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Your Dog, Your Rights

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04/23/2012: UKC Misconduct Rules and Forms

This month, I’m going to stray a bit off the legislative path to unroll the (insert drum roll here) new UKC Misconduct Rules and forms. After a lot of research, revisions and discussion, the new rules are finally finished. I believe this will make it much easier for clubs to conduct hearings, and makes the overall misconduct and hearing process much smoother, easier to understand, and fair to the parties involved.

02/08/2012: Hearings At Many Levels

Last fall was quite active in terms of dog legislation, but most notably has been breed specific legislation. Sometimes I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall fighting this battle, but there has been some light at the end of tunnel lately.

01/08/2012: The 2011 National Animal Interest Alliance Conference

This was my fourth year attending the annual National Animal Interest Alliance conference, and I have yet to be disappointed. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the organization, the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) is an organization whose purpose is to dispel myths perpetuated by animal rights groups, and to promote the rights of animal owners throughout all animal industries.

11/08/2011: Protect Yourself from the Vigilantes!

I like to try to find the positive in most people and give them the benefit of the doubt, and, for the most part, individuals involved in rescue or animal control are wonderful people with big hearts who just want to help animals. Unfortunately, there are many out there who have “drank the Kool-Aid”, have been led to believe by other judgmental souls that all dog breeders are evil, and become vigilantes.

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.

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