Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs Position Statement
We received this News Release today regarding the current situation in Pennsylvania. All comments received will be forwarded to the contributor.
A & N Research
POSITION STATEMENTS AND CONCERNS ABOUT POLICIES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS OF GOVERNOR EDWARD RENDELL AND DOG LAW
October 22, 2006
Governor Edward Rendell’s administration continues to ignore the requests and concerns of the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs and the thousands of members of it’s 100 plus clubs that it represents in our state. Our Federation has been one of the major leaders in Pennsylvania since 1982 working to upgrading the Dog Laws and rules and regulations that are now in place to protect all dogs; dog owners; police, service and search and rescue dogs and also the general public from dangerous dogs. We have joined with other animal welfare groups to improve the cruelty laws that protect all animals, including making dog and cock fighting a felony offense.
Our dog and obedience shows and other dog related activities bring millions of tourists dollars into Pennsylvania every year and our clubs contribute greatly to our communities both in charity contributions and in educating the public on responsible dog ownership.
Despite our ongoing contact with this administration in an effort to establish a working relationship, we have found that we have not been included in any decisions that are being made which directly affect us and our hobby of owning, breeding, training, showing, etc. of our dogs. This administration has chosen to only meet with and listen to the Governor’s secret "ad hoc" radical animal rights groups, some of whom are from other states, who believe that no one should breed dogs in any way, regardless of the love and care that the dogs receive. They want the public to only get their pets from shelters and rescues and not have a choice of what kind of companions they wish to have in their homes.
To illustrate Governor Rendell’s disregard for our Federation and moderate groups other than the " animal rights" oriented people:
* New overly restricted rules and regulations for kennels were formulated without input from any kennel owners. These would not allow any licensed breeders to have their dogs and puppies in their homes or in their yards to exercise! These are absurd requirements! Most of us have our dogs in our homes. Ninety percent of these proposed rules could not be abided by our hobby breeders. The secret group wrote these and the Governor did not want us to have a copy.
* The Governor constantly accuses the past Dog Law Advisory Board of "not being proactive." It is his administration that has not been proactive in that it has only held 3 working meetings of the Board during the 4 years he has been in office. The Board cannot convene itself. Still he places the blame on the innocent volunteers of the Board.
*The Governor’s newly appointed Board no longer represents the statewide interest (2)
groups as it has since it was established in 1982. They are his personal favorites who in many cases cannot speak for the representative groups called for in the Dog Law. In our case, the law states "a representative of the dog clubs". He ignored our President, who reapplied for the position, and appointed a person who is only a member of a national breed club. She can not and will not speak on our behalf. Therefore, we have NO representation. The Dog Law does not allow for any additional members, but the Governor, who was the District Attorney in Philadelphia, plans to disregard the law and appoint 5 new "at large" members of his own choosing. Some of these are from his secret "animal rights" group.
* We had been told by one of the Governor’s aides that he was willing to meet with anyone in the state. We wrote a letter to the Governor at this aide’s direction requesting a meeting with him. We are now told that he is no longer interested and that we can only meet with his new Deputy Secretary of Agriculture over Dog Law Enforcement. That is a new position he created in the Department of Agriculture.
*Governor Rendell has set up this new department which consists only of lawyers and, soon, Criminal Justice college graduates to act as, he says, "a swat team" to inspect kennels. This very expensive new 8-person department will not be responsible for any of the other extremely important duties of our valuable Dog Wardens, such as dog licensing, rabies inoculations and control, stray dog control, investigating dangerous dog cases and dog caused livestock damage and public education. They will have to be trained on all aspects of the care, feeding and housing of dogs and puppies. It is doubtful that they come with any knowledge in this area. We are very worried that this new expense could deplete the Dog Law Restricted Account which is only paid for by dog and kennel license fees. We will not support any raise in fees to pay for these expenses. It seems to us that if it is felt that more rigorous inspections are needed of kennels, the same results could be accomplished within the current structure of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement by having a special roving team of Dog Wardens.
Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed in the attitude of Governor Rendell toward us and our clubs and their members. We are truly worried that if the animal rights groups are the only ones the Governor listens to, that any new rules and regulations or amendments to the Dog Law that he proposes will be without input from small breeders and will be detrimental to our rights.
This is still a democracy and we will have to be very vigilant in order to continue to pursue our hobbies with our beloved dogs.
Acting Chairman of the Legislative Committee
Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs
Furlong, Pa. 18925