What began in June with an amendment to an otherwise widely-supported veterinary medical bill ended Wednesday when sponsor Senator Liz Figueroa agreed to remove the ear cropping ban from California SB1548. This victory is significant on many levels. Most obviously, California dog owners will now continue to enjoy the right to make their own informed, responsible decisions about their animals without fear of intrusion by the government. Also important is the message that was clearly sent to California’s legislators: The purebred dog community is a large, concerned constituency whose activities have a significant economic impact on the state. We are a responsible, valuable resource, and our voices should be heard.
Perhaps most noteworthy is the way in which fanciers from all over the country reached out to each other to form a united front on this issue. AKC led the charge early on by getting the word out to as many fanciers as possible through phone calls, e-mails, special mailings, Web site alerts and booth flyers. Purebred dog owners quickly took up the battle, organizing e-mail lists, letter-writing campaigns, and placing petitions at various dog shows. The Doberman Pinscher Club of America led a national fundraiser in order to hire lobbyists who proved invaluable to the fancy’s opposition effort. Through it all, AKC Board and staff, numerous Parent Clubs as well as other AKC clubs, the dog press, and individual dog owners worked tirelessly with legislators and with the veterinary community to help them understand our position.
“Whether they faxed a letter, wrote a check, signed a petition, or attended a hearing, thousands of fanciers contributed to the defeat of the proposed ear cropping ban,” said AKC President Dennis B. Sprung. “All are to be commended for this team effort, and AKC extends its thanks and congratulations to everyone involved. We further extend our appreciation to Senator Figueroa and other California legislators who took the time to listen to and consider our concerns.”
Let this victory be a model for future legislative efforts. When we work together, we can win!
What began in June with an amendment to an otherwise widely-supported veterinary