Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Under the Bus, AGAIN

Los Angeles Approves Controls for "Animal Facilities"

Unsatisfied with the mandatory spay/neuter requirements implemented in 2006, this week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved more government regulations for "Animal Facilities". A cap of 50 intact animals will be imposed, unless special exceptions and inspections are involved. This is designed to curb "puppy mills" per news reports....never mind the fact that there ARE no "puppy mills" in Los Angeles county. Hey, why spoil the lynch-mob's hangin' funtimes with truth?

And if you breed or own hamsters, canaries, guinea pigs or lizards, be careful....even YOU may have to comply with these new laws, at the whim of LA's Animal Control director! I am not kidding here! There is specific mention of "hamsters, guinea pigs, pet birds, and reptiles." Because, of course, there is rampant overpopulation of these critters, and undoubtedly they suffer horrific abuse at the hands of their greedy, evil breeders. First violation, $250 fine. 2nd violation-a year in county jail! Good thing none of these type of pets bark, although those damn canaries do tend to sing...putting their owners at risk for animal seizure or jail time!

Per Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control manager Marcia Mayeda, the new revisions address "grooming, tethering, housing and exercise.....Crates must be secured.....These changes will protect all animals in the county's jurisdiction including individual pets....All breeders will be required to separate pregnant females from other adult dogs at least 3 days before giving birth". "Nesting boxes" for "females" to be provided...Do ya think they mean "whelping pens" for "bitches"? Like EVERY dog breeder already uses? These ignoramuses don't even know the proper terminology.

Crates secured how? I can secure crates in my car, but not in my home. And most bitches would go berserk if they were separated from their pals into solitary confinement before they give birth. What is the rationale behind that stupid requirement? Do any of these morons actually breed dogs? And who is supposed to police this stuff? I love someone who doesn't have any background in animal husbandry trying to tell me how to raise my dogs.

More "gotcha" provisions:
  • anyone selling an animal must identify the breeder or the person from whom the animal was obtained.

  • advertisements for the sale or adoption of an animal must include the animal facility license number or breeding license number of the seller. (watch out when you place those "free to good home" ads in the Pennysaver)

  • annual vet exam for all intact dogs over one year of age (I guess sterilized dogs and puppies don't ever need vet exams...yeah, right)

  • must leave contact info when animals are left unattended (thereby tipping off thieves and robbers that you are gone for the day)

  • facilities must have staff on site at least 18 hours per day (even a veterinarian's office does not have staff on site for 18 hours per day)

Local "animal facilites" operators (AKA kennel owners), have worked with the Dept of Animal Care and Control to refine this ordinance. CARPOC (California Responsible Pet Owners Coalition) was also instrumental in its passage. The revision also received a nod of approval from National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA).

One of the proponents, Stormy Hope of CARPOC, addressed the board at the rubber-stamp approval, stating,
"To me, there is no choice between having well run regulated, licensed inspected kennels, no matter the size, and knowing that the alternative is unlicensed, unregulated underground breeding or tiny puppies smuggled in car trunks and suitcases. "

Ms. Hope made several more references to "underground breeders" in her speech. For a moment there, when reading this, I had to pinch myself to remind me that this wasn't a nightmare involving the state mandatory spay-neuter battle. In that fight, Judie Mancuso slung the insult of "underground breeders" at hobbyists who dared to oppose state-mandated sterilization.

But no, this was not a dream, and there was more, much more. "It's a shame but puppy smugglers and underground breeders see the increasingly rigid breeding laws in the U.S. as an opportunity to make easy U.S. dollars", Hope opined. She then went on to compare "underground breeders" to drug smugglers.

WHOA! Hold the phone there! Since when are people who breed dogs even remotely comparable to drug smugglers? Since when is breeding a crime? Since when is the government justified in butting its nose into my personal affairs, including what I do with my pets? Whatever happened to the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"

The stark reality is that most breeders today are actually forced to function "underground". It is impossible to comply with the oppressive limit laws, mandatory spay-neuter laws, high fees for intact licenses and breeding permits....which are only issued ONCE yearly, if you are lucky enough to qualify at all. All these terrorist techniques are solely designed to criminalize and penalize dog breeders. We certainly should not be required to submit to ever-increasing government intrusion into our private lives.

There's some sort of delusion involved here, the idea that there is big money in breeding our pets, instead of acknowleding the huge 'money pit' that most breeders actually find themselves mired in. There's also a fervor for breeder regulation, and judging by this ordinance, for having the state tell us how to care for our animals, including pregnant bitches.

These new animal husbandry restrictions are not limited to licensed, commercial kennels but apply to all animal owners....even those with a single dog or cat! Even to rescues! God help us, even to someone who owns a HAMSTER!

The LA kennel owners...OOPS, I mean Animal Facilities.... worked on this project for months. Nineteen months, to be precise. They believe this to be an improvement over the original County proposal regarding a ban on breeding in certain zones. CARPOC officers were instrumental in dancing with the Mayeda-devil to draw up these new provisions, and NAIA sent out a newsletter glowing with praise for the new regulations, calling them "fair and enforceable".

God help us if they are enforceable! They certainly are not fair.

We managed to miraculously deflect CA AB 241, a numbers cap on intact animals, with a gubernatorial veto, but now our own dog breeders helped to institute the same numbers limits here in LA County. Regarding AB 241, then-Governor Schwarzenegger wisely remarked:

To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 241 without my signature. This measure would make it a crime for any person or entity to own or control more than 50 unsterilized adult dogs or cats for breeding or raising for sale as pets. I support measures designed to prevent animal cruelty and that punish persons engaged in the abuse of animals. However, this measure simply goes too far in an attempt to address the serious problem of puppy mills. An arbitrary cap on the number of animals any entity can possess throughout the state will not end unlawful, inhumane breeding practices. Instead this measure has the potential to criminalize the lawful activities of reputable breeders, pet stores, kennels, and charitable organizations engaged in raising service and assistance dogs.

For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill.

Too bad Arnie isn't on the LA County board of supervisors.

DELTA rescue, a HUGE no-kill rescue shelter in the LA area, has been a target of Mayeda for a while, and they voiced opposition last summer to the proposed arbitrary 50-dog limit.

In a release tagged as  "FAQs" on the new ordinance, Ms. Mayeda admitted that she would have liked to impose a strict 50-dog limit but felt it might not hold up to legal challenges. She also considered further breeding restrictions on bitches, such as establishing maximum number of lifetime litters, maximum breeding age, and banning back-to-back breedings. Gosh, what would be left to amend next year? Again, what do these people know about dog breeding, anyway? Oh, I forgot, they have dog breeding groups foolish enough to help them to write these regulations as they go.

Here's the link to the FAQs: Very entertaining reading. You can almost see the wheels turning in Mayeda's head, and what she has been considering.

And why do we have higher level of concern about animal breeding than we do PEOPLE breeding? All those little tykes running around might possibly need a PET someday....doubtful there will be enough to go around. First mandatory sterilization of all LA's dogs and now regulations on husbandry. Aren't current animal cruelty laws sufficient to address any serious wrongdoings?

Why the hell couldn't someone have stood up at that meeting this week and said, "Excuse me, but do we not already HAVE a shitload of laws against cruelty and abuse? What exactly does this new ordinance provide that we don't already have? Don't you people have a budget to worry about instead of wasting time and money on redundant legislation?"

Or words to that effect.

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
-Winston Churchill

"You don't compromise on your destruction, you avoid it entirely."
-Glenn Beck

"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right; here I am...stuck in the middle with you!"
-Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan

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