>Dear Virginia Friends,
>The November 6th, 2007 election of 100 General Assembly Delegates
>and 40 Senators was both hotly contested and extremely expensive.
>The principal election news involved the Democrats net gain of four
>Senate seats in Fairfax County and Tidewater and control of that
>chamber for the first time since 1997.
>The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) endorsed twenty-nine Virginia
>legislators, sixteen Senate and nine House Democrats, plus four
>House GOP members. Twenty-seven of them were elected, or 93%. Sen.
>Ken Cuccinelli (R-SD37) was narrowly reelected despite HSUS's paid
>attack advertising and animal rightist door to door canvassing against him.
>Retirements and successful challenges resulted in nine new Senators
>and ten Delegates. While none of these freshmen legislators is
>thought to be animal rightist or anti-hunting inclined, we have very
>significant cause for concern. The restructuring of the Senate has
>resulted in senior Democrats with disturbing agendas assuming key
>committee chairmanships. Numerous previously defeated bad animal
>bills are expected to be reintroduced in January and are much more
>likely to receive positive Senate consideration.
>This dangerous situation is further compounded by the ill-founded
>"Virginia is for Puppy Mills" campaign of the Humane Society of the
>U.S. (HSUS) and repercussions Adminsing from the Vick dog fighting
>ring arrests. No, you aren't a miller or involved in dog fighting,
>but you are almost certainly going to be swept up in the emotionally
>charged atmosphere of the 2008 session's rush to pass new
>restrictive animal laws under new leadership. Three House GOP
>committee chairmen also retired, creating additional uncertainty in
>The following old and new bills are expected be on the 2008 General
>Statewide dog tag cap raised to $35-50 for intact animals. A much
>lower fee will be required for sterilized dogs, even when such a
>differential loses revenue. Discounted kennel licenses for 10 or
>more dogs will require the owner to waive his privacy rights.
>Unannounced, warrantless "inspections" by animal control officers
>and volunteer "humane investigators" will be permitted; no probable
>cause of neglect or cruelty will be required. Note: there is no
>established standard for private facility inspections.
>Small hobby breeders will be classified as "pet dealers," licensed
>and subject to commercial rules, including unannounced inspections.
>Mandatory spay-neuter for most (all?) pets.
>Mandatory microchipping for most (all?) canines.
>Statewide tethering restrictions.
>"Potentially dangerous" dogs.
>Ban on dog owner tail docking and dew claw removal of new bornes.
>Revised definition of "running at large" focused on hunting dogs.
>Humane education SOL requirement in K-12 curriculum.
>More volunteer humane investigators.
>Animal protective orders and required cruelty cross reporting.
>Tax credits for animal adoption and pet spay-neuter.
>The above list isn't complete, as it only represents those bills
>currently being considered. Intrusive, no warrant inspections by
>ill-trained or untrained personnel is a new HSUS animal rightist
>initiative. Virginia's 2007 "Gotcha" rabies based licensing and
>identification system ensures that all of these measures can be
>strictly enforced, along with local pet limit ordinances.
>Past failures of organized Old Dominion dog owners to fully
>understand these threats and to cooperate during General Assembly
>sessions, if repeated, virtually guarantee this agenda's adoption.
>VHDOA again stands ready to work with the officers and members of
>the clubs listed at
>and others to protect our sport and animals.
>Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Hunting Hounds Study.
>DGIF's controversial Future of Hunting Hounds Study kicked off
>earlier this month with invited houndsmen focus group meetings in
>Farmville and Roanoke.
>Seven additional focus group meetings, chaired by VT professor Steve
>McMullin, will be held during December. Shortly after the end of
>these information exchange sessions, a stakeholder group,
>representing various hunting and nonhunting interests, will be named
>to consider rule and statute changes.
>Freely forward and cross post.
>Bob Kane, President
>Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association