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Archive for the tag “VA SB 1381”

Why is a Senator Who Voted in Favor of VA SB 1381 Now Standing in Its Way?

This was a statement overheard at the end of a Joint Commission hearing in Richmond, one of the purposes of which was to make the case that the implementation of SB 1381 cannot occur until a two to three year regulatory process occurs.

SB 1381, which “clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find adoptive homes,” was passed with overwhelming support by both the Virginia House and Senate and signed into law by Governor McAuliffe. It was also vehemently opposed by PETA, who even went so far as to hire a powerful lobbyist to fight the bill. The other group opposed to it was the Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters, who now seem to have hired another lobbyist to fight the implementation of SB 1381.

One of the Senators who voted in favor of SB 1381 was Frank Wagner. Why would a senator who voted in favor of SB 1381 now be offering to round up troops for a group that worked to defeat the bill, and has hired a lobbyist to fight timely implementation of the bill? Who do we know with deep pockets who also fought hard to defeat SB 1381? Is there a connection?

For now, there are only questions. However, those of us who know how PETA operates, the depths to which it will sink to get its way, and the resources it is willing to throw around in order to make that happen, wouldn’t be out of line in thinking they are connected to this latest effort to stymie SB 1381 in a way that goes beyond public support. I think we need to be asking those questions and others.

And we can ask them of Senator Frank Wagner, who seems to be working against the bill he voted for.

You can tweet at him here: https://twitter.com/senfrankwagner

You can find him on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/SenatorFrankWagner?fref=ts

You can email him: info@wagnervasenate.com

You can call him: 757 228 3333 (District Phone)
757 460 4510 (Campaign Phone)

Many people fought so hard to get SB 1381 passed, and it ended up passing with “overwhelming bipartisian support.” This was the will of the people of Virginia in action, we cannot let that democracy be undermined by politicians, lobbyists, and the powerful groups that hire them.

Important Information on Virginia’s SB 1381: No Time to Waste

The following is a piece By Douglas Anthony Cooper that was just published in the Huffington Post about Virginia Senate Bill 1381.  You can find it here but I’ve put the entire piece in my blog because this is so important and so timely. We don’t have any time to lose, the vote is tomorrow. Lobbyists, and the large organizations they work for, should not get to dictate what becomes law in our democracy, the only way to prevent this is to act. Please, if you are a Virginia voter, contact your representative and tell ask them to vote in favor of SB 1381, the contact information you need is in Mr. Cooper’s piece. The time is now.

“PETA would like you to believe that tomorrow’s crucial vote in Virginia isn’t about them. It’s about all those shelters that open their doors to dogs and cats, and then kill almost every single one. Never mind that PETA is the sole “shelter” that fits this description.

No, the bill isn’t about them.

That’s why PETA is the only group to have hired a lobbyist to quash this bill. That’s why PETA is the only group screaming about just how terrible this bill will be for innocent creatures.

Their lobbyist, Stephan Haner, is good. I mean that: he’s a pro. Note how he opens this letter to the delegates who will be voting: “Okay, we get it — people dislike my client PETA, for a whole bunch of reasons. But base your opinion on the truth, not a pack of lies.”

Nice, huh? Yes, these are lousy people, but you and I — adults — are capable of rising above such sentiments, and judging wisely. And, predictably, the next paragraph introduces… well, a pack of lies.

Bill 1381 “seeks to prevent any private shelter from practicing euthanasia.” Sayeth our lobbyist. Which is an interesting opinion, if you find rank garbage interesting.

Nobody is trying to prevent the practice of euthanasia. The bill does not oppose euthanasia, and neither does any advocate that I’ve ever met or heard of — including those that describe themselves as “No Kill.” Euthanasia means mercifully ending the life of an animal who is sick and beyond cure: generally in pain. Killing — as opposed to euthanasia — means ending the life of an animal just because it happens to be alive. The bill would deter shelters from doing the latter.

And don’t kid yourself: this bill is aimed at one shelter in particular. It aims to shut down PETA’s grotesque slaughterhouse: their “shelter,” which has killed over 33,000 pets. Yes, lots of shelters in American kill unnecessarily, but PETA’s kill rate puts them in a special category. They are a machine.

“So, let’s talk about it,” says their lobbyist. Okay, I’m all for that. Let’s talk.
“Of the 3017 animals it accepted in 2014, almost 2868 were surrendered by their owners.” Right. I have no reason to disbelieve this. It’s probably correct — or mostly correct. What is almost certainly not correct is this: that all of those owners wanted those pets put to death.

People surrender animals to shelters hoping, for the most part, that they will be re-homed. Often they explicitly request this. PETA kills these pets anyway.

Don’t believe me? We have abundant information, including the recent testimony of a whistleblower, who worked at PETA fifteen years ago: “I was told regularly to say whatever I had to say in order to get people to surrender animals to me: lying was not only acceptable, it was encouraged.” And often what was said was this: that PETA would be adopting these animals out.

This courageous whistleblower, Heather Harper-Troje, recounts one litter of puppies: “They were surrendered by their owner — I picked them up. We were supposed to find them homes, but they were all euthanized.” And this is simply one anecdote: “I never had an owner tell me they wanted their animal killed.”

Perhaps that testimony is too old for comfort? Perhaps PETA has reformed its vicious ways? Well, you’re welcome to conclude this, except that an employee was videotaped recently — just this November — stealing a perfectly health pet from a porch in Virginia: a little girl’s dog, which was killed almost immediately afterward. PETA’s lobbyist describes this as “a terrible mistake.” I’d certainly agree with the “terrible” bit. Theft is rarely a “mistake.”

Frankly, nobody decent could possibly conclude that PETA has become a more reputable outfit — not after reading this fully documented report: “PETA’s Secret Slaughter of Kittens and Puppies.” (Warning: the photographic evidence will turn your stomach.)

So, I’m glad we’ve had this little talk, Mr. Lobbyist. And I am truly impressed by your rhetoric. What worries me is that the delegates representing the people of Virginia will be equally impressed. And that would be a disaster for animals.

If you’re a Virginia resident, contact your delegate. The vote is tomorrow. You can find out who represents you on this page: “An Urgent List for Virginia Voters.”

You can arm yourself with the actual facts here: “SB1381: David and Goliath scenario to protect Virginia’s dogs and cats.”

Tell your delegate that you’re on the side of David. That you agree with Virginia’s elected senators, who have already passed this bill on your behalf. That you’ve done some reading, and spent some time with your beloved animals, and have decided that Goliath and its lobbyist don’t speak for you.”

Don’t Let PETA Fool You, SB 1381 is a Good Bill

Tonight I saw an “Action Alert” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urging people to ask the Virginia House of Delegates to vote against SB 1381. Let’s look again at what SB 1381 does: “Clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals.” Sounds like the definition of a shelter, right? But, apparently, PETA needs it to be clarified, and then put into law, that a shelter should exist to rehabilitate and re-home animals. As the law stands now, or, rather, the loophole of the law stands now, they are free to kill the vast majority of animals who come into their shelter. This law would prevent their ability to do that.

What makes me most angry about this “Action Alert” is that it is cynical, it demonstrates they will stop at nothing to push their agenda. And it takes complete advantage of well meaning people who look to PETA as a beacon of animal welfare, and who trust the organization to tell them the truth. They are counting on that trust. Don’t let them fool you. Unlike PETA, I am not asking you to take me at my word, I am saying if you have any doubts at all do your research, figure out where you stand, and then do something! I trust in the integrity of this bill, I trust in what is right. So I trust, when you do your research, you will support this bill and you will make your voice heard.

I haven’t heard of other shelters in the area opposing this bill. In an article by Arin Greenwood for the Huffington Post, Tabitha Frizzell Hanes with the Richmond SPCA states this:

“The current wording of the definition has been interpreted to create a loophole under which the PETA facility in Norfolk operates as a private animal shelter but without the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals. Over the past decade, as save rates at private shelters across Virginia have risen and euthanasia rates have fallen, the PETA facility euthanizes the animals it takes in at a rate of about 90 percent.

“It is out of step with the progress being made for our state’s homeless animals for a private shelter to operate not with the purpose of finding animals adoptive homes but almost entirely to take their lives.”

Ask yourself, if other shelters are supporting this bill why is PETA opposing it? Why did it hire a lobbyist to fight it?

I’ve been accused of doing this to seek attention, so I hesitate to post the interview I did with WVEC TV in Virginia but I’m going to because it is my testimony. It is the truth.

Interview with WVEC

This “Action Alert” is a lie. What they’ve written in it, their “concern” for smaller, private shelters, is a lie. It’s all done in the name of protecting the status quo at PETA–to kill the vast majority of animals they take in. Don’t let them fool you, and don’t let them stop you from taking action. Go here for a list of all Virginia delegates and their email address, and then contact them. Make sure you put in your subject line that you support SB 1381.  We are obligated to speak for those who can’t, and together we can create a change that will benefit vulnerable animals who are counting on us. Their lives depend on our action, plain and simple. So, ACT!

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