Legislation at the Iowa Capitol is speeding along at breakneck speed to beat the first funnel week deadline of Friday, March 8.

Sadly, because only 24 hours notice is required for a bill’s hearing, it leaves the public almost no time to respond to a bill of their concern.

On March 5, I attended the State Government subcommittee hearing on HSB 227. A bill amending current Iowa Code 162. Several people spoke about various concerns of the bill.  In the end, the bill did pass the subcommittee with the stipulation some changes  be made along with language cleanup. It will then go before the full committee.

Now, in my opinion, and no less than over 100 other people I have heard from, this is one very egregious bill, targeting dog breeders. It would be absolutely devastating to the smaller breeding kennel and destroy those businesses. What purpose does it serve to destroy small business in Iowa? Then couple that with the incremental licensure fees and proof of financial responsibility. What other business has such grievous provisions to abide by??

The bill as written, is highly prejudicial singling out dog breeders under the guise of improving the animals environmental and care provisions. The rehoming industry, shelters, humane societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, rescues, etc. are all exempted from the micro management of the proposed regulations.

Due to the fact that there are so many grievous provisions, I will be a bit selective.

  • Prejudicial as mentioned above
  • UNconstitutional – violations of Amendments 4, 5, 8, 14 from being secure in our effects to deprivation of property without due process. As the bill is written, ones property may be seized for ANY violation of standards of care. It can be as simple as a tipped water bowl,  the floor not swept, the trash not emptied, some grime. This bill is also a catch 22 to the aforementioned.  Flooring must be either solid or slatted. That means the dogs would be subject to walking and lying down in their own excrement a it would not be able to fall away. Feces and urine on the dog’s feet and coat, would be deemed a violation. A violation for following the regulations!!! ALL your animals may not only be seized, but you will be fined FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY PER OFFENSE. Then one can couple that with one of the other bills, SF 57, SF 369,  HSB 114 that increases penalties, some to the point of being unable to live in the family home for NOT LESS than THREE YEARS if ANY animal is present. What other business has such outlandish penalties?
  • It is absolutely  an abomination  that our veterans, homeless, and poor are held in lower esteem than a dog!!! It is not required by law that a human have shelter, much less heating and cooling so one does not shiver or sweat, protection from the elements, annual medical checkups, enrichment, human one on one interaction for minimally 15 minutes per day, ventilation, lighting, access to sufficient quality and quantity of food and a continuous supply of potable water.

Let me be clear. I do not believe the legislators purposed this bill to devalue humans to lower than a dog. I believe they were looking at it from the standpoint to reduce animal abuse and neglect that a FEW bad apples within the business practice. Remember. In ANY business, there will always be those few bad apples. They will never go away totally.

You may read the bill for yourself here.

The other bills that will affect you as a pet owner of any non agriculture species are for another day.

Questions? Please contact me: [email protected]

Betsy Fickel, Garner

Do you have an opinion you’d like to submit to The Iowa Standard? Send it to [email protected]