You can also watch the hearings where the bills were discussed in committee. On the 24th, and on the 31st.
Most of all, thank you to every single person in Tennessee who called and e-mailed the committee members. They said they were absolutely flooded with calls about these bills, most of them OPPOSED! Thank you. YOU defeated these bills.
Tennessee Federation of Dog Clubs - All Members
This has probably been the toughest legislative year ever in the
history of the Tennessee Federation of Dog Clubs (TFDC). The animal
rightist. Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, PETA and a number of other
national and state groups had worked secretly for months trying to craft
legislation they could slip in at the eleventh hour. We nor the AKC
were ever apprised of the expected legislation. We saw no advance copy
and were never invited to have any input prior to the legislation being
introduced which was just last week.
The complicated 18 page document was most definitely aimed at us
but under the guise of trying to eliminate puppy mills. Tuesday a
lengthy 14 page amendment to the bill was added to the docket of the
House and Senate committees handling the bill. (Tuesday was the last
day the committees were to meet this legislative session. It was a do
or die for the animal rightist organizations.
This past Tuesday was one of the most drama filled days I have
ever witnessed at the state capitol in my life time. Here is a sequence
of events that unfolded:
1) The animal rightist brought in folks from all over the state and the
big guns from Washington, DC.
2) The House Business & Utilities Committee met at 1:30.PM. There was a
packed house with standing room only. The sponsor introduced the
breeder registration bill. He also gave notice of his new amendments
which only made the bill worse for us. The chairman of the committee
then allowed a few speakers from the audience.
3) The lobbyist for the animal rights groups spoke and told lie after
lie. She said the AKC and our group had worked with them on the bill
and then turned against it at the last moment. Not true. To hear her
tell it anyone who bred a litter of puppies was the enemy. She also
implied that the sheriff's and police chief's organizations supported
the bill. Not true.
4) A lobbyist for the Humane Society of the United States also spoke and told the
same lies. He also added that we had generated many calls from out of
state with attempts to tell Tennessee law makers how to vote. Not true.
He also stated that Tennessee was the only state in the nation that
previously had a breeder bill as state law and then lost it last
session. That was true and we did it.
5) I spoke on behalf of the TFDC and hope that I did well and corrected
the lies that were told. One of the legislators on the committee
commented that he had received more calls against this bill than any
other this session. Two others agreed with him.
6) A vote was then taken on the amendments that were offered up by the
sponsor of the bill. A couple of legislators immediately walked out for
"parts unknown. The vote was four to four and died for lack of a
majority. At that point the sponsor asked to withdraw his bill and roll
it over to the 2016 session.
7) We walked out relieved and the animal rightist were extremely mad,
unhappy.and wanting to know what went wrong.
8) Melissa Bast, our state lobbyist is preparing a report and she will
provide the names of the legislators that voted for the bad legislation
and those that supported us and were against the bill.
9) For the next several hours heavy lobbying went on all over the
legislative plaza until the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee met at
3:30 PM. Again the even larger committee room was full with the walls
lined with people and even more outside. Our bill was one of the last
to come up about 5:45 PM. The sponsor of the bill got up and quickly
asked that the committee vote to defer or roll the legislation over to
2016. We quickly departed while the animal rightist seemed to be
totally absent. I think they had received word that there was no way
that the senate committee was going to pass the bill.
10) Now we really go to work and organize every county in our state. We
are going to need your help.
Dr. S.M. Dick Dickerson, President, Tennessee Federation of Dog