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No Lazy Days

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No lazy days of summer for people in the dog sport. As I write, the California State Senate has approved Senate Bill 250; the first three attempts failed to gather necessary votes to pass the bill, but on the fourth vote it passed. After consideration in several committees it will go to the Assembly for a vote. Among other things the bill states that “no person shall own, keep, or harbor, except as specified, an unsterilized dog,” and requires “any owner or custodian of an unsterilized dog to have the animal sterilized at 6 months of age, obtain a certificate of sterility, or, if provided by local ordinance, obtain an unaltered dog license.” One line I find disturbing: “By creating new crimes and imposing new duties on local animal control agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program upon local governments.” It seems surreal that Americans can take seriously a bill that would make owning an unaltered dog a “crime.” This bill would force every local municipality in the state to impose, fund people on “our” side now have experience fighting this kind of law; there are dozens in Sacramento this week talking with legislators and passing out packets of information that highlight the down side of laws of this kind.

Speaking of legislative battles, on page 112 we report on how California professional handlers are raising money for legal battles. We hope this story will inspire others to take similar action in their own states. The costs in time are so little compared with all that is gained.

And it isn’t just the handlers who are getting more involved. Who among us hasn’t complained that there are not enough young people involved in the sport? On page 100 a California teen unveils her plan for organizing youth to get out “the truth” to the general public, something we often discuss in DR. Lauren Hay-Lavitt is calling for teens all over the country to join her, and we want to help in this effort by offering a place to spread the word and disseminate information on a monthly basis. We’ll report the progress of  Lauren’s new organization, “Youth for Animal Welfare,” as they get organized and get to work.

We’re making a change in DR that I’m excited about. We’re well known for our coverage of dog shows and dog people worldwide, but although we list the BIS winners at all U.S. shows each month in “Show Scene,” I recently decided that we need even more coverage of American shows. Beginning with this issue we’ll have more detailed National Specialty reports by Paula Pascoe along with more photos of the winners. And don’t miss the new “Show Scene Happenings” on page 161. In upcoming issues we’re also committed to including more reports from important and unique all-breed shows. If you’d like to write a report about your National, or an all-breed show that you think is exceptional in some way, please e-mail me at cmcdonald@bowtieinc.com. We pay a fee for show reports so this is also an opportunity to make a little extra cash!

In this issue we also present the Nominating Committee for the 2008 Winkies® for Annual Achievement. They’re already hard at work scouring the country to find worthy nominees for 2008 Outstanding Breeder, Show of the Year, Judge of the Year, Best Owner-Handler and Best Professional Handler. Their selections will be revealed in September and ballots will be included in the December issue of DR.

We’ve devoted a lot of space over the past few months to the controversy going on in Dalmatians, and this month’s letters again focus on the topic. I apologize if it seems to be overkill, and assure any readers who tire of the subject that henceforth we will limit our coverage of the subject to dogsinreview.com. But my certainty of the importance of this issue remains strong.

We are sorry to hear that Dr. Josephine Deubler passed away on May 17. We’ll have a tribue to her in July. There’s so much more to talk about, but for now enjoy this issue, and enjoy your dogs!


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