The New Mexico Legislature is in session for only a few more days.

At this point, the only animal related bill that is still troubling to me is HB159.

Thankfully, an amendment was added to the bill that has made it a lot more palatable, but there are still aspects of the bill's language that could create "animal abusers" of many responsible animal owners.

Many level headed, tireless folks have a put a huge dent into some otherwise nasty bills: HB667, which was going to require that all Pit bulls and Rottweilers be registered under the NM Dangerous Dog Act has been "killed"; SB127, has been molded into a fairly reasonable bill but has yet to pass into law.

Please visit the CNMAO blog for contact info and talking points on the many animal related bills. The legislsative session is not over, and there is still much work to be done... so find out what is still what, and speak-up now.

on 11:00 PM

I am proud to report that I spent much of Sunday, the 15th of March, in Santa Fe. Specifically, I was in the Roundhouse with a group of likeminded souls, many of which have spent quite a few days lobbying (quite succesfully) at the Roundhouse.


Our mission:


As it is now, HB159, may lead to many unintended consequences for those involved with dog training and competitive dog sports (agility, obedience, schutzhund, etc.), not too mention the folks that use dogs to work livestock and/or hunt.


As it is now, the language used in this bill will create the potential for dog owner's to face animal cruelty charges in the event of their dogs are injured/killed as a result of training, competition, or work.

All said and done, the bill was not heard in committe - again. Not a bad thing. Moreover, it has become clear to several of the legislators on this committe that many citizens have serious concerns with the language in this bill.

There is power in showing-up to the Roundhouse, or any other law making venue, to voice an opinion. Indeed, Legislators take notice of this commitment, and find it refreshing and informative.

on 11:00 PM

I got word this morning that HB667, the bill that sought to require liability insurance for "Dangerous Dogs", was killed.

This bill originally required all Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and their mixes be registered under the DDA, but the BSL language did not make the first cut of voting.

Also, HB 159 is a troubling bill. It seeks to expand the definition of Animal Cruelty in an irresponsible manner. If this bill passes, many involved with dog sports or working dogs may bear the brunt of the bill's unintended consequences.


Be advised: there is likely to be a vote on HB159 this Saturday (March 14.)

That is, the language in the bill could be manipulated to bring about animal cruelty charges for those whose dogs get injured in dog sport competition/training or in a hunt.

Clearly, enabling Government agencies to prosecute animal abusers is a good thing and an effort that I support, but the language in this bill must be worded in a way that will not bring about unintended consequences for otherwise responsbile and caring animal owners.

Please visit the following links for legislator's contact info, talking points and form letters:

Summary: HB 159

Open Letters/Contact Info: HB 159

Contact your legislator and the legislators that will be voting on the bill.

on 11:00 PM

We have got to make sure to provide legislators with input in advance:

The hearing for HB159 was re-scheduled in a last minute effort to accommodate the legislature's busy schedule. Clearly, these things happen and I am not willing to suggest any backroom dealings led to the schedule change.

Many folks were caught off guard by this schedule change.

All told, HB159 was passed by the Senate Conservation Committee, and is now headed to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Again, please visit the CNMAO Blog for the in's and out's of why this bill should not pass as it is today.

And if you don't think this is an HSUS supported bill, well, think again.

More importantly, contact your legislators and the Senate Judiciary Committee to express your opinion on the matter.

Senate Judiciary Committee Meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30 PM,
Rm. 311 Phone 505 986 4485
Chairman Cisco McSorely (D dist 16) 505 986 4485

V. Chair Richard C. Martinez (D dist 5) 505 986 4389

Tim Eichenberg (D dist 15) 505 986 4859

Clinton D. Harden (R dist 7) 505 986 4369
Linda M. Lopez (D dist 11) 505 986 4737

Sander Rue (R dist 23) 505 986 4375

John C. Ryan (R dist 10) 505 986 4373

Bernadette M. Sanchez (D dist 26) 505 986 4267

Michael S. Sanchez (D dist 29) 505 986 4727

Peter Wirth (D dist 25) 505 986 4276

Ranking member, William H. Payne (R dist 20) 505 986 4703

on 11:00 PM

So while the BSL aspects of HB 667 have been removed, there are other issues with the bill. And actually, there are several other bills in the house or senate that I find concerning.

New Mexicans seeking level headed and thoughtful information on the bills (pertaining to animal ownership) introduced in this year's legislative session will be well-served by spending time at the CNMAO Blog.

The CNMAO folks are doing a great job of evaluating the issues, while providing useful analysis and position statements. Please be sure to check out the "Open Letters" section of the blog, it's an outstanding resource: contact info, talking points, and form letters.

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The BSL language has indeed been removed from HB 667.

A big thank you to all the folks that contacted their legislators on this matter...just goes to show, they do indeed listen.

That said, I do suggest reading the new and improved HB 667.

As of now, the HB 667 is in the House Judiciary Committee, so there is time to voice concerns over any other issues with the bill.

on 11:00 PM

The AKC's website has this statement on HB 667:

Representative John Heaton's office has confirmed that HB 667 will be amended to remove the breed-specific provisions. The AKC Government Relations department thanks all those who called, wrote letters, and emailed their representatives about this important issue. We will provide additional information once the amended text is available.

As of last night (2/17), the newly amended bill wasn't available on the Legislature's website, but I have a strong feelign that someon at the AKC wouldn't have made the above statement without having contacting Rep. Heaton's office.

Hat tip to LK in Santa Fe for the heads up.

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(Update 2/15):

It's being said that the Pit bull and Rottweiler language that first appeared in HB667 is going to be taken out. However, these amendments have not yet been made public...and while the info that I've received has come from reliable sources, I am going to define the mood on this end as: Cautiously Optimistic.

I have a feeling we're going to have to wait till Tues or Wed of this coming week before we can get a look at the new language: I'll be sure to keep checking at the NM State Legislature's "Bill Finder."

Keep in mind folks, simply removing the BSL language, while making these requirements for ALL DOG OWNERS, is not a good thing either - so we really need to continue to check in on this bill...but at least for the moment, hold fast, it seems the BSL aspect of this one is going away.

Contact info for legislators and links to HB 667 are available in the 2/10 update - all linked text is underlined.

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Update (2/11):

HB 667 will bring about the following for all Pit bull and Rottweiler owners:


required to obtain $250,000 liability insurance policy;

home inspections by Animal Control agencies (unannounced and without a court issued warrant);

and mandatory spay or neuter for all dogs of these breeds.


Additionally, this legislation has SERIOUS implications for SHELTER & RESCUE dogs:


If the proposed legislation passes, VERY FEW people will consider adopting a Pit bull, Rottweiler or any dog with that
appears a mix of either, which will ultimately bring about even more perfectly adoptable dogs being euthanized.

More so, many rescue organizations will avoid representing Pit bulls and Rottweilers due to these requirements.



Please contact your legislators and let them know (politely) that you oppose this legislation.


Contact info is available in the 2/10 update - all linked text is underlined.

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Update (2/10):

House Bill 667 was introduced on 2/9, and has one sponsor - Rep. Heaton - and it's current location is the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee:

Meets:


Tuesdays & Thursdays - 1:30 p.m. - Room 315

Committee Members:

Representative
Chair

Representative
Vice Chair

Representative

Representative

Representative

Representative

Representative

Here we go, folks!

Rep. John Heaton from Carlsbad has introduced House Bill 667, which will require all pit bulls and rottweilers in the state to be registered as dangerous dogs under the Dangerous Dog Act, regardless of whether the dog has any history of violence.


Please look at the bill and contact your legislators and the sponsor to let them know that you oppose the bill.

The bill is available in PDF form via this link.

You can find your legislators through the legislative website at www.nmlegis.gov .

Please continue to check my blogs for updates, and feel free to email me with questions or suggestions.





The HSUS attempted to fund raise for the care of Micheal Vick's dogs, while at the same time suggesting that the dogs needed to be killed.
And to add insult to injury, they weren't even planning on taking possesion of the dogs.

Contact the HSUS and tell them this is unacceptable!
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