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Your Dog, Your Rights

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10/08/2011: A Look at Dog Sales & Puppy Lemon Laws

The pet industry is enormous in this country, and the sale of dogs is a large portion of the industry. While most Americans consider their dogs their companions and part of the family, under the law they are considered “goods”, and as such really have no higher legal status than other goods, such as a car. However, the laws that govern transactions between sellers and buyers of goods give them certain rights, protections, and responsibilities.

08/08/2011: Citizen Advocacy: It Really Works!

Last month, a bill proposing to outright ban ‘pit bulls’ was filed by Representative Timothy Bledsoe (D) in Michigan, the home state of United Kennel Club. The bill would stop all breeding and sales of ‘pit bulls’ within the state of Michigan a year from enactment, require that all ‘pit bulls’ be spayed or neutered in 4 years, and finally, make it illegal to own a ‘pit bull’ 10 years from enactment of the bill.

07/09/2011: July Legislative Update

Legislatures across the country have been mostly preoccupied with budget issues, so it’s been relatively quiet on the dog law front. There still has been some action, and this month’s column provides highlights on some of the bills on the forefront.

06/09/2011: Bad News for Texas

As of press time, a bad little piece of legislation in Texas has made it through the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate. A few columns back I warned of so-called ‘puppy mill’ bills being introduced across the country and this is one of them. When this bill was initially filed in February, no one really thought it would go anywhere—I mean, come on, we’re talking about TEXAS here!

04/09/2011: 'Puppy Mill' Bills: Coming Soon to YOUR State!

The 2011 legislative session has started off with a bang for dog owners. It’s only the beginning of March, and quite an array of anti-dog legislation has been introduced, from breed specific legislation to NYC’s not very well thought out tethering law. Most prevalent have been the anti-breeder laws, or ‘puppy mill bills’ in several states. At press time, breeder legislation has been proposed in at least 5 states, with others waiting in the wings.

03/09/2011: Breed Specific Legislation: Back With a Vengeance?

The issue of breed specific legislation is rearing its ugly head and is on the rise once again. The state of Texas has had some high profile dog attacks in recent years, one in particular from 2009 when ten year old Justin Clinton was killed by two at-large dogs. His mother, Serenia Clinton, won a civil case against the dog owners, and now her attorney, Cynthia Kent, is seeking to get one of her two bills introduced into the legislature as ‘Justin’s Law.’ She wants either an outright ban on ‘pit bulls’ or severe limitations on ownership. At press time, neither bills have been introduced. Denver refuses to revoke its pit bull ban, despite yet another lawsuit challenging the law.

01/09/2011: Salvation of the Vick Dogs

After the recent spotlight Michael Vick has enjoyed due to his rise to stardom once again, coupled with the new book by Jim Gorant entitled The Lost Dogs, I felt compelled to write on the Vick dogs. I know the subject is controversial, and many people feel that Vick shouldn’t even be playing football. Others feel he has served his debt and should be free and clear.

12/09/2010: 2010 National Animal Interest Alliance Conference: Enhancing the Bond

In early October, I headed out to Denver, Colorado for the annual National Animal Interest Alliance conference. NAIA is an association of business, agricultural, scientific, and recreational interests dedicated to promoting animal welfare, supporting responsible animal use and strengthening the bond between humans and animals.

11/09/2010: Wolves in the Great Lakes Region—It’s Time for a Change

On Saturday September 18, 2010, Chris Stoppelman and Kila Butler were running their hounds, CH NITECH ‘PR’ Zimmerman’s Pep-E and NITECH GRCH Clawson Tall Tree Barney in a hunt with the Northwest Minnesota Houndsmen Association, with guide Brandon Oien. The hunt was going great until the third drop. Chris and Kila could hear the hounds open up near a big bog swamp, and the next thing they heard was a fight break out.

10/09/2010: A Closer Look At the Spay/Neuter Issue

Mandatory spay and neuter laws are being pushed, and PASSED, all over the country. Most of them are at the municipal level, but many are in major cities such as New Orleans, Memphis, and Hollister. Some are general and apply to all dogs, and some are breed specific, such as the proposed ordinance in Hollister that applies only to “pit bulls” and Chihuahuas.

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