Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ventura County, CA: Breed-specific MSN proposal


Ventura County, CA: Breed-specific MSN proposal to be discussed, Jan 26

Back in August 2011, Ventura County Animal Services director Monica Nolan said she would introduce an ordinance to mandate spay/neuter for all "pit bulls" in the county. A draft proposal will be brought forward for discussion and direction at the next meeting of the Animal Regulation Commission.
The Animal Regulation Commission will meet on January 26 at 9:00 AM at the Camarillo Animal Shelter, 600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, CA. Click here for the current agenda: http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page/portal/animalreg/AnimalRegulationCommission/
The mandatory "pit bull" spay/neuter proposal is item 4.
Item 5, a discussion about how to reduce shelter killing, increase adoptions, and achieve no-kill status, is another important topic that may affect the commission's decisions about the BS-MSN proposal.
If you are local to Ventura County, please attend this meeting and show your opposition to breed-specific laws. Remember, breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter (BS-MSN) is breed-specific, and is as flawed, unequal, costly, and subjective as any other law that is based on what a dog "looks like."
These were the members of the Animal Regulation Commission as of May 2011. Many of the members are councilmembers of the cities within Ventura County. We do not know where they stand on BS-MSN, so please be respectful when you correspond with them.
Kevin Kildee, council@ci.camarillo.ca.us
Brian Sipes, loansbyBrian@msn.com
Janice Parvin, JParvin@ci.moorpark.ca.us
Carlon Strobel, Strobel@ci.ojai.ca.us
Dr. Irene G. Pinkard, Irene.pinkard@ci.oxnard.ca.us
Jonathan Sharkey, Jon@sharkey.com
Rick Cook, calwestrickcook@verizon.net
Barbra Williamson, simivalleygal@sbcglobal.net
James Monahan, jmonahan@ci.ventura.ca.us
The BS-MSN proposal has not been publicized in the news media for six months, the animal commission hasn't met for seven months, and the online meeting agenda is difficult to find if you don't know where to look (or have no reason to look). Due to the lack of official action on this issue since last summer, StopBSL had removed Ventura County from the BSL watchlist.
We sincerely appreciate the contribution of an anonymous site visitor who alerted us to this new meeting information! Ventura County is another case where we are extremely grateful for locals who are able to get us necessary details that we would not get elsewhere.
All alerts for Ventura County: http://stopbsl.com/?s=ventura+county

Monday, January 23, 2012

CA SB 969 - licensing for groomers

As written, this bill raises serious concerns for professional show groomers/handlers, or for anyone who may provide grooming services for others. Criminal penalties are proposed, including fines and jail time. Whatever you do, don't hire the neighborhood kids to wash your dog. Leave it to our state legislators to fret over dog grooming, while ignoring our budget deficit, crime, declining infrastructure, and businesses fleeing the state in droves. This sort of legislation explains WHY we find so many businesses leaving California. From the legislative analysis:
"This bill would require any person engaged in pet grooming to be licensed and regulated by the Veterinary Medical Board. The bill would establish the requirements necessary to obtain a license as a pet groomer and set forth the duties and obligations of a licensee as a pet groomer, as specified. The bill would set forth the duties of the board with regard to the regulation of pet groomers and require the board to adopt a fee schedule that would apply to licensees and pet grooming schools. The bill would set forth standards for discipline and authorize the board to impose administrative penalties for a violation of these provisions. The bill would provide that a violation of these provisions is a crime, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program."
From the LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/01/senator-wants-pet-groomers-licensed-by-state-california.html
Pet groomers would have to get a license from the state, pay fees and meet new standards under legislation introduced after a Terrier-mix allegedly was injured at a Riverside County grooming business. Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) has introduced "Lucy’s Law," named after a dog that he said suffered eye and leg injuries after her owner left her at a groomer in Palm Springs. During the grooming process, five of the dog's nipples accidentally were shaved off, according to David Martin, the animal's owner. "Something has to be done about this," Martin said. "Dog groomers don’t have to have any training to be groomers." SB 969 would make it a crime for a groomer to operate in California without getting a license from the state Veterinary Medical Board. Vargas is still developing the requirements that would have to be met to get a license, standards for disciplinary action by the board, and his bill would leave it to the board to set the fee.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Spay/Neuter License Plate Program

CA AB 610 was amended yesterday and sent to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing. CFoDC continues to oppose this bill.
AB 610 establishes a special low pre-order threshold for the startup of the proposed spay/neuter license plate program. These are the license plates designed by Judie Mancuso's buddy Pierce Brosnan. (We think the artwork is hideous, and the message is questionable, but that is neither here nor there).
For any special license plate program, 7500 orders must be received by the DMV to initiate a startup of the production process. This bill proposes to allow production of spay-neuter license plates with a lowered order threshold of just 3500. Any profits made from the sale of the license plates (once production costs are recovered) are to go to the sponsoring agency. NOT to the DMV as the sponsors have erroneously claimed in the past.
The license plate program is being sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Board. Judy Mancuso, a vegan animal extremist, is currently is a member of the California Veterinary Medical Board. She is also the leader of the group "Social Compassion in Legislation". "Social Compassion" was founded by Judie Mancuso and PETA employee Jane Garrison. Both these women are radical animal activists. Social Compassion claims to support spay-neuter programs, but in reality, the expenditures as reported on Social Compassion's tax returns prove that most of the income ends up being used to lobby for mandatory spay and neuter legislation. Very little funding from this group supports actual spay-neuter programs.
We believe it is unethical for a state board to sponsor such a for-profit license plate program. There are constitutional concerns involved here, as well as the apparent conflict of interest in having the veterinary medical board sponsor a bill that promotes a specific veterinary for-profit procedure.
This bill in it's original form garnered complaints from animal welfare advocates because it contained inaccurate and highly inflammatory language about the pet population in our state. Thanks to the public outcry, the inflammatory and false statements have now been removed. The amended bill contains tightened criteria, such as higher required numbers of orders and shortened deadlines for action, which thankfully makes this special license plate program a bit less likely to succeed.
The bill analysis further claims:
In order to ensure that the pilot program for a specialized
license plate becomes operative as soon as possible to allow the
Veterinary Medical Board to support the critically important efforts
of city and county animal shelters to address serious animal care and
control problems facing the state, it is necessary that this act go
into effect immediately.
"Serious animal control problems in our state"? We now have the lowest shelter rates in history! And we achieved this success without coercive legislation that forces individuals to alter their pets against their will. 
The exact disbursement of the funds collected from this license plate program remains vague, and the use of the money is unspecified.
"the board shall expend all funds
received under this section exclusively for projects and programs
that support
city and county animal shelters, including, but
not limited to,
spaying and neutering programs

and adoption programs

From the current amended form of the bill, it is obvious that the profits from this program will NOT support government shelters directly, but could very possibly be instead siphoned into Judie Mancuso's "Social Compassion" bank account. Instead of funding spay-neuter surgery programs, the profits from the spay-neuter license plate fund will most likely be used for SC's ongoing lobbying efforts to push compulsory (and mostly still unfunded) spay-neuter ordinances throughout the state.
Mandatory spay-neuter has been one of the most hotly-contested issues in our state's history, with thousands of dog and cat owners protesting in Sacramento, and many thousands more calling and writing their state legislators in protest. Mandatory spay/neuter is a  proven failure and results in highter shelter intakes and deaths everywhere it has been tried. We must be assured that the profits from any license plate program will go to actual, hands-on spay/neuter surgery programs, and NOT for lobbying for regressive spay/neuter laws.
We urge the defeat of AB 610.
If it isn't bad enough to have state agencies infiltrated by animal extremists, we now have links from official state website to outside websites such as "Social Compassion", featuring radical animal rights projects. And now, our government officials are even promoting artwork and messages from animal rights extremists on our DMV license plates.
Remember, these extremists are NOT the 99%. They are the 1%.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brian Pease, AR activist, running for La Jolla City Council

Bryan Pease, animal rights activist, to run against incumbent Sherri Lightner for District 1 City Council Seat

By Dave Schwab
Attorney and animal rights activist Bryan Pease, best known for his ongoing fight to get the rope barrier at La Jolla's Children's Pool separating humans from seals up year-round, is holding a press conference Thursday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. at the steps of City Hall downtown to announce he will oppose incumbent Sherri Lightner in the First District Council race.....
Asked by the Light whether he is a one-issue candidate or whether his candidancy is a publicity stunt, Pease answered, "The seals have gotten a lot of coverage and that gives me a lot of name recognition and that helps make me a viable candidate.
<more at link>

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Petition the White House to investigate the HSUS

Please visit the official White House petition site and register, and SIGN this petition for the HSUS to be investigated for excessive lobbying.

Use this link:

At the *very bottom* of the screen on the right-hand side, you'll see sign in/create account.  Click. 

If you haven't used We the People before, you will need to create an account.  It will ask for your first and last name and your zip.  Your last name will NOT be shown on the petition site.

Then you'll have to verify the little curly numbers in the box.  If you can't read them, click on the arrow to get another challenge box (might be easier to read), or click on the little megaphone for an audio challenge.  Type in what you see or hear. 

Click on Register.

Wait a minute or two then check your email.  You should receive a confirmation link from the petition site.  Click the link.  YOU ARE NOT DONE YET.  You must click on "sign petition".  You should get a little acknowledgement box once you have signed.

It takes a bit of effort but well worth it to help preserve our rights as dog owners. Don't give up!! And share the link and the instructions please!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Alameda animal shelter turned over to non-profit group

Alameda animal shelter turned over to non-profit group
ALAMEDA, Calif. —
The city of Alameda announced Wednesday that it would be handing over the reins of the Alameda Animal Shelter to a group of volunteers working to keep the shelter open.
City officials planned to turn over the keys to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, who would operate the shelter from the on, at an 11 a.m. news conference.
The city proposed shuttering the shelter, located at 1590 Fortmann Way, in June to help close a $7.5 million budget deficit. At that time, the shelter was operated by the Police Department, which needed to cut $1.3 million from its budget.
But after the group petitioned the city to find a way to keep the shelter open, the City Council agreed to a deal in which the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter would receive $300,000 annually to run the shelter for the next 15 years.
The group agreed to pay $1 in rent to the city annually, and after 15 years their lease can be extended.
The $300,000 was expected to go toward hiring several staff members, including the shelter's new executive director, Mim Carlson, who joins the Alameda Animal Shelter after serving as executive director at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society.
In addition, Tina Aedo, the shelter's current volunteer coordinator and rescue liaison, was hired to manage day-to-day operations. In total, five full-time and two part-time employees would be hired.
Two part-time animal control officers will remain employed at the shelter as well, at a cost of $80,000 per year.
Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter interim executive director Tom Cushing called the arrangement a "classic win-win-win agreement that saves the city money, keeps the shelter local, and ensures the animals continue to receive excellent care."
The group said the deal saves the city money in salaries, since nonprofit employees are typically paid about two-thirds of a public employee's salary.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Concerned about Pet Store Sales

We've been posting our invitation to join the CFoDC on various internet dog chat lists. Yesterday, we received this letter:

Dear CFoDC,

Saw your invitation to join the California Federation of Dog Clubs and looking over your post, one of the members asked me the following questions and I had no answer.  Perhaps you can.  You wrote:

"We've also been busy opposing the pet store sales bans in Los Angeles, Glendale and Irvine."

Why would you oppose the ban on pet shop sales?  One would think you'd support such a ban. 
Yours truly,

"Concerned Dog Breeder in California"

Dear "Concerned":

A more interesting question might be why one would think we should support such a ban? 

Two reasons spring to mind.

 (1) You believe that there is an overpopulation of pets, and that the breeding for sale of dogs and cats contributes to this overpopulation, or

(2) You believe that the dogs sold in pet stores (or their parents) are mistreated. 

We know that both (1) and (2) are essentially false. 

The myth of pet overpopulation (1) has been thoroughly debunked. For more info on that:

As for (2), dog breeding, transportation and sale are heavily regulated -- at the federal level, by the Animal Welfare Act, and at the state level by the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act (H&S Code, Sec. 122045, et seq.), Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act (H&S Code, Sec. 122125, et seq.) and the animal cruelty statutes (Penal Code Sec. 597, et seq.).  As a result, purchasers at pet shops can determine the history of the dogs offered for sale and be assured of the standards of care in which the pet was bred, raised and sold. Violators of these laws are subject to civil and criminal penalties. 

Given the protection and disclosure required for the sale of dogs in pet shops, why would we support a ban on pet shop sales?

Our policy states: "CFODC believes all breeders bear a responsibility to assure that those who purchase their animals understand and are capable of carrying out their responsibilities as pet owners. We further recommend and support education of the public to avoid impulse buying of dogs and to encourage the purchase of dogs from responsible breeders. CFODC opposes legislation that bans sales of animals."

We believe that education, not legislation, is ultimately the most effective weapon against impulse buying. While we believe the wisest choice is to purchase a dog or cat directly from an ethical hobby breeder, some people choose to obtain a pet from a pet store. Others may select a pet from a shelter or rescue group.

Sales bans usually exempt animals obtained from "rescues" and shelters. Such bans create an artificial market for "rescued" dogs, to be filled by black market suppliers who breed underground or outside the continental US.

We further believe that laws and policies that ban the sales of purposely-bred dogs send an extremely negative message about dog breeding. We would be foolish to perpetuate such negative stereotypes and misperceptions.

Mom-and-pop pet stores find it difficult to compete with the Pet Smarts and the PetCos, and even more difficult to compete without the ability to sell pets. We know that these days it is difficult for any business to remain afloat. We have even seen organized protests, threats and intimidation used against businesses selling pets. This type of activity is in violation of the Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act. There's also a section in the California Penal Code (Section 602.1) that makes it unlawful for any person to intentionally interfere with any lawful business by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on the business or their customers.

Isn't it ironic that anyone would consider banning the sales of pets, yet no one is suggesting that we ban the sale of pet foods containing toxic ingredients that have killed these same pets? What has happened to our priorities? Are we allowing the animal extremist groups like HSUS and PETA determine what our priorities should be?  Seems we have become a nation bent upon controlling every action of our citizens.

When perfectly legal possessions like pets are legislated into contraband items comparable to street drugs, we have to wonder where it will all end. Pet extinction, perhaps?

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." 

Sign the petition for HSUS to be investigated!!

Important! Take a moment to SIGN THE PETITION!
We have 1000 signatures at We The People, the official White House site! We need at least 25,000 signatures to elicit a response from the Obama administration. Keep it going! 
Do it right now! Do your part to help stop the HSUS! And thanks!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Federal PUPS Legislation Information Update

From: "AKC's Government Relations Department" &lt;mba@akc.org&gt;
Date: January 3, 2012 1:27:56 PM PST
Subject: Federal PUPS Legislation Information Update
January 3, 2012
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.

DOGS Alert CA AB 485-Pet Store Rescue Monopoly

CA AB 485 to be heard in Committee June 26 CA AB 485 heads to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee to be ...