Like “pet advocacy” groups and “responsible dog owner” groups, “responsible pet owner” groups lobby only to protect the rights of the owners of dangerous dog breeds as well as dog breeders. The most well-known group is the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance (RPOA), which fiercely lobbies against all breed-specific legislation, spay and neuter laws, fencing requirements and penalties for dog owners. Their home page depicts a collage of different animals and their tag line is, “A reasonable voice regarding animal issues!” 1.) They only represent dog owners and, of these, primarily owners of dangerous breeds, and 2.) they are unreasonable, underhanded, and have been known to make death threats.

However “real” harm was done by Animal Care Services Director Gary Hendel who took the opportunity to make some shocking defamatory remarks about RPOA. Hendel actually accuses RPOA members of sending him death threats and says Mary Beth Duerler, Executive Director, is “dishonest and inflammatory.” RPOA has requested copies of all records from Animal Care Services in regard to these “death threats” under an Open Records Request. We’re not sure how Hendel determined the death threats are from our membership since he doesn’t have our membership list.

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