[ SHOWGSD-L ] LA Times PETPac article, #2

  • From: Stormy435@xxxxxxx
  • To: showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 13:50:46 EDT

There are 9 million dog and cat owners in California, and Hemby envisions his 
group becoming a national force for animal breeders, trainers and owners.

"When AB 1634 was introduced, I just knew that in order to impact that bill, w
e had to create a political action group," said Hemby, a veteran advocate in 
Sacramento for the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs.

"The pet owners realized that they had been sitting on the sidelines watching 
their rights erode and not doing anything about it."

Hemby, 69 and bearded, has a knack for political showmanship. When the Senate 
Local Government Committee took up the bill on Wednesday, Lassie, the canine 
film star, was sitting on the floor in the front row.

Former state Sen. David Roberti, who tried unsuccessfully to launch a 
political action committee for pet owners in the 1980s called RoarPac, believes 
the 
timing and issues are right for Hemby to build a powerful new organization.

"They, along with all animal-oriented groups, have the ability to mobilize a 
large, emotional membership. That is pretty powerful," Roberti said.

However, critics of PetPAC challenge the assertion that the group represents 
the views of the majority of pet owners, thousands of which supported AB 1634 
as a way to address the 454,000 unwanted dogs and cats put to death in 
California shelters each year. The measure provided exemptions for show, 
breeder and 
work animals.

Levine, a Democrat from Van Nuys, and other backers of the bill note that 
many of the supporters of PetPAC are people who make money from animals, 
including breeders, trainers and veterinarians.

"It's ridiculous that they oppose this bill. They are doing it out of selfish 
interest, for financial gain," said Ontario businessman Chris Majeska, one of 
thousands of the legislation's supporters who flooded the Capitol with 
e-mails and letters. Majeska has eight dogs, mostly mutts he found roaming the 
streets. 

Levine and others say PetPAC crossed the line in distorting facts and using 
fear tactics. The group printed posters opposing AB 1634 as the "Pet Extinction 
Act." Hemby went on television to allege that the proposed spay rules were 
part of a campaign by PETA and other extremist groups to "eliminate all dogs 
and 
cats in California."

A similar message was included in TV spots put on Sacramento stations by 
PetPAC.

"There is a lot of fear and it has been whipped up by my opponents," Levine 
said.

"The best way to kill a bill is by creating fear and confusion, and they have 
done a good job of that."

He called the "Pet Extinction Act" posters "ludicrous."

At one point Judie Mancuso, a campaign director for the bill, referred to the 
opposition as the "PetPAC monsters." 

Mancuso said the tactics of PetPAC were inappropriate. "They really distorted 
the facts to scare people," she said. 

Kelley Moran, state campaign director for the fledgling group, said the ads 
refrained from personal attack, although he acknowledges he raised questions 
about Levine's qualifications.

"He is not a pet owner. I don't believe he understands what being a pet owner 
is all about," Moran said.





~~~~~~~~
Stormy Hope
California Federation of Dog Clubs
www.cfodconline.org
S.P. Region GSDCA RALEEF Representative



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