We are going to take a lesson from the ARs and do what they do: FLOOD the lawmakers with phone calls, faxes, emails, and if you are able to attend, with our BODIES! The ARs are well united in their cause and therefore are successful with lawmakers. We can do the same. The only people who are going to save our dogs and our rights is US. There is no white knight on a steed, no calvary. We can do this, but time is of the essence and the bills before us require a unified, do-it-or-die effort!
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10, 1:00 pm central time, The Illinois Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee is scheduled to hear SB139, a bill that will make ear cropping and tail docking in Illinois a Class 3 Felony Animal Torture charge. The only exemption is for "medical reasons"...not for show dogs, not for breed standards. This bill will severely impact dog clubs in the state holding events under AKC auspices. It is imperative to call, fax, or email EACH of the Senate committe members and OPPOSE this bill. Call the senators below urge them to OPPOSE SB139! Start first thing in the morning: get together with friends and have a phone-a-thon party. Put those rollover minutes to good use!
Senator Michael W. Frerichs (D, 52)
Springfield:(217) 782-2507 / (217) 355-5255 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator A. J. Wilhelmi (D, 43)
Springfield:(217) 782-8800 / 217-782-3213 FAX email@example.com
Senator Deanna Demuzio (D, 49)
Springfield:(217) 782-8206 / (217) 854-5311 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Linda Holmes (D, 42)
Springfield:217) 782-0422 / (217) 782-2115 FAX Senatorholmes42@gmail.com
Senator Toi W. Hutchinson (D, 40)
Springfield:(217) 782-7419 / 217-782-2115 FAX
Senator David Koehler (D, 46)
Springfield:(217) 782-8250 / (217) 782-3213 FAX email@example.com
Senator John O. Jones (R, 54)
Springfield:(217) 782-0471 / (217) 782-4079 FAX firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Tim Bivins (R, 45)
Springfield:(217) 782-0180 / 217-782-9586 FAX email@example.com
Senator Gary G. Dahl (R, 38)
Springfield:(217) 782-3840 / 217-782-4079 FAX
A person convicted of violating this Act would be guilty of a Class 3 Felony, and conviction considered equivalent to a conviction for animal torture!
Currently docking and cropping is fully legal in Illinois.
Additional information on the ramifications of this bill:
According to the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA), should these docking or cropping procedures require medical justification, the determination as to whether “medical purpose” is applicable should be made by a veterinarian in consultation with their client, without interference from the government;
According to the ISVMA, as currently performed in veterinary practices, these procedures do not meet the bill’s current definition for “torture” (i.e., “infliction or subjection to extreme physical pain, motivated by intent to increase of prolong the pain, suffering, or agony of the animal”);
According to the ISVMA, the Humane Care for Animals Act is not the appropriate place to regulate practice of veterinary medicine, as provided for in 225 ILCS 115/, when the practice is in accordance with commonly accepted veterinary practices. In the event of a dispute, the Illinois Veterinary Licensing and Disciplinary Board should determine what constitutes a commonly accepted veterinary practice;
It provides no provision for preventive measures of cropping/docking to be performed by veterinarians when the dog is a puppy, not even for breeds used in their traditional roles. It only allows for crop/dock for “medical reasons” after the adult dog is injured. Therefore, it does not provide for the humane care of dogs, especially for traditionally docked working and hunting breeds which often incur serious and painful tail injures while performing their work as adults. Such tail injuries often result in tail amputation for the dog, a much more risky and painful surgical procedure for the animal and costly for its owner. When such an injury happens in an adult dog, the dog often must be removed from a working environment for many weeks or even months to allow the tail to heal whether or not it is amputated.
An AKC regulation prohibits classes containing cropped dogs in a state where the practice is illegal - so these breeds might not be able to be shown under AKC auspices in IL should this pass, nor can cropped dogs be entered in any AKC event in that state. (Subject to interpretation of the actual law if passed.) This would devastate all AKC dog shows and performance events due to the large numbers of cropped breeds in the AKC!
Since docked or cropped rescue dogs would carry no proof of the procedure having been performed legally under this law, any owner of such a dog would risk being charged with “Animal Torture” under this law, and subsequent conviction of a felony. Such risk to the owner would result in the euthanasia of many docked and cropped rescue dogs in this state. (Conviction of an animal related felony offense in Illinois places severe restrictions on that person's future ability to own and breed dogs in the State; convicted felons under State law cannot own an intact dog in Illinois for 10 years after release from incarceration!)
Docking a tail on a puppy at the usual 3 – 5 day old age at which it is done can be safely perform by an experienced breeder under the advice of a veterinarian
The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association is OPPOSED to this bill!
You can see a full text of this bill here:
The HSUS Hits Chicago with Mandatory Spay/Neuter
The following urgent alert is from the AKC. Please click here for sample letters you can email or fax your OPPOSITION. Chicago residents take action NOW!
URGENT: Chicago City Council Committee to Vote on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Ordinance March 12th!
[Monday, March 09, 2009]
The Chicago City Council Joint Committee on Finance and License & Consumer Protection will hear a proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance at their meeting this Thursday, March 12th, 2009. It is vital that
responsible dog owners and breeders attend the hearing to oppose this measure.
The ordinance will require that all dogs or cats over the age of six months be spayed or neutered unless they qualify for one of the following exemptions:
* A licensed veterinarian certifies that the animal’s health would best be served by spaying/neutering after a specified date, or that due to age or poor health it is unsafe to sterilize the animal at this time.
* The dog or cat is of a breed approved by and registered with a registry or association recognized by the commission on animal care and control whose programs and practices are consistent with the humane
treatment of animals, and the dogs or cats are kept for the purposes of showing or competing in legitimate shows or competitions hosted by or under the approval of the recognized registry or association (It is unclear how this would affect animals that are older than 6 months who are not yet ready to compete or be shown.).
* The dog has earned, or is actively being trained for and is in the process of earning an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working or other title from an approved registry or association (It is unclear how an owner would prove that an animal is “being trained”).
* Dogs or cats having a valid breeding permit.
* Dogs or cats whose owners hold a valid animal care facility license.
* The dog is trained or is in the process of being trained as a service dog.
* The dog is trained or in the process of being trained and is actively used by law enforcement agencies or the military.
* The dog is owned by a guard dog service.
The proposal will also establish a $100 breeding permit, require breeders to submit to a criminal background check and establish the following restrictions:
* Prohibits the breeding of female dogs and cats more than once a year unless they receive special permission.
* Prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens before eight weeks of age.
* Requires breeders to provide veterinary and vaccination records to all puppy and kitten purchasers.
* Requires that the breeding permit number be displayed in any advertisement offering puppies or kittens for sale.
What You Can Do
Attend the meeting City Council Joint Committee on Finance and License & Consumer Protection. The details are as follows:
Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Chicago City Hall, 2nd Floor
121 North La Salle Street
* Chicago residents, send a letter to the Alderman who represents your district. Go to the link above for a sample letter. Remember that this letter must be personalized and you need to include your full name and
mailing address so you will be recognized as a constituent. To find out who represents you, please click here.
* Fanciers who have traveled to Chicago to attend dog events, please personalize this sample letter(from the AKC link provided above) and send it to the authors, Aldermen Burke and Rugai as well as to Alderman Schulter, Chair of the Committee on Licensing and Consumer Protection.
* Club Officers, please have your club author a letter opposing this ordinance and send it to the Aldermen listed below. A sample letter to personalize can be found here. (same link as above)
Contact Information for the Aldermen Burke, Rugai and Schulter
Alderman Edward Burke Chair, Committee on Finance
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 302
Chicago, IL 60602
FAX: (312) 744-1955
Alderman Virginia Rugai
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 300
Chicago, IL 60602
FAX: 773- 238-9049
Alderman Eugene Schulter
121 N. LaSalle St., Room 300
Chicago, IL 60602
For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.