Stunningly Clueless: TV show and guest promote puppy stores

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In an era where the horrors of puppy mills are gaining more and more attention on a national scale, we are still regularly reminded that the message needs even more exposure.

Stores that sell puppies are still in business because enough people are still uneducated concerning pass-production breeding operations. Too many people still operated under the false notion that they’ll know what they’re getting if they buy puppies in stores or by merely visiting a website.

It is one level of clueless to buy a puppy without visiting the breeding operation or otherwise taking steps to ensure the level of quality for the breeder – but it takes clueless to an extreme level to actually blindly promote buying puppies from stores.

Thanks should go out to Kathy and her blog “Raining Cats and Dogs” on the Chicago Now website for exposing a story that highlights clueless to Level 10.

Fox 32 Chicago aired a fluff piece leading up to Valentine’s Day, where a guest gleefully suggested that people surprise their loved one on the holiday with puppies from stores.

As Kathy rightfully noted in her blog post from Feb. 14, people should never give animals as surprise gifts – especially when it comes to this sort of purchase. Pets are a lifetime commitment – not a box of chocolates or a necklace.

Check out the video posted on link above and observe how happy the guest is to offer up such terrible advice. And the host just bubbles his way through the segment too.

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Report: Kennel passes AKC inspection days prior to horrible conditions being uncovered

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It’s another bad grade for the America Kennel Club and the current rubber-stamp system of inspecting breeding operations. The Humane Society of the United States reported yesterday on a breeding kennel in Mississippi, where a former American Kennel Club champion dog was founding living in feces.

Wild Bill, an Australian Cattle Dog had been living with 60 other dogs on what is being described as a puppy mill.

In the report on his Humane Nation blog, Wayne Pacelle states:

Some of the worst facilities wave around their AKC credentials like a badge of honor, and draw consumers away from better sources of dogs, such as animal shelters and rescue groups and responsible breeders.

As is the case in greyhound racing, when a dog is no longer making money, it becomes disposable for the puppy-mill industry.

We need a system of regular inspections by qualified inspectors in every state in the nation.

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One more important point concerning the North Carolina effort to regulate puppy mills

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The American Kennel Club has been at the forefront of opposition to improved breeding regulations across the nation, measures that could shut down more puppy mills.

But of course, the AKC receives funding through breeding operations. The more breeders, the more money. So when a state like North Carolina introduces a bill that might close down breeding operations that do not meet minimum standards of care, the AKC kicks its opposition into high gear.

The WRAL article I linked to yesterday included the following:

The bill would not apply to dogs being bred or kept as hunting dogs or show dogs and would only apply to breeders with 10 or more breeding females on the premises.

But the AKC has said it is unfair to regulate breeders more stringently than other dog owners, and it has objected to any state inspection of facilities.

True, the bill should regulate all breeders. But to suggest breeders would be regulated more stringently than “other dog owners” is categorically false. If a family was caught treating their pets the way puppy-mill breeders are allowed to treat their dogs, the family would be charged with animal cruelty every time.

As it stands now in North Carolina, breeders are getting preferred treatment and protection from prosecution.
And to the reference to the AKC’s opposition to state inspections, it’s only about what the breeders have to hind, isn’t it? Quality breeders have nothing to hide.
So this is all about protecting substandard breeding operations – period.
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NC legislature set to reintroduce anti-puppy mill bill

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The North Carolina General Assembly will reportedly debate another anti-puppy mill bill this session. The last two attempts in 2013 and 2014 were turned back by the NC Senate, after the bills cleared the House.

Governor Pat McCrory and his wife are in full support of breeding legislation. He commented on the issue in his recent State of the State address, stating “We have to protect our pets from abuse in puppy mills. I’m embarrassed that North Carolina is not giving basic good and water and shelter to our puppies.”

It is highly embarrassing that my home state still does not have protections in place for puppy mill dogs.

Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) sponsored the two most recent bills and WRAL out of Raleigh, NC is reporting he will try again.

The article paints a somewhat positive picture, including a quote from Kim Alboum, state director for the Humane Society of the United States:
“We have just an enormous amount of support from House Republicans. We’ve got a significant amount of support in the Senate, and I think that maybe this is the year that we’re going to come together and pass this bill.”

WRAL rightfully reminded readers recently that the No. 1 opponent of anti-puppy mill legislation is the American Kennel Club.

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Time Warner Cable joins the ranks of companies who are clueless to the puppy mill issue

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Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, it was Go Daddy and its advertising firm that produced a commercial that only proved both companies don’t know how to use the Internet or don’t really pay attention to the news.

The promotion of puppy mills was either clueless or just plain stupid.

Now Time Warner Cable, a company that supplies Internet and cable services to its customers is showing the world that none of the higher-ups at its offices keep up with current events. And they have free Internet.

In addition, those within the advertising firms they work with apparently don’t engage in any research into the topics they highlight in their ads.

The Time Warner Cable commercial in question highlights a mom and her daughter, who wishes for a new puppy. At the end of the ad, the mom asks where the nearest pet store is – of course where she can buy a puppy.

It would have been so easy and reasonable to change the scene to have the mom ask about the location of the nearest animal shelter. Do the ad reps not meet with company officials to present ad ideas? Is brainstorming ideas no longer a part of this process?

Do decision-makers discuss the ads beforehand, to maybe head off any issues or controversies that might crop up? Did anyone at Time Warner not see the backlash against Go Daddy?

We’re trying to get the message out to people that buying a puppy or kitten from a store or online are two of the worst ways to find a new pet. So these two companies over the last few weeks have picked out two terrible things to promote in their ads. And the red flags for both topics were easy to find – on the Internet, which both Time Warner and Go Daddy should be experts at using.

How is this possible? Try searching the phrases – puppy mills, risks of buying puppies from stores or anything similar.

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Super Bowl Sunday Commentary – The Anti-Puppy Mill Edition

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One of the grandaddy of all misinformation campaigns swirling through cyberspace is the attempt to deny there are any definitions to the phrase “puppy mill.” So it’s time to highlight this lie again, as it has reared its ugly head again of late.

The folks who propagate this extreme level of misinformation are doing so in an attempt to shut down any efforts to regulate breeding. Shutting down puppy mills means a loss of income for those with a stake in the industry – directly or indirectly.

Clearly, the states, cities or counties with breeding regulations have included provisions for minimum standards of care – such as housing, care and feeding, veterinary care and time for exercise. Often, the regulations are minimum at best.

The operations that fall under these minimum guidelines can be considered puppy mills or substandard operations. There’s nothing hard to understand about it. But those who support puppy mills are hoping some people will blindly believe the propaganda, without actually researching or engaging in a simple fact check.

And I’m seeing some wild, tangential misinformation being spread about recently. One recent comment under a website post claimed rescue groups are buying puppy-mill puppies and are the main reason why puppy mills exist.

This one gets five piles of feces on a scale of 1 to 5 feces piles. Rescue groups across the nation are taking in dogs who are rescued directly from puppy mills or were sold through a puppy mill and later ended up at shelters or being cared for by rescue groups.

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Yes – They are known as puppy mills and they must be shut down

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While the progress has been too slow in the push to shut down puppy mills across the nation, I am pleased with the level of reporting I’m seeing. The media is doing a relatively good job of headlining the issue.

And rightfully so, the stories include the phrase “puppy mill.” When we see where someone has claimed there are no definitions for the phrase, that’s a red flag showing that individual is trying to block protections for the dogs suffering in puppy mills.

I will keep saying it over and over again. Quality breeders already meet or exceed the guidelines in current or proposed breeding regulations all across the nation.

Of late, we’re seeing an increased focus in media and we can only hope it will lead to more action on the part of legislative bodies. In Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports legislation is making its way through the General Assembly.

The possible provisions include a ban on dog sales at flea markets and preventing stores from selling puppies shipped in from out-of-state puppy mills.

A push is underway in Kansas, to update the state’s Pet Animal Act, as a bill is under review in a House committee. Breeders and kennel operators are on an advisory board, but hopefully they will be working in the right direction.

There is a gas-chamber ban in the bill and a provision to make inspections of breeding operations a requirement. No shelter should use gas chambers and inspections are a vital tool for uncovering puppy mills and ensuring that other breeders are properly staying within the guidelines.

The WCF Courier reports some Iowa lawmakers are engaged in an effort to increase enforcement and inspections for large-scale breeding operations and to better-regulate these operations.

But there are red flags in this case. The article notes it is possible that current standards for cage sizes and flooring might be removed. And I’m not sure it means that purebred breeders will be receive special classification as “specialized breeders, in order to gain their support.”

These breeders would be required to supply annual veterinary records.

The AKC declined to be interviewed for the story and reportedly opposed a previous version of this current bill. The AKC typically opposes any new regulations on puppy mills.

The article reports the AKC argued “the legislation would unfairly restrict raising quality, healthy purebred dogs and would prohibit members from being involved in animal rescues.”

This argument flies in the face of reason. Ensuring the breeding dogs live in clean housing and receive proper food and water and care does nothing to negatively impact quality breeding operations.

We can’t let people get away with using completely illogical arguments that they just try to word as thoughtful – as lame as the statements are.

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Interesting comments in support of breeder are actually a challenge to puppy-mill practices

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The case where a group of Old English Sheepdog (edit – Bulldog) puppies were taken from a home-breeder in Waukegan, Ill. has drawn a lot of national attention. It seems the breeder was violating a local ordinance, but now the rescue group holding the puppies and city staffers (including the police) have received threats of violence.

On Chicago Now’s “Raining Cats and Dogs” blog, the comments are all over the map. So I jumped in this week in the comment section to offer my take.

The following sums up some of my input:

Comments concerning puppies actually support bans on selling puppies before they are ready to leave their mothers.

It is interesting to read the comments from those who support the breeder in the story, where concern is expressed for separating puppies from moms at too young an age.
But if anyone introduced legislation to ban the sale of puppies before the age of 10 to 12 weeks or so, the AKC and other breeder organizations would scream and lobby heavily against it.


Rescue groups and shelters often have no choice. They either take in puppies dropped off at shelters at a very young age or take in puppies from a rescue case.

But it is time to ban the sale of puppies before they are ready to leave their moms, where they learn important social skills and gather other benefits. And the breeders should not be allowed to separate them from the moms.


Actually, there are behavioral concerns. Puppies learn social skills from their moms and litter mates.
All dogs are actually wolf-hybrids and in the wild, wolf puppies stay with their moms much longer – of course.

And as far as breeding goes overall, there are real concerns out in the real world. I regularly note that there are good breeders, but far too many are not at all concerned with breeding with concern for long-term health.

I’ve heard too many stories of young dogs getting cancer. I’ve had too many people tell me about their purchased dogs that ended up with serious knee deformities or cancers or hip problems or behavior problems.

We have been talking to one person of late who purchased a pair of puppies just four years ago. One had both knees operated on and the other had liver problems and is now dead due to an oral cancer.
One family we know adopted four ex-racing greyhounds and all four died young from osteosarcoma.

We need far better regulations on breeders, so that only the quality breeders are operating. Who wants a bunch of substandard breeders – not only harming dogs but giving good breeders a bad name?
Who could support a system like that. which is what we have now?


Clearly, there are good and bad breeders. We all know that. I have no problems with the breeders are researching and working with concern for quality breeding. These breeders are not the problem.

I’ve clearly stated that we need to weed out the bad breeders (puppy mills, etc) so that only the quality breeders remain.
That is clearly a logical position that everyone should support. Who would support bad breeding?

The issue has been the breeders who fail to engage in research and continue to breed dogs with health issues.
We also know there is a problem with purebred dogs because of the rise in specific breed rescue groups. People tend to too often site numbers from municipal shelters without taking into account the purebred dogs up for adoption in rescue groups.

Yes, irresponsible pet guardians are a problem, along with irresponsible breeders. We should address both. I often do.
Last year, I spoke at a meeting for a local shelter and told the attendees that while they debating over the particular issues of care within the shelter (very important) I was watching dogs and cats coming in the door.

We must debate these topics knowing it is a complex issue. We can’t let bad breeders off the hook because bad people are taking in pets.
I don’t want to see people dumping their pets or not caring for them and I don’t want to see bad breeders continue to operate.


Good breeders already comply with the provisions in every proposed anti-puppy mill bill I’ve read. But we continue to see opposition to shutting down the bad breeders.
And yes, I have visited breeding operations where the dogs were housed properly and had access to play yards and clean food and water.

Again, why would anyone want bed breeders to continue to operate?


In my home state, breed rescues have seen huge growth over the last 15 years. We’ve always had bad pet guardians. But in the last 15 years, the homeless problem has gotten worse, with even purebred dogs.

(One commenter took the typical route of those opposed to breeding regulations, by suggesting there are no definitions to the phrase – puppy mill. I had one ready for them.) –

A puppy mill is any breeding operation that —
A) Houses dogs in dirty cages too small for them to freely move about – and does not contain clean bedding.
B) Does not allow the dogs daily time for exercise in a safe, outdoor play area.
C) Denies the dogs regular veterinary care.
D) Does not offer the dogs proper food and water.
E) Separates the puppies from their mothers at too young an age.

These are the typical provisions contained in proposed anti-puppy mill bills and laws. Want a definition of a puppy mill? It’s any breeder who does not comply with the above.


We have too often seen even inspected operations finally exposed as puppy mills, because the current regulations are far too weak.
Let’s weed out the bad breeders and puppy mills and leave breeding to quality breeders. Who could oppose that?


Obviously, the puppy mills are not being inspected – as for one thing there are too few inspectors.
We’ve also seen where inspectors allowed horrible conditions to go on – through multiple inspections.

Only recently has legislation been proposed to cover all breeders, those who sell to commercial operations and over the internet.

We need to make sure the dogs get regular play time and clean housing and clean food and water. Sadly, too often this is not happening.

The USDA license is too often – sadly – not worth the paper it’s printed on and it will be until the regulations are improved.

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HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle reviews results for 2014

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In his A Humane Nation blog this week, Humane Society of the United States leader Wayne Pacelle reviewed the organization’s “Top Transformational Results of 2014.”

The list features:

South Dakota becoming the 5oth US state to adopt a felony animal-cruelty law.

It is now a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The truly idiotic and evil “King Amendment” was tossed out of the Farm Bill.

A federal appellate court rightfully overturned a horrible ruling from a lower that might have tossed out the animal crush video law. If I recall, the lower court tried to claim that torturing and brutally killing animals was protected free speech. That’s one for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame.

So arguably the current leader for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame is Citizens United.

A number of countries have agreed to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Three horse-slaughter plants were blocked from opening this year.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule blocks the importation of puppies for sale. This means at least foreign puppy mills can’t sell here.

Internet sellers of puppy now have to follow USDA guidelines. The HSUS helped to block a legal challenge to this ruling.

Better protections are in place for animals suffering through experiments in labs.

The World Trade Organization is thankfully supporting European Union’s ban on products resulting from the horrific Canadian seal hunts.

The wolf hunts were stopped in Michigan.

New York and New Jersey became the first states to banned the sale of Ivory. This one should become a federal ban.

And Pacelle states the “…  International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling’s ban on commercial hunting.”

Read Pacelle’s full rundown at the link above.

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Great Read: Des Moines Register editorial concerning weak puppy mill regulations

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It is very pleasing to see more attention being given to animal-welfare issues. Today, we have a Des Moines Register editorial concerning the weak level of protections for puppy-mill dogs in Iowa.

Of course, this is true for much of the country.

The Des Moines Register editorial writer notes puppy-mill breeders are often given a pass when dogs are found living in horrible conditions. At times, the breeder is only issued a citation and the suffering animals are left behind to continue to suffer.

A Human Society of the US report is cited, one that list the worst offenders in the country. It is disgusting to read how these people are allowed to continue to operate. In some cases, the offenders are actually allowed to deny access to inspectors.

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