On Thursday, March 19, the Montana House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill to expand the definition of animal cruelty. The American Kennel Club urges all responsible dog owners, fanciers, and breeders to contact the Montana Senate and express their opposition to Senate Bill 221, which would expand the definition of animal cruelty to include “animal hoarding”.
As defined in Senate Bill 221, “animal hoarding” takes place when a person does all of the following:
- Owns 10 or more companion animals or household pets
- Fails to provide necessary care, such as adequate water, shelter, and veterinary care, and
- Confines the animals in a severely overcrowded environment.
Exemptions are included for purebred animal breeding facilities or “facilities for animals related to sanctioned endurance races”, unless the owners fail to comply with the standards of care.
Those convicted of animal hoarding will be forced to undergo a psychological or psychiatric evaluation.
Because cruelty and negligence laws already exist in Montana statute, and these measures define cruelty to include acts such as not providing adequate food and water and confining animals in a cruel manner, the AKC believes this bill is unnecessary. The measure simply confuses the issues of the number of dogs an individual owns with quality of care.
The American Kennel Club's mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship and training in appropriate behavior.
What You Can Do to Help:
- Attend the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, March 19, and express your opposition to Senate Bill 221. The details are as follows:
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Montana House Judiciary Committee
Hearing Room 137
If you cannot attend, contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and express your opposition to Senate Bill 221.
Representative Ron Stoker (Chair)
Phone: (406) 363-3391
Representative Deborah Kottell (Vice-Chair)
Phone: (406) 727-0542
Representative Ken Peterson (Vice-Chair)
Phone: (406) 534-2376
Representative Arlene Becker
Phone: (406) 245-7256
Representative Gerald Bennett
Phone: (406) 293-7012
Representative Anders Blewett
Phone: (406) 231-8618
Representative Robyn Driscoll
Phone: (406) 534-4874
Representative Bob Ebinger
Phone: (406) 222-0438
Representative David Howard
Phone: (406) 633-2765
Representative Krayton Kerns
Phone: (406) 628-8438
Representative Margaret MacDonald
Phone: (406) 652-6625
Representative Edith McClafferty
Phone: (406) 782-2700
Representative Mike Menahan
Phone: (406) 443-3759
Representative Michael More
Phone: (406) 763-5513
Representative Keith Regier
Phone: (406) 756-6141
Representative Diane Sands
Phone: (406) 251-2001
Representative Bob Wagner
Phone: (406) 287-5343
Representative Wendy Warburton
Phone: (406) 262-3185
On Thursday, March 19, the Montana House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill to expand the…