Friday, September 29, 2017

Stand Firm and Never Give Up

Since launching The Cavalry Group almost six years ago, I have witnessed, first-hand, a systematic attempt to over-regulate, unfairly inspect, and penalize professional animal enterprises out of business.  

It's fair to say that the origin of this tactic can be traced directly to what we all know as the "animal rights movement," a line of thinking, or ideology, that has gradually gained a foothold in universities and government throughout the past forty years.  What was once a ragtag group of extremists is now a multi-billion-dollar coalition of organizations that raise money under the guise of improving animal welfare and running pet shelters, but ultimately spend that money on the promotion of increased regulation on animal ownership and enterprise with the goal of ending both.

These groups have pushed for unsupported regulatory changes in many states to achieve their goals.  These regulations often mislead state and federal legislators, local committee members, and the general public as to their actual effects and true impact on animal owners, breeders, and animal agriculture. Instead of using facts and science, the activists prey on the emotions.  And, sadly, it is working.

A recent example of this ploy is California AB-485, the Pet Rescue & Adoption Act, statewide legislation crafted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to advance their campaign to halt the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet stores sourced from USDA licensed, inspected breeders, while mandating that pet stores source their animals from rescues and shelters.

Pet sale ban legislation has already taken effect in local jurisdictions across America including thirty-three cities in California, fifty cities in Florida, ninety-six cities in New Jersey, and a handful of cities in states like Illinois, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Utah and even, Texas.

In April of this year, I flew to Sacramento and testified before the California Assembly, Business and Professions Committee to oppose AB-485 and found that the legislators were deeply committed to supporting the bill.

Since California legislators and Governor Jerry Brown have been marching in step with the animal rights groups for a while, I wasn't shocked by the overwhelming support for AB-485, but it disappointed me greatly that there is such little regard, not only for pet stores but for the pet breeders, themselves, who provide the pet stores with animals to sell. Animals that consumers demand!

Silly me. I actually believed there would be support for legally operating, tax-revenue-creating businesses in the Business and Professions Committee.
Nope. AB-485 passed the Committee with a 10-1 vote. And, sadly, on September 12, 2017, AB-485 passed the Senate with a vote of 32 out of 40 Senators.

It is well documented that HSUS has been pushing this campaign to ban the sale of animals in pet stores at the local level, state by state, since 2013 with their goal of replacing the sale of purebred and mixed breed puppies in pet stores with adult dogs from rescues and shelters from unknown sources. 
Mandating the sale of animals sourced from unregulated sources, such as rescues, is doing nothing to stop animal abuse or unscrupulous breeders. Pet stores provide an accountable, traceable source for pets and should, at the very least, be acknowledged as legal, legitimate businesses which are self-sustained and bring in a steady stream of tax revenue. But, alas! Lawmakers have bought into the emotional propaganda that USDA licensed facilities are all "mills." Not only do they not approve of breeding, they discourage to the notion that those raise animals should do so for profit.

These pet sale bans are also further proof that one day in the not so distant future owning a purebred dog, much like the Pembroke Welsh Corgis seen in this photo with Governor Brown and his wife, will be difficult to come by and available only to the wealthy elite.

Will purebred dogs become a luxury only for the wealthy elite?
Pictured here: Governor Brown and his wife with their two
Pembroke Welsh Corgis. 
Does this mean we fold up our tent and go home? Absolutely, NOT!  We all must continue to be vigilant in our mission to inform and educate legislators and the public. While animal rights activists and extremists paint a frightening, emotional picture with their propaganda, the truth is that just because animal activists "care" about animals does not mean they know anything about animal care.  Those engaged in actual animal husbandry know far better how to care for animals than even the most well-intentioned urban activists.
Any ban on animals is one more way for the animal rights agenda-driven policy to meet their goal to create a no animal-ownership society. There is no "crisis" to solve. There is only propaganda intended to harm the rights of citizens and to destroy viable law- abiding businesses and the future of animal ownership, and it's up to ALL OF US to take a stand.

Please call and write to California Governor Jerry Brown and ask that he veto AB-485. Make certain that you select "AB00485\Pet Store Operators: Dogs, cats, and rabbits" in the subject line selection. 
Click here 
Thank you! 

Mindy Patterson
The Cavalry Group

Monday, September 11, 2017

AZA Whistling Past The Graveyard

Throughout history, evil has persuaded man by masquerading as good. But when evil masquerades as good because it believes it is good, there in lies a bigger challenge.  

That's my interpretation in a nutshell of Wayne Pacelle's keynote address before the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) convention this morning. (Video of his speech is embedded at the bottom of this page.)

Wayne Pacelle opened up his address by stating, “I'm here as an ally, not an adversary."   

Contrary to that statement, Mr. Pacelle is a wolf in sheep’s clothing where his actions speak louder than words.  As the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), he has turned the alleged animal rescue organization into the world’s most radical animal rights-driven organization committed to destroying all animal enterprise and animal ownership.

In case you didn't know, Pacelle and HSUS are: 

  • Opposed to capitalism, or making a profit from raising, breeding, working with animals.
  • Opposed to the breeding of animals.
  • Opposed to pure bred dogs; dog breeding kennels.
  • Opposed to the breeding of domesticated animals & livestock.
  • Opposed to pet stores.
  • Opposed to the circus and animals in entertainment.
  • Opposed to zoos.
  • Opposed to animal agriculture; meat, dairy, and egg consumption. 
  • Opposed to animal confinement of any kind. 

No, Wayne Pacelle is no ally. 

Wayne Pacelle is at the helm of an agenda to fundamentally transform our country and destroy animal agriculture, animal enterprise, and animal ownership, at the heart of which is our foundational Constitutional right to private property.  

HSUS has also consistently pushed ill-advised legislation affecting the Horse industry, Animals in entertainment, Dog breeders, Egg Production, Pork Production, Exotic Animal Ownership, and others.  HSUS has also historically targeted the defeat of pro-agriculture Members of Congress, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to attack Members who oppose their animal rights agenda.  

HSUS has been behind the radical transformation in the philosophy that drives the regulation and treatment of those who raise animals for profit using pressure on retailers, promoting misleading state referendums, and pressuring agencies to make federal rule changes to do their dirty work. Time-tested science-based husbandry practices that ensure the health and safety of both people and animals are being redefined as ‘inhumane’ treatment of animals by those, including Wayne Pacelle, who have this emotion-based agenda. 

When it comes to zoos, everyone needs to heed the warning that organizations like HSUS are pushing zoos toward the rescue-sanctuary model; to create a profit driven monopoly accessible only by the most affluent under the guise of “saving” species. Impossible to do without breeding programs, which Wayne Pacelle also vehemently opposes. He made this clear during his efforts to stop SeaWorld’s orca breeding program stating, During my discussions with [Joel] Manby, I was clear that the agreement we forged should deal with all animals – not just orcas.”

Pacelle’s performance on stage at the AZA Convention was nothing more than his smooth talking the zoos about ‘common ground’ and ‘working together to be a force for good,’ arm over their shoulder as he walks them toward the guillotine.
"One way that SeaWorld and animal advocates can find even more common ground is for the company to choose not to breed any more dolphins in captivity and to bring rescued animals that cannot be released back into the wild into its facilities for any exhibition needs. SeaWorld can morph into something of a sanctuary over time." – HSUS CEO, Wayne Pacelle as quoted in TakePart, June 29, 2016  
Pacelle’s actions tell us that his ultimate goal is to eliminate human interaction with animals even if that results in the elimination of animal species, themselves.  Behind all the ‘let’s just get along’ rhetoric espoused by Pacelle, his true commitment to destroy animal enterprise and animal ownership shows through.   

Americans are tired of being lied to and lied about, and will see through the veil of Pacelle’s true intentions and the potentially devastating results of buying into emotion, not facts.   We must allow time-tested animal husbandry practices to proceed free of interference from organizations like HSUS who claim to care about animals but know nothing about animal care!  Who deemed Wayne Pacelle the expert on the care and keeping of animals?  

We hope that the Members of AZA will see through the manure that was tossed in their laps this morning and recognize the false ideology that will ultimately lead to their own extinction.

Mindy Patterson is the President of The Cavalry Group, a member based company protecting and defending the Constitutional and private property rights of law abiding animal owners, animal-related business, hunters, and agriculture concerns legally and legislatively nationwide.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why You Should Know Your County Sheriff

Too often, protection from illegal search and seizure, and a citizen’s right to due process of the law, all of which are outlined specifically in the U.S. Constitution under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, are railroaded by local animal control officers or a bureaucratic system that defies common sense or even standard animal husbandry knowledge or practice. 
As a proactive measure in protecting your animals, your business, and your private property, The Cavalry Group always urges our members to get to know their local county sheriff. 
Your local sheriff is an elected position which stands as the upholder, defender, protector, and servant to the liberties of the people within your county by upholding the supreme law of the land, known as the U.S. Constitution. 
Are you aware your county sheriff's enforcement powers supersede those of any agent, officer, elected official or employee from ANY level of government when in the jurisdiction of your county?
In June 2016, The Cavalry Group held our first Liberty Summit in St. Charles, Missouri. One of our superb speakers at this event was Richard Mack, former Constitutional Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. 
"You want to protect your ranch? You want to protect your land? Imagine, now, of all the problems that you've seen and heard, or have personally experienced -- but that your sheriff was there with his deputies to defend your God given rights." ~ Sheriff Richard Mack 

Watch the video below of Sheriff Mack's speech at Liberty Summit 2016 to learn more about the sheriff's role in your county and the importance of a Constutional sheriff and their ability to interpose between you and the violator of your rights. 

Be aware:
Not all Sheriffs may be looking out 
for your best interest as a constituent! 

Unfortunately, in recent years, the National Sheriffs Association has partnered with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to further their radical agenda by inserting their ideology within law enforcement by training officials nationwide. 

The link below is HSUS' CEO interviewing National Sheriff's Association Chief, John Thompson about their reasons for partnering and how they plan to infringe on due process rights of animal owners and animal related busineses across the United States. 

To counter HSUS' radical ideological takeover of law enforcement across our country, we urge you to support Sheriff Mack's Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. 

Are you concerned that your Sheriff might not be favorable toward your animal enterprise?  You can Vet Your Sheriff by Clicking Here

Support the Constitutional Sheriffs and 
Peace Officers Association today! 

The CSPOA is an a-political movement as the constitutional Sheriff is not defined as Democrat, Republican or Libertarian. A constitutional Sheriff, in reference to their OATH, their citizenry, and the constitution is dedicated to UPHOLD – DEFEND – PROTECT – SERVE.

Support, Join, Donate to CSPOA  Click here

Join The Freedom Coalition and help free America's political prisoners and clean up bureaucratic corruption in America! Click here

Read Sheriff Richard Mack's book: The County Sheriff: America's Last Hope.   Click here

The sheriff is the last line of defense for his constituents; he is America’s last hope to regain our forgotten freedom. 

Sheriff Mack insists that we ALL stand for the Constitution and our Founding principles to protect freedom and liberty in America today, and for future generations, by holding our government officials accountable to their oath of office. 

Stand with us! 

Mindy Patterson
The Cavalry Group

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MEMO: Animal Rights 2017 Conference by Richard Berman,

August 16, 2017
By Richard Berman

Earlier this month the animal rights movement gathered outside Washington, DC for its annual conference. Representatives from HSUS, PETA, and dozens of other radical groups gathered to plan and discuss their tactics for moving the ball down the field. As usual, we attended and filmed various presentations.

Here are some observations from the weekend.

Some voices were encouraging activists to become more radical in their tactics. Lauren Gazzola, infamous for her terrorism conviction as a member of the SHAC 7, was awarded a 20-minute timeslot immediately before the keynote speaker, PETA co-founder Ingrid Newkirk. Gazzola spent her time measuredly criticizing the movement, as a whole, for focusing too much on the goals of the “moderate” factions. “The animal rights movement has yet to do this: to make the foundational meaning of our movement opposition to speciesism and a challenge to human supremacy.”

She continued later:
I believe in a pluralistic movement, that moderate and radical efforts can complement each other. Rather, I’m talking about the center of gravity in our movement. Right now our moderate efforts are the primary idea that people associate with animal rights. The primary meaning of the so-called animal rights movement is animal welfare. This needs to shift. The primary ideas associated with our movement should be the stronger ones, not the moderate ones. [Nine-second applause] This is the only way to get at the root of the problem. Speciesism is the operating principle at the bottom of exploitation and violence against animals. The fact that speciesism is deemed legitimate is the reason for the extent of that exploitation and violence.
PETA’s Newkirk followed this outrageous speech with her own brand of radical rhetoric. After the boilerplate listing of “victories” for the year, she delved into comparing racism to speciesism, explicitly compared current views on “species” to the “one-drop” rules that defined “whiteness” and “Jewishness.” She urged activists to quit comparing full-grown animals to the intellectual development of children (e.g. “Dogs are as smart as a three-year-old,” etc.) because animals are smarter than children. She also seemingly broadened “animals” to include ants. Newkirk also talked about seizing the word “animal” in the same way the LGBT activists seized the word “queer.” While Gazzola urged for more radical action, Newkirk advocated for a more radical vernacular.

The next day saw an onslaught of HSUS employees trying to curry the favor of the rabid activists with presentations by vice presidents Paul Shapiro and Josh Balk and corporate outreach director Kristie Middleton.

In Shapiro’s first speech at the morning plenary session, he focused on the legislative agenda of the HSUS over the past several years by highlighting what he thinks are the most important federal agenda items for animal activists. He talked about the passage of Obama administration wolf hunting regulations on National Wildlife Refuge lands and their subsequent repeal by the Trump administration. He then argued against allowing lead bullets in hunting (the most common and affordable ammunition).

But the most important item to HSUS according to Shapiro is defeating HR 2887, or the “No Regulation Without Representation” Act, introduced by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), which would preempt state regulations on the sale of agricultural products. This would nullify the millions HSUS spent in California and Massachusetts on egg and pork restrictions.

Middleton, who promotes Meatless Monday with school districts and within companies, talked about the amount of “good” that can be done by getting large institutions to offer more vegan options and how to talk with and pressure institutions to adopt more vegetarian and vegan options.

Balk spent his entire speech bashing the American Egg Board and the USDA and promoting Hampton Creek Foods, the vegan fake-egg company he co-founded. Balk unsurprisingly did not mention the recent struggles of Hampton Creek, including its mass resignations and the loss of a major client (Target).

Finally, Shapiro spoke a second time on the importance of local activism. He focused mostly on the downfall of Ringling Bros. and the efforts that he took as a juvenile – handcuffing himself with friends in order to block the elephants from entering RFK stadium – and how little success they had in ending the circus. Compared to passing local ordinances, like banning bullhooks, which Feld Entertainment (the parent company of Ringling Bros.) said was a major reason why they had to get rid of its elephant act and ultimately the circus in its entirety, his juvenile direct action was pointless. In a Q&A, when asked what could be done to prevent former Ringling animals from being sold to other circuses instead of being sent to sanctuaries, Shapiro endorsed PETA general counsel Jeff Kerr’s efforts to change animals status as property.

Overall, the speeches from the “welfare” organizations were designed to “toe-the-line” and speak in coded language to the overwhelmingly radical crowds. The speeches overwhelmingly emphasized the total number of animals saved and hinted and nudged that their ultimate goals were the same.

While they dress differently and speak differently, it’s clearer today that HSUS and organizations like PETA are two sides of the same coin: wherever PETA leads, HSUS will follow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Cavalry Group's Statement Regarding USDA's Policy Change to Remove Licensee Information from Its Website

In recent months, The Cavalry Group has been responding on behalf of our members, to letters from USDA/APHIS indicating that the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and other animal rights extremist organizations had requested private, confidential information about their business via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted to USDA. 

In response to the onslaught of FOIA requests affecting our members, I wrote an article challenging USDA's policy of releasing private, confidential information to these radical animal rights groups, highlighting that USDA knows full well that this unjudicated information would be taken out of context and used to hurt the businesses of the affected licensees.  

Read article here  

Listen to Mindy Patterson's interview with Trent Loos about this issue here


The Cavalry Group and our Members all over the United States applaud the change in USDA policy that was implemented on Friday, February 3, 2017 regarding private, confidential and un-adjudicated USDA licensee information.

For the last eight years, USDA has been releasing confidential and un-adjudicated information to animal rights extremists and activist organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) knowing that the information would be used wrongfully against USDA licensees with the intent to run them out of business.

Empirical data exists evidencing that animal rights groups have used licensees’ information to make fraudulent claims and anonymous tips to authorities, and terrorize law abiding American families whose livelihood happens to involve exhibiting, breeding, transporting, or selling animals.

Evidence also exists that during the past eight years, USDA has been infiltrated by animal rights extremists who, with some success, attempted to change the culture within USDA-APHIS from one that is supportive of animal enterprise to one that aggressively bullies and harasses law abiding animal businesses with the ultimate goal of running them out of business.

Mindy Patterson
The Cavalry Group

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules for Ag Groups' EPA Data Breach Suit Regarding Disclosure of Personal Information

       On September 9, 2016, in the case of American Farm Bureau Federation et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., Case No. 13-cv-1751, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the federal appellate court revived a bid by two farm groups to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from releasing addresses and other information about large-scale animal farms under the Freedom of Information Act, finding that exclusive of the mandates of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the provision of such data to environmental groups is actually a privacy violation.

       The American Farm Group Federation and the National Pork Producers Council sued the EPA in July 2013 after the agency released the names, addresses and GPS locations of farms that keep animals in close confinement in several states. Environmental groups, including Food & Water Watch, had requested the information, and the plaintiffs sought to prevent further disclosures.

       U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery found that Clean Water Act regulations for pollution discharges require farmers to disclose their location to state agencies and that the information must be made public under federal regulations. The plaintiffs argued that the EPA's release information would be an invasion of their privacy and should have qualified for an FOIA exemption.  But the judge held they lacked standing because they failed to show an imminent injury. The information was already available on Minnesota and Iowa environmental agencies' websites and easily found by searching their databases, according to the lower court opinion.

       The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council asked the court to reverse a lower court's ruling that killed their challenge to the EPA's disclosure of their members' personal information as it related to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's), saying the agency had misapplied an exemption under FOIA that's meant to protect personal privacy.  The farmers argued to the appeals panel that the Supreme Court has held that "the law recognizes a right not only to prevent the public disclosure of facts that remain wholly private, but also to control of 'the degree of dissemination' of facts that, although in the public record, nevertheless concern private matters."

       The court of appeals panel sided with the farmers, concluding "the undisputed evidence of nonconsensual disclosures or impending disclosures by the EPA suffice to establish an injury in fact that was caused by the agency and is redressable by the court," adding that "disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy ... and it was an abuse of discretion for the agency to conclude otherwise."  "The EPA's disclosure of spreadsheets containing personal information about owners of CAFO's would invade a substantial privacy interest of the owners while furthering little in the way of public interest that is cognizable under FOIA" the panel said.

       The 8th Circuit Court held that just because information about a particular farm owner can be obtained through publicly available sources does not mean privacy interests go out the window, highlighting an important distinction between merely accessing information and the likelihood of the public to actually focus on that information.

       "The agency's release of the complete set of data on a silver platter, so to speak, eliminates the need for requesters and others to scour different websites and to pursue public records requests to create a comprehensive database of their own," the court said. "If the information were so easily accessible, then it is passing strange that the parties would engage in protracted and expensive litigation to secure it through the Freedom of Information Act."

       This case provides The Cavalry Group, its members and other animal owners/enterprises with a solid argument to contest USDA's and other agencies' disclosure of private and personal information being solicited by animal rights and other activists/organizations.

Kurtis B. Reeg, Esq.

Partner, Goldberg Segalla
Legal Counsel for The Cavalry Group

Information for this article also came from Portfolio Media, Inc. and Law360
To view the case file, click here

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New Book Reveals Dog Shows Promote Dogs

By Jay Kitchener

Book Review:  The Dog Merchants by Kim Kavin

It takes an activist with a degree in journalism to inform us that dog shows promote dogs, and when two dog shows appear on national television, it’s the cause of all substandard dog breeding.  If Kavin really holds a degree in journalism, she might want to ask for her money back.  It’s not journalism to plagiarize the propaganda of controversial animal rights groups.  The source pages in her book are thick with references from the shady Humane Society of the United States.

A self-described expert on the luxury lifestyle of yachts, Kavin misses the boat when it comes to getting this story right.  Somebody throw her a life preserver.  She’s drowning in propaganda.
When a book claims to “expose” the commercial dog breeding and rescue industries, it gets my attention.  I give this activist credit for visiting the Hunte Corporation’s commercial kennels.  Unable to say anything bad about the Hunte facility, Kavin throws responsible journalism overboard and jumps the shark to claim that televised dog shows cause substandard dog breeding. 

The day before the book’s release, Kavin crowed on the Facebook page for her book, “My op-ed in today's Albany Times-Union, urging New York State lawmakers to go beyond passing ‘pet store puppy mill’ bans and also outright evict the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show--the type of event that the American Kennel Club itself calls a huge marketing asset for the business model of commercial-scale puppy farms nationwide.”

Calling for the censorship of an annual American television tradition is not journalism, it’s activism.

In the book Kavin flops around like a fish out of water.  She can’t even get a reference to Prohibition right.  She points out the obvious that government prohibition of alcohol created a black market for alcohol.  However, she fails to make the obvious connection that the kind of government prohibition she’s advocating for would create a black market for dogs.

The Prohibition Movement began as a ban on the sale of alcohol on Sundays only.  It seemed reasonable and most folks supported it.  But over time the movement grew and the mission expanded to become a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol in public and in private.  This is exactly where we are heading with the kind of government prohibition Kim Kavin is proposing on dog breeding. 

It wasn’t illegal to drink during prohibition, and it won’t be illegal to own a dog in Kavin’s world.  It will just be illegal to breed a dog in Kavin’s world. 

American’s didn’t stop drinking during Prohibition, they just drank different alcohol—bootleg alcohol.

Americans won’t stop owning dogs in Kavin’s world, but they won’t own purebred dogs. 

Led by the controversial Humane Society of the United States, activists in more than 120 communities across the United States have forced their propaganda on local governments and bullied them to mandate that you many not buy a puppy from a professional breeder in a legitimate pet store, and that you may only buy a puppy in the store supplied by a shelter or rescue organization.  The problem is that these shelter and rescue organizations no longer sell animals in need of homes from the local community.  These organizations now primarily sell animals imported from unknown sources in far-away states and foreign countries with no regulation and no oversight.

The bans on the sale of animals in legitimate pet shops from professional breeders presumes that those breeders are unprofessional and sub-standard.  If that’s true, why would Kavin mandate that your next puppy must come from a mysterious place that might be even worse?

These bans mandate that the public may only purchase animals in a pet shop supplied by shelters and rescue organizations.  Animals sold by shelters and rescue organizations are exempt from consumer protection laws that cover animals sold by breeders.  Why would Kavin remove these protections for consumers and animals?

Government is working hard with activists like Kavin to make sure your next puppy comes from mysterious sources. 

What do you call a book based on propaganda?  More propaganda.  The Dog Merchants by Kim Kavin is one activists’ opinion trying to pass as balanced journalism. 

Written by Jay Kitchener who is a leading advocate in the purebred dog industry. Jay has been on the forefront in preserving the rights of dog breeders and animal owners, and recently helped in turning back an effort to ban retail pet sales in Maine. Jay is now serving as the New England Regional Director for The Cavalry Group.