Once again, breeder groups fighting against anti-puppy mill legislation

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A federal judge blocked on Thursday efforts by dog-breeding organizations to overturn a new anti-puppy mill law in Texas.

The Licensed Breeders Act includes requirements both dog and cat breeders must follow, notably those who house 11 or more females and sell 20 or more puppies or kittens each year. These breeders must be licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations and engage in minimum standards of care for the dogs and cats.
And regular inspections are part of the regulations.

An article posted on the Culture Map website notes the regulations include “” humane housing, annual veterinary care and daily exercise. “”

So when we look at these regulations, we see nothing that is overbearing or extreme in any way. Any breeder should be able to follow these guidelines. Yet ,the Texas Tribune reported Friday that “” an animal owners’ association representing more than 300 American Kennel Club groups is pledging a renewed fight against the law. “”

A group known as the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance filed a lawsuit last October against the law, trying in part to argue the law allows inspectors on the property of breeders without a warrant. It’s a silly argument and one that certainly could not be used to ban restaurant health inspections.


Most popular dog breed is actually the mutt

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The AKC has announced its annual list of the most popular dog breeds in the US. Of course in this case, its nothing more than an advertising gimmick to promote the sale of pure-bred dogs.

I beg to differ on which ‘breed’ is actually at the top of the list. The mutt is the all-time greatest and I contend that these dogs are the most popular. And of course, the most popular dog in 2013 should be the rescue dog – no matter what breed they are.

And after all – they’re all mixed-breeds. All dogs are wolf-hybrids. Some people are still paying thousands of dollars for some ‘champion’ dog of some royal-lineage, when they all can be traced back to wolves.

All so-called pure-bred dogs are the result mixed-breeding – in many cases going back thousands of years.  So ultimately, they are all mutts – domesticated wolf mutts.

And finally and sadly, there are people promoting the slaughter of your dog’s relatives out in the wild, in a number of states.

HSUS challenges the AKC to support anti-puppy mill measures

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The American Kennel Club has a long history of fighting against new legislation anywhere that might protect dogs from the cruelty of puppy mills. Now, as the date for the AKC Championships nears, the Humane Society of the US is calling for the national breed registry to finally step up to protect dogs from horrible breeding practices.

I’m really pleased to see the HSUS take this important stand. Just down the street from my neighborhood, I saw new sign yesterday, crudely hand-written on a piece of cardboard, announcing “AKC” puppies for sale. I’m sure the seller is using the AKC label as an advertising tool, to suggest the puppies are of high quality. But at the same time, the AKC will state it is only a registry and offers no guarantees for the consumer.
The press release from the HSUS is headlined – “As AKC National Championship Airs, The Humane Society of the United States Calls on the Nation’s Leading Dog Registry Group to Support Efforts to End Abuses at Puppy Mills.”

It is reported, as you will read below, that a one of the dogs featured at the 2009 AKC National Championships was bred by a breeder who is currently serving prison time on a conviction of 91 counts of animal cruelty. The breeder testified that his facility had been regularly inspected and passed by the AKC.

The release:

“” “”

(Jan. 30, 2013) –In the wake of one of the largest puppy mill cruelty convictions in history involving an American Kennel Club  ‘Champion’ breeder, and with Saturday’s scheduled broadcast of the AKC’s National Championship dog show, The Humane Society of the United States is appealing to the AKC to stop obstructing animal welfare reforms and to join efforts to protect dogs at commercial breeding facilities known as puppy mills, where the breeds made popular at the Championship are often churned out for sale online, through classified ads, and at pet stores across the nation.

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AKC fighting against ban on gas chambers

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The American Kennel Club is stepping way over the line. I don’t even know where the organization is going. It seems to be opposing ANY animal-welfare bill. I would not be surprised at this point to read where it was speaking out against bans on dog fighting.

I say all this after reading – on the Philly Dawg blog – about the latest news that the AKC is opposing a bill to ban gas chambers to euthanize pets in Pennsylvania. Anyone with a minimal amount of knowledge about animals such as dogs and cats understands the level of suffering that can take place inside a gas chamber, most notably the mental suffering.

Gas chambers are horror chambers. And too often they are used in ways not allowed by local regulations. The vast number of shelters that are not using gas chambers are proof-positive. No shelter should ever use a gas chamber.

But again, I wish we were not even having this discussion of euthanizing homeless pets. And I ask again, when will society and our justice system start holding the people and entities that are responsible for this problem – responsible.

The AKC and Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs are also opposing a bill to require those charged with animal cruelty either turn over their pets or pay for animal’s care until the case is completed.

Once again, the AKC is trying to block an animal-welfare measure

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The Pennsylvania legislature is moving closer to passing legislation that would force those accused of animal cruelty to either pay for the care of the seized animals or relinquish them to a shelter.

The American Kennel Club, in typical fashion, is trying to block the bill from becoming law, as reported by Philly Dawg blog on the Philly.com website. The AKC is quoted as claiming the legislation “violates the due process rights of dog owners.”

But Amy Worden reports the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, animal law expert Bruce Wagman and other experts have reviewed the bill as being legally on the right track.

Too often, taxpayers or rescue groups have to cover the medical and general care cost for pets rescued from abusive situations, such as those saved from puppy mills. It’s time to force the abusers to pay. I feel that after the cases are resolved, the guilty need to be forced to pay the bills, in all cases.

Does the AKC ever support anti-puppy mill or anti-cruelty legislation? I haven’t seen it.

Latest puppy-mill raid in NC renews push for breeding legislation in the state

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The news concerning a puppy mill raid in Southeastern North Carolina seems to be drawing some important attention from the state’s media outlets. And WRAL is reporting a state lawmaker is planning to introduce a new bill next year to regulate the industry.

Hopefully, the recent raids across the state will finally be the push we need to change the minds of enough lawmakers. In every recent case where we’ve seen an anti-puppy bill introduced in the North Carolina legislature, groups like the American Kennel Club and the NRA have fought against them.

But maybe this time, the will of the people and compassion for animals will finally win the day.

Sunday Commentary: Don’t believe the propaganda – Do believe in humane legislation

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I thought I had read it all, in reading comments from people trying to defend greyhound racing. But what I’m reading from people opposed to regulations on puppy mills and from those trying to defend the AKC and its efforts to block any new regulations on puppy mills is equally offensive.

Some of the falsehoods uttered of late – in comment sections on the Web – are nothing short of astounding. I’ve seen comments over the last few days suggesting new regulations on puppy mills would mean families will be prohibited from allowing their dogs to sleep in bed with them and families would be forced to make their dogs live in cages.

I don’t think politicians could even make this stuff up.

On the one hand, the proposed regulations are directed to breeders with five or more breeding females. And let’s live in reality, as opposed to Propaganda Fantasy Land. If we’re talking about breeders with their dogs living inside their homes, as part of the family and under conditions families maintain their pets – no one is suggesting anything different for them.

The regulations are minimum standards. Those exceeding minimum standards have nothing to fear.

The most recent effort is to close a huge loophole in the Animal Welfare Act. The loophole allows breeders to sell over the Internet and through adds – sight unseen to people buying puppies – and allow puppy mills to go unchecked in regard to inspections and to humane standards of care.

All it is going to take is some good, humane common sense to develop reasonable regulations on dog breeders. The best already maintain better standards of humane care.

What I’m seeing now is an effort to flood the Web with misinformation, in an effort to scare people into thinking they won’t be allowed to keep their pets inside their homes and to scare people into thinking national animal welfare groups are coming to take their pets away.


AKC continues to get bad press from HSUS report

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News organizations and bloggers are buzzing about the recent release of the report from the Humane Society of the United States, concerning the American Kennel Club’s efforts to stifle new regulations to protect dogs in puppy mills.

Elizabeth Wilson wrote a piece for Examiner.com. She focuses on a number of topics, including the AKC’s opposition to over 80 anti-puppy mill bills nationwide over the last five years and reports that some of the worst mills uncovered in raids had been previously inspected by the AKC.

Wilson writes about the problems in my home state of the North Carolina, where an alleged Jones County puppy mill was raided in March of 2012. She explains that many puppy mills in the state would be shut down if better legislation were in place. Adding – “And, consequently, the AKC would lose money. It’s no wonder why AKC is so adamantly against any and all puppy mill legislation.

And among many others, I found an article on the Plain Dealer website out of Cleveland, which included part of a statement from the AKC. The statement included this – ” ‘One size fits all’ breeder regulation is unfair and unenforceable and not in the best interest of dogs and consumers in this country.”

This is clearly an effort to divert from the actual problem at hand and the actual goal of new regulations to shut down puppy mills.

Maryland Girl Scouts Troop wins Pack of Compassion Award – for letter to the AKC

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Girl Scout Troop 6811 out of Sandy Spring, Md. wrote a letter recently to the American Kennel Club, asking the organization to drop its opposition to proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act that would close the loophole in the regulations that too many breeders are jumping through.

The girls want to make sure breeders who sell puppies over the Internet are subjected to regular inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as other breeders are.

In a statement, the AKC told ABC News, “The AKC believes it is neither the intent of the Animal Welfare Act nor USDA to place such an unfair burden on small, hobby breeders.”

This – of course – is completely twisted thinking, designed to divert the topic from the abuse of dogs in puppy mills. The new regulations would cover breeders who sell over the Internet or through other ads. In fact ALL BREEDERS should engage in humane practices. Why should any dog be abused? People who adopt pets or purchase puppies are not permitted to abuse them, under animal-cruelty laws. All breeders should be held to this standard.

The AKC’s position cannot be defended in any way, shape or form. The organization is fighting against regulations to ensure dogs received veterinary care, time for play and exercise and humane housing.

Several members of the Girl Scouts club were quoted in the ABC News piece, including 11-year old Mary Fran Papalia.

We want breeders, internet or otherwise, to be held accountable for their responsibilities. It’s pretty straightforward. If you are keeping dogs, take care of them.

And the story includes quotes from the Girl Scouts’ letter to the AKC: “We don’t understand why the rules should be different for some people, especially if they are making money by selling dogs, who keep so much of the money that their dogs are suffering.

This seems greedy and wrong to us and we hope it does to you too.”

The AKC’s response was short and non-responsive, as you will read in the article.

Three cheers for Girl Scouts Troop 6811. For their efforts to push the AKC to support compassion for animals, this group of impressive young women earns a very big Pack of Compassion Award.

Make sure you read the ABC News article. It contains some really great information and more quotes from the girls.

Pack Topics: Puppy mill raid; HSUS report on the AKC hitting the news cycle

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Mississippi puppy mill rescue: Over 70 dogs were rescued Tuesday from an alleged puppy mill in Stone County, Miss. – as reported by the Sun Herald.

The dogs were housed in what was described as “unlivable” conditions – “rusty cages and makeshift shelters covered in urine, feces and roaches with no water and inedible food.”

But as we read stories such as this one, we are reminded of organizations that are fighting to block new regulations on puppy mills:

ABC News is one of the news outlets reporting on the Humane Society of the United States’ report about the American Kennel Club and its frequent battles against new regulations. And Global Animal ran a piece on this topic on its website.

And on both links, we find comments of the same-old-tired variety – many of which attack the HSUS as a way to divert the topic of discussion. The underlying mission is to block any new regulations on puppy mills.

And I’m yet to see anyone make a reasonable argument for allowing dogs to be caged 24/7, without medical care or any time for exercise and play – all of which are vitally important to the health and welfare of the dogs. Opponents are regularly fighting against proposals at the state and federal levels to offer basic care for breeding dogs.

It’s a position lacking in any compassion at all.