Monday, May 9, 2011

TX: Stop HB 1451 In the Senate!

HB 1451 passed the House on 4/27/11 and has been assigned to the Senate
Committee on Criminal Justice chaired by Sen. John Whitmire (D-15). It is
anticipated that Whitmire will be the bill's advocate in the Senate.

HB 1451 requires licensure and inspection of kennels for simply owning more than 10 intact female dogs even if breeding is occasional. The bill classifies these
owners as commercial if even a single litter a year is bred to be used as
hunting, working, security, herding and livestock guardian dogs, service dogs,
or family pets.
Sara Chisnell-Voigt, Legal Counsel United Kennel Club, writes, "UKC believes
that the health and well-being of dogs are of the utmost importance, and are
significant concerns. However, this bill will do more harm to the responsible
breeders than they will to protect the welfare of dogs. Defining a commercial
kennel by 11 or more intact adult female dogs is an unacceptable threshold."

Bill author, Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) and supporting animal rights
groups continually mislead the media claiming the bill is only designed to
ensure that breeders meet health and safety standards and that animals have food
and clean water. However, the Federal engineering standards required by HB 1451
are not compatible with home-based breeding programs. Compliance with Federal regulations would require small and mid-size sporting dog and hobby breeders to construct temperature, humidity, and diurnal lighting controlled kennel buildings costing tens of thousands of dollars. Labeling and registering
breeders as commercial businesses simply because of the number of intact dogs
owned will end many hunting and hobby kennels throughout the state.

Mary Beth Duerler, RPOA Texas Outreach and Responsible Pet Owners Alliance,
explained, "HB 1451 is not written to regulate dog and cat breeders in Texas. It
is written to eliminate them
. The Standards for Care; Confinement and
Transportation adopted must meet federal USDA regulations at a minimum. Bill
sponsors and proponents know they cannot be met in a home environment."

Following the House vote to pass HB 1451, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) posted
the following commentary on his blog, "It establishes a new licensing and
regulatory bureaucracy for breeders. I spoke and voted against the bill because
it increased state government by $2.6 million for the biennium and increased
state bureaucrats by 14. Moreover, I believe it will be ineffective. I doubt
that criminal and cruel breeders, who are already operating outside the law,
will submit themselves to be licensed and regulated and pay a $1300-$4300 fee
per year. It will certainly hinder responsible breeders though and probably
cause some to go out of business. The bill also violates the 4th Amendment by
authorizing inspectors to come unannounced and without the owner or licensee
onto a breeder's property and even into a breeder's home to access animals or
documents without a warrant."

HB 1451 is supported by a number of animal rights organizations, including Texas
Humane Legislation Network (THLN), HSUS, ALDF, and ASPCA. These groups
highlight kennels where hundreds of dogs are kept in poor conditions and, in
true activist style, vilify dog breeders across the board to promote the need
for restrictive legislation.

Texans pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the State's economy every year
hunting, exhibiting, training, and breeding dogs. Their dogs could not hunt,
track, herd, search, or compete in shows and trials if they were not well taken
care of.


Call, fax, and email your Senator and the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
and request they oppose HB 1451.

Committee Contacts:

Sen. John Whitmire (D-15)
(512) 463-0115 / Fax: (512) 475-3737

Sen. Joan Huffman (R-17)
(512) 463-0117 / Fax: (512) 463-0639


Sen. John Carona (R-16)
(512) 463-0116 / Fax: (512) 463-3135

Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-13)
(512) 463-0113 / Fax: (512) 463-0006

Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-18)
(512) 463-0118 / Fax: (512) 475-3736

Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-20)
(512) 463-0120 / Fax: (512) 463-0229

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)
(512) 463-0107 / Fax: (512) 463-8810

HB 1451 is opposed by: American Dog Breeders Association; American Kennel Club;
Animal Owners Association of Texas; Endangered Breeds Association; National
Animal Interest Alliance
; RPOA Texas Outreach and Responsible Pet Owners
; Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance; United Kennel Club;
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance; and many more local and national organizations.

Additional information can be found at the SAOVA website:

http:// at U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance: Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators
Visit SAOVA News

Thursday, May 5, 2011

MA: May 11 will be a big day for dog legislation in Massachusetts

May 11 is a big day in MA
The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government will consider a series of dog bills at its hearing on May 11, 2011. Responsible dog owners in Massachusetts are encouraged to attend the hearing or contact the committee with comments on any of the bills on the agenda.

View the names and contact information for the committee here.
If you are interested in attending the hearing on May 11, contact the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed) at


Over 10 bills are scheduled to be considered by the joint committee, including

House Bill 562 – The AKC and MassFed both support this bill, which strengthens the Commonwealth’s dangerous dog laws by creating a number of provisions, including:

· Allowing dogs declared “at risk” to have the designation removed if the dog does not exhibit the behavior again within two years.

· Preventing municipalities from establishing breed-specific at-risk or dangerous dog policies

House Bill 1455 – The AKC and MassFed both oppose this bill, which makes numerous changes to the animal control laws, including:

· Requiring an intact animal permit for all owners of intact dogs (current law already requires a special license for unspayed females). The AKC opposes all differential licensing for owners of intact dogs.

· Allowing municipalities to ban or regulate specific breeds. Once approved, the local government must develop a 3-person board “to identify and determine the breed of dogs”. This board would include two members of the public (one who must be an “expert in the field of animals”) and the local animal control officer.

· Providing a list of recommended penalties for nuisance violations, including sterilization or euthanasia

Other bills to be considered by the committee include:

Senate Bill 1033 – This bill makes numerous changes to the animal control and licensing laws, including differentiating between commercial breeder kennels, personal kennels and commercial boarding/training kennels.

House Bill 1437 – This legislation mandates the sterilization of all cats, unless the owner possesses an intact animal permit. As currently written, cats would be the only animals subject to this license.

House Bill 2326 –Among other provisions, this bill expands the crime of animal cruelty to include “knowingly and unjustifiably” failing to provide veterinary care “that results in unnecessary suffering.” It is unclear how these terms would be defined.

House Bill 2885 – Current law requires all cities and towns to appoint an animal control officer or contract with a charitable organization to perform these duties. HB 2885, among other provisions, would impose a $500/day fine on cities that are not in compliance with this mandate.

House Bill 2886 – This bill would prohibit the sale of a dog or cat that is under 8 weeks of age.

For more information on these and other bills on the agenda, visit the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners website at or contact the AKC Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720 or

TX: HB 1451 calll 11 female dogs a "commercial Kennel"

HB 1451 is gets through the House of Representatives with little opportunity for public input. House Bill 1451 does the following:

SYNOPSISHSUS Funded Representative Senfronia Thompson (D, 141) filed HB 1451 a bill to regulate Texas dog and cat breeders. HB 1451 is supported by a coalition of animal rights groups including HSUS, PETA, ASPCA, and Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN). Commercial breeder is defined as a person who possesses 11 or more intact female dogs or cats over 6 months of age. Criminal background checks for both kennel owners and staff would be required for kennel license approval. A kennel license can be denied, suspended, or revoked for any infraction of the regulations or record-keeping rules or failure to complete a corrective action in the time allotted in an inspection report. Breeding females must have adequate rest between breeding cycles and a yearly veterinary exam. HB 1451 is only an outline of intended future regulations. The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation would be required to adopt the rules, standards, procedures, and fees necessary to implement the Act by March 31, 2012. Future rules and regulations established must meet or exceed current federal regulations for the handling, care, treatment, and transportation of dogs and cats.

•Classifies sporting dog kennels or hobby breeders who have 11 female dogs that have not been spayed to be classified the same as a huge commercial dealer if they sell just two dogs.
•Charges kennel license fees likely to be at least $1,300 per kennel even for hobby breeders who hardly ever sell dogs.
•Creates an unelected commission to create kennel construction requirements, record keeping requirements and other expensive red tape that hobby breeders cannot afford because their primary purpose is not to sell dogs.
•Allows for unannounced inspections of kennels and the homes of their owners if they keep their kennel records on a computer inside their house.
•Allows for the inspection of records within a home without any suspicion of wrong doing or even a search warrant.
•Threatens to drive sporting dog kennels and hobby breeders out of business because they do not have the commercial revenue to offset high fees, and expensive regulations.
•Discloses personal information about dog breeders to the public by creating a public directory containing information on all registered breeders