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Attention Breeders! Your Help Is Needed!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
There is a Bill up before the Virginia Senate for vote in January and we need your help to have it withdrawn before it goes up!


Here's what Virginia Senate Bill 55 would do:

1. Require pet 'dealers' (anyone who sells a pet for 'compensation or
profit') to get both a dealer's license -- $150/year for that -- and a local
business license. There's a $1000 fine if you should have a dealer's
license and don't get one.

2. Defines a 'Hobby breeder' as "an individual who owns dogs or cats and
wishes to breed and find homes for one litter, and this breeding is not for
profit." There are also definitions for both 'breed improver' and 'fancier
breeder' but neither of them is used in the bill or law.

3. You can't sell or advertise a pet for sale without a dealer's license.
Dealers must give copies of their business license to a newspaper
in which they want to advertise and to any buyer. Anyone buying a pet
who does not get a copy of a business license will be fined $150.

4. Money raised by licensing of dealers doesn't go to the general fund (as
animal-related revenue does now) but must be used for animal control
"including but not limited to spay/neuter programs."

5. Dealers and hobby breeders must either spay/neuter pets before sale or
there must be a contract requiring the same not later than six months of
age. Violations cost $150.

6. After January 1, 2007, all dogs and cats sold must be microchipped
before sale with the chip registered to both the seller and the buyer.

7. Only a hobby breeder may buy a dog or cat without spay/neuter by six
months of age and (under the definition of hobby breeder) it must be
sterilized after one litter.


... is ask the sponsor of the bill to WITHDRAW it. We should send copies
of those emails to the chairman of the committee that will hear the bill

The sponsor of SB 55 is Sen. Wm. Roscoe Reynolds. Here's his contact

Capitol Office:
email: district20@sov.state.va.us
Phone: (804) 698-7520
Fax: (804) 698-7651 (be sure to include a cover sheet for Sen. Reynolds)

District Office (will be closed after session opens Wed.)
email: roscoe@digdat.com
Phone: (276) 638-2315

Send a cc of your email to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on
Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, Sen. Charles R. Hawkins

email: district19@sov.state.va.us

You can call, email, and fax, according to your preferences.

Phone calls are excellent. Out of hours you'll probably get voice mail and
you can leave a very simple message: "I am calling to ask that you
WITHDRAW SB 55. This would be a very bad law for Virginia pet owners
and our state." (Your own words ...) During a working day you'll
probably get a real person; ask for the aide who handles animal bills and give your
message there. Most likely there won't be any questions.


You must include your address in your email; your phone number is optional.
If you are out of state but have friends or relatives in Virginia, be sure
to say so! Remember: A bad bill that passes in one state will be tried in
several others the next year.

Below are some points you might want to mention and a copy of my email.
You can follow the form of mine but be sure to use your own words and
ideas. Duplicates and form letters hit the circular file quickly in most

Keep it short -- the whole body of your email should fit on the usual 25
line screen at one time. Don't think you have to write a great email. Even
just saying "Please WITHDRAW this terrible bill" is helpful.

Thank you!


... pick the two or three that matter most to you!

1. SB 55 will discourage home breeding meaning that more pets will come
from pet stores.

2. Costs $150 for dealer license plus the cost of a (required) business
license. Home hobby breeding (the source of the best pets) is already a
'might break even' proposition, why is it good to further discourage it with
more costs?

3. Except in rural areas it may not be possible to get a business license in
a residential location. If you can get one it may require compliance with
other laws.

4. The law would cause some owners to dump puppies in shelter drops or
abandon or kill them rather than try to place them and run the risk of
getting fined for selling without a license.

5. Some breeders would try to hide so they couldn't even be inspected for
animal welfare.

6. The cost of enforcement would be large and would have to be deducted
from revenue. In practice, such a complex law could not be enforced.
Think of the 'war on drugs' where we're willing to spend huge amounts of
money, but we have scarcely cut supplies at all.

7. This law is certain to be "improved" in future years by the addition of
inspections, litter fees, and so on.

8. Do we really need government to control the breeding of pets?

9. By discouraging the best breeders, SB 55 would lower the quality of the
pet population leading to more abandonment of pets at animal shelters.

10. The bill does not allow selling or buying of breeding stock except by
one-litter hobby breeders. Where do quality breeders get future stock?

11. What exactly is the problem this bill is supposed to fix?

12. SB 55 is nearly identical to HB 2927, filed during the 2005 session and
withdrawn less than two weeks later by Delegate Terry Kilgore.


Dear Senator Reynolds:

I'm writing to ask that you WITHDRAW SB 55 which would require
licensing of Virginia's home breeders of pets.

My wife and I breed and rescue whippet dogs near Lexington. We've been
active in opposing bad pet laws (and supporting the occasional good bill)
for about four years now.

SB 55 is the worst pet-related bill yet to show up in Virginia and the worst
state bill we're aware of. If this bill should pass, it will seriously
damage home hobby and 'pin money' breeding in our state. Where will people get
their pets? From pet shops, illegal (unlicensed and hidden) breeders, and
out of state, that's where.

SB 55 is NOT wise public policy. It is pure 'animal rights' religion,
aimed not at making people and pets happier together but at taking a long
step toward getting rid of pets. Hard to believe anyone could promote
such fruitcake, isn't it? But there's a nationwide movement behind it
and we see large parts of SB 55 in several states per year.

Please WITHDRAW SB 55.
post #2 of 8
Geesh! Nothing like trying to legalize backyard breeding while making nigh on impossible for responsible breeders to operate! This does everything possible to discourage responsible breeding programs, and everything to make the "just one litter" of cute kitties "breeders" (using the term loosely) more acceptable.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Exactly, Heidi.
post #4 of 8
This is the dumbest idea ever.
post #5 of 8
it is because the people writing the legislation don't understand what responsible breeders do and the precautions that we take to prevent our puppies and kittens from becoming part of the pet overpopulation problem.

Breeders of all, puppies and kittens need to make it clear how we differ from the guy whose breeding litters to make a profit and earn a living. We also need to make it clear how restricting us is not going to stop the real culprits from continuing on as they do.
post #6 of 8
No, I think the problem is more that the people writing the legislation don't want to understand. They want to look good and be effective while doing as little research into the topic as possible. If any of these legislators had ever stepped foot into a cat show, they just might get that there is a difference between BYBs and break-even breeders.

It's just like the PAWS legislation, they wrote the bill so that it would effect the life of cats, but yet, they only worked with the AKC when writing the proposal! From what I understand, no one even spoke with a single cat expert, they just took what was adequate for canines and applied it to felines as well!

Again, the country is attacking all breeders instead of going after the idots who are wrecklessly breeding by "accident" (although I hardly see it as an accident when 9 month old Muffy is left outside 24/7) and those dumping cats at shelters. These people are the main reason for pet overpopulation! Why aren't they forcing people to register and alter their stray cats instead? All this will do is dramatically cut the purebred population - which pales in comparision to the moggies!
post #7 of 8
Oh dear! *shakes head*
post #8 of 8
This type of legislation really scares me. I have inlaws and friends I am going to send this information along to. Thank you for bringing it up on the forum.

When is this going to be voted on ...or has it already happened? Sorry I am not a very political person but I do believe we need to protect our rights.
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