Published on Saturday, 29 September 2018 11:16
Written by DRC
The rescue/shelter only sales in pet stores bill SB1154 was passed by the PA Senate Judiciary Committee 12-2-1 on Tuesday October 2nd. Thank you Senators Eichelberger and Gordner for opposing this counter-productive legislation. Now is the time to take action, before it is considered by the full Senate.
Here is a letter we sent to all members of the PA Senate Judiciary Committee on September 19. It was a follow-up to a letter from AKC Government Relations...
The PA Federation of Dog Clubs understands that a lobbyist from HSUS was making the rounds with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It does not surprise us that they would misrepresent our position on Senate Bill 1154. It is irrelevant that the Bill allegedly "would not prevent responsible breeders from doing business". What the members of the over 240 AKC member and affiliated clubs we represent in the Commonwealth do is not business. The over 14,000 members of these clubs are engaged in promoting and improving the breed of dogs they love. Whether or not money is made in that process, their concern is improving the breed and the lives of the dogs they own.
For us, there are some larger issues at play with SB1154. We have outlined some of them in our newsletter that we sent you previously. One point I would like to reiterate is, when is enough, enough? We worked with Senator Greenleaf and all his colleagues in both the Senate and House to pass meaningful Kennel and Dog Law reforms and associated regulation changes in 2009. As a result, the number of commercial kennels in PA has gone done significantly according to published reports by the Department of Agriculture, Dog Law Enforcement office. It is safe to say if a sub-standard commercial kennel is operating in PA today without being involved in a DLE improvement program, they are operating without a license. What is needed in that case is stricter enforcement of licensing requirements, not new laws! We have consistently supported increased funding for Dog Law through individual and kennel license fee increases and opposed raiding funds in the Dog Law Restricted account to meet other governmental needs.
We are very concerned about the level of fraud seen in rescue and shelter programs. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that unscrupulous commercial breeders are now posing as rescues to adopt out the animals they produce for high "adoption fees". SB1154 would be a boon for them.
Hobby breeders cannot keep up with public demand for pure-bred dogs. Highly regulated, well maintained commercial kennels are a necessary part of the big picture. Consumers should have that choice. They should not be bullied into doing what is touted as politically correct. We note that large numbers of rescues are now being imported from other regions of the US and from off-shore which leads us to wonder about true population levels in our region.
Ultimately, we will be disappointed if SB 1154 moves forward at all. What is needed is stricter enforcement of the Laws we worked out together in 2009.
Judiciary Committee members needing to here from you are:
Steward Greenleaf, majority chair
Daylin Leach, minority chair