Some dog breeders file lawsuit to block regulations

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Apparently, some dog breeders do not want to engage in even minimal welfare standards for welfare practices. As the USDA proposed a move of covering commercial breeders who sell directly to the public under the Animal Welfare Act, some breeders made it clear they do not want to fall under these minimal standards.

They have filed a lawsuit to block expansion of the rules.

Other breeders already fall under the act. But the system needs a upgrade, as too few inspectors are on the job to enforce the regulations, as they they stand now.

In reality, breeders who refuse to house and care for animals under these current, less-than-stringent guidelines should not be allowed to operate at all. Those who refuse proper veterinary care and those who house their dogs or cats in tiny cages 24/7 and those who never allow their animals time for play or exercise or proper food and water should be shut down – today.

It is difficult to understand how anyone could suggest all breeders should NOT be covered under at lease these very minimum standards of care in the Animal Welfare Act. If we shut down the puppy mill operators for good, the costs of enforcing the act will go down. If we shut the puppy mills down and slap some real punishment for the offenders, the penalty will be too great and the risk will be too big for other puppy mill operators.

It is time to see real action against puppy mills.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Connecticut city considers ban on puppy and kitten sales in stores

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Hartford, Conn. held a second of two public hearing last week on a proposed ban on the sale of puppies and kittens in stores that originate from kitten or puppy mills. The legislation would limit the “sales” to what the Fairfield Patch website calls “humanely sourced puppies.”

The article reports one opponent of banning the sale of puppies in stores read from a newspaper ad concerning pit bulls needing new homes. He was quoted a saying, “We are in business because people don’t want an old pit bull dog.”

That’s ridiculous and it is the typical propaganda that falsely claims all homeless dogs are either pit bulls or mutts. Clearly, the nation would NOT have the thousands over thousands of breed-specific rescues operating, if the only dogs in the homeless ranks were pit bulls and mixed-breeds.

Puppies and kittens should not be sold like toasters in stores. Adopting or purchasing a pet is a lifetime commitment, where an adoption-application is part of the process. It is not something that should be an impulse decision by shoppers.

In addition, the buyer has no way of confirming the conditions where the puppies are bred. No one should purchase a puppy or kitten without confirming how the parent dogs are being treated. It is far too risky.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Mentality for Nov. 4: Odd statements on breeding and animal welfare

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Some people just continue to pull in their thoughts from regions beyond our solar system. This, of course, is assuming intelligent life does not exist beyond the Earth. But then again, intelligent life is limited here too.

The Pack News Wire included an editorial posted on HoosierAGToday.com – under the headline: “The Hidden Agenda Behind The Animal Care Movement.”
This was odd enough. Not the ‘animal rights movement,’ as we typically see. The headline suggests the animal care movement has a hidden agenda. What? – your vet is out to take over the world?

But Gary Truitt actually states – “The real agenda behind the animal activist movement is the total domination and, in some cases, elimination of animal agriculture.”

The fact that this is not happening really doesn’t seem to bother Truitt. But his claims are really based on the fact that those who support compassion and animal welfare want to see abuse exposed, in some cases with undercover video of people actually torturing animals.

So since people with compassion want to prevent acts of animal cruelty and see to it that abuse is uncovered, Truitt falsely claims that means they want total domination. That’s wacky.

AND – A headline on RoyalCentral.co.uk reads – “Animal Welfare Act endangers the Queens corgis.”

And why is this claim made? – Because the act bans the act of tail docking for cosmetic reasons for dogs.
So if breeders don’t get to engage in this completely unnecessary but cruel practice, they just don’t want to breed that dog. So the fear is the Queen won’t be able to buy more corgis because those who set the breed standard won’t like the dogs with full tails – the way nature intended.

From the piece –

The ban on docking has changed the look of the corgi; therefore breeders are not continuing to raise the Pembroke Corgi.
Just because they don’t get to chop off each dog’s tail. That’s wacky.
AND –
Falling below the number required will place in on a “vulnerable native breeds list.”

Native breeds list – ? They are all related to wolves. The welfare of the dogs should come first, not a native breeds list.

The Queen should decree henceforth to adopt homeless pets. What a great example that would set.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Local, online poll shows huge support for anti-puppy mill laws

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Online polls can be a bit unscientific, the numbers found in a local news station poll this week are incredible. WWAY in Wilmington, NC asked readers if they think North Carolina needs to enact tougher puppy-mill laws.

Just up the road from Wilmington, around 100 dogs were recently rescued in a raid on a rural puppy mill.

As of Friday morning, 762 people had voted in the poll, with 92 percent voting YES. While any reasonable person would vote this way, a few did go with NO or Don’t Know/Don’t Care.

Our nation is divided on many political issues and as we’re seeing right now, gridlock is the new norm. But our collective love for animals brings people of all political corners into agreement. Now we just need our elected officials follow the movement. To date, too many elected officials at the state and federal level have been caving in to special-interest groups, who regularly lobby against any and all breeding regulations and/or animal-welfare laws.

In its next session, the North Carolina General Assembly will take up a new anti-puppy mill bill, which has passed one house already.  Any puppy-mill regulations need to include regular, unannounced inspections; requirements for daily exercise and play time; regular veterinary care and standards for kennel sizes and construction.

Our current laws in North Carolina and at the federal level are far too weak. Don’t let anyone tell you current laws are good enough, if enforced. There are gaping holes in current regulations – especially for breeders – in NC and elsewhere.

Enforcement is one key area, but currently, law enforcement does not have the guidelines it needs. Conditions have to be reach extreme levels before police and sheriff departments can act. By that point, the suffering might have gone on for years. Without inspections, we’ve seen puppy mills operate undiscovered for years, if not decades. So many are operating freely right now.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Dispelling a Myth: The phrase ‘puppy mill’ does have a legal definition

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I continue to read insane propaganda from those who support puppy mills and those who fight against any and all legislation directed to shutting down more mills.

One of the myths circling around websites, message boards and comment sections is the one making the false claim that the phrase ‘puppy mill’ does not have a legal definition. It’s as odd as claiming the moon does not exist.

Within any existing piece of legislation regarding the regulation of breeders, where standards of care are part of the legislation, we can find the standards that define a substandard breeding operation – a puppy mill. It is true that in many cases the regulations do not go far enough.

But there are penalties involved for breeders who fall below the basic standards.

In many cases, the breeders are required to offer regular veterinary care, house their dogs to minimum standards (some banning the use of wire flooring), offer the dogs regular periods for exercise and provide them clean food and water. So in a very minimum level, a puppy mill operation would fail within any one or more of these areas.

Clearly, a substandard breeding operation is define and therefore a puppy mill is defined. So the next time you read a comment from someone claiming ‘puppy mill’ does not have a legal definition, point out the clearly defined definition. Although these individuals often have a lot of trouble with reading comprehension, others might better understand the topic.

I was reading a news article recently about a store planning to open in a Toledo, Ohio – where puppies will be sold. How the mall – in 2013 – could even consider this move is beyond belief. But some of the comments under the story might be funny if the topic was not so serious.

One person used the same old tired propaganda about there being no definition of a puppy mill. And she went further, claiming bad breeders could not possibly hide from view now. And get this, she claims all of the videos from puppy mill raids are old. (These people will claim anything at this point.)

She goes on to claim:

— Sick puppies don’t sell, so puppy mills couldn’t possibly sell sick puppies. (Of course she fails to note that these breeders don’t take sick puppies back and in some cases, the puppies get sick later or develop cancers later.)

— She claims most commercial breeders have state-of-the art kennels and are inspected every year. (Clearly, this is not true, as we only recently saw the USDA change the rules to cover the thousands of breeders who sell over the Internet or in ads.)

— She tries to claim improved regulations won’t help shut down puppy mills. (If that was the case, the puppy mill supporters would not be working so hard to stop the improved regulations from passing – in states across the county.)

But in too many cases, current regulations are far too weak, in regard to the housing, exercise time and veterinary care – and in the punishment for animal cruelty. So clearly we need better regulations.

— And she leaves one the highly-false claims for last, one we see spewed out often. She claims breeders are not responsible for dogs going into shelters.

She is partly correct in suggesting irresponsible people are to blame. But in too many cases, people are buying puppies from substandard breeders – through stores or over the Web – and then turning them in to shelters after they show behavioral problems or health problems.

If these puppy mill breeders would follow breeding practices that include genetic health factors and if they would stop selling puppies at 6 weeks old, the situation would be greatly improved.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two articles – two peculiar statements – on dog racing and puppy sales

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Regular visitors to the Pack Mentality Blog know the disdain I have for greyhound racing. So when I read articles about the horrible industry and I see wacky comments from supporters of dog racing, it really gives me the finger-nails-on-the-chalkboard feeling.

I’ve read a couple of articles over the last week about a report sponsored by the Florida state legislature, a report that called dog racing a dying industry. The Florida Times-Union story from July 6 notes even those operating tracks in the state want out. But a lobbyist is quoted as claiming one problem is the condition of the racetracks – and the report claimed he said going to the track was unpleasant for visitors.

My response is this – Tell it to the greyhounds. It’s more than unpleasant every day for them. But I guess that doesn’t matter for some people.

Then we have a quote from Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown’s attorney, after his previously seized dog and her pups were returned to him. Authorities took a number of dogs from a property where the owner was charged with mistreating animals and operating a dog-breeding operation without a license.

In a Leader Telegram story from June 28, Brown’s attorney made a claim about the “value of puppies” decreasing the older they get.

“It’s a lot easier to sell 8-week-old puppies than it is to sell eight-month-old puppies.”

The fact is – puppies should not be sold at 8 weeks old. Puppies should remain with their mom and siblings for at least 12 weeks. They learn important social skills over this span. And of course the real “value” of dogs has nothing to do with sale prices.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Writer agrees with me – big dog shows and popular breed lists are marketing tools

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I’m glad I ran across a column earlier today, headlined – “Beware: Westminster Dog Show Picks Will Also Become Puppy-Mill Favorites” – on the Opposing Views website.

Phyllis M Daugherty notes Westminster Dog Show this week comes on the heels of the release of the most popular dog breeds by the AKC. And it’s all marketing. And she rightfully notes puppy mills operators will be gearing up to sell puppies people see on the list and in the show.

So uniformed people will watch and then run to the web to look for breeders in their area or they’ll run out to a store to buy a puppy. And they’ll do this while millions of purebred dogs and mixed breeds are waiting in shelters or with rescue groups for new homes.

And it is the rescue dogs who are the greatest dogs in the world.

 

The Westminster Wolf-Hybrid Show

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An Associated Press story about the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show offered some interesting information about one of the two new “breeds” introduced this year – the Treeing Walker Hound.

The article notes this hound was “developed from” the Walker Foxhound Virginia Hounds and English Foxhounds. So what does this make the Treeing Walker Hound? – Yes, it’s a mixed-breed dog – a mutt. But of course, all of the dogs in this show and all other dog shows are the result of cross-breeding – some going back thousands of years. And again, their common ancestors are wolves.

I’m not slamming particular breeds of dogs. I love them all. My wife and I have rescued bassets and greyhounds and labs and mutts. But the promotion of dog breeds by shows and kennel clubs is actually just that – promotion and marketing.

Okay, it’s interesting and the dogs look great. But they’re all wolf hybrids.

 

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.