Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oklahoma dog Owners - Urgent Alert!!

House Hearing Tuesday On Devastating Breeding Bill

American Sporting Dog Alliance

This article is archived at:

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Pro-animal rights veterinarians and their allies are
back again with a vengeance in Oklahoma, and are ramrodding legislation to target
everyone who raises dogs under the guise of regulating “puppy mills.” If
passed into law, this legislation would destroy hobby breeding of high quality
purebred dogs in Oklahoma.

The House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee has set a
hearing for Tuesday (February 10, 2009) on House Bill 1332, sponsored by Rep.
Lee Denney and also known as the “Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection
Act.” The 4:30 p.m. hearing is open to the public, and the American Sporting
Dog Alliance urges dog owners to attend.

It must be emphasized that this legislation is being fast-tracked for rapid
passage, and it is urgent for Oklahoma dog owners to take clear and decisive
action now. Failure to act greatly increases the chances that you will lose the
right to raise dogs. Suggestions about how to take an active role in
defeating this legislation are included later in this report.

Rep. Denney introduced an almost identical bill last year, but it was
soundly defeated in the House Agriculture Committee following intense opposition by
dog owners, the American Sporting Dog Alliance, and farmers and ranchers.

This year, however, Rep. Denny has cut a deal to circumvent the Agriculture

HB 1332 is before the House Economic Development and Financial Services
Committee. Convincing leadership to put a bill in an inappropriate committee falls
under the category of a political dirty trick. The committee is inappropriate
because the state Department of Agriculture would administer and enforce the

This legislation:

• Prohibits an out of state breeder from transporting dogs into or
through Oklahoma, which would effectively destroy dog shows, field trials and
other canine events in the state. If a hobby breeder were to bring dogs to an
Oklahoma event, the dogs could be confiscated and the owner would face heavy
fines and penalties.

• Gives any animal control officer, peace officer or animal cruelty
investigator unrestricted access to a kennel owner’s home, facilities, anim
als, records and property. The bill denies kennel owners constitutional right of
protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, as no warrants are
required. In addition, the simple act of owning a licensed kennel would allow any
kind of peace officer to search a person’s property for any reason, and this
power is not limited to animal laws. This provision alone is a completely
unethical assault on the Bill of Rights.

• Effectively prohibits any Oklahoma resident from buying a puppy
or dog from another state, as the breeder would have to be licensed in

• Requires every breeder, rescue organization, animal shelter and
pet store to be state licensed – not just dealers or commercial kennels – if
they sell, give away or adopt out 25 or more animals a year. This would destroy
many rescue programs.

• Says that a license will not be issued to anyone who has or has
ever had a federal kennel license through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This provision will destroy many well-run kennel businesses that meet or exceed
all legal requirements for the care of animals, and result in the owners of
those businesses losing many thousands of dollars that they have invested in
land and facilities, also losing their livelihood. However, all kennels will be
required to follow federal regulations for housing, care and other management

• Gives the state the authority to implement complete regulations
for the management of all kennels and the care of the dogs, with no provision
for legislative approval or input from dog owners.

• Requires extensive record keeping, and kennel management and
medical practices to be approved by a veterinarian. The legislation changes the
legal status of dog owners to that of guardians, and removes all decision-making
power from the hands of kennel owners. Dogs effectively become wards of the
state under this legislation.

• Denies a license to anyone who is on probation or parole for any
offense, even if they have nothing to do with animals. Licenses also are
denied for anyone who has been found guilty of violating any statute pertaining to
animals, including relatively minor offenses such as leash laws, local
licensing laws and noise ordinances. In addition, purely technical or minor
violations of state kennel regulations would cause mandatory denial.

• Provides fines of up to $2,500 for each violation, while granting
the kennel owner only the right to an administrative appeal. Placing liens
against a kennel owner’s property is authorized to collect fines, penalties and
costs for seizing dogs. Several provisions allow the state to seize,
confiscate and euthanize animals.

Here is a link to the text of HB 1332:
http://www.okvma.org/associations/2557/files/2PQA2009HB1332.pdf. (Please note that this is on the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association site, as the official state legislature site requires a complex search. The veterinarians’ group is pushing this legislation. The sponsor, Rep. Denney, is a veterinarian. The OVMA and its allies have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into promoting this legislation, and have hired a full-time professional political lobbyist.)

We also see many unintended consequences to the legislation. For example,
America’s troubled economy means that many people are forced to abandon their
pets when they lose their homes or jobs. The destruction of rescue and fostering
networks will lead to the needless death of thousands of beloved animals in
Oklahoma, if this legislation is approved.

The legislation also is based on faulty premises, such as unsubstantiated
claims that there are many illegal kennels in Oklahoma. No evidence has been
given to support this outrageous claim. Moreover, if an illegal kennel exists,
existing laws could fully address the situation. It is a waste of tax dollars to
duplicate government services.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance urges every Oklahoma dog owner to contact
each member of the House Economic Development and Financial Services
Committee to express clear opposition to this legislation. Because the hearing is this
coming Tuesday, please make these contacts as quickly as possible.

Our suggestion is to send an immediate email to each legislator, and follow
it up with a fax or phone call. Even a brief note clearly stating your
opposition will be important. Keeping your tone polite and respectful goes along way
in public life.

Here is email contact information for the members of the House Economic
Development and Financial Services Committee:

• Daniel Sullivan, Chair- danielsullivan@okhouse.gov;

• Randy McDaniel, Vice Chair- randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov;

• John Affuet- johnauffet@okhouse.gov,

• John Carey (D) johncarey@okhouse.gov,

• George Faught (R) georgefaught@okhouse.gov,

• Charles Key (R) charles.key@okhouse.gov,

• Guy Liebmann (R) guyliebmann@okhouse.gov,

• Skye McNiel (R) skye.mcniel@okhouse.gov,

• Lewis Moore (R) lewis.moore@okhouse.gov,

• Danny Morgan (D) dannymorgan@okhouse.gov,

• Pat Ownbey (R) pat.ownbey@okhouse.gov,

• Ron Peters (R) ronpeters@okhouse.gov

• Mike Shelton (D) mikeshelton@okhouse.gov,

• Jabar Shumate (D) jabarshumate@okhouse.gov.

This link also will give information about each legislator’s phone, surface
mail and email contact information:

Please help Oklahoma dog owners.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and
professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome
people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We
are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to
assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its
rightful place in American society and life.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can
continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership,
participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded
solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence.

Please visit us on the web at http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org .
Our email is asda@csonline.net .


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