Virginia Legislation - 2005 & 2006

 ! ! ATTENTION ! !   Update 04/08/06  ! ! ATTENTION ! ! 

 

 

Virginia Breeders please read and follow through:

 

VETO this bill -IF you don't- people will NOT get their dogs rabies shots- in fear of being reported and then rabies will run rampant!  let people take care of their animals by U taking care of us and vetoing this BILL!  here is what we are saying::

 If HB 339 becomes law it will take effect on January 1, 2007.  After that 

date Virginia vets will have to report giving your dogs rabies shots to 

your county or city so they can bill you for a dog license.   This will 

mean fewer dogs getting rabies shots -- BAD IDEA.   It will also mean more 

owners getting 'outed' for being over their pet limit law and lay the 

foundation for MUCH WORSE laws that we already know will follow.... People are preparing for this - stop this from happening -VETO now!  I voted for U - now do something for me!  Prove to me I did the right thing - By U doing the right thing - VETO!   thank you

GFLENT@MAC.COM

 

From: waltah@earthlink.net

Date: April 7, 2006 3:15:58 PM EDT

To: mysticalkennels@aol.com

Subject: HBR 339 -- ONE MORE 'One last time'

 PLEASE FORWARD AS YOU WISH!

 Dear Virginia Breeder:

Over the last month we have been asking the Governor to VETO HB 339 (vets 

to report rabies shots for dog licensing).   We've been encouraged by the 

amount of positive coverage we've gotten in the press.  

 

Governor Kaine has until midnight, Monday, April 10th to either:

1.  Sign the bill into law.

2.  Do nothing, in which case it becomes law without his signature.  

3.  OR VETO it.  

We talked to the governor's office at noon today (Friday) and were told 

that the governor hasn't made up his mind yet.   We believe this could still 

go either way.

 

If HB 339 becomes law it will take effect on January 1, 2007.  After that 

date Virginia vets will have to report giving your dogs rabies shots to 

your county or city so they can bill you for a dog license.   This will 

mean fewer dogs getting rabies shots -- BAD IDEA.   It will also mean more 

owners getting 'outed' for being over their pet limit law and lay the 

foundation for MUCH WORSE laws that we already know will follow.

 

PLEASE MAKE ONE LAST EMAIL AND/OR CALL TO THE GOVERNOR TO ASK FOR  A VETO.   

How-to info is below the ====== just a few lines down.

 

You can read HB 339 at:

 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+ful+HB339S1

 

Plain text = old law, no point griping about it; strikethrough = stuff deleted 

by HB 339; italics = stuff added by HB 339.   

 

NOT IN VIRGINIA?   Your issue is that Virginia is the one of the very first 

states to get this law and YOU DON'T WANT IT IN YOUR STATE.   So email and 

phone Governor Kaine and help Virginia kill it before it multiplies!

THANK YOU!

Walt & Sharyn Hutchens

Timbreblue Whippets 

==========================================================

WHAT TO DO:

 

1.   Before 5 PM today or Early Monday  -- Call the governor's office:

 Phone: (804) 786-2211

TTY/TDD (For the Hearing Impaired): 

1-800-828-1120, or 711

 Say "I am calling to ask Governor Kaine to VETO HB 339" or something like 

that.   The aide may (or may not) take your contact information.

 

2.   TONIGHT OR OVER THE WEEKEND -- Email Governor Kaine.   Use something 

like "Please VETO HB 339" as a message subject.    Make your message very 

short -- "This is a very bad bill,"   "Doing a better job collecting a tax 

instead of getting our pets rabies shots?  YOU GOTTA BE JOKING!"  

"Governor Kaine could make quite a few friends by VETOING HB 339."   Or, if 

you want to briefly explain your issues, do that.   

 To email the governor go to:

 http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

OR FAX TO

Fax: (804) 371-6351 

3.  Do you have friends, fellow club members, family, others that you could 

tap to make a phone call?  They're very friendly at the governor's office!  

PLEASE FORWARD AS YOU WISH!

GFLENT@MAC.COM

 

Virginia Hunting Dog Owners’ Association  For Immediate Release      February 4, 2006

General Assembly Bill Creates Electronic Data Base of State Dog and Cat Owners

The House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Chesapeake Committee on February 1, 2006 sent to the House floor HB339 "Licensing of dogs and cats." The requirement that every Virginia county and city charge the same, largely higher fees for animal licensing was stripped from the bill, but its basic mandated information-collecting mechanism was unchanged. A Virginia owner-pet database will be established and be available to commercial and all other interests under the Freedom of Information Act.

HB339 requires that every state veterinarian supply county and city treasurers with the names, addresses, animal description and breeding status of any dog or cat given a rabies vaccination. Treasurers are then required to send licensing bills to local owners and share information with other treasurers. All Virginia jurisdictions license dogs; eight of them license cats.

Bob Kane, president of the Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association expressed concerns with HB339, "Owners of unlicensed and unvaccinated dog and cats will continue to ignore those requirements. Animal owners wishing to remain out of this owner-pet database have an incentive to not get their animals vaccinated or obtain the shots in other states and not license here at all. None of us want our personal information given to junk mailers. But the more worrisome aspect of this data collection is that it could also be used harass people that activists decide have too many animals, the wrong breeds or should sterilize their pets. The only way to prevent that is to take steps to stay out of the new database."

"I'm surprised that the veterinarians supported this bill. I expect tag sales and rabies vaccinations will both drop, putting the public at increased health risk. County treasurers will forced to incur added expenses, setting up automated systems to advance private agendas, but their revenue is likely to fall as well."

HB339, for the first time in Virginia law, also requires that public monies collected by dog wardens be used for unspecified and possibly private spay-neuter programs. Additionally, the owner of any impounded intact dog or cat will pay an extra $5/day recovery or the animal will be sterilized. The bill is silent on who pays for that operation’s cost or what happens to animals abandoned or their owners because of that new requirement.

Kane concluded, "There are too many bills being hurried through Virginia’s short General Assembly sessions. This one’s a bad one and I’m grateful to those delegates who understood that and voted not to report it. Hopefully, enough others will join them and HB339 won’t become law."

For additional information, contact Bob Kane at 540-543-2312

The Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association is a statewide volunteer group of sporting, hound and mixed breed dog owners dedicated to advancing and protecting the Old Dominion's hunting traditions. For more information about VHDOA, call (540) 543-2312 or visit http://vhdoa.uplandbirddog.com/index.html

Update 01/22/06

Virginia  Considers Mandatory Spay/Neuter Bill!
[Wednesday, January 18, 2006]
Under  a new bill proposed in Virginia, all dogs and cats acquired from
dealers,  hobby breeders, pet shops and adoption agencies would be have
to be  sterilized and microchipped. Sponsored by Sen. W. Roscoe Reynolds,
S55  defines a "dealer" as any person who sells or transfers companion
animals  (with the exception of rescue groups). The bill further defines
"hobby  breeder" as one who breeds and places one litter per year.
Responsible dog  breeders will most certainly be impacted by this
legislation!

S55  does permit the sale of intact animals to anyone who agrees to
sterilize the  pet within 30 days, and to any "hobby breeder" who agrees
to alter the  animal after one breeding. There are no exceptions for
serious "fancier  breeders" or "breed improvers," defined elsewhere in
the bill, who maintain  responsible breeding programs, take care to place
their animals in  responsible homes, or who may keep intact animals for
the purpose of  participating in conformation or performance events.

S55 also goes on to  require that dealers obtain a $150 annual business
license. Dealers could  not advertise their services without a valid
business license, and the  license number would have to be included in
any newspaper advertisements.  Violations of any portion of the licensing
requirement would be fined  $1,000.

Because no objective studies have ever been done to look at pet 
population concerns in Virginia, it is difficult to ascertain what, if 
any, problems the state may be facing, yet bills like S55 continue to be 
introduced. If pet population issues are indeed a concern in Virginia, 
then AKC believes a task force should be formed to address this issue, 
with input from members of various animal organizations, including 
purebred dog breeders. Such a study group should explore the expansion 
of public education campaigns to teach communities about responsible pet 
ownership. It should also review the many reasons why animals are 
relinquished to shelters, including animal behavior problems, an owner 
moving or having a child, or a poor breed match for an owner's  lifestyle.

S55 is confusing, ineffective legislation that will be  impossible for
animal control departments to track and enforce. Please  oppose this bill
today!

What You Can Do:
S55 has not yet been  assigned to committee. Dog owners are therefore
urged to contact the bill  sponsor and express your opposition.

Sen. W. Roscoe Reynolds
General  Assembly Bldg #319
Box 396
Richmond, VA  23218
Phone:804/698-7520
FAX:804/698-7651
Email:  district20@sov.state.va.us

Residents should also contact their own  Senator with their concerns.
Find out who represents you in  Virginia.

For more information, contact:
The Virginia Federation  of Dog Clubs and Breeders
Luvwelsh@aol.com

AKC's Canine Legislation  department
919-816-3720, doglaw@akc.org

 

 

Explanation”

You can read Virginia SB 55 at:
 
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+ful+SB55
 
Here's a summary:
1.  Existing Virginia animal law defines a dealer as anyone who gets 
Money for a pet animal ("compensation or profit," a pet can be ANY animal)
unless you're a rescue or someone who just transports animals.
 
Up to now, there have been no licensing requirements for dealers.   SB 
55 would require dealers to get a license at a cost of $150 per year.  
There's a $1000 fine if you claim an exemption to which you're not
entitled.
2.  SB 55 adds the following definitions:
A.  "'Breed improver' means an individual who owns dogs or cats and 
Breeds working dogs or show dogs or cats of specific breeds, not for profit 
But to perpetuate the breed, or eliminate shortcomings or disease, or who
could otherwise demonstrate a conscious and deliberate plan of breed
improvement."
B.  "'Fancier breeder' means an individual who owns dogs or cats and
regularly shows the dogs or cats at AKC- or UKC-sanctioned 
competitions,and these breeding and showing activities are not for profit."
C.  "'Hobby breeder' means an individual who owns dogs or cats and 
Wishes to breed and find homes for one litter, and this breeding is not for
profit."
 
3.  You can't sell or advertise a pet for sale without a dealer's 
license. Dealers must have a local business license -- good luck getting that in a residential area!   
Money raised by licensing of dealers doesn't
go to the general fund (as animal-related revenue does now) but must be
used for animal control "including but not limited to spay/neuter
programs."
4.  Dealers must provide copies of their business license to a 
newspaper in which they want to advertise and to any buyer.   Anyone buying a pet who does not get 
a copy of a business license will be fined $150.  
5.  Dealers and hobby breeders must follow the rules already in place 
For shelters and rescuers: animals they sell must either be spayed/neutered
before sale or there must be a contract requiring the same not later 
than six months of age.   Violations cost $150.
6.  After January 1, 2007, all dogs and cats must be microchipped 
Before sale with the chip registered to both the seller and the buyer.
7.  Only a hobby breeder may buy a dog or cat without spay/neuter by 
Six months of age and (under the definition of hobby breeder) it must be
sterilized after one litter.
 
Much of this is not new -- we've seen it in other bills in other states 
and much was in last year's HB 2927, sponsored by Del. Terry
Kilgore.  However this year's version has more loose ends than the
previous one.  
Never mind the loose ends ... The clear intent of the bill is ugly 
Enough to tell us what to do.   SB 55 needs to go into the same dumpster where 
HB
2927 now rots.

 

 

 ! ! ATTENTION ! !   Update 07/02/05  ! ! ATTENTION ! ! 

Dear GSDCA Members,
There's been a lot of confusion about Sen. Rick Santorum's S1139 (PAWS). The AKC's statements since the June 12th Delegate's Meeting haven't that helpful in resolving many of the serious questions about this bill. James Holt's PAWS sermon was both self-serving and confusing, but not a single question was put to him by any delegate. The most obvious unasked question was, "I'm not sure that I understand all of this Jim, but why did four AKC directors vote against PAWS yesterday?"

Make no mistake here, friends. PAWS is extremely damaging to several breed groups, some hobby breeders and all rescuers. It establishes separate federal licensing criteria for hunting and security dog owners and literally shuts down rescuers and pedigreed cat breeding. I spent 30 years lobbying federal legislation and agency rulemakings and I'm convinced that the AKC has made a very great mistake with this bill. Please don't make same mistake others have and sit on the sidelines, never figuring out what to do or who to believe.

We need all breed clubs, local organizations and individuals to demonstrate to the Congress that the AKC doesn't speak for us on this bill. See
http://saova.org/1139.html for added details and background. I look forward to hearing from those interested in defeating PAWS and protecting our sport.  Forwarding and cross posting encouraged.

Sincerely,
Bob Kane, President
Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association 
http://vhdoa.uplandbirddog.com/
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators 
http://saova.org

Additional information from Carmen Battaglia

Date: Thursday, June 30, 2005
Subject: THE PAWS ACT  (SB 1139/HR26690)
From: Carmen Battaglia

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding AKC's support for the legislation that is being proposed by the Republican Senator, Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania.  As you may know, four AKC directors voted against the motion to support the proposed legislation. Those dissenting were: Carmen Battaglia, Tom Davies, Patti Strand and Ken Marden.  I am with this memo answering your inquiry and I am speaking only for my self.  Since you took the time to contact me with your questions, you deserve a response.

Let me begin by saying that when people in a family disagree, we don’t
divorce.  We continue to support each other even though we differ on
strategy.  The right to dissent should not be confused with disloyalty.  I think you will better understand my point after you finish reading my response to your email.

To begin, it is unlikely that the goals of the PAWS statue can be reached by expanding Federal oversight to the small-scale breeder who produces puppies and kittens as a hobby.  In simple terms, AKC has always argued against the use of numbers to define hobby breeders. The reason was and is that numbers can always be changed along with the definitions. A small change here and there overtime could easily change things and eventually it could be difficult to be defined as a hobby breeder.  The history of the Animal Rights extremists on this point is clear. They have always worked to first get their foot in the door, and then they begin to work on their target by changing definitions, which widens their influence.  The fundamental argument that is being used regarding the need for this legislation in my judgment is flawed.  There is no documented record that we are being "bombarded with horror stories from fanciers about commercial importers and the "puppy mills" who are evading federal regulation".  If there is such a report it still would not justify having the federal government coming into our residence, telling hobby breeders how to breed and raise their litters.   Senator Santorum has a long history of wanting
to regulate hobby breeders. In 2000, he proposed legislation focused on dog breeding practices, socialization standards, and the idea of 3 strikes and your out (you lose your license to breed). In November of 2003, this Senator along with representative Whitfield made another attempt to regulate hobby breeders. They reintroduced the Puppy Protection Act. This time the emphasis was placed on setting a breeding limit on all bitches.   AKC's lobbyist Jim Holt, said that these efforts were " the brain child of the HSUS", "a radical animal rights advocate" group. He went on to say that "we can look forward to the socialization standard returning in some form".

One of the most dangerous parts of PAWS is that for the first time it will inject the federal government into regulations about whether, when and how animals (dogs) can be bred".  Once the government is able to establish this principle, others can work on the details of making changes later. The first step in their strategy  is to get the hobby breeders "to admit that a problem exists".  AKC has always believed that "the answer is not in expanding the scope of the law but in more effective enforcement." That has not changed.  Over regulation always leads to unintended consequences. The argument that the importers and those who sell on the Internet need to be regulated by the federal government should not be linked to the hobby breeder.   Using numbers like 25 puppies sold a year and breeding less than
7 litters on your premises should not be the way to exclude hobby
breeders by law.  We should not forget that there still remains several
other important issues that have not been developed and the negotiations are not over. What this means is that the numbers 25 and 7 can be changed with a simple word or two.  For example, 25 pups can become 10, and 7 litters can become 3 litters. What the Senator still has not addressed involves his intentions about several other areas. He has yet to explain what he intends to do about:

-         The scope of the minimum "humane care standards" and the
penalties for breeders.

-         The provisions covering breeders who raise puppies in their homes

-         The language that authorizes the USDA to certify inspection
programs of non-governmental organizations.  This area includes private
inspections by contractors which is of particular concern due to a frequent pattern of incompetence, abuse and corruption where organizations have already been employed by state and local jurisdictions.

-   The non-profit entitles such as the shelters and whether they will be excluded.

Given all of these uncertainties, there is good reason for concern about PAWS which is a poorly written statute.

What to do was a question many of you ask.   To date, my email box has over 600 emails from dog owners. It is impossible to read all of them.  But if I received 600 letters, that would be a   different matter.  The last time this Senator attempted to regulate hobby breeders we suggested that you and each of your members and clubs write your US Senator and Representative. Ask them to not co-sponsor or support PAWS. That approached worked and the statue died. In this case, we need to be realistic; this Senator is a ranking Republican. He can probably get support in the Senate.  However, the PAWS statue must still be voted on by the House of Representatives. So your second letter should be sent to your Congressmen. Remember that this is a time sensitive problem. If you plan to let your US Senators and Congressmen know about your feelings and how you want them to vote, act now. Send letters, emails will not pay off.

Your friends, neighbors, clubs and organizations can defeat this bill or remove from it all reference to hobby breeders by the numbers.

Thanks for your concern. I hope these answers have addressed your questions.

Carmen Battaglia
sp

Dear Virginia Dog Owning Sportsmen:

      The 2005 General Assembly session is drawing to a close and the Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association's (VHDOA) lobbying is completed. One last problem bill will hopefully be resolved on Friday. The capsule summary of this session's efforts is that of thirteen (13) ill-conceived bills, all of which would have negatively impacted on your interests, NONE will become law.

      This positive result largely replicates last year's. We had more non-hunting dog owner assistance this session and a smaller variety of bad owner bills, but several were so terrible as to be historic. These wins were achieved at the committee level of both chambers, as well as on a Senate floor.

 

Details and early comments on Virginia's 2005 elections follows:

 

HB629 (O'Bannon) #1 misdemeanor animal cruelty penalty raised to #5 felony OPPOSED - Continued to 2005 Left in AC&NR Committee
HB630 (O'Bannon) Owners that "reasonably should have known" their dog would bite someone and don’t prevent it are guilty of a #5 felony.   OPPOSED - – Continued to 2005 Left in Courts of Justice Committee
HB646 (Bell) Creates a new, independent animal cruelty code section with increased felony penalties, while dropping existing exemption provisions. OPPOSED – Continued to 2005 Left in Appropriations Committee

HB1192 (James Scott, et al) Any dog frightening someone or off-leash on another’s property is deemed "potentially dangerous" - $500 fine, 3 years leashed at all times. OPPOSED – Continued to 2005
Left in AC&NR Committee

 

The four bills above were initially derailed last session and reaffirmed dead in December 2004.

 

HB1612 (Cole) Presumes a hunting dog on posted property was intentionally released there and imposes Class 4 misdemeanor penalty (up to $250 fine) on owner. OPPOSED - Struck by Patron

HB1884 (Hargrove) Raises permitted dog license fees to $35 and requires (rather than allows) collected fees be used to fund spay-neuter programs. OPPOSED - Tabled in AC&NR Committee

HB2338 (Athey) Requires that local bodies license pet sellers, rather than allow such licensing. OPPOSED - Amended in AC&NR Committee to delete required licensing. Neutered bill approved by House and sent to Senate.

HB2723 (James Scott) Any dog frightening someone or chasing a cat is deemed "potentially dangerous" - $500 fine, 3 years leashed at all times. OPPOSED –  Passed By Indefinitely (PBI) in AC&NR Committee.

HB2927 (Kilgore) Required virtually all Virginia pets be spayed or neutered before ownership transfer. OPPOSED - Struck by Patron.

SB765 (Locke, BaCote) Raises permitted dog license fees to $30 and caps sterilized licenses at $10, regardless of a locality's wishes. OPPOSED - Senate lowered $30 fee to $20 and passed bill 22-18. Tabled in House AC&NR Committee.

SB775 (Potts) Live animal dumping or abandonment treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia's highway littering code, rather than as animal abuse. No guidance or standard to distinguish between lost, strayed or dumped animals. OPPOSED - Left in Courts of Justice Committee.

SB952 (Potts) Humane education requirement in Virginia K-12 schools. Responsibility already included in current character education curriculum. Heavy HSUS and PETA support lobbying. OPPOSED - Defeated on the Senate Floor, 22-17.

HJ786 (Ward) A joint House-Senate resolution declaring that "irresponsible breeders" are the cause of "many" pet euthanizations and taxpayer funded animal control and pound costly operations. Urges localities to provide spay-neuter "incentives." Biased basis, erroneous data and unsupported allegation. OPPOSED - Insignificant revisions before House passage, 76-14. Senate Rules Committee to hear on 2/18.

 

Virginia's waterfowlers are to be congratulated on the passage of their floating blind reform bill, HB2689 (Pollard). This is the culmination of a multi-year effort against very tough opposition.

 

Virginia's 2005 Elections

     On June 14, 2005, the State Democratic and Republican parties will hold primaries to select statewide and House of Delegates candidates for the November general election. As it did two years ago, http://vhdoa.uplandbirddog.com/endorse03rk.html VHDOA will again interview candidates and analyze their voting records to determine which individuals best support your interests in Richmond. Those deserving special recognition will be singled out, as before.

 

The marquee races involve the offices of Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. All but Tim Kaine's gubernatorial primary are currently contested, but not all the candidates are competitive. http://www.vpap.org/cands/targetedraces.cfm The most interesting development to-date is Sen. H. Russell Potts' (R-Winchester) near-declared independent candidacy for Governor. Such a candidacy would make the top of the ballot Kane v. Kilgore struggle very competitive. There are some unusually strong sportsmen supporters running in the down-ticket races. More on all of these contests and the House ones later.

 

Thank you for your continued assistance and encouragement. After some tough legislative years, we've taken back our General Assembly from misdirected animal rightist factions. Let's maintain that position. Every vote counts in June and November.

 

Sincerely,

Bob Kane
Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association
http://vhdoa.uplandbirddog.com/

 

 

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