Friday, February 27, 2009

Shelter animals transferred from one shelter to another to help fulfill a "wish list"

Shelter animals from Kern County transferred to SLO County
Nearly two dozen dogs from a Kern County animal shelter will be transferred to the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter because of continued higher than normal vacancy rates.

Local shelter staff will receive 21 puppies and small adult dogs from the Bakersfield Animal Shelter that will be available for adoption.

"This exchange of animals benefits residents of [SLO County] by providing them with the opportunity to adopt smaller dogs and puppies which are not commonly available in our local shelters which simultaneously helping neighboring Kern County avoid the unnecessary euthanasia of several savable animals" according to a news release from SLO County's Animal Services Division.
This is the third transfer of animals to the local shelter.

Many of the dogs were selected to fulfill a "wish list" left with the local Animal Services Dept. from residents who had been unable to find the specific type of dog they wanted to adopt.

Many of the animals, ranging from Chihuahuas to Shepherd mix puppies, will be available for adoption beginning today.

--Sona Patel

NC- HSUS is removing dogs from breeders

Here is a story written by an employee of HSUS. There are no pictures and the "public" who reads this story will just assume it is true. Here are the "Buzz Words" that HSUS uses to gain public support:
How they descibe breeders:

"mass breeding facility"
"overcrowded breeding facilities"
"living in substandard conditions"
"overwhelmed property owner"
How they describe themselves (HSUS):
"introduce legislation that will help to put an end to the cruel puppy mill industry in our state"
"extremely rewarding to see these animals begin a new, happy chapter of their lives"
"soon be living as cherished family pets"
"make the journey to their new temporary homes in The HSUS’ specially equipped animal transport vehicle"

Note: 1. the source of the complaint was Anonymous
2. There are no mention of any charges being brought up against the owner
3. There is no evidence of "intentional" abuse- but they were not very clear if there was even evidence of abuse at all. Since no charges are mentioned, one has to assume that there was no evidence of abuse at all
4. This was not the second time at THIS facility- it was the SECOND "takings" of people's property (their dogs)
5. Many people, when faced with law enforcement at their door, don't know what to do at the time, and then only afterwards to they attempt to get help. That attempt will not be reported by HSUS- and maybe not even by the local paper- as this story is carried by the local paper.

Dogs Rescued from Overcrowed Facility
Jordan Crump
The Humane Society of the United States
Published: February 26, 2009

KINSTON, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2009) – Fifty dogs have been removed from a Lenoir County breeding facility thanks to the efforts of The Humane Society of the United States, the Lenoir County Health Department, the Lenoir County SPCA and Wayne County Animal Control. Rescuers were able to remove the 50 small-breed dogs after local officials convinced the property owner to voluntarily shut down his facility.

“This is the second time in a month that The Humane Society of the United States has rescued dogs from a mass breeding facility in North Carolina. These cases represent just a fraction of the overcrowded breeding facilities throughout the state,” said Amanda Arrington, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “We will soon introduce legislation that will help to put an end to the cruel puppy mill industry in our state.”

The dogs were found living in substandard conditions in outdoor pens throughout the property. Local officials inspected the property after receiving an anonymous complaint and found no evidence of intentional abuse, but the overwhelmed property owner voluntarily surrendered the animals. The property owner then signed a contract with local officials barring him from breeding any dogs in the future. The Lenoir County Health Department then called in The HSUS for assistance in removing the dogs from the property, finding them placement in regional rescue groups and transporting them to their new temporary homes at shelters.

“It is extremely rewarding to see these animals begin a new, happy chapter of their lives. I am hopeful that they will soon be living as cherished family pets,” said Joey Huff, director of the Lenoir County Health Department.

These dogs will make the journey to their new temporary homes in The HSUS’ specially equipped animal transport vehicle. They will be taken in by the Richmond SPCA and the Washington Animal Rescue League where they will be evaluated and placed for adoption.

SC-Prized hound dies in Shelter Dispute

Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
Prized hound dies in shelter dispute
Decision to euthanize Big Hitter could be symbol of troubles that imperil the sport

On a clear and frosty morning in late December, Big Hitter, a 5-year-old foxhound who hadn’t been in the woods for weeks, caught a scent and took off running.

He was fast.

His owner, Arnold Jones of St. George, had arrived for a dog drive at the Kingville Hunt Club in Lower Richland near 6 a.m. that Saturday, meeting up with about 35 guys and 50 hunting dogs.
When Hitter hadn’t returned by 10 a.m., it was clear he had gotten into the Congaree Swamp.

The 6,000-acre hunt club is adjacent to the expansive national park, so it’s not unusual for dogs to chase deer into the swamp and keep on going.

What Jones couldn’t know then was that Hitter — who he’d bought for $750 and expected to produce a line of valuable offspring — would walk for four days and 20 miles, looking for his master, before ending up at the Columbia Animal Shelter.

There, he would die in a dispute over a city law requiring that dogs be neutered before being returned to their owners.

The death of this tricolor foxhound — something that probably would have been unheard of not long ago — has created a stir among hunters.

“There’s rules, surely,” said Trevor Bedell of West Columbia, who helped Jones try to retrieve Hitter, since his hunting buddy lives out of town. “But the animal shelter’s mission should be to protect the dog, when we were making efforts to get the dog.”

Interim city manager Steve Gantt said Hitter’s owners didn’t get to the shelter within the timeline spelled out to them.

“It’s a bad situation all the way around,” said Gantt, who hunted with hounds as a kid in Chester.


Hitter could be a symbol for a Southern tradition that’s fading — hunters using dogs to flush deer from the woods, starting a fast and furious chase into the sights of waiting hunters.

It’s a way of hunting passed down in South Carolina families for generations.

But in recent years, the tradition has created bad blood among dog hunters, the more common “still” hunters and landowners.

Large tracts of property required for dog drives are being cut up and developed. The number of hunt clubs is dwindling, too, creating more situations where hunters clash.

Sometimes, dogs tracking a deer will run beyond the boundaries of a hunt club and onto private property, passing a hunter silently waiting in a deer stand.

Jones, who owns 35 to 40 dogs that he uses to hunt big bucks as trophies, can’t imagine hunting any other way.

“There is nothing more exciting than 25 hounds running the deer right at you,” said Jones, 46. “Your heart goes pounding in your chest. It’s an adrenaline rush, to have game coming at you that fast, and you have a matter of seconds to even try to shoot.”

Frank A. Boysia hunts on 3,000 acres he and his father own in Lee and Sumter counties. They farm and participate in wildlife programs that provide habitat for deer and quail.

But Boysia said trespassing dogs disrupt the “good and natural experience” he pursues outdoors.

“I’m sitting there in a peaceful situation with my son on a deer stand, in a food plot that I’ve planted — with my money, with my labor and my love,” said Boysia, 40. “It ruins your whole reason for even having property like that.

“So for me, it’s a property rights issue.”


Hunters usually look for lost dogs along roads.

That’s because foxhounds know to wait there, said Charles Ruth, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources.

“They’re going to be out standing by the road, looking for their owner. A lot of time, they’ll start walking the road because they can relate the road to the truck to the man.”

That’s how Hitter would have ended up in Columbia.

The Saturday of the hunt, Jones went home to Dorchester County. Bedell, 31, said he drove down Bluff Road and through Lower Richland on each of the next three days, looking for Hitter.

The next day, Christmas Eve, Hitter wandered into Columbia’s Granby Park, his tracking collar and I.D. tag still fastened around his neck.

A city park ranger called the phone number on the tag and left a message for Jones, then called the Columbia Animal Shelter.


Animal control laws in Columbia don’t acknowledge the tradition of hunting with dogs.

In Columbia, lost pets must be neutered before they can be returned to the owners with three exceptions — if they are sick dogs, show dogs, or guide dogs for the blind.

The spay-neuter program is the foundation of the shelter’s efforts to reduce the number of unwanted animals.

If a hunting dog steps outside the city limits into unincorporated Richland County, the law is different.

In more rural Richland County, owners of hunting dogs can take their dogs home without sterilization if they have a valid hunting license.

Richland County administrator Milton Pope said the dual policies make sense. People are allowed to hunt in the county, not in the city.

Years ago, a debate over whether to require hunting dogs to be spayed or neutered was among the sticking points in efforts to merge city and county animal control operations.

It was no longer an issue when the two jurisdictions decided last year to join programs under one roof — at the Columbia shelter.

The merger will occur in coming weeks. Gantt, the assistant city manager, said this might be a good time to compare policies and see whether they should fall more closely in line.

Still, Marli Drum, the shelter director, doesn’t anticipate problems keeping track of which animals are picked up in the city and which are picked up in the county.

Addresses are logged and city limits lines checked with care, she said, in part to ensure the city doesn’t foot the bill for any animal not in its jurisdiction.


The city’s neutering requirement was a big bone of contention once Jones and Bedell discovered the dog had been taken to the city shelter.

They did not want the dog neutered.

While Bedell had sold the dog to Jones, he said he retained breeding rights.

Jones said Drum first told him the dog had to be neutered, then agreed to accept proof that he had placed in four national trials — documentation that was hard to find during the holidays surrounding Christmas and New Year’s.

“A lot of people knew the dog,” Jones said. “He was a well-known hound. He came from champions.”

Jones collected what proof he could and faxed it to Bedell. Bedell acknowledged he never turned the paperwork over to Drum, saying the documents weren’t what she wanted.

In an interview, Drum said she didn’t have permission to discuss the case but would talk generally about procedures. The city also provided a Jan. 6 memo outlining her recollection of events, under the subject line, “EUTHANIZED DOG.”

Under city policy, lost or stray dogs are held for five days, Drum said. If they have tags, they are kept for two weeks. Once the owner is reached, however, the five-day hold begins.

Bedell said he went by the shelter once and called twice, trying to bring Hitter home.

The last time he called Drum was on Friday, Jan. 2, nine days after Hitter was picked up.

Bedell said he told Drum he planned to adopt the dog once Hitter became available to the public for adoption.

Drum’s memo said she explained he couldn’t adopt the dog just to get around paying the redemption fees, and that she reiterated the dog would have to be neutered.

The following Monday, Bedell went to the shelter only to find that Hitter had been put down, one of 43 dogs to be euthanized Jan. 5.

Drum’s memo said Hitter had developed kennel cough, a contagious infection. “Because of this, the dog could not be held any longer,” she wrote. “To do so would have put many other dogs at risk.”

Just last week, Bedell showed up at the shelter looking to help a friend, Lee Gross, retrieve his lost hunting dog.

The dog had been picked up in Richland County, around Hopkins, and was released to his owner after he produced a hunting license.

“There’s got to be some consistency,” Bedell complained.

“I don’t see how they can be executioner on one and let the other go with a ... hunting license.”


Hunting with dogs is part of the culture of the Southeast, from Virginia to Arkansas, said the DNR’s Ruth.

In South Carolina, dog drives are allowed only in the 28 counties where it has the foothold of history, from Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties south and east toward the coast.

But deer hunting with dogs has declined over the past 20 to 30 years, part of an overall change in the number of people who hunt, according to DNR figures.

After peaking in 1980 at 203,170, the number of South Carolinians who took out hunting licenses bottomed out in 2006 at 154,078.

With tensions rising among hunters, legislators, led by Sen. Yancey McGill, D-Williamsburg, are trying to mediate.

Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said two or three hunting dogs were shot to death in the woods a couple of years ago in a sign of the growing rift among hunters.

And a couple of “nuisance” lawsuits have been filed against dog owners in the absence of laws to regulate dog drives.

The Legislature stepped in last year, asking DNR to arrange a series of meetings in hopes of reaching agreement among hunters. “We did not come to a consensus,” Ruth said.

Hal Goodwin, whose family started the Kingville Hunt Club in 1962, expects his generation will be the last to hold deer drives — social events that start at daylight and usually include a dinner of game, like venison or catfish stew.

Oftentimes, the men stay overnight, sleeping in campers.

“You may call it a Southern thing, but it’s been going on hundreds of years,” said Goodwin, 59.

“I’ll probably see it go away in my lifetime. ... There’s a big move in South Carolina from a lot of people to do away with dog driving totally.”

But Boysia said he doesn’t want to see an end to the tradition of dog drives.

“I don’t think we’re like the Hatfields and the McCoys. I really do not,” he said. “Ultimately, we’re all hunters.

“We don’t want to drive people out of the sport.”

Reach Hinshaw at (803) 771-8641.

Animal Cruelty Laws Amoung the Fastest-growing

Animal cruelty laws among fastest-growing
Concept that pets and livestock have rights, as humans do, gaining ground

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you click on the title- it will take you to the story.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

CA- SB 250 The Pet Responsibility Act

This is what the Animal Rights have to say about this bill. They LOVE It.
SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 24, 2009 - Social Compassion in
> Legislation, in conjunction with Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez
> (D-Shafter), today announced a new spay and neuter state bill, SB
> 250 -- The Pet Responsibility Act.
> "Every year in California, approximately one million pets enter into
> our shelters and more than half are killed," said Judie Mancuso,
> founder of Social Compassion in Legislation. "The fact that pets
> are not required to be spayed and neutered statewide causes massive
> unwanted breeding and a major pet overpopulation crisis. This new
> bill will not only help save the lives of millions of loving
> animals, it will also help save money for California taxpayers.
> It's a win-win for everyone."
> Joined at the Capitol by animal welfare advocates and celebrities
> from hit shows like The Bachelor and Rock of Love, the bill aims to
> drastically reduce the half million cats and dogs that are
> euthanized in California shelters each year. The policy change will
> benefit the California taxpayers who spend a quarter of a billion
> dollars housing and killing unwanted pets each year, as well as the
> shelter workers who must deal with that sad reality each day.
> "From a moral and ethical perspective, I was shocked at how we can
> even think of tolerating the killing of half a million pets every
> year," said Matt Grant, first international bachelor from ABC's The
> Bachelor. "From my financial background, I was also amazed at how
> we can even afford it. $250 million is a hell of a lot of money."
> "As a rescuer, I have looked into the eyes of dogs and cats knowing
> that they will never get to live with a human who loves them and
> knowing that their days are numbered," said Lacey Conner from VH1's
> hit show Rock of Love and Charm School, and founder of Heroes K9
> Rescue. "To me it is obvious to pass a law that requires people to
> spay and neuter their pets."
> SB 250, authored by Senator Florez, provides a reasonable, fiscally
> responsible step towards reducing pet overpopulation. The bill
> simply requires that dogs be spayed or neutered in California unless
> their owner/guardian obtains an unaltered dog license when they
> license their animal. SB 250 also requires that roaming cats be
> spayed and neutered by their owner/guardian. The bill number SB 250
> was chosen because over $250 million dollars is spent housing and
> euthanizing homeless dogs and cats in California.
> "We cannot understand how anyone could turn away from a solution
> like SB 250," Brenda Mitchell, humane educator for the Central
> California SPCA. "For over six decades we have been trying to
> educate our community and still we have to decide which really great
> dog should be allowed one more day, which wonderful house cat is
> worth saving. The answer is simple, all of them, every last one."
> "But the underlying problem remains; there are still too many dogs
> and cats entering California's shelters," said Dr. Allan Drusys,
> Riverside County Department of Animal Services. "More animals than
> the public can adopt. More animals than the shelters themselves are
> designed to handle. And far too much euthanasia of these unwanted
> pets is taking place. This is simply a supply side problem and a
> reduction in the fertility rate of the entire population is in order."
> Please consider donating to SCIL. 100% of your donation goes to
> legislative goals in California, including spay and neuter
> legislation and anti-puppy mill legislation.
Together, we will make California a humane model for the nation.
> Best regards,
> Judie Mancuso
> President

CA- Newly introduced Bill- SB 250 relating to mandatory Spay/neuter


INTRODUCED BY Senator Florez

On FEBRUARY 24, 2009

If passed,
This bill would provide, in addition,
*that no person may own,keep, or harbor an unaltered and unspayed dog, except as specified.
*It would make it is unlawful for any person who owns, keeps, or
harbors any unspayed or unaltered cat 6 months of age or older to
allow or permit that unspayed or unaltered cat to remain outdoors.
* It would require an owner or custodian of an unaltered cat to have the
animal spayed or neutered, or provide a certificate of sterility.
*It would allow an unaltered dog license to be denied, revoked, and
reapplied for, as specified, and the licensing agency to utilize its
existing procedures for any appeal of a denial or revocation of an
unaltered dog license
*This bill would require an owner or custodian who offers any
unaltered dog or cat for sale, trade, or adoption to meet specified
*It would permit an administrative citation, infraction,
or other authorized penalty for a violation of certain provisions to
be imposed only if the owner or custodian is concurrently cited for
another violation under state or local law, as specified.
* It would require, if an unaltered dog or cat is impounded pursuant to state or
local law, the owner or custodian to meet specified requirements,
including paying the costs of impoundment.
*It would require all costs, fines, and fees collected under the bill to be paid to the licensing agency for the purpose of defraying the cost of the
implementation and enforcement of the bill.
* By creating new crimes and imposing new duties on local animal control agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program upon local governments.

Track the status of this bill

FL- Florida Taking Pet "Lemon Law" Too far

Florida Taking Pet "Lemon Law" Too FarTake Action!

Help us oppose SB 288!

February 25, 2009

Florida State Senator Larcenia Bullard has introduced SB 288 which makes unnecessary revisions to Florida's Pet Lemon Law statute that would be damaging to responsible dog and cat breeders.

In essence, SB 288 would add the following to the current pet consumer protection law contained in F.S. 828.29:
Direct the Department of Agriculture to create a costly full-time position to enforce the statute;
Add excessive fines of up to $10,000 for each violation;
Alter the definition of "pet dealer", for the purposes of the lemon law provisions, from the current threshold of more than 2 litters, to anyone who sells 20 or more dogs or cats in a 12 month period. This would re-categorize many people with breeds that have large litter sizes who would only be allowed 19 puppies or kittens before being subjected to new requirements and punitive measures;

Require pet dealers to give written notice at the time of sale advising the buyer to test their pet for "a number of genetic diseases". This introduces into statute language regarding genetics and prescribes expensive and unnecessary testing by consumers. If pursued, this testing could be used to demand refunds for a pet that isn't sick, as well as open the door for mandating genetic testing in the future.
NAIA Trust of Florida believes pet consumers deserve some measure of protection from unscrupulous dealers, but it is inappropriate and unrealistic to view living things like manufactured goods. Pet "lemon laws" that mandate "perfect world" solutions aimed at protecting consumers from every conceivable problem miss opportunities to educate pet buyers before they purchase a pet and are often difficult to enforce. To be effective, we feel consumer laws should reasonably reflect the obligations of both parties.

That is why NAIA offers an alternative approach; a workable solution that carefully and fairly addresses the needs of both buyer and seller. Click here to read our new NAIA Guide to Dog Friendly Consumer Laws (sorry - this link didn't work for me- I got an error message).

Please take a moment now to write your Senator, asking him or her to oppose SB 288 and consider taking a fresh approach to pet consumer protection. Use the talking points below as a guide, and feel free to share NAIA's model legislation. We also encourage you to send a copy of your message to Florida State Senator Larcenia Bullard so that she can witness the strong tide of opposition to this concept coming from people in communities across the state:

State Senator Larcenia J. Bullard

218 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
(850) 487-5127

Thank you for standing up for pets and pet owners by TAKING ACTION today!

Monday, February 23, 2009

OR- Breeders Bill to be Considered TODAY

Monday, February 23, 2009]
Oregon House Bill 2470 will be considered by the House Consumer Protection Committee today, Monday, February 23, at 3 PM in House Room E at the Capitol, 900 Court Street NE, Salem, 97301. The bill, part of a national agenda aimed at severely limiting the responsible breeding of dogs, does not address the needs of Oregonians, but would impose unreasonable limits on dog ownership, harsh requirements for responsible dog breeders, and unfair consumer protection provisions. These provisions do nothing to address problems associated with irresponsible dog ownership or breeding, but would punish responsible dog breeders with undue restrictions and requirements.

In addition to its many problematic provisions, if enacted, House Bill 2470 would:

Define any breeder who sells more than 20 dogs, or 3 litters in a year, as a "pet dealer".

Limit anyone from possessing more than 25 intact dogs four months of age or older.

Impose significant and cumbersome operational requirements on all dog owners who own 10 or more intact dogs.

Mandate record-keeping requirements and certain disclosures at time of sale.

Require breeders to comply with an unreasonable consumer protection term of two years.

Exempt shelters, veterinarians, pet stores, and research facilities from new standards of care.

The American Kennel Club encourages as many responsible dog breeders and owners as possible to attend the committee hearing on February 23. Here are the details:

Oregon House Consumer Protection Committee Hearing
Monday, February 23, 2009
3:00 p.m.
Capitol, House Room E
Salem, Oregon 97301

Friday, February 20, 2009

TX- New Plano animal ordinance passes, mandatory spay/neuter provisions tabled

Plano's new 56-page animal ordinance passed with a unanimous city council vote Tuesday, with the exception of the animal sales portion. It was the first major revision to the ordinance in ten years.

Several Plano residents who are dog show exhibitors spoke at the city council meeting, and about 30 supporters sat in the audience. They were particularly concerned about section 4-809: Private Animal Sales. This section would have required all animals over the age of four months to be spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated for rabies before being sold or given away.
The speakers, some of whom are hobby breeders of pedigreed dogs, testified that while spaying and neutering very young puppies and kittens is necessary for an animal shelter, it is not healthy for dogs who compete in sporting competitions and are still growing. Many serious genetic defects cannot be identified until an animal is two years old; therefore breeders may wait until such evaluations are completed before making a final decision to spay or neuter. Under the proposed ordinance, for example, it would be illegal to have a dog neutered at two years old and sell or give him away as a pet, which might be necessary if a potential stud dog did not pan out genetically as an adult.
City Council members posed several questions to Animal Services Director Jamey Cantrell and to the citizen speakers. Many of the councilmembers' questions hinged on letters and comments they had received regarding whether or not hobby breeders would continue to be allowed under residential zoning. Hobby breeders raise a small number of puppies and kittens primarily to compete in dog and cat shows, rather than for profit or for resale. The dialog also addressed concerns that the proposed law would place hobby breeders under the same restrictions as commercial breeders and kennels.
Finally, Mayor Pat Evans suggested that the Private Animal Sales portion of the ordinance be pulled for further review, and that the rest of the ordinance be put to a vote. The ordinance, less section 4-809 passed 7-0. City council members Pat Miner and Mabrie Jackson, who are liaisons to the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee, the Chair of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee, the Director of Animal Services and representatives from the hobby breeding community will meet to address the concerns voiced at the meeting.
Dr. Karen Dubrow, representing the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee, said at the beginning of the meeting that the ordinance had been in work for four years, and that " every single meeting we asked for the public to show up." Dr. Dubrow added, "To date there has been absolutely no public comment."
This contrasted with Plano resident Verjean Lunenschloss' statement to the council that her group had been auditing the commission meetings and asking to see a draft copy of the ordinance since August, but had not been given a copy to review until it was published six days prior to the vote.
Several of the citizen speakers praised the majority of the ordinance, which also covers dangerous dogs, another hot topic in state and city government. The new ordinance specifically precludes declaring a dog dangerous "...based solely on the animal's breed, size, or physical appearance. " Dr. Dubrow stressed that avoiding breed-specific legislation was intentional.
To read the ordinance in full please go to:
Section 4-809 is the section that was put on hold.

HSUS Gushes Over New "Creature Caucus" in Congress

HSUS Gushes Over New “Creature Caucus” in Congress
Group of Congressmen to Advocate Animal Rights Agenda
US Sportsmen's Alliance

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) couldn’t be happier with
the formation of a new group of Congressmen that will promote its agenda.

On February 18, U.S. Representatives Jim Moran (D- VA) and Elton Gallegy
(R- CA) announced the formation of a new Congressional Animal Protection
. The goal of the group is to get like-minded members of Congress
together and promote animal rights policy in Washington, D.C. through
forums and briefings.

According to the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), the legislative
wing of the HSUS, the new caucus will “take lawmaking for the animals to
the next level.” HSLF went on to gush in its blog, “we could not be more
excited about their leadership of this new organization of humane

HSUS President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle was also prominently quoted in
Rep. Moran’s press release announcing the caucus’ formation.

Pacelle stated, “The newly constituted Congressional Animal Protection
Caucus will help better align our federal policies with public opinion,
and we are excited to work closely with its leaders and with the entire
Congress to combat cruelty and abuse."

As of press time, a full list of other U.S. Representatives joining the
caucus was not available. However, the USSA will let sportsmen know as
the names become available. Each member of the caucus should be
contacted by constituents in their districts.

Representatives should be made aware of HSUS’ radical anti-hunting
agenda. They also need to be aware that sportsmen expect their
representatives not to cow tow to that agenda.

WA- Legistlation to Kill loose Dogs- votes today

Call Senator Hargrove at 360) 786-7646

WA Legislation to KILL loose Dogs - Votes 2/20/09 On Feb 20th,
the Washington State Legislation is voting on a bill to amend Sec. 1. RWC 16.08.030 and 1929 c 198 s 7 to read as follows: "It shall be the duty of the sheriff or any deputy sheriff TO KILL any dog found running at large (after the first day of August of any year and before the first day of March in the following year) without a metal identification tag." That's it!! No reasons are given for this extreme action to be taken by law enforcement! The original RWC reads: "It shall be the duty of any person owning or keeping any dog or dogs which shall be found killing any domestic animal to kill such dog or dogs within forty-eight hours after being notified of that fact, and any person failing or neglecting to comply with the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and it shall be the duty of the sheriff or any deputy sheriff to kill any dog found running at large (after the first day of August of any year and before the first day of March in the following year) without a metal identification tag." The proposed RWC change deletes all text up to the words: "it shall be the duty of the sheriff or any deputy sheriff to kill any dog found running at large (after the first day of August of any year and before the first day of March in the following year) without a metal identification tag." Details on this bill are in the link below (you may need to cut & paste in your browser). If you disagree with this Bill, you MUST contact your representatives IMMEDIATELY. Note: This bill is sponsored by Senator James Hargrove.

New Congressional Animal Protection Caucus Formed

New Congressional Animal Protection Caucus Formed
Wednesday February 18, 2009

A press release today from congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) announced that
he and and Elton Gallegly (R-CA) will co-chair this caucus. The CAPC
replaces the Congressional Friends of Animals Causus, co-chaired by Rep.
Christopher Shays (R-CT) and the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA).

Rep. Moran goes on to say:

“Animals are sensate beings that deserve to be treated with respect
and dignity. I look forward to building a consensus among my colleagues
in support of sensible animal welfare laws that reflect our common
values. Protecting animals from cruel treatment is not a partisan issue.”

“Animal cruelty has no place in a civilized society,” Rep. Gallegly said. “Other crimes often go hand-in-hand with animal fighting, including illegal gambling, drug trafficking and acts of human violence. Virtually every arrest for animal cruelty has also led to additional arrests for at least one of these criminal activities.”

"The American public is united in its belief that all animals deserve humane treatment," said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "The newly constituted Congressional Animal Protection Caucus will help better align our federal policies with public opinion, and we are excited to work closely with its leaders and with the entire Congress to combat cruelty and abuse."

NY- A05507 Restricts Cat and Dog Breeding

Asy. Greg Ball (R-Brewster) renewed his proposal to heavily regulate
NYS dog and cat breeders. A05507 seeks to make major changes
that will impact both commercial and home/hobby dog and cat breeders,
particularly through the new category of "animal facility" but also
through lowering the number of dogs or cats permitted to be sold or
offering for sale by home/hobby breeders.

Commercial kennels are defined as any facility which sells a single
to a "pet dealer", or that sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per

Note that this year the bill has acquired significant cosponsorship--

Cosponsors: Spano, Tobacco, Townsend, Burling, Walker, Raia, Errigo,
Camara, Giglio, Molinaro, Alfano, Mayersohn, Lavine, Saladino, Finch

Multisponsors: Calhoun, Conte, Hayes, Kolb, McDonough, McKevitt,
Quinn, Rivera J, Scozzafava, Seminerio, Thiele, Towns, Weisenberg

A few of the many significant provisions of A5507:

--Redefines "pet dealer" to mean anyone who sells or advertises for
sale more than FIVE dogs or cats per year. Home/hobby breeders are
exempted if they sell or advertise for sale fewer than TEN (down from
25) animals per year that are born and raised at their residence.

--Defines and regulates "animal facilities". Under the
proposal, "animal facility" means a place where dogs or cats are bred,
maintained, sold or given away that provides an area where dogs or
cats may be sold, offered for sale, transferred or given away.

Note: I believe this broad new category would cover virtually any
kennel or breeder's premises of any size or type, pet shops, and
possibly even boarding and "doggy-daycare" facilities.

Animal facilities

--Allows NYS to seize animals at an animal facility found in violation
of regulations and place them at an animal shelter or vet's office,
with owner to cover the expenses.

--Prohibits the sale, giving away, or transfer of cats or dogs that
have been kept or bred "inhumanely" or that are the product of
breeding "in excess that causes health problems."

--Establishes that mandatory "humane treatment standards"

--Establishes that after a violation is found, a veterinarian must
certify that "animal facilities" are in compliance with federal, state
and local animal care regulations before the animal facility may

Additional regulations for commercial kennels

--Under the proposal, commercial kennels are facilities which either
sell more than 60 dogs per year, or that sell a single dog to a "pet

--Defines and establishes lengthy, onerous standards of care
for "commercial kennels". (see text of proposal for details)

--Establishes that required commercial kennel annual inspections, or
responses to complaints against commercial kennels, may be done by
police officers or peace officers with training in the care of dogs
and cats and the investigation of animal cruelty.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

IN- Breeders' Restrictions Bill Heading to a Floor Vote

The Indiana House of Representatives will soon be voting on House Bill 1468, which imposes limits on dog ownership and labels anyone who sells five dogs a year as a "pet dealer".

House Bill 1468, however, does not fix the problem of irresponsible dog breeders and it punishes responsible breeders. In addition, animal shelters, humane societies, and rescue organizations are exempt from the bill, and therefore not held to the same standards of care required for breeders.

It is important that all responsible dog owners, breeders, and fanciers in Indiana contact their State Representative and express your opposition to House Bill 1468!

If passed, House Bill 1468 would, among other provisions:

Limit ownership to 30 dogs that are at least one year of age and are not spayed or neutered.
Require microchipping for all dogs sold by a commercial breeder (10 or more litters a year)
Protect a dog purchaser from buying a dog with disease or other health conditions, but provide no recourse for breeders victimized by false accusations.
numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. Limiting the number of dogs an irresponsible owner may have will not make him or her a better owner.
What You Can Do to Help

Contact your State Representative and ask them to vote NO on House Bill 1468.

Click here to find your Representatives and their contact information.

Click here for a sample letter to personalize.

OR- Breeders Bill to be considered Feb. 23rd

[Thursday, February 19, 2009] From the AKC-
Oregon House Bill 2470 will be considered by the House Consumer Protection Committee on Monday, February 23, at 3 PM in House Room E at the Capitol, 900 Court Street NE, Salem, 97301. The bill, part of a national agenda aimed at severely limiting the responsible breeding of dogs, does not address the needs of Oregonians, but would impose unreasonable limits on dog ownership, harsh requirements for responsible dog breeders, and unfair consumer protection provisions. These provisions do nothing to address problems associated with irresponsible dog ownership or breeding, but would punish responsible dog breeders with undue restrictions and requirements. The American Kennel Club, along with our Oregon federation, the National Animal Interest Alliance, encourages all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Oregon to attend Monday’s committee hearing to voice your opposition to HB 2470; or, alternatively, to contact your elected officials in Salem and the committee members who will consider this bill and respectfully yet strongly urge them to not report HB 2470 out of committee.

The American Kennel Club’s mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC believes that numerical limits do not address the underlying issues of responsible ownership and proper dog care. Instead, the AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.

In addition to its many problematic provisions, if enacted, House Bill 2470 would:

Limit any breeder from possessing more than 25 intact dogs four months of age or older.

Impose significant and cumbersome operational requirements on all dog owners who own 10 or more intact dogs.

Require breeders to comply with an unreasonable consumer protection term of two years.

The American Kennel Club encourages as many responsible dog breeders and owners as possible to attend the committee hearing on February 23. Here are the details:

Oregon House Consumer Protection Committee Hearing
Monday, February 23, 2009
3:00 p.m.
Capitol, House Room E
Salem, Oregon 97301

We also urge all responsible dog breeders and owners in Oregon to contact their elected representatives and respectfully urge them to oppose House Bill 2470; and to contact the members of the House Consumer Protection Committee and strongly urge them to not report HB 2470 out of committee.
For tips on testifying before the House Consumer Protection Committee, please click here.

For a sample letter to personalize, please click here.

For an e-mail form that will automatically e-mail your elected representatives, please

To find out whom your elected representatives are, please click here.

House Consumer Protection Committee Members
Representative Brent Barton
900 Court St. NE, H-386
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1451

Representative Jean Cowan
900 Court St. NE, H-376
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1410

Representative Vic Gilliam
900 Court St. NE, H-384
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1418

Representative Paul Holvey
900 Court St. NE, H-275
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1408

Representative Wayne Krieger
900 Court St. NE, H-381
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1401

Representative Greg Matthews
900 Court St. NE, H-379
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1450

Representative Chuck Riley
900 Court St. NE, H-274
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1429

Representative Carolyn Tomei
900 Court St. NE, H-279
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1441

Representative Jim Weidner
900 Court St. NE, H-387
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1424

Representative Matt Wingard
900 Court St. NE, H-474
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1426

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Holding Shelters to Higher Standards

I would like to propose that NAIA (or anyone else) find a lawmaker who will support this bill idea.
Holding Shelters to Higher StandardsBy Cadie Pruss

Bringing home a new pet is exciting, but excitement can turn to grief if that pet requires expensive veterinary care. Animal shelters claim to “rescue unwanted animals”, but should they also “rescue new pet owners” by testing the animals that come in for adoption for certain medical conditions? I think so. Although health testing is expensive, people who are “adopting” an animal are often not looking for a “cheap” animal; they are looking to provide a service to the community by providing a home to a dog in need. If there is a shortage of good homes (which is the logical conclusion to the idea there is a pet overpopulation problem) , then consumers should be informed of which dogs are “healthy” and which are not.
Some states have “puppy lemon laws”, which only apply to breeders. This law should apply to anyone selling a puppy or adult dog. New dog owners don’t want to be burdened with high medical bills regardless of whether the dog came from a shelter or a breeder. Medical researchers have long known that dogs, purebred or not, get very similar diseases to humans. Just like people, dogs carry genes for cancer, allergies, and eye diseases just to name a few. Thanks to the effort of purebred dog breeders, there are now tests for some of the medical conditions that affect dogs. While purebred dog breeders use this information to help eliminate those genes from a breeding pool, individual dogs still “inherited” the conditions or not. Dogs don’t need to be purebred to be affected, so lets hold shelters to the same high standards that “puppy lemon laws” hold breeders to.
Common conditions such as Thyroid (hypo or hyper-thyroid) disease can be checked with a blood sample. It is true, testing a dog one time may not give “life-time” results, but testing at Michigan State University is very complete and can indicate if problems may occur in the future. Hip x-rays should be taken to determine if long term disabilities may occur. These x-rays should be sent to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for evaluation because x-rays are evaluated by a group of trained veterinarians who see a broad spectrum of hips and have the expertise to do a true evaluation. While this is particularly true of large breed dogs, hip x-rays should be taken of all dogs because hip problems are too costly and all dogs can have the potential to have hip problems.
All dogs should have their eyes examined by a Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) certified veterinarian. Eyes do change over time, and so an eye check one time is not a guarantee that the dog will not suffer some future eye ailment, but it is a good starting point. A dog or puppy that shows clinical signs of impairment may be detected long before they show physical signs of impairment. High cholesterol levels also manifest themselves as eye “spots” occasionally and a CERF certified veterinarian can be the first to observe this condition that requires treatment.
Certain breeds suffer from serious diseases which can be life threatening, such as von Willebrand’s disease (vWD). This disease is the most common of the bleeding disorders. It affects many popular breeds such as poodles, shelties, Doberman pinschers, and Papillion’s just to name a few of the breeds. Because of the prevalence of mixes with these breeds (particularly poodles), and the severity of this disease, it should be an important test.

If you were buying a dog from a breeder, would you expect that dog to have some type of health guarantee? Reputable breeders often test the dogs they are breeding for genetic aliments. There are still far more aliments than there are tests, for example, there is currently no health test for epilepsy, but breeders do the best they can to avoid such a disease as that one, and test for the diseases for which there are tests. It is in the best interest of not just that breeder, but the breed as a whole to eliminate such problems.

Why are shelters and human societies not testing the dogs that come to them and only adopting out healthy dogs? Why are breeders held to a higher standard then those who are “rescuing” dogs. No new dog owner wants to spend thousands of dollars on veterinary care. Shelters will claim foul, but if we truly have an “overpopulation problem” – then good homes are in short supply and Shelters owe it to the adopting public to adopt out healthy dogs.

MT- BSL Legislation defeated

Friday, January 23, 2009]
Responsible dog owners won a decisive victory Thursday afternoon when the Montana House Local Government Committee voted 17-1 against a bill to ban "pit bulls" in the state.

House Bill 191 prohibited the ownership, harboring, or keeping of dogs described as "pit bulls". "Pit bulls" was defined to include Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and "any dog that has the physical characteristics that substantially conform to the standards established for those breeds by the American Kennel Club." If the bill had passed, all such dogs would have been seized and euthanized.

Approximately 100 responsible dog owners and breeders testified against House Bill 191, convincing the committee that breed bans are not an effective solution to animal control problems. In addition, the AKC sent letters of opposition to committee members and alerted tens of thousands of dog owners throughout the country about this legislation. The AKC believes the government should implement reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs and impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible dog owners.

The AKC thanks all those who testified against House Bill 191 in committee yesterday, and the many more who contacted the committee and their state legislators. We also thank the Montana House Local Government Committee for making a strong statement against breed-specific legislation.

Success is possible- but requires dedication

With each story of success comes the stories of endless hours of hard work and dedicated people who seem to "drop everything" to address the threat at hand. Thank goodness for those people. For those of you who feel you can not just "drop everything" - there is work for you to do too. Every little action helps. Tell your friends about your plight. Write letters; SEND MONEY to organization who are acting on your behalf. Tell all of the people who contact you about dogs that the precious resource of knowledgeable dog people is at stake. The list of actions you can take is endless.

The most important thing you can do, is read each success story looking for "lessons"- HOW did they manage to succeed. We can be successful, it just takes hard work and cooperation.

VA- Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill Defeated in Virginia

Wednesday, January 28, 2009]
Virginia dog owners won a major victory on January 26, when the Virginia Senate Agriculture Committee defeated a mandatory spay/neuter bill by an 8-6 vote. Senate Bill 1151 imposed a mandatory spay/neuter requirement on dogs picked up by animal control more than once.

AKC opposes the concept of the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of responsible breeders and owners. Additionally, we strongly support and actively promote a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible breeding practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership.

The AKC was pleased to assist the efforts of the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders in defeating SB 1151 by notifying over 600 Virginia dog club officials of this bill and encouraging responsible owners and breeders to attend the committee hearing.

The AKC congratulates the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders for this victory and thanks them for their tireless efforts on behalf of Virginia dog owners and breeders.

CO- Successful defeat of "Puppy Mill Bill" HB1172

Please Note: Successfully defeating bills takes the EFFORT of many.

Yes, we DID defeat the so-called 'Puppy Mill bill' which was actually an HSUS 'let's get rid of dog breeders' bill! The bill went to its first hearing before the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday afternoon. After a grueling 4+ hours of testimony, the committee voted to kill the bill.

It was far from an easy defeat...we had to work for it since we went into the hearing with only 4 of the 12 votes solid against it. I have to say I have never been prouder of the dog community than during this time. Hobby breeders, the dog show community, small licensed breeders, as well as large scale licensed ! breeders came together to fight this bill being pushed by a common enemy HSUS. I couldn't have planned the whole thing better if I'd tried.

We went into the hearing room about 2 PM and we had a great turn out of people from all facets of the dog community. Our speakers were prepared and did a great job of speaking to the issues. Each planned speaker took a different point or view of the bill to speak about so we covered all bases. The Committee had already been educated about why we opposed the bill through letters and phone calls, and that wonderful NAIA tool - CapWiz! AKC also wrote us a letter of opposition and helped with gathering information and handouts. PIJAC from the pet industry alerted their members, and the licensed commercial breeders had several meetings with the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs to coordinate efforts and information exchange.

We knew that HSUS would be watching our website so we didn't put up a full alert there, but did play it pretty quiet until after the bill was actually introduced and we were ready for action from the Federation members and the dog show community. The Federation and our lobbyists had meetings with the sponsor of the bill on several occasions and stood firm in our position that this bill was not needed, their limit of 25 intact dogs was absolutely unacceptable, and improved nothing for breeding facility care of dogs over the existing PACFA (Pet Animal Care & Facilities Act) law that had been in place for over 14 years. There were some violations of this law over the past year that hit the media (and justly so) that had given HSUS the opportunity to attempt such a bill.

The Agriculture Department which oversees the PACFA program was aware of the Federation's concerns about the problems and they were reviewing changes in their procedures. As with many government agencies, they were under staffed because of funding limits under state laws. The Federation and the licensed dog breeders promised to help them in that area if they would improve their enforcement. This is a good program with people trying to do a job on a shoestring.

As usual, opposition gave testimony first so we made sure we gave good arguments against this bill. Everyone was respectful of the committee and the commercial breeders spoke of the pride they take in their facilities and care of their dogs, and how hard they work to do it right. They were as upset as anyone about bad breeders since it reflects on them negatively. In the case of one of the worse cases to hit the news, it was actually a commercial breeder who called in the situation to the PACFA department and asked that they investigate. All agreed that if raising fees was what was needed to get another inspector and get the program back on track, then that is what should happen. That had an effect on the thinking of the Committee about this bill.

The PACFA vets spoke well on their problems with enforcement and what they were doing to clean the problems up. The program had just gone through what Colorado calls a sunset review of how the program was working, which had been presented to the legislature a couple of weeks before, and problems as well as solutions were being addressed in that sunset bill. This gave us added ammunition to oppose HB1172 since increased enforcement and funding were being addressed already.

The opposition testimony took about 3 hours with 20 speakers. The supporters of the bill had 10 speakers who didn't get their chance to speak until almost 6PM. Everyone was tired, but the committee had been listening. When the supporters started in with their horror stories, the committee members commented that it appeared to be an enforcement issue, not a need for this bill or limits on numbers of intact dogs. We had done our homework, we were polite but firm in our opposition, and it was successful. In the end the author of the bill tried several amendments, including changing their 'magic number' to 50, but the committee wasn't buying it. They voted to not pass the bill out of committee 7-5. Dead and buried!

Again, the secret to our success was everyone putting aside our differences and pulling together, sharing information, being aware of what was happening in our state to set up the situation, and a tip from a fellow dog person early on for a draft of the bill. Also, an educated legislature and a great team of lobbyists. When it hit the legislature we were ready and waiting! We do know this will probably be back in a ballot initiative or referendum this summer, since the public is easier to deceive with emotional issues than a well prepared legislature, but we will also be ready for that battle. We will also be monitoring the PACFA program to make sure it gets the funding it needs and support to do the job it was created for. It is an excellent program and we did something right in creating it 14 years ago!

Linda Hart, Secretary
Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

MD- Anti-breeder bill to be heard Feb. 18

Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 9:31 PM

The Maryland Dog Federation seeks your support in opposing SB
, a bill that would be detrimental to the dog hobby and fancy.
Please be on the lookout for updates.
Please visit to read about Maryland SB318. Take
action today. This bill would impact dog show participants,
hobbyists, and handlers; law enforcement dog breeders,and service
dog breeders.
Please do THREE things TODAY:
1. Contact the sponsors(info below)
2. Plan to attend and/or testify against SB 318 on February 18, 1pm
3. Tell anyone who would be impacted by SB 318 to do the same (Crossposting permitted) If you are going to be able to testify- drop a line to
the maryland dog federation at
We want to hear from you, especially if you're planning to testify.
SB 318 could impose unrealistic and unnecessary space and
exercise requirements on anyone "with custody of" ten or more intact
dogs over 4 months of age. Anyone with "custody" of more than
10 "breeding" dogs older than four months of age would be subject to
restrictions concerning
· Housing
· Enclosures
· And mandates a minimum amount of time the dog must spend outsidethe enclosure being walked(2 hours a day)
Maryland Dog Federation strongly endorses your right to own, keep and breed dogs in a responsible and humane manner. We believe that responsible dog ownership is compatible with most living arrangements. Many Maryland residents are deeply committed to their dogs and the many sports of dogs, including conformation,
and obedience, agility, and many other wholesome activities that can
be shared among generations. All-breed dog shows generate millions
of dollars in entertainment revenue in the state. The Maryland
Dog Federation strongly opposes SB 318 bill on the following
There is no exemption for people who show their dogs or participate in other dog sports, which require dogs to remain intact in order to compete.

It would not be unusual for a show breeder to have 10 intact dogs
over four months of age; for example, a couple of adult dogs and a
litter of puppies that have not yet gone to new homes.

Not only are there no exemptions for the hobby breeder, the law
specifically exempts PET STORES and PUPPY STORES!

Passage of this bill would also affect breeders of law
enforcement dogs, guide dogs, and service dogs. Because the aptitude
for work is not evident until they are older, future generations of
these dogs could be wiped out if they are required to be sterilized
at 4 months in order to remain where they are.

Simply having intact dogs doesn't mean they are breeding dogs.
Many breeds of dogs simply do not have the exercise requirements
mandated in SB 318.

The MDF believes the sponsor of this bill IS open to alternatives;
her objective is to eliminate true "puppy mills", not legitimate
breeders. However, we DO need to stop this bill on February 18th.
Please send thoughtful, polite, but firm message to the bill's
sponsors today:

Lisa Gladden (D-41, Balt City, also co-chair of Judicial Proceedings
Miller Senate Office Bldg
2 East Wing
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3697
(301) 858-3697
Fax (410) 841-3142 (301) 858-3142
____________ _________ _________ _
George Della, Jr. (D-46, Balt City)
James Senate Office Bldg Rm 201
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3600
(301) 858-3600
Fax (410) 841-3161 (301) 858-3161
____________ _________ _________ _
Richard Madaleno Jr. (D-10 Mont)
James Senate Office Bldg Rm 203
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3137
(301) 858-3137
Fax (410) 841-3676 (301) 858-3676
____________ _________ _________ __
Norman Stone (D-6, Balt County also, member of Judicial Proceedings
James Senate Office Bldg Rm 216
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-3587
(301) 858-3587
Fax (410) 841-3218 (301) 858-3218
____________ _________ _________ _
The bill will be heard by the Judicial Proceedings committee on 2/18
at 1pm. Contact information for committee members
The contact info for the additional committee members will be posted
on the Maryland Federations of Dog Clubs tomorrow.

Chair, Brian Frosh
Vice Chair, Lisa Gladden
James Brochin
Jennie Forehand
Larry Haines
Nancy Jacobs
Alexander Mooney
C. Anthony Muse
Jamie Raskin
Bryan Simonaire
Norman Stone, Jr.
Committee Staff: Susan Russell Shirleen
Pilgrim (410) 946-5510 / (301) 970-5510
Assistant to Chair: Lynn Hudson

IL- AKC Deeply Concerned by Illinois Anti Crop/Dock bill

Tuesday, February 03, 2009]
The American Kennel Club is deeply concerned by Illinois Senate Bill 139. The bill, introduced by Senator Terry Link, the majority caucus whip, seeks to severely limit the practices of tail docking and ear cropping in the state. It is imperative that all concerned Illinois dog owners contact their elected representatives and the bill’s sponsor and express their strong opposition to this attempt to fundamentally change breed standards by limiting acceptable practices of animal husbandry that are accompanied by appropriate veterinary care.

Current Illinois statute allows ear cropping and tail docking done for any legitimate purpose. If SB 139 becomes law, ear cropping and tail docking would be considered "animal torture" under Illinois criminal law and would be allowed only for medical purposes. In effect, SB 139 seeks to fundamentally change many breeds’ characteristics by severely limiting the valid practices of cropping and docking.

The AKC’s policy on the issues of ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal states:

The American Kennel Club recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.

The AKC recognizes that ear cropping and tail docking, as prescribed in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character, enhancing good health, and preventing injuries. These breed characteristics ensure the safety of dogs that on a daily basis perform heroic roles with Homeland Security, serve in the U.S. Military, and with Police Departments. These dogs protect tens of thousands of communities throughout our nation and work in the field. Any inference that these procedures are "cosmetic" and unnecessary is a severe mischaracterization that connotes a lack of respect and knowledge of history and the function of purebred dogs.

Breed standards are established and maintained by AKC parent clubs (each of the 158 AKC registered breeds is stewarded by a breed-specific parent club) whose primary purpose is to protect the welfare of their breed and the function it was bred to perform. The American Kennel Club strongly opposes any attempt by lawmakers to fundamentally change breed standards by way of limiting acceptable practices of animal husbandry that are provided with appropriate veterinary care, as SB 139 seeks to do.


Concerned Illinois dog owners are encouraged to contact the bill’s sponsor, Senator Terry Link, and their elected representatives in Springfield, and respectfully yet strongly urge them to oppose this attempted infringement on individual liberties.

Concerned Illinois dog owners, find your state representative and senator’s contact information by clicking here.

Bill sponsor Senator Terry Link
Springfield Office:
321 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8181

District Office:
906 Muir Avenue
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
Phone: (847) 735-8181
FAX: (847) 735-8184


To customize a letter of opposition, please

For a copy of the full legislation, please click here.

For tips on how to effectively communicate with legislators, please click here.

For a copy of our Disagree Diplomatically brochure, please click here.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail

Bad laws break up families- force owners to give up dogs they otherwise would be keeping

Today I got an email from a friend that had been forwarded from someone she knew. The email was a plea for help. It was asking for help finding a home for a 5 year old "pit bull". The owner was in the military and was moving to on-base housing and there is a ban on "pit bulls" on base. The email went on to say what a great dog this is, how much the owner loved the dog, and that he really wanted to find a good home for this dog.

Imagine- this guy has had this dog for 5 years and now, because of some PERCEIVED problem, he is forced to give the dog up.

It reminded me of another situation where one of my former neighbors gave up her adult Rottweiler because (a different neighbor) kept calling the police on her every time the dog was barking. This dog was a family pet, but would bark a lot while he was outside playing with the kids. The town we lived in (I have since moved) had a "noise ordinance" and one man in the neighborhood was a real jerk. The police only knew two options, 1st- we fine you for a violation of the noise ordinance, and 2nd- the dog must go.

There was another option to the "Dog must go"- the dog could have been "bark softened" "debarked"- what ever term you call it. This very, very simple procedure could have kept an adult dog with his family.

If you have not gotten the Animal Rights message Loud and Clear- eliminate animal ownership- then you are not listening.

Right now many states, (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to name two) are reviewing laws that would make procedures such as "debarking" illegal. Many states (Hawaii and Montana to name two) are reviewing breed specific legislation. These laws only cause families to give up dogs that were otherwise beloved pets. THEN the Animal Rights groups have the nerve to cry, "our shelters are over-flowing and we are forced to kill thousands of dogs a year"- Yeah- well it is YOUR PROPOSED LAWS that are the REASONS for many, many, many of these dogs in shelters to begin with.

The Human Society of the United States (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PeTA), and some of the very liberal "local" shelters have a great circle going- fund and propose laws that cause dogs to go to shelters, raise money from people while you claim there are too many dogs, get money by adopting those dogs out-use volunteer labor, reduced or donated Veterinary care to reduce the expense of housing shelter dogs, lobby for more legislation.

Lets keep family dogs in their families. Put a stop to ill-conceived dog laws. Contact your ELECTED representive now.

Monday, February 2, 2009

AR- Finally a bill to SUPPORT!

Representative Roy Ragland, Chair of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic
Development committee of the Arkansas State House of Representatives has
introduced a bill to protect the rights of animal owners and prohibit any state,
city, county, or private organization from requiring animal owners to register
in any animal identification system. The bill has been referred to the
committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development.

PLEASE let these legislators know we support this legislation that could provide
valuable protection for the rights of all animal owners in the state of Arkansas
by contacting the committee members

HB 1046, Freedom to Farm Act

Animal ownership by hobbyists, commercial producers, and home food providers
make valuable contributions to this state.

Animal ownership rights should be protected.

Protecting the right of ownership, production, exhibition,and sale of animals is
integral to ensuring the economic growth and general welfare of this state.

The purpose of the Freedom to Farm Act is to encourage and protect animal
ownership, animals, home food production, direct farm-to-consumer sales, hobby
production, off-farm commercial sales, animal exhibition, and businesses that
serve animal owners.

Unless otherwise required by a law or rule that was in effect before January 1,
2009, no state, county, city, or public or private agency shall require an
animal owner or real estate owner to:

(1) Register or enroll in the National Animal Identification System;
(2) Register the animal owner’s premises or property;
(3) Have a premises identification;
(4) Use an electronic identification device on or in an animal;
(5) Secure a permit or a license for ownership or production of an animal; or
(6) Report the movement, sale, or purchase of an animal.


Committee - HOUSE

Vice Chair Representative Jerry Brown (870) 238-3132
Representative Curren Everett (870) 895-2164

Lobbying and the Influence Peddling in Washington

This morning on National Public Radio, Renee Montagne spoke with Bob Kaiser, the author of the book So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government. During this interview, Kaiser stated that at times it is the special interst groups that are the ones actually writing the legislation.
We have experience that ourselves - examples include
* the Mass. debarking Act that is currently being proposed
* HSUS's agenda for the Obama Administration
* And direct responses from the special interest group- after you have contacted an elected offical.
These are just three recent examples.
It is important to understand how our government is currently working if we are to make a difference.

MA- An Act Prohibiting Devocalization of Dogs and Cats

Bill number not available at this time.
Democratic state Rep. Lida Harkins of Needham introduced “An Act Prohibiting Devocalization of Dogs and Cats” earlier this month. The bill, drafted by the Animal Law Coalition of Ithaca, N.Y., seeks to limit devocalization, more commonly known as “debarking,” a procedure in which an animal’s vocal cords are cut to quiet them. If it passes, the law would only allow such a procedure if it was deemed medically necessary. State Rep. Sarah Peake, a Democrat from Provincetown who represents the 4th Barnstable District, said she plans to sign on as a co-sponsor by the Feb. 4 deadline and will vote to stop this “cruel process....”

Does anyone else see a problem with the fact that this Act was drafted by a special interest group?

HI- Breed Specific Bill In Hawaii

Hawaii Senator Colleen Hanabusa, president of the Hawaii Senate, has introduced Senate Bill 79, which seeks to prohibit the ownership, possession, or sale of "pit bulls" in the state. The bill defines pit bulls as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the breed standards established by the American Kennel Club. The AKC vehemently opposes breed-specific legislation. All concerned dog owners in Hawaii are urged to contact their elected representatives and the members of the Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee, which currently has cognizance of the bill, and express their respectful yet strong opposition to this hard-to-enforce legislation.
If enacted, SB 79 will:

* Make it a misdemeanor to own, possess, or sell a pit bull.
* Define pit bulls as "any dog that is an American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of those breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of those breeds."
* Allow searches of a pit bull owner’s property.
* Provide for impoundment of dogs considered pit bulls.
* Allow for the forfeiture of such dogs.

To find your elected officials, please click here
Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee

Sen. Brian T. Taniguchi, Chair
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 219
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-6460; fax 808-586-6461

Sen. Dwight Y. Takamine, Vice-Chair
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 204
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone 808-586-7335; Fax 808-586-7339

Sen. Robert Bunda
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 202
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-6090; fax 808-586-6091

Sen. Mike Gabbard
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 201
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-6830; fax 808-586-6679

Sen. Clarence K. Nishihara
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 213
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-6970
fax 808-586-6879

Sen. Sam Slom
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 222
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-8420; fax 808-586-8426

NE- Breeder Bill to be heard TOMORROW

Nebraska Alert: Strict Breeders Bill to be Heard Tues., Feb. 3!
Nebraska Senator Ken Haar has introduced LB 677, a bill that aims to strictly regulate most dog breeders in Nebraska by imposing ownership limits, dog breeding restrictions, and harsh and unenforceable engineering standards. It is imperative that all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Nebraska contact their State Senator and the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which will consider the bill on Tuesday, February 3, and respectfully urge them to oppose LB 677.If adopted, LB 677 would:

* By April 1, 2010, restrict all those defined as "commercial breeders" under existing Nebraska law to owning no more than 75 dogs over the age of four months, without regard to whether dogs currently kept by such persons over that amount are being well cared for, or that dogs may have to be relinquished as a result of this provision.
* Limit the breeding of purebred dogs only to dogs between the ages of 18 months and eight years of age, without regard to the use of alternative reproduction techniques.
* Mandate the implementation of rigid engineering requirements–including, but not limited to, climate conditions, enclosures, building materials, and construction–without regard to the fiscal impact that such standards would have on targeted breeders or the enforceability of such requirements

We also encourage responsible dog breeders and owners to attend the committee hearing on February 3.

To find your Senator, please click here.

Nebraska Legislature Agriculture Committee Hearing
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Room 1524
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509


Sen. Tom Carlson, Chair
Room 1022
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2732

Sen. Brenda Council
Room 1115
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2612

Sen. Cap Dierks
Room 2108
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2801

Sen. Annette Dubas
Room 1018
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2630

Sen. Russ Karpisek
Room 1015
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2711

Sen. Scott Price
Room 1528
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2627

Sen. Ken Schilz
Room 1202
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2616

Sen. Norman Wallman
Room 1406
P.O. Box 94604
State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2620