Animal Welfare Act-
(If You Wish To Read The Act):
Shih Tzu are one of the top ten most popular purebred dogs in this country. Hundreds of these superb animals wind up in shelters and worse, every year, with the numbers climbing by the month. Some kind of legislation is necessary to help assuage the overpopulation situation of all purebreds. Currently, many states are passing laws that are intended to help the situation. Unfortunately many of these bills are unfair and/or not carefully thought out, ending up allowing the puppy mills, and irresponsible backyard breeders to continue their operation without these laws applying to them, while proving highly prohibitive to responsible purebred breeders.
This section will try to list enacting legislation and new proposals put before state legislative bodies regarding canines, throughout the U.S. Obviously, STFSC concerns are laws passed in CA concerning animal welfare propositions. However, as more and more states pass animal welfare legislation, these laws both fair and unfair could become federal statutes, affecting every state.
If your county or state has passed a bill or is in the process of preparing a bill to be passed regarding animal overpopulation and welfare issues, please email us and we will publish the information. If you are a concerned Shih Tzu fancier from another state, we will put you in touch with a purebred club in your area.
If animal legislation is being passed that you believe will not protect purebred animals, is unfair to responsible breeders, or is not well thought out, write to your congress representative, and state your opinion. Remember that if your state legislators do not hear protests from their constituents, they assume the bill is a good one, and will support its passage.
The California Federation of Dog Clubs (CFODC) is the statewide organization devoted to promoting responsible pet ownership and dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the sport of purebred dogs through education and example. CFODC website:
Dogwatch is a dedicated group of dog fanciers with a mission to update, inform, and educate people and dog owners about the real issues related to canine legislation, with an emphasis on laws that restrict dogs by breed or type. Dogwatch website:http://www.dogwatch.net/
Remember, there is strength in numbers.
- Pay attention to the local news. It is important to follow your local news carefully, watching for the kind of events that may trigger a dog-related proposal by your local government. And don’t forget to read the public notices section of the local newspaper. It announces legislative meetings, hearings, and details that the main stories might miss.
- Take advantage of local information sources. Your city or county courthouse, your public library, the staff or clerk of the local government, and even members of the media are all equipped to answer your legislative questions. Most phone books list numbers of local and state government offices, and many governments send free informational materials. Don’t be afraid to take your questions to the source.
- Familiarize yourself with the local legislative process. What is involved in getting a proposal passed into law in your area? Are public hearings required before the assembly or city council can vote? Are meetings open to the public? Can the mayor veto a bill? etc.
- Know how you can become involved. How can you get on the agenda to speak at a hearing? Are there rules for speaking? How far in advance are hearings announced, and where are such announcements posted? What is involved in becoming a member of a special task force or study committee should such an issue arise?
- Get to know your local politicians. Learn who they are, what they support, when they were elected and when they come up for re-election. What are their personal interests? Do they have any pets? Arrange to meet with them to introduce yourself and your club’s interests.
- Acquaint yourself with your state senators and representatives. Become familiar with their names and interests. Find out who represents your district, and the districts in which your club has members. And don’t forget those staff members! They can be very valuable contacts, and great sources of information.
- Find out which committees in your state and local government handle canine concerns. An agriculture committee may deal with kennel regulation or zoning, while a commerce committee may monitor the intrastate sale of dogs. Get your name on these committees’ mailing lists to receive information about upcoming hearings and agendas.
- Learn about your federal representatives. Who are the senators and representatives from your state? On which committees dog they serve? What are their interests? What issues do they support? When is the next election, and which of them will be on the ballot?
- Involve your club. Encourage club members to take an interest in legislative concerns. Share your legislative news with them regularly, so that they will not be surprised if you suddenly need their help.
- Organize a phone chain or another efficient form of contact so that you can alert club members easily if an issue arises requiring a rapid response.
- Communicate with other groups that share your concern for canine welfare. In addition to other dog clubs, local shelters, veterinary societies, or animal owner groups make valuable allies.
Cooperation is often the key to success.