AB-250 / SB-208 (formerly LRB-2448/2), THE COMMERCIAL DOG
BREEDERS LICENSURE BILL
8 April 2009, Representative Jeff Smith and Senator Pat Kreitlow announced
their long-awaited joint House / Senate bill to provide for licensing and
inspection of breeders and sellers and help to protect dogs by setting
standards for their care.
SB-208 (formerly LRB 2448/2), the Commercial Dog Breeders Licensure Bill,
is the culmination of a year's effort by the legislators and a working group
comprised of all stake-holders: humane organizations and rescues, hobby
breeders, commercial breeders and sellers, DATCP, and veterinarians. This is
the bill we have been working so hard to get introduced -- but our work is just
for co-sponsorship for AB-250, The Commercial Dog
Breeders Licensure Bill, closed on April 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm. Many have
mentioned the number of calls and emails from constituents urging them to do
so! If your representatives are on this list, please email them and thank them.
(You can find contact information for your area's representatives by going to:
http://www.legis.state.wi.us./ and clicking on the
"Who Represents Me?" link in the middle of the page.)
of you are asking how this support compares with past bills. In 2003-2004, the
AB536 gained 40 authors and co-sponsors. The
CURRENT Smith - Krietlow bill has a total of 71 authors and co-sponsors!
Congratulations to everyone who worked to get this great support
to AB-250 / SB-208!
the complete list of the authors and co-sponsors, please see our Cosponsors
Does having so many
co-sponsors mean we are half way to passing the bill?
No, it only
means that 70 out of 132 members of the legislature (99 Representatives in the
Assembly and 33 Senators in the Senate) have "pre-approved" the bill
by signing onto it as a co-sponsor or author. We still have a long way to go,
and will still need your help to get this bill passed!
As it moves
through the process, it is possible that some who signed on will step away
(amendments and other pressures can influence that). Of course, there are those
who will support it who have not signed on. Some legislators just don't sign on
as co-sponsors to anything as their own personal policy. The bottom line is
having a positive acknowledgement of the value of the bill from more than half
of all the people who will vote on it is a very good sign. It is rare for a
bill to have this many co-sponsors.
The bill was
officially introduced in both the Assembly and the Senate, and assigned bill
numbers AB-250 and SB-208. It was then assigned to the Assembly Committee on
Consumer Protection and the Senate Committee on Small Business, Emergency
Preparedness, Technical Colleges, and Consumer Protection.
Committees must hold public hearings. A joint public hearing for AB-250/SB-208
was held on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 at 10:00
AM . Supporters outnumbered opponents about 20 to 1, and so many
of you made statements that the hearing ran for over 4-1/2 hours! If you'd like
to watch or listen to the proceedings, please see:
09.23.09 | Joint Committees on Consumer
You ou can skip ahead or back by
using the little slider bar right under the image box in Windows Explorer.
Wisconsin Legislature website features an official record of the 13 October
2009 joint committee public hearing. This includes lists of those who spoke or
registered for or against the bill. (Note: please see link bar at left; scroll
down to "AB250" and click.)
AB-250 Public Hearing Record
can also see TV news video coverage:
WKOW-TV, 9/23/09: Public Hearing NBC-15, 9/23/09: Push for Puppy Mill Legislation
On 16 September, in
preparation for the Public Hearing, Rep. Smith introduced Assembly Substitute
Amendment 1 to clarify some of the language of the bill and to address some
valid concerns of his constituents. On 23 September, Sen. Kreitlow offered the
same amendment in the State Senate.
Summary of AB-250 Substitute Amendment
October, the Senate committee on Small Business, Emergency Preparedness,
Technical Colleges, and Consumer Protection passed SB-208 out of committee to
the legislative floor and, by unanimous vote, recommended passage as amended!
ON 21 October, the Assembly committee on Consumer Protection did the same.
If you would like to
join us in THANKING all Senate Committee members, please see our
Committee page for contact information.
AB-250/SB-208 In Committee
27 October 2009: AB-250 PASSES IN ASSEMBLY BY UNANIMOUS
On 27 October
2009, The Wisconsin Assembly passed AB-250, the Commercial Dog Breeders
Licensure Bill, by unanimous vote, 96 to 0!!!! What a great day for dogs and
the people who love them in Wisconsin.
Smith asked that his vote be dedicated to Wilbert Ribbens, who passed away the
day before the public hearing on this bill. Mr. Ribbens was a great animal
lover whose letter to his daughter about
a sick, sad pet store puppy over 10 years ago laid the groundwork for the
Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project and, incidentally, today's vote.
us in THANKING Rep. Smith and each and every one of our WI Representatives!
Wisconsin Legislature website features an official record of the 27 October
2009 session. Visit the
Assembly Floor Session Archives for 27 October 09, then
click on Watch under floor Session (Part 2). AB-250 comes to the floor at the
7:55 mark, which can be scrolled to using the sliding cursor.
Assembly Floor Session Archives
Vote wmv (direct link to video)
28 October 2009: UNANIMOUS
AYE VOTE FROM JOINT FINANCE COMMITTEE!
The Joint Finance
Committee met on 28 October 2009. 15 out of 16 members were present, and ALL 15
voted AYE to pass SB-208 on to the full Senate for a vote on 5 November!
Committee members spoke to give ringing endorsements to the bill!
5 NOVEMBER 2009: UNANIMOUS
AYE VOTE FROM STATE SENATE! 32 out of 33 members were present and
all 32 voted AYE.
1 DECEMBER 2009: GOVERNOR
DOYLE SIGNS AB-250 INTO LAW!
us in THANKING Governor Doyle and each and every one of our WI Representatives!
bottom of our hearts, we Thank you for all of your phone calls,
letters, emails, petitions, protests, and endless, undying support. Without
your help, our decade-long dream for dogs in Wisconsin would never have become
2009 WISCONSIN ACT 90 (pdf)
Sadly, one of
our staunchest supporters, Joyce Kitsemble, passed away on Tuesday. Being able
to come to Madison from her home in Wisconsin Rapids to witness Governor
Doyle's signing of AB-250 was one of Joyce's proudest moments.
Memoriam: Joyce Kitsemble
this excellent law on the books, our work has just begun. Next comes the
arduous task of writing the Administrative Rules, which detail the specifics
for enforcement of the law -- things like basic definitions of food, shelter,
exercise, and other requirements. These specifics will be hammered out by a
committee of ALL stakeholders, including commercial breeders and pet stores, so
gaining a consensus will not always be easy.
breeders will still exist, and pet stores will continue to bring puppies in
from other states to sell if they cannot acquire them cheaply in WI -- so we
cannot relax our vigilance.
And what will
happen to the hundreds of dogs in the puppy mills around Wisconsin that do not
measure up to the new requirements, or whose owners do not wish to upgrade
challenges, and more, still face us. Puppy mills and pet stores that sell
puppies will not disappear overnight -- let's take a moment to celebrate, then
roll up our sleeves and stride forward together to do what is necessary to make
these abuses a footnote in Wisconsin history!