Friday, April 24, 2009

My Ding A Ling...

While I am not suggesting people do not alter their pets, I am suggesting that perhaps care needs to be taken with the age of altering and that those who do alter their dogs understand there are medical risks that must be considered and additional care that needs to be taken.

Please read this link an abstract from "Orthopedic Practice" a human journal, this article is about the prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury in altered dogs :

To me this is suggestive that hormones play a role in connective tissue health with our dogs. I don't know what the answer is to - what will satisfy or perhaps balance health and social stigmas related to unaltered pet, but I do know as a society we need to look to finding answers and alternatives. I also know in my heart and mind the government has no business telling anyone what is right for their animals medically without first getting some of the bazillion questions answered that do relate to health over social stigma. Or maybe a better statement is - I know in my mind and my heart that as a society we need to look harder at education over easy fixes.

Later down the page here I will get into what I think some of the things we can do as owners of altered animals can do to better the health of our animals but first you are going to have to indulge me in some political points related to animal health first.

In some 33 states across our nation there are bills being heard by our legislators that have to do with legislation regarding companion animals, dogs and cats, but mainly dogs. In a very high percentage of these administrative laws (bills before our legislators) there is reference to how people keep their animals, sexually intact or sexually altered (spayed or neutered), restrictions imposed in these bills on how many intact animals one can own regardless of the persons ACTUAL intent for the individual dog.

Lets forget for a moment that in most states dogs are considered personal property the same as your car, your gun, your shoes because we undoubtedly do without question think differently about our dogs (right?) than we do these inadament personal items. Lets also put it in perspective -

Do we have laws that dictate how many cars one can personally own (cars can pollute our air) no we do not. At least in Oregon we do not...

Do we have laws that dictate how many guns one can personally own (guns in the wrong hands can be very dangerous) no we do not. At least in Oregon we do not...

On shoes well maybe we should have some laws about what trends can be recycled... I am 51 and there is no way I am going back to platform shoes just to be in...

So why dogs? Does our government spend more on housing unwanted dogs than we spend on storing unwanted confiscated cars guns and ugly shoes? Probably more on guns and cars than ugly shoes but you get my point, or I hope you do...

Stay tuned for my next installment nameless yet but will have to do with the medical issue I promise...


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


WA 5651 Passed both the Senate and House is now awaiting the Governor's signature. Here is the bill that will go into affect 1/1/2010 if the Governor signs:

History on the bill is here:

While most of this appears to be common sense there are still problems with the bill. No one disputes that dogs should be cared for in a humane manner and that humane deserves a definition, however dictating to someone how many dogs one can own based on sexual orientation is a breach of civil liberties. Dogs are private property and with that: One dog (1) or One Hundred (100) can be abused, denied humane treatment. So how do standards of care and numbers of dogs owned relate where laws should be concerned? Why does someone with 10 intact dogs need to require humane housing and someone with 1 or 9 does not? Why are those on this list exempt:

(4) This section does not apply to the following:

19 (a) A publicly operated animal control facility or animal shelter;

20 (b) A private, charitable not-for-profit humane society or animal

21 adoption organization;

22 (c) A veterinary facility;

23 (d) A retail pet store;

24 (e) A research institution;

25 (f) A boarding facility; or

26 (g) A grooming facility.

27 (5) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a commercial

28 dog breeder licensed, before the effective date of this act, by the

29 United States department of agriculture pursuant to the federal animal

30 welfare act (Title 7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 et seq.).

If you live in WA state I urge you to write to Governor Gregoire ( ) and politely advise her that while you applaud the WA state legislators for their efforts, this bill needs to not be passed. It simply is flawed. The answers to the above questions as provided by the WA State Legislators in the form of WA5651 is insufficient, discriminatory, and possibly unconstitutional via civil liberty laws regarding personal property.

Gina Heitz

Woodburn Oregon

*who will not be affected by this in any way...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 2009

Dear Representative Komp and Jan Franke, Legislative Assistant -

The following is what I hope to be my last words on HB2470. I do acknowledge the CPC Members have worked very hard on this bill and they have attempted to revise it to a satisfactory position, but I must still say I oppose any number caps being put in place at the state level. I ask that you reflect on one of my first correspondences with you where I appealed to the use of common sense regarding legislation that encompasses the whole as legislation generally does. I do believe there is a target group that HB2470 might constructively affect, however, that group is much smaller than the majority, and I guarantee you they will find a way around the law, they always do. In this case the hobbyists who are numbers fold, responsible ethical individuals that will be severely penalized by this are the majority.

I would again like to call your attention to the numbers published by the USDA for Oregon on class A and B dealers/brokers. In Oregon we have a total of 15 breeders that are USDA classified. Perhaps if our existing laws were better enforced we might see improvement. Which I also have to say is very hard for me to write, because simply I do not see that we have a problem. Where are the "puppy mills" the HSUS is trying to save Oregon from? How many animal cruelty cases revolving around dogs in Oregon have we had in say the last 10 years?
On that note here is my letter to the committee.

I will be in attendance as well Monday April 6th for the work session.

April 3, 2009
To The House Consumer Protection Committee Members -
CC: Representative Betty Komp

RE: HB2470 Oppose Before you vote on HB2470 I wanted to take a few minutes of your time and thank you for looking out for Oregon. I appreciate the time and effort you have all put into hearings and work groups in this matter. Through this process I have become aware that Oregon is currently a national leader in animal cruelty laws, but that enforcement has been lacking. Which may be in part why you and I have come to where we have today. But on that I also I would like to voice a special note of thanks and recognition to Representative Weidner for taking the lead against applying caps on numbers of dogs owned by citizens, and his suggestion that this issue be sent to an interm task force. I feel he is basing these suggestions on facts, logic, compassion and new insights.

I believe the entire committee has learned a great deal about Oregon's own dedicated animal advocates through this process, dog and cat enthusiasts, animal professionals - trainers, veterinarians, who all care not only for Oregon as a state that leads, but for it's animals small and large. None of us oppose change or betterment but the bottom line is - Is HB2470 truly the answer? As it is written today I do not believe it targets where there might be problems, I believe the net HB2470 casts is too wide. If this bill passes with numerical caps included it will simply push the disreputable breeding operations further underground. It will hurt responsible ethical breeders, in some cases completely eradicating them. These would be the same ethical responsible breeders that have met with you, written to you and who are dedicated to education and action over reaction.

In the closing of the hearing on March 30th, I don't think it could have been said better when Chairman Holvey said, and this is why we hold public hearings. So with that I will once again say thank you for listening to Oregon's animal welfare advocates. Good luck to us all on Monday!

Sincerely, Virginia Marie Carr Heitz aka Gina Heitz

my address
District 22

Attachment: (1) printable version of this email