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Action Alert: Assembly Bill #247
For All Wisconsin Dog Owners

Provided by Dog Federation of Wisconsin

~What to do now~

5/21/05

The full original Action Alert

Wisconsin Assembly Bill 247 - Late Fees for Dog Licenses had been scheduled for a vote on May 17th at an executive session for the Committee on Urban and Local Affairs. Just prior to the session, Rep "Doc" Hines asked that the bill be removed from the docket for that day. Quite simply, he didn't feel that he had the votes for the bill to pass out of committee.

This is good news, but we're not done.

Representatives that are on the Committee on Urban and Local Affairs sent return emails to those people who had asked them to Vote AGAINST AB247. They stated, "Rep Hines has withdrawn (or removed) AB247 from consideration."

While this is true, it is not the full picture. This meant that Rep Hines removed the bill from the schedule *that day* and *that day* only. From followup contact with Rep Hines office, DFOW has learned that it is very likely the bill will be scheduled for an executive session (a vote) at a later date. Meaning, he's still working on it. This isn't acceptable.

We want Rep Hines to cease all activity on Assembly Bill 247.

5/21/05 What to do now: We are now asking that you email Representative Hines directly with your opposition to AB247.
Bonus! - You don't even have to put this one in your own words. That's right! - feel free to copy/paste the following message directly into your email client.

rep.hines@legis.state.wi.us 

*******************************

Example:

Subject: Withdraw AB247 from ALL future consideration

Dear Representative Hines,

This bill is bad for the dog community of this state. Please discontinue your efforts to see this become law.

Thank you,

Your Name, Your Address, Your Phone number


ACT IMMEDIATELY: POORLY CONSIDERED DOG LICENSING BILL
Representative Hines has proposed Assembly Bill #247
Deadline May 16, 2005

This bill would change the date that the purchase of dog licenses would incur a late fee, of at least $5, from April 1st to February 1st. In other words, instead of buying a dog license February or March and paying the regular fee, you would also be assessed the late penalty on each license.

The Dog Federation of Wisconsin opposes changing the late fee assessment date.

  • Owners of multiple dogs frequently take their dogs into the vet in February and March which allows them to combine getting blood tests for heartworm along with any necessary vaccinations. Dogs in Wisconsin are at risk for heartworm beginning each spring when the mosquitoes come out. It is a matter of both convenience and our dog owner culture that springtime vet visits still allow us to purchase our dog licenses at the regular price.

  • Assembly Bill 247 will not increase licensing compliance. When already faced with paying property taxes in January shortly after the holiday season, money becomes an issue. Even in communities where dog licenses go for only a nominal fee, the additional burden of needing to shell out more cash will have more dogs going unlicensed.

  • The goal of a community should be to have as many dogs licensed as possible - both as a source of revenue to fund animal control, and also because licensing serves as a checkpoint for rabies vaccinations. As a public health issue, it's better policy to work for higher compliance rather than to be quick to institute a punitive measure such as a late fee.

We strongly urge every individual dog owner to oppose this piece of legislation.

Analysis of Assembly Bill 247 by the Legislative Reference Bureau:
Current law requires dog owners to obtain annual licenses for their dogs. Under current law, a late fee of $5, or more at the option of a city, village, town, or county, applies if a dog owner fails to obtain a license before April 1. Under this bill, the late fee applies if a dog owner fails to obtain a license before February 1.

Complete Bill text for AB247 may be referenced on the internet: http://www.legis.state.wi.us

What to do now: Deadline May 16th: Contact the members of the Assembly Urban and Local Affairs committee and urge them to “Vote AGAINST AB 247.”

Emails and phone calls can be very brief.

For email subject lines, use: Vote AGAINST AB 247

For the text of your email, use something like the following, but you must put into your own words:

Vote AGAINST AB 247. I am a dog owner and the bill will only discourage dog owners from getting rabies vaccinations and a license.

You must give the following information:
• Your Name
• Your Address, with Zip Code

If a member of the Assembly Urban and Local Affairs committee is your elected representative, please phone their office. Hearing from constituents of a district carries more impact. Phone calls almost always will be answered by legislative aides, and they are generally very nice, and do not bite.

Contact information for Assembly Urban and Local Affairs Committee follows.
Email addresses may also be found here: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/leginfo/asmmail.asp#59

Representative LeMahieu, Chairperson
Assembly District 59
(608) 266-9175 or
(888) 534-0059
rep.lemahieu@legis.state.wi.us

Representative Pridemore, Vice Chairperson
Assembly District 99
(608) 267-2367
rep.pridemore@legis.state.wi.us

Representative Gunderson
Assembly District 83
(608) 266-3363 or
(888) 534-0083
rep.gunderson@legis.state.wi.us

Representative Lothian
Assembly District 32
(608) 266-1190
rep.lothian@legis.state.wi.us

Representatives Gottlieb
Assembly District 60
(608) 267-2369
rep.gottlieb@legis.state.wi.us

Representative Berceau
Assembly District 76
(608) 266-3784
rep.berceau@legis.state.wi.us

Representative Fields
Assembly District 11
(608) 266-3756
rep.fields@legis.state.wi.us

Representative Parisi
Assembly District 48
(608) 266-5342
rep.parisi@legis.state.wi.us


Updates on this Bill and other WI canine legislation can be found by joining an e-mail announcement only list here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DFOW-Announcements

Or, you may join an email list for all animal laws for WI residents at the web address below:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wi_animal_laws

We appreciate your help!!

Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean it won’t take an interest in you. Pericles


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