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Latest News

  • Smooth Fox Terrier Looking For A Home

    Dancer is a retired middle aged show dog.  Spayed, house broken, crate trained, up to date on all vaccinations, micro-chipped.  She will make a wonderful instant pet.  Please contact Martin Kralik, 214.549.5179, mkralik@sbcglobal.net.

         

  • NEW - PETITION CONGRESS TO INVESTIGATE USDA/APHIS

    THIS IS IN ADDITION TO COMMENTS TO USDA/APHIS
    AND THE AKC PETITION

    Ask Congress to INVESTIGATE APHIS and the process by which it submitted this Proposed Rule to regulate pet sellers —
    and request this Proposed Rule be withdrawn.
    APHIS did not fulfill its statutory duty as required by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to perform an adequate assessment of the impact of the Rule, consult with the appropriate agencies, or provide reliable information to the public for purposes of a public comment period.

    Please review the petition at: http://tinyurl.com/ckppdyh -
    and SIGN - Name, state, and email address is all that is required!

    Cross posting is encouraged.

    Susan Wolf
    Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance http://saova.org

    This petition with signatures will be hand delivered to the United States Congress in the fall of 2012.


  • USDA/APHIS RULE REMINDER: ONLY 8 DAYS LEFT TO COMMENT!

    The comment period for the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed rule that would categorize many small/hobby breeders as commercial breeders and subject them to unnecessary licensing, regulation and inspections will close on August 15.
    It is imperative that any breeder or owner who is concerned about this proposal provide comments to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) before August 15. We also urge you to sign AKC’s petition to Protect Responsible Small Breeders. (Scroll down for details.)
    AKC CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROPOSED RULE
    The AKC shares the USDA’s concerns about substandard internet pet retailers. However, the current proposal is overly broad, difficult to enforce, and does little to address the actual wellbeing of animals sold.
    The AKC believes that the USDA’s “one size fits all” proposal is not in the best interest of all dogs, responsible breeders, or puppy buyers. It is unreasonable and virtually impossible for many small hobby breeders to comply with the strict kennel engineering standards that were designed for large commercial operations. It would create unreasonable hardships that could threaten genetic diversity, the future of a vast number of responsible small hobby breeders, and the very existence of some rare breeds.
    It would require all who own more than four “breeding females” and sell even one animal “sight unseen” to be regulated as a commercial breeder and be subject to federal commercial breeder licensing, regulation and inspections. The term “breeding female” is not defined, so it is unclear how USDA or even breeders themselves would determine who falls under these regulations. The term also includes multiple species (including cats, dogs, and other small mammals). This means, for example, that a person would not have to own more than four intact female dogs to be regulated for the sale of a single puppy sight unseen.
    In many cases, geographic distance makes it difficult for a purchaser to personally visit or pick up a puppy at a breeder’s facility. Such scenarios are particularly common for breeders and fanciers of rare breeds and others who may be purchasing a second pet from the same breeder or already have an established relationship with a breeder. Requiring such individuals to comply with regulations designed for large commercial breeder/dealer facilities may not be appropriate.
    The Regulatory Impact Analysis provided in the proposed rule vastly underestimates both the number of individuals who will be impacted and the expense to occasional breeders to establish commercial-level facilities.
    WHAT YOU CAN DO
    • Submit Comments Directly to USDA/APHIS by August 15 – You may submit comments online by clicking here. To view comments already submitted, click here. You may also mail comments to:
    Docket No. APHIS–2011–0003
    Regulatory Analysis and Development
    PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8
    4700 River Road, Unit 118
    Riverdale, MD 20737–1238
    • Sign the AKC’s Petition by August 13 – If you have not already done so, visit http://www.akc.org/petition and join more than 69,000 people who have signed our online petition in support of responsible breeders.
    Both actions are important in helping send a strong, clear message to APHIS on this issue. Direct comments will help educate the USDA regarding exactly how this proposal will impact responsible breeders, dog owners, and puppy buyers. The petition, which will be submitted with the AKC’s formal comments to the USDA, will demonstrate the immense number of people who are concerned about this issue.
    AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page.
    Further questions may be directed to AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org

  • LIVING WITH USDA LICENSING

    Background

    Retail sellers have long been provided an exemption from federal licensing through the broad definition of
    “retail pet store”. APHIS proposes to revise this definition and bring more pet animals sold at retail under the
    Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensing and regulations. APHIS will limit the definition of retail pet store so that it
    means a place of business or residence that EACH buyer physically enters in order to personally observe the
    animals available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the animals after purchase. Under the
    proposed rule, no dog or other pet animal will be sold at retail without either public or APHIS oversight. If you
    sell dogs, cats, rabbits, small exotic animals, or other small pets and cannot qualify for exemption in the AWA
    then you must obtain a federal license and meet set standards.

    What does USDA Licensed Facility Mean?

    Living under USDA licensing is NOT an option for the average retail seller. The average house cannot be
    converted to a USDA compliant facility. Federal engineered standards for licensed facilities dictate enclosure
    sizes, sanitation, surfaces that are impervious to moisture, ventilation, bio-hazard control, veterinary care,
    exercise, temperature controls, waste disposal systems, diurnal lighting, drainage systems, washrooms,
    perimeter fencing, as well as transportation standards for regulated animals. It does not matter how well you
    think you care for your animals, Federal regulations are not flexible and do not allow for your own discretion.
    You must strictly adhere to what the regulations and your inspector say are acceptable equipment, care, and
    husbandry practices.
    • The USDA license will classify you as a commercial business. You will need to know the allowed uses for
    your property in the current zoning and land use regulations. There may be minimum acreage
    requirements for commercial land uses.
    • You will need to know what the required setbacks are. In land use, a setback is the distance which a
    building or other structure is set back from a street or road, or other things like fences and property lines.
    There may also be limitations on the size and height of the building you need to set up for your animals.
    Building permits will be required.
    • Separate facility will be needed for females within two weeks of whelp.
    • In order to bring female into your home for whelping or birthing the room used must meet USDA standards
    – impervious to moisture – meaning tile floor and vinyl-coated walls.
    • Kittens under 4 months of age may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult cats, other
    than the dam or foster dam.
    • Separate facility meeting USDA standards will be needed for puppies (they cannot be with adults).
    • NO breeding stock allowed to run loose in your home unless it meets the requirements. Your house is not
    impervious to moisture, so therefore not up to USDA code.
    • All surfaces touched by animals must be waterproof and sterilized every two weeks with your choice of live
    steam under pressure, 180 degree water and detergent with disinfectant, or a combination
    detergent/disinfectant product.
    • Use of cat trees/scratching posts may need approval from your inspector as they are not impervious to
    moisture, difficult to sanitize, and will need frequent replacement if allowed.
    • Pens, runs, and outdoor housing areas using gravel, sand, or earth which cannot be sanitized with live
    steam or detergent must be sanitized by removing and replacing the material as necessary in order to
    prevent odors. This would be at the discretion of the inspector.
    • Facilities must be equipped with disposal and drainage systems that are constructed and operated so that
    animal waste and water are rapidly eliminated and animals stay dry.
    • Facilities must provide readily accessible washrooms, basins, or sinks.
    • Facilities must provide evenly diffused natural or artificial lighting on regular diurnal cycles.
    • You must have a separate food preparation area from your kitchen. Food cannot be left in bags, but must
    be stored in airtight containers.
    • Temperature of the kennel facility must be within the allowed range (45-85 degrees) at all times and a daily
    high-low record maintained.
    • You must employ a veterinarian under formal arrangements which must include regularly scheduled visits
    to your premises and a written program of veterinary care.
    • You must hire sufficient staff to carry out and maintain the required level of husbandry practices and care
    required in the regulations.
    • If you are licensed and inspected locally or by the state, you are NOT exempt from federal licensing and
    regulation. You would be required to carry both licenses and meet all requirements.

    Living With USDA Inspections and Being “Written Up” For Violations

    The 60 plus pages of current USDA standards as written are designed for research labs and commercial
    facilities where animals are bred and raised as a business for resale. The regulations were not designed for
    small part time breeders or mom and pop kennels working out of their homes.
    • Breeding is your hobby, not your livelihood, but you have enough animals that you cannot meet any
    exemptions. You are at work when the inspector comes, so you are written up for not being there. Fines
    can be up to $10,000.00.
    • The only one who can allow an inspector to conduct an inspection of a kennel is the person named on the
    license or a designee that is listed as being allowed to accompany the inspector in the absence of the
    licensee. In the absence of either, it is listed as a violation when the inspector shows up unannounced to
    conduct an inspection.
    • Broken kennel wire? Dirty windows? Lid off a food container? Clogged drain that created a puddle of
    standing water. Footprints in your kennel building on a rainy day? All of these can get you “written up” for
    a violation. Three write ups and you will be fined.
    • Inspectors will always find something to write you up for. They have to or else they will be accused of not
    doing their jobs.

    Invasion of Privacy or "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to see if
    you've scooped your kennel runs this morning"

    Every violation write-up you receive is public information and can be obtained from USDA through the
    Freedom of Information Act. Efforts to protect such lists from public disclosure have failed.
    We do know that the animal rights activists already compile lists of breeders from referral sources, show
    catalogs, and advertising to give to enforcement authorities. They also do their own sting operations, calling
    breeders to see if they have puppies available, do they know anyone else who does, etc. The proposed rule
    will create tens of thousands of new USDA licensed "dealers." All new dealer names and precise addresses
    will be posted on a USDA website for every animal rightist zealot to access.
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/publications.html
    Furthermore, both HSUS and ASPCA offer "bounties" for breeders. These organizations encourage vigilante
    actions and how much easier they will be once self-appointed inspectors are equipped with USDA provided
    dealer address lists. It will only take a couple of bounty-inspired incidents to render the dog-breeding
    community completely terrorized. How long do you think it will take until all breeders are vanquished -- either
    by direct assault from these groups or willingly leaving out of fear?

  • JOIN THE OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED NEW USDA/APHIS REGS!

    USDA/APHIS has proposed new regulations which, if implemented, will effectively end currently exempt hobby breeding now considered as retail pet sellers. Living under USDA licensing is NOT an option for the average retail seller. The average house cannot be converted to a USDA compliant facility. Breeding stock is not allowed in your home. It does not matter how well you think you care for your animals, Federal regulations are not flexible and do not allow for your own discretion. You must strictly adhere to what the regulations and the federal inspector say are acceptable equipment, care, and husbandry practices.

    The rule, designed for large commercial operations, will penalize many hard-working Americans caught up under this regulation who are not operating as true businesses. If required to hold a license, you can be fined by USDA when they come unannounced to inspect your property and you are not present.

    Send a strong message to Congress asking them to help stop this rule.
    To add your organization's name to SAOVA's Opposition List. send an email signed by an officer of the organization to: Susan Wolf cubhill@earthlink.net
    Susan Wolf
    Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA)
    http://saova.org

  • Proposed USDA Regulation Comment Period Extended Until August 15

    http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4697
    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that the comment period on the proposed regulations regarding “Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions” has been extended until August 15, 2012. We encourage any concerned dog owners who have not yet signed the AKC petition and/or submitted comments about this problematic proposal to take advantage of this extra time to do so.
    Background:
    This important proposal would require all who own more than four “breeding females” and sell even one animal “sight unseen” to be regulated as a commercial breeder and be subject to federal commercial breeder licensing, regulation and inspections. The term “breeding female” is not defined, so it is unclear how USDA or even breeders themselves would determine who falls under these regulations. The term also includes multiple species (including cats, dogs, and other small mammals).
    The AKC believes that the USDA’s “one size fits all” regulations are not in the best interest of all dogs, responsible breeders, or puppy buyers. It is unreasonable and virtually impossible for many small hobby breeders to comply with the strict kennel engineering standards that were designed for large commercial operations.
    Visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page for more information on this proposal, including frequently asked questions, a fact sheet from APHIS, an educational handout and other resources.
    How You Can Help:
    • Sign the AKC’s Petition – If you have not already done so, visit www.akc.org/petition and join the tens of thousands who have signed our online petition in support of responsible breeders. The new petition signature deadline is August 13.

    • Submit Comments Directly to the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – You may submit comments online by clicking on:

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001

    You may also mail comments to:
    Docket No. APHIS–2011–0003
    Regulatory Analysis and Development
    PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8
    4700 River Road, Unit 118
    Riverdale, MD 20737–1238

    Both actions are important in helping send a strong, clear message to APHIS on this issue. The petition, which will be submitted with the AKC’s formal comments to the USDA, will demonstrate the immense number of people who are concerned about this issue, and direct comments will help educate on exactly how this proposal will impact responsible breeders, dog owners, and puppy buyers.
    AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide more information as it becomes available. For more information, visit AKC’s USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource Page. Further questions may be directed to AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

  • USDA/APHIS COUNTDOWN: ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT TO COMMENT

    Friday, July 06, 2012
    As previously reported, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed changes to federal breeder regulations that would categorize many small/hobby breeders as commercial breeders and subject them to unnecessary federal licensing, regulation and inspections. This proposed rule creates unreasonable hardships that could threaten the future of a vast number of responsible small hobby breeders and the very existence of some rare breeds.
    Under the proposed regulations, breeders who maintain more than four “breeding females” (this term is not defined) who sell even a single puppy to a purchaser who does not physically enter your facilities to observe the animals for sale would now be regulated in accordance with USDA standards. The unintended consequences these proposed regulations would include taking away the public’s opportunity to obtain puppies from small responsible breeders, who in many cases have dedicated their lives to breeding for health, breed type and temperament.
    WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    It is imperative that anyone who is concerned with this proposal and who has not already made comment to the Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS), the division of the USDA responsible for enforcing the federal Animal Welfare Act, to join with the AKC to express your concerns about these proposed regulations and the impact they could have on you and other responsible breeders. The deadline for submissions is July 16.
    You may share your concerns directly with USDA/APHIS directly by either:
    • Online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001.

    • Or via postal mail at:
    Docket No. APHIS–2011–0003
    Regulatory Analysis and Development
    PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8
    4700 River Road, Unit 118
    Riverdale, MD 20737–1238
    The AKC has also created the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition in response to the proposed rule. Our goal is to demonstrate to USDA/APHIS the solidarity among concerned citizens about the harsh and unintended consequences that the proposed regulations would have on responsible small and hobby breeders. Please join us by signing the petition before July 15, and encourage your friends to sign too! AKC will send the petition along with AKC’s official comments to the USDA.
    RESOURCES:
    • The AKC has created a USDA/APHIS REGULATIONS RESOURCE PAGE to help explain all aspects of the proposal. The page includes a Frequently Asked Questions section and additional resources.  Click here to go to RESOURCE PAGE: 

    http://www.akc.org/governmentrelations/usda_aphis.cfm

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

  • TEXAS REMINDER: LICENSED BREEDER LAW GOES INTO EFFECT ON SEPT. 1, 2012

    The Texas Dog or Cat Breeders Act, which was signed into law in 2011, will go into effect on September 1, 2012. Individuals who are required to come into compliance with the law include those:
    • Who possess 11 or more adult (6 months or older) intact female dogs or cats, and
    • Who are in the business of breeding those dogs or cats for direct or indirect sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and
    • Who sell, exchange, or offers to sell or exchange, at least 20 dogs or cats in a calendar year.
    Among its many provisions, the law includes breeder licensing, inspections of breeder facilities, and standards of care requirements. (See below for specific information on the new law/regulations.)
    The AKC Government Relations Department worked alongside numerous groups, including our state federation, dog clubs, fanciers, breeders, and other allied groups in addressing both the original legislation and the resulting regulations in a concerted effort to best protect the rights of responsible dog breeders. We understand that many may feel the new laws are flawed. Nevertheless, the AKC strongly urges compliance with all state and local regulations, regardless of concerns that may remain.
    Individuals who are required to get a license but do not may be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative penalties and sanctions.
    INFORMATION ON THE NEW LAWS
    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has created several online resources to help breeders understand the law and to encourage breeders to come into compliance. They include:
    • The Licensed Breeders laws may be viewed by going to: 

    http://www.tdlr.state.tx.us/bre/brelaw.htm

     
    • The administrative rules for licensed breeders may be viewed by going to:

    http://www.tdlr.state.tx.us/bre/brerules.htm

    • Forms for licensed breeders, including an application to obtain a license, may be accessed by going to:

    http://www.tdlr.state.tx.us/bre/breforms.htm

    • A Frequently Asked Questions page may be viewed by going to:

    http://www.tdlr.state.tx.us/bre/brefaq.htm

    NEXT STEPS FOR TEXAS BREEDERS
    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR) advises that breeders required to be licensed should send a completed application and fee to TDLR; provide a valid state sales tax ID number; list the name and address of each person applying for the license, or each controlling person; pass a criminal background check; and pass a pre-license inspection or, in the alternative, possess a Class A USDA breeder license.
    For more information, contact the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation at breeders@license.state.tx.us; the American Kennel Club Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or by email at doglaw@akc.org; or AKC’s Texas federation, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, at (210) 822-6763, or by email at rpoa@texas.net.

  • Sign AKC Petition to Protect Small Breeders!

    Join us in supporting responsible breeders and giving the American public access to acquiring happy, healthy puppies. The American Kennel Club has created the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) new proposed regulations which would create harsh and unintended consequences for responsible small and hobby breeders in this country.
    Under the proposed regulations, breeders or others who sell a puppy sight unseen, by any means including online, by mail or by telephone, would now be regulated in accordance with USDA standards, if you own more than four "breeding females" of any of the listed species, including dogs and cats. The effect of these proposed regulations would be to take away the public's opportunity to obtain puppies from those breeders, who in many cases have dedicated their lives to breeding for health, breed type and temperament.
    Please join us by signing the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition before July 16 when the public comment period to the Animal Care Division of the USDA's Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service ends. The petition, along with AKC's comments on the proposed rule change, will be sent to the USDA.
    How to Sign:
    1. Visit www.akc.org/petition and click "Sign Here Now!"
    2. Read through Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders and click the blue box titled "Sign the Petition."
    3. Complete the required fields — name, email, city and state. You can also leave a comment if you wish. We recommend you check the "Signature Display" box so that your name is displayed rather than an anonymous signature.
    4. After filling out those fields, click the blue "Sign" button.
    5. Once you are finished you'll have the option to share the petition via email, Facebook, Twitter and your blog. Please take a moment to share it with your fellow fanciers, club members, and friends who support responsible breeders.
    Thank you for your support.
    Please forward this email to your fellow fanciers, club members and friends who support responsible breeders.
    If you have any questions or comments regarding the petition or the proposed rule change, please contact our Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org
    Sincerely,

    Alan Kalter
    Chairman of the Board
    American Kennel Club

    Join us in supporting responsible breeders and giving the American public access to acquiring happy, healthy puppies. The American Kennel Club has created the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) new proposed regulations which would create harsh and unintended consequences for responsible small and hobby breeders in this country. Under the proposed regulations, breeders or others who sell a puppy sight unseen, by any means including online, by mail or by telephone, would now be regulated in accordance with USDA standards, if you own more than four "breeding females" of any of the listed species, including dogs and cats. The effect of these proposed regulations would be to take away the public's opportunity to obtain puppies from those breeders, who in many cases have dedicated their lives to breeding for health, breed type and temperament.Please join us by signing the Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders petition before July 16 when the public comment period to the Animal Care Division of the USDA's Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service ends. The petition, along with AKC's comments on the proposed rule change, will be sent to the USDA.How to Sign:
    1. Visit www.akc.org/petition and click "Sign Here Now!"
    2. Read through Join With the AKC to Protect Responsible Small Breeders and click the blue box titled "Sign the Petition."
    3. Complete the required fields — name, email, city and state. You can also leave a comment if you wish. We recommend you check the "Signature Display" box so that your name is displayed rather than an anonymous signature.
    4. After filling out those fields, click the blue "Sign" button.
    5. Once you are finished you'll have the option to share the petition via email, Facebook, Twitter and your blog. Please take a moment to share it with your fellow fanciers, club members, and friends who support responsible breeders.
    Thank you for your support.
    Please forward this email to your fellow fanciers, club members and friends who support responsible breeders.If you have any questions or comments regarding the petition or the proposed rule change, please contact our Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org

    Sincerely,
    Alan Kalter
    Alan Kalter
    Chairman of the Board
    American Kennel Club

  • CALL TO ACTION: Comment ASAP to oppose proposed USDA/APHIS retail pet seller rule change

    SAOVA friends,

    As you know by now, APHIS proposes to revise the definition of "retail pet store" to bring more pet animals sold at retail under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensing and regulations. APHIS plans to narrow the definition of retail pet store so that it means a PLACE OF BUSINESS OR RESIDENCE THAT EACH BUYER PHYSICALLY ENTERS in order to personally observe the animals available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the animals after purchase. Under the proposed rule no dog or other pet animal will be sold at retail WITHOUT either public or APHIS oversight. This is the critical point.

    WHAT WE KNOW

    - For decades pet sellers in the retail sector have enjoyed immunity from federal licensing under the definition of a retail pet store . Historically retail sellers were not licensed by the federal government due to the general ability of the public to provide their own scrutiny of pet sellers and government concerns such as duplicative efforts with state or local laws.

    - The proposed rule change has been circulated in the media and by HSUS as closing an Internet loophole in the AWA that will bring regulation to unscrupulous dog breeders who operate in substandard conditions. Far from it!! The broad scope of the proposed rule could bring hundreds of thousands of pet retailers and rescuers of domestic animals under federal regulation.

    - A breeder/seller of any species currently covered under the retail pet store definition can potentially lose their exemption and be required to obtain a federal license for even occasionally selling sight unseen via the Internet. Covered species includes dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, gophers, chinchilla, domestic ferrets, domestic farm animals, birds.

    - The proposed rule would require EVERY SINGLE BUYER to physically visit a retailer s premises. Therefore selling even one pet OFF PREMISES at a show, at a park, or arranged location without the buyer visiting first, will result in loss of an exemption from federal licensing. Rescue organizations are NOT exempt from this proposed rule. Selling pets at an adoption day event away from their base location or traveling to meet potential adopters would no longer be permitted without a federal license. This proposed requirement places undue limitations on buyers as well as sellers.

    - Living under USDA licensing is NOT an option for the average retail seller. Spare rooms in homes, porches, covered kennel runs, and barns can never be converted to a USDA-compliant facility. Federal engineered standards for licensed facilities dictate enclosure sizes, sanitation, surfaces that are impervious to moisture, ventilation, bio-hazard control, veterinary care, exercise, temperature controls, waste disposal systems, diurnal lighting, drainage systems, washrooms, perimeter fencing, as well as transportation standards for regulated animals. Most residential environments would not permit zoning variances for such facilities.

    - Exemptions from licensing are limited. Breeders of cats, dogs, and small exotic animals are currently exempt if they have 3 or fewer breeding females. APHIS proposes to increase this to 4 or fewer breeding females. However, either limit makes it very difficult to build a breeding program without constantly moving out or spaying older females to make room for the next generation. To have more than this number of breeding females requires a license.

    - There is still an exemption for sellers who derive less than $500 gross income from the sale of other animals (this does not include dogs, cats, and exotic or wild animals).

    - The massive expansion of regulatory responsibilities into the private sector outlined in the proposed rule is not only impractical but unaffordable for an agency that is currently addressing serious budget challenges. For the past several years, APHIS budget has been shrinking; since 2010 the budget has decreased by roughly 10 percent. The 2013 submitted budget calls for an additional decrease of 6.6%.

    ACTION REQUIRED

    OPPOSE adoption of this proposed rule. APHIS needs to hear most from those who are likely to be affected by the rule. Are you already licensed under local or state law and would federal regulation be a duplicate effort? Explain briefly how the rule will impose costs on your breeding program and activities and whether this will cause you to cease or limit your hobby or operations.

    Suggested comments are available at the SAOVA website http://saova.org/APHIS_comments.html and can be customized.

    Submit a separate comment for each point you wish to make in opposition to the rule. Comment period ends July 16, 2012.

    Post comments at the APHIS portal http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003-0001

    Send a copy of your comment to Congressman and reference Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003
    Directory of Representatives http://www.house.gov/representatives/
    Directory of Senators http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION can be found at PIJAC http://tinyurl.com/cq4qlmv and at the Cat Fanciers Association http://tinyurl.com/6ow8qug

    Susan Wolf
    Sportsmen s & Animal Owners Voting Alliance
    Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators
    saova@earthlink.nt


  • USDA to Release Breeder Requirements for Comment Next Week

    Early next week, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be releasing for public comment a new interpretation of portions of existing regulations for the federal Animal Welfare Act.
    In particular, two proposed changes may have a potentially significant impact on AKC breeders:
    • Current AWA regulations do not require licensing of “retail pet stores”. The newly proposed rule will significantly narrow the definition of retail pet stores so that: “Retail pet store means any outlet a place of business or residence that each buyer physically enters in order to personally observe the animals available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the animals after purchase …” .
    This rescinds the “retail pet store” status/protection for those who engage in internet sales. Breeders who engage in internet-only or other sales without allowing the buyer to personally observe the puppy ahead of purchase will be subject to current USDA commercial breeder licensing and inspections. However, breeders who sell pets to their customers face-to-face will now qualify as “retail pet stores” for the purpose of remaining exempt from USDA regulations.
    • The proposed new rule also increases the exception for regulation as a commercial breeder for those who maintain up to four breeding female dogs on their premises if person sells only the offspring born and raised on the premises for use as pets or exhibition (regardless of whether those animals are sold at retail or wholesale).
    The American Kennel Club will review the proposal, provide comment after fully analyzing the impacts of the proposed rule, and will report all developments as they warrant.

  • TDLR Posts Final TX Breeder Regulations and Response to Public Comments

    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has released the finalized regulations for licensed breeders in a new, easier to read format. They can be found on their website (listed below)  along with the Department’s response to some of the specific comments provided during the public comment period.

    The regulations themselves begin about halfway down the page. There are no substantive changes to the regulations from the document provided on March 30th although some sections have been re-worded or re-numbered.
    In response to numerous comments regarding exemptions for individuals dogs that are bred for a special purpose such as competitive events, the Commission has clarified that the exemption for such dogs will be self-executing, meaning that a breeder does not need to make a formal application to invoke the exemptions for those particular animals. However, the burden of proof resides with the owner of the dog and that “persons may provide whatever proof is available to them based on the unique circumstances under which they may find themselves”. For this reason, specific limited examples of some exemptions have been deleted from the finalized regulations to avoid confusion. The committee reserves the right to make determinations on a case-by-case basis. For more details see the General Public Comments preceding the finalized regulations.

    Breeders with specific questions about how these regulations may impact them are encouraged to contact TDLR directly as the AKC is prohibited from providing legal advice regarding these issues. AKC GR staff is pleased to provide general guidance about this legislation and will continue to update responsible dog owners and breeders as these issues develop.

    http://www.license.state.tx.us/bre/brejust.htm
  • Texas Breeder Regulations Finalized

    On Tuesday, March 27, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation capped a three-month long effort by adopting rules for dog and cat breeders required to be licensed by HB 1451, which was enacted by the Texas legislature in 2011.
    Major developments include:
    • Amending the definition of “wire or wire mesh” to clarify that only wire mesh floors (not walls or ceilings) are required to feature an appropriate protective coating.
    • Clarifying that the dog exemptions provided in Section 91.30 are automatic.
    • Affirming the removal of third-party inspectors.
    • Separating out-of-cycle inspections to two tiers. Tier 1 will apply to serious or repeated violations relating to sanitation or failing to timely remedy violations documented during periodic inspections, investigations, or commission orders; and will require two inspections per year. Tier 2 will apply to repeated or serious violations related to shelter, food, water, and medical treatment or examinations; and will require four inspections per year. Out-of-cycle inspection fees have been set at $150.
    • Changing the record retention requirement from five to two years.
    • Reducing original and renewal license fees – For licensees with 11-25 intact females, $300; for licensees with 26 or more intact females, $500. These fees include pre-license and regular inspections.
    • With the exception of certain additional standards required by HB 1451, setting operational standards to correlate with federal standards.
    • Clarifying that annual veterinary examinations of breeding dogs must be conducted in accordance with practices established under the Veterinarian Practices Act.
    • Reaffirming that surgical births and adult dog euthanizations must be performed by a veterinarian.
    The Commission also discussed several items that should be further discussed by its Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee in the future. They include enclosure flooring, stacking of enclosures, enclosure sizes, and husbandry procedures that may or may not have to be performed by a veterinarian. No timeframe was established for those discussions.
    The American Kennel Club appreciates the time and consideration spent by the Commission and the Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee in developing the regulations. AKC also strongly commends the many concerned responsible dog owners and breeders who participated in the rulemaking process and helped ensure that the initial rules did not become unnecessarily onerous.
    For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.


  • HB 1451 Update

    1. Next event – The Governor appointed seven-member Texas Commission governing TDLR will meet on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, 9:00 a.m., at TDLR’s offices—1106 Clayton Ln., Austin, Tx., 1st floor public meeting room. This will be a public hearing at which interested persons can submit comments.
    2. The recommendations from the Breeders Advisory Committee (BAC) agreed upon at the March 1, 2012 meeting will be compiled in a revised Rules draft, for consideration by the Commission at its March 27 meeting. That interim draft will be published on TDLR’s website, very close to the March 27, 2012 meeting, according to Brian Francis with TDLR. The Commission has discretion to adopt or reject all or any of the BAC’s recommendations. They will be taking public comment at this meeting and revising for final draft to be published in the Texas Register. This may be the last chance for our community to influence the Commission’s decisions on the rules implementing the Breeders’ Program which were published in Texas Register on February 20, 2012.
    3. TDLR Chair Frank Denton was excited about our turnout March 1st and was extremely complimentary of the way those of us attending conducted ourselves. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to attend the March 27th meeting to show our numbers and professionalism!
    4. Positive Highlights from the March 1st BAC meeting:
    • TDLR (not BAC) eliminated Pre-license inspection fee.
    • Inspection fees and right to assess additional Department “expenses” may also be eliminated.
    • The attempt to prohibit non-licensed breeders from acting as or representing themselves as “breeders” was rejected by the BAC. They recommended amending the proposed rules to permit breeders who were not required to apply for a license to continue to refer to themselves as “breeders,” provided they do not represent that they are “licensed breeders.” This is an important issue for all breeders, as HSUS’s objective is to prevent anyone who is not a licensed breeder from referring to themselves, or acting as, a breeder. Additional support/comments on this subject are required, as a THLN attorney intends to challenge the BAC’s positive recommendation.
    • Prohibiting unlicensed breeders from advertising was eliminated.
    • Definition of wire mesh for walls and ceiling was removed from Rules.
    • NO Third party Inspectors –TDLR has decided to use existing TDLR personnel (who already do 1100 inspections/each/year) for all inspections. FTE or PTE will perform inspections as needed. (Note that, per TDLR, an additional training program will still be required for its in-house inspectors regarding the Breeders’ Licensing Act provisions, pursuant to RFP.)
    • The requirement that the licensed breeder must provide all veterinarian recommended treatment was eliminated by vote of the BAC.
    • Temperature/ventilation requirement was changed to AVMA recommended language. Relative humidity and lighting still need clarification. The ARAs on the BAC continue to try and force ‘one size fits all’ & ‘as necessary’ decisions into the Rules regarding environment and other Rules.
    5. Still need feedback regarding “wire mesh floors”, cage size, cage stacking, tail docking, dew claws removal, and ear cropping. Many breeders are far more skilled at this than a lot of Vets as evidenced by results. Regarding Breed standards (kept by the registries – AKC, UKC, etc., but developed/maintained by breeders over hundreds of years), TDLR needs to hear from those expert ‘Breeders’ performing their own work in these manners.
    6. Tipster Rewards Program—according to Denton & Charles Johnson, atty. for TDLR, the tipster is protected by Attorney General informant privilege. Additionally, in that process, the TDLR inspector will become the ‘accuser’. This is supposedly modeled after ‘Crimestoppers’ and Texas Parks & Wildlife Rewards program. This needs additional legal scrutiny. The BAC’s discussion ignored the fact that adoption of this program is NOT statutorily required, as it is an optional provision. Additional comments are required to support our position that the additional cost to State of this program and potential for exposure of breeders to harassment and baseless complaints outweigh any benefits of adoption of this provision in the rules. Our position is that the tipster/reward program be eliminated from the Rules.
    7. Program Cost - Commission Chair Denton discussed the program cost issue at length and appeared to retreat from the TDLR’s initial “600 breeder” estimate. Denton indicated fees are too high/out of line and that the overall fee amounts would be lowered in a desire to attract more breeders to the program.
    The discussion made clear that they had no factual basis for their statement that revenues generated from licensing would cover program costs. At their request, the Licensed Breeder BAC members estimated that there could be as little as 25-30 or as many as 100 breeders who could be expected to apply for a license—significantly less than the original 600-breeder estimate.
    Commissioner stated that their objective was to spend less than the original $565,000 estimate on the program to reduce costs. However, he elsewhere in the discussion acknowledged that program administration has been so costly thus far that it is unlikely program costs would be recouped. He indicated that reliance upon “donations” (permitted by the proposed rule) would be necessary to fund the program. This is a critical issue for us, as it is HSUS’ stated intent to solicit “donations” to support program costs. Use of the “donation” provision is not statutorily required, as it is an optional program. Additional commentary and legal research is required to persuade the Commission to omit the “donation” provisions from the proposed rules.
    8. Grandfathering – No grandfather precedent exists in TDLR’s current regulations except for “PROPERTY RIGHTS” regarding Electricians and Architectural Barrier…needs further legal scrutiny.
    9. Vet Care – Lori Teller (veterinarian on BAC) insists it is current Texas State Law that Vets must do ‘hands on’ annual exams - said she called Exec Director of State Board. This should be verified.
    10. Special Purpose Dog Exemption – Kirby Brown from Texas Wildlife Association verbally ‘commented’ regarding concerns about erosion of the statutory exemption in the Rules. There were several other written comments submitted challenging the proposed rule’s attempt to erode the scope and applicability of the exemption. TDLR’s attorney commented that proof of exemption is included but not limited to what is listed in the Rules. He further stated that no initial affirmative proof of exempt status would be required by breeders claiming the exemption; such proof would be required only during inspections triggered by complaints. Additional challenge/commentary on this important issue is necessary, as the proposed rule weakens, if not undercuts, the legislative intent behind this broadly worded exemption.
    Discussion by both BAC members and TDLR attorney indicated misunderstanding of the terms of this exemption, which covers dogs bred primarily with intent for use in herding livestock, hunting, tracking, retrieving, competing in field trials, etc. In addition, the BAC recommended that the exemption should be applied equally to cats. They also appeared to presume that the exemption applied to (and protected) “show breeders” of dogs exhibited in conformation events. Unfortunately, it does not. However, we intend to lobby an amendment to cover show breeders in 2013. Much additional clarification, and advocacy, is needed on this issue.
    It is our observation that much of what has happened in this process is based not on expert experience and facts but on ‘as necessary’ opinions and emotional images conjured up by extremists—i.e., temperatures cannot vary below 45°F (Akitas/Huskys/sled dogs love it at 20°F!) or above 85°F. For example, apparently no consideration or attention was given to the fact that newborn puppies DIE at 85°F, and need to be kept at least at 95°F for several days until their bodies can regulate their own temperature. Obviously strong comment by our community is encouraged regarding medically justified temperature variations and other factual examples as to how the proposed rule standards can harm, rather than protect, our dogs and cats.
    We will keep you informed regarding status updates in this matter, including links to the amended rules and agenda for the March 27, 2012 Commission meeting, when they become available.
    We also will be following up with all Texas legislators who voted FOR HB 1451 to ascertain whether their vote was based on minimum USDA standards not being exceeded and to lobby support for our current position and for the prospective amendments we intend to seek in 2013, inclusive of a “show breeder” exemption.
    Legislative contacts are particularly interested in areas in which the proposed Commission rules may have exceeded the statutory requirements.

    Please pass this on to your club members and members of your community to encourage attendance at the March 27th meeting.

    Thank you again for your continued support in this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us with any questions or comments.

    Best regards,
    Martin Kralik mailto:mkralik@sbcglobal.net
    Pat McCaslin mccaslin@sbcglobal.net
    Anna Matthews annam2@sbcglobal.net


  • LICENSED DOG BREEDERS REGULATIONS NEAR COMPLETION

    Last week, the Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee met for over 10-and-a-half hours to discuss and recommend rules to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) that will apply to licensed dog and cat breeders. This is a result of legislation passed in 2011 that requires licensing and oversight of certain breeders in Texas. The American Kennel Club (AKC) appreciates the time, dedication, and professionalism offered by the committee while considering many different issues.
    The recent Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee meeting featured several important developments. They include:
    • The elimination of the pre-license inspection fee.

    • The declaration that TDLR will exclusively provide for inspection of licensees—no third party inspectors will be used.

    • Clarification that individuals not subject to the regulations may still consider themselves as “breeders.”

    • Clarification that requirements for wire mesh not apply to walls or ceilings of primary enclosures.

    • Providing a three-year period for “grandfathered” licensees to come into compliance with new enclosure size requirements.
    In preparation for TDLR’s March 27th meeting, a new draft of the rules that incorporate the most-recent recommended changes will soon be made available online. TDLR is expected to take action on the rules at that meeting.
    Individuals with questions on how the proposed rules may affect them are encouraged to contact TDLR at (800) 803-9202 (toll free in Texas) or at (512) 463-9468.
    NEXT STEPS
    TDLR will consider the recommendations of the Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee at its next meeting on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012. Public comment will be taken at the meeting in an effort to revise (if necessary) and approve the rules to meet its March 31st deadline. Concerned Texas dog breeders and owners are strongly encouraged to plan to attend that meeting and express any concerns with the proposed rules.
    The meeting will be held:
    9:00AM
    First Floor Meeting Room
    Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
    1106 Clayton Lane
    Austin, TX 78723
    The American Kennel Club will continue to monitor developments in Texas, and will provide further updates. For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org.

  • HB 1451 FIGHT!

    The AKC gave us a list of their Texas Breed Clubs so we could request your help. A few of us worked on a submittal opposing the implementation of the proposed Rules and Regulations TDLR wrote for 1451, The Dog and Cat Breeder Bill.. The period for comments ended 2/20/2012. March 1st there is a public hearing on the proposed Rules and Regulations. I believe the most important thing every dog lover and breeder can do is to go to the meeting this Thursday in Austin.

    I know this is short notice but its imperative that there is breeder attendance and comment against these rules. Here's a link with the location, time and agenda of the Public Hearing:

     http://www.license.state.tx.us/Agendas/AdvisoryBrdAgendas/breagenda030112.htm

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 – 9:30 a.m.
    North Campus Building, 1st Floor Public Meeting Room, Room 125E. 1106 Clayton Lane, Austin, Texas
    Public Comment is one of the first items on the agenda. Every dog lover and breeder should speak and oppose the rules. Let us know if you will be there. We can supply you with a list of questions and comments for your use.
    If you would like a copy of our submission let us know and it will be forwarded to you. Our submission has two sections, the first addresses the economic impact and the second speaks to issues with specific rules.
    We hope you and members of your club will get to Austin on Thursday. This is important to all breeders! Breeders need to speak up.

    Thank you,
    Martin Kralik
    mkralik@sbcglobal.net
    President: Lone Star Fox Terrier Club
    Pat McCaslin
    mccaslin@sbcglobal.net
    Secretary: DFW Toy Dog Club

  • One Week Left to Comment on Proposed Breeder Legislation

    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is accepting comment on the proposed regulations that will cover licensed dog breeders through Monday, February 20, 2012. The American Kennel Club remains deeply concerned with many aspects of the draft regulations. It is imperative that all responsible breeders and owners in Texas, including those who will not be subject to the regulations, submit specific comments on the proposal.

    For AKC Comments, paste link below in your browser: 

    http://www.akc.org/governmentrelations/documents/pdf/AKC_Comments_TDLR_Proposal.pdf

    Please submit comments to:
    Melissa Rinard, Legal Assistant
    General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
    P.O. Box 12157
    Austin, TX 78711
    FAX: (512) 475-3032
    E-MAIL: erule.comments@license.state.tx.us

    When drafting comments, please include a reference for the section number you are commenting on. Detailed, specific comments are the most likely to be utilized by the staff and advisory board. As always, please communicate using polite and respectful language. Below is a sample letter:

     

    Melissa Rinard, Legal Assistant
    General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
    P.O. Box 12157
    Austin, TX 78711

    Re: Concerns with Licensed Dog and Cat Breeder Proposed Regulations

    Dear Ms. Rinard:

    I am writing you today because I am concerned with some of the proposed rules for dog and cat breeders as developed by the Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). I respectfully request that TDLR address the concerns I outline below before adopting these rules.

    (Personalize here – tell about yourself as a dog owner, breeder, and/or fancier and enthusiast. How many years have you been involved with dogs? What breeds have you owned or shown? Do you compete with your dogs?

    Detail the steps you take when preparing to breed/whelp a litter – applicable health testing, evaluation of breeding stock, training, etc…How much money do you invest in these things? How do you work with puppy purchasers to ensure they will be responsible owners? Do you encourage CGC or obedience training? Do you remain in contact with the new owners or provide them literature about responsible pet care?

    How would the proposed rules affect you? Would you have to update facilities? Would these expenses cause you to shut down entirely? For reference, please use the section number of the proposed rule you are expressing concern for. To make it easy to understand for TDLR staff, please separate comments by the section they apply to.

    I strongly urge TDLR to address the concerns I highlighted above before adopting these rules.

    Sincerely,

    Your Name
    (Full Address)

    For more information, please contact the AKC Government Relations Department at doglaw@akc.org or (919) 816-3720; or our Texas federation, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at rpoa@texas.net or (210) 822-6763.


  • Licensed Breeder Regulations Cause Concern; Comment Now through Feb. 20!

    In January, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) published a draft of the proposed regulations for licensed dog breeders. The American Kennel Club appreciates the work of the Licensed Breeder Advisory Committee and the TDLR staff that worked together in drafting the proposed rules.
    AKC Government Relations Department has reviewed the proposal, and has concerns with many aspects of the proposal.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO:
    It remains vitally important that all responsible breeders and owners in Texas, including those who will not be subject to the regulations, submit specific comments on this proposal. Comments regarding this proposal will be accepted until February 20, 2012. Please submit comments to:
    Melissa Rinard, Legal Assistant
    General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
    P.O. Box 12157
    Austin, TX 78711
    Fax: (512) 475-3032
    E-mail: erule.comments@license.state.tx.us

    When drafting comments, please include a reference for the section number you are commenting on. Detailed, specific comments are the most likely to be utilized by the staff and advisory board. As always, please communicate using polite and respectful language.

    For more information, please contact the AKC Government Relations Department at doglaw@akc.org or (919) 816-3720. Our Texas federation, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, can be reached at rpoa@texas.net or (210) 822-6763.

  • Texas Draft Regulations Comment Period Now Open

    The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) published a new draft of the proposed regulations for licensed dog breeders. Public comments on this proposal will be accepted until February 20, 2012. It is VITAL that responsible breeders and owners submit specific comments on this proposal.

    http://www.license.state.tx.us/bre/Chapter%2091%20Proposed%20Rules.pdf

    Submit Comments to:
    Melissa Rinard, Legal Assistant
    General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
    P.O. Box 12157
    Austin, TX 78711
    Fax: (512) 475-3032
    Email: erule.comments@license.state.tx.us

    When drafting comments, please include a reference for the section number you are commenting on. Detailed, specific comments are the most likely to be utilized by the staff and advisory board. As always, please communicate using polite and respectful language.
    AKC Government Relations staff is reviewing these regulations and will provide specific comments to TDLR and to our constituents soon. AKC continues to have concerns about the vagueness of some sections and definitions, the high fees, and the costs to breeders to implement some of the rigid engineering standards required of the proposal.
    For more information, please contact the AKC Government Relations Department at doglaw@akc.org or 919-816-3720. Our Texas Federation, the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance can be reached at rpoa@texas.net or 210-822-6763.

  • Common Sense?

    So you like to take your pets/show animals with you in your vehicle and some really like to go.
    Now you not only have to worry about criminals breaking into your vehicle – authorities will too at the behest of ‘no-common-sense’ people – see the following story -

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/entertainment/pets/Couple-says-police-firefighters-went-too-far-in-dog-rescue-137063523.html

    $5000+ needless damage to a NEW 2 month old car for no good reason plus fines and possible jail time.
    OUTRAGEOUS!

    And tomorrow at 1:30, the City of Dallas is discussing outsourcing cruelty investigations and seizures to SPCA.
    http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/cso/pdf/meetings/asc-01-12.pdf

    What’s wrong with this?

    1. The seizure hearings are in JP court in Texas….Court of NO record. JP judges do not even have to be lawyers.
    2. The appeal bonds are unbelievable in cost if you want to appeal….chilling the ability for someone to keep their property.
    3. The animals on your residence….police powers to private organization? Private citizens required to open their home to other private citizens/organizations. We’re not talking breeders, businesses, etc. We’re talking any person that someone decides might be treating an animal cruelly.
    4. Conflict of interest. SPCA uses seizures as money makers….advertising for donations and selling animals within days after claiming they were neglected/abused.

    Just a few months ago the SPCA seized the Chows that were all healthy and in good condition. Their medical cards indicated the fecals were clear, no heartworms and correct weight.
    Remember 20/20’s expose on Garcia and SPCA in 2005? 20/20 went on a raid with Dallas SPCA. The cameraman was a vet. The animals seized were not in poor condition according to the vet. No vet with SPCA reviewed the dogs on intake. Instead the dogs were evaluated by a vet tech, and Garcia lied on camera.
    Yes, THAT SPCA…

    I would encourage you, if you are in Dallas or have interests there, please attend this meeting and/or contact your representatives, and oppose outsourcing to those who have and will abuse this power,
    And oppose the outrages going on in this city.


  • KACHING! The Hoax of the Animal Radicals Movement

    KACHING!
    The Hoax of the Animal Radicals Movement
    Dr. Al Grossman

    The ringing sound of the old fashioned cash register meant a sale had been
    made and that money was now in the till. Money, Money the mother's milk of
    politics as described by Jesse Unruh, a former speaker of the California
    Assembly when running for election against Ronald Regan.

    Let's face it, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) through their very
    professional fund raising campaigns has raised millions of dollars through
    misleading advertising and an appeal to save the poor darling puppies, seals
    etc. Would it come as a surprise to you that most of the money collected
    never found its way to help anyone but the administrators of the fund
    raising companies and the top brass of HSUS? HSUS is listed near the very
    bottom of charitable organizations that deliver monies to the actual
    recipients in need.

    It appears that HSUS main thrust at the present time is to work hand in
    glove with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to introduce
    legislation at the National, City, County, and State levels to destroy both
    the livestock industry and the breeding of Pure Bred Dog and Cats. According
    to a profile in a 2003 New Yorker magazine Ingrid Newkirk, the president of
    PETA, by her own claims, wants to destroy all pets. She claims to be
    responsible for euthanizing thousands of pets brought to a shelter where she
    worked in Washington, D.C. She explained "I would go to work early, before
    anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. I must have
    killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day." They weren't even
    given a chance to be adopted. She took them out because she felt she could
    give them what she felt they deserved. This is a woman now in a position to
    influence the lives of thousands of pets and who leads a horde of vengeance
    minded brain washed bleeding heart converts. She is interviewed on radio and
    television as though she is the avenging angel rather than a demented
    fraud.

    If this were a nurse killing off her patients because she thought it was for
    their own good, she would be serving a life sentence for murder. The State
    of Virginia is so disgusted with Newkirk and her organization and their
    killing of dogs and cats that they have introduced legislation to declare
    PETA a slaughterhouse. Debra J Saunders writing in the San Francisco
    Chronicle on June 23rd, 2005 tells us not to be fooled by the slick
    propaganda of PETA. The organization may claim to be champion the welfare of animals, as the many photos of cute puppies and kittens on its web site
    suggest.

    But recently two PETA employees were charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty, each after authorities found them dumping the dead bodies of 18 animals they had just picked up from a North Carolina Animal Shelter into a
    dumpster. According to the Associated Press 13 more dead animals were found in a van registered to PETA.

    The rise of HSUS and PETA has coincided with the economic boom. It allowed
    them to collect obscene amounts of money thus fulfilling the fantasies of
    Newkirk and Wayne Pacelle president of HSUS. Their thoughts must have been:
    "if we can collect all this money we must be on the right track so we can do what we want".

    The Center for Consumer Freedom, which represents the food industry, a frequent target of PETA campaigns, released data filed by PETA with the state of Virginia that shows PETA has killed more than 10,000 animals form 1998-2003. "In 2003, PETA euthanized over 85% of the animals it took in.," said a press release from the lobby, "finding adoptive homes for just 14%. By comparison the Norfolk (VA) SPCA found adoptive homes for 73% of its animals and Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent."

    Like other demagogies in our history like Father Coughlin, The Kingfish Huey
    Long in Louisiana, the John Birch Society, etc., they have had their day in
    the sun. Their biggest asset is the need for government entities to
    generate monies to balance their budgets. HSUS/PETA present them with the
    opportunity to raise money from the backs of dog and cat owners by onerous
    legislation designed by HSUS to rid the nation of all pets and convert us to
    being vegetarians as well. Legislators seeing $$ signs go along with HSUS
    lobbyists and think that this action will get them reelected.
    Far from it.
    The legislator in California who introduced and promoted AB 1634 for its
    passage was soundly defeated in his next election. The animal radical
    fanatics appeal to legislators is that they purport to be able to rally a
    large voting bloc. If they don't go along it's implied that the voting bloc
    can be turned against them. However, a poll taken by the Los Angeles Times
    indicated that over 80% of the people polled were solidly against the thrust
    of the anti dog/ cat legislation, which mandated spaying and neutering their
    pets. These poll results have been replicated elsewhere. In May 2009 the
    American Veterinary Medical Association also came out against the mandatory
    spay/neuter programs promoted by HSUS/PETA insisting that if it were to be
    done it should be done by private owners at their request.

    States and localities which earlier has passed such severe anti dog/cat
    legislation and which significantly raised the fees for owning such animals
    found that their costs for running such programs swelled far above the
    revenues produced and they were in the red. People rebelled by not licensing
    their dogs at the exorbitant fees spelled out in the legislation. Somehow
    word had not spread to the august bodies approving such legislation that
    their constituents were downsized, laid off, or forced into bankruptcy by
    the current economic situation. Talk about squeezing blood from a turnip.

    Adding insult to injury the Animal control officers have taken it upon
    themselves to use their newfound authority supposedly granted to them under
    legislation to harass and threaten people to seize their dogs or jail them
    if they did not comply. Somehow either the legislative bodies or their
    agents are not aware of the United States Constitution which, under the
    Fourth Amendment, "provides the right of people to be secure in their
    persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and
    seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon
    probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly
    describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be
    seized." The fifth amendment reads in part "nor shall any person be deprived
    of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private
    property be taken for public use, without just compensation ".

    Many of the raids upon unsuspecting owners and breeders seem to have HSUS members in attendance.
    They have no business directing the Animal Control officers in their duties. Many of the dogs seized are then sold with no recompense to the owner.

    Increasingly the agricultural industry, hunting enthusiasts and the dog/cat
    breeders have fought back against the onslaught of PETA and USHS. In many
    instances they have turned back legislation and in some cases competent
    counsel has been hired to fight such onerous legislation such as that passed
    by the city of Louisville. The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), a
    seventeen-year- old non-profit organization along with the American Kennel
    Club (AKC) and a host of other organizations has led the fight
    against the Animal Radicals.

    HSUS and PETA are not friends to pet owners, breeders or pet business of any kind, nor to reptile or bird owners, hunters, fisherman, pet stores, pet
    retail sellers, ANYONE in the pet trade regardless of what you are selling.

    The HSUS would like to stop the pet trade in its entirety because the HSUS
    doesn't believe animals should be owned much less used as a food product
    according to Pet DefenseWordpress.com .

    An important consequence of the current recession is that people are no
    longer contributing to charities and the likes of HSUS/PETA at the rate they
    did prior to the downturn in the economy. We see report after report that
    the giving well has dried up. Even churches have suffered. People no longer
    have disposable income to give to the likes of HSUS/PETA. These
    organizations now need to reevaluate their priorities. Can they afford to
    have as many lobbyists to help forward their legislative agendas? Can they
    afford to spend monies on costly solicitation campaigns that are bringing
    less and less money? Can they continue to afford costly newspaper ads in
    newspapers that have fewer subscribers and are in danger of going out of
    business themselves?

    The Animal Radical stalwarts might also want to be aware of what they wish
    for. The last times such activism won the day was when they banned alcohol
    consumption and the teaching of evolution. Those triumphs all turned out to
    be Pyrrhic. There are some successes that are simply not survivable.

    If by any combination of luck and coincidence HSUS/PETA succeeded in criminalizing the raising of dogs and cattle,
    it would swiftly become the victim of backlash that would make it rue the day.

    This would apply with redoubled force to any imitative that would make the United States trade its hard-won scientific prowess in favor of animal radical fanatics.

    Christopher Hitchens writing in the April 6th issue of Newsweek believes
    that this country is so constituted that no one group and certainly no one
    confessional group is able to dictate its own standards to the others. He
    states, "sometimes he wishes they would get their own way, just so that they
    would find out what would happen to them.

    HSUS/PETA are a danger to our way of life and a threat to the economic future of agriculture in this country.
    They are hell bent on eliminating raising dogs and cats for pets and want to
    convert all of us from meat eaters to vegetarians. Lord, I hate Broccoli,
    Spinach and Carrots.

  • Available for Rescue/Adoption Wire Fox Terrier

    Mansfield Animal Care and Control has available for rescue or adoption this Friday 1/6/12 a very young adult, male Fox Terrier who was brought into the shelter as a stray. He is in need of a groom and he will shine for anyone who pulls him. He is quiet and walks nice on the leash. Have no other information on him since he just got here.

    Please call Marilyn, Mansfield Animal Care and Control 817-276-4799

  • Foster Homes Needed for Rescue Fox Terriers!

    TX currently has only 2 volunteers, both in the Houston area. We desperately and quickly need more volunteers that can help with transportation, and most important, foster and placement support.

    Location is not important, but Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio are the high priority areas. Foster volunteers need to have Fox Terrier experience (almost all of the FTs we rescue are Wires) and be familiar with the breed, their needs and personalities.

    Fostering a Wire is typically a 1 to 3 month event (at the most) and will entail caring for the dog, and interviewing and selecting the best home for the dog. The current TX volunteers are happy to help with 'training' and support.

    If you're interested, please contact Catherine at cath@txaftr.com (serious inquiries and offers only please).

  • Federal PUPS Legislation Information Update

    The American Kennel Club and our Washington, D.C.-based advocacy team continue to closely monitor the federal Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) legislation introduced last spring as Senate Bill 707 (S.707) and House Bill 835 (H.R. 835). Each of the bills has been assigned to the Agriculture Committees of their respective chambers. To date, no hearings have been scheduled and no formal action has been taken on this bill.
    PUPS would purportedly require anyone who owns or co-owns dogs that produce 50 or more puppies offered for sale in a 12-month period to be regulated under existing USDA dog “dealer” regulations. These regulations are designed for high-volume commercial kennels that produce puppies for wholesale, and require a USDA commercial license, maintenance of specified commercial kennel engineering standards and regular inspections.
    The AKC does not oppose the general concept of reasonable regulations for high volume breeder/retailers. However, the PUPS bill is misleading because such regulations would hurt responsible small breeders who raise only a few litters of puppies each year in their homes, while also reducing the availability of resources needed to enforce against abusive or negligent operations.
    The AKC also has a number of serious concerns with the bill as introduced and does not support this measure. These concerns include:
    • Definition of “breeding female” as an intact female dog aged 4 months or older. This definition is misleading because female dogs are not sufficiently mature at 4 months of age to be bred. Additionally, such a definition should not be necessary if a “high volume retail breeder” is to be based on sales, rather than the number of dogs owned.

    • Definition of “high volume retail breeder” as someone with “an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs.” This definition is overly broad and does not take into account the tradition of co- and joint ownerships common among dog show participants, sporting dog trainers, hunting club members, and other hobbyists. Additionally, a reference to the number of dogs owned by a breeder is unnecessary and potentially misleading in legislation that does not limit ownership rights per se.

    • Current exercise language is overly vague and should be clarified to ensure that the daily exercise requirements do not preclude use of legitimate training or exercise equipment or other types of physical activity.

    • This legislation calls for exponentially expanding the numbers of breeders regulated and inspected by the Animal Care division of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). However, a May 2010 audit of this program by the USDA’s own Inspector General demonstrated that the existing inspections program is insufficient to carry out current responsibilities. The AKC believes these issues and full funding for the current program should be addressed before attempting to exponentially expand the program’s responsibilities and workload.
    AKC Government Relations and our Washington-based advocates will continue to closely monitor the activities of key members of Congress, policy committees, and their staff for any developments regarding PUPS. We are committed to keeping our constituents updated via email and the AKC website. Updated information about PUPS and other legislation is available online at http://www.akc.org/news/sections/legislative_alerts.cfm or by clicking on “US Fed” on AKC’s online legislative tracking system.
    The AKC encourages all responsible dog owners and breeders to stay active in your community as a role model for responsible dog ownership and breeding and to educate your legislators about potentially misleading legislation that could harm responsible dog owners and breeders.
    Although PUPS is not actively being considered in Congress at this time, we encourage responsible dog owners and breeders to share their concerns about this measure with their federal representatives. Use the following links to find out the names and contact information of your member of Congress and your Senators. For more information on effectively communicating with your legislators and other tools and information to help you, please visit the AKC Government Relations Toolbox and AKC GR newsletters links on the AKC Government Relations webpage.

    http://www.akc.org/pdfs/canine_legislation/position_statements/Responsible_Breeding_Practices.pdf

    http://www.akc.org/pdfs/canine_legislation/resp_breeding_practices.pdf

    http://www.akc.org/pdfs/canine_legislation/value.pdf

     

  • Responsible Pet Owners Alliance

    PR NEWSWIRE December 5, 2011 San Antonio, Texas

    SOURCE: Responsible Pet Owners Alliance

    “Animal Rights” Activists Aim to Eliminate All Dog and Cat Breeding in Texas.
    Their crosshairs are on purposeful breeding and sales of purebred dogs and cats in the U.S. as the “first step” of their extreme agenda.

    Under the guise of emotional rhetoric to eliminate “Puppymills,” Texas HB 1451 was pushed through the 2011 Texas Legislative Session by senior ranking members Rep. Senfronia Thompson and Senator John Whitmire and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry June 17. The bill mandates Texas dog and cat breeders with more than 10 Intact Female Animals (over 6 months) be licensed and comply with federal USDA regulations for minimum standards with requirements impossible to meet in a home environment. The newly appointed Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation’s Breeders License Committee is tasked with writing more rules with enforcement to begin September 1, 2012.

    Bill proponents Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Texas Humane Legislation Network and ASPCA held a joint Lobby Day at the Capitol last legislative session. For HSUS President Wayne Pacelle this is a national agenda to legislate pet ownership out of existence. He stated as much in May of 1993: “One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." HSUS operates no animal shelters and only 1% of their $126 million budget goes to local shelters. Texas Humane Legislation Network President Cile Holloway reminded members of their goal to “Get anything passed and come back later.”
    http://www.rpoatexasoutreach.org/Brochurs_Flyers/Flyer-PMQuotes-HSUS_THLN.pdf
    Senator Whitmire says he’s bringing HB 1451 back for the next Legislative Session.

    HB 1451 goes far beyond reasonable requirements for humane care and confinement of animals -- exceeding existing standards for city pounds, nonprofit animal shelters and veterinary clinics. The bill states: “The standards adopted must at a minimum meet federal regulations for humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation set forth in 9C.F.R. Part 3, Subpart A in the Animal Welfare Act.” HSUS failed to get a federal bill passed in 2005 to bring every dog and cat breeder in the US under the Animal Welfare Act and vowed to take their campaign to the states.

    Responsible Pet Owners Alliance, American Kennel Club, and many other animal welfare organizations opposed HB 1451 which authorizes third party inspectors’ warrantless entry to homes, unannounced inspections without owner on premises, criminal background checks, payment to “snitches” for anonymous information, excessive license fees to cover all administration and enforcement costs, public listing of breeder licensed facilities and more. Public listing of licensed breeders will undoubtedly lead to harassment from “animal rights” extremists who harbor a deep hatred for all dog and cat shows and hobby breeders.

  • Texas Breeders Advisory Board Meeting December 7, 2011

    The Advisory Board will hear reports from Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) staff and will appoint working groups to begin the process of drafting the implementing regulations for House Bill 1451, which passed in the 2011 legislative session.  The working groups are:

     

    1.  Work Group on Standards - tasks include reviewing all rules and matters related to the administration and enforcement of Chapter 91, including licensing fees, standards of care and confinements of animals.

    2.  Compliance Work Group - tasks include reviewing all rules related to compliance by licensees and persons engaged in dog or cat breeding.

    3.  Licensing, Registration and Training Work Group - tasks include reviewing all rules related to the licensing of breeders, and registration of inspectors.

    Meeting will be held Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 9:30 am.  North Campus Building, 1106 Clayton Lane, Austin, TX 78723.  Further questions or concerns can be directed to AKC Government Relations at 919.816.3720.

  • Responsible Pet Owners Alliance

    We are proud to be supporters of the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance. Below you will find their mission statement and a link to their website.

     

    “Our mission is to be the leading provider of information and assistance concerning animal welfare and related public health issues, taking whatever steps necessary to preserve our historic relationship with animals.”

    Visit the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance

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