By Charles Kushell – GSCA Legislative Liaison
“Let’s see what our elected elves have been up to this past month. A few items to note during this silly political season; this may be as much fun to watch as the runup to the 1912 convention season must have been.
CT/MA: This from our friends at the CFD/MFD regarding a dangerous bill SB-288 before the CT Assemble that seeks to impose onerous and ill-considered and unnecessary new restrictions on pet owners and kennel operators. This mess is the perfect example of the cancerous nature of “committees and task forces” which even when killed by the toxic chemo of iron-clad sunset date requirements, simply refuse to die, and like zombies, keep coming back from the dead. And so it is here; a “task force” under legislative mandate to expire…that’s as in DIE AND DON’T COME BACK…has not only NOT died, but is trying to re-assert itself into permanence by attaching a new version of an already-bad bill. https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB-228. Folks also need to pay attention to HB5344 which seeks to establish some bizarre and incomprehensible “non-economic damages” recovery aspect of pet damage cases and to establish court-appointed “advocates” court pet-related cases. God help us, just what we need. All CT dog owners should call their state senators with a strong demand to make this idiocy go away once and for all. We wish you luck with this crowd.
CA: You simply knew that CA would be in this column; the state of perennial legislative insanity. This time it’s the city of Colton. Don’t feel bad, I live in SoCal and still had to look it up. If nothing else, it proves that systemic lunacy isn’t limited to Sacramento. These geniuses must be living in a time-warp; the City Council has decided to push a “must neuter” ordnance that fails to exempt legit breeders and seeks to limit dogs to 10 per HH. Anyone living in this paradise should contact these poor unfortunates and inform them that must-neuter laws are uniformly rejected by communities operating in the 21st Century.
IL: You know, for a state that is bankrupt, failing to pay its bills and cannot meet its pension obligations, you’d think State legislators could find more pressing things to do than make up bad pet laws. Apparently not. Such a twisted sense of priorities has begotten HB4443 which seeks to establish such blatantly un-Constitutional niceties as warrant arrests in cases of alleged animal “abuse”…even when no evidence has been provided. Essentially, your neighbor could theoretically hear your dog complaining about your Dremel-ing his toenails, turn you in and IL authorities would be able to arrest you, seize your dogs, charge you for their board and provide immunity from the exact same type of complaint of cruelty!!!. ALL IL pet owners need to contact their State reps to express their horror and outrage at this prospective bill. Hard to believe.
MO: Here’s a chance to call your State rep and urge their support of HB1811, which seeks (mercifully) to ban any local MO community from writing, passing or attempting to enforce breed-specific legislation of any kind. Similar to the AKC-sponsored white-label legislative proposal, this puts MO right at the forefront of state legislative bodies who have done their homework, resisted the bleating of the “animal-rights” crowd, and seek to establish fair and sane laws. Bully for them. Call and urge them to see it through.
IA: Delighted to report that through the combined efforts of local breeders, clubs and the AKC, the legislature of IA has hung it up for the year (why doesn’t the US Congress try the same thing?) and resisted passing ANY of some of the truly horrible bills (reported here earlier) that had crawled before it. Good on them and congrats to the good people of the dog community there and to the AKC for their good work. Would that other states pay attention.
FL: This time, heads up Broward residents. As you’re painfully aware, you’re under draconian breeder laws there. It gets worse. The locals are considering new pile-on amendments to an already horrid law that would make you agree as a condition of your license to submit to warrantless searches of your home. Apparently, these idiots are unfamiliar with the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution forbidding exactly this kind of law. Get off your rears, Broward breeders (this assumes there are any left) and get on the horn with the Broward Cty Commissioners and have at it. Insane.
Ok, enough for now. And as ‘ol H.L always instructed us, “A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”
Photographs courtesy of Jim Thacker – GSCA National/Midwest Specialties 2016