Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What SCAV Wants to Take Away from YOU

Clearly, I take issue with many parts of this bill, but not every single part of this bill is highly offensive, and there are a few points that I think are good for shelters and  animals on the whole. That said, I’ve got to tell you that those who think this bill is being put in place for anything other than to grow and preserve the income of private veterinarians, I challenge you to consider the following:

Here is a link to the S.687 Bill is here.

Below are the areas that I adamantly disagree with. All areas where "Quality of Care" are mentioned in the bill, I am fully on board.

SECTION    1.      Section 40 69 295 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:    
(B)    Any mobile practice affiliated with, operated by, or supported by an animal shelter shall be prohibited from operating within seven miles of the nearest privately owned veterinarian practice.
DISAGREE. I cannot agree to a statutory geographical restraint on mobile practice operations. A government shouldn’t determine which constituents get WHAT services. That is up for the individual to determine. Denying access is not within the best interested of the animals or the taxpayers. The limitations of this bill to not providing services within 7 miles of a private veterinary clinic means that there will be NO mobile vaccine services in urban areas where the populations need these services the most. Mobile Vaccine Services at Pawmetto Lifeline alone serve thousands of animals a year. Without this service, these pets will NOT receive preventative services to protect their health and prolong their lives. Veterinarians in these areas that want to mandate the perimeters on mobile vaccine services, however, are not willing to step up and offer the services at an affordable price for the clients being served.

SECTION    2.      Chapter 69, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding: 
    (E)(1)    Nothing in this section shall prohibit an animal shelter from providing veterinary services to pets they own and are holding for adoption. All animal shelters, consistent with this chapter and the related regulations, may offer and provide the following services to any member of the public:
            (a)    Sterilization, pursuant to Section 47 3 480 and any procedures deemed necessary by the attending veterinarian at the time of sterilization;
            (b)    Microchip implantation, pursuant to Section 47 3 55(C);
            (c)    Vaccinations; and
            (d)    Parasite treatment, including but not limited to, treatments for heartworm, fecals, flea control, and mange.  

I cannot agree to this type of restriction. This type of restriction creates a perfect storm for the burden of pet overpopulation to continue to be shouldered by the SC taxpayer.When pet owners are unable to pay for services for their pets, they are turned away. When this occurs, many times, these pets end up in the local municipal shelters and are euthanized, at the cost of SC Taxpayers. Even if their particular affliction could be treated and addressed with medical services. So if an agency is willing to provide those services at an affordable cost, why shouldn't a pet owner be able to utilize this service?

    (2)    Other than veterinary services provided pursuant to subitem (1), an animal shelter shall only provide veterinary services to low-income pet owners.  Animal shelters must post these criteria in a conspicuous location inside the facility. An animal shelter must maintain a record of the number of pet owners receiving free or reduced cost veterinary services, excluding services provided pursuant to subitem (1), and that record must be available for review upon request by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
        (3)    To demonstrate low-income status a pet owner must provide the animal shelter, and the animal shelter must retain a copy of written documentation of low-income status from one of the following source:
            (a)    Medicaid;
            (b)    SNAP/TANF;
            (c)    Pay stub or proof income demonstrating income below the federal poverty guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; or
            (d)    Other documentation, including proof of unemployment.  
DISAGREE. I cannot agree to a restriction in services based on income level.  A government shouldn’t determine which constituents can access low cost service options. There is no way to determine this type of restriction in a way that doesn’t negatively affect pet owners and the pets themselves. Denying access based on income is not within the best interested of the animals or the taxpayers. Additionally, this is unconstitutional. "Non profit" does not mean services available only for a certain income level.  NON PROFIT does mean, however, that all proceeds go to providing more services and in turn help more animals and reducing the burden of pet overpopulation on the tax payers.  Veterinarians use proceeds to pay their own bills. Many middle income families rely on their ability to get lower cost services and as a population already shrinking under the weight of this economy, this could lead to them giving up their pets because they can't afford to take care of them or even restrict them from having a pet at all. And in turn, doesn't just hurt the homeless pet population but the vets themselves. Adoption creates clients for veterinary clinics, so making it more difficult to own an animal actual serves no one's best interest.

From these proposed changes, what is supremely evident to me;
1) The SCAV want the government to tell taxpayers what services they CAN and CANNOT access based on income level, restricting YOUR right as a consumer and taxpayer to spend your money where you choose, making it illegal to find a good deal and also use your money to benefit the community.
2) The supporters of this bill are advocating for a higher level of government control that does NOT benefit the taxpayers they serve.
3) The SCAV is not interested in the amount of harm this type of amendment could do. They are only interested in their bottom line, not the oath they swore when they became veterinarians. 

If you feel that the Senators sponsoring this bill should NOT support this bill and should instead support the proven programs that benefit animal owners and the state overall, please let them know.

Senator Danny Verdin: (803) 212-6230

Senator Katrina Shealy: (803) 212-6108

Senator Thomas McElveen: (803) 212-6132

Senator George Campsen: (803) 212-6340

Senator Greg Hembree: (803) 212-6016

Senator Kevin Johnson: (803) 212-6048

Senator Kent Williams: (803) 212-6000

Senator Tom Corbin: (803) 212-6100

Senator Vincent Sheheen: (803) 212-6032

Senator Paul Campbell: (803) 212-6016

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