Humane Society Pushing Four Bills to Defend Animals in Arizona

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
By Matthew Hendley

The Humane Society of the United States is supporting four Arizona bills this legislative session designed to protect animals.

Although the Humane Society generally gives Arizona good reviews for its animal-welfare laws, the organization's president and CEO Wayne Pacelle is in town today for a "Humane Lobby Day."

See also:
-Animal Abuse Registry Proposed by a Pair of Arizona Lawmakers

The Humane Society set up a bunch of appointments between Arizonans and their legislators to urge the lawmakers to support Humane Society-backed legislation.

That includes the following bills:
  • House Bill 2022: Would prohibit convicted animal abusers from owning or otherwise caring for any animal. They would be able to have that right restored after a couple of years, unless they have multiple convictions.

  • House Bill 2215/Senate Bill 1036: Would add cockfighting or other animal-fighting crimes to the list of racketeering crimes, if it's done for a financial gain.

  • House Bill 2242: Would expand regulations for commercial dog breeders, mostly dealing with veterinarian examination requirements.

  • House Bill 2020: Would prohibit the use of live animals as prizes in carnival games.
The Humane Society's not behind all the proposed legislation dealing with animals, though. One such bill not backed by the organization is SB 1037, which mandates the creation of a registry for convicted animal abusers.

That law is supported by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The Humane Society's Pacelle wrote in 2010 that he doesn't support such a measure, saying that it "probably does nothing to help these people learn a new way of viewing and treating animals."

In addition to today's lobbying efforts, a Humane Society spokeswoman says Republican Representative John Kavanagh and Democratic Senator Steve Farley will be given "humane legislator awards" today, for their work in 2013. All of the aforementioned Humane Society-backed bills this year are sponsored by either Kavanagh or Farley.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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9Things You Didn’t Know About HSUS

1. The Humane Society of the United States scams Americans out of millions of dollars through manipulative and deceptive advertising. An analysis of HSUS’s TV fundraising appeals that ran between January 2009 and September 2011 determined that more than 85 percent of the animals shown were cats and dogs. However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and only gives 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters, and it has spent millions on anti-farming and anti-hunting political campaigns.

2. HSUS receives poor charity-evaluation marks. CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) reissued HSUS’s “D” rating in December 2011, finding that HSUS spends as little as 49 percent of its budget on its programs. Additionally, the 2011 Animal People News Watchdog Report discovered that HSUS spends about 43 percent of its budget on overhead costs.

3. Six Members of Congress have called for a federal investigation of HSUS. In April 2011, six Congressmen wrote the IRS Inspector General showing concerns over HSUS’s attempts to influence public policy, which they believe has “brought into question [HSUS’s] tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.”

4. HSUS regularly contributes more to its own pension plan than it does to pet shelters. An analysis of HSUS’s tax returns determined that HSUS funneled $16.3 million to its executive pension plan between 1998 and 2009—over $1 million more than HSUS gave to pet shelters during that period.

5. The pet sheltering community believes HSUS misleads Americans. According to a nationally representative poll of 400 animal shelters, rescues, and animal control agencies, 71 percent agree that “HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters.” Additionally, 79 percent agree that HSUS is “a good source of confusion for a lot of our donors.”

6. While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-meat vegan agenda. Speaking to an animal rights conference in 2006, HSUS’s then vice president for farm animal issues stated that HSUS’s goal is to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry” and that “we don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed.”

7. Given the massive size of its budget, HSUS does relatively little hands-on care for animals. While HSUS claims it provides direct care to more animals than any other animal protection group in the US, most of the “care” HSUS provides is in the form of spay-neuter assistance. In fact, local groups that operate on considerably slimmer budgets, such as the Houston SPCA, provide direct care to just as many or more animals than HSUS does.

8. HSUS’s CEO has said that convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” Following Vick’s release from prison, HSUS has helped “rehabilitate” Michael Vick’s public image. Of course, a $50,000 “grant” from the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t hurt.

9. HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California meat processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.”

Want evidence? Vist: * *

Revised February 2012. Complete sources and documentation available upon request.__._,


In a world of starving human beings some folks seem obsessed  with this issue, in Philippines dogs are deemed food, in China cats are, in many countries they would find these proposed laws silly or insane! We have animal cruelty laws, the fact is we cannot enforce the laws we have on books today, adding more laws no one can enforce is fiscally stupid, no wonder republicans are behind such feel good legislation to appease some small groups who seem to care more about animals than human beings!

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

No more "Easter" baby chicks or ducks either.


@etbmfa Humane watch is not a watchdog group. It's a front group for industries that benefit from animal cruelty #fail

valleynative topcommenter


Some issues benefit from legislation, others do not.

If human suffering could be legislated away without violating the rights of citizens, it would have happened long ago.

I don't see any of these as being unenforceable.


@valleynative @vagabond545454

We have laws on the books now that are violated daily, felons are prohibited from owning, possessing firearms, every single day these laws go unenforced! Your innocent belief that a nation that cannot pay its debts now can afford to track down and keep under observation who owns a pet or not is amusing to say the least!;-) I guess some folks live in a Peyton Place world where all laws are obeyed, every criminal is incarcerated and everything is hunky dory! Animal cruelty laws exist on books, when someone violates the law, gets caught they get punished but to ban anyone from owning pets is ridiculous and unenforceable, we cannot stop illegals from crossing our borders and you truly believe we got the man power to monitor who owns a pet and who is not allowed to!;-) I do believe your a perfect example of someone who lives in fantasy!


@valleynative @vagabond545454

I do believe someone's feathers are ruffled!:-) Fact is animal cruelty happens, it gets reported now, and present laws on books make it a crime! What you propose is useless extra laws which no law can be enforced without a cost, someone has to take the report, arrest the alleged culprit, and sorry in America no matter whether one has a previous violation or  not a trial is afforded the accused, and trials cost money to tax payers in defense attorneys, prosecutors, jury fees and if convicted prisons are not free they cost money to maintain! Your Peyton Place world where laws cost nothing is pure fantasy! The real world is where I live you live in some fantasy world on some mythical mission to save animals which might give a feel good moment, but folks abandon animals to desert, coyotes, starve them, mistreat them every day and go unpunished, uncaught, I guess if it makes you feel that tingle in your soft heart that your saving the animal world more power to you bubba! But reality is these laws will change little to nothing, many puppy mills are not even registered, and run illegally, so this license issue is moot! As to tracking offenders good luck on that one we cannot even keep track of our pedophiles in America today let alone your pet abusers!

valleynative topcommenter


Don't try to pretend that you're the one who understands how the real world works.  You clearly don't.

The fact that a law is not enforced against every violator does not mean it's not enforceable.

The law against violators owning pets, for example, doesn't really require active monitoring.  It would simply be a tool to save animals in situations such as a neighbor reporting a man for mistreating a pet.  If his police record showed that he was a past violator, no further proof of abuse would be required.  The pet would be taken away. 

The bill regarding cockfighting requires no additional enforcement activity; it simply increases the penalty if somebody is caught.

The bill adding vet checks for breeders would be treated as a business licensing requirement, with any administrative costs added on to the licensing fee.

Outlawing live animals as prizes shouldn't be an enforcement problem.  There are enough citizens who would report such a thing that it wouldn't require any special monitoring.

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