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Legislation Would Destroy
Almost Every Ohio Kennel

Hearing Tomorrow - Act Now Or Lose It All

by JOHN YATES
American sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org
[email protected]

This report is archived at

COLUMBUS, OH – A critical committee hearing is scheduled for tomorrow (June 24, 2009) on legislation that we believe would make it impossible for anyone to raise dogs in Ohio. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will take testimony on House Bill 124 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Room 018 of the State Capitol Building.

We cannot be too emphatic about the devastating nature of HB 124 and its impact on people who raise dogs in Ohio. It is very radical animal rights legislation straight from the heart of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which is the political mouthpiece for this movement to gradually eliminate all animal ownership in America.

If dog owners do not act decisively and in large numbers, they will have only themselves to blame if this terrible legislation is passed into law. Immediate action is required to save the dogs that you love. No excuse is good enough for failing to act now.

Some people may think we are exaggerating and using scare tactics. We are not, and we will prove it in this report. First, we will summarize the major provisions in HB 124, and then we will provide a direct link to the actual text of this legislation so that people can read it for themselves and prove that everything we are saying is true.

Ohio dog owners have every reason to be scared – very scared! And they have every reason to be very angry because this legislation denies innocent dog owners the basic rights and legal processes that are guaranteed to someone charged with murder or rape.

You will no longer truly own your dogs if this legislation passes. They will become, in essence, wards of the state.

Here are some of the major provisions of HB 124 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 95:

· A Kennel Authority would be created to write regulations, administer the law and control virtually everything done by dog owners. The Authority’s politically appointed Board of Directors would be heavily weighted toward animal rights activists. Only one person who raises dogs and one person representing pet stores would be on the Board. There is no legislative or judicial oversight over the decisions of this board.

· This committee would be given a free hand to design and implement all of the rules for kennel licensing, inspections and paperwork, as well as all construction, maintenance and management requirements..

· The board will require every kennel owner and “any other person” who sells even one dog to obtain a tax vendor number. You must pay sales tax for selling even one dog or puppy.

· Each applicant for any kind of kennel license will be subjected to a criminal background check by the state Attorney General.

· Every license applicant must post insurance or a bond to cover the state’s cost of enforcing the law at the kennel.

· The Board is given a completely blank check to write “any other requirements and procedures” to define and enforce the law. People with animal rights beliefs will have total control over the lives of dog owners.

· Anyone who buys, offers to sell, sells or gives away nine or more dogs a year is intensely regulated and licensed as a dealer, which is called a “dog intermediary” in the legislation. Anyone who sells even one dog or puppy to a pet store also is considered a dealer.

· Anyone who raises more than nine litters of puppies a year, or has 40 puppies a year, must be licensed as a “breeding kennel” and subject to extremely intense regulation. For some breeds, only four litters a year could produce 40 puppies. A “breeding dog” is defined as any dog that is not spayed or neutered, regardless of the dog’s actual purpose in a kennel.

 

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Part two


· Anyone from out of state who sells a dog or puppy to an Ohio resident must document the entire history of the dog, and provide a veterinary health certificate. This will make it very difficult for Ohioans to obtain a dog from another state.

· Tail docking, ear cropping and dewclaw removal (or the removal of any other claw) can be done only by a veterinarian. Owners no longer could dock tails of newborn puppies, as has been standard practice for centuries. Owners also could be prosecuted if a dog accidentally rips off a claw, such as when hunting.

· Kennel owners would no longer be allowed to treat even minor ailments or injuries, possibly even including parasites, which are now defined as a disease. All treatments must be done by a veterinarian.

· No one can sell a dog at any public place, which would include field trials, dog shows and other canine gatherings. All sales must be at the kennel facility.

· The state is required to inspect “any facility…upon request of a member of the public” or a public or quasi-public official. That means that animal rights activists can demand and get state inspections of the home and property of anyone who has dogs, without making or proving any allegation of a violation, and without producing proof of any kind. This will lead to continual and frightening harassment of law-abiding dogs owners by animal rights groups, and the state must respond to all requests for inspections, even if they are obviously bogus.

· Inspectors are given absolute and incontestable power to enter and inspect “any public or private property” to see if a violation of the law has occurred. There is no requirement for a search warrant or probable cause (a warrant is an option method, but is not required). Anyone who refuses to allow an inspection, or hinders it, can be assessed for the entire cost to the state to investigate and prosecute, including wages and expenses for an unlimited number of state officials.

· Any dog may be impounded if the state has probable cause to believe any violation of the law has occurred, but probable cause is not required to presented before a court, as is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. A hearing before the state agency is set within five days, and the dogs could be permanently forfeited to face adoption or euthanasia. A dog owner cannot appeal to a local court, but can appeal only to the Environmental Division of the Franklin County Municipal Court, and the kennel owner must post a bond. The state agency thus becomes the cop, prosecutor, judge and jury.

· Civil penalties ranging up to $15,000 can be imposed administratively (with no appeal) for violations, and separate penalties can be assigned for every dog in violation for every day it is in violation. Thus, a dog owner can be destroyed financially without ever getting his or her day in court, even for minor or accidental infractions.

· The state “shall deny” a license to any person who has violated any part of the law or any rule, and that includes paperwork deficiencies, accidental mistakes and minor technical errors.

· The state “shall deny” a license to anyone who “does not have the expertise or capacity to comply” with the law or regulations. That gives the state absolute power to judge the qualifications of anyone to own a dog, and no objective standards are defined. The decision is entirely subjective. There is no appeal. This also means that most poor and working class people could be denied licensure simply because they don’t have enough money to meet all of the state’s insatiable demands. This is a very real issue in today’s troubled economy, and Ohio is among the states hardest hit by the current deep recession.

· No puppy under 12 weeks of age can be sold unless the litter is registered with the state. This essentially creates a database of every dog in Ohio, which many dog owners think will be used someday to mandate pet sterilization or ban certain breeds of dogs.

· The law provides exacting specifications for kennel sizes, construction and temperature control, and allows the Board to create even more stringent regulations. These rules effectively prohibit a dog owner from raising puppies inside his or her own home, and also effectively ban outdoor housing in the winter for most breeds of dogs (it may exclude hunting and sled dogs, but there is some ambiguity in the language) if the water cannot be kept unfrozen 24 hours a day. The use of crates to train dogs kept in a home also is effectively banned.

· Except for dogs that are continuously confined to a kennel, any dog that is found without a collar and license tag (even inside the owner’s home) can be seized, sold or killed. This would appear to include puppies, as the word “dog” is not defined.

 

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Part three


· No person or group who is licensed as a dog rescue would be allowed to breed any dogs or raise any puppies. This would destroy the breed rescue network in Ohio, as most of the participants actually raise the breed they are helping to rescue.

· And reams of time-consuming paperwork and compliance documentations would be required, and minor omissions or errors could cause a license to be denied or revoked.

It is the belief of the American Sporting Dog Alliance that the terms of HB 124 that are outlined above will combine to force almost every kennel in Ohio to close its doors. The combination of stringent rules, unreasonable liabilities and draconian enforcement measures will either result in kennels being closed by the state, or kennel owners being scared and intimidated into quitting to avoid the probability that the state would destroy their lives.

Please do not take our word for it. We want you to read this legislation yourself and form your own conclusions.

Here is a direct link to the actual text of HB 124: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=128_HB_124 . Please read it.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance regards this bill as an unconscionable perversion of the American concept of justice that shows utter disdain for the Bill of Rights, individual privacy or the concept of private property.

What You Can Do About It

Ohio dog owners are up against an array of powerful forces from the animal rights movement. They are well organized and well funded, and have been preparing for this legislation for many years.

To stop this legislation will require an outpouring of clear opposition from several thousand Ohio dog owners, and the time for it to happen is now.

If dog owners do not act in large numbers, there is a high probability that this terrible and destructive legislation will be passed into law.

Please be scared. Please be angry. Please be scared and angry enough to fight back as if your life depends on it – and it does.

Here is what you can do:

Contact the chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Rep. John Domenick (D-95) and the Minority Chair, Rep. Jeff Wagner (R-81). Faxes and written letters are the best, but this should also include a phone call or email immediately, because the hearing is tomorrow. Emails alone probably are less effective, but far better than nothing.

Here is contact information for Rep. Domenick:

Address:
77 S. High St
12th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-3735
Fax: (614) 719-6995
Email: [email protected]

Here is contact information for Rep. Wegner:

Address:
77 S. High St
10th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Phone: (614) 466-1374
Fax: (614) 719-6981
Email: [email protected]

In addition, please contact as many members of the committee that you can. Here is a link to a list of all representatives on the committee: http://www.house.state.oh.us/index.php?o....&committeeId=93 . Click on the name, and a page with contact information on the left side will appear.

If your own legislator is on the committee, it is urgent to contact him or her as well as the chairmen.

Even if your own representative is not on the committee, please make an effort to contact him or her as well. Most of them care deeply about your views, and need to know that large numbers of their constituents oppose HB 124.

It also would be very prudent and effective to speak directly to your representative. A group of dog owners would be very effective at meetings with legislators. Please ask your friends to help. Many legislators will be back in their own home districts at least weekly this time of the year.

Here is a list for contact information for all Ohio legislators: http://www.house.state.oh.us/index.php?option=com_displaymembers&Itemid=57 .

It also would be very helpful to write letters to the editor of local newspapers, and to make sure that all of the people you know are aware of this legislation. Ask your friends to help by contacting their legislators, even if they do not own dogs. Most Ohioans will respect your right to own dogs, even if they do not own dogs themselves.

If you are able to attend the hearing, please do. You can sign up to testify as well.

Also, please email this report to everyone you know. We need their help.

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 [email protected] .

PLEASE CROSS-POST AND FORWARD THIS REPORT TO YOUR FRIENDS
 

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Wow that sounds drastic. Are there a lot of puppy mills in OH?
The part that annoys me is that "every intact dog is considered a breeding dog". That forces you to neuter... so that means you can´t have a show dog anymore?
 

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Laura - is there something , somewhere that suggests what we can say, besides what we are really thinking? I don't even know where to begin, so that they would understand what they are really considering.
 

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Here's where I go and piss everybody off again...

Reading through this bill, it doesn't seem so bad. It establishes a Kennel Control Authority, defines what a Kennel is, requires kennels to be registered with the state, sets the authority of the animal control officers, and requires that all dogs be registered unless they're in an actual kennel. The prices for becoming an state regulated kennel seem a bit steep, but at the prices some of these people charge for their puppies, I can see it being earned back relatively quick.

It looks to me like Ohio is getting serious about puppy mills...

Do you REALLY believe the goal of the humane society is to strip every pet owner of their pet? :rolleyes:

Kevin

P.S. I'm going to duck for cover now...
 

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Here's where I go and piss everybody off again...

Reading through this bill, it doesn't seem so bad. It establishes a Kennel Control Authority, defines what a Kennel is, requires kennels to be registered with the state, sets the authority of the animal control officers, and requires that all dogs be registered unless they're in an actual kennel. The prices for becoming an state regulated kennel seem a bit steep, but at the prices some of these people charge for their puppies, I can see it being earned back relatively quick.

It looks to me like Ohio is getting serious about puppy mills...

Do you REALLY believe the goal of the humane society is to strip every pet owner of their pet? :rolleyes:

Kevin

P.S. I'm going to duck for cover now...
You should, Laura knows her stuff, she wouldn't be posting it if it there weren't huge concerns about how far this goes!!!
 

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Well, I'll just have to hope that Laura realizes any disagreement I may have is intended to be respectful and that I am always open to new ideas and compromise. And that under no circumstances is it aimed directly at her... :)

Kevin
 
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