Tuesday, March 31, 2009
CURRENT STATUS: Laid on the table. See below.
H.F. 253/S.F. 7 did not pass this year (2009) in the Minnesota legislature.
We all worked hard, together, to educate our legislators and encourage them to understand the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding; unfortunately, there are certain Minnesota legislators who still do not agree a problem exists and do not understand the purpose of or need for regulation.
While this news is disappointing, we can't stop trying. Mahatma Ghandi said: "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." But he also said: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
We will win. With your help, H.F. 253/ S.F. 7 will pass in the 2010 Minnesota legislative session and breeders will be required to act responsibly.
We will change our communities to show that the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats in breeding facilities is not tolerated in our State. This is only the beginning.
To learn more about how you can prepare for 2010, go to: Spread The Word.
and more from the same page about the hearing...
"The testifiers at the House Agriculture Committee hearing who spoke in opposition to the bill were the NRA, sportsmen/hunting groups, small breeders who don't fall under the definition of a "commercial breeder," and one veterinarian who is also a breeder who doesn't fall under the bill's definition. To listen to the hearing (and comments made by legislators in opposition), go to: AUDIO House Agriculture (Friday, March 27, 2009)."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Nightline Special Investigation of Puppy Mills
This Friday night, March 27, ABC's Nightline will be investigating puppy mills. ABC Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi and investigators from Nightline travel the byways and back roads of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - visiting numerous puppy mills and filming Main Line Animal Rescue's volunteers as they rescue breeding dogs and puppies from Lancaster County's notorious Amish commercial breeding facilities. Sharyn Alfonsi interviewed, on camera, an Amish breeder while touring his facility - a first for network television. With approximately 500 dogs housed on his property, this commercial breeder speaks openly about an industry cloaked in secrecy and suspicion - the cruel factory farming of man's best friend.
UPDATE: I missed this Friday night but was able to view it online. It's a very short piece and you can get to it from the Nightline front page: http://abcnews.go.com/NIGHTLINE. It was nice to see how clean the facility was that they were able to film but I kept thinking, "What about socialization?" I'm so tired of getting puppies and kittens in the shelter who haven't been handled enough. Lack of socialization can be just as damaging as other more obvious signs of neglect. There's no way two people can provide enough love and care to keep 200 dogs happy and healthy. Absolutely no way.
Urgent action needed before Friday
For months, AHS has been working with 32 Minnesota animal welfare organizations and the National Federation of Humane Societies to enact the Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill bill (S.F. 7/H.F. 253). The bill will protect animals by giving the Minnesota Board of Animal Health the authority to license breeders and hold them accountable to comply with existing applicable care standards under federal and state laws and regulations. And it stands a good chance of not passing during the current legislative session if we don’t come together to let our legislators know that Minnesota can no longer turn its back on animal cruelty.
The Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill (H.F. 253) is going to be heard in the House Agriculture Committee the morning of Friday, March 27. Please call all of the members on the committee before Friday morning and ask them to vote in favor of H.F. 253, Representative Tillberry's bill. As you know, hearings are unpredictable. Unforeseen amendments to weaken the bill may be introduced at the hearing, which is why it's important to reiterate your support of H.F. 253 and urge committee members not to accept any amendments that would weaken it.
IMPORTANT: Calls at this critical time are more effective than emails. Also, if you are a constituent of a committee member listed below, be sure that legislator knows that fact. To find out who represents you, go to http://www.gis.leg.mn/mapserver/district
elow is a list of the committee members and their phone numbers.
House Agriculture, Rural Economics and Veterans Affairs Committee
Chair: Representative Mary Ellen Otremba - 651-296-3201
Vice Chair: Representative Al Doty - 651-296-4247
Representative Steve Drazkowski - 651-296-2273
Representative Kent Eken - 651-296-9918
Representative Tim Faust - 651-296-0518
Representative Rod Hamilton - 651-296-5373
Representative Kory Kath - 651-296-5368
Representative Terry Morrow - 651-296-8634
Representative Dave Olin - 651-296-9635
Representative Ron Shimanski - 651-296-1534
Representative Dean Urdahl - 651-296-4344
Legislators are hearing from breeders, hunters, the NRA and others who oppose the bill (and any regulation) so they need to hear from all of us.
Thank you for your efforts.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
UPDATE AND ACTION
More good news! H.F. 253 passed out of the House Civil Justice Committee on Monday without any amendments. Thank you for your calls!
Unfortunately, S.F. 7 did not receive a hearing on Tuesday, March 24, in the Senate Agriculture Committee. As you may recall, the bill was laid on the table at the last hearing in this Committee, which means members wanted more time for discussion and were not ready to take a vote. On Tuesday, the Committee Chair asked that the bill be "called off the table" to allow for continued debate. The committee chose, by a majority voice vote, to keep the bill tabled. We are hopeful S.F. 7 will be called back in the near future.
MORE CALLS NEEDED IN THE HOUSE -- ANOTHER HEARINGThe Minnesota Puppy and Kitten Mill Bill -- H.F. 253 -- is going to be heard in the House Agriculture Committee the morning of Friday, March 27. ACTION: Please call all of the members on the committee before Friday morning and ask them to vote in favor of H.F. 253, Representative Tillberry's bill.As you know, hearings are unpredictable. Unforeseen amendments to weaken the bill may be introduced at the hearing, which is why it's important to reiterate your support of H.F. 253 and urge committee members not to accept any amendments that would weaken it.
IMPORTANT: Calls at this critical time are more effective than emails. Also, if you are a constituent of a committee member listed below, be sure that legislator knows that fact. To find out who represents you, go to DistrictFinder. Below is a list of the committee members and their phone numbers.
House Agriculture, Rural Economics and Veterans Affairs Committee
Call BEFORE Friday, March 27. Support H.F. 253
Chair: Representative Mary Ellen Otremba - 651-296-3201Vice Chair: Representative Al Doty - 651-296-4247Representative Steve Drazkowski - 651-296-2273Representative Kent Eken - 651-296-9918Representative Tim Faust - 651-296-0518Representative Rod Hamilton - 651-296-5373Representative Kory Kath - 651-296-5368Representative Terry Morrow - 651-296-8634Representative Dave Olin - 651-296-9635Representative Ron Shimanski - 651-296-1534Representative Dean Urdahl - 651-296-4344In order to keep the bills moving forward, there have been many discussions with various interested parties. The coalition will continue to fight for the strongest language possible while working collaboratively to get legislation passed. Legislators are hearing from breeders, hunters, the NRA and others who oppose the bill (and any regulation) so they need to hear from all of us. Thanks for all your efforts!
Animal Humane Society
Thank you for being a voice for animals. Sent with the permission of Animal Folks Minnesota.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Can I point out how wonderful mother dogs and cats are? They can have just finished nursing a large litter of their own (we're talking 6-9 babies in some cases) and are sore and thin and tired and deserving of rest, and despite this, will accept another large litter of orphans as their own. I know that there are women out there who have done this over the ages, but really, puppy and kitten teeth are sharp!
This is a book I'm going to pick up.
EDIT: This includes a very good description of pet euthanasia and what it's like for a veterinarian/vet tech who is participating. As part of my job, I'm in the process of being certified for euthanasia and I found myself nodding along with her as she spoke. She also talks about making the choice to euthanize an animal and her experience corresponds with my experience. I've heard from probably over one hundred people who regret delaying the decision and from only one who felt they had done it too soon (and in that case, after hearing about the condition of the pet, I think they made the right decision, even if they don't.)
Saturday, March 07, 2009
My ideal world would look something like Frogtown in St. Paul, without the trash, possibly somewhere in Canada--Alan says Quebec City or Montreal because of the older buildings and I'll have to take his word for it since I've only been to Edmonton. The real world is diverse and fiction and the writing community and fandom should welcome and reflect that diversity. I read and write science fiction because I want to explore ways to connect with our amazing universe and at the same time learn more about what it means to be human in all its dimensions. Any true discussion of race is going to be painful, uncomfortable, hurtful, embarrassing, shame inducing, and angry because that it's legacy. When I worked in a homeless shelter, I used to despair that the only way things could change would be with violence because the level of damage and anger was so high and society seemed so broken. I couldn't understand how anyone could get past it. Recent events have shown me that major change can come without physical violence. The community will continue working through the issue of racism because there's no going back. I can't help but believe the vast majority of us understand the need for and welcome change.