RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATES
P.O. Box 1406 Newport, WA 99156
Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows E-mail US rdows@povn.com
Blog https://rdows.wordpress.com E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows

Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821
Judy Schreiber, Assistant to the Chair,
Director at Large, rdowsdirectoratlarge@chevalier-bullterriers.com
Elizabeth Pensgard, Executive Secretary, Illinois Director, bpensgard@yahoo.com
Hermine Stover, Media Liaison, Director at Large, CA, hermine@endangeredspecies.com
Mary Schaeffer, Finance Director, finedogs@hotmail.com
Arizona Director, John Bowen, johnalldogs@sprintmail.com
California Director, Jan Dykema, bestuvall@sbcglobal.net
Indiana Director, Charles Coffman, candkcoffman@comcast.net
Iowa Director, Leisa Boysen, rdows_iowa@yahoo.com
Mississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield, farmer1@telepak.net
Nevada Director, Ken Sondej, 4winds@viawest.net
Tennessee Director, Gina Cotton, ginacotton@msn.com
Texas Director, Alvin Crow, crobx@austin.rr.com

Dear Esteemed Members of the Chicago City Council:

It was of great concern to hear that Chicago is considering a mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) ordinance. Mandatory spay/neuter ordinances are proposed as a result of what is erroneously called a “pet overpopulation problem,” which is absolutely false. Chicago, in particular, could not use pet “overpopulation” as an excuse because according to statistics published in 2006,

“The euthanasia numbers in the Chicago Area are dropping. Between 2003 and 2005 overall citywide euthanasia rates dropped 12% and shelter intake went down to 11%. With an overall shelter killing rate per 1,000 humans at a historic low of 6.9%, Denver remains the only city between the coasts with a lower kill rate (5.9%)” (http://www.anticruelty.org/site/epage/42566_576.htm)

So you see Chicago’s embrace of a ‘No Kill’ stance has seen intake and euthanasia rates significantly dropping on their own. Yet still MSN advocates are pushing the “overpopulation” lie on an unsuspecting Chicago public anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

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Once again, Virginia “Ginger” Rugai, 19th ward Chicago alderman, is getting behind another unconstitutional piece of legislation (along with Ald. Ed Burke, who we noted in a prior post has been busy deflecting the heat from a Fox Chicago news report about questionable expenses). This time it’s mandatory spay/neuter. Ginger. It’s such a benign spice, but such a caustic politico.

It’s odd too, don’t you think that the Chicago City Council would repeal the foie gras ban, another unconstitutional restriction, on the same day that they proposed a mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) ordinance? On the one hand they recognize that a ban on foie gras is unconstitutional, but an ordinance requiring pet owners to spay/neuter their pets is somehow perfectly legitimate in their eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

Does anyone remember back in the eighties when the Oprah Winfrey Show addressed serious topics like AIDS and racism; when Oprah was often the only person who would touch such topics? Twenty or more years later and Oprah has devolved from the highest of journalistic integrity to become a demagogue whipping people up into an emotional frenzy about serious topics that merit a logical and well-reasoned approach, not an approach that leaves mascara running down the faces of her audience and Kleenex in short supply.

Today’s show was one of the rarer, which, instead of highlighting Oprah’s favorite t-shirt, her favorite political candidate, a book she thinks everyone should read, or giving away free stuff, had her audience’s attention directed towards puppy mills. Oprah began by saying the show should spark the interest of anyone who cares about the humane treatment of animals. Ironically, that did not include some of her guests which included Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), nor even Oprah herself who reproved herself for buying from breeders when there are supposedly so many unwanted animals in shelters who are being euthanized every day. Read the rest of this entry »

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATES

P.O. Box 1406  Newport, WA 99156

Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows E-mail US rdows@povn.com

Blog https://rdows.wordpress.com  E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows

Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821

Judy Schreiber-Dwornick, Assistant to the Chair, Director at Large, rdowsdirectoratlarge@gmail.com

Hermine Stover, Secretary, Press Liaison, CA, hermine@endangeredspecies.com

Mary Schaeffer, Finance Director, finedogs@hotmail.com

California Director, Jan Dykema bestuvall@sbcglobal.net

Illinois Director, Elizabeth Pensgard bpensgard@yahoo.com

Indiana Director, Charles Coffman candkcoffman@comcast.net

Iowa Director, Leisa Boysen rdows_iowa@yahoo.com

Mississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield farmer1@telepak.net

Nevada Director, Ken Sondej 4winds@viawest.net

Ohio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky ohdirrdows@yahoo.com

Oklahoma Director, Jade Harris aadrlegislation@yahoo.com

Tennessee Director, Gina Cotton ginacotton@msn.com

Texas Director, Alvin Crow crobx@austin.rr.com

OPPOSITION STATEMENT TO WASHINGTON HB 2511

Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States was formed October 15, 1989 to protect the rights, and interests of dog owners. 

Responsible Dog Owners is opposed to Washington HB 2511 as it violates the commerce rights of the citizen bird, cat, dog breeders of Washington. If enacted as introduced HB2511 will cause the importation of pure-bred cats and dogs bred by breeders outside of Washington in order to meet in state demand for pets. HB2511 acts to the detriment of Washington dog, and cat breeders whose ability to breed and sell pure-bred animals is curtailed by HB2511.

HB2511 unfairly allows not-for profit organizations to breed, and to sell animals unhampered by regulation. These not for profit organizations are importing animals from foreign nations to fill empty shelters.

(See, Tufts: Filling Empty Shelters

http://enews.tufts.edu/stories/020603FillingEmptyPounds.htm 

See, USA TODAY:  Dog imports raise fears of a resurgence of disease http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-21-dog-imports_N.htm )

Animal Shelters are being shut down across this nation due to diseases that are carried into the United States by animals imported by not-for Profit animal organizations, and animal shelters. (See, Outbreak of Drug-Resistant Salmonella at an Animal Shelter; http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/nov_dec_2004/outbreak_of_drug-resistant_salmonella.html See Animal Shelter Shuts Down Due To Parvo Virus  http://www.kmbc.com/news/8006476/detail.html?rss=kc1&psp=news See, CDC

Human Rabies — Indiana and California, 2006 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5615a1.htm 

See, Disease shuts animal shelter http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Feb-10-Sat-2007/news/12517017.html

HB 2511 violates the United States Constitution under the 5th, 14th Amendment, and the Commerce Clause.  Washington dog, bird, and cat breeders are not allowed to  sell  as many cats, birds and dogs as the fair market allows. No other part of Washington’s animal breeding industry is restricted by legislation.

Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Washington State Legislature to kill HB2511. It is the duty, and the responsibility of the legislature to protect, and defend the rights of the people of Washington. HB2511 is a taking of the property and use rights of Washington’s pure-bred dog and cat breeders.

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATESP.O. Box 1406  Newport, WA 99156Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows E-mail US rdows@povn.comBlog https://rdows.wordpress.com  E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821Judy Schreiber-Dwornick, Assistant to the Chair, Director at Large, rdowsdirectoratlarge@gmail.comHermine Stover, Secretary, Press Liaison, CA, hermine@endangeredspecies.comMary Schaeffer, Finance Director, finedogs@hotmail.comArizona Director, John Bowen johnalldogs@sprintmail.comCalifornia Director, Jan Dykema bestuvall@sbcglobal.netIllinois Director, Elizabeth Pensgard bpensgard@yahoo.comIndiana Director, Charles Coffman candkcoffman@comcast.netIowa Director, Leisa Boysen rdows_iowa@yahoo.comMississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield farmer1@telepak.netNevada Director, Ken Sondej 4winds@viawest.netOhio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky ohdirrdows@yahoo.comOklahoma Director, Jade Harris aadrlegislation@yahoo.comTennessee Director, Gina Cotton ginacotton@msn.comTexas Director, Alvin Crow crobx@austin.rr.com OPPOSITION STATEMENT TO ARIZONA HB2516

 Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States was formed October 15, 1989 to protect the civil rights, Constitutional rights, and interests of dog owners. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States takes the position that animals are valuable property. Animals are among the most ancient of traditional property of human beings.

 Responsible Dog Owners is opposed to Arizona HB2516  as it violates the commerce rights of the citizen  dog breeders of Arizona. If enacted as introduced HB2516 will cause the importation of pure-bred dogs bred by breeders outside of Arizona in order to meet in state demand for pets. HB2516 acts to the detriment of  Arizona’s dog, and cat breeders whose ability to breed and sell pure-bred animals is curtailed by HB2516.

 Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Legislature of the state of Arizona to curtail the mass importation of animals by not for profit animal shelters, and rescue organizations that flood shelters with animals from Asia, Romania, India, and elsewhere while creating a false “animal over-population crisis”  and pointing fingers of blame at responsible Arizona dog breeders.  See the evidence in the articles listed below.

 (1) TUFTS: FILLING EMPTY DOG POUNDS (FROM 02-06-03) http://enews.tufts.edu/stories/020603FillingEmptyPounds.htm Pet Underpopulation: The Pet Shortage in the US by Laura Baughanhttp://spanieljournal.com/33baughan.html(2) Dog imports raise fears of a resurgence of disease http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-21-dog-imports_N.htmOutbreak of Drug-Resistant Salmonella at an Animal Shelter http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/nov_dec_2004/outbreak_of_drug-resistant_salmonella.htmlDisease shuts animal shelter (Las Vegas) http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Feb-10-Sat-2007/news/12517017.html(3) Rabies Treatment Saves One, Does Not Work for All http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267191,00.htmlHuman Rabies — Indiana and California, 2006 http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5615a1.htm(4) 8 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Dog Shelters http://www.toybreeds.com/animalshelters.htmABC NEWS: 300,000 Imported Puppies Prompt Rabies Scare http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=3765973&page=1

  HB2516 violates the United States Constitution under the 5th, 14th Amendment, and the Commerce Clause.  The state of Arizona does not hold title to the property rights of Arizona’s citizen’s animals. Animal’s genetalia belongs to the owner of the animal. Arizona dog breeders are deprived of selling as many dogs as the fair market allows. No other part of Arizona’s animal breeding industry is restricted by legislation.  Cattle, and sheep ranchers are not restricted in their breeding, and sales

It is the duty, and the responsibility of the legislature to protect, and defend the rights of the people of Arizona. HB2516 is a taking of the property and use rights of  Arizona’s pure-bred dog  breeders. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Arizona State Legislature to kill HB2516.

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATESP.O. Box 1406  Newport, WA 99156Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows E-mail US rdows@povn.comBlog https://rdows.wordpress.com  E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821Judy Schreiber-Dwornick, Assistant to the Chair, Director at Large, rdowsdirectoratlarge@gmail.comHermine Stover, Secretary, Press Liaison, CA, hermine@endangeredspecies.comMary Schaeffer, Finance Director, finedogs@hotmail.comArizona Director, John Bowen johnalldogs@sprintmail.comCalifornia Director, Jan Dykema bestuvall@sbcglobal.netIllinois Director, Elizabeth Pensgard bpensgard@yahoo.comIndiana Director, Charles Coffman candkcoffman@comcast.netIowa Director, Leisa Boysen rdows_iowa@yahoo.comMississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield farmer1@telepak.netNevada Director, Ken Sondej 4winds@viawest.netOhio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky ohdirrdows@yahoo.comOklahoma Director, Jade Harris aadrlegislation@yahoo.comTennessee Director, Gina Cotton ginacotton@msn.comTexas Director, Alvin Crow crobx@austin.rr.com 

OPPOSITION STATEMENT TO VIRGINIA HB 1570

 Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States was formed October 15, 1989 to protect the civil rights, Constitutional rights, and interests of dog owners. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States takes the position that animals are valuable property. Animals are among the most ancient of traditional property of human beings.

Responsible Dog Owners is opposed to Virginia HB 1570 as it violates the commerce rights of the citizen  dog breeders of Virginia. If enacted as introduced HB 1570 will cause the importation of pure-bred dogs bred by breeders outside of Virginia in order to meet in state demand for pets. HB 1570 acts to the detriment of  Virginia’s dog, and cat breeders whose ability to breed and sell pure-bred animals is curtailed by HB 1570.

Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Legislature of the state of Virginia to curtail the mass importation of animals by not for profit animal shelters, and rescue organizations that flood shelters with animals from Asia, Romania, India, and elsewhere while creating a false “animal over-population crisis”  and pointing fingers of blame at responsible Virginia dog breeders.  See the evidence in the articles listed below.

 (1) TUFTS: FILLING EMPTY DOG POUNDS (FROM 02-06-03) http://enews.tufts.edu/stories/020603FillingEmptyPounds.htm Pet Underpopulation: The Pet Shortage in the US by Laura Baughanhttp://spanieljournal.com/33baughan.html(2) Dog imports raise fears of a resurgence of disease http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-21-dog-imports_N.htmOutbreak of Drug-Resistant Salmonella at an Animal Shelter http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/nov_dec_2004/outbreak_of_drug-resistant_salmonella.htmlDisease shuts animal shelter (Las Vegas) http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Feb-10-Sat-2007/news/12517017.html(3) Rabies Treatment Saves One, Does Not Work for All http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267191,00.htmlHuman Rabies — Indiana and California, 2006 http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5615a1.htm(4) 8 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Dog Shelters http://www.toybreeds.com/animalshelters.htmABC NEWS: 300,000 Imported Puppies Prompt Rabies Scare http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=3765973&page=1

 HB 1570 violates the United States Constitution under the 5th, 14th Amendment, and the Commerce Clause.  The state of Virginia does not hold title to the property rights of Virginia’s citizen’s animals. Animal’s genetalia belongs to the owner of the animal. Under HB 1570 Virginia dog breeders are deprived of selling as many dogs as the fair market allows. No other part of Virginia’s animal breeding industry is restricted by legislation.  Cattle, horse, and sheep ranchers are not restricted in their breeding, and sales

It is the duty, and the responsibility of the legislature to protect, and defend the rights of the people of Virginia. HB 1570 is a taking of the property and use rights of  Virginia’s pure-bred dog  breeders. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Virginia Legislature to kill HB 1570

No matter if you choose to give a home to a shelter dog, or to a pure-bred do your homework. Ask all of the right questions so that both you and your new dog are happy with each other. A dog is a commitment of your time, an investment of your money, and a responsibility for the entirety of the dog’s life.

Most people do not see sixteen years or more stretching out before them when they fall in love with a cute puppy. They only think in the here, and now. Be aware that the beautifully groomed, and impeccably mannered dogs that you see on Animal Planet’s televised dog shows are the products of many generations of selective breeding for stable temperament, intelligence, trainability, and sound healthy body structure. The owners put intensive training, socialization, and meticulous grooming into the dogs to bring them to this example of perfection. Each breed of pure-bred dogs were developed for a particular purpose. Working dogs, sporting dogs, field dogs, terriers, and most hound breeds are high energy, and need lots of exercise.

Select a dog that suits your life style, just as you would select an automobile. If you have a large family, a two seat roadster might make your heart yearn, but it would not be a practical family car. If you have a tiny city apartment a Scottish Deerhound isn’t recommended. Consider not only your lifestyle, but also the dog’s needs. Once you have decided upon a pure-bred dog, next choose a breeder. Take your time. Look for the right person. The one with whom you feel comfortable, one who doesn’t try to rush you into a sale, but reassures you that if you are willing to wait he/she will be willing to work with you to be sure you get exactly the puppy that you want. Do not be in a hurry. Be as selective in choosing a dog as you would be buying any other large ticket item. You will be paying for the dog for the entirety of its life. Think of it as a long term investment of the heart, and wallet.

Pure-bred dogs from reputable breeders come with a registration paper, a pedigree, a shot record, a worming record, a health certificate, and a written contract/guarantee.

If you have decided to open your home, and heart to a shelter dog be just as cautious. Shelters being not for profit corporations do not have to meet the same health requirements as do private dog breeders. They can, and do import animals from China, Romania, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Mexico.(1) These dogs do not have to meet the same quarantine requirements for importation that do the dogs that are bought by private individuals from foreign breeders. In fact shelters are being shut down all over the USA from out of control diseases from imported strays brought in to fill the empty cages.(2) Rabies is a concern.

Although the Center For Disease Control issued a press report claiming to have eradicated rabies in domestic pets in the USA, an 11 year old California boy died from a strain of rabies that there were no medical protocols to treat.(3) Be sure to ask where the dog originated, and try to get proof that the dog is healthy, and has been socialized..(4) Try to obtain as much information as possible. The health, and safety of yourself, and your family comes first. Shelters do not have to guarantee the dog’s health, or temperament, or your safety.

(1) TUFTS: FILLING EMPTY DOG POUNDS (FROM 02-06-03) http://enews.tufts.edu/stories/020603FillingEmptyPounds.htm

 Pet Underpopulation: The Pet Shortage in the US by Laura Baughan

http://spanieljournal.com/33lbaughan.html

(2) Dog imports raise fears of a resurgence of disease http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-21-dog-imports_N.htm

Outbreak of Drug-Resistant Salmonella at an Animal Shelter http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/nov_dec_2004/outbreak_of_drug-resistant_salmonella.html

Disease shuts animal shelter (Las Vegas) http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Feb-10-Sat-2007/news/12517017.html

(3) Rabies Treatment Saves One, Does Not Work for All http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267191,00.html

Human Rabies — Indiana and California, 2006 http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5615a1.htm

(4) 8 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Dog Shelters http://www.toybreeds.com/animalshelters.htm

ABC NEWS: 300,000 Imported Puppies Prompt Rabies Scare 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=3765973&page=1

Cherie Graves, chairwoman Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States

P.O. Box 1406

Newport, WA 99156

http://www.povn.com/rdows

http://www.povn.com/rdows/donations.html

https://rdows.wordpress.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UAOA

http://www.unitedAnimalownersalliance.com

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RDOWS

15 December 2007 Recently Amber, a California Healthy Pets Act blogger new to the scene (and to California) wrote “Bill Hemby Chairman of PetPAC has lied so many times about AB1634 California’s Healthy Pets ACT that we lost count.”  Since my curiosity was piqued, I thought I would click on the link.  What to my wondering eyes did appear but a sad-faced doggie behind bars with a message “HE NEEDS OUR HELP.”Now, that’s a surprise.  It is a similar sad-faced doggie just like the ones “used” by the Humane Society of the United States when they are soliciting for their donation du jour.  We all know by now the woman-behind-the-man-behind-the-bill, but please add PETA and the Humane Society of the United States to the list of organizations working fast and furious behind the scenes of California Assembly Bill 1634 to remove Fluffy and Fido from the family photo! ‘Tis the season so I read on.  New blogger (obviously drinking kool-aid from the California Healthy Pet punchbowl) writes:  “LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.”   Imagine my disappointment when new blogger failed to accomplish her goal.  She presented “lies”.  She presented “facts”.  She did NOT present the truth!! Since I had some time on my hands between decorating the tree and wrapping presents for my dog’s extensive list of canine friends, I thought “I” would help to set the record straight.  I did have to take a break or two to pop more non-vegan cookies into the oven and slice a ham for our holiday gathering with friends this evening, but the importance of setting the record straight kept my fingers busily clicking away on the keyboard. New blogger is most concerned with the nature of PetPAC.  Perhaps new blogger needs to delve more deeply into the nature of Social Compassion in Legislation instead, a key supporter of AB1634.  Principals are Judie Mancuso, her husband Rolf Wicklund, Jane Garrison, and her husband (the chiropractor?) Mark Garrison.  I do think a few of those names are PETA-esque.  I wonder if they are on Ingrid Newkirk’s and Wayne Pacelle’s Christmas card lists.  (Is Christmas a vegan holiday?) Why does Social Compassion in Legislation want to be just a figurehead supporter asking for donations (“click to donate”)?  Wouldn’t you think they would want financial contributors to know all about their good works so that those potential contributors could delve deeper into their pockets this holiday season and SEND MONEY?  If you have free time, google Social Compassion in Legislation.  You will find bubkus! [also spelled bubkes or bupkis … means you will find “nothing at all”] I thought I would share some further insight into the “coalition”.  By the way, I have heard on numerous occasions by Ms. Mancuso that “hers” is a Republican coalition.  Do you honestly think the puppies and kitties care if you vote Democrat or Republican? A recent press event held in Los Angeles by Lloyd Levine and “legendary” television star Bob Barker and members of the coalition informed one and all of the return of this blithering bill.  Senators have had to ask Santa for fax machines throughout the State to accommodate the ensuing piles of SUPPORT or OPPOSITION faxes soon to arrive with the New Year. The Associated Press had another report recently (14 Dec) that I thought I would share with you:  “PRICE WAS RIGHT, BUT THE CAR WAS WRONG, CONTESTANT SAYS” According to a lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, in June 2004, a contestant on “The Price Is Right” guessed that a sports car was worth $33,495 and left the stage thinking she had just won a new 2004 Pontiac GTO Coupe.  In her lawsuit against the game show, CBS Broadcasting, the auto dealership that provided the vehicle and the transportation company that delivered it, the contestant alleges the GTO Coupe she received was not new, as she had been promised, and had been in an accident. When she took the car, which arrived in her home state of Washington in September 2004, in for service the next year, she was told that it had suffered structural damage to the frame and front end, “but the repair work was such that an obvious effort had been made to conceal or hide the damage.”    OOPS! For full text of above referenced AP article, please click here: 

<http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20071214-1638-ca-wrongcar.html>

 Okay, where was I?  Oh, I remember.  Back to setting the record straight. Let’s chat awhile about pet overpopulation.  Do you know that there is actually a SHORTAGE OF ADOPTABLE DOGS in the United States?  Let me repeat for those AB1634 “supporters” who might be reading challenged.  There is actually a SHORTAGE OF ADOPTABLE DOGS in the United States!!   Do you know that there is a prison program offered by the Marin Humane Society?   Oh, I see a potential problem looming.   Perhaps the California Healthy Pet “supporters” are geographically challenged and are NOT aware that the Marin Humane Society is located in CALIFORNIA!!   Perhaps the California Healthy Pet “supporters” are NOT aware that the Marin Humane Society is located in NOVATO, CALIFORNIA, only 100 miles from Santa Cruz, CA, the sacred capitol of all things right with sheltering according to Assembly Member Lloyd Levine and the coalition. What’s that?  You don’t remember Santa Cruz being a role model to emulate?   Just this week it was announced in Santa Cruz County that their Animal Services Authority General Manager, Katherine Vos, was ousted!  Loyal shelter workers staged a sickout.  Both volunteers and employees were AFRAID TO SPEAK TO THE MEDIA … for fear of losing their jobs!   Why is that?  What could possibly be gleaned by this change in command in Santa Cruz?  Someone wouldn’t be trying to “conceal or hide” anything, would they? In response to the article about Katherine Vos leaving Santa Cruz, I thought I would do a bit of my own homework.  Here is some interesting information straight from the minutes of the Santa Cruz Board meetings: Dec 2007:  It is announced that Animal Services Authority (ASA) General Manager, Katherine Vos, will leave in January 2008.  [Was it politically motivated??? ] Let’s go back. April 2007:  Newly appointed General Manager to the ASA, Katherine Vos, is introduced to the Board. May 2007:  Lisa Carter, Executive Director of the SPCA, encouraged the board to endorse the California Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634.  [This is the same woman who just happened to call-in to the recent KGO radio program with Judie Mancuso.  Interesting how Lisa always gets on every radio program that Ms. Mancuso is doing.  To be fair, KGO’s radio host did describe Lisa as “one of her dearest friends.”]   To continue setting the record straight, the County of Santa Cruz took over animal-control services and the bulk of sheltering in 2002 amid a FINANCIAL SCANDAL at the local SPCA.  The SPCA now serves as an advocacy and education group but does NOT handle shelters!! (see below)   Financial scandal?  Doesn’t handle shelters?  OOPS! At the Board meeting in May, Ms. Carter passed out a copy of the California Healthy Pet Act and a list of sponsors and supporters.  Please note the following: BOARD ACTION:   The Board recommended staff put this item on the next agenda for a vote with a copy of the bill and a comprehensive analysis.  [If Santa Cruz has been consistently touted as Lloyd Levine’s “model,” then wouldn’t they jump at the chance to support the bill?  This appears odd to me.] Annette Hogue, Watsonville Shelter Volunteer wanted to show her support for the California Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634.  Sammy Ettenger, SPCA, explained the difference in understanding of the California Healthy Pet Act, AB 1634.  Lynne Achterberg, Project Purr, handed out their newsletter.  [And “still” the Board took no action to “support” the bill despite the fact that Santa Cruz is the RECOMMENDED STATE ROLE MODEL for the California Healthy Pet Act?]  Let’s look further. June 2007:  BOARD ACTION:   Take no action on the bill at this time.  Board directed General Manager to draft a letter with comments in regards to Santa Cruz ordinance verses the AB1634 bill.  [Even though “supporters” were pushing AB1634 down the throats of the Board members via feeding tube, the BOARD STILL TOOK NO ACTION!]  Sept 2007:  BOARD ACTION:  Accept and file report and directed the ASA General Manager to bring back to the board an update on efforts made to decrease the euthanasia rates at the Santa Cruz County Animal Services Authority Shelters.   [What’s this?  Santa Cruz needs to DECREASE THEIR RATE OF EUTHANASIA?  Do you think Lloyd Levine knows about this?  Do you think Lloyd Levine cares?  Let’s go a bit further down memory lane together, shall we?  Gotta set the record straight!] May 2003:  On April 26, 2003 through April 28, 2003, the Santa Cruz Sentinel published an expose of the issues surrounding the Santa Cruz SPCA and how it led to the creation of the ASA.  In addition to the SPCA article of April 26th, an article regarding the status of the ASA and it’s role in the delivery of animal services was published.  These articles have drawn considerable attention to the agency.  OOPS!!  An expose?  Missing funds?  Corruption?  And shelter shutdown? Sept 2003:  FIELD SERVICES:  In late September, with a full complement of Animal Control staff on board, we will be refining our animal control dispatch services with a training day on the enhanced uses of our Chameleon animal control data base system. In addition to this training, our new clerk/dispatcher will be spending a day at NetCom learning some basic dispatch procedures that can assist us in our own operations. [Hmmmm….. This couldn’t be the same Chameleon animal control data base system that Ed Boks, General Manager at LA Animal Services and California Healthy Pets Act coalition member, is using, could it?  Must be a coincidence.  I do recall reading on a few occasions by another well-researched blogger that Chameleon is Ed’s software-of-choice for “cooking the books”!  Not my choice of words but interesting nonetheless, eh?]    Nov 2003:  Accepted a report from the General Manager.  Animal Control and shelter activity has continued to increase over prior months.  In addition, there has been a noticeable increase in field activity such as animal biting incidents and barking dog complaints.   [What’s this?  Animal biting incidents?  I didn’t think this was possible with spayed and neutered dogs according to Lloyd Levine and Judie Mancuso.  Could this possibly mean that Santa Cruz is failing in accomplishing their goal?  Santa Cruz canines nibbling on neighbors and chomping on the postman and the meter reader?] Here is more from the Board meeting in November 2003. The shelter has gained in traffic through the facility. The latter is reflected in the ASA’s increase in revenue generated in Humane Services, which included adoptions, reclaim fees and other shelter-related activities. Staffing has consistently presented a problem in our response to the workload created by this increase in shelter visits by the public. [It appears then that this is a “revenue generating” bill?  Is that what Levine and Mancuso mean when they say “SAVE MONEY, SAVE LIVES”?  Has Mr. Levine NOT read the part in the Santa Cruz Board meeting minutes that staffing has consistently been presented with problems with the ADDITIONALLY CREATED WORKLOAD caused by MSN?  Isn’t AB1634 the cure-all feel-good bill of the future?] The California Healthy Pets website says communities will be SAFER.  They drool on by informing that “Mandatory spaying and neutering will reduce the dangers caused by roaming stray animals, the transmission of rabies, and injuries from dog bites. Unaltered dogs are three times more likely to attack humans and other pets.”   Since Santa Cruz field authorities state that there is a noticeable increase in field activities such as animal biting incidents WITH mandatory spay/neuter, it would appear that “mandatory” spaying and neutering is DETRIMENTAL to communities and NOT SAFER!   OOPS!   Must be an oversight on the California Healthy Pets website.  I do hope their new blogger is reading this! Here is a link to the recent Santa Cruz Sentinel article “Animal Shelter Workers Protest Leader’s Departure” (12 Dec 2007) <http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/story.php?storySection =Local&sid=51502> It appears the first paragraph explains things quite nicely.  Workers suspected that Katherine Vos resigned Monday “under pressure.”  The article also states that “workers declined to comment to the press on Tuesday in fear of losing their positions.”  Some shelter workers called in sick on Tuesday to protest a decision they said was “forced on them.” Vos, the second general manager to oversee shelters in Scotts Valley and Watsonville since the county agency was formed in 2002, stated “I know there’s been a lot of dissension about me leaving and this is not what I wanted.”  (The shelters house a combined 6,500 animals.) The county took over animal-control services and the bulk of sheltering in 2002, amid a FINANCIAL SCANDAL at the local SPCA. The SPCA now serves as an advocacy and education group but does not handle shelters.  The Animal Services Authority is governed by a board of city and county administrators and law enforcement heads. Only one elected official, Sheriff Steve Robbins, serves on the board.  Vos has worked in animal sheltering and enforcement for more than 25 years, and is vice president of the state Animal Control Directors Association. Before coming to Santa Cruz she worked as chief animal control officer for El Dorado County and chief animal care officer for Sacramento Animal Care Services.   [Wouldn’t you think Santa Cruz would want to keep the VP of the Animal Control Directors Association on their payroll?] Continuing on setting the record straight, here is a link to an article about “Taiwanese” dogs in the State of California. <http://www.cooldoghalloffame.com/rescue-dog-hall-of-fame/prison-program-turns-problem-dogs-into-pets/1377> From the San Francisco Chronicle (14 Dec).  “Taiwan? There are dogs in shelters here from Taiwan? Yes, there are. In some parts of the United States there is a shortage of adoptable dogs, not an overpopulation. Dogs are being imported to the U.S. from Puerto Rico to as far away as Taiwan to fill shelters here so people can adopt them. It’s currently easy to import dogs into the U.S. though, as diseases like the canine version of rabies are eliminated here, more people are worrying about the diseases that such dogs may bring with them into this country.”  [Thanks to Cool Dog Hall of Fame!] “PRISON PROGRAM TURNS PROBLEM DOGS INTO PETS” Last year, Melody was just another typical mongrel from Taiwan: sharp features, pointy ears, curly tail.   [please click on above link for full text of article]  In closing, Santa Cruz MSN is a miserable failure.  No “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about it.  It failed.  Plain and simple.  However, Lloyd Levine and Judie Mancuso are going to continue beating a dead horse.  By the way, when I asked Ms. Mancuso in October 2007 the following question, “Judie, whose bill is this? Yours? Or Lloyd’s?”  Her reply was swift.  “Why it is MY BILL, of course!  Lloyd is busy with his Senate campaign.”   I had no idea that Ms. Mancuso was now an elected official.  I must have missed that part.  My bad.   The Santa Cruz shelter statistics that are being utilized by the coalition are unverifiable.  Please note that when mandatory spay/neuter was first implemented in Santa Cruz (1995-1997), sky rockets were going off.  Impounds and euthanasia went through the roof.   There is NOTHING “healthy” about AB1634.  This unfunded bill will cost the State of California MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  The California Healthy Pets Act will NOT save the state ANY money.  It will NOT save lives.  Thousands more dogs and cats will lose their lives in shelter “death camps” needlessly throughout the state! Let’s kick this bill to the curb and get back to what we all love … our companion animals.  Make 2008 the year that this legislation goes to that great big doghouse in the sky. NOW the record has been set straight! Happy Holidays,Brat Zinsmaster P.S.  Please feel free to share this “record” with your Assembly Members and Senators, with your local news media (print and radio), with your local shelters, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker.  Permission to cross post is encouraged!

Many people accept without question, or proof that there is a pet-overpopulation crises in the United States. They cite the numbers of animals that are killed in shelters as their proof. That “proof” will increase dramatically in shelters across the county that took in animals that were “rescued” from the areas hit by the Hurricanes Katrina, and Rita. These animals will considerably add to the shelter’s kill numbers, and will lead to legislation to quell the crisis. In order to “prove” pet overpopulation, animal rights groups, and shelters are importing animals from China, Haiti, Romania, Taiwan, South America, and from countries around the world, and shuttling them across this nation. With those animals go their diseases that are not endemic to the United States of America. Shelters all over this country were shut down in the past year to get control of disease epidemics. Animal transports are at an unprecedented level. These transported animals are being used to inflate local shelter’s intake and euthanasia rates. If there were truly a pet overpopulation in the United States of America, wouldn’t it  make a whole lot of sense not to import animals from elsewhere?

Over-population is caused by an environmental situation that affects the whole population, such as drought, or crop failure, or even war. It means that there are no life sustaining resources to keep the populace alive. Over-population affects every living thing within the confines of the afflicted area. It would mean that there is no food, no potable water, no shelter, no medical supplies, no clothing, nothing to keep the entire population alive, and thriving. If we truly had a pet-overpopulation here in the USA, we wouldn’t just be talking about the sterile killing of animals for disposal in so-called shelters. We would be eating those animals to save ourselves from starvation.  If there was truly an overpopulation, there would be empty super-market shelves. No medical supplies, or services. Lines for potable water. We would all look like the people who have honestly suffered from the real situation of no sustaining resources available. We wouldn’t be a diet conscious nation, we would be in serious nutritional trouble. Over-population doesn’t play favorites. It affects the entire population of living beings.

Animal rights groups basically built the shelters, and told people that they didn’t have to be responsible for their animals anymore. Just dump them at the shelter. It’s become big business, and the shelters are not only thriving, but they are getting bigger, and better multi-million dollar facilities. Interestingly the Humane Society of the United States, one of the foremost purveyors of the pet overpopulation myth,  operates no shelters at all, and uses a large portion of it’s donations to make even more money. They recently have come under investigation by the Louisiana Attorney General for misuse of funds obtained after Hurricane Katrina, some $30,000.000.00. PeTA with all of it’s millions in revenue operates one shelter where it kills 83% of all the animals that it brings in.

We need to question what we are being told by these animal rights groups, and not be so quick to accept what they tell us as truths. Look at their real agenda. They post it on their websites. That agenda is to liberate all animals from our ownership, use, and care. No more pets. If we can’t own pets, there can’t be an “over-population”.  No more domesticated animals of any kind. 

Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States position on pet overpopulation is that it is a lie that is perpetrated by the animal rights movement, and fueled by the minority of pet owning society, the irresponsible, careless, negligent owner.

I think I speak for a good deal of reasonable people out here on planet earth who have been fighting bad animal legislation (and the animal rights groups/lobbyists who push for it) for some time who can finally breathe a vindicated sigh of relief and say to Nathan Winograd, “It’s about time somebody came out and said it.” If you’ve ever worked, volunteered, or otherwise been involved with a shelter, you will probably not be surprised at Winograd’s claim that pet overpopulation is mythology, a yarn if you will, spun by those with an agenda. But Winograd in his book Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America did the footwork, wrote the book, and proved it.

I won’t go into how Winograd proves that pet overpopulation is a myth since you should check the book out for yourself, if only as armament against the next ignorant, self-proclaimed “do-gooder” who tells you that ‘No Kill’ as a rule is a fallacy or that the killing of animals in the millions is a necessary evil thanks to an irresponsible pet-owning public. What I will say is that this book is a must-read if you profess to be current on the issues of shelter intake numbers, spay/neuter, animal adoption/kill rates, and animal legislation.

That said, I would like to propose an addendum to Winograd’s book. In chapter four (pp. 53-63) Winograd conjectures about the reasons why more shelters, animal controls, and even national organizations (like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the National Animal Control Association) did not push the ‘No Kill’ philosophy after the demonstrated success of Richard Avanzino’s ‘No Kill’ program at the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 1) Fear of being held to account for shelters’ high kill rates; 2) Guilt for having killed so many animals when there had been a better solution — ‘No Kill’ — all along; 3) Ignorance for not knowing there was another solution besides kill rates of 50-80%; 4) Shelter directors not caring enough about animals to change their policies, or to put that another way, the status quo was easier than a mass overhaul of the system. (Winograd calls this attitude the very definition of bureaucracy, which, he notes, often sacrifices its founding principles in the greater interest of self-preservation.)

These are all plausible theories, but I would add one more, which Winograd only briefly addresses in the chapter on feral cats: nativism. As Winograd notes, nativism is the “belief that the value of an individual animal comes from lineage and that worth as a species stems from being at a particular location first” (79). Winograd is fearless to point out, since most animal rights activists won’t, that nativism, as well as environmentalism and animal rights as concepts, had their roots in Nazi Germany. What Winograd can’t or won’t say, or is afraid to admit, is that some shelters and animal rights organizations (or so-called “humane” organizations which have been infiltrated with animal rights activists or by the animal rights mentality) are adherents of nativism and may not have an interest in saving pets’ lives, but may in fact be wilfully seeking to exterminate them. To many animal rights activists and environmentalists who subscribe to nativism, domesticated pets represent a violation of “Mother Nature,” or the living Gaia, which to them is the natural order of things.

The essay “The Ethic of Care and the Problem of Wild Animals” sums this view up tidily:

“Without addressing the difficult issue of the rationality of nonhuman animals, the autonomy and independence of at least wild animals can be and has been defended. In fact, environmental ethicists have long emphasized the difference between wild and domestic animals along these lines: Aldo Leopold wrote that the essence of environmental ethics was “reappraising things unnatural, tame, and confined in terms of things natural, wild, and free” (Callicott 1992, 67). According to environmental ethicist J. Baird Callicott, wild animals are autonomous and independent, while domestic animals are human creations which are metaphysically unfree. By this Callicott means that domestic animals are nothing but what we have selectively bred them to be, such that it is as meaningless to speak of setting free domestic animals as it would be to speak of setting free a chair.”

So in the minds of many environmentalists and animal rights activists, since you can’t set domestic animals free (after all, they are, according to them, unnatural human creations), you must necessarily “humanely” euthanize them. In other words, in order to return to the “natural order” of things, indigenous species should take precedent over human encroachment, which includes human domestication of animals, because wild (i.e. natural, indigenous), animals were there first.

Domesticated animals are not indigenous, they are, as Wayne Pacelle, head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has said, “…creations of human selective breeding” (Animal People, May, 1993). In other words, to many environmentalists and animal rights activists, domesticated animals, like humans themselves, are a bane to the “natural order” of things, meaning wild animals, the environment, and “Mother Earth.” I wonder if the majority of those donating to the HSUS know that, as Pacelle stated, the HSUS has “…no problem with the extinction of domestic animals” (Animal People, May, 1993). I wonder if the majority of those donating to PETA know that Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, thinks “…it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether” (Newsday, 2/21/88). I bet not.

I think it safe to say that most if not all animal rights groups have the shared goal of ending domestic pet ownership (and animal agriculture) one way or the other whether like PETA, it’s by encouraging municipalities to ban specific breeds, or like the HSUS, it’s by pushing breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter, just as a few examples. Many animal rights groups have formidable lobbies pushing legislation behind the scenes. What these groups push for or how they push for it many in the public, including even those of us who are laser-beam focused on such issues, are seldom privy.

I don’t know why Winograd did not find the same damning quotes from the animal rights groups — like PETA or the HSUS — in doing the research for his book. Maybe he did and was afraid to admit that the killing is done on purpose since he himself has been labeled an animal rights activist, though to my recollection I do not believe he ever refers to himself as an animal rights activist anywhere in the book. (And even though he has been labeled an animal rights activist by the press, I’m going to try to give Winograd the benefit of the doubt in this case and hope that the AR label is something of a misnomer and what he should really be called is an animal welfare advocate since, unlike many animal rights activists, he doesn’t want to see domesticated animals die en masse.) Either way, I cannot speculate. But a more in-depth look into the nativism theory, which is perhaps the most plausible theory for why many so-called “humane” organizations, animal controls, and shelters are more interested in killing than saving animals, is certainly warranted given the heads of these groups’ own damning words. Perhaps in Winograd’s follow-up book he can take a closer look at these animal rights groups and get to the bottom of their true agenda: the end of domestic pet ownership (and animal agriculture) as we know it.

Elizabeth Pensgard
Illinois Director, Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States