***The following is a letter to the editor. It was not written by The Iowa Standard nor does it necessarily reflect The Iowa Standard’s opinion on the issue. It is, however, an Iowan’s opinion on the issue and we strive to provide a platform for Iowans to have their voices heard***

The atmosphere at the capitol regarding animal maltreatment  is jaw dropping, mind boggling. Once strong supporters of a person’s rights to own and produce non-agricultural animals last year, have now done a total flip flop, especially in the House.  What happened??? We now know there were meetings and negotiations going on during the interim between a couple of dog breeders from Iowa Pet Breeders Association (IPBA), and possibly some or all of, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Animal Rescue League (ARL), and Iowa Voters for Companion Animals (IVCA) and various politicians.

Pay close attention.  It has been stated by many legislators they have been convinced that dog breeders favor HF 737.  Wrong! Absolutely dead wrong!!  IPBA membership represents only about ONE FIFTH of all licensed dog breeders in Iowa, and many within that organization do NOT support this bill, along with many that do not need licensure.  Several board members of IPBA were not consulted or even made aware of the negotiations.

Snookered?

Yes, those people opposed to HF 737, have been writing and making phone calls to their legislators asking them to oppose this bill.  If you have been led to believe that breeders and others are silent or heard that no one is contacting their legislators, then you’ve been

Snookered.

So it begs the question. What transpired that triggered the kowtowing to demands of some of these groups intent on the eventual destruction of animal ownership and production through the legislative process?  Every session, laws are proposed that would restrict animal ownership or create new crimes with harsh penalties; while at first directed at pets, they will eventually be used against agriculture as well.  They devalue humans to the level of equal to or lower than animals.  The insolent attitude by several House politicians, even when given multiple supporting sources, was beyond rude and certainly lacked civility.

Snookered?

Why is it the public is not being told how HF 737 will affect their pet ownership, instead given the illusion it is directed mainly at dog breeders?

Snookered?

What was in the wheeling and dealing?  Promises of xxxxx?  Whispers of xxxxx?  One proven tactic is instilling fear in a politician of losing their seat by threatening “if you don’t support this bill, we’ll say you don’t care about animal abuse”.  One can read those same types of comments on various Face Book anti-dog breeder sites.   It’s doubtful  if we will ever learn what transpired behind those closed doors.

Snookered?

Anyone ever notice the clustering of alleged abuse cases shortly prior to or early in the session, while bills are being considered in committees?  Incidents that occurred months before, suddenly become news   “proving the need” for more and harsher animal maltreatment penalties.  One question repeatedly asked, yet never answered.  Carefully avoided?  Statistics.  Where are the statistics for comparison purposes?

Snookered?

Access the links, read the stories, then play detective.

Snookered?

A few examples:

https://www.kcci.com/article/man-charged-with-abandoning-dogs-near-dallas-county-floodwaters/26860357

Hint – Why didn’t the “eyewitness” contact authorities?  Whom was the DNR person?  Why did the person turn himself in? If intended to drown, why not just throw them in right away?

Snookered?

https://www.insideedition.com/helpless-chihuahua-found-iowa-dumpster-thriving-after-being-rescued-48416

Hint – No one saw the incident take place. How was the perpetrator found so quickly vs. crimes against humans remain unsolved even with more evidence available?

Snookered?

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2019/02/07/cat-tortured-iowa-chad-toney-iowa-man-wanted-sending-photos-abuse-owner-who-tv-benton-county-sheriff/2805455002/

Hint – Roommate unable to give description beyond very general type of vehicle.  Once returned, cat never taken to vet.   One version claims it was unknown how the cat was returned, another version said was dropped off at owner’s mother’s house.  Why turn self in?

Snookered?

https://whotv.com/2019/02/08/juvenile-charged-with-animal-abuse-in-des-moines-for-allegedly-abusing-dog/

Hint – Animal Rescue League’s story of a dog allegedly having an electrical cord wrapped around its muzzle. Access the link, scroll through the picture gallery.  Pay special note to the two pictures of mouth condition causing swelling.  Also, note muzzle hair conditions at intake vs. later and new owner pick up. Note there are no other injuries on the body as claimed.  Dogs is in excellent body weight. Where were the parents?

Snookered?

https://www.kcci.com/article/puppies-thrown-in-icy-water-heats-up-animal-cruelty-fight/26437558

Hint – This story has several variances to it in other articles and face book postings.  A Heinz 57 Rescue and Transport.  If ice thin enough for puppies to fall through(approx. weight close to 9 lbs. total), how was a man able to get the bag without falling through?  Differing versions of type of sack.  Differing versions of how many involved.

Snookered?

https://www.kimt.com/content/news/Whats-next-for-White-Fire-Kennel-500443811.html

Hint – could penalties be changing?  This had all the appearances of a very standard raid procedure set into motion by the Humane Society of North Iowa and ASPCA.  Things were so dire, they waited nearly NINE MONTHS before implementing the raid(sarcasm).  Rep. Steckman said during a television interview that this raid would be used as an example for pushing various bills in IA, with the goal of at least something being passed.  Having seen the pictures taken by ASPCA, listening to Kavars testimony, etc., IMO she was set up.  What about the vet reports?  Vets had a vested interest.  One interesting notation, flea dirt without fleas.  Hmmm.

Snookered?

Below are some of the sources used to validate points that some legislators and a few in the gallery, vehemently, mockingly denied. One politician even claiming “nonsense” by “fanatics”.  What is it that has triggered such intense, fervent denial?

Animal Legal Defense Fund – Animal Law Program, Model Animal Protection Laws, The Great Ape Legal Project, Non Human Rights Project

Humane Society of the United States – National Membership Conference, The Inhumane Society, First Strike Campaign

The National Review

National District Attorney Association

Animal Law.info

Washington Magazine – Michael Fox

The Sentencing Project – Valeri Wright, PhD. Based on research and other studies in the U.S., England, and Sweden

Iowa Code

To those legislators that have respectfully listened, invited further comments for discussion, and those with the honesty and moral compass to explain why they voted the way they did, THANK YOU!

HF 737 is a stealth bill carefully crafted to manipulate the legislature into laying a foundation for future bills and should receive a strong NO vote.   It’s a part of the bigger web of control.  It is so important for all to educate themselves about these bills.  Research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Lots of questions.

Play detective.  It’s the little things that are key to revealing the truth.

Don’t be snookered.

— Betsy Fickel
Garner, IA