Message from TX-RPOA -Breeder Advisory Committee of Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR)h
>From RPOA Texas Outreach and
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
Crossposting is encouraged.
August 22, 2012
The Breeder Advisory Committee of Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation
(TDLR) met yesterday regarding the administration and enforcement of HB 1451, the HSUS Anti-Breeding Bill. The nine member Breeders Advisory
Committee only had five members in attendance and in order to have a quorum, TDLR had to present Steve Epperson (representing Texas breeders on the
committee) with his Breeder License before the meeting began so he could vote.
HSUS and Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) were out in full force as usual. Some items of interest gleaned from the meeting:
1. TDLR must ask the legislature for appropriations because they face a 5% to 10% budget cut for the coming year as do all state departments. (The
Legislature was told this bill wouldn’t cost anything and would be revenue neutral?) Chairman Frank Denton says there is a “fail safe” in HB 1451
however with the Snitch Fund although he didn’t call it that! Technically it is an online complaint system (anonymous complaints accepted) that may
pay up to $1,000 for convictions regarding TDLR Rule violations. Officially called the Training and Enforcement Fund.
2. The Snitch Fund has a “zero” balance at the present time, Denton reported, but TDLR sent out a press release with instructions on how to make
nonprofit tax deductible credit card donations.
3. During Public Comments: Skip Trimble (THLN) complained because the material for the committee’s consideration wasn’t available until 5 minutes
before the meeting. Trimble disagreed with the proposed penalties, demanded to know who wrote them, and claimed they are not what legislators “wanted.”
Insisted it must be more punitive.
4. Cile Holloway (THLN) claimed she represented 15,000 members in Texas and disagreed with the penalties also as more should be in the “most serious”
5. Katie Jarl, state director for HSUS, expressed her concerns and said they will be back at future meetings to revisit cage sizes, cage stacking
and wire flooring. Was there ever any doubt? And the next meeting and the next meeting, ad nauseum.
6. Bill Kuentz, TDLR director, said that even the seven commissioners on the board all had different opinions on the penalties. Administration and
enforcement by TDLR is on a very fluid basis, depending on the makeup of the Commission and the Breeders Advisory Committee over time.
7. There are reportedly six total TDLR inspectors and investigators trained at this time, who will also determine the working dog exemptions on a case
by case basis. In other words, making the rules as they go. They have started the inspections. Anyone selling puppies or kittens before receiving
their license is in violation of state law. No cat breeders have applied to date.
8. Cristine Kaiser with TDLR presented a matrix to provide guidance for penalties but it was not adopted yesterday. A working committee was
appointed to provide more input for the comissioners at their next meeting. Christine Kaiser commented that there are breeders in remote secluded areas
who have the opportunity to carry on illegal sales of drugs and property. Not clear why this was relevant unless pet breeders are considered to be
9. Of significant interest was the resignation before the meeting began of committee member Dr. Lori Teller, former president of Texas Veterinary
Medical Association. Dr. Teller wrote what RPOA has been saying all along. “We are driving the good breeders out of business and sending the bad
breeders underground.” Amen and thank you, Dr. Teller, for telling it like it is!
From: Lori Teller
I am sorry that I could not attend today’s meeting. I hope it went well and much good was accomplished. I sincerely believe that all of you are a
dedicated bunch; however, effective immediately, I am resigning my position on the Advisory Committee. I have put much thought and soul-searching into
this, and I have become disillusioned with the process. Unfortunately, I do not feel that we are going down the right road to improve animal welfare by
stopping puppy mill breeders while encouraging the good breeders to continue. I think we are driving the good breeders out of business and
sending the bad breeders underground, where they will continue to crank out unhealthy animals and continue the cycle of neglect and abuse. The breeders
who do seriously care about the animals they raise and improving the breeds they are passionate about will either be out of business, or at the least,
out of state. Certainly, we are not making life better for either the citizens or the animals of Texas.
I greatly appreciate getting to work with each of you. This has been an incredible learning experience for me, and I will certainly be observing how
things progress in the future.
Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (canine/feline), CVJ
Meyerland Animal Clinic
4995 W. Bellfort
Houston, TX 77035