy that recklessly overspent its budget by $600,000 last year. Worley claims that this extra money was needed to care for dogs that were seized, but we can’t imagine how it would cost $600,000 to provide short-term care for fewer than 300 dogs and cats. That would be more than $2,000 per animal!
The draft legislation requires anyone who owns five or more dogs to get a kennel license and be inspected by the state. Hunting and field trial dogs were mentioned specifically in this requirement.
Anyone who owns more than five female dogs that have not been spayed would be classified as a breeding kennel, subject to intensive regulation and inspection. Hunting, show, sled dog and field trial kennels would be exempt from this requirement, but only if they are municipally licensed and offer fewer than 16 dogs for sale in the year.
Anyone who sells even one dog would be classified as a vendor. They are required to follow complex disclosure rules to buyers, offer contractual guarantees, and have a veterinarian examine each dog or puppy that is sold.
Please read Worley’s report and the proposed legislation, which is located about midway through the document:
Worley sent the proposed legislation to the Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging Maine dog owners to contact each member of this committee and tell them why you are opposed to the legislation. Here is a link that lists all committee members: Each name links to a page with contact information.
Almost every dog and cat in Florida would have to be spayed or neutered under the terms of House Bill 451.
Sterilization would have to be done within 30 days of an animal reaching four months of age, which is an age that much recent research has shown may be medically dangerous.
The only exceptions would be for severe medical risks, or if a municipality passes an ordinance that allows dogs registered with an approved registry to be licensed as a show animal, an animal actively engaged in competition, a guide dog, or a dog used by police officers or the military. Certain registries, such as Field Dog Stud Book, have not been approved in any place that has mandatory spay/neuter laws.
No dog or cat could be bred in Florida, except by virtue of a county ordinance allowing the sale of a breeding permit.
In the absence of a county ordinance, no one could breed a dog or cat in Florida. However, the legislation also allows counties to impose more strict ordinances, and even to ban all dog breeding outright.
Stiff fines are provided, and a third offense becomes a misdemeanor charge with possible jail time.
The preamble to the bill, which describes the reason for it, is based on several faulty or inaccurate presumptions. None of the stated reasons have been documented, and much research contradicts several of them.
Florida’s legislative session officially begins in March, and it is not known at this time what committee will get HB 451. It was introduced by Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orange County.
Here is a link to the actual legislation:
We also urge all Floridians to contact their own legislator and express your opposition to this legislation. Here is a link page for each legislator’s contact information:
Illinois House Bill 0198 is one of the most repressive and malicious pieces of animal rights legislation ever introduced in America. It takes aim at people who are hobby breeders of hunting dogs and other breeds of purebred dogs.
Anyone who owns more than three intact females and sells puppies would be classi fied as a commercial breeding kennel, subject to high fees for licensure, rigorous inspections, the forfeiture of several constitutional protections, mandatory fingerprinting and criminal background checks by the state police and Federal Bureau of Investigation, forfeiture of the right to redress in a court of law, heavy loads of paperwork, unworkable standards of care, and the forcible invasion of personal and financial records.
In addition, no one would be permitted to keep or own more than 20 dogs that are not spayed or neutered. No dog could be bred unless it is inspected by a veterinarian. Also, people would not be able to raise a litter of puppies inside their home if other adult dogs are present. It would be illegal to keep more than three dogs together, which would apply to the number of dogs kept inside a home, ban the common practice of kenneling a pack of hounds together and eliminate large fenced lots to allow young dogs to get plenty of exercise.
There also is an ambiguous provision that requires the state to pass judgment on the “qualifications” of a kennel license applicant before issuing a license. This would be an entirely subjective judgment by the kennel inspector, as the legislation does not define adequate qualifications.
Only veterinarians could euthanize a dog, which causes terrible suffering and agony if a veterinarian cannot be located quickly.
Dog owners also could face heavy fines and loss of licenses for irrelevant violations, such as surface rust on wires, a few cobwebs, a knocked over water bowl or chipped paint. Temperature requirements would make it impossible for people to acclimate hunting, herding and performance dogs to weather conditions, thus creating danger for the dogs. Fine and civil penalties would multiply exponentially, and even minor offenses have the potential to destroy a dog owner financially and cause the loss of her or his home and lifetime savings.
The legislation also contains numerous powers to seize dogs, or to require their owners to turn them over to an animal shelter within seven days of license revocation, or if a dog owner is incorrectly licensed.
This legislation, which is clearly out of the HSUS playbook, is being sponsored by State Rep. John A. Fritchey (D-Chicago). It has been cosponsored by Reps. Angelo Saviano, Deborah Mell, Jack D. Franks, Daniel J. Burke, Greg Harris, Michael J. Zalewski, JoAnn D. Osmond, Keith Farnham, Lou Lang and Harry Osterman (click on a name for a link to a contact page). It’s Senate counterpart, SB 53, will be sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D- Mt. Prospect).
The bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee. The House has not yet completed committee assignments, and the names of committee members are not yet available.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance urges Illinois dog owners to contact their senator and representative to voice opposition to HB 0198 and SB 53 to voice their opposition. In addition, we ask dog owners to contact the bill’s cosponsors to ask them to withdraw their support for the legislation.
The bill’s formal name is the Dog Breeders License Act. HSUS and other animal rights groups are nicknaming it “Chloe’s Bill,” for a dog allegedly rescued from an Illinois “puppy mill.”
HSUS has focused many of its resources on Illinois, and recently named a new State Director, attorney Jordan Matyas. We have received confirmed reports that Rep. Fritchey is sending correspondence about this bill directly to Matyas, and the replies to constituents are coming directly from HSUS.
Propaganda for the bill makes it sound like legislation to stop poorly operated commercial kennels, which have been dubbed “puppy mills” by HSUS. However, the bill actually targets small scale hobby breeders of purebred dogs. Large commercial kennels already are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of Illinois, and all kennels are under the jurisdiction of state animal cruelty laws.
Matyas and his cronies also continue to spread their agenda of canine destruction in neighboring Wisconsin and Indiana, which are expected to see similar legislation very soon, and in the City of Chicago.
We are receiving some indications that a strong response from dog owners and veterinarians has put a proposed citywide spay and neuter mandate on the ropes. This ordinance, which is focused on destroying hobbyists in the city, has been a top priority for HSUS, Matyas and their allies from the wealthy and powerfu l PAWS animal rights group in Chicago.
The animal rights groups were stung by support for dog owners from the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA), and also by research by the American Sporting Dog Alliance, which shows the incredible success of the city’s sheltering program. The success of Chicago’s animal shelters has come very close to the ideal of not killing any healthy and adoptable animals, and destroys much of the rationale for the ordinance.
The CVMA and ISVMA have taken strong and courageous stances against the proposed ordinance, as have several animal sheltering and rescue organizations. Here is a link to some of these position statements:
In essence, a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance compromises the relationship between a veterinarian and patient.
For government to mandate veterinarians to perform certain medical proc edures also is a violation of at least two provisions of the American Veterinary Medical Association Code of Ethics, as was a requirement in the original proposed ordinance that would require veterinarians to report people who own dogs that are not spayed or neutered, documents show.
In addition, many veterinarians and dog owners oppose universal spay/neuter mandates because much of the most recent research shows elevated risks of serious and potentially fatal medical conditions from pet sterilization, especially at an early age. Because of this, veterinarians believe that the decision should be made on an individual basis by weighing benefits and risks as part of the client/patient/veterinarian relationship.
Veterinarians and sheltering group leaders also say that the proposed ordinance is very divisive and will harm the kind of community support that is needed to continue with the success of Chicago’s animal shelter alliance.
Aldermen Ed Burke and Ginger Rugai proposed the ordinance, and HSUS, Matyas and PAWS are its major proponents.
PAWS has even attempted to use strong-arm tactics against the veterinarians, by strongly hinting that it will ask its supporters to boycott any individual veterinarian who doesn’t support the ordinance.
Because of the veterinarians’ opposition, HSUS and the two aldermen have backpedaled on some of the requirements of the initial proposal. A revised ordinance draft removes the requirement for veterinarians to turn in their patients who have not sterilized their pets. In other communities that have passed sterilization mandates, compliance with rabies vaccination and licensing laws has plummeted because of the requirement to report violations.
However, the revised ordinance has not changed the requirement for pet owners to prove that their animals have been sterilized to get a license. In other communities, this has caused a dramatic decrease in licensing revenues, and the Los Angeles animal control program has become bankrupted since a spay/neuter ordinance was passed a year ago, and doesn’t have enough money to enforce it or even to operate its animal shelters now.
Other changes in the revised ordinance are softened language about the alleged health benefits of sterilization (which has been seriously questioned by much recent research), a greater emphasis on preventing dog fighting and dog attacks (even though research indicates that this is questionable, at best), and the elimination of heavy fines for a third offense.
It is clear that the real purpose of the ordinance has nothing to do with its stated purposes. Instead, it is directed at law-abiding people who raise dogs.
Existing city ordinances prohibit allowing a dog to roam, and dog attacks would be addressed if they are enforced. It is not directed at dangerous dogs, as Illinois already has a strong dangerous dog law. Nor is it directed at dog fighting, as Illinois law makes this a felony, and only about seven percent of the dogs in America are from “pit bull” breeds and crosses. Nor is it directed against criminals and the drug culture, as an existing Illinois law forbids most convicted felons of possessing a dog that has not been spayed or neutered and microchipped, or which has been shown to be dangerous.
The ordinance is directed against law-abiding dog owners. It requires all dogs and cats20over six months of age to be sterilized. Exceptions are made for show and competition dogs, although the “Catch 22” is that no registry meets the requirements. A dog can be bred, but only if the owner is willing to pay a fee of $100 per dog, keep extensive paperwork and submit to a background check.
It also ignores the fact that 70-percent of the dogs in America already are sterilized.
And it ignores the fact that Chicago already has serious budget problems and cannot adequately fund the animal control and shelter program.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance urges Chicagoans to contact their alderman to voice opposition to this proposed ordinance. Here is a link to the web pages of each of the aldermen, where you will find contact information:
Also, please contact local organizers to coordinate with us and a newly forming Chicago group that is opposed to the ordinance. They are Karen Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org), Margo Milde (email@example.com), Michele Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ami Moore (DOGDORIGHT@aol.com).
We hope that Chicago City Council takes a long hard look at other cities that have passed spay/neuter mandates recently, such as Fort Worth, which saw rabies compliance plummet and rabies cases soar before it scrapped the ordinance; Louisville, which faces a federal lawsuit, and brutal home invasions to enforce the ordinance have led to the destruction of the private animal rescue network; several cities which saw shelter admissions and euthanasia rates soar while license revenues fell; and most of all20to Los Angeles (see below).
Animal rights groups in California were soundly defeated last year when they attempted to get a statewide law mandating pet sterilization, and its key proponent in the legislature was trounced in the November election. That’s not surprising, as a Parade Magazine poll last year showed that 91-percent of the people oppose sterilization mandates.
This year they are trying to take their failed doctrine to the local level again, starting with Santa Barbara and Riverside counties.
But they don’t want to talk about Los Angeles, which passed a spay/neuter mandate a year ago and created a disaster zone for animals and taxpayers alike. Since the ordinance was introduced, shelter admission and euthanasia rates have soared far beyond the level created by the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and declining license revenues have driven the city’s animal control agency into bankruptcy, documents show.
The situation has become so critical that Los Angeles Controller Laura Chick urged the mayor and city council to privatize the sheltering program, in a letter dated December 22, 2008. Chick pointed out that the animal control budget increased from $16.2 million in FY 2005-06 to $22 million in FY 2007-08, in order to pay operating expenses and the salaries of 300 employees. In addition, she wrote, the city is paying off bond issues to build and repair animal shelters at the rate of $12.4 million a year.
This is balanced against revenues of only $2.8 million, which now are in steep decline because of major losses in licensing revenues following the ordinance.
Widespread employee layoffs and animal shelter closures have been discussed, and Chick said no money is available to enforce the spay/neuter and other animal ordinances, or to perform many other public services.
Chick suggested turning the animal shelter program over to private nonprofit groups, which can operate them much more economi cally and efficiently, her letter shows. The city would provide the animal shelter facilities at no charge, and the private groups would operate them.
What happened in Los Angeles also underscores the murderous intent of animal rights groups toward dogs and cats. On one hand, it is widely documented that spay/neuter mandates invariably cause major increases in animal shelter admission and euthanasia rates for several years. They kill innocent dogs and cats unnecessarily!
But the current economic situation in California further underscores the brutality of the animal rights agenda.
At a time when many pet owners are losing their homes or facing job losses, anyone who cares about animals should be showing compassion for both dogs and their owners. Anyone who cares should be doing everything possible to keep pets in their homes, or to provide short-term fostering programs until people get back on their feet and can reunite with their pets.
Instead, Los Angeles has passed an ordinance that will make it much harder for people to keep their pets in a tough economy, or if they have lost their homes.
The dogs are paying the price.
In Los Angeles, passage of the ordinance reversed a 10-year-long rapid decline in shelter admission and euthanasia rates, and this needless destruction of a successful sheltering program has been exacerbated by the economic crisis.
Shelter admission and euthanasia rates continued to fall for the first six months of the most recent fiscal year, despite the rapidly worsening foreclosure crisis, but this progress was destroyed in the six months following the ordinance’s introduction by skyrocketing shelter admission and euthanasia rates.
Shelter admissions declined steadily from 34,692 in 2001-02 to 25,553 in 2006-07, but shot up 19-percent to 30,513 following passage of the ordinance. All of the increase occurred in the six months after the ordinance was introduced. Undoubtedly some of this increase is the result of the foreclosure crisis, but California’s housing economy has been in deep trouble for most of this pe riod when shelter rates continued to improve.
The euthanasia rate rose even more steeply since the ordinance was passed, by 22-percent, from 6,070 to 7,414. Once again, the entire increase occurred after the ordinance was introduced. This follows a steady decline from 17,509 in 2001-02 to 6,070 in 2006-07.
The good news is that adoptions increased by 30-percent and owner-reclaimed rates rose by 10-percent. But the bad news is the divisiveness of the ordinance within the animal welfare community, which caused rescues to decline somewhat in the six months after the ordinance was passed.
Now it’s Santa Barbara’s turn to face the brutality of the animal rights agenda, as a task force created to provide non-mandatory ways to reduce shelter populations and euthanasia has become a stacked deck of people who want to bring the failed and discredited policy of mandatory pet sterilization to=2 0this county. We hope the county supervisors are wise enough to learn from the mistakes of Los Angeles and several other cities.
Dog owners on the task force may get some help to counterbalance the presence of Dr. Ron Faoro, the group’s chairman. Faoro strongly supports mandatory pet sterilization and has rode roughshod over the committee on several occasions.
The guest speaker at the Feb.18 task force meeting will be noted California veterinarian John A. Hamil. Dr. Hamil, who has spent a lifetime studying animal shelter admission and euthanasia issues, is strongly opposed to spay and neuter mandates. Hamil says mandatory measures make the problems worse, not better, and also are undesirable or counterproductive for several other reasons.
Here is a link to Dr. Hamil’s views about the defeated statewide mandate: He is very articulate and knows what he is talking about.
Task force members have been denied access to needed statistical data to put shelter and euthanasia numbers in perspective. After several years of miraculous success, Santa Barbara’s sheltering system saw large increases in both shelter admissions and euthanasia rates in the past year. Those increases are generally attributed to the economy, and the foreclosure crisis has hit Santa Barbara especially hard.
Data has been concealed about why the euthanasia rate has increased by more than 2.5 times the admission rate in the first six months of 2008. Admissions went up by 554, or 14-percent, but euthanasia increased 313, or 35-percent.
This simply does not make sense, except as a deliberate policy decision to kill more animals. The situation is made even more inexplicable because owner redemptions increased by 4.9 percent and adoptions increased by 12-percent.
Data also has not been made available to allow analysis of the admissions rates, such as a projected increase in enforcement, and the actual reasons why owners=2 0are surrendering dogs. Effective decisions are not possible without this information, which is being kept from the task force and public by animal services department personnel.
All of the evidence shows that a spay/neuter mandate will make shelter and animal control problems worse during economic hard times when many people are losing their homes and jobs.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance is preparing a strategy to address these economic problems compassionately and effectively. Our proposals will include tax credits and rebates for people who adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters and rescue groups, tax incentives for people who are willing to provide temporary foster care or rescue services for displaced pets, exempting people who foster or rescue from pet limit and other animal control laws, and changing state funding formulas to penalize shelter programs that kill healthy and adoptable animals when all other alternatives have not been explored.
Two years ago, Minnesota dog owners had a close call with devastating animal rights legislation that was narrowly defeated in the legislature.
It’s back, and HSUS is throwing its full weight behind it.
SF 7, introduced by Sen. Don Betzold (D-Fridley), has been introduced into the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee.
This bill exempts what it calls “hobby breeders,” which means someone who has fewer than six intact females over six months old.
But it includes most people who actually are hobby breeders in real life, most of whom own at least six intact females, even though they may not be used for breeding in any year. Numbers add up quickly when retired dogs, older puppies, dogs being evaluated, dogs in competition, hunting dogs, breeding dogs and just plain pets are counted.
Most hobby breeders would have to undergo e xtensive licensing investigations, inspections (possibly including a veterinarian, police officer or animal cruelty officer), license fees, paperwork, mandatory microchipping, and standards of care that are vaguely defined.
One standard of care is especially alarming, in that it gives the state the undefined and unlimited power to develop and enforce “additional standards the board considers necessary to protect the public health and welfare of animals….”
The law also gives the state the power to seize animals when undefined standards of care are not met, and provides civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each alleged deficiency. Criminal charges, fines and imprisonment also are provided for violations.
The right of appeal to a court of law is denied. Instead, an accused dog owner is allowed only an administrative hearing before the state agency that is prosecuting him or her.
Here is a link to the legislation:
The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging all Minnesotans to contact members of the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee to voice strong opposition. Here is a link to committee members and contact information: http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/committees/committee_bio.php?cmte_id=1001&ls=#members.
Colorado dog owners face some restrictions under HB 1172, sponsored by Reps. Elizabeth McCann (D-Denver) and Randy Fischer (D-Larimer). HSUS and other animal rights groups are supporting the legislation.
This legislation requires licensing and inspection, limits the number of un sterilized dogs a person may own, and requires a veterinary examination before a dog can be bred.
No dog breeder (including hobby breeders, who are defined as someone who produces fewer than two litters of puppies a year) in Colorado will be able to own or keep more than 25 dogs over six months of age that are not spayed or neutered, if the legislation passes.
In addition, no one would be allowed to breed any dog without an annual veterinary examination and certification of suitable health.
Existing law also was amended to allow inspectors unrestrained access to a dog owner’s home, kennel, property and records at any time, day or night, upon consent of an “administrative” search warrant. An administrative warrant circumvents constitutional guarantees of court review of a search warrant application.
Here is a link to the text of this legislation:
HB 1172 is now before the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance asks Colorado dog owners to contact members of this committee to oppose this legislation as being needlessly intrusive and restrictive.
Committee members are: Representative Curry, Chairman; Representative Fischer, Vice-Chairman; Gardner C., Hullinghorst, Labuda, Looper, McKinley, McNulty, Pace, Solano, Sonnenberg, Tipton and Vigil
Here is a link to contact information for committee members and all other legislators:
Texas – Breaking news: McAllen, TX, is considering a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. We have not had time to research this in depth, and will make a full report soon. Here is a link to a news article about it: However, McAllen is only the beginning. All Texas dog owners will face a fight this year. Animal rights groups, including several with direct ties to the ultra-radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and HSUS, are hoping to take their successes in Texas cities to the state level. Buoyed by their success in ramming through spay/neuter mandates in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, they are backing a bill aimed at all dog breeding statewide. Several organizations, centered around the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) are pressuring the Legislature to “study puppy mill issues,” and legislation is in the works to restrict dog breeding statewide. Supporters of dog breeding legislation always claim that it focuses on commercial kennels, which they call “puppy mills.” But the legislation invariably focuses much more on small hobby breeders in its actual text.
Wisconsin – Dog owners narrowly turned back highly restrictive breeding and lemon law legislation last year that would have devastated hobby breeding of purebred dogs. Animal rights groups have substantial support in the legislature, and have vowed to come back with an even tougher bill this year. Political gains in the Legislature by animal rights groups make Wisconsin ripe for a major push again this year. HSUS is pouring resources into the state.
Indiana – Kennel and breeding legislation is expected here following a major drive by HSUS in the Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan region. Billboards have been spotted in several places, and anti-breeder newspaper articles are proliferating.
Ohio – Dog owners were able to block legislation tightening animal control laws and another bill that would have destroyed hobby breeding in the Buckeye State. However, sponsors and supporters of this legislation vowed to reintroduce it early in the current session. They have stronger support in the Legislature now than they did last year, following the November election.
Michigan – Anti-breeder legislation is expected early here, following withdrawal of devastating legislation late last year after American Sporting Dog Alliance disclosures of the text of the bill, which had been hidden even from its sponsor.
Massachusetts – HSUS has announced that it will try again to get an anti-breeder law passed here.
Arizona – A major push is expected for mandatory spay/neuter legislation here. Residents are battling local legislation in several counties, as well.
New Mexico – Mandatory spay/neuter legislation and overly zealous enforcement of animal cruelty laws are expected here in 2009.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American society and life.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence.
Please visit us on the web. Our email is email@example.com.
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