Tag Archives: wayne pacelle

Tennessee Dog Breeders Were Thrown Under The Bus

The following was written by Carlotta Cooper. It makes me sick that the fancy still does not “get it” and is willing to form unholy alliances with the HSUS. Now that a “magic number” has been established into law, the next step will be ANOTHER piece of legislation to LOWER that number. That IS the HSUS game plan; and the fancy played right into their hands.
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I was asked to provide a little more information about why we lost with the commercial breeder bill in Tennessee. These are my views on the matter.

Losing with this bill is devastating. We have people who have been fighting the legislation who are now trying to decide which dogs to have put to sleep or looking for friends and family to take some of their dogs so they will be under the 20 female dog limit and won’t have to be inspected. We have some people who want to move out of the state.

I think the primary reason we lost was because our dog people were divided. Everything in Tennessee centers around Nashville and that’s where the decisions are made. Last year HSUS carried out a raid on a
breeder near Nashville with 700 dogs. They got the Nashville Kennel Club and some other local clubs involved in helping them. Ever since that time there have been some core people in those clubs who were
convinced that fighting “puppy mills” was their primary mission. The new HSUS state director was very smart in getting these kennel club members involved in the raid and making friends with them.

At the same time the Nashville Kennel Club, led by AKC judge Jon Cole, was heading up a new dog federation in Tennessee (Tennessee Federation of Dog Clubs). They had about a dozen member clubs from
around the state and enough money to hire a lobbyist. HSUS convinced them last winter that a bill against “puppy mills” was going to pass and that they would be better off helping to write it. So, the Federation sat down with them, had some input and has supported the bill since that time, with just a few exceptions. That was 12 of the biggest clubs in the state. Very little information was actually given to the members of the clubs. Delegates voted to accept what Jon Cole and the others decided. All meetings were held in the Nashville area.

So, it came down to the Nashville area clubs deciding things for the entire state with very little input from anyone else.

The rest of us — Responsible Animal Owners of Tennessee (mostly in Memphis and the west) and Tennessee Pet-Law (a lot of people in east Tennessee and across the state) were picking up everyone else opposed to the commercial breeder bill.

HSUS was able to say that they had the blessing of show breeders and others with the bills. They claimed to have stakeholder input which wasn’t true — there were no real commercial breeders involved in writing the bill at all. But they did have the Federation on their side.

I contacted Jon Cole as soon as I heard that he was working with HSUS on the bill in December to ask him to oppose it. I told him the reasons why he shouldn’t be working with HSUS. I told him why he should be protecting breeder rights. I told him we should be fighting breeder licensing, not trying to get it. I told him that
they should have real commercial breeders on their committee if they wanted to have a fair bill. He blew me off. I know that I’m not the only one who contacted him and told him these things.

I think if the Federation had opposed the bills and informed their membership about them so they could help fight them, the bills would have died in committee. We certainly could have used their lobbyist working for us. If they had even fully informed their membership of what they were doing I think the membership would have tried to stop them.

We got ZERO help from AKC. No alerts sent out. No messages posted on their home page. They posted a couple of messages about what was happening in Tennessee — buried deep in their government relations
section. But they never even sent them to me so I could post them on the Tennessee Pet-Law list or send them to e-mail lists. They frequently posted inaccurate, out-of-date information in their Take Command newsletter, even though I was sending them updates. I wrote Sheila Goffe several times explaining the situation and asking for help. I felt like I was “handled.” The AKC basically continued on the same course.

Instead, they(the AKC) stayed in contact with the Tennessee Federation of Dog Clubs and encouraged them to compromise on the bill throughout the process. Most of the time they claimed to be Neutral. For a few weeks I convinced AKC to oppose the bill, but as soon as one or two amendments were made they went back to being Neutral.

NAIA wasn’t much help either. They also worked with the Federation and encouraged them to negotiate rather than fight the bill.

Those of us fighting the bills could have done more. We were learning as we went. I wish that we had been able to attend the committee meetings. We were only able to make a presentation at two committee hearings (and our presenter wasn’t treated very kindly at one of them). But Tennessee is a looong state and it’s hard to convince people to drive 6-7 hours to be there for a two-minute presentation. We couldn’t pull together any kind of demonstration to hold at the Capitol either.

It would have been better if we could have lobbied in person. We discovered that our e-mails and faxes were being deleted and thrown out. Only phone calls had any effect at all. Even then, a representative could assure you that he was opposed to the bill and then vote for it. We had staff completely lie to us. When a dozen people called the governor’s office and spoke to his assistant to tell them they were opposed to the bill, I called and spoke to the same woman. She told me they hadn’t received any calls about the bill.

We looked for assistance from dozens of outside groups that had similar interests but, though some were sympathetic, none were really willing to help.

I’m sure it didn’t help that Wayne Pacelle personally went to Nashville to lobby for the bill.

So, those are some of the reasons that we lost. I hope some of this is helpful for others. Again, these have been my impressions from working on the commercial breeder bill since December of last year, before it was fully written. Some people may disagree with me and take offense but this is the truth.

I wanted to add just one more thing about the situation with the Tennessee Federation of Dog Clubs. From what I understand Mr. Cole and a small group made a unilateral decision in late 2008 to work with HSUS to write the commercial breeder bill that was so harsh to breeders. This was all done before the bill was introduced into the legislature. It was done without the knowledge or consent of the other Federation member clubs.

AFTER the bill was written and introduced Mr. Cole took a vote at the Federation’s annual meeting in March to see if the Federation as a whole would support the bill.

There was one dissenting club (bless them) and a few clubs with delegates who were not present, but the Federation voted to support the bill. Later there were clubs within the Federation who voiced their opposition to the bill but they didn’t have the votes to turn the Federation around and make them oppose the bill in its entirety.

By that time the damage had been done and they could only respond to each amendment as it was written.

Permission to cross-post this message and my previous message on Why We Lost In Tennessee.

Carlotta Cooper

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Same Battle, Different Dirty Words: Farmers and Dog Breeders Share Common Enemy

Play along:  “Factory Farm” is to agriculture as …..(blank) is to dog breeders…”

The correct answer is:  “puppy mill”. 

The buzz word “factory farm” is intended to solicit the same emotional response from the public as the “P” word.  We all know that the Humane Society of the United States are masters when it comes to swaying public opinion, even if the “information” used to sway said public is full of unscientific facts based solely on emotion, or just outright lies.  Substitute baby pigs and cows for puppies in cages and *bingo*…another campaign against animal ownership and use is born.

The public at large is sorely disconnected from where -and how- their food is raised.  Proof of this fact is evident in the passage last November of California’s Proposition 2, a ballot initiative driven by and lobbied for by the HSUS.  Words like “gestation crates”, “factory farms”, “tax cheats” and images of chickens in cages were enough fodder to put California meat producers out of business by the year 2015.  If Californians want their meat and eggs imported from foreign countries such as Mexico, then you got it, Baby!  But when the citizens of California that live on fixed incomes can no longer afford to buy eggs or milk or meat, be sure to send good ol’ Wayne Pacelle and the HSUS a “Thank You” card.  When the California producers of eggs, milk and meat can no longer afford to stay in business and pay their share of taxes (which contributes to the state’s bottom line), be sure and send a “Thank You” card to Wayne and company.

The farmers of the United States are under attack just as dog breeders.  Once again the animal radical organization, the HSUS, is out to demoralize and criminalize the act of animal ownership and proven animal husbandry methods.  If Wayne and company want “cage free eggs” and “free range whatevers”, then that option is available to Mr Pacelle or any other person that can afford the higher prices.  Uh, wait a minute…Wayne is a vegan.  That means he doesn’t eat or use animals in any way.  Hmm.  I smell a minority agenda being forced on the American public and that stinks.

So why is the HSUS assaulting farmers and the agriculture community?  Because as Wayne Pacelle has stated, “”We’re against animal fighting and killing animals for fur…. We want Americans to eat fewer animals,” Wayne Pacelle, DVM News, Jan 1, 2008. 

And this:  “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. . One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993.

The war for our rights as American citizens has been waged by the wealthiest animal radical (rights) organization in the world.  Will YOU stand up and help defeat the 900lb HSUS gorilla?  Or bow down and kiss the feet of the HSUS bully?  The HSUS plan of attack is this:  elimination via incrementalism.  Each bill that is introduced is intended to make it harder, if not impossible, for farmers to raise meat, or for dog breeders to continue producing puppies. 

Stand up, proud and tall, farmers.  You feed America.  I trust farmers and am greatful for the long hours put in on a daily basis to care for our meat supply.  The agriculture community and the dog community must join forces to fight and win this battle.  If we don’t, the HSUS will surely prevail.