Texans - legislation alert

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

This came across my farmcollie email list. I'm not in TX, but thought those who are might want to know. A bill has been introduced which amends a law regarding sterilization of cats and dogs to include basically all dogs and cats in the state, with some exceptions. Section 830 is the relevant section and is new:

Basically, unless you have a purebred dog/cat which is shown in conformation exhibition, and you intend to breed said animal, you are required to spay or neuter the animal BY SEPTEMBER 1, 2009. If you do intend to breed your show dog, you must purchase a permit for $300 per animal. Other exemptions include animals under six months of age, animals with a veterinary waiver that sterilization would be harmful, and service animals.

Anyone with working stockdogs, hunting dogs, livestock guardian dogs or other dogs not bred to a conformation standard (i.e. AKC show dogs) would be required to sterilize their animals before September 1st. Basically, the way the bill appears to read, dogs that farms and ranches consider useful would not be allowed to be bred under this law, unless they are also purebred and shown in conformation.

One wonders how many intact dogs/cats there are in TX, and how many vets and whether vets will have time to do anything other than spay/neuters in order to bring everyone into "compliance" by September 1st.

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

Just to clarify - this bill has not yet been passed. Contact your legislators quickly if you want to object to it.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

That's government going too far IMHO. I wonder who or what group is behind something like this?

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

SB018 is relating to the use of eminent domain authority. I don't see where it says that in the bill. Perhaps you have the wrong one? There is no section 830 on this bill.

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 7:43 AM

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

Thank you Podster!

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

Kind of interesting - subsection b, items 3&4 say that if it's purebred or an animal used for "service" then you do not have to sterilize it. How would they prove that your animal was not in "service"? I don't think it's much to worry over.

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

I think they mean animals like seeing eye dogs, or dogs that have been trained to alert people to things like an oncoming epileptic seizure, or other types of specifically trained dogs. You often see animals like this wearing a coat or harness of some sort that says they are a service animal, so that the person can take the dog with them where animals wouldn't normally be allowed (stores, buses, restaurants, etc.) I don't think your local AC officer would be likely to believe that Ol' Yeller there on your front porch or running around the backyard is a service animal just because you say they are. They'll probably require some sort of proof.

It's not SB018 but for some reason the forum software cut off the end of the link. It still goes to the right place when you click on it.

Cajun, my guess is that HSUS is behind it, or some other animal rights group. But I don't know.

Anyway, this was all just FYI. Do with it what you will.... my concern is that once one state passes a law like this, other states are more likely to follow. If we all would like to have some say in what animals we are able to breed on our farms, ranches, homesteads etc., we need to be aware of stuff like this.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

in the 830.003 part -- you have to have a permit to breed.... I bet that's the concerning part. But I am tired of all the abandoned dogs and cats, and I'm tired of my tax money going to euthanize them as well. I am sure this is an attempt to control the population. If there were not dogs being put down after 3 days by the dozens in my county, and finding a dog to adopt was more difficult? The value of dogs and cats would go up. And this is only talking about dogs and cats for now.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

So many cites are trying to push for mandatory spay/neuter. I would be very surprised if H$U$ isn't behind this. If the issue is too many dogs and cats at shelters, mandatory spay and neuter isn't going to make much of a difference. Too many people see pets as disposible, and are quick to drop them at a shelter, or turn them loose when they become too costly because of medical bills, or because they end up being bigger than what they thought, or too wild because they never bothered to train them properly. Requiring castration and hysterectomies on our pets is not the answer. Education of prospective owners is. People need to accept responsibility for the animals they take into their care.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I think the money that might be spent enforcing such a regressive policy would be better spent for education, as you say momcat, and free spay and neuter. And viagra... I can't tell you how many guys seem to live through their dog's lust life. Well, and women and the "miracle of birth". Ack. Show your kiddies the other end, then too. Hit by car, mauled, shot, starved, impounded and euthanized.

I think the concern raised about raising working dogs is legit. Some of the best stock dogs aren't registered.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

You are right with your last statement. Many farmers and ranchers have been breeding their own working dogs for ages, keeping a bloodline going for many years because it's a good working dog. The vast majority of people who use their working dogs, don't show them. So they are to be punished because their dogs work for a living rather than prance around in a beauty pageant? BC folks will be up in arms about this. Showing for confirmation is a huge NO NO with them. That's why they fought tooth and nail to keep the breed out of the AKC. It's a pity they weren't successful.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Yeah, the AKC has ruined more good breeds than rugs, IMHO. I like Irish Setters, but hunters have had to create a whole new breed (the Red Setter) to make those dogs useful again. Borzoi's used to kill wolves, shelties used to herd, labs used to MOVE for pete's sake. I prefer the UKC for just this reason; I'm not against purebred, registered dogs, but they've got to be able to fulfill their original function.

That legislation is not at all well thought out. It's discriminatory, regressive, and probably unenforcible, which means it will be enforced questionably... used against the poor, minorities and specific breeds. It's slanted for the breeder who can sell pedigreed, purebred, 'show quality' animals... it'll probably result in more puppy mills.

Better to enforce laws already on the books (rabies, leash laws, # of animals, noise ordinances, etc), fund shelters to be able to do the neuter before release, and show the whole life cycle of a surplus dog or cat... up to throwing the body in the dump... to the kids at school.

Maybe proof of home ownership, credit rating above 850, 2 forms of gov't issued ID, and a $10,000 bond should be required?

Jay =0)

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

No, they're not going to be punished Cajun. They're working dogs! That is accepted in this bill. It's the dogs who aren't "bred" for anything, but are just walking around pregnant or breeding all the time randomly that are the problem. They just aren't fixed, aren't fenced, and run around doing their own thing.

It would be welcome around here. I'm tired of homing all the dogs I find dropped off on my street. I have about 25 ferals I feed in the barn that I've trapped and fixed - some are just drop offs and not feral - but I spent several thousand dollars last year trapping them, fixing them and getting them shots just so all my animals wouldn't acquire diseases from them and they would not continue to contribute to a population that cannot sustain itself on my farm or in the woods surrounding.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

I agree about the AKC. Look at German Shepards in the show ring now.

I don't know what a good answer is....I don't know if this is it, but I think doing SOMETHING is worth a shot.

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 4:12 PM

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

A service dog is different from a working dog. Service dogs are adopted through organizations that select, and train the dogs, screen and support individuals with special needs, such as the blind or deaf.

Somebody who's bred good working stock dogs, hunting dogs, guardian dogs isn't protected by this legislation at all if their dogs aren't registered and shown conformation.

As for your personal troubles and expenses... your choices are your choices, no one has forced you to pay out that kind of money. I would have chosen to have those strays put down, not run a no-kill shelter and then complained about the expense.

We make our choices...

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Oh God, the poor German Shepherd. That used to be such a great dog, and now they've got hind legs like noodles. Can't clear a 3' hurdle. It breaks my heart everytime I see one of 'em. =0(

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Working dogs were not one of the exceptions.
Under 6 months of age, dogs with a certificate from the vet for reason of detriment (sp?) to the animals health, dog shown in confirmation and service dogs. A working dog does not fall under any of those exceptions. Have you read something else that I may have not seen?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

The GSD comes immediately to mind. I cringe when I see one. Can you imagine a dog with that confirmation trying to herd anything, let alone sheep? A mean sheep would kill the poor thing. Breeding an animal like that SHOULD be outlawed. It's so sad.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

Well if I've mis-understood, I stand corrected. If a working dog does not perform a service? I don't know what it is.... I don't think I even need law school to defend that one if you are correct.

I agree with you somewhat on the choices. I could've poisoned or shot them I guess.... but that's still someone else's irresponsibility putting *me* in a situation I didn't choose. Yes I did choose to help them - for some self reasons too - I DO care about keeping my own healthy. I can't build a wall around my property and top it with wire. I wish I could have the time to also give them all more than simply food and health. Bleeding heart I guess....

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

PS - my husband would be rubbing his finger and index together right now imitating the world's smallest violin to go with my whining.

There are bigger fish to fry, I know, I just hate to see anything suffer.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We raise Border Collies. We have two females and a male who we breed as herd dogs. We also register with the American Border Collie Association. If one of our dogs' offspring is used for conformation, it loses it's registration with ABCA. The movie Babe sold a few puppies for us, but it also brought a perfectly good and useful breed to AKC attention. Now they are making rules about what a BC is supposed to look like which have no connection to what a good dog can do. You won't find a more devoted herding dog, to its herd and its owners. We've been without a good herd dog on a couple of occasions and I can tell you that it makes a great deal of difference in the work load. One of our dogs saved Stan's life from a rampaging momma cow by attaching himself to her nose until Stan got out of harm's way. Stan returned the favor by giving the dog mouth to nose resuscitation after he accidentally hung himself.

I'm not sure just where this discussion stands in regards to the AUP of DG, but I do know that if I lived in Texas, I'd be looking into this proposition very carefully.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

This proposition may be from Texas, but there are similar propositions in several states. I know there is one currently in Illinois to limit numbers of intact dogs, and in Chicago for mandatory spay/neuter. Most of these come in the guise of doing away with "puppy mills". No one pushing these bills ever mentions that there are enough laws already on the book to deal with sub standard commercial breeders, they just aren't enforced.

Scary stuff, if these type of propositions get passed into law.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I hate that the AKC latched on to our beautiful breed. The farmer I bought my dog from works a large cattle opperation all on his own with 4 BCs. He couldn't do what he does without them. They are truly a remarkable breed. I imagine with so many cattle in Texas there must be a whole lot of working BCs there. I hope the farmers and ranchers find out about this in time.

A working dog is not the same as a service dog. When they say service dog they mean a dog trained to or possessing a natural trait to work with a person who has special needs, ie a guide dog, seizure alert dog, ect.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

If it gets passed in Texas, and assists the government with it's unwanted pet population that it has to deal with, you can bet that you will be worried about it soon.

I would forget the AKC or join it and go against the stupidity of a lot of breed judges who do not know conformation, purpose or what they are doing. Being bought most likely.

You are probably correct about the AUP. Politics are strictly prohibited.

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 5:07 PM

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

No. It's not. A Service is defined as:

a. Employment in duties or work for another, as for a government: has been in the company's service for 15 years.
b. A government branch or department and its employees: the diplomatic service.
a. The armed forces of a nation: joined the service right after college.
b. A branch of the armed forces of a nation.
3. The performance of work or duties for a superior or as a servant: found the butler's service to be excellent.
a. Work done for others as an occupation or business: has done service for us as a consultant.
b. An act or a variety of work done for others, especially for pay: offers a superior service to that of his competitors; provides full catering services.
5. A department or branch of a hospital staff that provides specified patient care: the anesthesiology service.
6. Installation, maintenance, or repairs provided or guaranteed by a dealer or manufacturer: a dealer with full parts and service.
7. A facility providing the public with the use of something, such as water or transportation.
a. Assistance; help: was of great service to him during his illness.
b. An act of assistance or benefit; a favor: My friend did me a service in fixing the door.
a. Active devotion to God, as through good works or prayer.
b. A religious rite.
a. The serving of food or the manner in which it is served.
b. A set of dishes or utensils: a silver tea service.
11. Sports The act, manner, or right of serving in many court games; a serve.
12. Copulation with a female animal. Used of male animals, especially studs.
13. Law The serving of a writ or summons.
14. The material, such as cord, used in binding or wrapping rope.
15. An answering service.

I guarantee that anyone with a brain can use #4 or #8a to avoid even going to court or getting a citation.

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 5:10 PM

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Folks in Texas should keep that definition handy. I will.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

If your dog assisted you in feeling better home alone, or is even performing the service of a pet, then it is performing a service.

The legislation is really a big waste of time in my opinion after delving into the definition of service.

If the definition of "Service Animal" is set ? and that leaves out working dogs? Then it is extremely in need of redefining.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

And therein lies the problem.

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) defines "service dog" under its broader definition of "service animal". "Service Animal" (ADA Subsection 36.104): "Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding people with impaired vision, alerting people with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items."

This is the definition of service dog that is legally recognized and that I expect is meant by the legislation. It clearly does not include the kind of working dogs, gun dogs, and guardian dogs that many rural folks use and breed.

BC and the AKC... fixin' to wreck another great breed. =o(
Kathleen, does your breed club allow for showing in the UKC? Edited to add... never mind, I just looked at the UKC site and there's nothing there for herding trials. I had assumed there were because they offer so much to other breeds, especially the hunting.

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 5:02 PM

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

But we are not all disabled, yet dogs still service people. BS I'd say.

Does that definition go all the way? Does it apply to all chapters? The police are not disabled, yet their dogs are service dogs.....cadaver dogs, rescue dogs, sheep herding dogs? C'mon. You can not tell me these are not covered. If so? No way. Someone tell me if they are "service" animals....They are by my definition.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I am unsure which side I want to come down on and uncomfortable with both. On the one hand, I resent more gov't mandates and intrusions into my life. On the other, I resent those that indiscriminately allow their pets to breed and then chose to abandon them to nature.

The HSUS has their hands full with dumped and unwanted pets being left in their parking lots when they are turned away due to overcrowding. The criticism I will offer them... they should provide a free or cheap neutering service to the community. In the long run, it would benefit them financially by reducing the number of unwanted animals.

Education would be a start. However, it seems the poorer the area the more common this problem is. The poorer the area, the more ignorance prevails. The sole means of successful education is to begin with the young children in school. They then go home to educate their elders. The next hurdle will be financing neutering/spaying. Legitimate veterinarians will not provide this service without the pet receiving its vaccinations. The total price is phenominal to these poor people so the animals continue to be bred and dumped. Yes people need to take responsibility for their actions but it is not the governments nor my place to make them do so.

Yes, I suppose I could shoot these animals or have them euthanized but I would find it preferable to euthanize the irresponsible person that abused, neglected and dumped them. They are once again not dealing with their own responsibility.

Some of the best animals I've had have been dumpees and although I admire their intelligence and devotion, I don't suffer the urge to breed them or cross them with another just to see what the outcome will be... I will follow the TX bill with interest.

...the Podster

Thumbnail by podster
Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Jenks, I'm afraid the courts are not interested in your definition. Or my opinion. Or Kathleen and Cajun's herding uses. That is the problem with this legislation. It is bad law. To the tune of $300 and forced neutering.

The ADA definition does cover SAR dogs, but not the hunting and herding lines that many of them are selected from. But again, SAR is a rigorous training with independent evaluations and certifications. I know... my dog flunked.

If I wanted to get another dog, say a border collie (which are very good at SAR) I'd be restricted to an AKC border collie (ack!) rather than having working lines available to choose from, because they would be illegal under this law.

It would be better to legislate the money and manpower to enforce animal control laws already on the books.

As for other's dumping their responsibility on you... get used to it. As near as I can tell, that's life. =0(

This message was edited Mar 14, 2009 8:27 PM

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

You'd be restricted to an AKC or UKC dog that you would show. What happens once the show career is over? And then there's still the $300 annual fee.

As far as HSUS having their hands full with "dumped and unwanted pets being left in their parking lots when they are turned away due to overcrowding". HSUS does not run any shelters. They do not hold spay/neuter clinics. They mislead people with their website and pictures of neglected animals, beg for donations, and try to push through legislation that would ultimately hurt those of us who do any amount of breeding, or wish to keep intact animals. Wayne Pacelle, President of HSUS has stated: "One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

Can you tell me who quoted Wayne Pacelle? Who he was talking to and where? That is a stupid statement. Cows are creations of human selective breeding.....most vegetables are results of selective crossings...carrots were purple before humans started to selectively change by crossing them 10000 years ago.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Horses would not be as we know them today were it not for selective breeding and man caring for them. The same can be said for much and as usual, man has screwed most of it up! An example is the inbreeding done to certain types of dogs.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I'll bet many people would not have a problem with the extinction of Wayne Pacelle.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

lol, oooo, no comment (laughing too hard)

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

The Wayne quote was from Animal People News, and was quoted from the 90's. I am looking for the article, and will post it when I find it.

Social Circle, GA(Zone 8a)

Thanks momcat, I'd really like to read it.

I'm surprised you said "get used to it". I thought we were more alike.

Not me. Not as long as I live in a free, 'democratic' country or even if we become officially socialist. I won't lay down and take someone pushing off their responsibilities on me. Talking to some of my neighbors alone has done me a world of good. We've actually had domesticated rabbits dumped here most recently. It's now split between myself and 3 others on my road. Keeps me from becoming a bitter person I think to talk with them about it and the resolution. Perhaps that is a small amount of community coming together, but perhaps community is more the answer if we can speak to more of it?

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