Black Wednesday For Dog Owners
Animal Rights Wins In Dallas, California, Pennsylvania
by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
Wednesday was a black day for dog owners all across America, as
animal rights extremists posted legislative victories in Dallas,
California and Pennsylvania.
Dog owner advocacy groups fought hard in all three contests and had
clear majority support, but animal rights groups such as People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United
States cashed in political chips with elected officials.
PETA and HSUS have been infiltrating local and state advisory boards
for many years, backed by a war chest exceeding $150 million,
hundreds of paid employees and thousands of volunteers.
Apathy remains th greatest problem faced by dog ownership advocacy
Wednesday's votes also highlighted what is rapidly becoming a
partisan division on animal rights legislation. In general, almost
all Republicans voted against the legislation, and almost all
Democrats voted for the bills. The Democratic Party appears to be
lining up behind the animal rights agenda in support of its
presumptive presidential candidate, Barrack Obama. Obama has
expressed strong support for animal rights.
Here is a summary of the four issues decided this week:
In Dallas, City Council voted 10-3 to pass an animal control
ordinance requiring mandatory pet sterilization, expensive permits to
own intact dogs and cats, mandatory microchipping and pet ownership
limits. The ordinance also bans tethering of dogs and imposes strict
requirements for keeping dogs outdoors. Home inspections also are
In California, the Senate Local Government Committee voted 3-2 to
approve AB1634, which now will be sent to the Senate Appropriations
Committee. If this committee approves, it will be sent to the
legislature for a vote. This bill allows any person to act as a
vigilante and report any dog owner for an unsubstantiated violation
of any animal law. If any animal control officer agrees, the accused
person will have a choice between paying a fine or sterilizing the
animal. People who are accused of anything have no right to defend
themselves or to appeal. An accusation is automatic guilt.
In Pennsylvania, the House Rules Committee voted Tuesday to approve
HB2532, which is a de facto ban on tail docking, dewclaw removal and
ear cropping. In the absence of proof that the procedure was
performed by a veterinarian, the mere possession of a dog that has
had one of those three procedures subjects an owner to a criminal
citation for animal cruelty. This bill would destroy many rescue
operations, dog shows, competitive events and field trials in
Pennsylvania and result in the deaths of thousands of dogs. This bill
now goes to the full House for a vote, and then to the Senate.
Also in Pennsylvania, the House Agriculture Committee approved
amendments to the state dog and kennel law that fall short of changes
that were promised to dog owner advocacy groups. The actual text of
this legislation was not available at this writing, and a follow-up
report will be issued when the revised legislation is available. This
bill now goes to the full House for a vote, and then to the Senate.
Please see below for more detailed descriptions of all four issues.
Dog ownership advocates clearly outnumbered animal rights
sympathizers in public hearings on all four pieces of legislation, as
well as in written comments, emails and phone calls received by
elected officials. However, many of those officials chose to ignore
our voices, and that is doubly true of the Democrats. We are not
saying this to be partisan, as many of our officers and members are
loyal Democrats. We simply are stating a fact. Democrats voted
against animal owners this week by a shocking margin, and we urge dog
owners who are registered with this party to work to reverse this
Advocates of dog owners' rights also were hurt by the apathy of many
people who support us, but who did little or nothing to voice that
support to elected officials. At the Senate hearing in California,
for example, only about 10 people showed up. In Dallas, about 200 dog
ownership advocates attended the hearing, but that is a tiny
percentage of the estimated 300,000 pet owners in the city.
Attendance at the two Pennsylvania hearings was described as moderate.
Apathy by the large but silent majority of dog owners is a major
component of the animal rights strategy. While we outnumber them 100-
to-one, most of us don't get involved. In contrast, animal rights
groups rely on an almost religious fanaticism by their supporters to
gain a high percentage of participation.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance urges every dog owner in America
to join one or more of the several fine organizations that are
fighting for your rights. Each of these organizations has its own
niche, but all are excellent and deserve your support.
We welcome your membership and hope you will participate fully in our
programs. Please visit us online at
Please stand up and be counted now!
We also ask all dog owners who belong to field trial clubs,
sportsmen's organizations, show specialty clubs, breed clubs and
event clubs to urge those organizations to take an active political
role to defeat animal rights legislation.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance also is urging dog owners to
boycott all dog events in the City of Dallas for their own safety.
Under the terms of the ordinance, even a visitor to the city is
subject to citations, fines and dog confiscations. It is known that
PETA plans a protest at a July dog show in Dallas, and we expect them
to report show dog owners for alleged violations of the ordinance.
Because the Dallas animal commission is dominated by PETA members, we
expect that there will be a move to raid this dog show. All
professional handlers would be in violation of the possession limit
of six dogs, and none of the dogs are expected to have a required
Dallas breeding or intact permit.
If the Pennsylvania and California legislation becomes law, it will
not be safe for anyone to attend a field trial, dog show or
performance event in those states, or even to visit, pass through or
take a hunting trip there.
We urge all clubs to cancel or move planned events in Dallas now, and
also in Pennsylvania and California if their legislation is signed
into law. We believe that clubs have an ethical obligation to protect
the safety of participants and their dogs.
Continued apathy and non-involvement will doom dog ownership in
America, as well as hunting, field trials and other dog events. We
can't do it without you.
Here are the highlights of the four pieces of legislation that were
voted on this week.
We support the first part of AB1634, which calls for fines for dogs
that are allowed to roam and mandates sterilization after the third
However, the second part of the legislation violates basic
constitutional rights and human decency.
Here are the provisions of the second part of the legislation
(Italics are direct quotes, and words that are not italicized are our
· "The owner of a nonspayed or unneutered dog that is the
subject of a complaint may be cited and pay a civil penalty as
provided in this section. This civil penalty shall be in addition to
any fine, fee, or penalty imposed under any other provision of law or
local ordinance." In the first sentence, the committee
substituted "may" for "shall," which appears to leave the issuance of
a citation up to the discretion of an animal control officer.
However, the basis for this decision is not defined.
· "The owner of the dog shall pay the civil penalty to the
local animal control agency within 30 business days of the citation.
The local animal control agency shall waive the civil penalty if,
within 14 business days of the citation, the owner of the dog
presents written proof from a licensed veterinarian that the dog was
spayed or neutered." There is no provision for a dog owner to defend
him/herself in court or at a hearing, and no appeal is allowed. If
you are accused, you are guilty. Period. This is a violation of
constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection under
· " 'Complaint' means an oral or written complaint to a local
animal control agency that alleges that the dog or the owner of the
dog has violated this division, any other provision of state law that
relates to dogs, or a local animal control ordinance. `Complaint'
also means the observation by an employee or officer of a local
animal control agency of behavior by a dog or the owner of a dog that
violates this division, any other provision of state law that relates
to dogs, or a local animal control ordinance." An example of what
this means is that a hunting or field trial dog that is in excellent
health and conditioned for performance could result in a complaint of
animal cruelty if anyone believes the dog looks thin.
· " `Local animal control agency' means any city or county
animal control agency or other entity responsible for enforcing
animal-related laws or local animal control ordinances." This
includes Humane Societies and other animal welfare organizations
empowered to enforce animal cruelty or other dog laws. Many members
of these groups support a radical animal rights agenda.
The Senate Local Government Committee approved this legislation by a
party-line 3-2 vote Wednesday, with Democrats in the majority. It now
goes to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and then to the
Senate floor for a final vote.
Please contact members of the Appropriations Committee immediately to
voice opposition to the second half of this bill, and also individual
This link gives contact information for committee members:
http://www.senate.ca.gov/ftp/sen/commit ... home1/PROF
ILE.HTM. The committee meets on Monday.
This link gives contact information for all senators:
http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp. While Sen.
Michael Machado voted for this bill on Wednesday, he expressed many
concerns and might be convinced to change his vote.
Here is a summary of the dog ordinance passed Wednesday by the Dallas
City Council by a 10-3 vote. The ordinance:
· Creates a permit for a dog or cat used for breeding or
competition. The cost of the permit is $70 annually for each animal,
plus the regular license fee of $30. There is no grace period or
exclusion provided for new residents or people who are visiting
Dallas, including participants in dog shows or other events. Visitors
can be cited, and we expect that they will be cited.
· Requires all other dogs or cats to be spayed or neutered.
· Limits a single household to a total of six cats and/or
dogs. People owning more than a half-acre of land would be allowed
eight. People who currently own a greater number of animals could
apply to the city to be allowed to keep their animals without
penalty, but they would not be allowed to buy a dog or breed a litter
of puppies until their number of dogs drops below the limit. The
ordinance applies to anyone who "harbors" more than six dogs, which
includes many visitors and participants in dog shows and other
events. Almost all professional handlers would be in this category,
as well as many owner/handlers.
· Subjects anyone who harbors a group of dogs that exceeds the
limits to unannounced inspections. This would include participants in
dog shows or other events.
· Mandates microchipping of all dogs and cats, including those
· Prohibits tethering of unsupervised dogs to trees or poles
except "for a period no longer than necessary for the owner to
complete a temporary task."
Forces owners to provide at least 150 square feet of space and a
building or designed doghouse for a dog confined outdoors.
And provides for confiscation of allegedly dangerous dogs, and other
Please contact us at asda@csonlinenet if you would like to
participate in legal action or boycotts related to the Dallas
Dog owners in Pennsylvania were beset by two pieces of bad
legislation this week.
HB 2525 regulates a million dog owners and owners of 2,700 licensed
kennels in the state. It passed the House Agriculture Committee by a
17-12 vote Wednesday. All but one Republican (Rep. K. Boback) voted
against the bill, and all Democrats (the majority party) voted in
favor of it.
It appears that the final bill reflects some of the promises made to
dog ownership advocacy groups during the past several months of
negotiations, but that the Democrats have reneged on other promises.
Some dog owners groups have withdrawn their opposition to this
legislation, but the American Sporting Dog Alliance continues to
oppose it in its present form. While we support changes that affect
commercial breeders, these represent only a small part of HB 2525.
The rest of the bill has serious impacts on all dog and kennel
owners. The text of several amendments has not been published thus
far We will issue a full report on this legislation in the next
couple of days.
The other legislation is HB 2532, which provides what amounts to be a
de facto partial or complete ban on tail docking, ear cropping and
dewclaw removal by anyone except a licensed veterinarian. Although
most other dog owners' organizations have not taken a clear public
stance on this bill, the American Sporting Dog Alliance categorically
HB 2532 passed the House Judiciary Committee by a 28-1 vote Tuesday,
with only Republican Rep. T. Creighton voting "no."
The bill allows owners to dock the tails of puppies until they pass
three days of age, and to remove dewclaws during the first five days.
However, the burden of proof is placed on a dog's owner to prove that
this work was done legally before the age limits, or by a
veterinarian. It would be difficult for most dog owners to prove
this, and a large majority would not be able to prove it. The simple
possession of a dog with a docked tail or a lack of dewclaws would be
considered evidence of an animal cruelty violation, if the owner
cannot prove his/her innocence.
The bill continues a total ban against ear cropping, except by a
veterinarian, and anyone who is found in possession of a dog with
cropped ears is automatically guilty of criminal animal cruelty in
the absence of proof.
For all of these procedures, HB 2532 struck out a provision that
would have exempted dogs if their owners filed an affidavit with a
county treasurer that the work was done before the bill is passed.
That means a large majority of owners of many of the most popular
breeds will have no way of proving that they have complied with the
law. These procedures were done legally in the past on many dogs, or
legally by breeders in other states. In many cases, a dog owner has
no idea who performed these procedures. Thus, they would be guilty of
criminal animal cruelty for noncompliance.
This legislation will destroy rescue work for many breeds if it is
signed into law. Most dogs that are assisted by rescue groups, animal
shelters and private individuals either come from unknown sources, or
do not come with medical records. There will be no choice except to
euthanize these dogs, since it will be impossible to establish their
This legislation also will have a severe impact on people who live in
other states. On one level, Pennsylvanians will no longer be able to
buy puppies from dozens of breeds from nonresident breeders who
perform these procedures legally in their home states.
On another level, Pennsylvania professional trainers and handlers
will not be able to accept many dogs from out-of-state customers,
because proof will not be available.
But a larger impact will be on thousands of people who own dogs and
come to Pennsylvania for a vacation, to hunt, or to compete in field
trials, dog shows and other events. Anyone who brings a dog with a
docked tail, missing dewclaws or cropped ears into Pennsylvania is
subject to arrest for criminal animal cruelty charges.
This will affect many very popular breeds of dogs, such as almost all
Continental breeds of pointing dogs, flushing dogs, terriers and many
working dogs, such as rottweilers and doberman pinchers.
The bill now moves to the full House for a vote. Please contact your
own legislator and as many others as possible to express opposition
to this legislation. Contact information can be found at:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/leg ... ation/repr
Here is a link to the text of the legislation:
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Leg ... tCheck.cfm?
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, hobby breeders
and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for
hunting. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights
of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships
between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American
society and life. Please visit us on the web at
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org. Our email is
ASDA@csonline.net. Complete directions to join by mail or online are
found at the bottom left of each page.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we
can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your
membership, participation and support are truly essential to the
success of our mission. We are funded solely by the donations of our
members, and maintain strict independence.
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