What the...? From my point of view, things could not be more surreal in the pet legislation movement.
First, we watched as our very own "Town-hallers" filled SB 250 hearings, saying the craziest things about SB 250, and demeaning spay and neuter in general with paranoid claims about a Government takeover of the underground breeding industry.
Now things are getting even nuttier. For years, SCIL has warned supporters, opponents and Legislators about Bill Hemby and his PetPAC group. The man simply cannot utter a truthful word about spay and neuter legislation. It was Mr. Hemby who originally coined the ridiculous "Pet Extinction" term, to confuse and anger animal breeders.
Worse than his lies about good legislation, Mr. Hemby has been involved for years in charity groups with dubious fundraising techniques that apparently rely on deception in order to dupe people into sending money. In 2007 SCIL put up a website devoted to this subject, www.PetPACNonsense.com, in an attempt to expose PetPAC and Mr. Hemby's other group COPS for what they really were. This guy has been laughing all the way to the bank.
Now it turns out we didn't even know half the story. Bill Hemby has now been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Justice, as part of a nationwide sweep called "Operation False Charity."
The lawsuit alleges all sorts of bad behavior by Mr. Hemby and his partners. They appear to have set up a charity to enrich themselves, a charity that never even attempted to spend money on what it supposedly had been set up to do. They would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for
I couldn't make this sound worse than it is for Mr. Hemby. The State, through this lawsuit, is attempting to permanently ban him from ever running a charity in California again. My assumption is that, if they are successful, PetPAC would shut down for good... since it is pretty much a one-Hemby show over there.
If you want to read more sordid details on this, click here.