Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dog breeder bill dead for another year

The News Reporter.

SB 460 could have crippled hunting dog kennels. Susie’s Law approved.

Published: Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:26 PM EDT

A proposed state law that sporting dog owners say would have crippled hound hunters has returned to the back burner for another year. Another bill recently signed by Gov. Bev Perdue makes torturing a pet a felony.

Senate Bill 460, proposed by Sen. Don Davis, has been on the drawing boards since March of last year. The bill’s full title is “An act to eliminate abusive practices and provide for the humane care and treatment of dogs and puppies by establishing standards for their care at commercial breeding operations, excluding kennels or establishments operated for the purpose of boarding or training hunting, sporting, herding, show, or working dogs.”

It became better known as “the Dog Breeder Bill” and has been an anathema to many sporting dog enthusiasts.

Kim Alboum of the N.C. Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States (HUSUS), which pushed for the bill, told supporters June 30 that the bill was dead for this year, and would be reintroduced next year. Proponents said the bill was designed to better prevent “puppy mills,” while opponents said the bill was a backdoor attempt to ban the use of sporting dogs in the state.

“Nobody approves of dogs being kept in abusive situations,” said Susan Wolf of SAOVA, the Sportsman’s and Animal Owner’s Voter Alliance. “This entire fiasco of a bill is part of an organized nationwide campaign by HSUS and has basically nothing to do with actual need in our state.”

The law would have required businesses that breed or board dogs to have one employee for every 10 animals, established exercise requirements for animals, and regulate how dogs could be transported. The bill also called for the state to create new Animal Health Division inspectors’ positions for the sole purpose of kennel inspections, as well as registering all dog breeders and keeping track of breeder certification.

Wolf said HSUS members who participated in the closure of a substandard Wayne County breeding operation used the media to sensationalize the tragedy. The owner of the facility had 283 small dogs of various breeds kept in crates and kennels. Court documents available online show the 65-year-old owner was convicted of multiple cases of animal cruelty.

“The closure of the substandard kennel in Wayne County provided the emotional impetus for HSUS to find supportive legislators and introduce SB460,” Wolf said. “It is not even logical to draft legislation for dog breeders starting with 15 females based on what happened at a 300-dog kennel where it is reasonable to assume that 200 (or more) would be female.”

The bill would call for strict housing regulations and inspections for kennels with more than 15 breeding female dogs at a commercial operation, but legislators and breeders complained that the wording was such that the laws could be applied to hunting clubs, hunting preserves, and houndsmen who have different dogs for hunting deer, fox, and coon.

The legislature did pass one animal cruelty law that received support from most animal groups in the state.

Susie’s Law makes it a felony to maliciously abuse or torture animals. The law was passed June 16, and can carry up to 10 years in prison upon conviction. The law was named for a puppy discovered beaten and set afire in Greensboro last year. The puppy, now named Susie, survived. At the time, the suspect in the case could only receive probation for the crime.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SB460 pulled from calendar once again

SB460 was once again pulled from the House Finance Calendar and will NOT be heard at the July 1st scheduled meeting. We understand the Senator McKissick refused to let his spay neuter bill be either stripped or amended for the sake of SB460.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HSUS and SB460 Supporter Trickery!!!

HSUS and their friends on the House Finance Committee are attempting to insert SB460 language into the existing bill, SB1332 Spay Neuter Program Transfer. Knowing there are not enough votes to pass SB460, Chairman Leubke's plan is to sneak it thru another bill hoping to keep opponents unaware. SB1332 Spay Neuter Program Transfer is on the House Finance Committee Calendar for tomorrow morning.

Call and email House Finance Committee members NOW. Politely request they vote NO to the Commercial Dog Breeder language no matter what bill number is!

Finance Committee Member List

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SB460 Pulled from June 24th Calendar

Knowing he did not have enough support for SB460 to pass it out of committee, Senior Chairman, Rep. Paul Luebke (D, Durham,) pulled SB460 from the House Finance calendar. Bill sponsors - Senators Don Davis (D, Greene, Pitt, Wayne) and Margaret Highsmith Dickson (D, Bladen, Cumberland) - tried to regroup at a press conference Tuesday, June 22. Senator Davis was unable to answer reporters' basic questions about the bill despite prompting by HSUS lobbyist, Amanda Arrington.

Neither Senator was aware that Bladen County Commissioners had just voted to oppose SB460.

Also this week, North Carolina Animal Rabies Control Association (NCARCA) Board voted to oppose stating, "due to SB460 being an unfunded mandate, and major problems with both the definitions and the exclusions, they do not support the bill as presented."

Friday, June 18, 2010


Many thanks to all those who requested to be added to the SB460 Opposition List.

We now need your help with the final push to defeat SB460. Please contact ALL
members of the House Finance Committee before next Thursday and ask them to vote against SB460. Every committee member needs to hear from you. SB460 is NOT needed in our state and will only provide a foot in the door for HSUS and their activist friends to regulate kennels out of existence. HSUS has a long history of opposing purposeful dog breeding and has made it clear that SB460 is just a first step in their plan.


* Bill supporters claim that small hobby breeders will not be affected. This is NOT true. Supporters claim the only reason to have 15 females is for mass producing puppies, i.e. continually breeding each female. Also NOT true. The bill supporters are activists, not dog breeders and have no firsthand knowledge of building or maintaining a breeding program.

* SB460 is unacceptable in ANY amended form. The bill is not based on any true or overwhelming need, but rather a skewed perception that abuse is rampant and dog breeders are not capable of managing a kennel or maintaining multiple dogs in good health without state intervention.

* Bill supporters claim that North Carolina is becoming known as a puppy mill state. This propaganda is not based in reality and exists only in the minds of HSUS leaders and their followers. The same sound bites are distributed by HSUS in every state with a pending breeder bill.

* SB460 is an unfunded mandate to local authorities at a time when budgets are being cut reducing funds for public schools, libraries, veterans, and health and human services programs.

* SB460 should not be given any consideration by legislators at this time of financial crisis in our state. According to Governor Perdue, the likely loss of about $500 million in federal stimulus funds could bring North Carolina's budget
shortfall to $1.2 billion dollars and cause thousands of jobs to be eliminated.

It is fiscally irresponsible for the House Finance Committee to even consider a vote on an unnecessary bill that would not only penalize responsible dog owners but place further financial burden on cash-strapped county governments.

Call and email ALL members of the House Finance Committee. Go to the SAOVA
website where you can email all 30 members with just one click.

A list of phone numbers for Committee members can also be downloaded.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The Opposition List continues to grow as dog breeders, hunters, and exhibitors rally against SB 460 Commercial Dog Breeding.

SB 460 is not a bill that needs to be passed in North Carolina. Substandard kennels have been closed down in years past because current laws DO work. In some cases where dogs are not removed from substandard situations, it is not because of lack of authority under the law, but lack of animal control funds to house and care for them once seized. If enforcement of current law is problematic due to funding issues, passing new and unfunded legislation is definitely NOT the answer.

Steve Wallis, President North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs, noted, “County sheriffs and district attorneys should not have to make a determination of what the county can afford before deciding whether to enforce a law.”

Keith Loudermilt, President North Carolina Sporting Dog Association, commented, “SB460 is primarily being promoted by activists from outside of NC. Various versions of this bill have been introduced by HSUS-supported activists in 33 states regardless of existing regulations.” Loudermilt continued, “We do not expect the few exemptions in this bill to stand long term as the factions who are promoting it have made it clear this is just a starting point for their agenda.”

With absolutely no input from dog breeders, divided support from animal control personnel, and unsubstantiated data on the need for state-wide dog breeder regulation, the NC Association of County Commissioners steadfastly supports SB 460, unconcerned with the damaging consequences passage would bring to responsible dog breeders throughout our state. According to the NCACC website, “Overall county revenues in 2009-10 are expected to come in about half a billion dollars less than in 2008-09, according to a recent survey of county budgets conducted by the NCACC. To manage the shortfall, counties have taken a variety of steps, including cutting services, reducing staff, instituting mandatory furloughs for employees and appropriating fund balance.” Yet NCACC lobbyists blindly press on to pass a bill that will hand an unfunded mandate to cash strapped county governments.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators

Monday, April 5, 2010

HSUS lobbying in your state

Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) []

Dear SAOVA friends,

HSUS State Director Kim Alboum has now concluded the Lobby 101 Seminars in North Carolina, holding seminars in 9 cities around the state during February and March. Some seminars attracted less than a dozen listeners while a few did better with attendance at approximately 50. The seminars generated poor interest overall considering HSUS claims to have 240,000 members in the Tarheel State.

With little variation, the message was the same to all those who attended: legitimize the cause; go mainstream; get media coverage; talk to legislators and create relationships.

Alboum advised attendees that to initiate change, HSUS supporters need to mobilize, come together, and be viewed as mainstream. She blamed last year’s losses in the General Assembly on HSUS supporters’ inability to organize effectively. Alboum continued to encourage her audience to meet their legislators face to face; find out where they go to church; what outside groups they belong to; befriend their staff; and use HSUS fact sheets as hand outs for each introduced bill.

Alboum emphasized the importance of getting stories to the media to get their message out and spread the word.


FIGHT AGAINST FACTORY FARMING. A strategy HSUS plans to employ is an alliance with the "local foods" people in the HSUS fight against factory farms and their effort to force veganism on the world. Alboum handed out copies of the 15th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour brochure (April 24 and 25), telling the audience to contact these farmers and ask them to help in the fight against animal agriculture. Alboum stated she has been contacting the farmers, already polarizing them with HSUS propaganda.

Alboum briefly explained that horse processing plants for human consumption had been closed because HSUS had been successful in eliminating funding for federal inspection of the plants. Alboum justified the plant closings by stating that horse slaughter was inhumane, and that the meat was “tainted” and was not good for anything anyway. Now HSUS is fighting to stop all transportation of horses for slaughter outside the U.S. Clearly, Alboum is not well versed in the nutritional qualities of horsemeat, and chooses to ignore the fact there is a thriving international market for horsemeat which is high in protein and low in fat.

SB460, the HSUS “Puppy Mill Bill” unfortunately passed the NC Senate in 2009 by one vote and is currently in House Finance. A call to arms was sent to the audience by Alboum to begin making calls to House legislators and to Julia Howard (Vice Chairman, Finance) in support of SB460 passage in the May legislative session.

Among the many exaggerations presented to justify the bill are claims that the original HSUS estimation of 200 large-scale breeders was wrong and it is likely that figure is double with at least 400 “puppy mills” operating in the state. Noteworthy is the ease with which the terms commercial breeder and “puppy mill” are used interchangeably.

Alboum informed her audience that “puppy mills” should be shut down because they spread Giardia, a “virus” contagious to humans. Again, Alboum is misinforming her listeners. Giardia is not a virus, it is a microscopic parasite found worldwide and is recognized as a common cause of waterborne disease in humans in the United States. The Giardia parasite lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals (e.g., cats, dogs, cattle, deer, and beavers) causing nausea and diarrhea. According to the CDC, anyone can get giardiasis including people who drink from poorly monitored wells, and backpackers, hikers, and campers who drink untreated water.

Alboum continued by stating that puppy millers from neighboring states, such as Virginia and Tennessee, are flooding into North Carolina following passage of regulation there. Did Alboum and HSUS have time to examine real estate records in three states in order to reach this conclusion or is this yet another wild accusation pulled out of thin air to create a crisis looking for a solution? As we have pointed out before, the same sound bites of breeders fleeing from one state to another are distributed by HSUS in every state with a pending breeder bill.

When questioned about why the bill did not include cats, Alboum’s answer was "baby steps, they are next, then birds." Alboum also expressed her disappointment that the original bill had been downgraded to complaint driven inspection rather than annual inspections. Likewise the numbers used to establish a commercial breeder (“puppy mill”) were increased, but Alboum stated that in reality owning 6 females should be the separating line between hobby and commercial breeder. Alboum assured the audience that getting ANY bill on the books was worth the effort as it could be tightened up later on.

HSUS is intent on regulating dog breeders. Alboum did not have specific details, but mentioned that HSUS was working on a plan to assist North Carolina counties with enforcement costs for SB460. Make no mistake - the animal rights agenda has nothing to do with welfare, it is about control. HSUS yearns to become an arm of the government as demonstrated by their previous scheme to be the enforcement agency for USDA kennel inspections and more recent petition to President Obama to appoint a Federal Animal Protection Liaison.

Alboum stated a plan to revive the fox penning bill from 2009 to include coyotes. She stated that the practice of penning originally began to train hunting dogs, but has since evolved into a blood sport that is a cross between a canned hunt and animal fighting. Alboum informed her audience that at fox pens, dogs were turned loose to rip foxes apart. She said there were 150 pens in the state and most people were not aware of this barbaric practice.

HSUS has a history of opposing hunting with dogs, and Alboum’s false statements are in line with the organization’s misrepresentation of training and penning operations and hound hunting in general. Fox pens are regulated and permitted by NC Wildlife Resources, cannot be less than 500 acres; cannot use foxes transported across state lines; must have one approved, inspected, dog-proof escape den for every 35 acres. Although HSUS claims foxes are “live bait” for packs of dogs tear apart, in reality it is considered to be very undesirable to have one of the dogs even harm one of the foxes. The contest is actually between dog owners, trainers and their dogs to see whose dogs were best bred and trained for the specific job of chasing foxes.

Although decline of their natural predator, wolves, has allowed coyotes to expand their natural range from Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, Alboum told her audience that the coyotes populating our state were the result of the breeding of coyotes that had escaped from these pens.

State Senator Neal Hunt (R-Wake) is perhaps number one on the HSUS's most appreciated legislators list for his efforts in introducing the anti-penning bill and his general support of the HSUS anti-breeder initiative.

Alboum expressed appreciation to the wife of Congressman David Price (D, 4) who personally lobbied the NC General Assembly in support of the breeder bill, SB460.

Alboum reported that HSUS lobbyists have met with Senator Kay Hagan to discuss federal legislation. Hagan is a supporter of HR503 which would end transportation of horses outside the U.S. for slaughter, but is not supportive of other HSUS efforts against animal agriculture since this is a major North Carolina industry.

Know thy enemy. Attend the HSUS Lobby Seminar in your own state, learn the upcoming agenda, and prepare for the battle. We cannot afford to have HSUS and animal rightists frame the issues, labeling us as exploiters and legislating away our rights.

The “word” that HSUS sends to the media is generally a mix of misinformation and outright lies. The false, detrimental HSUS accusations cannot go unchallenged. If local media airs biased reports, assist in contacting the writers with facts. Write your own letter to the editor correcting the HSUS propaganda piece.

Coalition Building. Find allies to assist on a given piece of legislation, even if these allies have a slightly different perspective due to their specific area. Stop infighting! Compromise with radical animal rightists on anti-breeder, anti-agriculture animal rights legislation only serves to give them a platform for increased, restrictive regulation of our hobbies, sports, and livelihoods.

Use the ballot box to vote controlling, animal rightist supporting legislators out of office.

Join the campaign asking for an IRS audit of the HSUS excessive lobbying practices and revocation of their nonprofit status.
Send examples of HSUS excessive lobbying to the IRS with a short cover letter for inclusion in the audit.

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best informed and most motivated.

Cross posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators