May 18, 2012
A change proposed to the Animal Welfare Act will affect dog breeders who sell via the internet. Breeders who own more than 4 intact bitches would be required to open their breeding facilities, which in many cases is a person’s home, to the public or to USDA inspectors.
Do you think this proposed rule will protect puppy mill dogs? How do you feel about opening your home to strangers who contact you online about a puppy? Remember Bobbie Jo Stinnett?
October 28, 2010
I’ve been reading a bit on the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, commonly referred to as PUPS (pdf). This piece of proposed federal legislation is designed to “close the loophole that allows large breeders to sell puppies online, escaping inspection and oversight“
Here is the official summary. I’ve excerpted some language from the bill below for your consideration.
HIGH VOLUME RETAIL BREEDER.—
The term ‘high volume retail breeder’ means a person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit—
(i) has an ownership interest in or custody of 1 or more breeding female dogs;
(ii) sells or offers for sale, via any means of conveyance (including the Internet, telephone, or newspaper), more than 50 of the offspring of such breeding female dogs for use as pets in any 1-year period.
Note that the bill defines a “breeding female dog” an an intact bitch aged 4 months or older.
Regarding exercise, the bill says:
(A) each dog that is at least 12 weeks old (other than a female dog with unweaned puppies) has daily access to exercise that—
(i) allows the dog—
(I) to move sufficiently to develop or maintain normal muscle tone and mass as appropriate for the age, breed, sex, and reproductive status of the dog; and
(II) the ability to achieve a running stride; and
(ii) is not a forced activity (other than a forced activity used for veterinary
treatment) or other physical activity that is repetitive, restrictive of other activities, solitary, and goal-oriented;
(B) the provided area for exercise—
(i) is separate from the primary enclosure if the primary enclosure does not provide sufficient space to achieve a running stride;
(ii) has flooring that—
(I) is sufficient to allow for the type of activity described in subparagraph (A); and
(II)(aa) is solid flooring; or
(bb) is nonsolid, nonwire flooring, if the nonsolid, nonwire flooring—
(AA) is safe for the breed, size, and age of the dog;
(BB) is free from protruding sharp edges; and
(CC) is designed so that the paw of the dog is unable to extend through or become caught in the flooring;
(iii) is cleaned at least once each day;
(iv) is free of infestation by pests or vermin; and
(v) is designed in a manner to prevent escape of the dogs.
There is an exemption for dogs who a vet has determined should not exercise due to health considerations. The exemption must state that the dog has a permanent condition or in the case of a temporary medical problem, the owner must get the exemption renewed every 30 days.
Here is a piece opposing the bill (pdf). It raises some interesting points about the vague term “ownership interest in”, the seeming inability for the average home to meet the exercise area requirements and the fact that breeders must open their homes for inspections. Another key issue is the set number of puppies which qualifies someone as a high volume retail breeder. The bill lists that number as 50. Some breeders are concerned that if passed, the bill could be amended in future to lower that number.
What are your thoughts on PUPS?
March 6, 2010
I come across postings regularly on various internet sites listing puppies in need of homes. On occasion, I pick one out to share. In this one, I have changed the breeds to breeds of similar size to protect the innocent (dogs):
Hi!! I have three puppies that are ready for new homes. There is one boy and two girls. Their mama is a Newfoundland mix and the daddy is a Chow/Lab mix. These are very beautiful babies, and they are the sweetest things in the world. I would keep them but I have to feed their mama and her mama, which is the Newfoundland and they eat alot.
Using my brilliant powers of deduction, I take it that we have a dog breeder here. With the limited information contained in the post, I can only trace the lineage 3 generations but it looks like the Newfoundland was bred to a a dog who was something other than a Newfoundland and at least one female puppy from the resulting litter was kept by the breeder. That Newf mix puppy was bred to a Chow/Lab mix and the breeder is unable to keep the pups because the dam and grandam eat too much.
I don’t know if these breedings were intentional or if the breeder considers them accidents but if they were not intentional, one wonders why more effective protocols were not introduced to prevent accidental breedings somewhere along the way. If they were intentional, one wonders what the purpose of the breedings is. (Yes, you must have a purpose in dog breeding!) Most of the common reasons for planned breedings that come to my mind seem to obviously not fit here: Profit, supply dogs for a competition or utilitarian function, supply a waiting list of owners with puppies, create a new breed, allow the kids to experience the birth of a litter one time, etc. I honestly can’t think of a purpose for these breedings. Maybe there is one and it just isn’t striking me at the moment. I think it’s reasonable to assume that if the breeder fails to find homes for the pups, she won’t be keeping them (that eating thing is a strong indicator). My hope is that these pups will find homes and will not end up at a shelter where they have a good chance of being killed.
The post does not indicate if this breeder is screening homes in order to protect the pups. Nor if she will offer support to the new owner for the life of the dog and be willing to take the puppy back or help with rehoming if that circumstance arises at some point in the dog’s life. I hope that she simply forgot to state these things because, accidental or intentional, she is the breeder and that’s a breeder’s obligation. Oh and as for the feeding thing and the fact that big dogs eat a lot of food – yeah, that’s a breeder’s obligation too.
Search for low/no cost spay-neuter services in your area at the ASPCA website.
March 2, 2010
The differences between what constitutes a responsible dog breeder and an irresponsible one are often the subject of debate among dog people. One pretty reliable sign that ur doin it rong as a breeder is if you rent a U-Haul to load up with your breeding stock and drive them to a kill shelter:
Twenty-two dogs were dropped off at the Greenville County Animal Shelter in a U-Haul truck. The shelter manager says its because the puppies were the wrong color.
[Shelter manager Shelly] Simmons said the owners were trying to breed “blue” pitt bulls because they sell for higher prices. Instead, they got 17 puppies in every color except blue.
Greenville Co Animal Care Services is hoping to find homes for all the dogs but the shelter they work with, Greenville Humane Society, refuses to adopt out Pitbulls and rescues are full.
There is a video at the link of a bunch of puppies who look too young to be separated from their dams. The article states:
Six pitt bull puppies are available now, as are the adults. The cost is $60. Shots, micro-chips and spay or neutering are included. Interested adopters can call Greenville County Animal Care Services at 467-3950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contrary to popular belief, blue Pitbulls are not rare or worth paying extra money for simply by virtue of their coat color. For more info, see the “Myths” page on this Pitbull site:
There is, unfortunately, a faction of breeders (all unscrupulous), that are
attempting to cash in on the current fad of blue and red nosed dogs.
These people produce poor quality animals with no thought to health
and temperament, their biggest selling point being coat color. Breeders
of this type many times charge jacked up prices for their puppies,
justifying the high price tag by claiming their dogs are of a “rare” or
“special” color. The unsuspecting buyer is duped into believing their
animal is extraordinary simply because he happens to have an “odd”
colored nose. Breeders of this ilk are especially dubious because not only
are they producing bad stock, but they lure their customers in by making
And in the case of at least one breeder in Greenville Co, they are not only lying to customers to try and get more money, they are lying to their dogs. Because as any good breeder will tell you, we make promises to our dogs that we will do our very best to ensure they have long and happy lives, even if they are not in our care, and that we will protect them from ever being dumped at a kill shelter.
December 10, 2009
September 20, 2009
The following post was written in 2008 by Saluki breeder Betsy Cummings. I thought it would be perfect food for thought in my series on the subject of defining puppy mills. I’m most interested in your reactions, thoughts, and opinions on her points.
I got in late last nite from Springfield, MO. What is there to interest me? Well, the 18th Spring Educational Seminar and Meeting of the Missouri Pet Breeders Association. Yeah, the puppy mill folks. They prefer Professional Breeders. And after what I saw this weekend, I’m quite willing to cut them some slack.
On Friday were 4 seminars, although one was cancelled because the State Veterinarian had been bitten by a dog and the rabies vaxx was questionable, so the poor guy has to take the shots and wasn’t feeling well. So another guy came and spoke on something else. On Saturday was Pat Hasting’s Puppy Puzzle Seminar – which was FREE. To anybody. How many have paid $150 or more to a kennel club to see this seminar?
I’m now going to propose a viewpoint that I know full well isn’t going to be popular, nor is it going to win me friends. Many of you will scoff and criticize. It’s ingrained in “us” to do so. Say the words Puppy Mill, or Commercial Breeder and most of us have a knee jerk reaction of total horror. We picture “bubba’s” on Walmart parking lots and highway corners selling puppies to anybody who comes along. Not that that doesn’t happen. However, those folks tend to be wannabe’s and illegal puppy mills. There were only a few people there I’d call “Bubba’s” this weekend. MOST of the people were people just like you and me. You couldn’t have told by dress or manner what these folks did for a living. Most even spoke “educated beyond the 1st grade” english. And it was obvious from the gal with the poodle died pink to the gal who came in with a sheltie she’d rescued off an 8 lane highway and wanted her put somewhere safe, that these folks live and breathe DOGS. In that respect, they aren’t that much different from you and me.
Friday’s program included one that has me shaking my head and asking where “we” (“we” being the show dog fancy) are. The MPBA has no less than 3 professional lobbyists. One in Washington DC, and 2 in our state capital. Even more, the State Representative from Salem, MO is one of “them.” These 4 folks stood before a room of about 300 people and gave us a list of the legislation they’ve had a part in killing altogether, or getting changed to something reasonable. My question is…where the hell are WE??? If the MPBA can have THREE full time professional lobbyists…what’s OUR problem??? My next question is…Why the HELL aren’t we working with these people???? They know how to do it. They aren’t starting from scratch. They’ve been working in the trenches for quite awhile. And all supported by the puppy millers! These folks are fighting for OUR rights as much as for their own, but the end results are the same – I can still own dogs in the state of Missouri, and they don’t have to be spayed or neutered either.
Saturday’s program was Pat Hasting’s seminar. It was not quite as well attended as some of the Friday seminars since it was a ‘voluntary’ program. (I’ll explain that in a minute.) However, the room was probably over half full – call it 200 people give or take. She played the angle toward “If you’re breeding better dogs structurally, you make more money.” It was a good call. She went over 7 lab puppies – some were from show bred lines, and some from a commercial kennel. She wouldn’t say which were which. And based on the strengths and faults she found I certainly couldn’t tell. One had an ewe neck which she demonstrated by flipping that puppy’s head over onto its spine – no distress to the puppy! One had no muscling on the inside of it’s legs so when she stacked it and pushed just a teensy bit from the side the puppy fell over. 3 had slipped hocks. One had a herring gut. The gasps when each of these faults were demonstrated were…quite loud. And she flat out asked why they weren’t breeding away from these faults – they’d make more money providing a quality, well bred dog than ones with health and structural issues. There were some good questions from the audience, and some questions that are so basic as to be laughable…except nobody laughed. These folks are putting forth good effort, and I for one am willing to give them some credit for that. (And btw – Pat commented that each puppy was in it’s own crate and that when she does show litters they usually come in ONE crate. And those crates were scrupulously clean, with food and water. *G*)
Having said this, I’ll also state I’m not willing to sell to them, or breed with them. But there are show folks I can say the same about, so that’s nothing different. These folks are however, policing themselves. They don’t tolerate sub-standard kennels and they turn them in immediately. That’s better than “we” can say when we tolerate folks we KNOW have starving animals, or worse. And just who is it on most of the news when a rescue makes the news? More often than not it’s a “rescuer” or show breeder turned in by a neighbor…NOT by US.
Anyway, these folks are working to improve their industry. For 18 years they have continually raised the bar for their members. They provide seminars on everything from puppy nutrition to health in their kennels to structure – FREE. Not just for their members, but to ANYBODY. It was a very strange feeling to be in a building full of people I have always thought of as the “enemy.” So much so I was very reluctant to admit I’m a show breeder. But when I did once or twice, these folks never blinked. And just who was there? The AKC. Bil-Jac. Eukanuba. Royal Canin. Hunte Corp – who btw, had fully 1/5th of the room for their booth.
And let me detour on Hunte Corp a minute. They were handing out information on their standards for buying puppies. IE, the breeders must meet some minimum requirements before Hunte will purchase their dogs. On top of those minimum requirements they pay a bonus for such things as health tested parents, Ch parents, and something else that escapes me at the moment. So they too are not only raising the bar, but leading the way in doing so.
APRI was there. With videos of their events. I always thought they were just a paper registry. Well, they’re not. And lemme tell ya, the shutzhund and agility events looked pretty tuff. And not only that, but APRI alone gave $10,000 to the legislative fund – IE, the fund that pays for the lobbyists. Our little fledgling groups, PetPAC, etc would KILL for that kind of money right now.
And in all of this, I have to wonder…where are we? What are WE doing? If we choose to attend such a thing, it’s voluntary. These folks are requiring it of their members. You want to be considered a top breeder…then you MUST have continuing education. Not when I feel like it, but MUST, every year, have so many credits of education. Not even our JUDGES have to do that beyond what they do to earn more breeds. We watched folks spend THOUSANDS on equipment, food, meds, and by god TREATS. Just who gives treats to their dogs? Those who LOVE them. That’s who.
I had a conversation with a guy this weekend about his kennel. He proudly told me he is a “Blue Ribbon Kennel” – meaning he’s met the standards for the MPBA to earn that. He gets his education credits, etc, and I assume, has met some standards of health and cleanliness in his kennels. He said he’s *never* had an outbreak of anything in his kennel. Not even kennel cough. His “bio standards” are set so high that even his family must follow them in the house not just in the kennel. So I asked him what happens when the dogs leave his kennel. Their immune systems have never been challenged and suddenly they’re out in the big bad world being hit with everything all at once. He went, Oh. I never thought of that. Hm. He said “What do you do?” And I had to admit I’m a show breeder, so I breed once every few years and I do take extra precautions while the bitch is pregnant and when the pups are less than 9 weeks old, but that after that I have those puppies out and about every week or two so that not only do I immunize but I give their immune systems exposure to things outside of home so that when we do go on the road to shows and such they aren’t suddenly overwhelmed and have a chance to fight. I’m not sure I changed his mind exactly, but I did give him something to think about.
I admit, I went for the chance to see Pat Hasting’s seminar for free. Beyond that I was prepared to keep my mouth shut. Instead, I found myself going…wow. Just how many of us would goto this level of effort to keep our dogs? These people put their money where their mouth is. And I am quite willing to allow them the title Professional Breeder and to stop having a knee jerk reaction and give them some credit for things even “we” don’t do. That doesn’t mean there aren’t “Bubba’s” in this world, or that I include those folks in the term Professional Breeder. A professional of any kind be it lawyer, doctor, handler, veterinarian, engineer, architect, etc has professional standards to meet. These folks do too. And since *I* don’t care to provide puppies for every home that wants a dog I’m willing to allow the professionals to do so. It keeps MY dogs safe in the hands of those I feel will have respect for the dog, treat it the way I want my dogs treated, and HOPEFULLY they never end up in a shelter or dumped on the side of the road or as bait for a dog fight.
And I refuse to slam or denigrate these folks further. They are providing a service not ONE of us wants to do. And they have been working for at least the last 18 years to improve what they do – both in what they produce and the conditions under which they produce it. That JQP tends to treat dogs as a throw away commodity isn’t entirely their fault. It’s not ours either. It’s a societal thing and ALL of us must work to change that. Somewhere between dogs in shelters and puppymills lies the answer. I don’t know what it is. But JQP wants dogs – that much is obvious. And right now, even our basic rights to HAVE dogs is under attack. I for one am willing to work with the folks who have the experience and the know how to fight these things. And I’m willing to give credit where credit is due – here in Missouri at least, we have come under LESS attack than other areas and I recognize that a good part of that is because of the professional breeders and their lobbyists efforts.
Betsy & Kevin Cummings
Copyright © 2008 Betsy Cummings
Document may be reproduced in its entirety (not in sections), as long as the author is credited.
September 3, 2009
CA AB 241 was apparently passed by the CA Senate yesterday. The bill, according to the American Kennel Club, “will prohibit businesses and individuals who buys or sells cats and dogs from owning more than a combined total of 50 intact dogs or cats” (including puppies/kittens). I’ve blogged many times about why purported pet “protection” legislation that states number of pets determines quality of care makes no sense to me. Quality husbandry never has been and never will be determined by numbers of dog owned. One dog owned by a person can be neglected/abused. So can two dogs. As can 12 or 37 or 62. By the same token, all those same numbers of dogs might be well cared for by an owner. Granted the more dogs owned, the more help needed to provide quality care.
Another reason I find these numbers bills troubling is that the numbers vary greatly all across the country. In CA, HSUS says 50 is the magic number which equals “puppy mill”. But in NC, HSUS said owning 15 bitches was the puppy miller indicator. And there are other numbers in similar bills all over the country. Why the inconsistency? If indeed quality of care is determined by number of dogs owned, shouldn’t there be one number for all owners? If a NC breeder is a “puppy miller” because she owns 15 bitches but then moves to CA, does she become a “responsible breeder” because she’s well under the 50 limit?
But to me, perhaps the most disturbing element of these bills is that, in my crystal ball opinion, it will not stop at 50 (or 15 or whatever). This is a foot in the door, a chance to say, “Surely we can all agree that only an evil puppy miller would have more than 50 dogs”. If the anti-pet lobbyists in CA don’t try to get this number lowered in future, I’ll eat my hat.
In Philadelphia currently, the pet limit is 12 but there are efforts underway to get that number reduced. There’s no way to know if those efforts will be successful but assuming for the sake of discussion they are, perhaps the number will be reduced to 8. Then possibly a future amendment will cut it to 4. Noticing a trend here? This hasn’t happened – yet – but surely we’d be unwise to ignore the potential for having our rights as pet owners legislated away from us.
The anti-pet lobbyists don’t stand up and say, “We want a foot in the door so that eventually we can eliminate the right to own pets” because that would sound crazy. Instead they say things like “protecting pets” and “cruel puppy mills” which all sound dandy. And to those of us paying attention to the possible future direction of these laws, the lobbyists say, “That sounds crazy”. Clever work.
August 5, 2009
“We will soon introduce legislation that will help to crack down on the cruel puppy mill industry in our state.” [said Amanda Arrington, North Carolina state director for The HSUS.]
That bill is set for a final vote today. If you are a NC resident, a list of your state Senators can be found here.
Included in the current version of the bill:
- “Commercial breeder” means any person who owns or maintains 15 or more intact female dogs of breeding age and 30 or more puppies for the purpose of sale. Nothing in this Article shall apply to those kennels or establishments operated for the purpose of boarding or training hunting, sporting, herding, show, or working dogs.
- “Commercial breeding operation” means the physical location or facility at which a commercial breeder breeds or maintains intact female dogs of breeding age and puppies.
- Commercial breeders shall provide adequate veterinary care to the intact female dogs of breeding age and any puppies in their care and custody. An intact female dog of breeding age shall not be bred without an examination from a licensed veterinarian to determine that the dog is in suitable health for breeding.
- Commercial breeding operations shall be subject to inspection by duly appointed employees of the Department unless otherwise requested by a local animal control officer and authorized by the Department. In conducting such inspections, the Department employee or local animal control officer may inspect the records of the commercial breeder, the premises where animals are bred and maintained, and any animal used in the breeding program or any puppies in their care and custody.
I interpret this to mean that a breeder with 30 puppies for sale who cares for dogs in her home is prohibited by law from making decisions on breeding bitches unless a Vet signs off on it. Further, the breeder is subject to warrantless searches of her home and inspection of adults and pups by whoever shows up to do the inspecting. I don’t know about you but I don’t allow visitors when I have pups, especially if they’ve had contact with other dogs. It’s too great a risk to the health of the pups to my mind. And I prefer to make my own decisions on breeding bitches. Not that I wouldn’t consider input from my Vet, but my Vet may or may not be a breeder and his opinion would not trump mine. As for warrantless searches of my home – put me down for “nuh-uh”.
Commercial dog breeders are already regulated by the USDA. They’ve been falling down on the job for years but that is not an excuse to pile more intrusive laws on top of the already unenforced ones on the books. Let’s get the USDA the funding, manpower and resources it needs to enforce the laws as they stand. After they get their feet under them, let’s hear from them what tools they need to better insure humane care of dogs. Maybe laws will need to be strengthened, or more funding provided to enforcement, I don’t know. But to my way of thinking, it’s better to fully utilize what the government already has in place rather than add more laws, expense and burden to taxpayers. The idea that we can’t enforce the commercial breeding laws we have now therefore we must add more laws just doesn’t make sense to me.
We all want good quality care for dogs. I can’t see how this bill accomplishes that. We are a humane society, not a police state. Let’s work within the existing framework and see how things can be improved. I am all for progress but this bill is a giant step backwards to me.
Related: The Long Arm of HSUS in NC
July 26, 2009
Although I’m not prepared to put as much thought into this post as would be required to answer such a question, I am ready to put down a few thoughts on the subject. I’m sure at some point I will add on to these and hopefully eventually come up with an answer, albeit a subjective one, to my own question. Perhaps this can be viewed as an installment series or some similarly lofty sounding endeavor.
To me, dogs are pets. What constitutes living a good quality life as a pet is interpreted differently by individual owners. For me, it means living in the house as part of the family, and receiving daily personal care, exercise, discipline, affection, and good food. I can however, understand how another owner, for example someone who keeps a dog to protect his sheep from predation, might specifically want his dog to live primarily outdoors. So long as adequate shelter is provided in conjunction with meeting the personal needs of the dog I mentioned previously, I can agree that this is good quality life for a pet, even though it’s different from my personal choice. Similarly, I can imagine other variations outside my individual choices where the dog is ultimately treated as a member of the family and as such, I would agree that the dog has a good quality of life.
There are some practices though that fall so far outside my comfort level, I view them not just as different but as cruelty. In a broad sense, that would include any dog who is not treated as a member of the family. Specifically, a dog who spends most of his day to day life unattended in a cage or kennel, on a chain or roaming the streets. Keeping the area of confinement clean, while a good practice, does not make up for the dog’s social deprivation. Nor does putting out a bowl of food for a dog allowed to roam the neighborhood – again, good practice to feed a dog regularly but that doesn’t make the dog a family pet to my mind.
This is not strictly a numbers issue for me. I can envision a family with plentiful resources being able to provide a good quality of life for a large number of pets just as I know that an owner of a single dog can be neglectful. Put another way, where numbers come in is anytime there is neglect. If a family is neglecting some or all of their dogs, there is a problem. If a breeder is neglecting some or all of his stock or pups, it doesn’t matter to me if that breeder produces 2 litters a year or 2 litters every 10 years – there is a problem.
What I think would be helpful:
Educate the public about responsible breeding and buying including the importance of having a personal relationship with the breeder and the benefits of getting a shelter dog.
Encourage more responsible breeding. The demand for responsibly bred dogs far exceeds the supply. This is the main reason people I know have turned to pet stores – they couldn’t find the pet they wanted in a shelter and/or were turned down by rescue and/or didn’t want to be placed on a lengthy waiting list with a responsible breeder with no guarantee of getting a pup ever. My vision is to increase the supply of responsibly bred pups while promoting the benefits of adopting shelter dogs. If we could convince the public that these are the two best ways to obtain pets, we could reduce (eventually eliminate?) the demand for pet store pups. It’s not like it’s a hard sell: going to a shelter saves a dog’s life in many cases and buying from a responsible breeder means having a personal relationship with someone who cares about what happens to their pups enough to screen buyers and provide support for the life of the dog.
I know lots of people hate these ideas. Some people are stuck on the “don’t breed or buy while shelter pets die” mantra. The reality is that, while we can and absolutely must do everything possible to promote shelter adoptions, some owners will not adopt from a shelter. Rather than ignore that fact or condemn those folks, I’d rather provide them with an alternative: buy a responsibly bred pup. Right now, there are not enough of those and so people turn to other sources. I’d like to increase the supply of responsibly bred pups.
Other people hate the idea of promoting breeding for pets. Breeders who compete with their dogs often consider the only justifiable purpose of breeding to be the production of more competition dogs with “pets” being a leftover effect. The reality is that most owners do not want competition dogs – they want couch snugglers, jogging partners, ball chasers, etc. Ignoring that fact or condemning those folks to wait indefinitely on your waiting list in case you have a “leftover” at some point in future drives people to other sources.
I often use a personal experience as an example. I once wanted a Papillon. In fact I’d still like to have a Papillon someday (in case you are reading Santa). I checked every shelter in my area for a Pap or even a Pap-ish mix – no luck. I applied to Pap rescue but the number of applicants far exceeded the number of available dogs and honestly, the process seemed humiliating to me. I am all for screening buyers but there has to be some reasonable limit on that. My experience turned into a competition – literally. I bowed out. I inquired to several responsible breeders but it was explained to me that Pap breeders are breeding to supply themselves with a new pup. Sometimes they make an agreement with the stud dog owner to give a pup in lieu of stud fee. As such, one or two pups from each litter were already spoken for. Since Paps have small litters and many breeders have just one or two litters per year, the best I could hope for was to be placed on a waiting list and perhaps in some future year, I might get a call about an available pup. I didn’t want a Pap in some future year, I wanted one at the time it was appropriate in my life. Should I be condemned for wanting a Pap within a reasonable time frame? Should I be condemned for not taking a shelter dog instead? I know some people would answer “yes”. For the record, I did end up adopting a shelter dog instead. But I know more than one person who has turned to alternate sources when faced with the situation I was in – they bought from pet stores or irresponsible breeders. Like me, they wanted to rescue a dog or buy from a responsible breeder but the supply fell short of the demand. I do not condemn them. Rather, I want to see the supply of responsibly bred pups increased in conjunction with education about the benefits of rescue.
OK obviously my random thoughts did not wind up answering my title question. Good thing I said that “installment” thing at the beginning. I’ll try to answer my question eventually and I hope if you have some answers, questions, or random thoughts, you’ll join in the discussion. I always enjoy hearing different views.
June 4, 2009
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office and HSUS “raided” a dairy farm Monday and seized 240 dogs on the grounds that the farm’s owners had not paid taxes on the dog breeding operation. Squeeze me? Isn’t there such a thing as an IRS audit or even some sort of warning letter? They say the owners haven’t paid taxes so they just waltz in and take all the dogs? If I were the owners, I’d be wondering what the charges were:
No criminal charges have been filed, and the Garwoods [the farm owners] were not arrested.
Hmmm. No charges, no arrests and yet they seize 240 dogs. Oh and bonus: there are already plans to start adopting the dogs out shortly. Due process, anyone? Oh wait, the owners can’t answer the charges against them because there are no charges. Clever clever. From the HSUS release:
Today’s sales-tax-enforcement action took place under pre-existing law. A new law passed by the Legislature that takes effect July 1, House Enrolled Act. 1468, will give the state of Indiana additional enforcement authority against commercial dog-breeding operations. It requires that caged dogs be allowed out for exercise and increases the penalties for animal cruelty.
Puppy producers and brokers will be required to register with the State of Indiana, and that in turn could more readily trigger sales-tax investigations.
I can’t help but wonder if IN “puppy producers” aka breeders will want to register with the state, pay the annual fee (ranging from $75 – $500) and subject themselves to possible seizure of their dogs based upon allegations – not charges – of tax evasion. Some might think it’s too risky and too great an infringement on their civil rights. In other words, some breeders may cease breeding altogether. Or maybe that was the point.