Monday, November 13, 2006
The new DLE replaces the old Department of Agriculture Dog Bureau. What will they do? They will regulate how dogs are bred, kept and sold in Pennsylvania.
First of all, Governor Rendell’s proposed 55 page piece of legislation would strengthen animal cruelty penalties. The DLE could issue civil penalties for violations that will be subject to administrative hearings, rather than be heard in the judicial branch. The DLE's prosecutor would represent ACOs in an administrative law court with the approval of the local district attorney.
ACOs could seize dogs at will and charge the owners with cruelty, neglect, etc. according to their subjective judgement. Owners would be responsible for impound fees pending the civil hearing which are quite high. Does that mean there will be sweeping changes in the ranks of the old PDA dog wardens?
Few people fight these kinds of cases (1) because of the inflated holding costs and (2) because of attorney's fees. Both of these financial burdens continue to escalate as the case drags on. Generally, the defendant/victim gives into implied threats of high fines and jail fees and decides it is easier to forfeit the animals.
Under the proposed statutes, kennel owners would pay a surety bond prior to receiving a license. If dogs are seized from an unlicensed kennel, that kennel would have to post bond before taking any legal action. Of course, any owner charged with cruelty will have their license revoked and be unable to receive a new one.
Cage size will be doubled for all dog owners BUT NOT FOR humane societies. Many more specific and detailed requirements for indoor and outdoor kennels are proposed and will be enacted unless dog owners get involved and voice their objections. However, when groups like the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs were excluded from discussions on proposed changes, it certainly appears the fix is in.
Who are They?
The special deputy secretary for the new DLE is Harrisburg resident, Jessie Smith. ASPCA-approved Smith is the new liaison with the public, dog welfare groups, municipalities and courts. Smith has experience working in the state attorney's general's office and until recently, she served as president of the Humane Society of Harrisburg.
Additionally, the Governor appointed Jeffrey Paladina the special prosecutor for dog law enforcement. Paladina was, until recently, the assistant district attorney in Beaver County. His new duties will include civil animal forfeiture cases and administrative appeals of kennels that have had their licenses revoked. Paladina plans to be very involved in the state's proposed crackdown on unlicensed kennels. Paladina now resides in Harrisburg with his family.
This is a one-two punch aimed at the rights of every commercial dog breeder in Pennsylvania. The animal rights crowd is rejoicing while savvy dog owners should be very very worried. Rendell has made it just too darned easy for these two people to have too much power and influence.
“Governor Rendell’s decisive actions are a great example for other lawmakers who are trying to improve animal welfare conditions in their states and communities,” babbles Bob Baker, a consultant to the ASPCA on anti-cruelty and animal welfare issues. Well, Robert O. "Bob" Baker does not own and operate a commercial kennel nor is he an impartial bystander. Baker was formerly chief investigator of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and is now VP of CAPS - the Companion Animal Society. He claims to be the top puppy mill investigator in the country.
We should mention that Deborah Howard, president and co-founder of CAPS, has a great deal of media experience. Prior to CAPS, she ran an Atlanta-based public relations agency. Howard was formerly with Porter/Novelli -- the lead PR agency with the Omnicom Group --in San Francisco and has worked with newspapers and news services all over the country, such as the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free News, The Miami Herald, The Baltimore Sun, and Dallas Morning News. Her numerous magazine placements include Life, People, U.S. News & World Report, Consumers Digest, Rolling Stone, Elle, Vogue, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Working Woman and Entrepreneurial Woman. Howard has also worked as a radio news reporter and anchorwoman. She is a graduate of New College of the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Political Science and has a law degree from Santa Clara University.
Can you say Means, Motive and Opportunity?
Free Dogs for All - Except for the Commercial Breeder
Free the Dogs from the puppy mills. Free dogs for the Humane League of Lancaster County. Free dogs for the Humane Society of Harrisburg. Free dogs for the Chester County SPCA. Free Dogs to the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter. Free dogs for Main Line Rescue. Who will oversee and prevent this vast conflict of interest and corruption?
The Humane League of Lancaster County reported $5,077,248 in net assets during 2004. Sue West, the president, is also an appointee to Rendell's DLE and was very vocal in the press in support of the new DLE. Nancy Gardner is the president of the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and another appointee.
Other Appointees include:
Dr. Ilana Reisner, a dog behaviorist and director of the Behavior Clinic at the University. Reisner attended the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine where she completed a residency in animal behavior as a Morris Animal Foundation Fellow. She is past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the on-line behavioral consultant for the Veterinary Information Network.
Dr. Charles Newton - School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and Deputy Associate Dean, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine is also on the DLE. He is the acting director of CART - the Philadelphia County Animal Response Team. SART is based on the principals of the Incident Command System developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, and involves a coordinated effort of government, corporate and animal organizations. SART's structure is organized on the grassroots level with County Animal Response Teams (CART). CARTs include local professionals, community leaders and concerned citizens.
We will provide contact information for these remaining members of the DLE. Perhaps they will be willing to impartially listen and act on our behalf.
John Gibble – President, NE Beagle Gundog Federation
Ms. Douglas Newbold – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Larry Breech – PA Farmers Union
Kristina Watson – PA Farm Bureau
Mary Remer – first vice president, Bull Terrier Club of America
Linda Lowney – Town and Country Kennel Inc.
Kim Kraemer – District manager, Pet Smart
Harold Stoneberger – Owner, Central Penn Hunting Clays
Cynthia Miller – American Kennel Club
Janet Mawhinney PA Sheep & Wool Growers Association
John Weinstein – Allegheny County Treasurer
Capt. Kenny O’Brien – K-9 Unit, Philadelphia Police Department
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The Shame of Pennsylvania
Puppy Mill Propaganda - Part III
A New Web Forms
In Parts I & II, we gave you basic outlines of the facts surrounding the current issues in Pennsylvania. Today, we give you even more. A
brand new kind of web !
A & N Research
_____________________________________________________________________________________ MOVING FURTHER INTO THE WEB
We promised, in Part II, to get back to the Main Line Rescue Board Members, so - let's proceed.
WEBS OF GOLD AND SILVER
Main Line Rescue - Board of Directors
Helen M. Smith, President
Helen M. Smith is the mother of William E. Smith. She is listed as the President, however, on the current 990's, she is listed as the Treasurer. This is clearly a family affair.
William E. Smith, Treasurer
Betsy Legnini, Chairman
In our last issue, we briefly mentioned that the Main Line Animal Rescue facilities had to be moved, due to eminent domain. Bob Smith and friends formed the Boxwood Five Partners to petition the East Pikeland Commission for a new property.
The Boxwood Five was represented by Bob and Betsy Legnini, Attorney Gregory Davis, Engineer Martin J. Swaggard and Bill Smith of Main Line Animal Rescue.
The French Pickering Creek Conservation, Inc. organization, yet another Pa. 501(c)3 organization, controlled the dealings. Their 2004 IRS 990 shows a net balance of $2,652,205. The 58 acre land conservation easement is on the French and Pickering Creeks. Are they concerned about the dog 'pollution' from the Main Line Rescue kennels? Could this possibly be the same group that protested in front of the capitol that was concerned about "animal pollution?" We checked. It is.
Bill Smith was very concerned about "puppy mills" doing just this when he spoke at the rally which was held on the steps of the Pennsylvania capital building.
Francine is listed as the MLR Secretary. She is also President of the VSI Group, Inc. VSI Group is one of the fastest growing companies in metering and customer services for utilities (electric, gas, and water), meter manufacturers, and municipalities with over 700 employees nationwide. Francine oversees business planning and development and strategic planning for the Company. She is a former Deputy State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, earned an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Howard University.
Betsy Fadem, Member
Betsy Fadem, another MLR BOD member, was elected to the Treddyfin/Easttown School District in Berwyn, PA in 2001. She is chair of the Policy Committee, a member of the Finance Committee and represents Easttown, Region 3. She has resided in T/E for nine years and her two children attend T/E schools. She once ran for a seat in Region Three.
Anne Hamilton, Vice Chairman
Anne Hamilton is the Vice Chairman of MLR, and is the daughter-in-law of of Dorrance “Do Do”Hamilton, the Campbell Soup Heir. She is the widow of brokerage executive, Samuel M. V. Hamilton. You might want to read the linked article we found about Anne (above). Quite an eye opener.
Dorrance "Dodo" Hamilton (above, right) leaves Criminal Justice Center after testifying yesterday.
Barry Katz, Esq., Legal Council
Barry, of Rosemont, Pennsylvania is President and General Counsel for Belmont Holdings Corp. located in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Belmont Holdings Corp., a private company, deals in miscellaneous monmetallic minerals, other crushed and broken stone mining and quarrying. They also mine and develop diatomaceous earth.
Vincent T. Donohue, Secretary
Vincent is also listed as Secretary for MLR. He is a partner at the firm of Lamb McErlane in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Since 1998, Vince Donohue has advised Lamb McErlane's clients on all matters related to business law, including business formation, equity structuring and recapitalization, owner relationships, debt and equity investments, tax and employment issues, leases and related financing arrangements, and real estate transactions.
Vince has successfully represented corporations and business owners in a long list of notable cases including a manufacturing client in the $7 million acquisition of a competitor's assets.
Vince's case experience also includes representing clients in the communications industry in connection with a $1.2 billion sale of stock by its shareholders; the Housing Authority of the County of Chester in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of its mixed-finance development projects; a closely held business in the creation, structuring and implementation of a business succession plan for its family member shareholders; and an operator of early childhood learning centers in a dispute with its landlord which was resolved by the acquisition of the subject real estate from the landlord.
As a former tax consultant, Vince provided tax consulting and advisory services for transactions involving many Fortune 500 companies.
Vince is actively involved in a number of Chester County organizations including the Foundation of the Chester County Chamber, The Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry, the Chester County Historical Society and the Tredyffrin Township Historic Preservation Trust.
Julie Becton, Director
Julie is listed as a MLR director. She is also the secretary of the USS Laffey Association which is dedicated to two WWII battleships, one of which is in the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, Mt. Pleasant, SC. Her father was Frederick Julian, a USN Rear Admiral.
USS Laffey Association
Julie Becton - Secretary
212 Cherry Lane
Wynnewood, PA 19096
Marsha Perelman, Vice Chairman
Marsha Reines Perelman - Mrs. Jeffrey Perelman - is Vice Chair of Main Line Rescue and the sister-in-law of Revolon cosmetics chief, Ron Perelman.
Marsha wears many hats. She is the founder and chief executive officer of Woodforde Management, Inc. holding company (which donated to Democrat Bob Casey)and is located in Ardmore, PA. Her company with a similar name - Woodlorde Energy did the same. M.R. Perelman is co-founder and president of Clearfield Ohio Holdings, Inc., a gas gathering and distribution company. She is co-founder and VP of Clearfiled Energy, Inc., a crude oil gathering and distribution company. Add to that the title of VP of the Penn Central Energy Group of the Penn Central Coporation and Director of Penn Virginia Resource GP, LLC. Marsha is a Director for Leadership Philadelphia and a board member of the City Gala Advisory Board, along with Anne Hamilton and Governor Ed Rendell, who also sit on that board. It just so happens that Marsha is also on the BOD of the ASPCA and one of their corporate sponsors is Iams pet food. Coincidentally, Iams delivered 35,000 pounds of free dog and cat food to Main Line Rescue. We wonder if they know that PETA cites IAMS for cruelty in animal testing?
The Buddy System
Anne Hamilton, Marsha R. Perelman and Governor Edward G. Rendall all sat on the BOD of the Franklin Institute in 2004. You could just click here to see the whole gang on one page. Belmont Holdings, Perelman Theatre, Hamilton Gardens - along with some other interesting trivia! Also be sure to visit the Academy of Fine Arts in the Samual M.V. Hamilton Building - also chaired by the same group.
A little background history:
Raymond G. Perelman* is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of RGP Holdings, Inc. and Belmont Holdings Corp. Both companies comprise a vast array of manufacturing, mining and financial interests. Raymond and Ruth Perelman are trustees of an Education Foundation which carries their name. In 2005, they donated $25 million to the PENN Medicine's Center. Their sons are Jeffrey E. and Ronald O. Ronald is Chairman of the BOD for MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings and Chairman of the BOD of the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Revlon Consumer Products Corporation. Ronald is also a trustee of the Univ of Penn. He established the Ronald O. Perelman Professorship in Finance and the Perelman Quadrangle. Jeffrey is Chairman and CEO of JEP Management, Inc. and he is Secretary of the board of Trustees of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Raymond is also a Penn Medicine Trustee and has donated to Santorum. Raymond and Ruth are also Trustees of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Education Foundation that supports Jewish cultural and welfare organizations.
Old Towels and Laundry Detergent Needed !!
Humorously interesting, we present you with this article. Megan Anderson says "MLAR doesn't just need money donations, but simple things such as old towels and laundry detergent."
With the support and backers they have, they can manufacture all the towels and detergent that they could ever need. They can get all the Revlon products they could wish for, and feed everybody Campbell Soup products forever. One quick signature on a check or the pocket change out of somebody's purse would give them the $2.3 million that they intend to dupe from the uneducated public - a public that has NO idea of what is truly behind a non profit, 501(c)3, very well funded, politically connected organization.
Are you running around collecting up old towels now? Doesn't it just make you want to run out and buy up all the Tide you can find to send to them?
Interesting last minute note
In 2004, MLR received a $5,000 grant from the Dade Community Foundation in FLORIDA !
We'll give you more information on this when our little spider returns from there with his report !!
UAPM (United Against Puppy Mills) is the media contact for the "Puppy Mill" campaign publicity. They work behind the scenes and keep their membership as private as possible. However, we do know they were founded in May 2005, that their PA business registration number is 3303231 and that their registered office address is 1305 Wheatland Ave in Lancaster.
The address belongs to J. Glenn Ebersole's J.G. Associates' office. He is also the founder of the Renaissance Group, on the board of the Advisors of Penn State, is running a 5-year term on the Lancaster Commission and Is Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Modern Transit Authority. Each of these positions affords him many influential contacts within Pennsylvania.
His wife, Helen Ebersole, is one of the co-founders of UAPM. Helen is the Community Action Commissioner of Lancaster and on is on the Lancaster Zoning Commission. She is also on the Zoning Committee in Lancaster which just happens to review Kennel Licenses. Helen is also involved in many other community organizations and is the Continuing Education Co-ordinator for Penn State. Helen is a member of the Lancaster Italian Society and so is another UAPM co-founder, Josette A. Armini. In fact, Josette received a college scholarship from the Lancaster Italian Society.
We already mentioned Jackie Keeney in a prior issue, who wrote a letter on the Save-a-Dog letterhead representing UAPM, and posted it to the Save-A-Dog website. She is an attorney and member of the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Bar Associations plus she has over ten years experience in the real estate market and title business.
The press stated that Dee Strathmeyer of Neffsville was also a UAPM member but she still remains illusive. However, no thread in the web will remain hidden forever. UAPM will be holding a special meeting in January, 2007 - a "refresher" course. Some of you might like to attend !
A name that kept popping up, but not included with any animal related organization, was Linda Figueroa. Helen Ebersole is the Community Action Commissioner of Lancaster, Linda Figueroa is the Executive Director of Community Action in Harrisburg. In 2003, Linda and J. Glenn Ebersole were appointed to the board of directors of MTP. Both Linda and J.Glenn hold seats in other endeavors, as well. If you go here, you will get some valuable information. Then Liz Figueroa (D-Ca) showed up here, along with Sally Tully Figueroa. All at the same site? Further investigation showed that Sally Tully Figueroa is a DDB representative for Puerto Rico and the secretary of this organization. Coincidentally, she is also the owner of this organization. We'll get back to that investigation at a later date for another issue. You can count on it.
What a Web !
Attorneys, real estate agents, city planners and more, help connect this web. Each has a useful purpose in the movement to shut down your kennels, your hobby, and take away your rights to own animals. These people and groups are politically motivated and have built their web on the limbs of animal rights rhetoric.
Marsha R. Perelman of Woodford Energies to Rendell for Governor $7,500.00
Marsha R. Perelman of Woodforde Energy to Bob Casey for Senate $4,000.00
From the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue group:
"Thank you, Governor Rendell. Your support through letters, emails, and donations helps to ease a great many worries and we can't offer enough thanks for your part in helping us Goldens."
Governor Rendell holds a 10:30 am Capitol press conference to "make a major 'energy' announcement. Then at noon, he's in Gettysburg for the 2005 Golden Retriever Club of America's judging and Rescue Dog Parade. (Wonder if Bob Casey's aide was there, too?)
Until next issue, we leave you with these important messages:
From Lost and Found Dog Rescue - "Don't BUY a puppy from ANYONE in the Lancaster, Pa. (717) area code or ANYONE who "sells" puppies rather than rescues them.
From Save-A-Dog - Support Dog Adoption and Rescue. Why go to a DOG BREEDER or pet store to buy a dog when you can adopt?
NEXT ISSUE - Deeper into the Web
Rendell's new rules and regulations and new advisory board members !
Friday, October 27, 2006
The Shame of Pennsylvania
Puppy Mill Propaganda, Part Two
Entering the Web
The Beauty of a Web
Trying to explain how the AR web works would be extremely time consuming. There are so many intricate details related to web building. Rather than to expound on these intracacies, take a look at the picture of the web below - know and understand that THIS is exactly what you are dealing with. Using this web to illustrate the complexity of the system, picture each individual strand as a group or organization that is ultimately connected to one control center. That center, of course, is that unseen, unheard, unknown power that is ready to strike at a moments notice.
Look a little closer at the hub (the center) and surrounding it, you can see space with no radials connecting to the hub. This is called the free zone and that is where you are. No matter which way you turn, you are surrounded by the radial lines of the web. It's actually a thing of beauty - unless you are the ones in the free zone.
United They Stand: Divided We Fall
The web of Pennsylvania politics is tightly woven and amongst the different patterns and textures is one particular thread that binds them all together. Unless you are an animal owner, the tapestry of the web looks very pretty. Each thread, however, has a story and purpose, but their ultimate goal is the same.
Guilt before Innocence?
Any breeding operation or shelter has the potential to be substandard. Animal welfare is a genuine concern, but it must be dealt with fairly and with common sense. What has happened to our country? Are people judged guilty before proven innocent? What about the disregard for laws that already exist? Is it now considered socially acceptable to break the law and walk away? Is it now acceptable to be falsely accused of a 'crime', lose everything you have worked for just to provide more wealth (and power) for those that are the accusers? Why, and a very important question, does the majority of the media only seem to focus on the side of the accusers?
Furthermore, the mainstream press is under tight deadlines to publish stories. They go with sensation and like the animal rightists, they thrive on the emotions of the public– it sells papers. The same goes for television reports. They want ratings. They do not have the time or resources nor the personal desire, involvement, or possibly, the 'permission', to unravel the web thread by thread. We do. Research is our business.
The list of players in Pennsylvania is long, indeed. For this part of the series, we are going to concentrate on the two main players. Main Line Rescue and United Against Puppy Mills, with a little nudge from Dogs Deserve Better and a few of the other linked associates.
Controversy and Creativity
Although Main Line Rescue and United Against Puppy Mills have been promoting their campaigns for some time, perhaps the creativity and controversy began with the arrest of Tammy Grimes, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, when she violated laws of the state by removing a dog from it's owners property. This well staged event brought down the house. With assistance from Best Friends and the incident being published on every animal rights website, including the Animal Liberation Front website, the media focused on Pennsylvania. The Animal Planet channel hosted a "Hero of the Year" award sponsored by them and Fresh Step, a Clorox company, and allowed Tammy Grimes to be a nominated part of that contest. This should not surprise anybody. Animal Planet has partnered with more than several non profit organizations. View the list of these non profit organizations. Also take a look at The American Humane Association. See HSUS Hollywood - for more detailed information.
The Stage is Now Set
Main Line Rescue used their creative talents when they opted to put up billboards touting Lancaster County being home to hundreds of Puppy Mills. They contacted the Humane Society of the United States to ask if they could list their website on the billboards and noted that the HSUS has been very supportive.
Main Line Rescue has not been without its problems. They lost their "facilities" at Dee Solitaro's property but recovered quickly with the help of their friends and who would not love to have these kinds of friends.
A little Main Line Information (Public Records)
Main Line Rescue
Reported net assets of
$2,760,600 in 2002
$ 31,621 in 2003
Negative balance -$53,346 in 2004
138 Cambridge Rd.
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Helen M. Smith, President
William E. Smith, Treasurer
Francine Diggs, Secretary
Betsy Fadem, Member
Anne Hamilton, Vice Chairman
Barry Katz, Esq., Legal Council
Vincent T. Donohue, Secretary
Julie Becton, Director
Betsy Legnini, Chairman
Marsha Perelman, Vice Chairman
Michelle Rice, Member
Quite a list of impressive friends. We'll be getting back to them later on in the series.
Some others in Main Lines circle of friends includes, but is not limited to, the following groups. Look what Save-A-Dog promotes on their website -- HB1911. Readers are advised to help move this bill from committee to the floor for a vote by clicking on Dogs Deserve Better. They are told that DDB has an incredibly simple form they can click on to send a letter to every targeted committee member. The Save-a-Dog website also takes you to Save-A-Pet, and Petfinders, which boasts camaraderie with Drew Barrymore, Kelsey Grammer, Rue McClanahan, the Taco Bell dog, Weight Watchers and many more. North Shore Animal League sponsors both organizations.
Same old Party Line
Did you notice the same old party line? "Did you know that many backyard dog breeders and pet stores who supply the majority of purebreds simply are selling inbred pets without care for preventing genetic problems? Mixed breed pets have less inbreeding, generally less inherited genetic disease, and therefore overall lower vet bills and happier pets! And the best place to find a mixed breed dog or cat is at an SPCA, a humane society or an animal shelter." Let's not forget the other line..."Don't buy from a breeder or pet shop when you can adopt from a shelter."
Responsible dog breeders and owners should certainly discuss these advertised comments with their attorneys while compiling a class action suit against such slanderous remarks. Shelter pets often come with behavioral problems, possible disease, unknown history and genetic factors that may make them less than desirable pets. In fact, they accuse the responsible breeders of what they themselves are guilty of. They seem to accuse responsible breeders of making so much money, yet, we found no evidence of any responsible breeders that had the backing of such 'distinguished' people ... or bank accounts....as the board members of Main Line Rescue and UAPM. Nor did we find any responsible breeders with checking account balances that held a balance of several million at any time. We looked. We asked. We interviewed. We also tried to find any shelter or 501(c)3 non profit organization that did any genetic testing on their adoptable, free from genetic defect animals. We found none. Perhaps this is why the non profit organizations have so much money and the responsible groups do not. Responsible breeders test their animals and therefore, what they may get for an animal is used to pay for same. What do you say, Non Profits? Do YOU test all your animals that you take in prior to placing them in a home? Or do you only make sure you spay/neuter and give them shots? What is your policy when a dog that you have adopted out shows up with a genetic problem down the road? We found information that you can "pick and choose" the animals you want from other facilities. What becomes of the ones that were not choosen? Do they continue to be "hoarded" by those facilities and for how long? Will they and do they all get the 'required time out' for exercise to "feel the grass under their feet?" We have found many articles and facts regarding "importing strays" while the shelters scream of 'overpopulation', and we have also found some shelters that actually 'breed' to keep their available numbers of adoptable dogs up. We certainly would not want Governor Rendell and the new board to become confused when they learn that the non profit entities are not exactly what they claim to be, so we'll just postpone this for another issue in the series.
MORE CREATIVE CONTROVERSY
More creative controversy began when United Against Puppy Mills (UAPM), based in Lancaster County, obtained 33,500 signatures of Pennsylvania residents and urged Governor Rendell to remove the Bureau of Dog Enforcement from the Department of Agriculture. Bowing to public pressure, and hoping to garner 33,500+ votes during his next election campaign, Rendell removed the 14 member advisory panel and put together an ad hoc committee.
The Governor's new ad-hoc commitee was kept hush-hush and secretive until an October 17th press release. Rendell was caught up in the animal rights push for tougher laws and sweeping changes -- laws and changes that have the potential to harm innocent, law abiding pet owners and animal breeders. Dogs fetch good prices and the animal control/animal sheltering network is now in a position to profit from the hard work and dedication of others. We now have information that the "secret" committee had sent a 55 page Rule and Regulation Change to the Attorney General for approval. It seems that AFTER it is approved, the good Governor will allow those Rules and Regulations to be seen by the public and comments on the approved changes and additions in those 55 pages can be made at that time.
It is no secret that animal forfeiture cases have risen in number since the early 1990’s. All an animal rights activist needs to do is call in an anonymous tip to the proper authority. Animal control officers have been taught, via HSUS and ASPCA literature, that animal hoarding is a big problem in our country. They are taught that animal cruelty is rampant – even though the criteria to establish an “animal cruelty” is mostly subjective. The dog catchers are watching the dog house, so to speak, or are they? One of Governor Rendell's Rule changes affects the sizes of cages, crates and indoor/outdoor runs of breeders, but NOT of the humane societies, claiming that those dogs are only there temporarily. What is the definition of 'temporary?' Our investigation shows Humane Societies crying for lack of space. They then transport animals to other states that do have space to accomodate these animals - temporarily, again. How do they manage to transport all these animals without proper paperwork from one location to another, expecially from state to state? Then we found the HSUS report on this subject, including euthanasia of these 'temporarily hoarded' animals.
Conflict of Interest
It is a conflict of interest to allow ACOs to have power and authority over a sector of legitimate business and animal ownership rights when they have such a strong incentive to take the animals that they can profit from! When animals are seized from a person, daily charges accrue for their “room and board.” Actual criminal charges are not filed until at least a month after the animals are taken. If the person is fortunate enough to prove their innocence and regain custody of their own property, they usually cannot afford to do so after lawyers fees have piled up. Thus, they look guilty to the general public, who knows next to nothing about how this system operates.
Who pays for the exorbitant boarding, food and vet bills while animals are in custody? Generally, the taxpayers do. The shelters and holding facilities are allowed to keep any money they make from adoption fees and often these match or exceed the price a legitimate and reputable breeder sells an animal for! Confiscated animals often suffer cruelty from those who have rescued and saved them. Animals often pick up disease at the holding facilities. They are examined by vets who are over worked and trained to look for justifications why the animals should never be returned to their owners. The animals suffer stress from being torn away from their families and homes. Some die in the shelters and pounds; others are euthanized.
This brings us back to the Animal Control, Animal Rights, Rescue/shelter infrastructure. This grassroots network has been cultivated, blade by blade, for several decades. They are now in a place to reap what they have so diligently sowed. On a national, even a global level, is the Humane Society of the United States – a power so vast and wealthy, it boggles the imagination. We could write volumes about their key part in weaving the webs that now blanket America and smother our Constitutional rights, but for now we focus on just one corner of Pennsylvania. See Humane Society Police Officers Registry.
A New Web
As you can see, the original web we started with has now turned into a different kind of web. We'll show it to you in the next issue.
Who are the new advisory board appointees? Who runs UAPM? Who are the people associated with Main Line Rescue? How are the Pa. politicians associated with them all? What were the new "secret" Rules and Regulations that were proposed? Which Golden Retriever Rescue group in Pa. has the Governor as a member? Which Golden Retriever Rescue group member in Pa. is Bob Casey's right hand aide?
All questions you have submitted to us, so we will continue to press on and research the facts.
Who was appointed to the new dog advisory board? Surprise! Jessie Smith, 20-year veteran of the PA office of Attorney General and president of the BOD for the Humane Society of Harrisburg since 2003. (Listed as one of the HSUS Federated Humane Societies.) Check out the HSH adoption fees.
This is a double knockout for Pennsylvania animal owners. Smith has incredible knowledge of the legal system we explained in our first paragraphs, the contacts, the influence and the power. As the president of a Humane Society, Smith has double the inside knowledge, contacts, influence and power.
Next issue: A New Web Forms
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
October 22, 2006
Governor Edward Rendell’s administration continues to ignore the requests and concerns of the Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs and the thousands of members of it’s 100 plus clubs that it represents in our state. Our Federation has been one of the major leaders in Pennsylvania since 1982 working to upgrading the Dog Laws and rules and regulations that are now in place to protect all dogs; dog owners; police, service and search and rescue dogs and also the general public from dangerous dogs. We have joined with other animal welfare groups to improve the cruelty laws that protect all animals, including making dog and cock fighting a felony offense.
Despite our ongoing contact with this administration in an effort to establish a working relationship, we have found that we have not been included in any decisions that are being made which directly affect us and our hobby of owning, breeding, training, showing, etc. of our dogs. This administration has chosen to only meet with and listen to the Governor’s secret "ad hoc" radical animal rights groups, some of whom are from other states, who believe that no one should breed dogs in any way, regardless of the love and care that the dogs receive. They want the public to only get their pets from shelters and rescues and not have a choice of what kind of companions they wish to have in their homes.
To illustrate Governor Rendell’s disregard for our Federation and moderate groups other than the " animal rights" oriented people:
* New overly restricted rules and regulations for kennels were formulated without input from any kennel owners. These would not allow any licensed breeders to have their dogs and puppies in their homes or in their yards to exercise! These are absurd requirements! Most of us have our dogs in our homes. Ninety percent of these proposed rules could not be abided by our hobby breeders. The secret group wrote these and the Governor did not want us to have a copy.
* The Governor constantly accuses the past Dog Law Advisory Board of "not being proactive." It is his administration that has not been proactive in that it has only held 3 working meetings of the Board during the 4 years he has been in office. The Board cannot convene itself. Still he places the blame on the innocent volunteers of the Board.
*The Governor’s newly appointed Board no longer represents the statewide interest (2)
groups as it has since it was established in 1982. They are his personal favorites who in many cases cannot speak for the representative groups called for in the Dog Law. In our case, the law states "a representative of the dog clubs". He ignored our President, who reapplied for the position, and appointed a person who is only a member of a national breed club. She can not and will not speak on our behalf. Therefore, we have NO representation. The Dog Law does not allow for any additional members, but the Governor, who was the District Attorney in Philadelphia, plans to disregard the law and appoint 5 new "at large" members of his own choosing. Some of these are from his secret "animal rights" group.
* We had been told by one of the Governor’s aides that he was willing to meet with anyone in the state. We wrote a letter to the Governor at this aide’s direction requesting a meeting with him. We are now told that he is no longer interested and that we can only meet with his new Deputy Secretary of Agriculture over Dog Law Enforcement. That is a new position he created in the Department of Agriculture.
*Governor Rendell has set up this new department which consists only of lawyers and, soon, Criminal Justice college graduates to act as, he says, "a swat team" to inspect kennels. This very expensive new 8-person department will not be responsible for any of the other extremely important duties of our valuable Dog Wardens, such as dog licensing, rabies inoculations and control, stray dog control, investigating dangerous dog cases and dog caused livestock damage and public education. They will have to be trained on all aspects of the care, feeding and housing of dogs and puppies. It is doubtful that they come with any knowledge in this area. We are very worried that this new expense could deplete the Dog Law Restricted Account which is only paid for by dog and kennel license fees. We will not support any raise in fees to pay for these expenses. It seems to us that if it is felt that more rigorous inspections are needed of kennels, the same results could be accomplished within the current structure of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement by having a special roving team of Dog Wardens.
Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed in the attitude of Governor Rendell toward us and our clubs and their members. We are truly worried that if the animal rights groups are the only ones the Governor listens to, that any new rules and regulations or amendments to the Dog Law that he proposes will be without input from small breeders and will be detrimental to our rights.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
A & N Research
The Shame of Pennsylvania - Puppy Mill Propaganda & Power 101
Part One of a Series ...
Puppy Mill Propaganda
Governor Rendell is on a mission to eradicate puppy mills in Pennsylvania. What are puppy mills? How do they differ from top-notch breeding facilities? They don’t. Not to the animal rights crowd anyway, and this is where the problem begins.
There is a difference between genuine animal welfare and hard core animal rights beliefs and agendas. Breeding facilities that are not properly run and administered diminish the welfare of animals, and this problem should be addressed – with common sense.
However, animal rights activists do not believe dogs should be bred period. They have no first hand knowledge of a professional dog breeding operation and therefore, are not qualified to make blanket judgements regarding them. To them, all dog breeding facilities are “puppy mills.”
Interestingly, the term “puppy mill” was coined by the animal rights movement and they have cashed in on this propaganda, big time. “Puppy mill” has become such a hot-button, emotionally-charged concept, that donations to help the cause, i.e. shutting them down, began to flow into their coffers. That kind of money buys people of great power and influence.
The animal rights movement operates on manipulating public opinion and they are masters of the art. Keep in mind that these groups are non profit, tax free organizations. Shutting down animal related businesses is their one goal and they have the time and money to focus on their causes. In contrast, animal-related businesses focus on the care of their animals. Breeding and raising animals takes dedication, hard work and money that must be earned. Profits, if any, are taxed and reinvested into the business.
Our very country was founded upon the principal that those who are taxed must have representation. America fought and won her independence from England because they were taxed without representatives in Parliament, and the spirit of that principal should still apply. Why are non profit agencies permitted to dictate laws to politicians and the public which cripple our system of free enterprise?
Due to the actions of two animal rights groups, Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR/MLR) and United Against Puppy Mills (UAPM), Pennsylvania is now called the Puppy Mill Capital of the East. This is actually libel and slander on a big scale, and every citizen who pays taxes in Pennsylvania should stand up and tell their legislators Enough is Enough! Has anyone taken the time to look behind the $500 a month billboards erected by Main Line Rescue to see how they are supported? There are other organizations that have erected billboards, such as Last Chance for Animals, as well, and Main Line is now asking other states who believe they have a puppy mill in any area to begin the "erect a billboard" campaign. All of these billboards promote the web site of the advertiser along with the H$U$ web site.
This nonsense has been going on for several years now and it is time that people connect the political dots.
In early 2005, the Keystone Golden Retriever Rescue (KGRR) filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and its Bureau of Dog Law. They claimed that the Bureau of Dog Law was not properly enforcing PA statutes. Ultimately, the controversy would lead to grandstanding by Gov. Rendell, who dismissed all 14 members of the dog law advisory panel.
A former chief inspector for the HSUS, and who is now consultant to the ASPCA, admitted that the laws were good. Of course he would say they were good since he helped to write the 1982 dog laws. He claimed, however, that "if the existing laws were adequately enforced, there would be an 80% improvement in kennel operations." In many states, HSUS-affiliated humane societies contract with cities and receive large amounts of money for various services such as writing studies on how to improve already existing city-run shelters; for becoming the city’s official shelter, for licensing cats and dogs; for spay neuter services etc. They would like to take away state authority to write, monitor and enforce laws and give it to themselves while at the same time making a non-taxable profit!
Can you say... Conflict of Interest?!?!?
The Dog Law Advisory Board included fair representation including animal welfare group members, animal researchers, dog breeders, farmers, police, county treasurers, veterinarians, sportsmen and pet shop owners. All these people were directly involved with animal welfare issues. Nonetheless, they were fired with short notice while an ad hoc committee was formed that would help the administration develop a “response to puppy mills.”
And just who has been appointed to the ad hoc committee? For starters, none other than Bob Baker, former chief inspector of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and current consultant to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Baker hired an undercover animal-right investigator to produce a video inside an alleged puppy mill. The animal rights people have been known to doctor photos and videos before.
Interestingly, the video and the PA Puppy Mill story are featured on the Animal Rights Liberation (ALF) net site. ALF has been named one of the top 10 U.S. terrorist organizations by the FBI. Numerous witness testimonies have been presented before the U.S. Congress concerning the AR terrorists and the harm they have done to individuals and businesses.
United Against Puppy Mills (UAPM) is a group of so called, "concerned citizens" who claim to be no more than 'normal everyday housewives, evidenced by their "occupation" listed on their political donations which they undoubtedly do NOT get from the cookie jar in the kitchen. This group is associated with Save-A-Pet, yet another Pennsylvania animal rightist group. UAPM started a petition in Pennsylvania to have the Dog Law Enforcement Bureau removed from the "jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Agriculture." They claim that this will protect the companion animals from competing with farm animals. They further petitioned that the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement become the Dog Law Commission and report only to the Governor. In between wash loads and picking up the kids from school, this creative bunch of concerned citizens has also been petitioning local zoning boards to deny kennel permits. While the housewives were busy with those issues, the Save-A-Dog group was promoting UAPM's word changes to Pa. HB 1476 regarding revocation, suspension or refusal of kennel licenses.
This group has gone as far as sending letters and providing a link to all 27 representatives on the Pa. Consumer Affairs Committee. They explain that "this is the committee who decides if the bill is passed or thrown out." They also, will pay for the postage to mail all 27 letters for you. It is imperative to note here that both of these groups are avid $antorum followers and are very aware of, and promote the PAWS bill on their web sites.
Main Line Rescue moved it's Animal Rescue of more than 150 dogs and cats from is original kennel in Valley Forge to a new, larger facility located in East Vincent Township. When they were forced to move their kennel from Dee Solitario's property due to eminent domain claiming the land for a new highway, they discovered, or somebody knew about the Pickering Hunt Club. The property was complete with 58 acres that was protected and could never be developed. They now have a temporary kennel on the property and a new kennel will begin construction in the fall. Interestingly, there are some permit issues regarding the 'purchase' of said property. It would seem that all the "interested parties" are many and the property is not actually going to be 'purchased.'
One needs to wonder how a small rescue organization could afford such an exorbitant expense. Enter SAC, a Pa. Non Profit Civic Action organization that helped Main Line Animal Rescue obtain the Hunt Club. It's interesting to note that Main Line claims to work closely with other rescue organizations and SPCA's. They claim that they take in dogs from all of Pa., NJ, NYC, St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and several other states, including Florida. These animals are sent to Main Line when others have a space limitation or if the animal needs special medical needs or if the animal is scheduled for euthanasia. Main Line arranges all the transport of these animals and boasts that over half of their dogs and cats come to them from other shelters. By now, you must be asking yourself...if there are so many puppy mills in Pennsylvania creating such an overpopulation of animals, why would they need to transport animals from other areas to their facility? As per Pa. law, it is illegal to transport animals into the state without proper paperwork, but then again, we are dealing with yet another non profit organization.
Can you say....discriminatory?!?!
Long ago, power had some personality. It had a face. It walked among us all ... but those days are long gone. So, where is power? Who has it? Most importantly, who wants it? The Enron incident, and several others, created a change in the thought processes of those that had, wanted to have and wanted to flaunt their power. Those that were in the limelight realized that the old trend of getting together the night before and having a nice dinner, sitting back to smoke the best cigars your money could buy, while sipping favorite drinks at the local country club, and then going into a rubber stamp meeting were gone. The faces of power disappeared. They no longer walked amongst us. The Board of Directors still maintain the power to an extent, but they realize that they are under intense scrutiny these days...or they should. The old adage that if you wanted to get somewhere you had to reach the top, no longer holds true. The face of Power, today, is in the nodes, hidden in the networks. It's not at the top. It's not at the bottom. It's not lurking in the throngs of mass movements. It's somewhere in the middle where the links come together. That's where the action is, buried deep in the dark, in a spiderless web, exactly the way a real spider operates. It builds its web and it sits in the middle surrounded by its hard work. It waits for its prey - still sitting in the middle - waiting for its web to do its job.
Today, power means being connected. The most powerful person is the faceless individual who has the most connections to others within that dark endless web. The spider with the most elaborate web wins another season of survival just like the power players with the most board seats win. These power players are easy to identify if you look for them. Their 'spider in the middle' is also easy to identify...that's the one that never has to be anywhere in particular, never really does anything concrete and never returns phone calls which means that, suddenly, power is unseen, unheard, and unavailable but ready to strike at a moment's notice. Power is not leadership. Power is working through others from a distance.
Next Issue - We enter the web ... "24" style !!
Politicians - People - Wealth and Influence