Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lame Ducks May Bite Ohio Dog Owners

Posted by John Yates on 12/9/2008

Lame Ducks May Bite Dog Owners In Ohio
American Sporting Dog Alliance http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio State Senate appears to be trying to ram through legislation that will burden all dog owners in the fading days of the current legislative session, which expires Dec. 31. Last week, with no notice given to most dog owners, the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee held hearings on House Bill 446. The 100-page-plus document amends the Ohio Animal Control Law in several ways that are detrimental to dog owners. Another hearing is set for today, Tuesday Dec. 9, at 2:30 PM or after the end of the day’s Senate session. It will be held in the Finance Hearing Room. The American Sporting Dog Alliance has been cautioning dog owners to prepare for a sneak attack in the “lame duck” session, between the General Election in November and the end of the year. “Lame duck” sessions are notorious for passing politically unpopular legislation because senators and legislators won’t have to face the voters again for at least two years, and some of them are not accountable to anyone except their own consciences, as they will not be returning in January. HB 446 passed the state House by a large margin in May and was sent to the Senate, where pressure from dog owners kept it bottled up in committee before the election, when elected officials were not inclined to cast controversial votes. The Senate Committee is not scheduled to vote on the legislation today, although it is in its power to do so. Amendments to the bill also are possible today. If the committee approves the legislation, it will be sent to the full Senate for a vote. If the Senate passes it before the end of the month, it will return to the House for a concurrence vote on any changes, and could be sent to the Governor for signature or veto. If the bill is not passed by Dec. 31, it is dead and will have to be reintroduced next year. Here are some of the provisions in HB 446: · Increases the minimum fee for a dog license from $2 to $10. However, most counties have much higher fees. All puppies must be licensed at three month of age. · Increases the fee for a kennel license from $10 to $50, plus requires every dog and puppy to be individually licensed. Many counties will be charging around $75 for a kennel license, plus $15 for each dog and puppy. Anyone who breeds even a single litter of puppies for hunting or for sale is defined as a kennel owner. · Kennels must be inspected, and the kennel license can be revoked if the inspecting agency alleges that the owner has committed an act of animal cruelty or neglect. This allegation does not have to be proven, and many animal cruelty police officers reportedly have close ties to radical animal rights groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. · All dogs over three months of age that are kept in a kennel or outdoors must wear a license tag at all times. Dogs found without a license tag may be confiscated, euthanized or adopted through an animal shelter. The same rules apply to a dog wearing a license tag if it is lost while hunting or competing in a field trial. · Dog wardens can confiscate and destroy any dog that is alleged to be running at large, if the person who makes the accusation files an affidavit in court. No proof is required that the complaint is factual. · The sale of an unlicensed dog or puppy is prohibited, and people who move to Ohio are given only one business day to license their dogs, or face possible fines, confiscation and the destruction of a beloved pets. · Individual dog owners would be prohibited from giving rabies vaccinations to dogs that they own. This is currently legal, and there have been no reports of problems with this law. All rabies vaccinations would have to be done by a veterinarian for dogs, cats and ferrets, under this legislation. · Good Samaritans who find a lost dog would be discouraged by rules that require reporting the dog to animal control within two days, and either adopting it or turning it over to animal control would be required within 14 days. The person who finds the dog would be prohibited from finding a home for it, or turning it over to a private rescue organization. · The bill would open the door to thefts of dogs by animal rights activists, and also encourage the takeover of local Humane Societies by animal rights activists. · And several changes to the laws about dangerous dogs. Thus far, the testimony at Senate hearings has been strongly in opposition to many aspects of HB 446. The American Sporting Dog Alliance has voiced strong opposition to this legislation in both formal written testimony and in letters to each senator and legislator. The state association for veterinarians has testified in support of the legislation, but testimony has focused only on the rabies issue and a requirement for animal shelters to scan every animal for microchips. Rep. Shawn Webster, the bill’s prime sponsor and a veterinarian, has offered 19 possible amendments to HB 446 to address concerns expressed in the testimony, but thus far none of these possible amendments has been formally introduced. What You Can Do Please immediately contact every member of the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee to voice your strong opposition to HB 446. Please state clearly that you are opposed to this legislation, and also mention your reasons. Here is a link to the Committee’s website: http://www.senate.state.oh.us/committees/com_state.html. Each member’s name is highlighted, and contact information can be found by clicking on the senator’s name. Because of the late date, phone and fax are the best methods to contact the senators. Emails and surface mail also may be effective. Here is a link to the actual legislation that passed the House in May and was sent to the Senate: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_HB_446. The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We welcome people who work with other breeds, too, 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 the donations of our members, and maintain strict independence.

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


No comments: