Monday, January 12, 2009

URGENT:All Dog Clubs and Owners BSL TEXAS CA Residents: MSN Riverside County CA

I cannot stress the importance of unity among ALL dog owners, breeders, and dog clubs when it comes to standing up to BAD laws.  No matter where we live, we will all eventually be faced with laws that will threaten our choices in the breeds of dogs we may own, when or if to spay or neuter, both of which often deny us of our RIGHT to due process under law.

The following alert is from the Texas Responsible Pet Owners Alliance and they need help from dog clubs, training clubs, registries, parent clubs, etc from ALL of us.  Please take a moment, and if you are your club's Legislative Liaison or an officer in a club duly authorized to do so, JOIN onto the brief being filed with the Texas Attorney General...
Please EMAIL Zandra Anderson  if your organization is willing to help !!!


From RPOA Texas Outreach and
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
"Animal welfare, not animal 'rights'
and, yes, there is a difference."
Permission granted to crosspost.

January 12, 2009

Urgent request from Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA)


In late November Greg Abbott, Texas attorney general, wrote a letter to
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance in regard to his office issuing an opinion on
whether existing state law prohibiting breed specific legislation applies
"only" to dogs already declared dangerous or whether it prohibits
"any" ordinance specific to one breed of dog in Texas.

This opinion was requested by Rep. Tony Goolsby who is no longer in office.
RPOA was asked by the attorney general's office if we wanted to submit a
brief and has hired Zandra Anderson, Houston attorney, to do this for us.

We immediately contacted all our friends on the national level and others who
helped us at the state legislature during the last session regarding the
Dangerous Dog Law to ask if they would submit a brief also. RPOA requested an
extension of the deadline due to the holidays and received an extension until
January 20th.

There's no time to contact everyone again individually so please see that
your state or national club has either already submitted a brief or would they
like to take advantage of a new opportunity to sign on to the RPOA brief being
prepared by Zandra for RPOA -- much less time consuming! Zandra says no
signatures are needed.

Zandra needs an email saying it is okay to add your group and only needs:

1. Name of group
2. Name of person with group
3. Title of person (e.g. pres, founder, officer, legislative liaison, etc.)
Zandra needs this information BY JANUARY 15TH in order to meet the deadline set
by the AG's office. We're seeking the support of all registries' kennel clubs, breed clubs or performance event clubs, rescues, search & rescue teams, therapy groups, etc.

This must be a unified effort to preserve our right to own the dog breed of our
choice. I'm sure you're aware that breed specific legislation in other
areas now encompasses more and more dog breeds. Texas Municipal League and
Texas cities individually are urging legislators to change state law during
every legislative session to allow breed specific legislation. We need your

RPOA Texas Outreach (501 C4)
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (501 C3)
900 NE Loop 410 #311-D
San Antonio, TX 78209


Attend the Board of Supervisors Meeting January 13th

9 am, Tuesday January 13th
Board Chambers
4080 Lemon Street
Riverside, CA 92501

Monday, January 12, 2009]

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing tomorrow morning at 9 am to discuss an ordinance that would require the spaying/neutering of any dog or cat for even a minor violation of the animal control ordinance and would force pet owners to microchip all their animals and register the microchips with the county. It is vital that responsible dog owners and breeders attend the hearing to oppose this measure.

Provisions of the Proposed Ordinance

Requires that all dogs and cats be spayed or neutered unless the owner has purchased an intact animal license. Current law requires owners to license their pets and mandates that the license fee for an intact animal be twice that for a sterilized animal. This will not change under the new ordinance. However, keeping that license would become much tougher.

Any animal that is picked up at-large will be required to be spayed/neutered prior to being returned to the owner. Any violation of the animal control ordinance can trigger a requirement that the animal(s) be sterilized. A few of the examples used in the ordinance include failure to posses a current rabies vaccination, failure to license, leash law violations, animals left unattended in a car and failure to provide adequate care.

A dog would have to be spayed/neutered if there are 2 complaints, verified by the department that the dog has run at-large, or the owner is found to be neglectful. (AKC staff is concerned at the vagueness of this language. It does not appear to require that the owners be cited for the alleged violations or that the owner is convicted of animal cruelty charges.)

If an owner has one intact license revoked, they can have all their intact licenses revoked. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume if one dog was picked up at-large and sterilized, then all dogs owned by this person would be required to be sterilized.

There is no exemption for dogs picked up at-large that do not reside in Riverside County. If a fancier were in town for an event and their dog somehow got loose, it would only be returned after being spayed/neutered.

Requires that any advertisement for the sale of an unaltered dog or cat include the intact license number for that animal. Since animals are not required to be licensed until they are 4 months old, it is unclear how this would impact the sale of puppies younger than four months.

Requires that all dogs and cats be implanted with a microchip and that the microchip be registered with the county. Exemptions are provided if a veterinarian states in writing that it is dangerous to the animals health or would negatively impact the animal’s athletic abilities. Animals that are kenneled or trained in Riverside, but whose owners do not live in the jurisdiction are not required to implant microchips.

This ordinance would require the sterilization of any animal that was picked up by animal control, even on a first offense. This is unreasonable as even responsible owners can have an animal escape due to a mistake by a meter reader, gardener, friend or relative leaving a gate open. We agree that steps should be taken to address owners who habitually allow their animals to run at-large, but such a severe response is not justified by a single incident.

This issue is one of utmost importance to those who participate in our dog shows and events. In 2008, almost 14,000 responsible dog owners participated in 75 AKC-approved events held in Riverside County. When you take into account what these participants spend on hotel rooms, gasoline, food, souvenirs and entertainment, the revenue generated by these events is easily over $7 million annually. Clubs will be reluctant to hold events in an area where an escaped dog would be sterilized on a first offense. Passage of a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance in Riverside County would send a clear message that AKC events are not welcome in the community.

The AKC opposes the concept of mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the right of responsible breeders and owners. Mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue—irresponsible ownership. These laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners who won’t licensing their pets. This proposed ordinance will unfairly punish responsible owners who are already complying with local animal control laws, while irresponsible owners continue to make problems for the community and local shelters.

The American Kennel Club also opposes mandatory microchipping. As part of our ongoing efforts to promote responsible dog ownership, the AKC encourages dog owners to properly identify their pets. We believe, however, that the final decision about identification—whether by collar, tattoo or microchip—should be made by the owner, not the government.

What You Can Do    Please click the "what you can do" link for addresses of supervisors and telephone numbers.

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