Robin Harrison on Working Dogs

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ACTION ALERT: NO To Virginia’s SB1190 – Protect Innocent Working Do Message List
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I’m simply a new resident of Virginia. My passion is sled dogs. My 6
dog team and I are active in dryland mushing as a recreational hobby,
and competitively on occasion. I’m passing news of this pending
legislation along to other working dog owners and fanciers. If any of
you recipients know Virginians who fancy poultry, pass it along to
them too!

From the outset, let me be perfectly clear that I strongly object to
criminal or illegal forms of animal fighting. However, Virginia MUST
have CLEAN and OBJECTIVE definitions of ILLEGAL animal fighting in
order to elevate existing misdemeanor level charges for animal
fighting to FELONY charges.


SB 1190 OBLITERATES clean, objective definitions of ILLEGAL animal
fighting in Virginia Code and adds new vague wording that could cause
ANY innocent animal owner, working dog enthusiast, or musher like me
to be charged with a FELONY.

The existing definition of cock fighting in Virginia Code §3.1-796.125
reads like this:

“A. Any person engaging in the fighting of cocks or other animals,
except dogs, for money, prize or anything of value, or betting or
wagering money or anything of value on the result of such fight, shall
be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.”

If SB 1190 passes, the above definition of ILLEGAL cock fighting will
read like this:

“A. Any person engaging in the fighting of cocks or other animals,
except dogs, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.”

Gotta rooster? Pray he doesn’t get into an unintentional scrap. Ya
better also have a great relationship with your local law enforcement,
or YOU might be facing a FELONY charge!

SB 1190 would also add a NEW line to Virginia Code as follows:

“B. Any person who possesses, owns, trains, or sells any animal for
the purpose of fighting is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”

How do you know if someone ‘owns’ or ‘trains’ or ‘sells’ an animal for
the purpose of fighting? Most often the situation would be unclear.
It’s one thing to have a criminal penalty for a criminal act; quite
another to penalize intent that’s without a clear criminal act.

As an example of the issues, in some areas doing roadwork with a dog,
having it run on a treadmill or pull weights, or owning books about
dog fighting have been taken as proof of an intent to fight a dog.
Yet all of these may have completely different reasons. People being
arrested on “dog fighting” charges simply owing to their possessing
dogs, a tread mill, competing in weight pull, or running them with a
rig amounts to a “guilty until proven innocent” form of law.

Finally, Virginia Code that presently reads:

“C. Attendance at an exhibition of the fighting of dogs shall
constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

Would read like this if SB 1190 passes:

“C. Attendance at the fighting of cocks or other animals, shall
constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

So anyone who happens to see or watch a rooster, cat, dog, or any
other animal get into a fight, regardless if unintended or unplanned,
could be charged with a crime too!

To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforcible, and
reasonably fair. SB 1190 fails these tests. Virginia citizens deserve
clean, well written law so that any reasonable person (or enforcement
officer) can determine who is in compliance and who not.


If you’re a Virginia working dog owner or have significant ties to
Virginia through your club or organization’s activities and events,
please email the members of the Virginia Senate Agriculture,
Conservation and Natural Resources Committee and respectfully request
that each OPPOSE SB 1190.

The Senate Ag Committee meets again on Monday morning, January 29 at
8am. SB 1190 is on the Docket. Please try to communicate with the
Committee Senators BEFORE that time –

* Be polite and courteous
* If you have a direct connection to – live, work, participate, or
hold activities/events in – the Senator’s district, say so!
* Make your point in opening – Please Vote NO to SB 1190
* Briefly state why, explaining how the law could negatively affect
you and other law abiding animal owning citizens
* Thank each Senator for hearing your point of view


Your Subject Line should state “Please OPPOSE SB 1190”

If you have time to be formal (it IS helpful to the Legislative
Assistants in sorting correspondence) add an addressee line at the
beginning of your email:

The Honorable Firstname Lastname
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
Virginia General Assembly

All Senators should be addressed as “Senator Lastname”, except
Chairman Hawkins who would be “Chairman Hawkins”, of course.

your email to count! Again, please make sure that you live in Virginia
or have strong ties to VA, it’s animals or working dogs and MENTION
that in your email. E-mail bombing is a common Animal Rights trick and
NOT appreciated by our legislators!


Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Members

Chairman Charles R. Hawkins
email: district19@…

Senator John H. Chichester
email: district28@…

Senator Patricia S. Ticer
email: district30@…

Senator Mary Margaret Whipple
email: district31@…

Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
email: district24@…

Senator John C. Watkins
email: district10@…

Senator W. Roscoe Reynolds (SB 1190 PATRON)
email: district20@…

Senator Phillip P. Puckett
email: district38@…

Senator Frank M. Ruff
email: district15@…

Senator Harry B. Blevins
email: district14@…

Senator R. Creigh Deeds
email: district25@…

Senator Ken T. Cuccinelli, II
email: district37@…

Senator Mark D. Obenshain
email: district26@…

Senator Mamie Locke
email: district02@…

Senator Ryan T. McDougle
email: district04@…

Who’s My Legislator? –
This is a good thing to know, especially if your Senator belongs to
the Senate Agriculture Committee. However, let’s try to stop SB 1190
in Committee before contacting the entire Senate.

SB 1190 has appeared on the Ag Committees Docket twice already without
being heard. It is scheduled again for the Monday, Jan 29, Ag
Committee meeting at 8AM. It IS possible it could hold over longer.
You can check SB 1190’s progress here –

The Senate Ag Committee’s Docket Schedule can be found here –


If you’re thinking “Oh, I’m an upright, honest, law abiding citizen,
so I’m safe”, please do take a moment to think about WHO is behind
this legislation. SB 1190 is HEAVILY backed by the Humane Society of
the United States (HSUS), if not wholly authored by them. Unlike many
trusting animal lovers believe, HSUS does NOT run or help any
shelters. It is a strong and well funded arm of the Animal Rights (AR)
movement in a tidy business suit.

Still not convinced? Perhaps these quotes from charismatic HSUS
President Wayne Pacelle might open a few eyes:

“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of
livestock produced through selective breeding …One generation and
out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They
are creations of human selective breeding.”
— Animal People News, 5/1/93

“Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock
fighting and dog fighting.”
— Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle, Oct 1991

What is the GOAL of the Animal Rights movement? The ELIMINATION of
animal ownership. SB 1190 may well start by picking off the easiest,
most defenseless animal owners who ‘breed’ contempt in many circles –
illegal immigrants, supposed “gang members”, the poor – but AR
considers EVERY animal owner scourge and at their core, members of the
AR movement seem to HATE people. They don’t care what color you are or
language you speak, their sole goal is to separate YOU from YOUR animals.

Should HSUS legislate for YOU, YOUR animals, or Virginia citizens? I
would hope not!


Text of SB 1190 (normal text is existing Code, strike throughs are
eliminated wording, italicized wording is NEW language)

Existing Virginia Code § 3.1-796.125 –

American Canine Foundation: Writing A Letter To A Government Official-

Overview of the HSUS –

Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act – these are two bills that
HSUS is heavily backing in our US House (H.R. 137) & Senate (S. 261).
I haven’t had time to research them yet, but expect that HSUS will be
wanting to hit the entire nation of law abiding animal owners over the
head with the same sledgehammer they’re attempting to use on VA. Let’s
take some wind out of their sails NOW!


I know this isn’t a slick or pretty email. I’ve been too busy fighting
anti-pet and anti-animal owner law proposals since the VA legislative
session opened mid-January to put up a fancy web page. Some of you who
receive this email don’t know who I am. This will be my only mailing
to you and I apologize if I’ve been an unwanted intrusion.

Those who are concerned about or could be directly and negatively
impacted by SB 1190, please send your emails to the Senate Ag
Committee Senators ASAP!

If you would like to continue receiving news about SB 1190 or future
Action Alerts, join my mailing list from this page –

Sincerely yours,

Robin Harrison
Clear Creek Dirt Dawgs
Director, SouthEast Association of Mushers
raharrison @ (remove spaces)