Monday, March 30, 2009

OR- HB 2470 to be considered Monday, March 30th at 3:00

Oregon Alert! HB 2470 To Be Considered Monday, March 30

Oregon House Bill 2470, which seeks to severely limit the responsible breeding of dogs, will be heard by the Oregon House Consumer Protection Committee on Monday, March 30. The American Kennel Club and its Oregon federation, the National Animal Interest Alliance, both strongly oppose HB 2470, and encourage all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Oregon write or e-mail the committee members. Respectfully let them know that you oppose HB 2470.

House Bill 2470:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The American Kennel Club and the National Animal Interest Alliance encourage all responsible dog breeders and owners to attend the committee hearing on March 30. Here are the details:

Oregon House Consumer Protection Committee Hearing
Monday, March 30, 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 click here.

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

House Consumer Protection Committee Members:
Representative Paul Holvey, Chair
900 Court St. NE, H-275
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1408
Representative Chuck Riley, Vice-Chair
900 Court St. NE, H-274
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1429
Representative Jim Weidner, Vice-Chair900 Court St. NE, H-387
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1424
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 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 Carolyn Tomei
900 Court St. NE, H-279
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1441
Representative Matt Wingard900 Court St. NE, H-474
Salem, OR 97301
PHONE: (503) 986-1426

Lawmakers should focus more efforts on addressing human abadonment, violence, teen pregancy and incarceration

Abandonment is a real issue. When a human is abandoned, society deals with the consequences for the lifetime of that person- and sometimes the next generation too.
Should we spay/neuter all teenagers (to be reversed when they are part of a committed relationship)- of course not! Neither should all dogs and cats be spayed just "because they can reproduce". Lawmakers should be focusing on people and the problems that abandonment, violence, teen pregnancy, and incarceration cause to all of society.

Reunited, and it feels so Bad
My long-lost daughter is a terror, and I want nothing to do with her.
Posted Thursday, March 26, 2009, at 6:44 AM ET
Dear Prudie,
When I was 17, I got pregnant. My family was not supportive, and I did not want to raise a child on my own. I placed her for adoption but never forgot about her. Twenty-three years later, I got in touch with the lawyer who assisted with the adoption and shortly after got a phone call from my long-lost daughter. We talked for a while, then e-mailed a lot. The more contact we had, the more I didn't like her. She seemed very immature and bratty—she still lives with her parents and had a child last year, whom her parents are raising. Several months later, we met. Also at the meeting were her mom, her baby, my mom, and my daughter, who is five years younger then she. This girl is rude and disrespectful to her mom, yells at her baby, dresses like a slob, and was a brat the whole weekend. My mom said this is the way she was raised, and we should be tolerant. I am all for tolerance, but this kid is awful. Still, for her birthday I sent her a great gift. I called and asked if she received it, and her response was, "Yeah, it was nice." I had put a lot of thought, time, and money into this gift, and that's all I get. I feel nothing for this girl, even though I know she is my daughter. This makes me feel guilty. How could a mother not love her own child, even if she didn't raise her? She is in school to join my chosen profession, which I think she will suck at.

—What Should I Do About the Daughter I Never Wanted?

Dear What,
It's sometimes easy when smacked in the face with issues such as abandonment, disappointment, loss, love, obligation, and guilt to focus on something more manageable. Something like, OK, so 23 years ago, I did decide I couldn't raise you. But now I've gone to the trouble of getting you a really nice birthday gift, and you're not thanking me properly, you little brat! I accept that this girl is obnoxious and immature—but maybe this isn't just a matter of nurture, but also of nature, because you are exhibiting those same qualities yourself. You must know that in regard to you, she has some big issues of her own. Surely she can detect how much you dislike her, which might set her to thinking, Hey, "Mom," the more time I spend with you, the happier I am that I was adopted. And how nice that five years after I was born, you decided to keep your next daughter—I guess you think she turned out better than me. Yes, she is your biological offspring, but her mother is the person who raised her—perhaps not very well—and who is there for her and for her child now. How disruptive of you to appear in this young woman's life and be so judgmental about how she isn't meeting your needs and expectations. For the future, a marginal relationship between the two of you is probably for the best. Or possibly you could learn to put aside your disdain and become a supportive, if peripheral, presence—someone who can give her guidance as she tries to make her way into your profession and help her so she doesn't "suck" at it.


CA- City of Manteca meeting tonight on mandatory spay/ neuter law for all dogs over six months

Meeting Monday on plan to neuter all city dogs

By Dennis Wyatt
Managing Editor

Pit bulls and related breeds in Manteca are required by city law to be neutered or spayed.

Now city leaders think it is a good idea to make owners of all dogs - with a few notable exceptions - to have their canines fixed.

Dog owners and the general public have a chance Monday to say what they think of the plan as well as make suggestions on what the city should or shouldn't do during a meeting at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center council chambers at 1001 W. Center St. Police Chief Dave Bricker will conduct the meeting.

Exemptions to the spaying and neutering requirement as the proposed ordinance now stands would be licensed show dogs, livestock dogs, police dogs, breeders licensed by the city, or assistance dogs.

A mandatory neutering and spaying law would work for all dogs over six months of age within Manteca's city limits. That means if Manteca Animal Control picks up your stray dog for wandering the streets you may have to pay in excess of $100 to have it spayed or neutered in addition to impound fees and paying for a license if you do not have one.

City officials estimate there are 20,000 dogs in Manteca of which just fewer than 3,000 are licensed. To obtain a license or to renew a dog license you'd have to proof your dog has been neutered or spayed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

TX- Monday, March 30th- 8:00am- hearing of HB 1147

From Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, Inc.

HB1147 is scheduled for a hearing at 8:00 AM, Monday, March 30, 2009 -
please call of fax NOW.
Companion bill is SB 554 which was approved by the Senate committee 7 to 0.
COMMITTEE: House Criminal Jurisprudence (see schedule here) 8:00 AM,
Monday, March 30, 2009 PLACE: JHR 120 State Capitol, Austin

Attorney Zandra Anderson has provided the following legal analysis and
talking points.

What these bills mean:

HB 1147 & SB 554 (Possession of alleged dog fighting equipment criminalized)
Frost (Criminal Jurisprudence); Whitmire (Criminal Justice)

1. Under this bill it would become a crime to possess dog fighting equipment
with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for fighting or is
used in the furtherance of dog fighting. This would become a Class A
misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4000 fine.

2. Dog fighting equipment is defined to include a harness, treadmill, cage,
decoy, pen, house for keeping a fighting dog, feeding apparatus, or training

Sample Letter / Talking Points:

House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
EXT E2.112
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768-2910


Dear Chairperson Gallego, Vice Chair Christian and Committee on Criminal

SB 554 criminalizes the ownership of items that are common to many dog
owners, but especially to those who engage in activities such as hunting,
dog sports and dog shows. While I support the prosecution of the crime of
dogfighting, the language is vague and will result in people being falsely
accused. In the vast majority of dogfighting cases, the dogs are destroyed
prior to a trial or even a conviction. Owners who are falsely accused suffer
devastating financial and emotional losses and can never get their dogs

a.. All dog owners possess at least some of the equipment in this bill,
and many dog owners possess most of the equipment such as a harness,
treadmill, cage for a dog, a pen for a dog, feeding apparatus (a dog bowl)
and training pens.

b.. While possession of these items to be a crime is linked to intent to
train dogs to fight or in the furtherance of dog fighting, that is very
vague. There is no definition of what constitutes intent. How do you prove

c.. Merely possessing this equipment does not mean that someone has the
intent to train a dog to fight or that the equipment is used in the
furtherance of dog fighting.

d.. Because someone has a dog bowl, does this mean they have the intent to
fight a dog? This bill would open the door for unfairly prosecuting a person
who legitimately owns American Pit Bull Terriers or other similar dogs.

e.. Legitimate dog trainers of all breeds use treadmills to exercise their
dogs particularly when the weather is bad, and in no way indicates training
of fighting dogs.

f.. If a dog fighter is convicted, then the equipment described above can
already be seized and forfeited.


====CONTACT INFO======

Clerk: Andrew Cates
Phone: (512) 463-0768
EXT E2.112
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768-2910

Please phone and/or fax ALL of the members especially if you live in their
district. If you live in a member's district, please let him or her know.

Find out who represents YOUR district:

Rep. Pete Gallego, Chair
District: Alpine
Capitol Address
Room 4N.9, Capitol Building
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0566
(512) 236-9408 Fax

Rep. Wayne Christian, Vice Chair
District: Center
Capitol Office
Room CAP GN.12
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0556
(512) 463-5896 Fax
(877) 839-2709 Toll Free

Rep. Allen Fletcher
District: Harris County (Part)
Capitol Office
E2.804, Capitol Extension
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0661
(512) 463-4130 Fax

Rep. Terri Hodge
District: Dallas
Capitol Address
Room E2.818, Capitol Extension
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0586
(512) 463-8147 Fax

Rep. Carol Kent
District: Dallas
Capitol Office
Room E2.814, Capitol Extension
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0454
(512) 463-1121 Fax

Rep. Robert Miklos
District: Mesquite
Capitol Office
Room E2.816, Capitol Extension
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0464
(512) 463-9295 Fax

Rep. Joseph E. Moody
District: El Paso
Capitol Office
Room EXT E1.208
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0728
(512) 463-0397 Fax

Rep. Paula Pierson
District: Arlington
Capitol Office
Room EXT E2.210
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0562
(512) 463-2053 Fax

Rep. Debbie Riddle
District: Houston
Capitol Address
Room E2.306, Capitol Extension
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0572
(512) 463-1908 Fax

Rep. Allen Vaught
District: Dallas
Capitol Address
Room E2.414, Capitol Extension
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0244
(512) 463-9967 Fax

Rep. Hubert Vo
District: Houston
Capitol Address
Room E2.208, Capitol Extension
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0568
(512) 463-0548 Fax

RPOA Texas Outreach (501C4 Nonprofit)
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (501C3 Nonprofit)

900 NE Loop 410 #311-D
San Antonio, TX 78209

Saturday, March 28, 2009

KS- Local Battle in Wichita

Wichita, KS – The Wichita City Council has given preliminary approval to an ordinance that would severely impact the rights of local dog owners. Anyone wishing to own more than two dogs or cats must obtain an Animal Maintenance Permit (AMP), at which time they may own up to four dogs or cats. Owners of “pit bulls” may not apply for an AMP and must sterilize their dogs. The proposal imposes several other restrictions, including banning “pit bulls” from dog parks and limiting the number of dogs a person may have at a dog park at any time. AKC has submitted a letter and memo to the City Council and is working with local dog clubs to stop this ordinance.

ND- South Heart, 3 dog household limit

South Heart, ND – The South Heart City Council has recently placed a three dog limit on all households in the town. AKC wrote a letter of opposition to the mayor and city council requesting they repeal this ordinance

SD- Local Battles- Tea City Council BSL

Tea, SD – The Tea City Council enacted an ordinance which bans American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers. The Government Relations Department has sent a letter encouraging a repeal of this ordinance and is working to support local clubs in their efforts to educate city council members

NM- Local Battles- Torrance County, New Mexico

Torrance County, NM – The Torrance County Commission is considering a proposal which will require breeders to obtain kennel licenses and purchase business licenses (which they may not qualify for). The proposal also includes strict limits and other vague and unenforceable language. The Government Relations Department has written a letter to the county commissioners and sent materials to local fanciers who are working to educate the commissioners about reasonable animal control legislation and help draft alternative language that will work for this rural county.

CA- Local Battles- that need to be addressed on the local level

Laguna Woods, CA – The City of Laguna Woods is considering an ordinance requiring spay/neuter of all dogs over four months of age, with few exceptions. These exceptions include a dog “used to show, compete, or breed”, so long as the dog has competed in at least 3 events in a calendar year, earned a title from a purebred registry, or is registered with a purebred breed club. Service animals and dogs unable to be spayed/neutered are also exempted. The AKC wrote a letter to the Laguna Woods City Council expressing our opposition to mandatory spay/neuter laws. The ordinance will be discussed at a future meeting.

Laguna Woods, CA – The Laguna Woods City Council passed an ordinance to limit ownership to three dogs or cats per household in the community. While this is an increase on the previous limit of one dog or cat, the AKC still opposes laws that limit dog ownership, as they are difficult to enforce and do not address the issue of responsible dog ownership.

Riverside County, CA – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to enact an ordinance that will require an impounded dog be spayed/neutered, even on a first offense. Spaying/neutering will also be required if the owner is cited for three violations of the animal control ordinance. The ordinance further requires all dogs to be microchipped. The Government Relations Department posted a legislative alert, wrote a letter opposing these changes and worked to support local breeders, owners and fanciers in educating the Board of Supervisors on these issues.
The Board also established a committee to define “breeder” and evaluate the success of the ordinance over the next year. Responsible dog owners who are interested in serving on this committee, which will be comprised equally of supporters and opponents of the ordinance, should contact their representative on the Board of Supervisors.

Santa Barbara County, CA – In 2007, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors declined to pass a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance and created a task force to study animal control issues including shelter population issues in the county. A dedicated group of local fanciers, owners and breeders has been attending these meetings, but more help is needed! If you live in the Santa Barbara County area, please consider attending the task force meeting and speak up for the rights of responsible breeders and owners. AKC has sent a letter to the task force and a sample letter to all our constituents in the county.

Lancaster, CA – The City of Lancaster has adopted an ordinance which requires the mandatory spaying/neutering of all Rottweilers, and “pit bulls,” defined as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, or any dog with the characteristics of these breeds. The legislation also enhances penalties for dogs deemed dangerous or vicious.

Ukiah, CA – The Ukiah City Council has passed an ordinance which will change the term “owner” to “guardian” in the city code. The AKC has sent a letter opposing the change and supporting the term “owner,” as it places responsibility on people for the care and actions of their dogs. AKC has also provided educational pamphlets to local residents to use in educating their elected officials.

Friday, March 27, 2009

FL- Update on HB 451

Update: MSN Language Removed from Florida Bill!
(from AKC)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009]
This morning, the Florida House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee adopted a "strike-all" amendment to House Bill 451, which would have required the mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs four months of age with little exception. The Florida Association of Kennel Clubs reports that the amendment, offered by HB 451’s sponsor, Representative Scott Randolph, has removed all mandatory spay/neuter language, and instead provides local government officials the option of using a $5 surcharge currently added to animal control citations to help pay for low-cost spay/neuter programs.

The American Kennel Club commends the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs and the many concerned Florida residents who took action in opposition to the original version of HB 451. Their tireless efforts have ensured that the rights and liberties of responsible dog breeders and owners in Florida will continue to be honored. The American Kennel Club also thanks Representative Randolph for listening to the grave concerns of the AKC and the thousands of Floridians who expressed their strong opposition to mandatory spay/neuter. The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased to have assisted the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs by issuing several legislative alerts with contact information and sample letters; e-mailing thousands of AKC club members, officers, delegates, judges, and legislative liaisons; reporting developments to tens of thousands of alert recipients; and contacting legislators with anti-MSN policy arguments.

IN- Two Bills to be Heard on Tuesday, March 31

Indiana Update: Two Bills to be Heard on Tuesday, March 31
(from AKC)

Friday, March 27, 2009]
The Indiana General Assembly will hear two bills on Tuesday regarding breeding regulations in Indiana. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to hear Senate Bill 238, a bill originally dealing with basic animal cruelty issues. An amendment will be offered in this bill to strictly regulate commercial breeders in Indiana.

The Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee will be hearing House Bill 1468, a bill that currently contains numerous regulations and limitations on dog ownership. An amendment is expected to be offered which addresses a number of AKC's concerns.

Details of the bills are as follows (Be sure to scroll down to read the details on SB 238 and HB 1468):

Senate Bill 238

Earlier this year, Indiana Representative Linda Lawson was successful in amending House Bill 1468 (a bill regarding sex offenders) to include onerous regulations for commercial breeders, including allowing warrantless inspections of private homes and property, and placing strict limits on dog ownership and standard breeding practices. HB 1468 passed the House of Representatives.

While significant amendments to HB 1468 are expected to be offered on Tuesday (see below), the AKC has learned that Representative Lawson is now seeking to amend another bill with language to unreasonably regulate breeders. That bill is Senate Bill 238, which originally addressed basic issues of animal cruelty. The Indiana House Judiciary Committee, of which Representative Lawson is Chair, is expected to vote Tuesday on SB 238 and an amendment to include strict regulations on responsible dog breeders. It is therefore imperative that all responsible dog owners, breeders, and fanciers in Indiana contact the House Judiciary Committee and express opposition to any amendments that would limit dog ownership and the rights of responsible dog breeders.

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. We believe, however, that numerical limits, warrantless searches of private property, and other onerous regulations 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.

How You Can Help

Attend the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, March 31. Here are the details:

Indiana House Judiciary Committee Hearing
Tuesday, March 31
8:30 a.m.
Room 156C
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee. Ask them to oppose any amendments to limit dog ownership and infringe on the rights of responsible dog breeders. If you are a resident of Indiana, make sure to let them know!

All Indiana Representatives may be reached at the following:
Indiana House of Representatives
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 232-9600 or
(800) 382-9842 (toll free within Indiana)

Committee e-mail addresses are as follows:

Representative Linda Lawson (Chair and Sponsor of breeder regulation bills)

Representative Cherrish Pryor (Vice-Chair)

Representative Dennis Avery

Representative Jeb Bardon

Representative DeLaney

Representative Ryan Dvorak

Representative Trent VanHaaften

Representative Ralph Foley

Representative Wesley Culver

Representative Eric Allan Koch

Representative Dan Leonard

Representative Phyllis Pond


House Bill 1468

As currently written, HB1468, among other provisions, limits dog ownership to 30 intact dogs and includes consumer protection provisions that provide no recourse to a seller victimized by false accusations or irresponsible new owners. However, Senator Brent Steele, Chairman of the Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee (which currently has cognizance of the bill) is expected to offer amendments to address many of the egregious portions of this bill. The AKC Government Relations Department has learned from Senator Steele's office that many of AKC's concerns are expected to be addressed in these amendments. The American Kennel Club will continue to monitor this legislation and will provide more details and updates as they become available.

How You Can Help:

Attend the Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee hearing on Tuesday, March 31. Express your support for 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.
The hearing details are as follows:
Indiana Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee
Tuesday, March 31
9:00 a.m.
Room 130
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

If you are unable to attend, contact the members of the committee and express your support for 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.

All Indiana Senators may be reached at the following:
Indiana State Senate
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 232-9400 or
(800) 382-9467 (toll free within Indiana)

Click on the committee members' names below to contact them by e-mail:

Senator Brent Steele (Chairman)

Senator R. Michael Young

Senator Richard Bray

Senator Mike Delph

Senator Randy Head

Senator Brent Waltz

Senator John Waterman

Senator Lindel Hume

Senator Timothy Lanane

Senator Karen Tallian

Senator Greg Taylor

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

WV- Oppose HB 2843- April 1st deadline

from Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance


There are 472 Bills pending in House Judiciary. Oppose HB 2843 and push this bill to the bottom of the list for consideration. The legislature has an April 1st deadline for moving bills out of committee and back to the floor for final vote.

HB 2843 defines a commercial breeder as any person who maintains twenty or more unsterilized dogs over the age of one year and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for direct or indirect sale or for exchange in return for consideration, except that any person who breeds only greyhound dogs is not considered a commercial dog breeder under this article. The bill establishes two kennel licenses: Class I-Maintain twenty to forty unsterilized dogs over the age of one year at any one time; Class II-Maintain more than forty unsterilized dogs over the age of one year at any time. Mandates record keeping, sales tracking, veterinary documentation, breeding requirements and certification, establishes fines and penalties up to $2500 for section violations; authorizes searches of premise and records.

HB 2843 text, status, summary


* HB 2843 has potential to raise fiscal costs by additional personnel needed for enforcement, and will create legal challenges.

* HB 2843 empowers officials to investigate giving them broad peace officer status and "warrantless search" power. This is a violation of due process and is unconstitutional. Such routine warrantless search cannot be justified under public safety, or health concerns. Any requirement for inspection must show probable cause, and should be clearly articulated, and limited in justification.

* It is wrong to use a numerical basis to begin excessive regulation of dog breeders; numbers do not correlate to quality of care. Laws for animal welfare and to prevent animal cruelty are already in place to protect all animals whether it is one dog or one hundred.

*The requirement for annual veterinary certification of suitable health for breeding is very vague. Certification to determine “suitable” could require anything from routine physical exam to an expensive panel of blood tests and x-rays. Maturity and breeding age is specific to both the individual and the particular breed and should not be broadly legislated. No other species has regulations in place for standards and/or limitations for breeding.

* HB 2843 duplicates provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act and the licensing provisions of the United States Department of Agriculture for wholesale breeder/sellers making the bills unnecessary.

* In these difficult financial times it would seem prudent for legislators to focus their time and energy on the needs of West Virginia families, employment, and avoiding excessive budget cuts rather than create unnecessary legislation.

* HB 2843 was not introduced to upgrade welfare for dogs in West Virginia. HB 2843 is one of two dozen bills with similar language being lobbied by HSUS and their activists across the country to place restrictions and burdens on those who breed dogs in any number and for any reason. HSUS has crusaded to end commercial breeding of dogs and all domestic animals for years. Please do not yield to their anti-animal use agenda.


To call Judiciary Committee members follow this link for contact info

Monday, March 23, 2009


Texas House Bill 1046 is short- but very important. If passed, this bill would RESTORE the rights of owners "divested of ownership of an animal". This bill restores the rights of animal owners to appeal a court ruling to give the animal to a non-profit shelter, or humanely destory the animal. The current wording of the law means that once a virdict is given against an owner, they will never get that animal back and they can not appeal the decision.

Act now to SUPPORT this bill to RESTORE your rights.

20/20 Documetary "Cruelty to Owners"

Thank you ABC for doing the work to show EVERYONE that YES!!! Some SPCAs DO Steal Dogs. It is a conflict of interest that any SPCA be able to confiscate animals and then SELL them.

In TX the SPCA worker makes $80,000!!!!!!!!!!!!

ABC News 20/20 Documentary "Cruelty to Owners", Part 1

ABC News 20/20 Documentary "Cruelty to Owners", Part 2

FL- HB 451 to be considered Tuesday, March 24

Monday, March 23, 2009]
Late Friday, Florida House Bill 451 was added to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee’s agenda for Tuesday, March 24. The committee will consider the bill at 8:00 AM in Reed Hall, 102 HOB, at the Capitol in Tallahassee. HB 451 would require the mandatory sterilization of every dog and cat over four months of age, unless they meet strict criteria for exemption. In mid-February, several media outlets reported that HB 451 sponsor Representative Scott Randolph stated that he intended to issue a "strike all amendment" to replace the original bill with new language. However, such language has not yet been provided. Therefore, it is vitally important that all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Florida call, fax, or e-mail the members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee and let them know that you strongly oppose this legislation.

The American Kennel Club opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans, or 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 breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. 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. AKC believes that any attempt at restricting the rights and liberties of responsible breeders—especially via mandatory spay/neuter laws—must be defeated.

As introduced, HB 451 would:

Require owners of every dog or cat in Florida to have each animal sterilized within 30 days of the animal reaching four months of age, or within 30 days of the owner receiving the animal.
Provide ambiguous exemptions, including dogs with veterinary certification showing that sterilization would endanger the animal’s health, until such issues no longer exist; Greyhounds currently used for racing, until retirement; show animals registered with an established breed registration organization to be approved by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; dogs or cats that have earned, or are in the process of earning, a competitive sports title; animals trained, or in training, for use in law enforcement, military, or rescue; and animals for which an owner holds a valid breeding permit issued in accordance with an ordinance of a county or municipality.
What You Can Do:

Concerned Floridians should contact the members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Committee. Respectfully yet strongly let them know that you oppose mandatory spay/neuter laws, just as HB 451 demands.

Florida House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee:

Rep. Trudi K. Williams, Chair
303 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-2047
To e-mail Representative Williams,click here

Rep. Ralph Poppell, Vice Chair
222 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-3006
To e-mail Representative Poppell, click here.

Rep. Mary Brandenburg
402 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0260
To e-mail Representative Brandenburg, click here.

Rep. Leonard Bembry
1003 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-7870
To e-mail Representative Bembry, click here.

Rep. Debbie Boyd
1003 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-9835
To e-mail Representative Boyd, click here.

Rep. Dwight Bullard
1401 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-5430
To e-mail Representative Bullard, click here.

Rep. Rachel Burgin
317 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-9910
To e-mail Representative Burgin, click here.

Rep. Steve Crisafulli
317 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-4669
To e-mail Representative Crisafulli, click here.

Rep. Faye Culp
1102 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-2770
To e-mail Representative Culp, click here. Rep. Brad Drake
313 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-4726
To e-mail Representative Drake, click here.

Rep. Greg Evers
218 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-8188
To e-mail Representative Evers, click here.

Rep. Richard "Rich" Glorioso
222 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0807
To e-mail Representative Glorioso, click here.

Rep. Mia Jones
1402 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-6893
To e-mail Representative Jones, click here.

Rep. Debbie Mayfield
317 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0952
To e-mail Representative Mayfield, click here.

Rep. Mark Pafford
1401 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0175
To e-mail Representative Pafford, click here.

Rep. Jimmy Patronis
1301 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-9696
To e-mail Representative Patronis, click here.

Rep. Ronald Renuart
317 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0001
To e-mail Representative Renaurt, click here.

Rep. Ron Schultz
210 House Office Building
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850) 488-0805
To e-mail Representative Schultz, click here.

Proposed animal population law is a bad idea

Proposed animal population law is a bad idea

Editorial • March 4, 2009

A bill recently introduced by State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Bakersfield, would be bad law.

SB 250 would require mandatory spay and neutering of all animals unless the owner applied for and was granted a license to own an unaltered animal.

Don't have an animal and don't care? Well, you should because this law would hit you in the pocketbook if anyone decided to enforce it.

The state financial analyst estimated a similar bill that was defeated a year ago would cost millions, all of which would be borne at the local level. This law also would create more bureaucracy to review and decide on the licenses and would place a heavier burden on local shelters in terms of enforcement and housing animals who were surrendered when their owner could not pay the license fee or the spay/neuter fee.

The sad part about proposed laws such as this is they are not necessary. There are solutions that have worked in other places, and they could work in California.

One of those places is Canada's Calgary. The Calgary municipal shelter cut euthanasia rates from 50 percent to a handful of the 5,000 dogs picked up annually. It was done mostly by making spaying/neutering economically feasible, especially for poor people, and by educating people about pet ownership.

They started by focusing on dogs and are now focusing on cats.

The Calgary solution is one that should continue to be successful without heavy-handed enforcement.

It has succeeded in bringing together people who love mutts and people who love purebreds, and has reduced the problem with strays.

Animal control officers are viewed with respect and affection and referred to as Animal Courtesy Officers.

In contrast, bills such as the one introduced by Florez set up adversarial situations between pet owners and animal control. It is not clear how his unaltered animal licenses would be granted, or who would review applications and decide. The criteria could vary from city to city and between city and county.

It would require people to pay to have a pet altered without offering help. The only low-cost spay-neuter clinic in Tulare County charges from $30 to $50 to alter a cat and from $55 to $125 for a dog. Private vets can charge double or more those prices.

What would a family do if those prices were out of reach? Turn the dog over to a shelter for either adoption or euthanization, most likely.

That does not appear to be a good way to reduce the number of animals being euthanized in our shelters, nor does it respect the attachment the family may have to its pet.

Florez is off base with this one. Let's hope the other senators do not follow his lead.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reason #1 shelters should never be exempt from any laws relating to pets

Bizarre animal cruelty by animal control director
March 20, 2:21 PM
Sharon Seltzer

This bizarre story of animal cruelty was a result of animal welfare experts that knew better, but were so arrogant; they killed one dog and endangered another.

In Clay County, FL the director of Clay County Animal Control was charged this week for a cruel experiment he conducted last September. He received five counts of violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The experiment was prompted after a supposedly “aggressive” dog was picked up by animal control last summer and left inside the holding area of a truck for 80 minutes. That animal died and the dog’s owner complained that the death was a result of being kept in a hot truck too long. A pathology report was inconclusive, but agreed that the hot summer day and dehydration contributed to the dog’s death.

To defend the actions of the employee, Clay County Animal Control director, Connie Goon and her boss Bob Bodenweber decided to run an experiment to see if he could prove the charges by the dog’s owner were unfounded.

They waited for a day with similar weather conditions and chose a homeless dog from the county shelter that was the same weight and breed as the other canine. Then employees locked the homeless dog inside the same non-air-conditioned holding area in the truck in the middle of the day for one hour.

The temperature rose to 86 degrees during the experiment, but staff closely monitored the pup and luckily he did not suffer any ill affects. Bodenweber thought he had proved the innocence of his employee and his policies, but the test was noticed by PETA and reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The only penalty given by the USDA is an official warning to the county animal control. Bodenweber and Goon both have personally promised to never run research on animals in the care of Clay County again.

And in another senseless account of cruelty coming from Florida:Four teenage boys from Lake City, FL pulled back a small opening in a chain link fence around the local Humane Society shelter and stole five rescued dogs. The group took the pups to a bridge where they tossed one of the dogs to his death before getting caught. All of the teens are in custody and the Lake City Humane Society has recovered three of the dogs. They are still looking for the last pup.

Authorities reported that this is not the first time someone has broken-in the non-profit shelter. The group will now look at hiring security for the shelter.

MT- Bill would put more teeth in dog-bite regulation

Bill would put more teeth in dog-bite regulation
By JOHN S. ADAMS Tribune Capitol Bureau
March 19, 2009

A Senate panel on Wednesday heard lively testimony on a measure that would stiffen and expand liability for dog owners whose pets injure someone.

Rep. Anders Blewett, D-Great Falls, said the measure is designed to do away with the "one-free bite" loophole and expand the law to dogs living outside city limits. Under existing law, only dog owners who live within city limits are liable for damages caused by dog bites. Dog owners who live outside city limits are not considered liable if their dog bites someone for the first time.
The proposed law also would extend liability to people who have a financial or proprietary interest in a dog and would provide specific protections for children. Under the proposed measure, if a dog bites anyone younger than the age of 9, it is presumed to be an unprovoked attack.

House Bill 431 also changes key language in the current statute from "bite" to "injure," thus broadening the scope of liability for dog owners. Blewett said he believes the owner of an overly anxious dog should be liable if the animal jumps on someone and the person falls and is injured.

"The question, public policy-wise, is who should have to pay for that injury? Who's got to pick up the tab there?" Blewett asked the committee.

Opponents of the bill, including dog owners, several attorneys and representatives from the insurance industry, said the proposed measure is an overly broad expansion of the so-called "vicious dog" law. They say the bill would result in higher insurance rates and would impose an unreasonable burden on all dog owners.

"What I think people in Montana want is a law that makes it unacceptable to own a dog that would bite," said dog-owner Bob Branson.

He said Blewett's bill does nothing to address problems with vicious dogs, instead creating a strict liability for the owner of a friendly dog that might accidently injure someone.

The measure easily cleared the House with nearly three-quarters of lawmakers in that body voting in favor of it. On Wednesday, it appeared unlikely the measure would pass the Senate Judiciary Committee in its current form as some committee members expressed concern over the expansion of the language from "bite" to "injure."

"What you've done is you've taken the vicious dog rule, which relates to vicious dogs as opposed to clumsy dogs, and made an entirely new statute," said committee Vice Chairman Sen. Jim Shockley, R-Victor.

Concerns over the potential rising cost of homeowners' insurance also weighed heavily with some committee members.

Representatives of the insurance industry told the committee that rates are based on the cost to the company to provide insurance policies.

"If this bill results in more, and/or more expensive claims against a homeowner, it will inevitably increase the price of that product," said Greg Van Horssen of State Farm Insurance.

Several members of the committee said they are willing to support amendments to the current law that would expand the existing vicious dog statute to cover the entire state, not just dogs within city limits. That would eliminate the "free-bite" loophole in the existing statute, they said.

Blewett said he would like to see the measure expand liability to include injuries beyond just bites, but added he would support an amendment that only expands the current law to include the entire state.

"If you think (dog owners) should be only liable for bites, that's fine," Blewett said.

The committee did not take immediate action on the bill.

WV- Professor fights proposed ban on animals at Marshall University

Professor fights proposed ban on animals indoors
by Ashley Adkins

A new policy proposed by the Marshall University Board of Governors that will ban animals from buildings on Marshall's campus may soon pass.

According to proposed Policy No. GA-15, domestic animals are not suitable to bring on campus because people may have a fear or an allergy associated with the animal, the animal may be a nuisance or a distraction and animals can be unpredictable and can exhibit uncontrollable behavior.

The policy says that all the factors present both a safety and health hazard for the university community. Service dogs are the only exception to the new policy because they are authorized on campus at all times.

Bill Palmer, professor of history at Marshall, is one faculty member who will feel the effect of this proposal. He has been bringing his dog, Nemo, a black labrador retriever, to his office on the quiet weekends for about five years.

"My objection to the policy s that it just makes no statement as why this is a problem. It makes no effort to contact or reach out to people that might be effected by it. I think that's very shortsighted," Palmer said.

Palmer said he's willing to listen to what the Board of Governors has to say about the policy but he thinks some guidelines could be set up instead of banning animals from buildings.

Karen Kirtley, assistant vice president for the administration, said the policy was created to defer a potential liability against uncontrollable animals.

Kirtley said she wants students and visitors on campus to understand that dogs are permitted as long as they are on a leash.

"We're trying to take a pro-active approach," Kirtley said. She also said other schools throughout the country have similar policies.

The policy says dogs are permitted outdoors on university property at all times if the dog is on a leash and kept under control and under the possession of the owner. The owner must show responsible care for the dog and ensure safe behavior of the dog, which includes preventing the dog from chasing wildlife. Dog owners are prohibited from bringing a dog on campus, including a service dog, if the dog does not have proper immunization and is not wearing a rabies vaccination tag. Owners are also responsible for cleaning up and disposing of waste properly while on campus.

The policy states it is modeled after the Huntington City Ordinance 507, which states dogs must be on a leash or confined to the owner's property.

At first, Palmer was bringing Nemo to his office but he said he decided to see how Nemo would react in the classroom setting. He said after serious consideration of issues involved with his dog, he began to allow Nemo to sit in the class. The first class Palmer took Nemo to was one he taught last summer.

"As far as I could tell he handled it just well and the students loved him," Palmer said. "The students find him an interesting presence in the classroom and I think he very much contributes to a healthy atmosphere."

Since then, Palmer has brought Nemo to classes he has taught this academic year. He said Nemo sleeps a majority of the time.

Kirtley said the university recognizes the important role domestic animals have in the lives of students and employees.

Keshia Runyon, junior English literature and history major from Huntington, was a student in one of Palmer's classes. She said he would bring Nemo to the class and the dog would act great. She also said he was the best dog to have the pleasure to meet.

"It would be disappointing to not have Nemo in the class because he's a vital part," Runyon said.

"He has never barked at anybody, he's never growled, much less tried to bite or be threatening to anybody," Palmer said. "He stops and lets people pet him."

He said the history department secretary has even deemed Nemo "the world's best dog."

Palmer has written a letter to University President Stephen Kopp, expressing his concerns. He said one part of the policy mentions how dogs can cause allergies in students but he argues that service dogs can cause allergies as well.

"The author of the policy does not seem to be aware that Seeing Eye dogs can cause allergies in students, too," the letter says. "Do we want to ban them from the classroom too on those grounds? In fact, pet dander on the clothing of any student in the classroom, whether they have their pet with them or not, can also trigger allergies. Should we then ban all students with pets because somebody might be allergic to the dander on their clothing?"

Palmer said he has never received any complaints about having Nemo in class with him and he gives his students the option to object anonymously about having the dog in the room.

He said he has a friend who teaches at Harvard University who told him that dogs frequently play along Harvard Yard and even faculty at Harvard, including a law school professor, bring their dogs to their offices. He said the Yeager Scholars visit the University of Virginia as a field trip every year and the group always sees dogs playing on the lawn.

In his letter Palmer states, "If Harvard, and even the Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia aren't freaking out about pets, why does Marshall have to? Isn't this the kind of place we'd like to be, a unique community, with a kinder, gentler atmosphere, rather than some quasi-police state, where people in power simply assume the bad faith of their community?

"Would we like to be on Leno, as we almost certainly will be, being lampooned as the "pet-hostile" university? Marshall has been teaching students since 1837. This can't be the first time people have brought pets to campus."

The letter references the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" because the talk show host made fun of West Virginia for the Barbie ban.

Palmer said he is circulating petitions and urging students who have been in his classes to write letters to the president about the issue. He said he has also started a group on Facebook and is creating T-shirts that say "Save Nemo."

He said students willing to write letters against or for the policy can submit the letters to him and his secretary until 10 a.m. on April 6.

Kirtley said the policy is under review in the administration. The policy will be discussed on April 30 during the Board of Governors meeting.

Ashley Adkins can be contacted at

MN- Rep. Tillberry pushes bill on animal breeder licensing- and is suprised at opposition

Rep. Tillberry pushes bill on animal breeder licensing
Friday, 20 March 2009
by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol reporter

Rep. Tom Tillberry expressed a degree of surprise over opposition to his dog
and cat breeders' bill.

"I would think breeders would want that," said Tillberry of annual licensing
and initial inspections of commercial dog and cat breeder facilities
prescribed in the legislation.

It could serve to weed out bad breeders, he explained.

"I definitely think it is something we need to be doing," said Tillberry.

Media and public focus on cases of animal abuse and cruelty in so-called
"puppy mills" has legislators authoring a number of animal breeder bills
this session.

No one knows exactly how many dog and cat breeders there in Minnesota,
Tillberry explained.

That's because while federal law covers animal breeders selling to pet
brokers or pet stores, it does not apply to breeders selling puppies or
kittens on the Internet or to the family with the kid across town.

Try a Google search and see what comes up, suggested Tillberry of finding an
exact number.

83 USDA licensed animal breeders

According to the Minnesota Responsible Animal Owners Alliance, there are 83
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed Class A animal
breeders in Minnesota.

The issue is emotional.

At a recent House hearing Tillberry showed a video showing graphic images of
abused dogs and cats discovered in Minnesota.

Currently, there are no state laws that require licensing or inspection of
non-USDA regulated breeders.

Beryl Board, co-executive director of Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, a
multi-state retriever rescue and rehousing group, spoke of an increasing
number of animal rescues.

Speaking before the House public safety committee last week, Board spoke of
collars embedded in flesh, missing eyes - puppies subject to both physical
and psychology abuse by breeders.

"They were sold, or were going to be sold, that way," she said.

Dr. Christine Gabel, a veterinarian representing the Minnesota Purebreed Dog
Association, gave tentative support of Tillberry's legislation.

"We do support the bill with some reservations," she told the committee.
Tillberry reworked his original bill.

Distinctions are drawn between commercial and hobby breeders - the latter
defined as possessing fewer than 20 adult animals or who produce fewer than
five litters of puppies or kittens a year.

Annual state license required

Commercial breeders under the bill would need to obtain an annual state
license for each facility it owns or operates, beginning in July, 2010.

The State Board of Animal Health would inspect facilities prior to

Other requirements are spelled out.

A number of people spoke out against Tillberry's bill last week.

Andrea Piper, a hobby breeder of French bulldogs from Brooklyn Park,
questioned how effective the legislation would be in controlling bad

"I don't think we're going to grab all of the bad people by making a big
bill," she said.

If people want a certain a animal, they'll find one, Piper opined.

"We're selfish people. We want what we want," she said.

Speaking more recently, Piper, who likes some of the bill, said if it's
intended to stop puppy mills, it should be more specific about husbandry

Why not restrict the number of litters animal can produce? she opined.

Real issue is animal cruelty

Dr. Robinette Dunahugh-Ralston, a veterinarian from Farmington, argued
before the committee that the real issue underlying people's concerns is
animal cruelty.

But the bill doesn't address that, she argued.

Others testifying, in the same vein, argued animal cruelty laws are already
on the books.

Enforce them.

The Minnesota Veterinarian Medical Association could support the breeders'
legislation under certain conditions.

For example, the association wants the state board of animal health to
conduct inspections and enforcement.

The number of animals at a breeding facility has does not determine its
quality, the association argued in a position statement.

To that end, it wants inspections for all facilities, regardless of size,
upon valid complaint.

Dr. Tom Hagerty, a retired veterinarian who handles government relations for
the association, questions aspects of the Tillberry legislation.

"How do you find the breeders?" he said of regulating an industry that might
be conducted in the backyard. "How do you identify them?" he said.

Hagerty also questioned whether the licensing and inspections would be
self-funding - a special account is created to collected fees.

Not enough staff

But a Board of Animal Health official last week indicated she didn't believe
the board had enough staff to take on additional duties.

Tillberry's bill is scheduled for another hearing on Monday, March 23 in the
House civil justice committee.

Should it pass on Monday, it's expected to go the House agriculture

Tillberry, who views his bill as an example stakeholders achieving
compromise, is upbeat about its chances.

The bill easily cleared the public safety committee last week.

Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-Fridley, is carry similar breeders' legislation in the

Betzold believe his bill, which sits in the Senate agriculture committee,
could soon have another hearing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

WV- Criminalizing Dog Breeding

From HB 2843:

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to define a commercial dog breeder as any person who maintains twenty or more adult dogs for the purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals. The bill requires a commercial dog breeder to obtain a valid business license. The bill provides limitations for how many dogs a commercial dog breeder can maintain; when a commercial dog breeder may breed female dogs; how a commercial dog breeder may dispose of dogs; requires them to maintain records of animal sales, purchases, breeding history and veterinary care. The bill further provides that the Commissioner of Agriculture, any consulting veterinarians or any animal control officer may inspect the facilities of a commercial dog breeder. The bill also provides that any violation of this section is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $2,500 or a jail term of not more than one year or both.

West Virginia Bill A Radical Attempt At Limiting Dog Ownership
From AKC
[Tuesday, March 17, 2009]

West Virginia House Bill 2843, sponsored by Delegates Daniel Poling of Wood, Virginia Mahan of Summers, Nancy Guthrie of Kanawha, Roy Givens of Brooke, and Tom Azinger of Wood, seeks to define commercial dog breeders and to impose limits on the ownership of dogs. Similar to many bills introduced in legislatures across the country in 2009, HB 2843 is part of a radical national legislative agenda aimed at limiting the freedoms and liberties of Americans by attempting to restrict the number of animals they can own. The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes this legislation, and encourages all concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in West Virginia to contact their Delegate in Charleston, the bill's sponsors, and the ranking members of the House Agriculture Committee who will consider this bill tomorrow and respectfully yet strongly urge them to not move HB 2843 forward. Additionally, AKC encourages all concerned breeders and owners to attend tomorrow's committee hearing and voice their opposition to this bill.

The American Kennel Club's mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC has a zero-tolerance policy regarding animal cruelty. We strongly support 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–regardless of whether dogs are kept in a kennel, shelter, or even someone's home. AKC also believes that restricting Americans' liberties by imposing numerical ownership limits does not address issues of responsible dog ownership and proper dog care. Instead, the AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of all dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.

If enacted, HB 2843 would:

* Define "commercial dog breeders" as any person who maintains twenty or more unsterilized dogs over one year of age.

* Require business licensure of commercial dog breeders.

* Prohibit commercial dog breeders from owning more than forty unsterilized dogs.

* Limit the breeding age of female dogs to between 18 months and eight years of age.

* Require commercial dog breeders to keep records for at least five years.

* Mandate inspections of commercial dog breeders' facilities, including private homes, twice annually; and allow inspections of such facilities without proving probable cause or obtaining a warrant from a neutral magistrate.

* Impose fines of up to $2,500, or jail for up to one year, or both, for each violation, without opportunity to correct prior to charges being levied.


All responsible dog breeders and owners in West Virginia are encouraged to attend tomorrow House Agriculture Committee hearing and voice their opposition to HB 2843.

West Virginia House of Delegates Agriculture Committee
Wednesday, March 18th 8:30AM
House Government Organization Room 215-E
State Capitol Complex, Charleston.

All concerned breeders and owners in West Virginia are strongly encouraged to contact their elected officials in Charleston, the bill's sponsors, and the members of the House Agriculture Committee who will consider this bill tomorrow and respectfully yet strongly urge them to not move HB 2843 forward.

To find out who your elected Delegate is, click here.

HB 2843's sponsors:

Delegate Daniel Poling
Room 223E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3137

Delegate Virginia Mahan
Room 227E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3102

Delegate Nancy Peoples Guthrie
Room 227E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3156

Delegate Roy Givens
Room 221E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3129

Delegate Tom Azinger
Room 231E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3202

Ranking members of the House Agriculture Committee:

Delegate Sam J. Argento, Chairman
Room 216 E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3112

Delegate Robert C. Tabb, Vice-Chairman
Room 210E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3274

Delegate Allen V. Evans, Minority Chairman
Room 231E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305
PHONE: (304) 340-3399

Delegate Ray Canterbury, Minority Vice-Chairman
Room 231E, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25303
PHONE: (304) 340-3131

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

AK- Arkansas Seeks to Require Annual Licenses of Up to $1000for Dog Owners and Handlers

Arkansas Seeks to Require Annual Licenses of Up to $1000 for Dog Owners and Handlers
From AKC
[Monday, March 16, 2009]

A bill has been introduced in the Arkansas Senate that requires owners of 12 or more dogs of any age to purchase an annual license for the right to maintain ownership of the dogs, regardless of whether the animals are on your property.

"Owner" is defined as someone who meets any of the following criteria:

* Has a right of property in a dog or cat
* Keeps or harbors a dog or cat
* Acts as a custodian of a dog or cat
Senate Bill 864 would require any owner of 12 to 24 dogs and/or cats to obtain a $250 annual license. If you own over 24 dogs and/or cats, then you must pay $1000 each year. This would place severe financial hardships on responsible dog owners without addressing the real problem of irresponsible dog ownership.

The following are exempted from the license requirements:

* A veterinarian or veterinary facility that provides services under the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Practice Act
* A boarding, kennel, or grooming facility that acts as a temporary custodian in exchange for compensation
* An agency of the federal, state, county, municipal or other governmental or political subdivision acting under official duties
* Any entity owned or managed by a state or local government agency that is responsible for animal control
* Research facilities

In addition, the bill allows for a warrantless inspection by an animal control officer or other public health or safety official upon any complaint "or upon his or her own motion". This may include an inspection of the animals as well as the facility.

AKC is opposed to egregious requirements that punish responsible dog owners while doing nothing to address the issue of irresponsible dog ownership. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

What You Can Do:

Contact the sponsor of Senate Bill 864 and politely, yet strongly express your opposition to Senate Bill 864:

Senator Sue Madison
573 Rock Cliff Rd.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 442-2997

Contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ask them to oppose Senate Bill 864. Their contact information is as follows:
Senator Ed Wilkinson (Chairman)
Box 610
Greenwood, AR 72936
Phone: (479) 996-4171

Senator Ruth Whitaker (Vice-Chair)
PO Box 349
Cedarville, AR 72932
Phone: (479) 474-0911

Senator David Johnson
2511 Valley Park Drive
Little Rock, AR 72212
Phone: (501) 682-6107

Senator Jim Luker
PO Box 216
Wynne, AR 72396
Phone: (870) 238-8588

Senator Sue Madison
573 Rock Cliff Road
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 442-2997

Senator Jerry Taylor
6203 Ridgewood Drive
Pine Bluff, AR 71603
Phone: (870) 879-3233

Senator Robert Thompson
414 West Court
Paragould, AR 72450
Phone: (870) 239-9581

Senator Henry "Hank" Wilkins
717 W. 2nd Avenue
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
Phone: (870) 536-6366

Additional Resources:

Click here for AKC’s "Disagree Diplomatically" brochure

Click here for AKC’s "Make Your Contact Count" brochure for suggestions on how to effectively communicate with legislators.

TX- Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bills Introduced

Texas Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bills Introduced
From the AKC
[Monday, March 16, 2009]

Two mandatory spay/neuter bills have been filed in the Texas Legislature. House Bill 4277, sponsored by Representative Jose Menendez of San Antonio, and Senate Bill 1845, sponsored by Senator Leticia Van de Putte also of San Antonio, will require that all dogs over six months of age be sterilized. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and its Texas federation of owners, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA), believe that any attempt at restricting the rights and liberties of responsible breeders–especially via mandatory spay/neuter laws–must be defeated. If adopted, these bills will have a profound negative impact not only on responsible dog breeders in Texas, but also on all current and prospective dog owners. Therefore, it is vital that all responsible dog breeders and all concerned dog owners in Texas, as well as anyone worried about such radical policy, contact their elected state legislatives as well as the bills’ sponsors and respectfully let them know that these draconian measures are unreasonable, unenforceable, and unacceptable.

The American Kennel Club opposes the concepts of breeding permits, breeding bans, or the mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously. 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.

As currently written, HB 4277 and SB 1845 would:

Require every person who owns a dog or cat at least six months of age to have the animal spayed or neutered.
Provide few exceptions, including one for owners of a dog or cat who purchase an intact animal permit at a cost of $300 per intact animal.
Make each violation of this law a class C misdemeanor, liable for fines up to $500 per violation.

All concerned responsible dog breeders and owners in Texas, as well as all other concerned Texas residents, are strongly encouraged to write their elected state legislators as well as the bills’ sponsors. Let them know that mandatory spay/neuter bills are radical and unacceptable and will have a profound negative impact upon the state of Texas.

To find out who represents you in the Texas House of Representatives, click here. For a customizable sample letter to send to your representative, click here.

To find out who represents you in the Texas State Senate, click here. For a customizable sample letter to send to your senator, click here.

House Bill 4277 Sponsor Representative Jose Menendez
Capitol Office: EXT E2.204
Capitol Address:
P.O. Box 2910
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78768
PHONE: (512) 463-0634
FAX: (512) 463-7668
To write Representative Menendez via e-mail, click here for an e-mail form.

District Address:
7121 US Hwy. 90 West, Suite 240
San Antonio, TX 78227
PHONE: (210) 673-3579
FAX: (210) 673-3816

Senate Bill 1845 Sponsor Leticia Van De Putte
Capitol Office: EXT E1.704
Capitol Address:
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
PHONE: (512) 463-0126
TOLL FREE: 1 (888) 279-0648
FAX: (512) 463-2114
To write Senator Van De Putte via e-mail, click here for an e-mail form.
District Address:
700 N. St. Mary’s Street, Suite 1725
San Antonio, TX 78205
PHONE: (210) 733-6604
FAX: (210) 733-6605

For a copy of the AKC’s Disagree Diplomatically brochure, please click here.

The AKC Government Relations Department will continue to monitor the consideration of HB 4277 and SB 1845 and will notify the purebred dog community when these bills are assigned to a committee. Contact information for committee members will be provided and purebred dog owners should express their strong opposition to these bills to their respective committee members at that time.

For more information, please contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail; or contact the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at (210) 822-6763, at, or at

Monday, March 16, 2009

NV- Multiple Bills introduced at once

SB 241
as introduced:
* would regulate anyone who wants to breed and sell dogs, regardless of the number.
* would require all breeders, regardless of how many dogs owned, to pay a $500 annual fee in order to breed and sell puppies.
* would also impose numerous other regulations and subject anyone who breeds and sells dogs to random inspections.
As written, SB 241 would:

Define "Breeder" as "a person who breeds cats or dogs for sale".
Require an annual application and $500 license fee for anyone who breeds cats or dogs for sale.
Require an inspection of "the premises upon which the breeder proposes to operate" prior to a license being granted and authorize the Nevada Department of Agriculture or any authorized representatives to conduct a records inspection at "all reasonable times." The bill is unclear as to whether these inspections could include private homes.
Prohibit breeding a single cat or dog beyond two litters during its lifetime.
Mandate microchipping of all dogs prior to sale.
Prohibit anyone who is not in compliance with a court order for child support from obtaining a breeder's license.
Include ambiguous exemptions for those who are housing domestic dogs or cats as pets or caring for another person's dog or cat in a home environment and those participating in the exhibition of dogs.

AB 15
As introduced:
*requires pet sellers, veterinarians and public parks to post notices of any local ordinances requiring sterilization of dogs or cats

SB 133
As introduced:
* expands the prohibitions under existing law to include a person who possesses any animal with the intent to use the animal in a fight with another animal or to engage in certain other acts that are prohibited under NRS 574.070. The bill, however, is under going amendment that will require
(1) an "operator" to provide specified minimum floor space calculated as
((6 inches+length of animal) squared) / 144 = required square footage. An animal 18 inches long would require 4 square feet. (6+18)=24 24*24=576 576/144=4 It prohibits stacking of cages.
(2) daily exercise periods totaling at least one hour for each dog in which the dog is removed from the primary enclosure and given free mobility for the entire exercise period by either leash walking or giving the dog access to a space at least four times the size of the primary enclosure. Mechanical exercise devices are prohibited.
(3) Requires annual veterinary exams and exams "prior to each attempt at breeding," prompt treatment of any illness or injury by a licensed veterinarian; and, "where needed, humane euthanasia to be performed only by a licensed veterinarian using techniques identified as “Acceptable”.
(4) Prohibits breeding consecutive heat cycles or breeding dogs younger than one year.
(5) Limits breeders to 50 or fewer breeding animals.
----- Note the above provisions are not yet officially published ---

SB 132
As introduced:
*this bill prohibits a person from tethering, chaining, tying or otherwise restraining a dog using a device that is less than 12 feet in length or for more than 9 hours during a 24-hour period or from placing a dog in an outdoor enclosure for more than 9 hours during a 24-hour period unless the dog weighs a specified amount and the enclosure is a certain size.

To be used longer than 9 hours the pen must be at least 60 square feet for dogs under 20 pounds, 120 square feet for dogs under 60 pounds, 160 square feet for dogs under 100 pounds, and 200 square feet for dogs over over 100.

It exempts a dog that is: (1) being treated by a veterinarian; (2) being used for hunting or being trained to hunt; (3) participating in a dog show; (4) being kept in a shelter or boarding facility or temporarily in a camping area; (5) temporarily being cared for during a rescue operation; or (6) being used as part of an agricultural operation.

TX- SB 3180

Among all the issues presented by SB 3180 - potentially granting HSUS the right to enter your property without a warrant, defining hobby breeders as being in the business of selling dogs, requiring criminal background checks for "commercial" breeders, setting requirements for which there is no scientific standard for establishing the standard, lack of differentiation of inspection and investigation activities and responsibilities, interfering with the veterinarian-client-patient relationship - two really stand out.

First, demonstrating that this is not about animal care is the fact that there is limit on the number of intact dogs a person may have but no limit on spayed or neutered dogs a person may have. If a person can adequately care for 50+ spayed/neutered animals, there is no reason a person couldn't adequately care for the same number of intact dogs.

Second, the law exempts itself from the requirements of Chapter 2110 of the Government Code which sets rules for Advisory Committees. One of those requirements is that a committee provide “a balanced representation between (a) the industry or occupation; and (b) consumers of services provided by the agency, industry or occupation.” Not only does the advisory committee contain no representatives of the regulated community, but there are only two consumer representatives. Some of the members, not consumers of the services provided, may actually represent interests antithetical to the interests of the regulated community and the consumers, however much "expertise" they may have.

Without getting into the politics if it, someone should ask the Republicans supporting this bill what happened to the strict construction and limited government they are always espousing, And the Democrats should be asked what happened to the democratic principles of inviting everyone to the table and ensuring the widest possible participation that they are always espousing.

Julian Prager
Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs, Legislative Chair
Governor's Dog Law Advisory Board Member
National Animal Interest Alliance Legal Analyst & Legislative Coordinator

ME- An Act to End Dog and Cat Breeding in the State

HP 728

This bill amends the definition of "breeding kennel" to include any location where dogs or cats capable of breeding are kept and one or more dogs or cats are sold. It increases the fee for licensing a dog that has not been spayed or neutered. It restricts the number of adult female dogs or cats capable of breeding that can be kept at a breeding kennel to 10. It establishes a license fee for breeding kennels that is based on the number of adult female dogs or cats capable of breeding kept at the kennel. For pet shops that sell dogs, the license fee is increased incrementally based on the number of dogs sold or offered for sale in the previous year.

2. License fees. The fee for a breeding kennel license is calculated by multiplying the number of adult female dogs and cats at the breeding kennel capable of breeding by $500.

Sec. 5. 7 MRSA §3931-A, sub-§6 is enacted to read:

6. Restriction. A person may not maintain a breeding kennel with more than 10 female adult dogs or cats capable of breeding.

TN- Bill Summary for HB 386 and SB 258

HB 0386 by *Sontany, Maggart, Fincher, McManus, Turner M, Shepard, Sargent. (*SB 0258 by *Jackson, Ketron.)
Animals and Animal Cruelty - As introduced, enacts the "Commercial Breeder Act." - Amends TCA Title 47, Chapter 18, Part 1; Title 39, Chapter 14, Part 2; and Title 44, Chapter 17.

Fiscal Summary
Not Available

Bill Summary
This bill:

(1) Creates new criminal offenses regarding the commercial breeding of companion animals;
(2) Requires commercial breeders to become licensed by the commissioner of agriculture; and
(3) Specifies that certain actions by a commercial breeder would also be deemed to be a violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977.


This bill makes it an offense for any commercial breeder to advertise, sell, offer to sell, transport or offer for transportation any companion animal unless the commercial breeder has a valid license from the commissioner of agriculture and has complied with the rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to this bill. A "commercial breeder" is a person who possesses or maintains at least 20 female dogs in order to sell their offspring as companion animals. This bill also makes it an offense for a commercial breeder to kill or destroy a companion animal by any means other than euthanasia performed by a licensed veterinarian. These offenses would be Class B misdemeanors, punishable by fine only.

This bill also makes it an offense for a commercial breeder to operate or maintain a controlling interest in any releasing agency or to violate any provision of this bill. The offense would be a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by fine only. After a licensed commercial breeder receives notice from the commissioner of any violation of this bill, each day of a continuing violation would constitute a separate offense.


An application for a license as a commercial breeder would be made to the commissioner on a form provided by the commissioner. Each application for a license must be accompanied by a license fee based upon the following:

(1) Possessing or maintaining 20-40 adult companion animals per year, $500; or
(2) Possessing or maintaining 41-75 adult companion animals per year, $1,000.

The commissioner would issue a license to an applicant after determining that:

(1) The applicant or the responsible officer of the applicant is of good moral character;
(2) An inspection has been made of the premises and a finding is made that it conforms to this bill and is a suitable place in which to conduct the commercial breeder's business;
(3) The commercial breeder has a valid sales tax registration number and is in good standing with the Tennessee department of revenue; and
(4) The licensee has never been convicted of any criminal offense against an animal.

A license would not be issued to any commercial breeder who possesses or maintains more than 75 unsterilized companion animals over the age of six months.

The license of any commercial breeder may be suspended or revoked by the commissioner for any of the following reasons:

(1) The violation by the licensee of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977;
(2) Willful falsification of any information contained in the application;
(3) The licensee's conviction of any offense involving cruelty to animals or a violation of this bill; or
(4) The licensee's nonconformance with: this bill; the rules and regulations of the commissioner; the Non-Livestock Animal Humane Death Act; or the present law provisions governing offenses against animals.

This bill requires each commercial breeder to file semi-annual reports containing the following information:

(1) The number of dogs or cats in the possession of the commercial breeder on the date the report is filed;
(2) The number of dogs and cats sold during the reporting period and the names and addresses of the persons to whom they were sold; and
(3) The number of dogs and cats received by the commercial breeder during the reporting period under circumstances other than purchase and the names and addresses of the persons from whom they were obtained.

The premises of a commercial breeder must be made available to the commissioner for inspection at all reasonable times. The commissioner would make or cause to be made such inspections or investigations of the premises and records as considered necessary.

This bill authorizes the commissioner to confiscate companion animals maintained in violation of this bill and to enter into cooperative agreements with local or federal animal welfare agencies or national humane organizations to house and provide for the humane treatment of the animals. The commissioner would also have the authority to petition the court in which a violation of this bill or criminal offense against animals is being heard to request that the commercial breeder or person commercially breeding in violation of this bill be ordered to post security as provided in present law regarding criminal offenses against animals. The commissioner may also enter into cooperative agreements with local and federal agencies for purposes of implementing this bill.


The following violations of this bill would also be deemed to be violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977:

(1) Each companion animal sold, offered for sale, or advertised while the dealer or commercial breeder is unlicensed or has had such license suspended or revoked; and
(2) Each unfair or deceptive statement, material omission, or action taken by a commercial breeder.

Any commercial breeder who commits a violation of the Act as described above in (1) or (2) would be subject to a remedial civil penalty for each separate violation not to exceed $1,000. Upon reason to believe that a commercial breeder is selling dogs or cats while unlicensed, the attorney general, after consultation with the director of the division of consumer affairs, may issue a pre-filing request for consumer protection information in
accordance with the Act. Should a person deny the representative access to the premises, the attorney general would petition, a circuit or chancery court for an order granting access to such premises and records.

The provision of this bill making it an offense for any commercial breeder to kill or destroy a companion animal by any means other than euthanasia performed by a licensed veterinarian would take effect upon becoming law. All other provisions of this bill would take effect:

(1) Upon becoming a law for the purposes of notifying the public, making staff arrangements, and for promulgating rules and regulations; and
(2) On January 1, 2010, for all other purposes.

NOTE: In 44-17-708 (a)(4) of Section 1 of this bill, the language "title 4" should be "title 44."

TN- Brownie Troop Lobbies Lawmakers over Puppy Mill Bill

Brownie Troop Lobbies over Puppy Mills
Sixteen Tennessee citizens, most of them about four feet tall, lobbied lawmakers this week to require that dog breeding kennels be inspected. Brownie Troop 550 from St. Edward’s school in Nashville asked lawmakers to back a bill which targets “puppy mills” – mass producers of dogs.

Members of the troop say breeders should provide a specific level of basic care.

“We want them to have bigger cages so that they can move around and stretch, no wire bottoms so their feet don’t get stuck, let them visit a vet when they’re sick (have clean air!)…and have clean air to breathe.”

Last month, Sheriff’s deputies raided an alleged “puppy mill” in White County, seizing nearly 300 small breed dogs. It was the sixth such raid in a year.

Troop Leader Renata Dash says the Brownies usually are drawn to animal issues and commit not just their time but also proceeds from cookie sales to their causes. This bill, in particular, caught their attention.


The bill is the “Commercial Breeder Act,” HB 386 Sontany/SB 258 Jackson. You can read it here.

Troop Leader Renata Dash said the girls chose the cause themselves.

“We’re currently working on a new Brownie program, called Brownie Quest, and to earn our third key, we need to try to make some change in our community, and they chose, like they typically do, an animal effort.”

Dash says this bill caught their attention.

“They thought that the meaning behind it was so important, just trying to set some basic standard of care for the animals, and have people be responsible for them, and they asked if we could work on it. So we have been working hard on it for several months and they’re very excited to be here.”

WPLN covered the February raid on a White County “puppy mill”.” Click here to see the story.

Shelters should never be exempt from the laws they propose

Dog laws are being proposed at a rapid rate around the country that relate to the standard of care, housing requirements, exercise requirements, and the like, yet interestingly enough, they all only apply to "Breeders"- shelters are exempt.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey should be advocating that ALL dogs should be given the same level of care- regardless of where they are currently housed. Oprah's Cocker Spaniel puppy, Ivan, just died of Parvo and his litter sister, Sadie, is fighting for her life after contracting Parvo at the Chicago area PAWS animal shelter. Animal shelters, which bring in many pets from un-known origin should be the FIRST places that these strict standards of care should be enacted. Breeders who have a resident population of dogs are far less likely to have diseases introduced than shelters are.

If your state is proposing new changes to the dog laws, please, make sure you visit your Lawmaker and let them know that shelters should NOT be exempt.