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Attention California Fanciers – Urgent Action Needed On Breeder Bill

By American Kennel Club (AKC) UPDATE: The June 26th hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee was postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday, July 3, at 1:30 in Room 4203 of the State Capitol. There is still time for concerned dog owners to send letters of opposition to the Committee. Assembly Bill 161, which has already passed the Assembly, will affect anyone who breeds more than one litter a year. California dog fanciers must act now to stop this misguided bill. In your letter, be sure to specifically ask to be included in the "OPPOSITION" list. Points about AB161: AB 161 expands the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act to cover anyone who breeds more than one litter a year. Currently, the Pet Breeder Warranty Act applies only to those who sell 50 or more dogs in a calendar year. The current law addresses the problems of large-scale breeding and imposes penalties for the intentional sale of unhealthy puppies without negatively impacting responsible breeders who produce a small number of puppies. The major definition change in AB161 not only targets the wrong people, but also threatens to destroy the effectiveness of the Pet Warranty Act. Unless the state plans an exponential increase in funding for this program, there is no way that the number of breeders regulated can be increased so substantially while maintaining thorough enforcement of the Act. Instead, enforcement of the large-scale breeders will be compromised. AB161 will hurt the smallest of breeders, those who have worked all of their lives to share well-tempered, sound dogs with other families. AB161 would regulate these hobby breeders out of existence and Californians would be denied a highly knowledgeable and conscientious source of purebred dogs. These small breeders are not businesses or professionals who take on this task for the primary purpose of making money. These individuals breed dogs as a hobby, because they love dogs and want to improve their breeds. In addition, there is a high degree of regulation by the consumer who visits the small breeder's property and can personally interview the breeder and inspect the care conditions. AB161 places undue burden on responsible breeders-those that are working hard to protect the welfare of animals¾and fails to address the irresponsible breeders who do not comply with existing laws and will not comply with new regulations. Such fees therefore punish responsible breeders who give the care and attention that puppies need in order to grow into healthy, well-adjusted companions and neighbors. The key to solving this problem is to educate dog owners about responsible breeding practices and to educate the public about how to choose the right dog and how to find a responsible breeder. The following call to action comes from Susan Sholar, president of the California Federation of Dog Clubs: Dear Dog Fanciers, It is time for you to act in response to AB161. This bill, limiting you to one litter a year, is going before the senate committee [JULY 3, 2001]. We need all dog club organizations, and you as an individual, to write all members of this committee and express your opposition to this bill. Let this committee know that we oppose this bill. This bill takes the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act, that was written to protect pet buyers of dogs from unscrupulous commercial breeders, and alters it to the point that the general public will not have quality breeders to go to for the purchase of their ideal puppy to bring into their home. When conscientious breeders are discouraged from breeding, the supply of healthy, quality puppies are no longer available for the California consumer. The consumer will be forced to buy puppies from places that are supplied by the puppy mills that we see on all the news reports. It will encourage the importation of puppies from puppy mills. This bill will benefit no one in this state. It will only boost and support those puppy mills. AB161 is sponsored by the Fund For Animals and has strong support from the very same groups that have actively pushed for two other bills in California (SB236, "sellers" permit/micro chipping and AB1336, mandated spay/neuter of cats/dogs). We need to show these Animal Rights groups that our State Senators and Assemblymen will hear our voices. REMEMBER this bill has already passed the assembly when we thought it would not get out of assembly committee. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE ALL WRITE LETTERS TO THE SENATE COMMITTEE MEMBERS. CALIFORNIASENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS: The Honorable Martha M. Escutia Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 2205 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-5957 Fax: (916) 445-8390 (Attention: Michael Yang, Committee Consultant) [email protected] Your request to be listed as "OPPOSITION" on the Bill Analysis must be specific. Fax your letter to the attention of committee consultant Michael Yang, and ask to be added to the Opposition list. The Honorable Ray Haynes Vice Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 2187 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-9781 Fax: (916) 447-9008 [email protected] The Honorable Dick Ackerman Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 4066 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-4264 Fax: (916) 445-9754 [email protected] The Honorable Sheila James Kuehl Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 4032 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-1353 Fax: (916) 324-4823 NO EMAIL except through "Feedback" on home page The Honorable Jack O'Connell Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 5035 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-5405 Fax: (916) 322-3304 [email protected] The Honorable Steve Peace Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 3060 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-6767 Fax: (916) 327-3522 [email protected] The Honorable Byron Sher Senate Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 2082 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-6747 Fax: (916) 323-4529 [email protected] AUTHOR: The Honorable Ken Maddox State Capitol, Room 4102 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 319-2068 Fax: (916) 319-2168 [email protected]

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