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Old 12-14-2008, 07:55 AM   #1
eaglerock814
 
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Maine Dog Owners Alert

Maine Dog Owners Are
In Legislative Bullseye

Meeting Set For December 17

by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org
asda@csonline.net

Link to this report: http://eaglerock814.proboards107.com...play&thread=11

AUGUSTA, ME – The Maine Animal Welfare Advisory Council will meet December 17 before submitting a proposal to the Legislature for new laws that would take total control of hobby dog breeding, scrap constitutional requirements for search and seizure warrants, and fund the entire state animal control program on the backs of law abiding dog owners.

The Council meeting is open to the public. It is set for p.m. Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at the AMHI Complex on the second floor of the Deering Building in Augusta. We urge all Maine dog owners to attend.

The proposal for new laws must be presented in its final form to the Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by January 15.

While dog owners are included on the task force, it is weighted heavily towards animal shelters, rescue groups, animal control officers, local government officials and extreme animal rights groups. The radical Humane Society of the United States, which is solely a political action group aiming toward the eventual elimination of animal ownership in America, and the even more radical People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, are represented by members of the committee.

Dog owners are represented by the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs, the American Kennel Club, the Down East Sled Dog Club and a licensed kennel owner. They comprise less than a quarter of the committee members. People who own dogs of the hunting breeds are not directly represented.

The legislative proposal stems from state Animal Welfare Division Director Norma Worley, who has begun an intensive enforcement campaign that has resulted in the seizure of more tan 500 dogs this year.

Worley’s aggressive tactics have resulted in overspending her department’s budget by $660,000, as of October.

She wants to tax dog owners to pay for her budget shortfall, hire more animal control and humane officers, and spend more money next year that will come from dog owners’ pockets.

Enforcement activities seem to be directed against kennel owners and hobby breeders, and there is no evidence that any enforcement actions have targeted the reported 60-percent of Maine pet owners who fail to license their dogs, and thus fail to contribute to the costs of animal control services.

Here are some of the provisions of the proposed legislation being pushed by Worley:

· Animal control officers no longer would need to obtain a search warrant from a judge to enter private property and inspect kennels or dogs, or to seize dogs that they feel are being kept in violation of regulations. This clearly violates constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, denies dog owners due process under the law, and is based on an unconstitutional presumption of guilt.

· License fees for each intact dog will be raised from $11 to $20, and fees for sterilized dogs will be hiked from $6 to $10.

· Anyone who keeps five or more dogs for the purpose of “breeding, hunting, show, training, field trials, mushing or exhibition purposes” will be required to get a kennel license. This license will cover up to 10 dogs, and additional kennel licenses must be purchased for more than 10 dogs. The fee for each kennel license would be increased from $42 to $75.

· A person who keeps more than five adult dogs capable of reproduction, and sells more than 16 dogs or puppies a year, must be licensed as a breeding kennel. The cost of this new category of license will be $150.

· Boarding and training kennel licenses will be increased from $75 to $150 per year. This also would include dog day care services.

· Pet shop licenses will increase from $150 to $250. However, the proposal also requires feed stores, stores that sell pet supplies, and businesses that sell animal equipment to be licensed as pet stores, even though no animals are sold.

· License revocations require only an administrative hearing. Kennel owners thus are denied their day in court, and will not have the right to appeal. The protection of court review was specifically removed from the proposal.

Clearly, Worley’s legislative proposal would virtually destroy the avocational breeding of purebred dogs in Maine. We believe that the only way Worley can be stopped is for a massive uprising of Maine dog owners when her proposals come before the Legislature.

What You Can Do

It is vital for all Maine dog owners to play an active role in the political process surrounding this new legislation.

Here are some contacts to plug you into the informal coalition of concerned dog owners:

· Contact Kathy Hartley at shock360@aol.com to work with independent dog owners.

· Contact the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs to offer you support by writing Secretary Nola Soper at soperkenel@aol.com.

· Contact the Penobscot Hunting Retriever Club at wassookg@uninets.net.

· Or contact us at asda@csonline.net, and we’ll make sure that you become part of the network.

These fine organizations have been fighting hard to protect your rights, and they deserve your full support.

We also urge Maine dog owners to prepare for war next year, as the report from this stacked-deck committee will be submitted to the Legislature for action on a new law. We will keep you informed, and provide suggestions of effective ways to fight this animal rights legislation.

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.

PLEASE CROSS-POST AND FORWARD THIS REPORT TO YOUR FRIENDS

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