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 Post subject: Fire Maine Kennel Czar
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:55 pm 
Silent Mouth
Silent Mouth

Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 41
Fire Maine Animal Welfare Chief

Petition Drive Urges Tourism Boycott of Maine If
Worley’s Draconian Kennel Legislation Passes

American Sporting Dog Alliance

This article is archived at: ... &thread=35

AUGUSTA, ME – The American Sporting Dog Alliance is calling for the immediate replacement of Maine Animal Welfare Director Norma Worley, who has run roughshod over the rights of dog owners in what can only be described as official oppression by a rogue governmental agency gone mad.

Worley has demonstrated a lifetime of animal rights movement fanaticism, and has clearly used her powerful position to crusade for her beliefs. While we defend Worley’s right to hold whatever beliefs she chooses, we believe it is wholly inappropriate for someone with a crusader mentality to head a state regulatory agency.

Worley engineered LD 964, which casts a net over most hobby breeders. The bill faces an April 15, 2009 public hearing before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

It is imperative for Maine dog owners to take decisive action to stop this bill before April 15, as it builds the legal framework to destroy the dog fancy in Maine. We are urging Maine dog owners to contact members of the committee immediately to express strong opposition to LD 964, and to attend the hearing and testify if possible.

However, we don’t think this goes far enough. The American Sporting Dog Alliance also is asking dog owners across the country to sign our petition calling for the immediate termination of Worley’s employment, replacing her with someone who is not hostile to kennel owners, and the sound defeat of LD 964.

If those actions are not taken, the petition calls for a complete boycott of travel to Maine for vacations, business, hunting or fishing, dog events or any other reason. Our goal will be to remove at least $1 billion from Maine’s economy, and we will suggest that dog owners spend that money in other states or Canadian provinces that are dog-friendly.

It is time for dog owners to fight fire with fire. Quite frankly, we are tired of being used as punching bags by the animal rights movement. It’s time to stop placating these fanatics and fight back.

We must emphasize that the petition is for nonresidents only. It simply is too dangerous for Maine residents to sign this kind of petition, because of numerous reports that Maine kennel owners who have criticized the Bureau or the proposed legislation have been targeted for enhanced enforcement of state regulations in an attempt to intimidate them into silence.

Here is a link to our petition: . Our goal is to get several thousand signatures quickly, and more than 100,000 in the coming month. Please send the link to your friends and ask them to sign, and also to pass it on to their friends.

The petition will be delivered directly to Gov. John E. Baldacci, Agriculture Commissioner Seth “Brad” Bradstreet III and key leaders in the Maine legislature. Nonresidents also should contact Gov. Baldacci and Commissioner Bradstreet directly to urge Worley’s immediate dismissal and replacing her with someone who is supportive of dog owners and breeders. Their email addresses are and .

We do understand that a boycott would be unfair to many Maine business owners, but ask them to understand that dog owners are fighting for their lives. We also ask Maine business owners to support us on this petition, as we have supported their businesses for many decades and hope to again in the future, if Maine once again becomes a safe place for dog owners.

LD 964 Faces April 15 Hearing

LD 964 is purely the product of Worley’s ideology.

Last year, the Legislature passed a resolution creating a panel to study possible regulatory changes about dog breeding. However, Worley packed the panel with members who supported her views, and made sure that independent dog clubs and fanciers were only a small minority. Their views did not even rate a minority position on Worley’s final report to the Legislature.

Here are some of the dangerous, unfair and unconstitutional provisions in Worley’s bill:

· A breeding kennel as defined as keeping five or more female dogs and cats that are capable of reproduction, if one or more dogs, puppies, cats or kittens are sold. Any kennel that sells 16 or more animals a year also is defined as a breeding kennel. Every serious hobby breeder would fall into this category, as would many people who maintain several dogs for hunting, field trials or competition, and almost all professional handlers and trainers.

· Three categories of breeding kennel licenses are created, depending on the number of female dogs and cats that are capable of breeding. License fees are $75, $250 and $500 a year. Conditional licenses are issued pending inspection, and may be revoked if complete compliance is not attained within six months.

· The standards for the inspection are not contained in the legislation. Instead, the regulations would be developed by the Bureau. There is no provision for legislative oversight, and LD 964 essentially gives Worley a regulatory blank check. We assume that the Animal Welfare Advisory Council would be consulted, but this advisory board is a sham that is heavily weighted toward animal rights supporters. We would expect it to rubber stamp whatever Worley wants.

· Kennel owners whose licenses are denied or revoked, or who face civil penalties for alleged violation of the rules, would be denied access to a trial before a court of law, and also would not have the right of appeal. All civil proceedings would be before an administrative panel from the Bureau, which makes Worley and her employees the cop, judge, jury and hangman of kennel owners.

· LD 964 also creates a very dangerous designation of a “seller,” which is anyone who sells (or even advertises for sale) more than one dog, puppy, cat or kitten a year. That category includes almost everyone who raises dogs, even on a very small scale. Sellers are required to keep complete records of every dog that they own, and no dog or cat may be sold without a veterinary examination and certificate. Sellers also must guarantee registration documents. Stiff penalties are provided. The language of the bill leaves open the possibility (if not probability) of other regulations for sellers created by Worley and her staff.

· By greatly increasing the number of licensed and regulated home kennels in Maine, Worley’s bill would give her agency carte blanche access to many thousand homes for inspections/searches and seizures without a warrant and in total disregard for the Bill of Rights. Worley wants the Legislature to legalize Gestapo tactics!

Please read this legislation: ... 066601.asp .

The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging all Maine dog owners to contact each member of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Please express strong opposition to LD 964 and state your reasons for opposing it. Faxes, phone calls and letters are effective, and emails are somewhat less effective (but much better than nothing).

Here is a link to each member of the committee: . Simply click on each name, and contact information will be displayed.

Why Fire Worley?

Some readers may think that our call for Worley’s dismissal is rather harsh.

It is indeed harsh. However, we believe it is fully justified and no other alternatives are available.

Simply put, it is wrong to name a staunch animal rights activist to a position of power and authority over dog owners, and especially people who raise dogs.

Worley has been closely identified with the animal rights movement, and frequently echoes its derogatory slogans about people who raise dogs. It is quite obvious that she despises us, from her comments at meetings and in news accounts about the issues.

In particular, Worley has been closely linked to the radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which has the ultimate goal of phasing out animal ownership in America. This association forms a definite conflict of interest for someone who regulates people who raise dogs and breed them. Many HSUS supporters claim that buying a dog from a breeder causes the death of another dog in an animal shelter.

In Maine and the entire Northeast, this is a myth. Almost no healthy and adoptable dogs fail to find adoptive homes. Moreover, the American Sporting Dog Alliance strongly believes that every person should have the unquestioned right to choose whatever kind of dog he or she wishes, and that this choice is none of “society’s” business.

Worley also presents another conflict of interest, because of her close ties to the animal sheltering community for decades. This can be seen in LD 964, which specifically exempts animal shelters from state regulation, even though health and temperament problems are far more likely to come from shelter dogs than from private breeders. This is because shelters have a high turnover of dogs from unknown or questionable sources.

Over the past three years, Worley has become well known for her seizures of hundreds of dogs from Maine kennels. Most of these dogs were given to shelter and rescue groups, which turned around and sold them for “adoption fees,” which really are sale prices. The kennel owners were assessed with the cost of caring for the dogs that were seized, and the adoption fees were pure gravy for the shelters. This, too, is a conflict of interest.

There is no motivation for Worley and the shelter programs to return the dogs to their owners or keep them with their owners in the first place, as the shelters make money on each dog that is seized and confiscated. While technically non-profits, shelters use this money to build fancy facilities and pay the salaries and “perks” of several staff members, who often are animal rights activists. Some shelter groups have become clubs for animal rights elitists that are paid for by dog owners.

Worley has been a crusader for animal rights legislation for many years. Her activism goes back to more than two decades of service on the California Animal Welfare Committee, which instituted several radical policies, and a long career as an animal cruelty investigator in California and head of an animal control program there.

She also appeared on a congressional panel with two animal rights radicals, HSUS head Wayne Pacelle and Sara Amundson of the Doris Day Animal League. Her testimony supported federal regulation of everyone who raises dogs.

HSUS also has made its 50-dog van available to Worley for kennel seizures in Maine.

In the year ending in October 2008, Worley’s agency seized about 900 animals in Maine, including about 550 dogs, Down East Magazine reported.

At an October 2006 meeting of the Animal Welfare Advisory Council, Worley said, “Our job is to seize animals."

That is not your job, Ms. Worley. Your job is to fairly and impartially implement the animal welfare laws passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. Your job is not to persecute dog owners.

Worley also has consistently refused to meet with dog clubs in Maine. This refusal, be it caused by arrogance, ignorance or disdain, is inexcusable in a public servant.

Allegations also have surfaced repeatedly that Worley and her staff have ridden roughshod over the civil rights of dog owners on issues pertaining to search and seizure, due process under the law and equal protection of the law.

There have been numerous reports of enforcement officials entering private property illegally without a search warrant, going on unconstitutional “fishing expeditions” in order to find possible violations, and intimidating kennel owners with illegal threats. At least one of these situations resulted in a federal lawsuit, and other lawsuits have been reported from Worley’s tenure in California.

Finally, Worley recklessly overspent her budget last year by $660,000, Down East reported.

Now, she wants to recover this money by increasing license fees paid by dog and kennel owners. Her legislation requires dog owners to pay for their own persecution.

For those reasons and others, we see no alternative to calling for Worley’s immediate dismissal.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American society and life. We will not compromise on any legislation that takes away the fundamental constitutional rights of dog owners, or which reduces us to second-class citizens. The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence.
Please visit us on the web at . Our email is .


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