Senator Rick Santorum Muzzles Opponents of his S1139 (PAWS) Bill
SAOVA News Release, October 25, 2005 - Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has scheduled a November 8, 2005 hearing before the Senate Agriculture Research, Nutrition and General Legislation Subcommittee, which he chairs, to take testimony on his own S1139 "Animal Welfare Act of 2005" (PAWS) bill. No opponent or critic of this devastating anti-hobby breeder legislation will be permitted to testify. Only six speakers are scheduled to appear at the Washington, DC hearing, all of them well-established PAWS supporters. Formal speaking requests by others have been ignored, effectively silencing and excluding from the legislative process the tens of thousands of pet owners and organizations opposed to this legislation.
PAWS has virtually nothing to do with animal welfare or closing Animal Welfare Act "loopholes." It's a direct attack on U.S. hobby breeders, hunting dog owners and animal rescuers. PAWS federalizes hobby pet breeding. Rick Santorum and the animal rights lobby failed to enact such a law in 2002 and they’re back, trying again. Other PAWS supporters testifying have a financial interest in seeing S1139, or its House equivalent HR2669, passed.
A substantial majority of U.S. pet owners opposes PAWS, including over 30 American Kennel Club parent breed clubs and 300 - 400 other organizations nationwide. Their voices won’t be heard on November 8, 2005.
Announced S1139 (PAWS) November 8, 2005 Hearing Witnesses
Witness 1: Ron Menaker, Chairman - American Kennel Club
Witness 2: Dr. Henry E. Childers, President - American Veterinary Medical Association
Witness 3: John E. Hoffman, Esq. - Dog Fancier
Witness 1: Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO - Humane Society of the United States
Witness 2: Sara Amundson, Legislative Director - Doris Day Animal League
Witness 3: Norma Worley, Director - Animal Welfare Program, Maine Department of Agriculture
Kelly Wichman, President of the Dog Federation of Wisconsin, commented, "Why even go through the time and expense of a holding a hearing? There’s not a single witness testifying that believes hobby breeders should not be subject to Federal oversight - Uncle Sam in our bedrooms sounds good to them."
California Federation of Dog Clubs President Susan Sholar stated, "I am very upset that this Californian John Hoffman is representing individual dog owners. I have been president here for 5 years and I have never heard of this man. He has never contacted me regarding any dog fancy issues AND his own parent club is opposing PAWS."
Master of Foxhounds Association Executive Director Lt. Col. Dennis J. Foster declared, "We don’t need the federal government, overworked and under funded, overseeing people’s rights to breed and make decisions for their dogs when state and local laws more than cover the issues. We especially don’t need animal rights organizations like HSUS and PETA, who have been involved in writing this legislation telling us what’s good for our pets. Whatever happened to a fair hearing with both sides equally represented? This hearing is a farce and an insult to democracy."
Susan Wolf of the North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance opined "By falsely labeling PAWS the puppy mill bill, its supporters are using emotional jingoism to push a bill that can't be factually justified. Barring hearing testimony from PAWS opponents reinforces the conclusion that this flawed bill can't stand up under careful scrutiny."
"I’m particularly concerned that PAWS will force the USDA to regulate most US hunting dog owners," said Bob Kane, spokesman for the nationwide Sportsmen and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance. "This bill is aimed directly at private hobby breeders and hunters, two of the animal rightists’ major longtime targets. Senator Santorum needs to reschedule this hearing and make sure that all affected stakeholders are properly represented," Kane continued.
See http://nopaws.org for additional PAWS information or contact Bob Kane at 540-543-2312
SAOVA News Release, November 9, 2005 - This will be an abbreviated report of yesterday's Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing on S1139 (PAWS) in Washington. More information will follow, as appropriate. The hearing was a complete farce, as expected. Only PAWS supporters were permitted to speak, ten of eleven subcommittee members didn't make an appearance and the staff interfered with bill opponents' efforts to tell their story to the press covering the hearing. Animal rightist PAWS supporters in the audience outnumbered PAWS opponents 10-1. The Roll Call full page advertisement was the talk of the Capitol Hill (click on the link to view the Roll Call ad). Rick Santorum alluded to it in his opening statement and AKC personnel were visibly upset.
An incredible team put this public PAWS hearing response together. The very talented Nick Van Duren drew two special illustrations for our use and the gagged animals magnificently made our point regarding the closed hearing. Susan Wolf (NCRAOA), Kelly Wickman (DFOW) and I collaborated on the text message and many financial donors made the insertion in the aproximately 30,000 circulation Capitol Hill political newspaper Roll Call possible. Among those supporting this work were the following:
American Boxer Club
American Dog Breeders Associated, Inc.
Dog Federation of Wisconsin
Sawnee Mountain Kennel Club of Georgia
Tropical Cats, Inc. - Florida
Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association
Roy and Sue Anderson - Oregon
Marcy Covault - Texas
Darla Duffey - Florida
Judith Erlanger - Massachusetts
Ron Gustafson - New Mexico
Patty Harris - Oklahoma
Micheline Hellwege - Michigan
Bonita Holbert - Ohio
Colby Homer - West Virginia
George Mayhugh Esq - Virginia
Sharon and Ed McCadam - Washington
Dr. Ivan Palmblad - Utah
Lisa Pinto - California
Carole Pivarnik - Virginia
Brenda Rich - Colorado
Natalie Rowntree - North Carolina
Jim Slagle - Virginia
Betsy Winans - California
Susan Wolf - North Carolina
Anonymous Donors in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
My heartiest thanks for your confidence. This ad was embargoed until its publication.
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Working to identify and elect supportive legislators
** NO PAWS **
Bob Kane is the founder of the Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA). This is a nationwide, nonpartisan group of volunteers lobbying legislation and seeking to elect politicians who will oppose the animal rightist threat to our rights as Americans. Our members hunt, fish and own livestock, dogs, cats and other pets. For more information about SAOVA, call (540) 543-2312 or visit saova.org.