message TX-RPOA HB 2981 ACTION ALERT-KILL the BILL

TX-RPOA E-News
>From RPOA Texas Outreach and
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
Crossposting is encouraged.
May 3, 2013

RPOA has reversed our position on HB 2981 regarding city or private animal
shelters and rescuers and our lobbyist has been so instructed. Our website
states that our positions are always subject to change during the
legislative process. We had conflicting feedback at first as some rescuers
were pleased that animal shelters would be forced to work with them. Our
board of directors voted to change our position after further study and
feedback.

HB 2981 has passed committee and is in Calendars, awaiting scheduling for a
House Floor Vote. Please contact your personal representative and tell him
to vote “NO” to HB 2981. (Our letter to the bill sponsor Rep. Eddie
Rodriguez is below.) Your elected representative and bill copy can be found
at www.capitol.state.tx.us .

May 2, 2013

The Honorable Eddie Rodriguez
PO Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768

Re: OPPOSE House Bill 2981
Withdraw previous Support

Dear Rep. Rodriguez,
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA) regrets that we must OPPOSE House
Bill 2981 (relating to animal shelters and rescue organizations); reversing
our previous support for your bill. Following consultation with our
rescuers, just a few of our concerns are listed below:

1) “On expiration of the hold period, ownership of the animal vests
absolutely in the animal shelter.” Animals are legally our property and
this is an important issue for us. A Houston court has already ruled that
the “hold” rule was not absolute for ownership by the pound after said
number of days.

2) Rescuers will not accept being subjected to these regulations
enforced by city animal shelters and will simply refuse to accept animals
from them, which will result in more animals being euthanized in cities, not
fewer animals.

3) HB 2981 exempts city government from all civil or criminal
liability for an animal transfer or procedures in accordance with this
chapter. This affects all animal owners in the state who may have a loose
pet impounded temporarily.

4) New legislation should address only city and private animal shelters as
they have little to no state oversight at the present time.
These animal shelters have had a rocky relationship with rescuers for the
past 20 years.

5) Most municipalities have existing written procedures for working
with rescuers which change over time as necessary. State legislation is not
necessary.

Our organization has networked an All Species Purebred Rescue Program for
more than 20 years in Texas. Our members have extensive animal expertise
and offer our services as a community service, saving taxpayer dollars. We
are an animal welfare organization, not “animal rights.” In closing, we ask
that this bill be withdrawn which will only exacerbate animal problems in
Texas.
Sincerely,
Mary Beth Duerler
Executive Director
Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
CC: Urban Affairs Committee

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~ by topcatsroar on May 4, 2013.

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