Betsy Fickel was at the Capitol last week representing Animals In Our Care. She said it is a closely-knit group of like-minded animal ownership advocates.
“What we are trying to accomplish is to let people retain their constitutional rights of property ownership, of which animals are,” she said. “We fight against intrusive legislation that wants to tighten up regulations, making it more difficult for people to own animals and so forth.”
Fickel said she’s concerned with a couple of bills currently in legislative limbo. She said a couple of bills in play are “very, very” dangerous to animal ownership overall.
“House File 737 is very dangerous,” she said. “In its language in describing injury or serious injury, either one would put you under the gun sort of speak, if your animal was accidentally injured — say you were walking down the street and your dog was leashed and another dog would come out and attack your dog and injure it — if you take it to the veterinarian and the vet would say they think you were fighting animals, that could subject you to not only charges of abuse.”
And, with another bill in the legislature that Fickel said would provide immunity to veterinarians when filing a report, there would not be any accountability for a vet making a false claim.
“So those are some things to really consider,” she said. “It is an attack on your property rights.”
Fickel said it is important for Iowans to let their legislators know how they feel about issues.
“Speak to your legislator,” she said. “If your legislator doesn’t hear from you, they can only guess what you think. They really want to hear from people.”