Spent a couple days last week in Sacramento, trying to stop SB 697. The way the bill was worded, the focus and priority of the Veterinary Medical Board would be to go after "unlicensed and unregistered" Californians who "practice veterinary medicine". By definition, veterinary medicine is being practiced by anyone who cares for, administers a drug, medicine, appliance, application, or treatment of whatever nature for the prevention, cure, or relief of a wound, fracture, bodily injury, or disease of animals, except where the medicine, appliance, application, or treatment is administered by a registered veterinary technician or an unregistered assistant at the direction of and under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. So, all groomers, hoof trimmers, accupressurists, anyone in the pet industry who takes care of an animal, would be guilty under that definition. It also states that anyone who performs any manual procedure for the diagnosis of pregnancy, sterility, or infertility upon livestock or Equidae, are guilty of practicing "unlicensed veterinary medicine". I certainly don't see steak on my dinner plate in this economy, and if the ranchers have to pay the vet to come out and preg-check each and every cow, well, there will be a lot more people who cannot afford meat of any kind.
SB 697 stated that these unlicensed people would be the main focus, instead of the Veterinary Medical Board focusing on the veterinarians that the board was created to monitor. We had the pleasure of meeting with Bill Gage, who will be revising the wording on the bill. The bill will allegedly no longer place the main focus be on the unregistered people who are simply trying to take care of their animals. However, until we see the final bill on April 11, we need to stay focused and make sure that this bill doesn't pass. We already have laws to punish those who falsely represent themselves as doctors, veterinarians etc. We already have laws against cruelty to animals. We already have laws against false advertising. So maybe we should just let the committee members and our Senators know that we do not want to waste any more time or tax payer dollars with a bill that we feel isn't needed. If the bill passed the way it is written, nearly every rescue would need to leave the state. I know I certainly would as Honey Bandit would have never survived if he would have had to stay at the vet the whole time. It would have been about $15,000 or more. Also, he most likely would have died if we had not been with him 24/7. DaBubbles' injuries were also critical enough that he also would have had to be "put down". I also feel that this bill is almost insulting to our veterinarians. I am sure with all their training they are more than capable of deciding what we should or should not do and guiding us through whatever we do under their direction. Both Honey Bandit and DaBubbles were taken to the vet and under their direction were allowed to have home care which ultimately saved their lives. This affects ALL CALIFORNIANS who own a pet.
Other good news. When we were in Sacramento for the SB697, we also met with Tom Pogacnik, Deputy State Director,Division of Natural Resources, California State Office,
regarding the Wild Horses and Burros and the ongoing issues. We also met with, Amy Dumas, Wild Horse and Burro Program Lead , California State Office. Amy was part of the team that allowed Honey Bandit to come to Chillly Pepper - Miracle Mustang, Equine Rescue & More. For that we are all eternally grateful. (Especially HB).
We spent an hour and a half discussing the issues and challenges of the wild horses and burros, and some possible solutions. One of the main issues we spoke about is setting up a foal/horse rescue network here in California. There is a wonderful networking system set up in Nevada and it works very well. If anyone is interested in helping me with this next step, or interested in helping with foal and young horse placement and care, and being part of the network, please contact me right away. We are not talking critical care as much as being able to help with feeding young foals or whatever else comes along. There will most likely not be babies in Honey Bandit's condition, and those foals would stay at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. However, we need to set up a network where we can gentle, and get the youngsters ready to go to permanent homes. Many times just being able to be haltered, have their feet picked up and be touched all over is all it would take to find them homes. There is an incredible "tip training program" already in effect. We just need to set up a system here in California. I was very excited at the outcome of our meeting and am looking forward to more baby steps.
I ALSO THINK THAT WE SHOULD VOTE FOR BLM TO GET THE 12 MILLION DOLLARS - NOT FOR ROUNDUPS, BUT TO SET UP PROGRAMS TO GET THE EXISTING HORSES OUT OF LONG TERM HOLDING AND INTO SOME "FACILITIES" / "ECO SANTCUARIES". I know I would certainly be interested in running/helping with one of those. Taking away the funds won't help the horses get out of the long term holding facilities, but allowing BLM to have funds to work with us (and those funds SPECIFICALLY ALLOTED FOR THAT PURPOSE) could make a big difference. I know there are many people who want to run a sanctuary, but no one has the funds. I learned so much at the sanctuary I was at about fund raising, "overnight rides" and what it takes to bring in income. But getting the land and funds to start it is the problem. Why not have those funds allotted for that purpose. There were also multitudes of activities that we didn't take advantage of there, and it is not that hard to raise money for the horses if you have the facilities. Not only would this solve the issue of horses stuck in long term holding, we could include the education of our children, and let everyone have a chance to experience the wild wild west. Our children need to learn about their heritage, and get off the electronics for a few minutes, and experience the sun, fresh air and learn about our wild horses, so they will want to protect and treasure them for the rest of their lives.
Those in wheelchairs, (a place I am often in), could come and experience the wild west, sitting around campfires, eating cowboy grub, and for a few hours, would not be handicapped or crippled. They could touch the horses and experience first hand what so many of us know and love. They could ride in a "wagon" (obviously set up for disabled and the elderly and general public) and travel to see the wild horses. It would be life altering for so many. We could set up programs where "at risk kids" could come and work on the ranch. It is already being done in one form or another, and if we work together, we could create places like this. We could solve so many issues if we can just work together and use our tax payer dollars wisely. Or, if anyone needs a big tax write-off and wants to help the disabled, wild horses, at risk kids etc., call me, and we can "git er done".
Honey Bandit sends big hugs to all his supporters. Please remember all donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
30027 Highway 44 East
Shingletown, CA 96088
530 474 5197 530 339-1458