Sunday, September 14, 2008

VERY IMPORTANT for MA DOG OWNERS

I am hijacking Mango's blog to make an extremely important announcement to all MA dog owners. Please read this in its entirety. At the end is my own brief soapbox on this issue.

[Thursday, September 11, 2008] In a stunning procedural move, Massachusetts House Bill 1948, which was a reasonable and non-discriminatory dangerous dog bill supported by both the AKC and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs, has been replaced by House Bill 5092, a conglomeration of many anti-dog, anti-responsible breeder, and anti-responsible owner proposals.

The American Kennel Club is not only deeply concerned with the many unacceptable provisions of the bill, but is also disturbed by the procedural maneuver used to deny the concerned dog-owning citizens of Massachusetts an opportunity to state their objections to the egregious bill in a committee hearing format.

Representative Brad Hill sponsored HB 1948, the pragmatic dangerous dog bill, this legislative session. That bill was assigned to the Joint Municipalities Committee, which subsequently sent to it to "study". That action usually indicates that the bill will not be considered for the remainder of the session. However, on July 28th, part of the bill was recommitted to the Joint Municipalities Committee, which then produced HB 5092.

Among the many problematic provisions to HB 5092, the most egregious include:

Imposing mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs over 12 months of age; or in the alternative, owners will have to qualify for and annually purchase an intact animal permit at a cost of up to $500 per dog.

Limiting the number of reproductive events per female dog to one litter per year, with few exceptions.

Requiring the reporting of all sales of puppies to local jurisdictions.

Eliminating the practice of humane tethering, without allowances for hunting or sled dogs.

Allowing towns and cities to impose breed-specific ordinances.

Instituting state-mandated vaccination schedules, instead of allowing vaccination schedules to be provided by, and in consultation with, a veterinarian.

Establishing unreasonable nuisance laws that can result in the forced sterilization, banishment, or euthanizing of dogs.

For a copy of HB 5092, click here.

Legislative staff in Massachusetts has confirmed with the Massachusetts Federation that the House Steering, Policy, and Scheduling Committee currently has cognizance of the bill. This committee does not consider the policy of pending legislation. Instead, it acts as a manager of legislation, determining which bills will be sent to the full House for its consideration, and the timing thereof.

Effectively, this means that at any time the House Steering, Policy, and Scheduling Committee will send HB 5092 to the full House for its consideration and vote, effectively denying Massachusetts citizens the opportunity to participate in the legislative process by stating their objections to the bill in a policy committee hearing!

Mango Momma soapbox...

This bill is disturbing on many levels.

1) The method of introduction is designed to bypass our normal legislative process. Whatever happened to our voice in government?

2) What problem are they trying to solve? There are already laws against animal abuse and keeping dangerous animals. Enforcing those laws targets specific violations. The proposed regulations don't touch the people who already keep dogs without license or train them up for attack or dog fighting. Do you really think that all the backyard breeders are going to feel compelled to fix their dogs? The more likely result is that fewer people will register their animals.

3) Dangerous dog acts by breed DO NOT WORK! Allowing towns to arbitrarily ban breeds is ridiculous. Dogs aren't born dangerous, they are made that way. Any breed can attack. Unilaterally penalizing responsible dog owners will not eliminate dog attacks from animals kept by ignorant, irresponsible people. Plus, with the new genetic testing, you might find out that your lovable mutt has 10% pit bull blood and winds up being taken from you regardless of how mild mannered he / she is.

4) A possibly controversial statement, but, as much as my dogs are part of the family, they are also my property. Provided that I am not causing harm to my animals or others, it is none of the business of the Commonwealth of MA how I choose to keep them OR when I choose to have a litter and to whom I sell the puppies to. Now, some of you might be thinking, I already abide by those rules so how can they hurt me? That's the same line of reasoning as allowing the government to have access to your phone calls, library records, video rentals, whatever because "I have nothing to hide." Wrong. Keep the government out of my private affairs, thank you.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: It is imperative that Massachusetts residents contact the members of the Steering, Policy, and Scheduling Committee, and implore them to not send HB 5092 to the floor for a vote. Instead, encourage them to return the bill to study, or in the alternative back to the Joint Municipalities Committee for consideration and public comment on the policies contained in HB 5092.Members of Massachusetts House Steering, Policy, and Scheduling

CommitteeRepresentative Paul J. DonatoRM. 185State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2960FAX: 617-722-2713mailto:617-722-2713Rep.PaulDonato@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Joyce A. SpiliotisRM. 236State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2430mailto:617-722-2430Rep.JoyceSpiliotis@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Paul C. CaseyRM. 238State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2380mailto:617-722-2380Rep.PaulCasey@hou.state.ma.us

Representative James B. EldridgeRM. 33State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2060mailto:617-722-2060Rep.JamesEldridge@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Alice Hanlon PeischRM. 167State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2230mailto:617-722-2230Rep.AlicePeisch@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Denis E. GuyerRM. 443State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2460mailto:617-722-2460Rep.DenisGuyer@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Tom Sannicandro RM. 473FState HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2210FAX: 508-626-0692mailto:508-626-0692Rep.TomSannicandro@hou.state.ma.us

Representative James T. WelchRM. 43State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2030mailto:617-722-2030Rep.JamesWelch@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Lori A. EhrlichRM. 540State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2090mailto:617-722-2090Rep.LoriEhrlich@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Bradford HillRM. 542State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2489mailto:617-722-2489Rep.BradHill@hou.state.ma.us

Representative Elizabeth A. Poirier RM. 542State HouseBoston, MA 02133PHONE: 617-722-2976FAX: 617-626-0108mailto:617-626-0108Rep.ElizabethPoirier@hou.state.ma.us

Massachusetts residents are also encouraged to contact their own state representative and express their vehement opposition to egregious provisions of HB 5092, and urge them to do the same. For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.

Final, personal, soapbox note.
You may already abide by all of the rules outlined in the legislation and be thinking, what's the harm? I urge you to consider the precedent that both the bill and the method of introduction are setting. While the rules might not affect you and your doggie family today, the next rule added could very well result in your dog being taken away from you or your responsible breeding program being shut down.

Never underestimate the ability of the Commonwealth to react to a single, stuff happens, event with hysterical legislation. I can easily envision one dog dying from heat stroke after an ignorant owner leaves its crate in the sun at a dog show. Response? Crating outside is made illegal (you folks in Massachusetts should know what I'm talking about).

Mango Momma

18 comments:

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Kudos fur Mango Man's Mom!

She woos sense - fur a human!!

I mean, there are some Sibes in danger of being put down in FL due to some stupid laws that got put in place without any concern for sense and sensibility -

Please make sure woo give her some extra Mango Man slobbers!!!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Sunny,Scooter,Jamie said...

Lordy, It seems to be spreading everywhere. This business of making laws to control what they have no business controlling. As you so well stated, do you suppose puppy mill folks will run out to pay all their breeding fees? It's kinda like gun control,IMHO. People on the wrong side of the law don't follow laws!!They are trying to do it in the city of Dallas, too. Bred bans, breeding bans, govt orderedspay/neuter unless you can afford the fee for keping the animal intact. WRONG!
Hugs
Sunny,Scooter&Jamie(who is seething)

Chef said...

This kind of enactment of legislation is wrong. Do I understand that it is a unilateral passing of a bill without hearings from pet owners, responsible breeders, vets and others who oppose this bill?

This is definitely a dangerous precedence. We're all for responsible breeding and ownership, controlling the pet population, etc., but who is the government to tell me, for instance, when I need to vaccinate my pets? Our vet is now going to a every-two or three-years schedule for some vaccinations, which is a relief because yearly vaccinations can be toxic. Who's to say the goverment won't tell me I have to vaccinate my pets every year against my will?

There's so much more... too little space here.

It's not just in Maine. We are fighting similar legislation in Canada too.

Try to push for consultation. Good luck.

Chef and Linda

Chef said...

OOps. I meant Massachusetts.

River said...

I think they depend on people not understanding what's happening or not understanding the future implications. Thank you for explaining it so well!

River's mom

Joe Stains said...

Humans. :(

MJ's doghouse said...

wow mango...when your momma highjacks your blog...she really highjacks your blog....good work momma....

Sophie Brador said...

Mango's Mom is Magnificent! You tell your mom to stay on that soap box as long as it takes. Some Canadian provinces have been trying this kind of crap here too. It's just bad news and stupid. Stupid stupid stupid.

xo
SB

KB said...

Go Mango Mama!!

Mago - Dude, I know I'm huge now - it's crazy because sometimes I forget that completely! We are totally like twins with the Apes and all! I've missed you and can't wait to keep up with the bloggie again!

High Fives (my new trick by the way), Kaiser

Lorenza said...

I've been wanting laws for animals here in Mexico but reding your post I have my doubts now!
I hope you all had a great weekend
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza and mom

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Mom we agree with you 100%. That is just not right. We don't live in MA but we totally agree..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Bogart said...

Go Mango Mama! They tried to do something similar in California... luckily we left around that time.

Stopping by to say a big HI to my big friend...

Love,
Bogart

The OP Pack said...

Marvelous, Mango's Mom, this is happening all over the place - stupid people. Our Mom was born in MA and lived there for 37 years!!!! Wow, that is a long time and that was way before she had any of us in her life - she must be really old!!!

Big round of applause for MangoMom and we hope she can make a difference.

Woos and wags, the OP Pack

Girl Girl Hamster said...

Yeah, thanks for letting us know. Together we can make a difference

~ Girl girl

Dewey Dewster said...

Mango's Mom...

I am sure the legislature is trying to control the horrible consequences that have been created by the uncontrolled breeding of Pit Bulls but they don't seem to realize that people who do not care a whit about their dogs, who only care how well they can fight and kill other dogs will simply ignore any laws passed....the only ones who will suffer from these stringent laws are law abiding citizens who feel laws are meant to be obeyed. Since we have been following some of the laws legislatures have been trying to bring up for votes in different states across the country....we hope this one will follow the others and never even be voted on.....but you're doing others a great service telling them how to stop it before it ever even comes up for a vote......because when the legislators hear from their constituents and lots of them, they listen....hope you and other MA. residents are successful in your quest.....

Dewey Dewster's Gram.....

Charlie Daniels said...

G'day Mango's Mum

Sorry I haven't been around for a few days .. been very busy!

I'm sorry I don't live in Massachewsits so I don't think I can be of any help here ... BUT you have my support 100%

Do you think it would help if I barked lots?

Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark

There ya go

Cheers

Charlie

The Girl said...

Thank you for posting this, MangoMomma. We are far from the Commonwealth, but these dangerous sorts of legislation are happening everywhere. We hope you reach many, many people and they all protest!

Brown dog kisses,
Dannan and The girl

Willow the Black Dale said...

Oh Mango I saw SMOKE coming out of my mommy's ears when she read this post. She said "this is WRONG on so many levels. We don't live in a communist country! It seems as if they are trying to take away their rights! This can't be legal."
Those of us who are responsible pet people have to fight for the unheard voice(our kids). Those that are clueless will continue to do what they always do.....break the law.....any law.

Smooches,
Willow (her mom too)