- Global Canine Communication


PAWS - Pet Animal Welfare Statute, Introduced by Rick Santorum in 2005, was the worst animal legisistion ever!  Puppy mills were exempt but show breeders and hobby dog breeders would have become non-existant.



You will now decide the future of the AKC and of the purebred dog. PAWS has divided the fancy more than ever before. As a voting member of a member club YOU have the power to bring about the right RESULT.




Congressional Standoff re; PAWS

by Bob Kane, SAOVA - October 2005


It's time for a short PAWS celebration! Senator Santorum, S1139's author, the bill's cosponsors and its supporters, the AKC, HSUS, DDAL, PETA and other animal rights groups have suffered a very significant setback.


PAWS Legislation


The 1966 AWA (Animal Welfare Act) morphed into PAWS in 2005 (supported by AKC, HSUS, Dick Durban (D-IL) and Rick Santorum R-PA.


Today Animal Rights have handcuffed all animal owners under the Federal Animal Rights Law USDA/APHIS which protects giant food producers and puppy mills by putting family farmers and hobby breeders out of business.

On July 27, 2005 Sen. Santorum made the following statement on the Senate floor.


"As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Research, Nutrition and General Legislation, which has jurisdiction over PAWS, I intend to convene a hearing and mark-up of PAWS shortly after the August recess to make technical corrections, and to clarify some of the bill's language to better reflect our intentions as set forth in this statement."


PAWS opponents were excluded from the "technical corrections" deliberations of the Senator and also denied the opportunity to deliver testimony at PAWS subcommittee hearings planned for September and October. Both of these hearings were subsequently canceled and it's extremely unlikely that any PAWS hearing will be held in 2005.


Our analysis of the current situation is that the Senate Agriculture Committee members have heard and read so many substantive objections to S1139 (PAWS) that Sen. Santorum isn't confident that he can pass the original bill or an AKC-HSUS approved, amended bill in his subcommittee, let alone have the full committee act favorably on it. The fact that his 2006 reelection polling has plummeted since he introduced PAWS may also be a factor in his delay decision.


Formal opposition by tens of thousand of individuals and over three hundred clubs contributed to the current congressional standoff. Some dog owners almost immediately recognized PAWS for the disaster it is, contacted legislators to oppose the bill, urged owner networks to do likewise and created anti-PAWS webpages. Anyone and everyone that took the time to learn about PAWS' dangers and contacted a legislator should be proud that the American political system responded the way that it should when citizens become aroused.


PAWS isn't dead by any means, but it's sorely wounded. A largely unorganized and publicly disparaged group of amateur animal owner advocates taught the sophisticated, high-priced lobbyists and public relations flacks a thing or two.




Some of you may have noticed that SAOVA formed an ad hoc partnership to pursue the PAWS fight. Let me introduce Kelly Wichman of the Dog Federation of Wisconsin and Susan Wolf of the North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance. Kelly and Susan both have state legislative lobbying experience on dog issues and were among the very first PAWS critics. Kelly owns Pugs and a Rhodesian ridgeback, while Susan has Shetland Sheepdogs. Both know infinitely more than I do about conformation, show people, related topics and politics. My chief expertise is in hunting dog owner advocacy and general legislative lobbying.


This is an instance where synergies make the whole infinitely greater than the sum of its individual parts. The three of us have been smoothly cooperating and coordinating our anti-PAWS efforts since early July and filed an extensive, joint opposition statement with Senate Agriculture Committee in late August. That opposition package was well received and also shared with selected Washington D.C. lobbyists. Additionally, many individuals and clubs have recently contributed funds to permit us to more effectively respond to the well-financed pro-PAWS faction and to pursue our NO PAWS program this year and next. We're sincerely grateful for your generosity and faith in our legislative knowledge, resolve and lobbying abilities.


The carefully crafted opposition statements and telephone calls of everyone involved contributed to our current positive position. No single group of volunteers can accomplish anything by itself in Washington. Lobbying is a team sport. In recognition of that fact, the three groups have developed a website dedicated solely to this legislative fight. As we move forward, please visit the NO PAWS ( - sorry website has moved or changed) resource frequently for the latest pertinent news, suggested lobbying strategies and new contact information. This site will soon suggest a significant redirection of your PAWS opposition efforts.


I opened on June 21st, "There is virtually no chance that PAWS can pass, without very much broader support. Its defeat is assured if organizations and individuals vigorously oppose it."


The last four and one-half months have been hard, grueling ones, as we attempted to counter the AKC's PAWS misinformation and slander campaigns, while informing animal owners of PAWS's extreme dangers and how to oppose this bill. Numerous other interest groups also oppose PAWS. It's crucial that we not permit the AKC, HSUS, et. al. to divide and weaken us, as it's now clear they must do to move S1139 or HR2669. PAWS can't be amended to make it acceptable. Its entire basis is fatally flawed, as outlined at NO PAWS FAQ ( - sorry website has moved and/or changed).


Thank you for your support and efforts to protect our sport and animals.  Please forward and cross post widely.



Bob Kane

Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance

Working to identify and elect supportive legislators



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