Update: With the GOP Attack-machine working overtime, I thought now would be a good time to revisit my homage to this style of campaigning. This diary was originally intended to parody the GOP-style smear, but quickly turned into a serious look at the very real consequences of one Congressman's failure to act.
LOWELL, Mass. - A trailer carrying dozens of puppies to Northeast pet stores caught fire just off an interstate, killing all of the estimated 60 dogs inside, authorities said.
What, you may wonder, does Robin Hayes have to do with 60 puppies dead in a tragic truck fire on a Massachusetts highway?
Follow me below the fold, and I’ll tell you…
You see, these puppies weren’t in the back of that ill-fated truck by mere chance. Oh, no. These puppies were being shipped by a breeder to various New England pet stores.
The truck was owned by the Hunte Corp. of Goodman, Mo., a major puppy supplier for pet stores.
Animals bred for sale and transported across state lines fall under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture which, via the Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture, regulates issues of Animal Welfare.
And who, pray tell, sits on the House Committee on Agriculture and Chairs the Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture? You guessed it. Robin Hayes.
So, here we have our good buddy Robin Hayes sitting in the big chair over at Livestock and Horticulture and along come these beautiful little puppies who have the grave misfortune of being born in a puppy mill and get snatched away from their sweet doggy mommas
and put in the back of a big ‘ol truck headed for New England only to die a fiery death on the side of the interstate.
How is that Rep. Hayes’ fault?
Apparently, the good folks at the United States Humane Society have been pushing legislation to address the problem of interstate shipping of puppies and other bred-for-sale animals.
The Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) of 2005 was introduced in May 2005 to the House of Representatives with 145 co-sponsors while a similar Bill was introduced in the Senate in November 2005 with 26 co-sponsors.
So what happened to PAWS? While the Senate introduced the Bill, referred it to Committee and held hearings, the House did nothing.
Well, not exactly nothing. The Bill’s sponsor Jim Gerlach introduced it on the floor of the House (along with 145 co-sponsors – can’t forget them!) where it was referred to Robin Hayes' Committee. And there it sits.
Title: To amend the Animal Welfare Act to strengthen the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the pet industry.
Sponsor: Rep Gerlach, Jim [PA-6] (introduced 5/26/2005)
Related Bills: S.1139
Latest Major Action: 6/7/2005 Referred to House subcommittee.
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture.
Fourteen months have gone by since 146 Representatives and 27 Senators put their good intentions behind a piece of legislation designed to protect puppies, and Robin Hayes has let it die in Committee. Just like those 60 puppies on the highway in Massachusetts.
It’s no wonder Hayes has received a 0% rating from Animal Rights groups such as The Humane Society of the United States, Fund for Animals, Society for Animal Protective Legislation and the American Humane Association.
There is, of course, one notable exception.
Hayes was Endorsed in 2004 by the Sportsmen’s and Animal Owner’s Voting Alliance
The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) is a nationwide, nonpartisan group of volunteers seeking to elect politicians who will oppose the "Animal Rightist" (AR) threat to our rights as Americans.
It is the only national group working to protect both sportsmen and animal owners, natural allies, in the legislative and political arenas. SAOVA's members hunt, fish and own livestock, dogs, cats and other pets.
We study political candidates in all states to identify those who understand and resist the AR threat, as well as those who are in the pocket of the Animal Rightists.
That’s right. Robin Hayes, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture which oversees Animal Welfare, received his only animal-related endorsement from an issue group that calls Animal Rights a threat to our rights as Americans.
If that's the standard for committee chairmanship, putting Robin Hayes in charge of Animal Welfare is like putting John Gotti in charge of the Judiciary Committee.
I know my puppies deserve better. Don't yours?