Friday, December 19, 2008


Deb, over at DOGS, DOLLARS & SENSE, writes:

“Billy, I am really concerned about the Peta supported Obama appointee. I know you worked in Gov't.I live in Nashville and wondered if you could suggest a starting point to complain to.”

Another blogger I follow is Robin of THE ENDANGERED OWNER. She devotes her entire blog to protecting our rights to keep dogs as pets. She does an excellent job of laying out the case against the threat that the animal rights extremists represent. She has a lot of detailed information about Obama appointees for Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of the Interior, and Head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Tom Vilsack, Ken Salazar, and Lisa Jackson, are all supported by the insidious Humane Society of the United States.

Harp Seal Pup
HSUS Poster Child

Just two days ago, I had written Robin about my strategy for dealing with this. I had intended to wait until that leisure time between Christmas and New Year’s Day to share that with all of you in hopes of gaining maximum attention and, frankly, to take a little more time to gather my thoughts about the best way to attack this. However, Deb and Robin have kind of given me a sense of urgency here.

First, every dog lover needs to wake up and educate themselves about the threat these people represent to our way of life. Make no mistake, the intent is to deprive you of the right to keep pets. Robin’s blog is an excellent place to begin your education. The AKC’s legislative column on it’s website does a good job of posting alerts on pending legislation.

Second, develop a focus. Turn the Animal Rights tactics back on them. Believe me SAVE THE FAMILY DOG is much more compelling than SAVE THE WHALES.
  • My personal strategy is the preservation of rare breeds. Our elected officials need to understand the connection between restrictions on hobby breeders and the impending extinction of rare breeds. I am going to make the American Foxhound, the breed developed by George Washington, the poster child for our right to breed pure bred dogs. I want to see if Vilsak has the nerve to tell the US Senate that he’s OK with loosing this iconic symbol of the beginning of our nation. I also think that there’s got to be at least one Senator out there who grew up hunting with a rare breed. Find just one guy who had a gun dog sleep on the foot of his bed and you have an advocate that will go to the mat for us.
  • Another strategy that’s worth pursuing is the economic one. There’s two parts to this one. Restrictions on breeders will cause people to lose jobs and it costs money to enforce these types of laws. It’s not as compelling to us dog owners, but it resonates with elected officials who are don’t want to be seen as focusing on minor problems (that’s us) in these tough economic times. What you gonna do? Save the auto workers’ jobs or confiscate the family pet?
Third, share your anger with everyone. Boil down your argument to a single succinct paragraph and then send it to every government official you can think of. As Deb mentioned, I am a former Congressional Liaison with experience lobbying for the rights of dog and cat owners. Elected officials in the US really do listen to their constituents and the website, CONGRESS.ORG makes it really easy to contact them. However, don’t limit your contacts to a single website accessed from your armchair. Share your frustration with the members of your church, your coworkers, your hairdresser, or anyone else that likes to gossip. I’m serious here. In political circles, it’s called “grassroots”. Remember, you want to leave people with a visual image similar that of the baby seal in the snow that the HSUS used so effectively. Find me a photo of a little boy crying over his lost dog or a little old lady in a rocking chair with a dog in her lap. I want every person that ever shared their home with a dog to fear these animal rights people the way a parent fears pedophiles.

Honestly, I think our chances of stopping these appointments are slim to nil. However, by expressing our concerns we are putting our elected officials on notice that we are watching them and even though the elections are over, they are still nervous about holding on to their jobs.

Now go tell the girl at the check out counter that these guys are trying to take your dog away from you.


  1. Three cheers! I'm with you on this one!

  2. HSUS did not, repeat NOT, favor Vilsack or
    Jackson and decidedly not Salazar for the
    the Ag, EPA, and Interior positions. Salazar
    especially, as a hunter with a demonstrated
    strong interest in connecting the good work of
    hunters in conservation and enabling further
    conservation of natural resources, is an appointment (Interior) that is anaethema to
    HSUS' Michael Markarian (see his own current
    statement on those appointments on his blog).

    HSUS is less unhappy with Jackson and Vilsack,
    especially Vilsack, but they're putting the
    best face on even these two appointments.
    IOW, get over it, those of you who insisted
    on voting for a man who made the single most
    irresponsible decision of any candidate for
    president in U.S. history. His opponent,
    who will be inaugurated next month, is not
    the animal rightist monster you want to think
    he is.

    Your argument is with HSUS for lying about all
    this, but you should be exercising better
    critical judgement yourself.

    Roberta Pliner

  3. Gee, Roberta, I wonder who you voted for in the election..(rolling eyes)...

    The fact of the matter is that there are those of us that are concerned about these appointments..and for good reason.

    It's up to us to let our elected officials know what those glowing recommendations from the lying H$U$ is REALLY about..pushing thru THEIR legislation for their OWN agenda.

    Billy does a great job on this blog and I commend him for his dedication to the sport, the dogs, and the breeders and owners.

  4. Robin - what difference does it make who Roberta voted for? If you want to rail against the HSUS, do so... but at least get your facts straight.