From: Charlotte McGowan <mailto:cmcgowan2%40COMCAST.NET <cmcgowan2@COMCAST.NET>> Subject: Re: Louisville
I would like to say a couple of things about the Louisville situation.
The HSUS has a paid lobbyist in most states. Reports from Louisville indicated that HSUS was right in there working away. We also had a situation where the animal control person there, who has a very interesting and checkered history has serious control issues. What started out as a knee jerk BSL banning response to two incidents where dogs actually killed someone turned into a total rewrite of the dog laws taking away people's rights without regard to the concerns of responsible dog owners.
Many of us had communications from people in Louisville when this all started which was months ago. When Metro Council members took the dog issue on in a partisan way, things went downhill fast.
However, these letters suggesting that AKC should be doing more bring to mind that inevitably when we, the dog fancy, lose a big one like Louisville someone has to say its the AKC's fault. I say get a grip here! AKC does not have the resources of HSUS. AKC actually does a huge amount for our sport and the people in the legislative department work very hard for us. Would it be nice to have as much money as HSUS and be able to place a full time paid lobbyist anywhere we wanted? You bet. But with what money are you planning to do this? HSUS has no shelters to support and they have vast millions of dollars and a group of hard core no-animal-use vegan animal rightists at the top of their food chain. Their leader doesn't even have an animal of any kind. We, on the other hand, have many dog obsessed fanciers running from show to show looking for that next ribbon and working hard to breed, groom, train, handle, judge and take care of their dogs.
We, the dog fancy, have to get our act together and get off our duffs. We, each and every one of us, have to pull our heads from the sand and recognize what is going on around this country.
Several years ago, PETA announced their No Birth Nation Campaign. They are running with it. A number of the ordinances that have popped up have the same M.O. Often, like Los Angeles and Louisville, they start life as BSL issues and end up with mandatory spay/neuter of all dogs unless owners pay a very distorted intact animal fee, a breeder license fee, and are forced to dog limits and a litter limit. When these things start as BSL issues, we have the small core of Bully breed owners working like crazy and everyone else says, well gee my dog isn't a problem, sure hope the Bully people can keep their rights.
In California, I would have to say the vast majority of breeders are "underground." They have been for years. A lot of breeders have operated under the assumption if they are good owners, don't cause any trouble and keep a low profile, they won't be reeled in. As the rules and laws have been tightened there on animal ownership, it becomes harder and harder to get people to come out in force to oppose issues because they are already underground. The LA ordinance was certainly proof of that.
Once the LA ordinance got passed, it started to spread. Louisville is part of that spread. We can all look forward to seeing similar proposals spring up around the country now. It is very sad.
Will people be able to breed dogs for us to judge in the future? It certainly is becoming more difficult. We, the judges, should take note. We have to be involved as part of the solution. AKC is there to help as much as they can. I have worked very diligently here in my state and the AKC Legislative Department has always been a great help to us. But it is each person in their own town, city, county or state that has to be involved to keep our rights intact. Best to send your letters to the politicians who are making the decision. Best to have actual constituents doing that important work. If we don't get involved, our rights go out the door and so does our sport.
Those in our sport who are not directly involved in grass roots fighting to keep our rights need to wake up and do their part. And their part is not to tell AKC to work harder or to tell those in the trenches there is no animal rights movement but to figure out how they can use their energy to be a part of the solution. Once we start fighting with each other, we lose. It is my hope the lawsuits I understand will be filed in Louisville related to this ordinance will prove successful in overturning it. But the damage is done. So what's going on in your town, city or state related to dog laws? Do you know?