STOP H.R. 669 AND S. 373!!

Don't Let Your Precious Pets Be Taken Away!

Laws that control what pets American citizens are allowed to own are WRONG!

We fully support:

1) the banning of wild-caught animal importation. Wild-caught animals are captured and transported under the most appalling conditions, and warehoused in huge clearing centers that are poorly maintained, with little or no regard for sanitation or proper animal care.

2) captive breeding, as captive-bred animals are healthier and less prone to temperamental/behavior issues. Captive-bred animals are more expensive than wild-caught, but this will encourage only responsible pet owners to spend money for their purchase and care.

3) licensing and tagging of large reptiles, snakes, and other "non-native" species which could pose a hazard to our environment or populace.

We do NOT support, in any way, any law that will:

1) ban already-existing animals in this country, regardless of their origins many decades ago.

2) limit or deny American citizens the right to privately breed animals already in their care.

3) enable any governmental agency to prohibit the sale or exchange of any animal to any other American citizen.

4) enable any governmental or law enforcement agency to either remove existing animals from American citizens, or force them to surrender said animals against their will.

These two Bills, if passed into law, will cause much more than just personal damage and anguish. They will have an unspeakable negative impact on our already-damaged economy. APPA (the American Pet Products Association) reports that "despite the recession and cuts in discretionary pet spending increased 4.9 percent to $43.2 BILLION in 2008." They anticipate this will increase to $45.4 billion for 2009. H.R. 669 and S. 373 will decimate the entire pet industry. Specialty pet stores all over the country will be put out of business. Major pet supply manufacturers such as Hagen, Exo-Terra, T-Rex, Zilla, Hikari, Penn-Plax, ZooMed, and most of the United Pet Group, to name just a few, will also be put out of business. So will avian, fish, and exotic breeders. Hundreds of thousands of people will be left jobless, and billions upon billions of revenue dollars will be lost.

Pet owners who own both "acceptable" pets and "non-native" pets typically spend more money on their exotics than they do on their cats and dogs. So those few pet stores who have diversified, instead of specializing, stand to lose a good 2/3 - 3/4 of their annual income. The rest will be completely wiped out. Just in Brevard County, this will have devastating consequences. Magnified across the entire country, the effects will be catastrophic.

In addition, if these two Bills are passed, most pet owners will simply turn their "non-native" pets loose in secluded areas "so they'll at least have a chance to survive," rather than handing them over to law enforcement agencies for destruction. This will greatly enhance the very problem that the Humane Society of the United States, the Nature Conservancy, and the Defenders of Wildlife claim to want to eliminate. Responsible pet owners would rather pay an additional license fee, and have their pets microchipped, than have them destroyed wholesale.

If you continue on your present course of action, you will irreparably alienate the American citizens whose votes are so crucial to your continued political success. You will put hundreds of thousands of people out of work. And you will cause irreversible damage to our already appalling economy.

We sign this petition in protest of House of Representatives Bill 669 and Senate Bill 373. We will fight...and we will continue to fight...this blatant infringement of our Constitutional Rights.