I wrote to explain what’s wrong with Big Government and asked Governor Perry to veto the bill that created yet another useless state agency—-this one for breeders—-an agency I’ve dubbed “Dog Protective Services.” Unfortunately, the Governor signed the bill and it is now Texas law. Here is the letter.
AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR PERRY
Re: Please VETO HB 1451—-State licensing and regulation of cat and
Dear Governor Perry:
I extend my gratitude and congratulations, once again, on your
leadership of our great state.
As a life-long animal lover and owner, I join many others in asking
you to VETO HB 1451.
This bill is a microcosm of what is wrong with Big Government.
To call this a “puppy mill law” is to throw a veil of euphemism over
what is, in reality, a government intrusion into economic life,
creating yet another unneeded occupational license in Texas, meanwhile burdening entrepreneurship and economic freedom.
The bad part is that such a law will do absolutely nothing to reduce
animal abuse and neglect, which, of course, is already illegal and can
be prosecuted by local authorities. Instead, the burden of this law
will fall on the good breeders who now must fund a new agency, pay for
licenses, and comply with un-elected regulators—-the cost of which
will be passed on to pet owners, except for those breeders who are
driven out of business.
We can rest assured that animal abusers will not get licensed and
will go underground, making detection more, not less, difficult. The
cost of pet animals will go up, to the detriment of both animal lovers
This bill was not the work of citizens and taxpayers clamoring for
more government and higher prices for pure-bred and other pets, an
outcome that will necessarily result from this bill. It was the work,
instead, of animal zealots who seek to accomplish through government
regulation—-at taxpayer and pet-owner expense—-what they could not
accomplish in the charitable, municipal, and law-enforcement sectors.
Not every worthy cause needs a new state agency and licensing scheme.
If state control of cat and dog breeders can be clothed as a “puppy
mill” law, I daresay there is no undesirable aspect of society—-not a
single one—-that cannot, under one excuse or another, justify a state
agency to control the good people who are not engaged in the
This bill requires by statute and will require even more by
innumerable rules, a ridiculous level of state intrusion into the
types of fences, routines of feeding, judgment-calls about illness,
cleanliness and climate in kennels, and hiring, training, and
supervision of caretakers that has no place in a free market and free
Abuse and neglect are prevented by punishment of wrong-doers, not by
bureaucratic control of every aspect of the judgments of ordinary
people and businesses.
We have already lost enough jobs and productivity in Texas from our
historically high level of occupational licensing and regulation—-making us, in my view, close to New York and California in the extent of over-licensing that needs to be repealed. We should be repealing regulations and licensing that are not necessary for
public safety, not creating new agencies at public expense.
I ask you to take again the strong stand for economic freedom that
you have taken in the past, and veto this misguided, if supposedly
Mary Lou Serafine
(former 2010 Republican Nominee for Texas Senate, District 14)
Email the Governor here: