Saturday, April 11, 2009

S.O.S KILL The HSUS Bills Phone-AThon Tennessee

There are some nasty HSUS backed bills in Tennessee that need to die.  So, on Monday, April 13, 2009, get ready to CALL, FAX, or at the very least email the committee members (as well as your own rep) to send the strong unified message that we are OPPOSED to these bills.  The ARs do this all the time...They stage call-in days and bombard the lawmakers with calls/faxes.  WE must do the same!
Please forward this post to any individual, group/club, groomer, pet sitter, breeder, dog owner, anyone that can lend a few minutes to send these H$U$ bills to their grave!

Animal Forfeiture Bill, HB 0626, will be heard Tuesday, April 14, before the House Calendar and Rules Committee   Bill Summary:  In animal cruelty prosecutions, if a defendant is ordered to post court security to pay for expenses of caring for the animal, s/he currently has 15 business days to come up with the money. If s/he can't do that the ownership rights are lost. This bill will change the time limit to 72 hours, which is very little time considering that the person will also need to find money for an attorney and bail, and the amount of money required for the security is likely to be considerable.

The bill will also remove the following wording" However, if the person from whom the animal was seized is not the owner of the animal and the person has not posted the court-ordered security within fifteen (15) days, the court shall order the governmental animal control agency or the humane society to make all reasonable efforts to determine who the owner of the animal is and to notify the owner of the pending proceeding. No animal shall be deemed to have been abandoned and forfeited to the governmental animal control agency or humane society until reasonable attempts to determine and notify the owner have been made."

This wording gives rightful owners an opportunity to reclaim pets that have been stolen or otherwise ended up in the hands of an (alleged) animal abuser.

The take home message here is that both of the above-mentioned changes will make it easier or more likely for an innocent person to lose his/her animals. They also could result in overzealous prosecution and/or abuse of process. More information concerning the problems with asset forfeiture programs can be found here: .
Innocent people DO get accused of animal abuse, and, unless they are wealthy, they will almost certainly lose their animals and go bankrupt while defending themselves. As our legal system is based on "innocent until proven guilty," it would be better to have the person reimburse the costs if and only if found guilty.
HOUSE CALENDAR AND RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS: (please contact each member and ask them to OPPOSE this bill.  The phone/fax numbers are for their Nashville offices)
Chair: Rep. Bill Dunn
R-Knoxville, District 16 - Part of Knox Cty: Phone (615) 741-1721 Fax (615) 253-0276
Vice-Chair: Rep. Larry Turner
D-Memphis District 85 - Part of Shelby Cty:  Phone (615) 741-6954 Fax (615) 741-3144  
Secretary: Rep. Matthew Hill
R-Jonesborough District 7 - Part of Washington Cty: Phone: 615-741-2251
Members:  Rep. Joe Armstrong  Phone (615) 741-0768 Fax (615) 253-0316  ; Rep. Stratton Bone JR D-Lebanon District 46 - Cannon, Trousdale and part of Wilson Cties: Phone (615) 741-7086 Fax (615) 741-2405  ;Rep. Harry Brooks R-Knoxville District 19 - Part of Knox Cty: Phone (615) 741-6879 Fax (615) 253-0212 ; Rep. Glen Casada R-Franklin District 63 - Part of Williamson Cty: Phone (615) 741-4389 ;Rep. Kent Coleman D-Murfreesboro District 49 - Part of Rutherford Cty: Phone (615) 741-6829 Fax (615) 253-0332 ; Rep. John J. Deberry JR. D-Memphis District 90 - Part of Shelby Cty: Phone (615) 741-2239 Fax (615) 253-0294 ;Rep. Lois DeBerry D-Memphis District 91 - Part of Shelby Cty: Phone (615) 741-3830 Fax (615) 741-3992 ; Rep. Craig Fitzhugh D-Ripley
District 82 - Lauderdale, Crockett and part of Dyer Cties: Phone (615) 741-2134 Fax (615) 741-1446 ; Rep. Bill Harmon D-Dunlap District 37 - Sequatchie, Van Buren, Grundy and Marion Cties: Phone (615) 741-6849 Fax (615) 253-0264 ; Rep. Beth Harwell R-Nashville District 56 - Part of Davidson Cty: Phone (615) 741-0709 Fax (615) 741-4917 ; Rep. Susan M. Lynn R-Mt. Juliet District 57 - Part of Sumner and Wilson Cties: Phone (615) 741-7462 Fax (615) 253-0353 ; Rep. Judd Matheny

R-Tullahoma District 47 - Coffee and part of Warren Cties: Phone (615) 741-7448 Fax (615) 253-0226 ; Rep. Joe McCord R-Maryville District 8 - Parts of Blount and Sevier Cties: Phone (615) 741-5481 Fax (615) 253-0220 ; Rep. Gerald
McCormick R-Chattanooga District 26 - Part of Hamilton Cty: Phone (615) 741-2548 Fax (615) 253-0305 ; Rep. Steve McManus R-Cordova District 96 - Part of Shelby Cty: Phone (615) 741-1920 Fax (615) 253-0232 ; Rep. Gary W. Moore, SR D-Joelton District 50 - Part of Davidson Cty: Phone (615) 741-4317 Fax (615) 253-0360 ; Rep. Jason E. Mumpower R-Bristol District 3 - Johnson and part of Sullivan Cties: Phone (615) 741-2050 Fax (615) 253-0298 ; Rep. Gary Odom D-Nashville District 55 - Part of Davidson Cty: Phone (615) 741-4410 Fax (615) 741-7528 ; Rep. Curry Todd R-Collierville District 95 - Part of Shelby Cty: Phone (615) 741-1866 Fax (615) 532-8221 ; Rep. Joe Towns, JR D-Memphis
District 84 - Parts of Shelby Cty: Phone (615) 741-2189 Fax (615) 253-0201 ; Rep. Mike Turner D-Old Hickory District 51 - Part of Davidson Cty: Phone (615) 741-3229 Fax (615) 741-4322 ; Speaker Kent Williams Carter Cty Republican-Elizabethton District 4 - Carter Cty: Phone (615) 741-7450 Fax (615) 253-0310

 Commercial Breeder Act [HB0368]: House Judiciary (full committee) on the 15th.

Commercial Breeder Act [SB0258]: Senate Commerce, Labor, and Agriculture Committee on the 15th.

PLEASE CALL/FAX/ or EMAIL BOTH of these committees and ask them to OPPOSE this bill (both identical versions) 

The National Animal Interest Alliance has set up the CapWiz on their website.  This will work for Tennessee residents ONLY...IT IS SUPER SIMPLE!  Click and send and your message will be sent to ALL of the committee members!!!  If you would rather fax, you may still use the NAIA site.  When your letter is complete, just print and fax! 

House Judiciary Committee (FULL committee)  (click for complete info on each member!)

Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee  (click for complete info on each member!)

In some significant ways, these bills resemble HSUS supported anti-breeder legislation that has shown up in several other states so far this year.

The Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act:

* Applies to dogs and cats.

* Defines a commercial breeder as anyone who possesses or maintains 20 or more adult female dogs  for the purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals”.

* Limits the number of dogs/cats a commercial breeder can maintain to 75 unsterilized “companion animals” over the age of 6 months.NOTE: (In the current amended version, the 75 cap has been of 4/12/09)

* Requires annual licensing of commercial breeders and sets up a fee structure of $500 per year for those owning 20-40 adult companion animals, and $1000 per year for those owning 41-75.

* Empowers the Commissioner of Agriculture to grant licenses, oversee compliance with standards, rules and regulations, and suspend licenses for non-compliance or cruelty. Breeder will be given a 10-day
written notice of suspensions and may be granted a hearing to contest. Violations would constitute a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only.

* Licenses will only be granted to applicants of “good moral character” after a criminal background check and inspection of the premises. (NOTE: In the current amended version, the wording "good moral character" has been removed)

* Allows commercial breeder premises and records to be inspected at all reasonable times by the Commissioner, a representative of the Commissioner, or a legally constituted law enforcement agency.

* Requires commercial breeders to file semi-annual reports on the number of dogs/cats in their possession, the number of dogs/cats sold including the names and addresses of who purchased them, and the number of dogs/cats received by the breeder that were not purchased including the names and addresses of who they obtained them from.

* Grants the Commissioner authority to confiscate animals for failure to license and hand them over to local or federal animal welfare agencies or humane organization, like ASPCA or HSUS, and order the breeder to pay a security bond that could be transferred to the agency/organization for the cost of care.

* Subjects violators to a fine of $1000 per animal sold, offered or advertised without a license.

This Act reads as though its main preoccupation is to introduce a complex layer of state regulation that will generate revenue through licenses and fines, not directly improve actual care and conditions for animals.

Many of the definitions provided are unclear and inconsistent and consequently make hobby breeders, trainers, handlers, hunt clubs, boarding kennels and private rescue networks vulnerable to commercial requirements.

We oppose number limits because they are arbitrary, unscientific and have been found to be unenforceable and vulnerable to court challenges. Furthermore, they have never been successful in addressing irresponsible breeding or negligent rescue operations. Limits and caps drive pet owners and breeders underground where they are harder to oversee and prevent abuse.

We believe there are more effective solutions available to help eliminate substandard kennels, from greater enforcement of existing anti-cruelty and nuisance laws to educating consumers about how to seek out responsible and humane sources of healthy pets.

Politely explain that this legislation misses the mark. Offer your expertise as a Tennessee resident with hands-on animal experience who they can rely on instead of an out of state organization for their information about pet issues.

Please call, fax or email the representatives and senators that will be hearing ALL of these important issues!   Government officials work FOR the people...Politely let them know you OPPOSE these 3 bills !!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sleeping With The Enemy in Tennessee

The HSUS Kool-Aid has made its way to Tennessee,  as evidenced by the state's ANTI breeder bill that is being supported by several of the AKC all breed dog clubs. ("We just HAVE TO get rid of those terrible "puppy mill" people"...yeah, whatever that means...)

Called the "Commercial Breeder Act", SB258/HB386  seeks to label breeders who "possesses or maintains at least 20 female dogs in order to sell their offspring as companion animals" as commercial breeders.  Once again, a "magic number" is being introduced....a number that can easily be LOWERED at the whim of the HSUS and lawmakers.   What's worse, the bill calls for WARRANTLESS inspections, guidelines for breeders to follow that aren't described in this bill.....AND .....before a license is issued it must be determined that the applicant is of "GOOD MORAL CHARACTER"....

Does any of this sound VAGUELY familiar to anyone???   Does this sound like the other dozens of ANTI breeder bills being pushed around the country??? 

How many "hobby breeders" co-own bitches with other people as well as "possess" bitches at their homes?   Under this bill, the burden of proving you are NOT intending to sell those bitches' offspring falls on your head...and, just how exactly, would a person do that?  The short answer is:  YOU CAN'T.  Think about it.  It's not hard to reach the magical "20" number. ( "But, Mr Animal Control Officer, those 3 bitch puppies over there....I'm holding onto them to see if they will be show quality or not.....and, well, I don't actually own those over there 'cuz they are just here for me to show and train...")

So, what if someone has, say 19...or 18...Guess that pesky detail will have to be changed next year, huh?  When are people going to wake up?  Obviously not soon enough, since the House version of this Anti breeder bill passed yesterday.  The Senate is expected to vote soon.  Rather than stand up and CONFRONT the bully that is the HSUS head-on, the dog fancy has chosen to "protect itself" and throw somebody else under the bus. 

Act now:  Write, call, fax the senators in Tennessee and tell them to OPPOSE SB258....Tennessee already has cruelty/neglect laws on the books, and Commercial Breeders are already licensed and regulated under the USDA.  Placing the "burden of proof" on the accused as this bill is written is unconstitutional as it deprives the breeder of due process under law.

Who, I wonder, will be left to stand up when the HSUS comes for you.....and your breeding program....hmm...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Gospel According to HSUS

Unless you've been living under a rock this year, it's impossible to avoid the onslaught of "ANTI-dog breeder" bills that have been introduced in no less than two dozen states pushed by none other than the Humane Society of the United States.  These two dozen bills are worded almost identical in all states, with the common theme being to limit the number of intact animals a person can own and in most cases, allowing for WARRANTLESS searches of the breeder's premises.  Are these laws really about cracking down on substandard breeders?  Or is it a nationwide push to make dog breeding so troublesome and expensive that hobby breeders will just quit? 
According to Wayne Pacelle's blog,
  • "There are perhaps more than 10,000 mills in the nation, with Missouri accounting for more than 3,000, and then Oklahoma and Iowa the next biggest." 
  •  Last year Virginia was the "hub" of puppy mills (the "Virginia Is For Puppy Mills" campaign), and Pennsylvania is "the puppy mill capitol of the East"
Gee, with Wayne stating facts like that, it makes you wonder WHY legislation is needed in states like Nevada, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Tennessee, Illinois, Maine, West Virginia, Arkansas, Delaware, Texas, California, get the idea.  Are all of these states infested with "puppy mills" as well??   The real reason for these bills?  To ensnare the "other guy"...the hobby breeder; those breeders who are not required to operate under USDA guidelines. 
From the H$U$ website"Under current law in most states, and under current regulations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, individuals running breeding operations that only sell puppies directly to the public are not required to be licensed and inspected by an oversight agency."  (YEP, show folks, that's YOU!) 
And further "USDA exempts breeding facilities – regardless of the number of animals they have or financial thresholds they meet – where the puppies are bred and sold directly to private pet owners as "retail pet stores."........"Without oversight, the operations can easily fall below even the most basic standards of humane housing and husbandry."
A good breeding facility law: (According to H$U$)

  • applies to all breeding operations with animals or animal sales numbering over a specified threshold.  (can you say "limit laws")
  •  requires a licensing fee and pre-inspection. (Like $500 per intact animal fee...and "must be of good moral character", as we have seen in bills proposed this year)
  • includes routine, unannounced inspections at least twice yearly. (Warrantless searches of private property, unconstitutional last time I checked)
  • is enforced by an agency with adequate funding and properly trained and tested staff. (Oh yeah, we're just in the worst economic crisis since the Depression, but I'm sure Wayne and company would love to step in and take over this job, huh) 
  • rotates inspectors to cover different areas of the state. (Uh-huh, I can see that happening...who would want to uproot their families to move to a different area...)
  • is equipped with strong penalties when facilities are in repeated non-compliance, including but not limited to cease and desist orders.  (H$U$ translation:  raids, intimidation of breeders into "signing over" all dogs so said dogs can be sold for profit to further stuff their warchests)

Do you get it yet?  Have you connected the dots?  The current nationwide push to "end puppy mills" is NOT about protecting is NOT about cracking down on substandard is NOT about regulating commercial breeders that are already under USDA guidelines...
What it IS about is ending purebred dog breeding.  Period.  Using incrementalism (limiting the number of animals someone can own, which can easily be lowered next time, in a new law), the Animal Rights group, the Humane Society of the United States, is pushing it's REAL agenda:  to eliminate the hobby breeder, who has now become "just another puppy mill" in the eyes of the public...There is no one left to throw under the bus.  The bus is headed straight for OUR breeding programs.
Are you willing to throw away years of dedication to your breed and your breeding program?  Are you still one of those breeders that thinks "this law won't apply to me"?  Now it does.  There can be no compromise, no backing down.  The only way to defeat the bullies is to get in their faces and scream, "HELL NO!! You will NOT take away MY will NOT tell me how many dogs I can WILL NOT tell me how or when or to which dogs I can breed to!!!"
The "Anti-dog breeder bus" is roaring down the YOUR state, or will be headed there shortly.  There will be no "other guy" to sacrifice like we have done in the past because we are now the "other guy".

Friday, April 3, 2009

Good Moral Character Required for Dog Breeders

Nevada is the only state in the Nation where the oldest profession known to man...-er...woman-kind, is legal in some counties.  The state known for glitzy casinos, quickie divorces, and legalized prostitution is calling for a higher standard for dog breeders.  Yep, if you want to breed a litter of puppies or kittens in Nevada, ya' gotta be of "good MORAL character".
The state of Nevada is the latest victim in the Humane Society of the United States' all out anti-dog breeder legislative campaign.  SB241 seeks to, among other things:
  • Impose $500 breeder permit  (wow! That's expensive considering there is also a bill being proposed there that would levy ONLY $5 tax on "human sex acts")
  • Make microchipping of dogs mandatory
  • Limit the LIFETIME litters of any dog to 2 litters
  • AND "Breeders Must Posess "Good Moral Character"
So, I ask you the million dollar question:  Just WHO in the hell is going to be the judge in Nevada as to "good moral character"????   THINK ABOUT IT! 

But considering that the H$U$ is pushing these cookie cutter ANTI breeding bills across the country, I guess even a prostitute is of higher moral character than the ever-so-cleverly-deceptive H$US and company...At least you "know" right up front what a prostitute is all about.  The H$U$, however, continues to mislead millions of hardworking folks with good intentions into "donating" to what the majority still believe will benefit their local shelter or will help the H$U$ on their "war on puppymills".  When in fact, all those hard earned dollars will go to their already HUGE warchest to end the production of meat, fur, fishing, and to put "ever-so-greedy dog breeders" out of existence.

Give Wayne-O and company the boot, Nevada.  Ya'll have got a lot more to worry about than the "good moral character" of dog breeders.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

NEVADA: Give HSUS The Boot April 7 Hearing

Heads up, Nevada....HSUS and company are ridin' into town....Gather up the posse` and send 'em back squealin! 

The following article appeared in The Wendover Times, and is posted here with the permission of the author. 

NOTE:  THE HEARING FOR THIS BILL HAS BEEN CHANGED TO APRIL 7!!!!  For more information and to join the FIGHT for your RIGHTS and ANIMALS, please contact:    

David Meets Goliath in the Old West

by B. Kubichka

Dateline: Elko - Nevada

Most people don’t think too often about Nevada, well maybe Las Vegas comes to mind. But when the ranchers and other animal breeders and lovers in this sagebrush covered, windswept, high desert town, tucked in the eastern corner of the great Silver State, found out the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was a comin’ to town with their big city anti-animal breeder agenda, well that burr was too much for them to tolerate under their saddles.

That’s when the good and hearty folk - ranchers and the plain talkin’ townsfolk had enough! No big city D.C. city slickers were going to tell these good old boys--the tough and sun weathered independent ranchers and farmers --how to run their lives.

These D.C. big city outsiders from HSUS, decided it was high time they invaded this dusty Western state with their animal rights agenda and animal welfare laws. Just because these Old Timers don’t talk much, old HSUS decided, they must be asleep at the wheel. Well when these independent old frontier folk got wind of this plot against their freedom and their constitutional rights, and well, they got mad. Nobody was going to tell them how to run their lives, no siree!

Well then an amazing thing happened in this lonely corner of this vast desert state--the good and independent pioneer spirit of the Old West was galvanized! People woke up. People became red blooded, fighting Americans again! No way was HSUS going to tell the good people of this state how to run their lives. The good folk of the Old West were not going to take this outside interference laying down!

An amazing grassroots effort sprung up between these many disgruntled Nevadans. It eventually took a turn and turned into an organization of the people--just ordinary folk of Nevada, but with that independent and self reliant spirit.
One such person was a woman, Cheri. A slender, Western gal, golden by working outside in the clear blue skies and strong Nevada sun, more comfortable in jeans than a little black dress. Cheri, who is a small breeder of AKC purebred cattle dogs, was so outraged by the audacity of HSUS, of assuming they know what is best for her state and for her animals, she just knew she had to do something! So she became the Elko hub of the grassroots, just plain Nevadans movement,
According to Cheri, “No way is HSUS coming here! You will not come to our state and tell us how to run things!” She feels as many other Nevadans do, that local government handles these animal issues “just fine and to our satisfaction”. She stresses, “We don’t want or need your [HSUS] presence in Carson City [state capitol] telling our legislators how to think. The work for us!”
And another thing, Cheri says is, “We don’t want you [HSUS] telling the world that “Nevada is one of the five worst states in the United States.....and that you say “In Nevada, well anything goes...”. As a proud Nevadan and of independent spirt, Cheri was outraged when she saw this statement in the HSUS press release on their very own website.
“It’s insulting", she continues, she says they [HSUS] also says Nevada is a puppy mill state, when according to the USDA , who monitors and licenses commercial kennels, there are only two ‘commercial breeders’ in the entire state of Nevada, and they don’t even breed dogs”, she exclaims!
So Cheri got mad, very mad. She pulled together a coalition of ranchers, farmers, vets, and just plain towns folk who love their animals and their independence, and formed a caravan, a big caravan. And it’s planning on coming to Carson City on April 9th to attend the big rally against SB241, the Nevada Puppymill Bill proposed in part by HSUS and a Senator Townsend, who isn’t from around these parts. (NOTE:  The date has been changed to APRIL 7th, for more info, please email )
According to Cheri, HSUS and the collaborating legislators should be scared, “....because us old Cowboys won’t be asking you twice to pack your bags and leave our state and never come back. We are officially giving you the boot out of Nevada!”


[]breeder reports is a grassroots organization of Nevadans from all animal areas, be they rancher or pet owner, and is opposed to the loss of our constitutional rights as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and serves to help protect plain Nevada animal folk from the threat of bigger and bigger government, not to mention the unfunded mandates these proposed laws require of Nevada taxpayers.