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...


  1. Thank you, Robin, for watching out for us. Here's the letter I sent my representatives in Tennessee.

    I am writing to you to ask that you oppose Tennessee SB528/HB386 Commercial Breeder Act. I have been involved in the breeding and showing of purebred dogs and cats for over 40 years here in Tennessee, where I reside, in New York and California. These types of laws inevitably become burdensome to the state, have an adverse effect on the economy, and are an infringement on small business and hobbyists.

    First, I would hope my elected officials are finding ways to help Tennessee residents find jobs and save state money.
    * This bill will costs jobs. If there are fewer animals sold in Tennessee, there will be jobs lost in the lucrative pet supplies/support market, a $45B industry that has thus far been recession proof. The pet industry in Tennessee employs people at pet supply stores, boarding kennels, and grooming shops,mall jobs in a segment of the labor force most hard hit by current economic problems.
    * This bill will not be self funding. San Mateo County California has had such laws for over 20 years and they have not had one self funding year. The proponents of this law have mislead you on this point.

    Second, this bill will have a detrimental effect on many of our rarest breeds.
    * Thirty of the AKC registered breeds have less than 200 registrations nationally each year, making these breeds more endangered than Polar Bears, Lowland Gorillas, or GreyWhales, none of which are kept by the typical Tennessee voter. Your constituents do keep Black & Tan Coonhounds, an iconic Southern breed. Only 159 Coonhounds were registered with the AKC last year. The American Foxhound, a breed developed by George Washington, and symbolic of our nation’s beginnings had only 51 registered.

    Finally, this bill is contrary to the Tennessee tradition of preventing government intrusion on individuals EXCEPT where there is an overwhelming public need.
    * Current statistics have shown the number of abandoned animals decreasing.
    * We already have anti animal cruelty statues on the books.
    * This bill allows warrantless search, in violation of the constitutional 4th admendment intent.

    We are aware that there is a well funded National campaign driven by animal rigths extremists whose real agenda is the elimination of all pet ownership. Are you aware that 63 percent of American households keep pets?

    I left California and returned to my home state of Tennessee in part to get away from these extremists. Please don’t support this bill.

  2. Wow great letter. Glad to know that there are some thinkers in TN that aren't drinking the Kool Aide