Thank you so much for being a voice of reason. Our organization Responsible Pet Owners Alliance opposes everything in the presentation that will be made tomorrow. If you don't have a copy, I'll be glad to email it to you. As you say so eloquently, the proposal addresses responsible pet owners and does not address the problem of stray animals on the streets and animals relinquished to shelters and animal controls. Those animals had a home and couldn't keep it. Slapping large fines on irresponsible pet owners doesn't work either as we can attest in San Antonio. The low income pet owners will just give up the animals to be killed by animal control. The problems always lie in low income areas and Lubbock should identify those neighborhoods and target them with special proactive positive programs and services. Yes, it will require an increase in the budget for your animal control department. The Leash Law should be a first priority and it is rarely mentioned. The city should work with veterinarians on pet spay/neuter vouchers for qualified low income pet owners; present educational programs in elementary schools and to adults at area events and work with local rescue groups to get animals out of their facility alive. Legislation only exacerbates animal problems ... in these tough economic times especially. I'm attaching a letter we sent the mayor, city council, county officials, media, and Lubbock veterinarians. This is a radical national "animal rights" legislative agenda and not written to solve local animal problems. They strive to legislate pet ownership out of existence. Our pets are only a small part of their agenda. These proposals will only exacerbate animal problems as it has done in San Antonio. We have offered our expertise to the city of Lubbock at no cost as there are a myriad of approaches that may be taken.
Mayor Tom Martin
City of Lubbock
PO Box 2000
Lubbock, TX 79457
Re: OPPOSITION to Animal Ordinance Proposals For Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Microchips, Ban on Animal Sales, Intact Pet Permits, Litter/Breeder Permits, Sellers Permits, Puppy/Kitten Lemon Law.
Dear Mayor Martin and Council,
Our membership in Lubbock has informed us of the anti-pet legislative proposals to be presented to you Thursday which will have unintended consequences. We ask that you reject these suggestions and adopt positive proactive programs and services to address your animal problems which always lie in low income areas. Staff's presentation states it regulates "responsible pet owners" who aren't the problem The focus should be on pet retention, not pet elimination!
This is a radical national "animal rights" legislative agenda to end all use, breeding and ownership of animals for any reason, including pet ownership. Their agenda goes far beyond our pet issues. These proposals are not written to solve your local animal problems. We've enclosed a flyer on the failure of this legislation.
Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) is a coalition of all the "animal rights" groups in Texas and is the driving force behind this agenda to legislate pet ownership out of existence. We hope you'll connect the dots below regarding Texas cities where we've fought this same legislative battle. It proves our point.
San Antonio: Two THLN board members (at that time) - Attorney Joel Hailey and Jef Hale, San Antonio Animal Control Director. Dallas: Attorney Robert (Skip) Trimble, THLN board member. Fort Worth: Attorney Randy Turner, former THLN president and board member. El Paso: Attorney Tom Linney, an employee of Animal Legal Defense Fund (an "animal rights" organization); served as legislative intern for THLN drafting legislation.
Our organization believes deeply in the human/animal bond and has drawn a line in the sand. We hope you're on the side of animal "welfare," not animal "rights."
We've administered a statewide Pet Education, Assistance & Rescue Program for 20 years and offer our animal expertise at no cost. Our statewide membership is composed of "John Q" pet owners with all species of pets, rescuers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, working and hunting dog breed clubs, clubs and individuals from all national registries, cat and dog exhibitors, search & rescue dog owners, therapy and guide dog owners, show dog handlers, pet sitters, dog trainers, pet groomers, boarding kennels and show/hobby breeders.
My daughter is an AKC junior handler and is a member of Heart of the Plains Kennel Club. She is on the agenda and will be speaking out against the MSN Law at tomorrow's city council meeting.
How WOULD this ordinance affect "responsible" pet owners in a negative way and how WOULD it help control and or increase the number of unadoptable/ unwanted dogs in the shelter?
I would like to say "Well done" to Mr. Jackson on his Mandatory Spay and Neuter comments tonight. This was a well thought out and complete viewpoint. We enjoy his comments and respect his outlook and the issues he covers. If he decides to run for office he has our vote and I am sure most in the dog world voters.
Dear Mr. Jackson, I wholeheartedly agree with your position that stiffer penalties and consequences should be applied to irresponsible, non-caring, non-law abiding citizens when it comes to pets. I live near a park and for years have experienced firsthand so many dogs being dumped by cruel pet owners, strays who have gotten out of their yard or houses, and dogs whose current owners just let them run loose around the neighborhood. I catch and help all of the dogs I possibly can, and also any I see while traveling across Lubbock. It is heart-breaking to say the least. I strongly feel that Lubbock should adopt a stiff, zero tolerance ordinance and enforce it that fines or arrests pet owners who are not taking care of their pets. It is cruel to say the least and also dangerous to have pets running into the road and causing accidents. There needs to be more animal control workers who can respond quickly when a call is made about an animal spotted by a citizen. The animal control officers I have worked with on stray animal cases are very, very nice and helpful, but unfortunately there are too few of them to make a dent in this huge and ever-increasing problem of animals being abused, neglected and abandoned in Lubbock. Sadly, I think there are many people who live in this city who do not have a conscience when it comes to taking care of animals. Thank you for taking your time to write about this important issue. I truly hope we can make a difference for these animals in Lubbock,
I agree it is unfair to penalize responsible pet owners. I for one am one of those who goes the extra mile to keep my pets confined to their yard and all their shots current. We are already regulated to death by government both local and national. Give us a break and start giving stiff fines to those who feel it is ok to let their pets run free. It breaks my heart to see a dog or cat run over on the road.
Being a responsible pet owner I do not see this as penalizing, I fully agree. I believe if you are going to own an animal that you should take care of that animal. If you want to breed I think you should have to have a license/permit to prove to others that you are taking care of them and you deserve to breed. If you are not planning on breeding then what is so wrong with fixing your animal, it's healthier for them in the long run. If Lubbock were to make it to where they impose real and tough penalties for irresponsible owners I don't believe anything would happen to those owners. For example a dog gets out of the backyard with no collar or any identification on them, how is Lubbock supposed to find and deal with the owners of that animal if it were to attack someone? At least make the micro-chipping mandatory if not the spaying or neutering. That way Lubbock will be able to get the information they would need to find the owners of the dog and deal accordingly. Sure the dog will most likely be put down but what's to stop the owners from being irresponsible with another dog? I believe this may be the only way to make people realize that if they don't take care of their pets there will be consequences. I don't agree with the argument that most can't afford to have their animal spayed or neutered, if you cannot afford $50-100 dollars one time, then you cannot afford to feed them every month. Plan accordingly just like if you are planning on starting a family you know that you are going to need to save money to buy diapers, food and healthcare, so therefore do the same for your animals. Maybe Lubbock should offer coupons/discounts for this if it really is going to be a problem. I do hope that we can change something because putting down 800 healthy innocent animals down every month because of irresponsible pet owners is wrong and selfish.
I feel that all pets should be micro-chipped and vaccinated in order to be tagged by the city. Elderly pets that a vet feels would be harmed by a shot should be exempt. Most pet owners are responsible and their pets are kept at home and not allowed to run loose unsupervised. Storms can damage enclosures while owners are at work which allows pets to get out. I can understand a fee for picking up a dog at the pound. Mandatory sterilization is essentially an end to pets. Would the same politicians in favor of this want mandatory sterilization for irresponsible parents whose kids roam the streets unsupervised and get into various forms of mischief? Where will such stupidity end? It should end before it gets started.
My dogs never leave their well-fenced in backyard, and they are never out there unattended. Not only do they not disturb my neighbors, my neighbors would be hard-pressed to recognize either of my small breed dogs. I don't like mandatory anything. My neighbors' dogs, who I can easily identify since they spend a lot of time in my front yard, will not be subject to these penalties because these people will pretend they don't own a dog, just like the rare occasion animal control comes out. My dogs are registered and vaccinated. They have never menaced anyone; things that can't be said about the other animals roaming the NW section of the city.
Thanks for your comments. I am also interested in any opposing opinions out there, so please take time to write or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at:
KCBD-TV Attn: Consider This
5600 Avenue A
Lubbock, TX 79404
Consider This...Don't Penalize Responsible Pet Owners