Wednesday, April 25, 2012

AB 610 - letter to governor

The Honorable Jerry Brown
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 558-3160
April 25, 2012
 
Re: CA AB 610 (Solorio) Vehicles, specialized license plates. (as amended 3-21-2012) : OPPOSE. REQUEST FOR VETO.
  
Dear Governor Brown,
 
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
 
We know of no other special license plate program granted such an extension; and there is no clear path for the collection or distribution of any funds generated by this program.
 
While the bill author claims that a state of 'urgency' exists, there is no evidence to support such an assertion. Spay-neuter drives in California over the past 40 years have resulted in sharp declines in shelter numbers. Intakes are down by over 80% since the 1970s. Over 78% of all owned dogs and over 88% of all owned cats are already spayed or neutered (Source: American Pet Products Association 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey). According to Dr. John Hamil, past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, "If the animals in the shelter were due to 'overpopulation'; we would find desirable puppies available in shelters, there would be no market for internet and pet store puppies, there would be no need for shelters to import puppies and puppy smugglers and brokers would be out of business due to market saturation. There is, in fact, a shortage of healthy, well-bred and socialized puppies and kittens in California."
 
Many rescue groups right here in California import dogs from other states and even from other countries. The Helen Woodward Humane Society in San Diego imports dogs from Romania. "Dogs Without Borders" in Los Angeles imports dogs from Taiwan. The US Border Patrol estimates that over 10,000 dogs are smuggled into San Diego County each year from Mexico. Beagle rescue flew 41 dogs into Los Angeles from Spain last November. Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern California imports dogs from Taiwan on an ongoing basis. These are just a few of the more recent examples. Demand for dogs in our state far outstrips supply.
 
The claim of "urgency" is being falsely made for the sole purpose of raising funds for unspecified organizations.
 
CFoDC urges you to VETO CA AB 610.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
 
 
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary
California Federation of Dog Clubs
 

Monday, April 23, 2012

SB 1221 - hunting with hounds (letter)

California State Senate
Committee on Natural Resources and Water
State Capital, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-323-2232
 
Re: SB 1221 (Lieu) Hunting with hounds: OPPOSE.
Request to be listed as official opposition
 
April 20, 2012
 
Dear Senator Pavley and committee members,
 
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
 
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to SB 1221. The sponsors of this bill allege that the use of hounds is inhumane, unsporting and unfair.  Unfortunately, the information they use to support this bill comes from anti-hunting organizations that have no motivation to be truthful about the practice. 
 
Hunting with hounds is not only humane but a sensible and valuable tool for wildlife managment. Hound hunting is virtually the only form of non-consumptive hunting, and is very similar to catch-and-release fishing. It allows an animal's age and sex to be determined before any attempt to harvest is made. It also allows a houndsman to determine if a female is pregnant, nursing, or has offspring so that they can be left alive and well in the tree. The use of hounds allows for the timely and accurate resolution of incidents involving threats to public safety or livestock by identifying, locating, and taking only the offending animal. 
 
Not only is this bill unreasonable as a hunting and wildlife management measure, but it places the lives of our dogs in danger. Any dog felt to be a threat to a "big game mammal" can be captured and/or "dispatched" (i.e. KILLED) by game wardens, and the owner of the dog would have no recourse. We urge you to reject SB 1221.
                              
Sincerely yours,
 
 
 
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary,California Federation of Dog Clubs
 
CC: Fran Pavley, Doug LaMalfa, Anthony Cannella, Noreen Evans, Jean Fuller, Christine Kehoe, Alex Padilla, Joe Simitian, Lois Wolk
__._,_.___
 

Friday, April 20, 2012

SB 969 - Establishes a council to regulate grooming

California State Senate
Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development
State Capital, room 2053
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-324-0917
 
April 20, 2012
 
Re: CA SB 969 (Vargas). Pet Grooming. (As amended 4-18-2012): OPPOSE
Request to be listed as official opposition
 
Dear Senators,
 
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
 
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to SB 969. This bill would further strain the state's budget for a program regulating the bathing and brushing of pets. A costly new council will be created to oversee another bureaucratic agency. Groomers must complete 1300 combined hours of instruction and hand-on experience before they will be allowed the privilege of paying for a biennial certification, in order to bathe and brush pets. All grooming schools must be approved by this new board. An examination process must also be instituted, to include written exams as well as demonstrations. This is unnecessary and presumes that certification for grooming of animals should be on a par with provision of cosmetology services to humans. Costs for the taxpayers and for grooming customers will necessarily skyrocket in order to pay for the administration of this new certification program.
 
The proposed council would be composed primarily of individuals who know nothing about professional grooming practices. Only two of the members would be familiar with grooming. The council would prominently include animal rights proponents and animal rights activist lawyers (who are anti-animal ownership in general). All grooming programs and the certification examinations must be approved by the council, a group overwhelmingly unfamiliar with established grooming practices.
 
This bill would adversely affect dog show handlers, groomers and junior handlers under the age of 18, all of whom groom for financial compensation. AKC administers a nationwide Registered Professional Handlers program, which is voluntary. Professional handlers certainly should not need to also apply for state certification in order to claim they are professionally qualified to groom dogs, and indeed, AKC's RPH program itself is a voluntary program. Professional handlers who travel into California from other states may find themselves in a legal quandary under the terms of SB 969.
 
 
Grooming establishments already must comply with requirements for business licenses and are subject to consumer regulation by word of mouth. If groomers do a poor job, they go out of business. Our state can ill-afford a new program that provides no benefits to the citizens of the state beyond the functions of local Better Business Bureaus.
 
Incidentally, the exact type of pet covered by this bill is not specified; it could be any sort of pet from a hamster to a horse.
 
Please reject SB 969 so that the state's resources can instead be utilized for programs of genuine importance to our taxpayers and citizens.
 
 
Sincerely yours,
  
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary
California Federation of Dog Clubs
 
 
 
 
CC: Curren Price, Bill Emmerson, Ellen Corbett, Lou Correa, Ed Hernandez, Gloria Negrete McLeod, Tony Strickland, Juan Vargas, Mark Wyland

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Laguna Beach proposes to ban retail sale of pets

City of Laguna Beach
505 Forest Ave.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Fax 949-497-0771
April 17, 2012
Dear Mayor Eggly and City Council Members,

The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare, for promotion of responsible dog ownership and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. Among our current projects, we conduct breed identification workshops for shelter workers, we distribute a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provide a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. We support animal legislation that provides positive benefits to society.

The CFoDC is OPPOSED to bans on retail sales of pets, regardless of exemptions. It seems the intent of your ordinance is to eliminate anyone who breeds or sells animals with the intent to profit; as if the intent to sell well-bred, healthy animals as a profitable business is something to be ashamed of! In any event, California's Lockyer-Polanco act provides consumer protection for pets purchased in pet stores. This law provides no consumer protection for animals that come from shelters or rescues.

 Further, the premise in your "Summary" of April 6, includes a false supposition that "animal rescue shops……do not rely on commercial breeders as a source for dogs or cats."

In fact, it is impossible to know for sure exactly WHERE the animals in most shelters or rescues originated. These animals often come from unregulated sources such as casual home breeders, from unregulated foreign puppy mills or from groups who rescue "street strays" from outside the continental US, and a few may even originate in commercial breeding establishments. Rescue groups often obtain animals from "raids" of commercial breeding establishments so yes, they do rely on commercial breeders as a source for dogs or cats. A sales ban would only hurt legitimate businesses and responsible, regulated breeders, not substandard facilities.

Sales bans create a shortage of desirable pets, a black market for dogs and cats, and a rise in imports from other countries. And, replacing pets from licensed breeders with unregulated "rescue" animals is very unwise. Many "rescue" groups are already importing dogs from overseas to meet the demand for pets. This is happening right now in southern California! A rescue group in LA imports dogs and sells them for hundreds of dollars each. Per the "Dogs Without Borders" website: "We currently rescue most dogs from local shelters and strays, but sometimes we rescue dogs from as far away as Taiwan!....Some of the dogs you see on our site are not here in the States."

This practice is not only outrageous, but also is very irresponsible on the part of the shelters/rescues that participate. There are diseases and parasites in other countries which are transmitted from dog-to-dog or from dogs to humans which put the safety of our citizens and our dog population at great risk. In late 2004, the first case of canine rabies in Los Angeles County in 30 years was confirmed. The dog had recently come in from Mexico. Rabies is a fatal disease that still causes over 50,000 human deaths annually worldwide. 

Claims of high incidence of illness in pet store puppies are totally unsubstantiated. There is evidence that the pet industry provides more veterinary care for puppies than the public at large. DVM/VPI Insurance Group, the largest provider of animal health insurance, testified during a hearing in California that "preconceived notions" concerning pet store puppies "could not have been more wrong."

After insuring more than 89,000 pet store puppies and kittens and handling health claims from a pool of more than 500,000 insured animals, the insurance company reduced its premiums for pet store puppies and kittens substantially by as much as 22 percent compared to premiums charged for animals from other sources. Why? Pet store puppies receive more veterinary attention during the first 12 weeks of age than any other puppies and, as a result, have fewer claims.

Commercial breeders are a legitimate source for healthy, well-bred animals. Studies show pet store animals are generally very healthy. Shelter and rescued animals are a different matter, with unknown health, temperament, parasites and infectious diseases. We urge you to reject the proposed ordinance to prohibit the retail sale of puppies, dogs, kittens and cats.

Sincerely yours,
Geneva Coats, Secretary
California Federation of Dog Clubs

Cc: Jane Eggly, Verna Rollinger, Kelly Boyd, Elizabeth Pearson, Toni Iseman

__._,_.___

Friday, April 13, 2012

Huntington Beach considers ban on retail sales of dogs and cats

The City of Huntington Beach will consider a new ordinance banning the sales of dogs and cats in commercial establishments at their meeting on Monday, April 16th 2012. Please contact the mayor and city council members to express your opposition. CFoDC sent this letter. The fax for the City is included for your convenience. Email contacts are also available on the City's website: http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/elected_officials/city_council/
 
 
City of Huntington Beach
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Fax: 714-536-5233
 
April 13, 2012 
 
Dear Mayor Hansen and City Council Members,
 
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare, for promotion of responsible dog ownership and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. Among our current projects, we conduct breed identification workshops for shelter workers, we distribute a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provide a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. We support animal legislation that provides positive benefits to society.
 
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to retail sales bans on pets, and urges you to reject proposed ordinance #3938.
 
Research shows that less than 5% of shelter animals originate from pet stores, and that the vast majority of pet store customers are very happy with their pets. A sales ban would only hurt legitimate businesses and responsible, regulated breeders, not substandard facilities. 
 
Sales bans create a shortage of desirable pets, a black market for dogs and cats, and a rise in imports from other countries. And, replacing pets from licensed breeders with unregulated "rescue" animals is very unwise. Many "rescue" groups are already importing dogs from overseas to meet the demand for pets. This is happening right now in southern California! A rescue group in LA imports dogs and sells them for hundreds of dollars each. Per the "Dogs Without Borders" website: "We currently rescue most dogs from local shelters and strays, but sometimes we rescue dogs from as far away as Taiwan!....Some of the dogs you see on our site are not here in the States."
 
This practice is not only outrageous, but also is very irresponsible on the part of the shelters/rescues that participate. There are diseases and parasites in other countries which are transmitted from dog-to-dog or from dogs to humans which put the safety of our citizens and our dog population at great risk. In late 2004, the first case of canine rabies in Los Angeles County in 30 years was confirmed. The dog had recently come in from Mexico. Rabies is a fatal disease that still causes over 50,000 human deaths annually worldwide. 
 
Claims of high incidence of illness in pet store puppies are totally unsubstantiated. There is evidence that the pet industry provides more veterinary care for puppies than the public at large. DVM/VPI Insurance Group, the largest provider of animal health insurance, testified during a hearing in California that "preconceived notions" concerning pet store puppies "could not have been more wrong."
 
After insuring more than 89,000 pet store puppies and kittens and handling health claims from a pool of more than 500,000 insured animals, the insurance company reduced its premiums for pet store puppies and kittens substantially by as much as 22 percent compared to premiums charged for animals from other sources. Why? Pet store puppies receive more veterinary attention during the first 12 weeks of age than any other puppies and, as a result, have fewer claims.
 
Statistics collected over the past two years at the animal sanctuary "Heaven Can Wait" showed that fewer than 5 percent of shelter animals are from pet stores and no more than 1 percent or 2 percent are from professional breeders.
 
A ban on sales of commercially-bred pets is not necessary. Currently, most pet stores already do support rescue with adoption drives. 
 
Pet stores are a legitimate source for healthy, well-bred animals. Studies show pet store animals are generally very healthy. Unregulated strays are a different matter, with unknown health, temperament, parasites and infectious diseases. Banning sales of animals from licensed and inspected sources in pet stores will have many adverse unintended consequences harmful to public health and safety. We urge you to reject the proposed ban on retail sales of pets.
 
 
Sincerely yours,
 
 
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary, California Federation of Dog Clubs
 
 
CC: Don Hansen, Devin Dwyer, Connie Boardman, Keith Bohr, Joe Carchio, Matthew Harper, Joe Shaw

Legislative update

The legislative session is in full swing now. There are several bills of concern, that the California Federation of
Dog Clubs has already taken steps to address. News, updates and  copies of letters we have sent can be accessed on our blogsite:
 
 
This year we are dealing with the following:
 
SB 969 (Vargas) - Groomer/bather regulations. We OPPOSE as written. Would establish a new state council to issue biennial licenses which would be required for anyone who grooms or washes/brushes pets for compensation. No one under the age of 18 would qualify to obtain this license. Requires 300 hours of instruction and 1000 hours of hands-on experience for new licensees. Would adversely affect professional handlers. High schoolers who apprentice in grooming shops may be affected. Hearing April 23 in the Senate Business Professions and Economic Development Committee. The author is amending the bill. There will be a capwiz tool available to us from NAIA once the bill alterations are made public.
 
SB 1145 (Emmerson) - Increased fines and penalties for animal fighting. Neutral. We are watching this one at this point. Fines and penalties for animal offenses seem plenty high enough already.
  
SB 1221 (Lieu/Steinberg) outlaws hunting with hounds. Sponsored by the HSUS. Would prohobit a person from allowing a dog to pursue any big game animal. Allows the capture or killing of such dogs. We OPPOSE. Hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on April 24th.
 
SB 1229 (Pavley) - Real Property: rentals: animals. Would prohibit a landlord from requiring debarking or declawing as a condition of rental. CFODC is neutral at this time, believing a landlord shoud be able to set the rules for their property. In Senate Judiciary Committee.
 
SB 1500 (Lieu) - Liens on animals. We OPPOSE. This bill removes some protections for accused offenders and enables state or private seizing agencies to remove ownership rights to seized animals, even if the defendent is acquitted of charges or charges are dropped. In Senate Public Safety Committee, hearing April 17th.
  
AB 610 (Solorio) Spay/Neuter license plate fund. Amended 3-21-12.  We have OPPOSED this since last session, initially due to inflammatory rhetoric about "overpopulation"  contained in the text of the bill, (which has since been removed) but now primarily due to concerns about the disbursement of the funds that would be collected from such a program. No fund recipient or method is specified. Judie Mancuso, an advocate for statewide mandatory spay/neuter, is the primary proponent of the bill and the director of a non-profit animal group that advocates for MSN. This group might eventually benefit from the funding. Passed by Senate yesterday, and returned to the assembly for concurrence of amendments.
 
AB 1279 (Fletcher) - Animal Shelter terminology.  Changes, for example, from "pound' to "shelter" and from "destroy" to "euthanize". Watching at this time, to see if there will be amendments. In the Senate. 
 
AB 1839 (Ma) - Veterinary assistants - Would require fingerprinting and background checks for vet assistants, presumably for animal abuse offenses. In Assembly Appropriations committee. No hearing date yet. CFoDC is watching.
 
AB 1939 (Pan) Seller reporting of puppy sales and puppy licensing. Sponsored by Concerned Dog Owners of California. We (CFODC) OPPOSE this bill and have contacted the assembly local government committee with a letter of opposition. The hearing will be Wednesday, April 25th.
 
AB 2148 (Hayashi) - Guide Dogs reclaimed by agency. CFoDC supports at this time, although these agencies can already reclaim their dogs under current law. Ideally, contracts between the parties involved should specify all terms of the arrangement rather than more laws being passed. In the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection committee.
 
AB 2194 (Pan) - humane officers criminal background checks. Neutral. Watching. In the Assembly Public Safety Committee, hearing April 17th.
  
AB 2304 (Garrick) - Cosmetic Tooth Cleaning. Neutral. Would require written permission from owners for groomer to do nonmedical dental cleaning. Keeping an eye on this one. In Assembly Business Professions and Consumer Protection committee, hearing on 4-17.
 
AB 2444 (Portantino) - Amends definition of Grand theft to include when property "is taken as a result of an agreement or prior arrangement to
take and the taking is made in concert with one or more other individuals." CFoDC is neutral. In Assembly Public Safety Committee.
 
AB 2536 (Butler) - Stray Animal, Ownership - establishes a "finders, keepers" rule for lost dogs. Finders must report the stray dog to animal control but may keep in their custody and can obtain ownership after 14 day. We are OPPOSED. It is difficult enough for owners to reclaim their lost or stray dog without having 3rd parties involved. This bill would encourage animal theft. In Assembly Agriculture and Judiciary at this time.
 
AB 2540 (Gatto) - Would add tax to pet spa services and grooming services of $50 or more. CFODC OPPOSES. Hearing April 23rd in the Assembly Revenues and Taxation Committee.
 
County of Ventura has a Breed-specific mandatory spay neuter proposal for "pit bulls" as does the city of Upland.
 
And finally, the city of Los Angeles is proposing a ban on the sale of dogs, cats and even rabbits (!) in pet stores. The proposal would only allow sales by licensed "rescues" in pet stores. We are opposed to retail sales bans of animals.
 
Those clubs and individuals who have not yet joined or renewed their membership for 2012, we urge you to do so at this time so that we can advocate more effectively for you. Our membership form is available here: 
 
 
Thank you for your support, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have local news and information or suggestions for us.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Officers and Board of Directors
California Federation of Dog Clubs
 
 
 ****A Message from the California Federation of Dog Clubs***permission to crosspost and forward****
 
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OPPOSE AB 1939 - puppy sales reporting and licensing

Assembly Local Government Committee
1020 N Street, Room 157
Sacramento, California 95814
916.319.3959 fax
 
April 6, 2012
 
Re: CA AB 1939 (Pan) Dog licensing: issuance: puppy licenses: OPPOSE.
 
Dear Committee Members,
 
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare, for promotion of responsible dog ownership and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. Among our current projects, we conduct breed identification workshops for shelter workers, we distribute a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provide a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. We support animal legislation that provides positive benefits to society.
 
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to AB 1939. This bill mandates reporting of pet sales to the local licensing agency by pet stores, breeders and rescues. AB 1939 also contains provisions for puppy licensing. There will be additional license levels and confusion with the puppy provisions. In addition, differential license fees based on age or reproductive status unreasonably penalize responsible owners of intact, mature animals.
 
Currently, most veterinarians are already required to report any dogs vaccinated for rabies to licensing authorities. The reporting requirement is duplicative, and creates another bureaucratic layer in animal control with increased costs to local governments. Additionally, there is no justification for a puppy too young for rabies vaccination to be licensed. The sole original purpose for dog licensing was to protect public health through canine rabies vaccination.
 
 
Current law requires a pet owner to obtain a dog license. AB 1121 would improperly transfer responsibility to sellers. Licensing is ultimately the legal and moral responsibility of the dog owner, not the seller.
 
Rescue groups currently operate on limited budgets and rely on unpaid volunteers.  The burdensome recordkeeping and reporting requirements contained in AB 1939 would seriously compromise the activities of rescue organizations. Fewer animals will be rescued from local shelters, and local governments will find their animal control budget swelling as they will need to house and feed more animals for extended stays.
 
Only puppies who are microchipped qualify for the puppy discount license; however, microchipping is a stand-alone measure to facilitate return to owner in case of a lost dog. A license does not provide any additional benefits to the microchipped dog. Microchip information is registered with independent agencies and does not need be tracked by government. Reporting of private matters such as animal owner or microchip data will only foster further distrust of government and result in decreased compliance. 
 
The license fee discount is only applicable up to the age of one year. Owners in certain areas (such as  heavily populated Los Angeles), will discover only too late that they will face mandatory, unnecessary and costly sterilization surgery, or else pay an exorbitant intact license fee for their dog once the puppy license expires (currently $335 yearly per dog in the City of Los Angeles). This will cause an increase in shelter relinquishments by those with limited financial means.
 
Bearing in mind that our state has the worst budget crisis in history, it seems ludicrous that we would now prioritize precious resources to implement additional bureaucratic red tape in the tracking of dogs. More money will be needed to ensure compliance; money for advertising, money for tracking and paperwork, and money for more employees needed for enforcement. This will only add to the city/county budget woes.
 
 
 
We urge you to reject AB 1939.
 
Sincerely yours,
 
 
 
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary
California Federation of Dog Clubs
 
Cc: Cameron Smyth, Luis A. Alejo, Steven Bradford, Nora Campos, Mike Davis, Richard S. Gordon, Ben Hueso, Steve Knight, Chris Norby.
 

Oppose - SB 1500

California State Senate
Committee on Public Safety
State Capital, room 2031
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
April 10, 2012
 
Re: CA SB 1500 (Lieu). Animal "protection" OPPOSE
 
Honorable Senators,
 
The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers, distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt from shelters, and provides a 1-800 help line for pet owners struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation which positively benefits society.
 
The CFoDC is OPPOSED to SB 1500. This bill would allow for unprecedented abuse by agencies empowered with animal seizure authority. Public or private animal agencies would be granted the status of judge, jury and executioner in cases related to animals. Animal owners will be subject to capricious deprivation of their constitutional right to maintain ownership of their property. Even animal owners who are acquitted of the charges against them may be denied the return of their animal, depending on the whim of the seizing agency. We can bet that agents who have already decided that animals need to be removed from an owner's care will not be willing to return those animals even in the case of subsequent dismissal or acquittal.
 
This bill further declares that the owner or keeper is not entitled to an administrative postseizure hearing with the seizing agency. It expands on the unconstitutional tenets of last session's AB 1117 (Smyth), which requires "additional showings" for animal owners to retrieve animals that were unjustly seized. 
 
These assaults on ownership rights are being incrementally presented by the radical animal rights group, the Humane Society of the US, which is an avowed anti-hunting, anti-farming, and anti-animal ownership group. The California Federation of Dog Clubs, as a grassroots group dedicated to preserving the human-animal bond in our state, finds such proposals a blatant affront to the principles of due process in justice and protection of individual rights upon which our country was founded. We urge you to reject SB 1500.
 
Sincerely yours,
.
 
Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary, California Federation of Dog Clubs
 
CC: Loni Hancock, Joel Anderson, Ron Calderon, Tom Harman, Carol Liu, Curren Price, Darrell Steinberg

Oppose SB 1221 - Hunting with Hounds

Authored by Ted Lieu and Darrell Steinberg (both senators frequently present HSUS-sponsored legislation), SB 1221 is currently held in the California Senate Natural Resources and Water committee. This bill is a senseless anti-hunting measure that preys upon a public misperception of hound hunting as being "cruel". The below article dispels that cruelty myth, and explains why hunting with hounds is both humane and a sensible and valuable tool for wildlife managment.



Not only is this bill unreasonable as a hunting and wildlife managment measure, but it places the very lives of our dogs in danger. Any dog felt to be a threat to a "big game mammal" can be captured and/or "dispatched" (i.e. KILLED) by game wardens, and the owner of the dog would have no recourse.


The hearing for this bill will be on April 24th. You can easily contact your senator (if (s)he is a member of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee) by using this convenient Capwiz tool from NAIA:


http://capwiz.com/naiatrust/issues/alert/?alertid=61134801&queueid=8145961451


U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance


801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229


Ph. 614/888-4868 • Fax 614/888-0326


Website: www.ussportsmen.org • E-mail: info@ussportsmen.org






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mike Faw (614) 888-4868 x 214


April 3, 2012 Sharon Hayden (614) 888-4868 x 226






The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is working with California Houndsmen for Conservation (CHC) and others to defeat California Senate Bill 1221, which would ban bear and bobcat hunting with hounds. In this article, CHC president, Josh Brones provides the truth about hound hunting:


What's Right about Hunting with Hounds


Senate Bill 1221 would ban the use of hounds to hunt bobcats and bears in California. The sponsors of SB 1221 allege that the use of hounds is inhumane, unsporting and unfair. Unfortunately, the information they use to support this bill comes from anti-hunting organizations that have no motivation to be truthful about the practice.


I have raised, trained, and hunted with hounds since 1986, and I believe it is critically important for legislators, the media, and the public to hear from people who actually hunt with hounds in order to truly understand and appreciate the many aspects of this time-honored tradition.


Here are 10 facts about hound hunting:


1. Hound hunting has been legal since the inception of the California Department of Fish and Game, and is relied upon to help meet management goals. The Department's own environmental impact documents consistently indicate that the use of dogs and radio telemetry collars does not threaten the survival or prosperity of our bear population. In fact, California's bear population has nearly quadrupled over the past thirty years...all while the use of hounds has been permitted.


2. Hound hunting is virtually the only form of non-consumptive hunting, and is very similar to catch-and-release fishing. The ultimate goal of using hounds is not the harvest of wildlife, but the enjoyment gained in training, listening to, and interacting with the dogs during the pursuit. As such, hound hunters often take fewer animals than is prescribed by the Department on an annual basis.


3. Hound hunting is a highly effective form of wildlife management. It allows an animal's age and sex to be determined before any attempt to harvest is made. It also allows a houndsman to determine if a female is pregnant, nursing, or has offspring so that they can be left alive and well in the tree.


4. If a hunter would like to take the animal for food, the close range of the treed bear allows the hunter to ensure that the harvest of the animal is very quick and humane.


5. Radio telemetry equipment is used to promote the welfare of the hound and does so primarily when the dog is no longer pursuing the bear. The equipment does not enhance the hound's ability to catch up to the bear, nor does it hinder the bear's ability to evade the hound...it simply allows the hunter to find his hound in deep canyons or mountainous terrain, or prevent the hound from entering into private property or upon highways. The use of radio telemetry would only be unfair if the radio telemetry collar was put on the bear, but clearly, that is not the case.


6. The use of hounds is a primary means of facilitating wildlife research. In fact, hounds are used in all California mountain lion studies currently being conducted. This is due to the fact that the use of hounds is an effective, stress-free, and minimally invasive way of capturing mountain lions so as to collect samples and fit them with radio telemetry and GPS collars.


7. The use of hounds is one of the most fundamental forms of hunting and can be boiled down to the houndsman, the dog, and the animal they are pursuing. The relationship between bears and hounds can be traced back to the origins of both species. The bear may decide to climb a tree, but it does so only because the instincts and physiology developed from its ancestors' interaction with the hound's ancestor motivates it to; this interaction is not stressful or harmful to the bear, and many bears fall asleep in the tree while they wait for the houndsman to come get their dogs so that the bear can go about its business.


8. The use of hounds for the hunting of bear and bobcat requires specially bred dogs, a tremendous amount of time and training for the hound and hunter, and an extensive amount of dedication and sacrifice on the part of the hunter. It is not a lifestyle to be entered into without an abundance of deliberation, nor is it an activity that is easy or without challenge. Any success with hounds must come as the result of countless generations of careful breeding of the hound and a lifetime spent learning about hounds and wildlife on the part of the hunter.


9. Our hounds are very much like family. In addition to the culmination of effort and money that they represent, the time we spend with them and the memories we share forge a bond that is very difficult to describe. The relationship between hounds and their hunters is similar to that of a parent and their child because we are often there when they are born, we name them, we raise them, we remember all of their milestones during their growth, we beam with pride when they have done well, we worry about them if they are lost, and we cry like babies when they pass on.


10. The use of hounds allows for the timely and accurate resolution of incidents involving threats to public safety or livestock by identifying, locating, and taking only the offending animal.


(Editor's Note) Go to www.ussportsmen.org for more information on what's really behind Senate Bill 1221 and what you can do to help.


About USSA: The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance's watchdog efforts protect hunters' rights and the interests of anglers, trappers and recreational shooters in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress, and through many public education programs. The USSA has more than 170,000 registered Sentries that regularly receive information about conservation issues, and then they actively work to promote and protect scientific conservation through calls and contacts.


For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and the Sentry program, call (614) 888-4868 or visit: www.ussportsmen.org.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Goleta approves spay/neuter ordinance


Goleta approves spay/neuter ordinance


The Goleta City Council approved an ordinance to require pet owners to get their animals spayed or neutered unless they get a veterinarian's approval to own an "unaltered" pet.
To control the population of stray animals, Santa Barbara County adopted an ordinance in 2009 to require animals older than six months to be spayed or neutered unless the owner receives certification from a veterinarian.
Since the county handles Goleta's animal control services, the city's ordinance is designed to align with the county's. Assistant city attorney Mohammed Hill stressed that the ordinance is geared towards making more responsible pet owners, not sterilizing animals within the city limits.
"This isn't a requirement to spay or neuter your animal," Hill said. "This is a requirement to have discussions with a veterinarian."
Under the ordinance, owners that do not want to spay or neuter their animals can obtain an Unaltered Animal License if they meet certain requirements and get a veterinarian to sign off on their knowledge of what having an unaltered pet entails.
Apart from a veterinarian's blessing, the owner cannot have had the animal impounded more than two times within the last year. Dog owners may also get denied if their dog attacked or injured someone.
There are a few minor differences between city and county ordinances, most having to do with the scope of authority. The city has no exemptions for certain agriculture parcels given that there are no such eligible parcels in the city.
Goleta also changed language to ensure veterinarians have the right amount of latitude in signing off on an owner's Unaltered Animal License.
Both forbid anyone convicted in California of crimes against animals or domestic violence from holding a permit for an unaltered animal, but due to resource constraints, the city doesn't have a background check.
This caused Council member Roger Aceves to cast the lone dissenting vote. While Aceves approved of the spirit of the ordinance, he felt confining the convictions to California only didn't make sense.
"I agree with the ordinance but to limit this to California and not specify what the crimes are is not good," Aceves said.
The other council members opted to keep the county's language.