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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dallas Ordinance Will Destroy Hobby
Dog Breeding, Trample Constitution

Radical Animal Rights Agenda Infiltrates Metro Area Government

by JOHN YATES
The American Sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org

DALLAS, TX - Texas may seem like the most unlikely of places for animal rights
groups to infiltrate and take over local government. This state has the
reputation for vigorous defense of property rights and the traditional
relationships between animals and people.

However, the entire Dallas metropolitan areas has become a case study of how
this can happen in the absence of vigilance, and how dog owners can pay a
devastatingly high price when it does.

The City of Dallas is facing a series of animal control ordinances that will
strip dog owners of all property rights to their animals, eliminate private
breeding of purebred dogs, subject dog owners to unconstitutional searches and
seizures and, in fact, impose the full animal rights dream agenda of the radical
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the only slightly less
radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

People who are closely affiliated with PETA and HSUS have, quite literally,
taken over both city and metro advisory councils. These extremists not only have
written the ordinances, but they also will enforce them.

Dog owners in the City of Dallas face a city council vote on the ordinances,
possibly within days, and every municipality within the metro area faces similar
ordinances because of the actions and influence of the quasi-official Metroplex
Animal Coalition, which is dominated by HSUS and PETA members and supporters, an
investigation by The American Sporting Dog Alliance shows. No known
representatives of dog owners groups or kennel clubs are listed as members of
either the Metroplex or City of Dallas boards.

This group also has exported it's agenda to other cities, such as Houston, where
the animal control program now is administered by a former Dallas animal control
board President, Kent Robertson, who has worked closely with HSUS and conducted
training seminars for the radical group. In 2002, Robertson brought in a team of
six officials from the HSUS national office to review Dallas animal control
programs and make recommendations.

Robertson barely let the ink dry on his contract before he convinced city
council to institute restrictive breeders licenses in Houston last year. The
Associated Press reported that no one had applied for the required breeders'
permits three months after the ordinance took effect, and thus were running the
risk of fines of up to $2,000 a day.

This time, Dallas dog owners are in the crosshairs and animal rights groups have
won the support of Mayor Tom Leppert, Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Elba Garcia, and several
members of City Council, according to a report of a closed-door "briefing"
between animal activists and city officials by Metroplex Animal Coalition
President Elaine Munch.

Munch is closely aligned with HSUS. In a description about how the Metroplex
Complex was formed, she wrote: "We asked our regional office of HSUS and other
national groups for help in identifying those to invite."

Also, HSUS representative Lou Guyton is a member of the Metroplex Coalition
Advisory Board, as is long-time PETA ally and award winner Robert "Skip"
Trimble, an animal rights attorney who also is president of the City of Dallas
Animal Shelter Commission, chairman of the board of the PETA-like Texas Humane
Legislative Network and a director of the radical fringe Animal Legal Defense
Fund.

Another member of both the Dallas and Metroplex boards is Jonnie England, who
was drafted recently by HSUS to judge that organization's annual "Pets For Life"
award.

Munch quoted Mayor Leppert as telling people at the briefing that he has
a "sense of urgency" to pass the ordinances in 30-to-45 days. Councilwoman
Pauline Medrana was quoted as calling the ordinances "fair, firm and
comprehensive," and Council Members Dave Neumann, Mitchell Rasansky and Ron
Natinsky reportedly expressed their support.

"Almost all council members stressed being aggressive in getting the ordinances
ready ASAP/with a sense of urgency," Munch wrote of the briefing. "(…The
ordinances) were received very well with no council members showing any
opposition to these proposed
ordinances."

Trimble and Munch are key players in the animal rights takeover of the Dallas
Metroplex. Both hold leadership positions on both the City and metro advisory
boards, and both have close ties to radical animal rights groups that oppose the
private ownership of animals.

PETA awarded Trimble its 2001 "Activist Award" for his work on Texas animal
rights issues, and he also was honored by HSUS in 1997 with a "Legislative
Achievement Award" and by a New Mexico group in 2000 for "lifelong commitment to
animal rights."
In a published article, Trimble described himself as a former "animal abuser,"
and his description says a lot about what he now thinks is abuse. "I'm a former
animal abuser," Trimble says. "I used to own racehorses, raise roping steers,
hunt and eat meat."
Now, Trimble describes himself as a vegan vegetarian, deplores traditional
farming and ranching, and echoes the animal rights agenda of opposition to
breeding animals, hunting, rodeos and competing with horses.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance believes that only a handful of Dallas
residents would agree with Trimble's idea of animal abuse, and that a large
majority would describe his views as radical fringe - if not fruitcake fringe!
We urge City Council to reject these views and uphold the values and beliefs of
the large majority of Dallas residents. No state has fought harder than Texas to
protect the rights of individuals from unwarranted intrusion by government,
beginning with the Alamo and continuing into the modern era.
As an attorney, Trimble has developed a specialty of using the law as a tool to
advance the animal rights agenda, and is credited with playing the major role
and banning the slaughter of horses in Texas. In one case, his work bolstered
PETA in shutting down a Texas primate sanctuary. Trimble was with the police on
the raid, and the effort received direct praise from PETA President Ingrid
Newkirk on the organization's website. Trimble also is capitalizing on the
Michael Vicks dog fighting scandal, and has been quoted as saying that it is a
major problem in Dallas. Dog fighting is a major animal rights battle cry that
HSUS is using as a false justification for new laws against dog owners, almost
none of whom have ever been involved with this crime in any way.
Munch has close ties to HSUS through the Metroplex and city animal control
boards. HSUS has nothing to do with local Humane Societies, which help animals.
Instead, HSUS is a national political action and lobbying group for animal
rights issues.
Wayne Pacelle, the head of HSUS, has been quoted extensively about his radical
views on animal rights that oppose eating meat, pet ownership and hunting.
He wrote: "We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of
livestock produced through selective breeding ...One generation and out. We have
no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human
selective breeding."

Pacelle also said, "I don't have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I
don't feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I'm
kind to them, but there's no special bond between me and other animals… In fact,
I don't want to see another dog or cat born."
The Metroplex board also is endorsed by a wide range of animal rights groups,
including the radical Animal Connection of Texas and a Buddhist group called
Ahimsa. Both of these groups advocate vegan vegetarianism.
Trimble also works to end the breeding of dogs through his leadership role in
the Texas Humane Legislation Network.
On its website, Trimble's group attacks dog breeders: "Do not buy from breeders.
No matter how caring they appear to be about the animals they are selling, they
are still contributing to the overpopulation crisis. At least 25 percent of dogs
entering shelters are full-bred dogs."
Another quote: " 'Don't breed or buy while animals in shelters die' is a bumper
sticker slogan worth taking to heart."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Dallas BSL Fight pt. 2- written by John Yates

What's The Problem?

Proposed solutions such as the Dallas animal ordinance presume that there is a
problem to solve.

City officials have been quoted extensively as saying that Dallas has a severe
problem with "pet overpopulation." What does that mean?

"We have to do something," Acting Shelter Director Willie McDaniel said. He
described an epidemic of stray dogs running loose in low-income neighborhoods,
and also complaints by people who don't like their neighbors' dogs.

McDaniel then went on to bemoan the fact that Dallas' free spay and neuter
program isn't working, and that tougher laws are needed to force people to
sterilize their pets.

The answer, in the eyes of McDaniel, is to eliminate the private breeding of
dogs that are owned by the people who do not cause the problems. People who
breed dogs for show, hunting or competition are very selective, do not allow
indiscriminate matings, and confine their dogs so that they cannot get bred
accidentally.

Several newspaper articles say that Dallas has very poor compliance with
required dog licensing rules, and Animal Control almost never prosecutes people
who violate a strict "leash law" by allowing their pets to run loose. It also is
reported that very little effort has been given to promote the free spay and
neuter clinics.

Thus, it would appear that City Council has done little to try to solve the
problem by means that are available now, are pressing for new laws when they
refuse to enforce the current ones, and are targeting the wrong people with the
new laws. In doing so, they have been led by the nose into embracing the animal
rights groups' agenda to take a giant leap toward eliminating responsible
breeding and private ownership of all animals.

Shelter statistics for Dallas are hard to find, as they are combined with Plano
and Fort Worth in data published by the state.

A Dallas Morning News Article from 2006 said 28,686 dogs and cats were impounded
in 2004. The article did not separate dogs from cats in the data. In 1994, 10
years earlier, 38,294 dogs and cats reportedly were impounded.

Those figures indicate that there has been a 25-percent improvement in the
situation during that 10-year-long period.

The improvement continues at an even more rapid rate. The most recent statistics
show that 26,979 dogs and cats entered the city shelter in FY 2006-07. That is a
6-percent reduction in the most recent two years.

Trimble's legislative advocacy group maintains that 25-percent of the dogs
entering the animal shelter are "full-bred" animals - that is, dogs that
resemble a recognized breed of dog and may or may not be purebreds. That figure
is standard HSUS rhetoric.

What HSUS doesn't say is that about 20-percent of dogs entering shelters are
brought by their owners specifically for euthanasia because of old age, severe
illness or debilitating injuries. They also don't say that dogs of the "pit
bull" breeds and crosses comprise between 25-percent and 70-percent of shelter
admissions nationwide, with large cities like Dallas tending to be on the high
end of the scale.

These two categories of dogs account for almost all of the "full-bred" or
purebred dogs entering shelters, nationwide statistics show.

Moreover, national research of the major reasons for pet abandonment rank too
many dogs or puppies sixth and 10th on the list of major causes. The biggest
reasons are social factors, such as landlord issues, moves for job changes and
divorce. Thus, the research shows, any effort toward forced population control
would have a minimal impact on the problem, because most of the abandoned pets
are wanted by their owners.
The Shotgun "Solution"

The animal rights groups are asking City Council to make a logic-defying leap
with the proposed new ordinances.

While there is not one shred of evidence that hobby breeders contribute to the
problem in any significant way, the ordinances target them for the elimination
of activities that are done responsibly, involve hundreds if not thousands of
law-abiding and conscientious Dallas residents, and play a large role in the
city's economy.

Pets are a multi-million-dollar business in Dallas, and hobby breeders play a
major role in purchasing veterinary services, food for their animals, supplies,
equipment, fencing, building materials, advertising, business services and
sporting goods at hundreds of businesses in the city. Hundreds of jobs are
directly and indirectly at risk from these ordinances.

Here is how the ordinance targets those innocent and responsible people who also
are the geese that lay a golden egg for Dallas' economy:

A person or family would be prohibited from keeping more than six dogs, cats, or
a combination of dogs and cats.

All dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered at four months of age, or the owner
will face confiscation of the animal and fines of up to $2,000 a day. This
requirement flies in the face of much modern veterinary science research, and
also exposes the city to devastating lawsuits (see below).

This provision would effectively outlaw dog shows and other canine events in the
City of Dallas, because anyone who lives outside of the city would be subject to
citations and stiff fines, and would risk having their dogs confiscated and
subjected to forced sterilization if they are not spayed or neutered. This would
have a major negative economic impact on Dallas businesses.

There are some provisions for obtaining a breeding permit, but McDaniel and
other city officials have been quoted as saying that breeders' permits will not
be issued in residentially zoned areas, where most people who raise dogs live.
It's a classic "Catch 22." People can get a breeder's permit in theory, but not
in practice.

In the unlikely possibility that someone does not live in a residential area,
breeders' permits are available at the cost of $500 per year for each dog or
cat, but only if the owner and animal qualify. All other animals must be spayed
or neutered. To qualify, the animal's owner must be a member of an approved club
for the breed of dog or cat.

Breeders' permits are available only for dogs that are registered with a
registry that meets the city's approval. To be approved, the registry must
convince city officials that it "maintains and enforces a code of ethics for dog
and cat breeding that includes restrictions from breeding of dogs and cats with
genetic defects and life threatening health problems that commonly threaten the
breed." This also is a "Catch 22," as this would be unenforceable by a registry
in the absence of personal inspections, discussing it with the dog's
veterinarian, and mandating prohibitively expensive genetic tests (thousands of
dollars for some tests) that are not available for many conditions. No registry
would meet this standard. Thus, no registry could qualify.

Anyone who owns a dog would be subject to unannounced inspections of his or her
home and property by animal control officers to assure compliance with the
ordinance. A search warrant would not be required, and probable cause would not
have to be established. This is in direct violation of protections contained in
the Bill of Rights of the both Texas and U.S. Constitutions.

If anyone is found with a dog that is not spayed or neutered, animal control
officers are empowered to seize and impound the animal. To get the animal back,
an owner would have to either obtain a breeding permit of sterilize the dog.
Dogs that are not reclaimed under this provision become city property, and can
be adopted or euthanized.

Tethering is banned except for short periods, and all kennels used to house dogs
must be a minimum of 150 square feet. That size limitation makes sense for a
large dog, but is absurd for a Chihuahua.

Several other provisions would stringently regulate dangerous dog, animals used
for research, circuses and other performance events. Possession of certain kinds
of animals is prohibited or severely restricted.

Fines of up to $2,000 for each day of noncompliance are provided, with higher
fines for repeat offenders.

It is clear that the intention of the writers of this ordinance has nothing at
all to do with reducing the number of stray dogs in poor neighborhoods of
Dallas. It is a naked attempt to deny people the right to raise and breed dogs,
and clearly is part of the animal rights plan to eliminate dogs from the lives
of people. Sterilize now and, as Wayne Pacelle of HSUS said, "one generation and
out."

It must be emphasized that hobby breeders play a vital role in helping people to
obtain companion animals that will be an intergal part of their family for more
than a decade. Dedicated hobby breeders work hard to improve temperament,
genetic health, beauty and utility in the various breeds of dogs, and offer an
important alternative to shelter and rescue dogs whose health background,
history, disposition and genetic backgrounds are unknown.

Hobby breeders do not contribute to the problem. Indeed, they are the most
important element in the solution. In this regard, too, the proposed Dallas
ordinances are wholly counterproductive. Hobby breeders and other people who own
purebred dogs are not responsible for people who allow mixed-breed dogs to roam
the streets and breed indiscriminately. There is utterly no justification for
restricting or eliminating hobby breeding. Indeed, there are many excellent and
proven reasons why it should be strongly encouraged!

But Lawyers Will Love It
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Dallas BSL Fight pt. 3--Written by John Yates

If City Council approves these ordinance revisions, one thing is certain. The
City of Dallas will become embroiled in a nonstop series of lawsuits by dog
owners who can claim damages if their pet is diagnosed with one of the many
serious and sometimes fatal medical conditions that have been linked by recent
research to spaying and neutering, especially at a young age.

They also will have to face legal challenges based on the Texas property law,
and for violations of due process and search and seizure protections enshrined
in the Texas and U.S. Constitutions.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has long advocated spaying and
neutering of dogs, and continues to do so, under the belief that the benefits
outweigh the risks. However, recent research has led many individual
veterinarians to seriously question this premise, and a majority of the most
recent research indicates that there are substantial risks involved with
sterilization. This has the strong potential to become a major liability issue
for City of Dallas taxpayers.

A 2007 analysis of the research by Dr. Larry Katz of Rutgers University
concluded:

"Tradition holds that the benefits of (sterilization) at an early age outweigh
the risks. Often, tradition holds sway in the decision-making process even after
countervailing evidence has accumulated. Ms (Laura) Sanborn has reviewed the
veterinary medical literature in an exhaustive and scholarly treatise,
attempting to unravel the complexities of the subject. More than 50
peer-reviewed papers were examined to assess the health impacts of spay / neuter
in female and male dogs, respectively. One cannot ignore the findings of
increased risk from osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, hypothyroidism, and other
less frequently occurring diseases associated with neutering male dogs. It would
be irresponsible of the veterinary profession and the pet owning community to
fail to weigh the relative costs and benefits of neutering on the animal's
health and well-being. The decision for females may be more complex, further
emphasizing the need for individualized veterinary medical decisions, not stan
dard operating procedures for all patients."

Sanborn's review of the research concluded:

The number of health problems associated with neutering may exceed the
associated health benefits in most cases.

On the positive side, neutering male dogs
· eliminates the small risk of dying from testicular cancer
· reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders
· reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
· may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes (data inconclusive).

On the negative side, neutering male dogs
if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma
(bone cancer); this is a common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a
poor prognosis.
increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6
triples the risk of hypothyroidism
increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
triples the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many
associated health problems
quadruples the small risk of prostate cancer
doubles the small risk of urinary tract cancers
increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations.

For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits
associated with spaying may exceed the associated health problems in some (not
all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the odds of overall good health
or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the relative
risk of various diseases in the different breeds.

On the positive side, spaying female dogs
if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the
most common malignant tumors in female dogs
nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23%
of intact female dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs
reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
removes the very small risk from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors

On the negative side, spaying female dogs
if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma
(bone cancer); this is a common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis
increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac
hemangiosarcoma by a factor of greater than five; this is a common cancer and
major cause of death in some breeds
triples the risk of hypothyroidism
increases the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many
associated health problems
causes urinary "spay incontinence" in 4-20% of female dogs
increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a
factor of 3-4
increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis,
especially for female dogs spayed before puberty
doubles the small risk of urinary tract tumors
increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

Sanborn concluded: "One thing is clear - much of the spay/neuter information
that is available to the public is unbalanced and contains claims that are
exaggerated or unsupported by evidence. Rather than helping to educate pet
owners, much of it has contributed to common misunderstandings about the health
risks and benefits."

It is ASDA's opinion that these research findings cast enough doubt on the
practice of universal sterilization to make it inadvisable if not reckless for
any level of government to mandate spaying or neutering at this point in time.

Moreover, such a mandate would expose any governing body to substantial legal
and financial liability if individual pet owners successfully claim damages
based on current or future research.

Other Legal Concerns

There will be many grounds to take the City of Dallas to court if this ordinance
is approved.

Many will be based on the simple fact that similar ordinances have proven to be
completely counterproductive in several cities around the country, including San
Antonio, Texas. San Antonio's rates of shelter admissions doubled in the year
following enactment of a similar ordinance, as did euthanasia rates. Thus, any
lawsuit would begin on very solid legal ground: The city should have known
beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would be no possibility that these kinds
of ordinances would solve the problem, and to ignore that evidence is reckless
and negligent.

The jury is in on several communities that have tried this approach, and the
verdict is unanimous: They failed miserably.

We have examined Dallas zoning codes, and can see nothing that would prohibit
hobby breeding of dogs. The zoning code clearly permits residents of
residentially zoned areas to make occasional sales of personal property, as long
as it does not constitute a business.

Thus, there is no legal basis for denying breeding permits in residential areas.

Under Section 42.002(a)(11) of the Texas Property Code, a state law defining
property rights, government is expressly prohibited from seizing "household
pets" for any reason, including actions of eminent domain and bankruptcy.

This state law clearly prohibits the City of Dallas from seizing any pet for any
reason.

The Bill of Rights in the Texas Constitution clearly states: "The people shall
be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from all
unreasonable seizures or searches…," and that a warrant shall be required in all
cases. To obtain a warrant, probable cause of a legal violation must be shown.

The Bill of Rights also is equally clear that people must be properly
compensated if any level of government seizes or destroys their property for any
reason: "No person's property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or
applied to public use without adequate compensation being made…"

Thus, under the Bill of Rights, it would appear that the City of Dallas would be
required to compensate a dog owner for the fair market value of any dog that is
seized or destroyed, as dogs are considered to be personal property under Texas
law.

This issue of taking may extend farther, as a mandate to spay and neuter also
would be a taking of the value of the property, since a dog could not be used to
provide valuable stud services or raise valuable puppies. Simply put, a spayed
or neutered dog is not worth as much money as a dog that is intact. The city
thus would be taking the value of this dog, and would be required by law to
provide the owner with fair compensation.

Lawyers truly would love this ordinance, all the way to the bank
 
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