Sunday, December 21, 2014

Purposefulness Creates Contentment

This morning I caught a glimpse of a show on "Super Soul Sunday" about Large Guardian Dogs. The show featured a family of Great Pyrenees dogs.. The older dogs were socializing the pups and introducing them to the flock. They were becoming bonded with the sheep and the lambs, even helping groom the lambs. The farmer remarked: " I watch them care for something outside of themselves and that purposefulness creates contentment."
This is something that farmers know, and people who are d
eeply connected to their animals know, but animal rights fanatics can never truly understand. Animals, just like people, need direction and purpose in their lives to be happy and content, whether it be having a job to do, a family to raise or a protective role of some sort.
I can't imagine a world where we divorce ourselves from our domestic animals. Such a world would provide only a sadly soulless existence for humans. For the animals we are bonded with in spirit, it would spell extinction.
Domestic animals exist only because of the purposes for which they serve mankind. Companionship is one purpose, but there are more practical associations such as horses who pull carriages or allow ranchers to traverse their territory, or cows and chickens who provide a major source of high-quality nourishment for humans in the way of dairy products, eggs, and yes, meat. Without the express purpose of helping us with our work or providing us with a food source, these animals wouldn't exist at all.

Man was only able to develop his brain and evolve to a high level of mental capacity through his consumption of high-quality protein and high-fat animal-based foods beginning thousands of years ago.
More rural and agrarian human societies have always understood this animal bond and been thankful for it. It's only in recent times, where our largely urban populace seldom thinks about nature and our connection to it, that we have seen people object to "using" domestic animals and insisting that animals have "rights". If so, humans have the same rights, including the right to produce and eat the foods our bodies need to thrive through humane stewardship of animals.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Animal Law Writing Contest

From an AKC press release:
AKC has joined with the AVMA, the Cat Fanciers’ Association, and the Animal Health Institute to establish the Animal Law Writing Contest for Law Students .

The contest is part of a shared effort by concerned mainstream animal welfare groups to ensure access and familiarity with a broad range of perspectives on animal law. The contest launches this month and welcomes all scholarly viewpoints.

Students currently enrolled at ABA-accredited law schools located in the United States are invited to write a 10-20 page scholarly paper on the constitutionality of one of two preselected animal law topics. A committee with relevant experience will judge all properly-submitted entries received by Noon on February 15, 2015 . The winner, who will be notified by April 1, 2015 , will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a trip to the American Veterinary Medical Law Association’s Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, next July. The second place author will receive a $1,000 cash prize.


What the heck? Why do all these animal groups want to encourage MORE animal laws and lawyers to deal with them? What am I missing here, are we playing right into the hands of the ARs? Somehow I doubt these folks are taught how to exercise conservative restraint in the legal arena.

I received some opinions that "moderate voices" in law schools should be encouraged, and indeed, if by hinting at constitutionality of these new laws they are seeking a conservative viewpoint to win this contest, that would be great. But how many "animal law" students out there are actually conservative instead of progressive?

Thoughts from one well-educated person:
This upsets me so much. Guess where most of the submissions will come from.....Lewis & Clark Law School or Tufts? Or how about these suggestions from the ALDF:

 
There is no possible upside for the AKC or people in the dog fancy from this contest. All it will do is provide arguments for A/R advocates. I can see it now....."This argument was supported by the winning paper in the AKC Animal Law Writing Contest."

This contest is yet another boneheaded idea from the AKC. (And the selection of topics was boneheaded, too.) What if the only submissions are from A/R-influenced lawyers-in-the-making who find "support" for the ban in Chicago or MSN in LA?

 And here's why I think an AR-only outcome is highly likely . . .

 The largest percentage of law school students want to end up in firms or businesses -- no one enters law school burning to fight against AR tide. Animal law probably won’t add to those students’ resumes. (Hey, I went to professional school in the ancient past (Northwestern, MBA, ’85), and I would never have written an extra-curricular paper or undertaken an internship in the non-profit sector. Why would an MBA student serious about working in the corporate sector divert his attention from the brass ring?) Why would a lawyer-in-the-making divert his attention from getting a job at the end of three years, especially to enter a contest with a modest payout and regarding a sector of the law with no active, high-profile suits.

 Those students really interested in animal law are ideologues interested in working for advocacy organizations, like the HSUS, ASPCA, PeTA, ALDF, prosecutors’ offices and others further down the food chain. A great paper could get these students a job and “stick it to those animal abusers” at the same time.

 When I hear commenters holding out for the pipe dream of moderation, I really become concerned. Where does moderation fit into this contest? This isn't a discussion. Writers will bring their positions to the table through the strength of their citations and analyses. Will there be a killer argument presented? Probably not. (The constitutional analyses will probably focus on "reserved powers,""illegal taking," and possible "interstate commerce.") But I can hear it now from the city attorney of LA or Pasadena or Long Beach, "The analysis posed by the winner of the AKC Animal Law Writing Contest completely supports our position." Note the use of AKC in the previous sentence.

 In summary, I believe that this contest will only provide a forum for AR advocates and will ultimately hinder those of us in the field actually fighting MSN and various seller bans.

An experienced lawyer expressed his opinion:

As an attorney who has practiced law for over 50 years; who once was a law student; and who has devoted over 23,000 hours to studying and documenting the “brainwashing” efforts of the HSUS and Mr. Pacelle - - (who described his book, The Bond, as “part memoir, part manifesto”) - I have grave, grave, grave concerns that the contest will ultimately lead to unexpected, irreversible and devastating consequences because Mr. Pacelle and the HSUS have expended over ONE BILLION DOLLARS in their unrelenting efforts to “brainwash” all segments of our American society. That includes, but is not limited to, the American public, news media, elected officials at all levels of government, government agencies, such as USDA (which hired Sarah L. Conant, a former HSUS ligitation attorney, who, when a law student at the University of Virginia Law School, organized a law school sanctioned animal law group), the Department of Justice, (which hired Ethan Eddy, a former HSUS litigation attorney who tutored Sarah L. Conant), law enforcement officials at all levels of government, our churches, and our pre-schools, elementary middle and high schools, and yes, the American Bar Association, and law schools!


MY TOP REASONS FOR CONCERN:
  • Be careful of what you ask and wish for…………….. especially when the ever present shadow of the HSUS has infiltrated and influenced the “process.”
  • Three years ago, I documented how the HSUS had “hijacked” and was infiltrating the legal profession, which started nearly 10 years ago at law schools. And this effort was not limited to Sarah L. Conant! EACH YEAR MORE AND MORE LAW SCHOOLS ESTABLISH “ANIMAL LAW” CURRICULUMS THAT ARE INFLUENCED BY THE INPUT OF THE HSUS!!!
  • In March of 2009, I attended a Workshop at the Georgetown Law School that was Co-Hosted by the HSUS. Opening remarks of the Dean of the Georgetown Law School predicted that the growth of “Animal Law” would mirror the growth of Environmental Laws and Regulations that followed the passage of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) in 1969. And the growth of Animal Law Curriculums has continued to grow each year at more and more law schools, which are being “guided” by the clandestine efforts of the HSUS.
  • A Co-Moderator of the Workshop was Jonathan Lovvorn, an Adjunct Law Professor at Georgetown Law School, who also serves as the HSUS VP and Chief of the HSUS Litigation Division, and who also was a named defendant in the Feld Lawsuit for his role in the alleged “money laundering” and RICO Violations.
  • The other Co-Moderator of the Workshop was Nancy Perry, the Wife of Jonathan Lovvorn, and who then served as the HSUS VP for Government Relations (Lobbying) and now serves as the Senior VP for Government Relations (Lobbying) for ASPCA.
  • One of the Panelist on the Workshop was Congressman Whitfield, who is now the subject of a Congressional Ethics Investigation because he purportedly allowed his wife, who serves as the Chief Lobbyist for the HSUS, to use his Office to Lobby other Members of Congress to support the HSUS Legislative Agenda.
  • Yet another panelist on the Workshop was a Senior Official within the American Veterinary Medical Association. And when he was asked why the AVMA was not more supportive of the welfare and rights of animals, he prophetically responded that the demographics of the Leadership of the AVMA would change over the next 5 years as the older vets retired and were replaced by younger vets who focused on the care for dogs and cats.
  • Yet another 2009 HSUS Workshop Panelist was a USDA Attorney, who co-authored an HSUS 2009 Workshop Handout, and who currently is the immediate supervisor of Sarah L. Conant!
  • As a result of the HSUS efforts, the American Bar Association has established an “Animal Law Section,” that is operated by young attorneys who have drunk the HSUS “Kool-Aid.”
  • In 2013 Mr. Pacelle was a featured speaker at the Annual Conference for the 50 State Attorney Generals.
  • In the last 11 Years more than 2,000 attorneys have provided tens of thousands of pro bono (free) hours of legal services to the HSUS Legislative and Litigation Agendas of the HSUS. In short, the Billion Dollar Brainwashing Campaign of the HSUS has been supplemented by the equivalent of Tens of Millions of Dollars of free legal services. And many of the young attorneys, who were recently “law school students,” and who are providing these free legal services to the HSUS work for some of the largest Law Firms in the U.S. which freely have designated young attorneys to work full time for the HSUS for up to a year so that the Law Firms may report to the State Bar Associations that they provided thousands of hours of pro bono services. These pro bono services are a major reason why Wayne Pacelle has been able to claim that the HSUS was responsible for the passage of over 1,000 laws at the Federal and State Levels of Government, and that number does not include the State Ballot Initiatives nor the Federal Regulations, such as the Retail Pet Store Rule.
Let's hope that the winner is NOT a lackey of the HSUS, but that seems rather unlikely.

Monday, December 8, 2014

AKC: "Despite Poor Record, Mandatory Spay/Neuter Proposals on the Rise"

 
  
 
What do Pasadena, California; Augusta, Georgia; Madison, Wisconsin; New York City and the state of Rhode Island have in common?
      
Each of these places has recently advanced legislation to require that all dogs or certain classes of dogs within their jurisdictions be sterilized.
 
After what appeared to be several years of declining interest in mandatory spay neuter (MSN) policy by animal activists, AKC has observed resurgence in MSN proposals in the last several months, mostly at the local level.
 
MSN laws can take a variety of forms. They're regularly offered by activists as a quick fix for a myriad of canine issues ranging from dangerous dogs, to shelter intakes, to roaming pets, and even concerns about substandard kennels in other communities. Still, cities that have established MSN have not only found it to be ineffective; it has also created a host of new problems. For example, after Dallas, Texas, implemented MSN in 2008, the city experienced a 22% increase in animal control costs and an overall decrease in pet licensing compliance.  AKC Government Relation's Issue Analysis on Mandatory Spay Neuter presents more information on why MSN is ineffective.
 
Tragically, some activists push for mandatory sterilization laws even as mounting scientific evidence demonstrates that spay/neuter surgery (ovariohysterectomy and castration)— especially when performed on a young puppy—can have serious long-term negative health consequences. Recent scientific studies reveal that juvenile sterilization may lead to increased incidences of cancer (including osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma and mast cell tumors), hip dysplasia, ligament disorders, chronic incontinence and even shortened lifespans. These and other emerging studies contradict commonly-held beliefs about the effects of spay/neuter.
 
Ironically, many animal rights activists who push for government-mandated sterilization for all dogs also adamantly seek to outlaw minor procedures such as tail docking or dew claw removal. It's not clear why some find it logical to ban these minor procedures, but don't question passing  laws to require major spay/neuter—in some cases only a few weeks after a pup has opened its eyes and learned to walk.
 
According to the American Pet Products Association, 83 percent of U.S. pet dogs are already spayed/neutered. In many communities, local rescues and shelters have so few adoptable dogs available that they are importing puppies and dogs from other communities and states to offer in their facilities. Ironically, many of these communities are the same ones that are considering MSN.
More here:
 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Big Bucks in Retail Rescue!





How would you like to own the beautiful dogs pictured above? Friendly, healthy, happy, well-groomed, tail-wagging purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. RAISING MY HAND here! I'd like to have ALL of them.

The owner, a USDA licensed breeder, has obviously taken very good care of them. And apparently just got paid off, BIG TIME!

Several "Rescue" groups heard that these dogs would be made available by the owner at public auction. One rescue group actually set up a "Go Fund Me" page for the purpose of bidding on the dogs. In less than two weeks, this one rescue group raised......are you ready for this?......over $183,000!

I'm not sure how many dogs this one particular group bought for the purpose of reselling at retail, but if they bought all 108 of the dogs mentioned in the article, they would immediately have available about $1700 to spend on each and every dog! I'm sure the original owner is laughing all the way to the bank, for getting a big price for these retired breeding dogs.

Not to mention, the "rescue" will be SELLING them soon to the public. Probably for several hundred dollars apiece. 


That's ends up netting them over $2000 per dog. Pay for a dental, a quick-snip castration, and WALA! A fast and easy profit.

And they say dog breeders are money-grubbing "puppy mills"! Pot, meet kettle!

Dog breeders don't have bleeding heart donations from fraudulent "Go Fund Me" pages to help them pay their mortgages and veterinary expenses. 

Dog breeders must pay for a Federal license. They have to be inspected. They are required to provide proper care and treatment of their dogs, BY LAW. They have to pay a LOT of money to keep their premises in acceptable conditions, to provide regular veterinary care, to pay for permits and fees. They have people watching to make sure that drinking water is fresh, that any medications used are in date, that accommodations are roomy enough.

"Rescues", who in cases like this are really nothing but Retail Rescue pond scum, have NO REGULATION. No care standards, nobody watching to make sure they take good care of their charges. And indeed, we have seen MANY rescues in recent years busted for animal neglect and cruelty. 

Any other pet dealer has to be licensed by USDA, but apparently not if you are a self-proclaimed "rescue".

Yet, in the eyes of the public,dog breeders are the "greeders", the bad guys! Dog breeders want to MAKE MONEY!!!!

I ask you, how else can one pay for dog food?

But that doesn't stop people from justifying this insane action. Why, they are saving these dogs from a fate worse than death! Being used for BREEDING!  The awful original owner had 100 dogs and was a PUPPY MILL!!

And they are putting this horrible, dog-abusing "miller" out of business.....how? By paying him big bucks for his dogs? 

Good plan.

Maybe he can retire...or maybe, he can take that money and go out and buy a whole bunch of new dogs to continue his breeding program. 

Good for him! Take the money, because you sure ain't gettin' no respect. Hey, maybe you can get the rescue groups to buy dogs from you again! A lot more profitable than breeding, and easier, too.

The donations for the PET STORE DEALER oops, sorry, I mean "Rescue", continue to stream in from John Q. Public. I guess Obamacare's "architect" Gruber was right after all when he said people are stupid. You can check here to see how much money to date the "rescue" group has raised from all the bleeding heart dummies out there. Maybe it'll be up to a $$ quarter million $$ in another week or so. 

That'll buy a whole lotta halo polish.

The 'abused' dogs one day after purchase. So sick, neglected and terrified due to their awful lives with an EEEEEVIL
PUPPY MILLER!

 
News flash..... had to update this as I find out more. There was actually raised a total amount of over $350,000 to buy these hundred dogs! Sucker born every minute!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Can I keep My USDA Exemption?

Question: If I have only two females, can I ship and still keep my exemption? After all the discussion we've had about the new rule, I don't remember.
 


Answer: Yes, probably, since according to the amended Regulations, you can have up to four "breeding females" and ship "sight unseen" as pets. However, several issues come to mind that may not make this an easy question to answer:

1. Do you co-own "breeding females" elsewhere? Regulations unclear about whether they should be counted. Similarly, do you kennel or board "breeding females" owned by others? They possibly would be counted in the total number of breeding females allowed.


2. You are aware, aren't you? that APHIS definition of "breeding females" probably would include intact bitches that you wouldn't wouldn't consider breeding? (e.g., too old, too young, health problems etc.) -- you may not breed them but APHIS might still count them in the total if they believe them "breedable". 



 3. Do you participate in Rescue activities, and have you housed rescue "breeding females" (intact bitches)? From what I'm hearing, APHIS has for the present time chosen to look the other way on this issue, and not count rescue animals in the totals. However, by a strict interpretation of the Regulations, intact "rescue" females would count (especially if you transfer any dog "sight unseen" to a pet home), no matter how APHIS is viewing them now.


4. Are all animals shipped by you as pets offspring of the pets you own, and born and raised on your property? It's questionable how APHIS would view a "sight unseen" sale of a "stud fee puppy", for example since to obtain the "four or fewer" exemption, any pet you sell must have been "born and raised" on your property according to the Regulations.. This is not one of the changes made in 2013 to the Regulations, but was there all along, but wasn't generally enforced, at least for small home hobby breeders such as yourself. How or if it will be enforced now is a good question. (This is yet another thorny rescue question as well).


5. Do you own other "breeding females" that are included in the Regulations? (small pet mammals, primarily). Does anyone else in your household or who resides on your property have any "breeding females" (dogs or otherwise.) All those get counted in the total of "four or fewer."


You may want to get clarification on your situation from APHIS directly. Unfortunately, what an APHIS representative tells you now may or may not be admissible in Court if it conflicts with what's in the Regulations.


Finally, remember (especially if you openly ship to people you don't know well, or if you advertise that you ship) that you are a potential target for the ARs, and they might try to have you investigated. If APHIS comes to ask as to your mode of business, you will need to have proof that -- throughout the year that you shipped those animals -- that you only had two "breeding females" (and not more than four) and that you complied with other requirements of the Regulations needed for the "four or fewer" exemption.


If you choose to go the easier route, and decide to have no "sight unseen" sales, you can, of course, have as many "breeding females" as you wish if you sell to the final purchaser (and not wholesale should you own more than four breeding females). But it would still be a good idea to document how these animals were transferred to the new owner so that they weren't a "sight unseen" sale.


AWA and AWA Regulations can be found here,
and here.
Submitted by Margo Milde via the Pet Law list.


Margo is long-time Legislative Liaison for five dog clubs: Rand Park Dog Training Club, Agility Ability Club of Illinois, Fox River Field Spaniel Club, Moraine Tracking Club, and Field Spaniel Society of America (AKC parent club). She is also a Board Member of the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners. However, her answer here may not officially represent the position of these organizations.



Friday, October 3, 2014

Why PIJAC's Moves Should Concern Dog Fanciers

Why PIJAC's Moves Should Concern Dog Fanciers

Carlotta Cooper

 


Now that some of the hoopla has died down about PIJAC (the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council) hiring Ed Sayres to be their President and CEO, it's a good time to look at this decision and what it means for hobby breeders. While some Pollyannas have insisted that PIJAC and Sayres won't have much affect on hobby breeders, Sayres is already showing otherwise.

Though it came as a surprise to most observers when PIJAC chose former ASPCA CEO Ed Sayres to be their new President and CEO recently, there are a lot of moving parts to this story and some reasons for dog fanciers to be concerned. PIJAC represents the interests of commercial dog breeders, as well as other pet breeders such as those who breed hamsters, gerbils, reptiles, and other small pets. They also represent pet store chains and pet food companies. The pet industry is worth some $58 billion annually in the United States and most of the big players in that industry are members of PIJAC. The new head of PIJAC now looks to be the former head of one of the nation's most influential animal rights organizations.

It might seem like a positive move for commercial dog breeders to embrace someone who has always spoken out for better animal welfare, but things are not always what they seem.

As an organization, PIJAC has fought against animal rights legislation for most of its existence, dating back to the early 1970s under the leadership of Marshall Meyers. But Mr. Meyers retired in 2010 and since that time PIJAC has been floundering, backing off in the fight against animal rights legislation, and making deals. Currently more than 70 cities ban the sale of live animals in pet stores – unless they are rescue or shelter animals.

In December 2012, PIJAC joined with HSUS and the ASPCA, along with several PIJAC partners, “to create lasting change in the commercial breeding industry,” according to an HSUS news release, by forming a coalition to fight “puppy mills.”

“The ASPCA has witnessed first-­hand the unspeakable cruelty and horrific conditions of substandard puppy mills, and we are committed to working with key industry leaders to help end the inhumane treatment of dogs in these facilities,” said ASPCA President &CEO Ed Sayres. “We are pleased that the industry has come together in a meaningful way to acknowledge this abuse, and confront it head on.” 

Mr. Sayres is singing a different tune today as he tries to convince the members of PIJAC that he didn't really mean all of those things he said as the head of the ASPCA.

According to sources, the PIJAC board of directors voted 9-7 to offer Mr. Sayres the positions of President and CEO of the trade organization. One of his strongest supporters has been Andrew Hunte, owner of the Hunte Corporation – the largest broker for commercially-bred puppies in the United States. Facilities at the Hunte Corporation are state-of-the-art and you can find numerous newspaper articles that attest to the fact that Hunte provides good care for their puppies and only accepts healthy puppies from commercial breeders. But Mr. Hunte is a businessman and he has business reasons for wanting Mr. Sayres to take over PIJAC.

Mr. Hunte wrote a comment in favor of the new APHIS regulation that includes hobby and show breeders. Here's part of Mr. Hunte's comment for the proposed APHIS rule back in 2012:

“… The Hunte Corporation’s 'Number 1 Concern' has always been the humane treatment of animals. We believe if you breed, transport, or sell puppies across America – especially over the Internet –, you should be regulated, and subject to inspection just like all licensed breeders are. The APHIS proposed rule if finalized, will raise the bar to help ensure the safe humane treatment for animals and the needed protection for consumers. At the Hunte Corporation our motto is 'Where Puppies Come First!'”

As you can see, Mr. Hunte was in favor of the APHIS rule, knowing full well that it would be applied to hobby breeders. And why not? Large commercial breeders were already being inspected by the USDA, and so were brokers like Hunte. Having APHIS pass the proposed regulation would only be a hardship for small breeders like hobbyists. The APHIS rule is a way to put Mr. Hunte's competition out of business. Not only that, but many people believe that Mr. Hunte is still carrying a grudge from the time when he tried to join the ranks of AKC dog fanciers and was met with hostility.

Without the support of Andrew Hunte, Ed Sayres would not now be head of PIJAC. People who believe that PIJAC, Hunte, and Sayres are not now gunning for hobby breeders are deluded.

I have long supported a close working relationship with commercial breeders when it comes to fighting animal rights legislation. But all too often large commercial breeders, who are already USDA-licensed, sit back and do nothing while hobby breeders try to fight HSUS and other animal rights groups. This is true at every level of government. Many legislative liaisons and others who work on animal legislation will tell you that they have pleaded with commercial breeders to contact their congressmen, make a phone call, or send an e-mail. Medium and small-sized commercial breeders may be active in some states and they may wish us well, but in many places they take the attitude that dog legislation has nothing to do with them. Or they simply try to stay in the shadows, hoping the animal rights groups won't notice them. Now with Ed Sayres at the helm, they are being told that hobby breeders are their enemy.

Here's a taste of Ed Sayres' recent blog post on the PIJAC web site:

“... Given that fewer than 10 percent of all dog owners buy their dogs from pet stores, restricting pet store sales will do little to address the underlying problem of sub-standard breeders. Instead of putting the burden on small business owners who make up a significant portion of pet retailers, we should focus on breeders themselves to ensure that all of them are adhering to high standards for humane care.

"Pet stores are good for consumers. The overwhelming majority of people who choose pet stores bring home a happy, healthy pet and are highly satisfied with their pet store experience. Almost all pet store puppies originate from USDA-licensed breeders who are regularly inspected and found to comply with appropriate care standards. By contrast, many of the dogs and cats from other sources, including back yard operators, one-off Internet sales and swap meets, do not come from licensed breeders.

"Pet store puppies are as healthy as any others and typically receive more frequent veterinary care than puppies from other sources. In most states, consumers already enjoy far more protection under the law for the animals they get from pet stores than from any other source. Twenty-one states have pet warranty laws on the books that apply to animals purchased in pet stores but do not cover animals purchased from shelters or rescues.

"In acquiring a pet, consumers should be able to choose among several reliable, quality sources, including pet stores. Because pet store sales bans limit where and how people can get a pet, they make it more difficult for them to find the pet that is the best fit for their family. As demand for pets continues to grow, consumers want to have choices – in terms of breed, size, age and other characteristics. Without a reliable, quality supply of pets subject to strict regulation and sourcing transparency, prospective pet owners will be driven to unscrupulous sellers of pets who are not licensed and are unconcerned about compliance with animal care standards …"

The italics are mine. In case you have any trouble reading between the lines, Sayres is saying that commercially-bred puppies from pet stores are better than puppies bred and raised by people at home. And that people who breed without a license or regulation are bad breeders. If you're a hobby breeder who doesn't have to be USDA-licensed, Sayres has just insulted you and your dogs. Considering that Sayres has been on the job less than a month, I would say he's just getting warmed up. This message is identical to what Hunte's been saying, so it's not a surprise. And now Sayres has PIJAC's budget and the entire pet industry at his disposal so he can broadcast it.

Whether or not you and I believe that Sayres has any credibility after jumping ship at ASPCA and taking up a new role speaking for the pet industry at PIJAC is irrelevant. He will likely sound credible to the public. The message the public is going to be getting from PIJAC is that puppies from hobby breeders are substandard because many of the breeders are not licensed and regulated in the same way as the fine, upstanding breeders who produce commercially-bred puppies for pet stores.

I think we can all understand why PIJAC would want to improve the image of pet store puppies after the vicious attacks they have received from animal rights groups – and some breeders. They are fighting to keep pet stores open in some cities and trying to sell more than shelter pets in others. But we need to be aware that the fancy is going to be receiving some kicks from Sayres and PIJAC, too. I hope we can continue to work with the commercial breeders who are willing to fight against the animal rights movement. But we also need to defend ourselves against the kind of smears that Sayres is making.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Sight Unseen" and other Drivel


Something has been nagging at the back of my mind; this whole recent chain of events with new government rules didn't seem to make sense. I just couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew something didn't add up. Today, it finally dawned on me exactly what the problem is.

Different rules from the same agency should not conflict. If the overall goal is to discourage so-called "SIGHT UNSEEN" pet sales and rid the market of supposed "bad breeders", then why are "SIGHT UNSEEN" sales from other countries not only unregulated, but actually sanctioned by recent USDA rules?
  
As you may recall, NAIA was complicit in formulating the new USDA import rules and publicly applauded their passage.* These new rules require imported dogs to have rabies vaccinations and health clearances, (GOOD). They forbid importing dogs for resale under the age of six months (BAD). The new rules would allow import of a dog from another country by purchasers who do not plan to resell the animal, as long as there is a health clearance (GOOD). So overall, more good than bad. Hobby breeders aren't really affected, so they are all fine with these new rules. They are happy to embrace a rule that they perceive will only adversely affect "Rescue Retailers."

Meanwhile, there is yet another rule that the USDA is implementing right here and right now in the US. This new rule requires anyone who ships a dog “sight-unseen” to a buyer, (and who also owns more than four bitches) to apply for USDA licensing. This revised rule would require thousands of small breeders to become USDA licensed, have their personal information registered into a publicly available database, be required to meet USDA "commercial" breeder standards (difficult to achieve in a home environment), and be available 24/7 for unannounced inspections by APHIS, regardless of the constraints of your “real job”.

Now, unless you are willing to cease shipping dogs entirely, if you keep four or more bitches you must be USDA licensed. This means you are now on the radar screen of animal rights groups, like CAPS and other loonies, who will have your contact information.

Animal rights nuts can and do target USDA commercial breeders for nasty terrorist attacks, with the intent to drive them out of business. Why would anyone want a USDA license? And who heads the USDA-APHIS enforcement division? Why a former employee of the anti-breeding HSUS, that's who! Many APHIS inspectors have been fully indoctrinated by animal rights fanatics, and are looking to "find something" on inspection. After all, they need to justify their existence, and finding violations and fining people is the only way do do that.
Due to many concerns arising from and the ambiguity associated with enforcement of these new rules, and the fact that despite several conferences, no one seems to really understand the new rules (including APHIS personnel themselves), thousands of breeders and dozens of dog clubs have mounted a legal challenge to block the new USDA-APHIS rules for breeders.

Representatives from the AKC and NAIA have not been supportive of this legal effort, claiming that breeders do not have “standing” in the matter. They have been assuring us that exemptions can solve all our worries. The matter of "standing" has now been settled, as the courts have determined that the case does indeed have merit, and the lawsuit moved forward with a court date. The USDA-APHIS then hired a NAIA lawyer as their consultant, to give the impression that the concerns of dog owners will be addressed. Never mind the fact that they did not address our concerns after literally thousands of public comments and questions during the conferences that went unanswered. But, adding a representative from the "breeder" side of the equation on their team will give them better odds in court, they reason. Window dressing.

Now think about this for a minute. Why are the events in regard to these two new rules from the USDA troublesome when viewed in conjunction with each other?

Here's why. These new rules don't dovetail. Foreign breeders can ship “sight-unseen” to buyers, while those in the US cannot do so without Federal regulation of their breeding activities.

Are breeders in other countries automatically more holy and righteous than breeders in the USA? Does the USDA wish to encourage"sight unseen" sales from overseas? Because that's what is going to happen when more US breeders quit shipping or even quit breeding altogether.

We also have a study in progress from Purdue that intends to set guidelines for breeding activities. Once that come on the scene, we will have yet another set of anti-breeding regulations that will effectively squelch the hopes of newbies who might aspire to being dog breeders....if only it weren't so difficult to qualify for that breeding permit! And how will breeders in other countries comply? Who will regulate them?

And then, we will have to have a NEW RULE that prohibits imports for ANYONE. It is easy to do, because there is already a prohibition for those who re-sell dogs under the age of six months, and no one said BOO when they slipped that neat little rule in there. In fact, the breeders stood up and cheered! All they need to do now, is to tweak it a bit. No one can import a dog for resale PERIOD. No one can have a dog shipped in from another country "sight unseen".  After all, that is the intent of the OTHER new APHIS rule, and we need all our rules to apply fairly to everyone and in all the same situations. Don't we?

If we can't ship a dog with a health certificate "sight unseen" without Federal oversight of our breeding operation, how can people ship one in from another country with just a health certificate?

The new rule requiring almost all US breeders to register with USDA-APHIS  MUST be struck down.

Support the KODA effort. Court date, October 9.



 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

AKC, Animal Rights and Dog Training

Out of the UK, the cradle of the animal rights terror movement, comes a study that denigrates the use of electronic collars as a tool for dog training:

“The Welfare Consequences and Efficacy of Training Pet Dogs with Remote Electronic Training Collars in Comparison to Reward Based Training” *
If you read the abstract, there doesn’t seem to be any real downside to using electronic training collars. But the take-home message? E-Collars work, but not any better than positive reinforcement, so why subject your dog to unnecessary stess? And now, we have another biased study to point to in order to justify the ban on E-Collars that animal rights nuts are pushing for in the UK. Talk about researcher bias! 

Of course, the group of dogs they studied were PET dogs. And what is the most common use for E collars in pet dogs? It’s for pet containment in areas where fences are not used. I suppose it’s better to have your dog tethered? Maybe these animal rights do-gooders would  prefer that your dog roam and be hit by a car?

E collars are also commonly used to avoid surgical debarking for dogs who are noisy. A noisy dog provokes complaints, and may end up at the dog pound unless the owner has options available such as a bark collar or surgical debarking.

E collars are successfully and humanely used to train dogs for off leash work, such as hunting or obedience.  A well-trained dog is a happy dog under the charge of a responsible and loving owner. 

Now, to add insult to injury we find AKC’s Vice President Gina DiNardo on a TV program discussing use of E Collars. DiNardo states that “we” (presumably the AKC) support only positive reinforcement in dog training.” **

Will corrections with a flat collar and lead soon be out at the AKC? Maybe they should make a rule that dogs can’t be restrained on a lead at a dog show. After all, a snap on the lead! WELL! That is NOT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. 

This is what it says about electronic collars in the Board Policy Manual:***

Training Collars (July 2001 Board meeting) Special training devices that are used to control and train dogs, including but not limited to, collars with prongs, electronic collars used with transmitters, muzzles and head collars may not be used on dogs at AKC events, except as allowed in the AKC Rules, Regulations, and policies. 
The American Kennel Club recognizes that special training collars may be an effective and useful management device, when properly used, for controlling dogs that might be extremely active, difficult to control on a neck collar, or dog aggressive. These collars are also recognized as possibly useful for gaining control at the start of basic obedience training, essential education that dogs deserve and need. 
There is a point at which owners should have sufficient control of their dogs to manage them on regular neck collars, without the use of special training collars. This is the point at which dogs are acceptable on the grounds of AKC competitive events and will have the opportunity to participate in those events.

Yes, AKC has the right to ban muzzles, e-collars and prong collars from their shows, but what people do away from the show grounds is none of their business. The AKC does NOT have the right to get on national television and denigrate a very useful, humane and responsible tool for training. Trainers should have the option to choose which training methods work best for them, without the nannies of the world butting in. 

And speaking of the nannies of the world, why here’s one now! 
AKC's Vice President Gina DiNardo

Media Appearances:
• More than 100 TV/Radio appearances
• NBC’s Today Show – multiple appearances
• iVillage Live – multiple appearances
• TV Commentator – Mohegan Sun AKC Events
• Satellite Media Tours for AKC/Eukanuba National Championship and AKC Meet the Breeds
• NPR and Animal Planet Radio

She’s presented as a media pro and is a top level AKC official, and yet, she spouts notions contrary to the interests of dog owners….the very group that AKC supposedly represents. If AKC has ANY integrity, they will fire this ignorant talking head immediately. 

Not only is John Q Public being snowed, but seems as though AKC is being infiltrated by the warm, fuzzy, “they're our fur kids” types. The same type who recoil in horror at the thought of disciplining their child in any meaningful manner. Can you imagine controlling a recalcitrant child using only "positive reinforcement"? It doesn't work for kids and it doesn't work for dogs, either. A stern "NO" would also be banned under the system of positive reinforcement only. Boo Hoo! You might cause STRESS and hurt feelings! 

This kind of evolving intrusive and restrictive "Welfare" philosophy is why we should fear the publishing of the upcoming Purdue study on dog husbandry practices.

Let’s see, Sayre to PIJAC, Prager to APHIS . . . . what’s next, Pacelle to AKC?  


*http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0102722
**http://video.foxnews.com/v/3782913580001/humane-to-use-shock-collars-for-dog-training/#sp=show-clips
***http://www.akc.org/rules/policymanual.cfm?page=5

Friday, September 12, 2014

Zeus, World's Tallest Dog - Victim of Early Neutering


 


Zeus, the Guinness World Record-Holder for Tallest Dog Ever, died this past week. He was five years old. News reports claimed that Zeus died from “old age.” Really?

Now I realize that Great Danes and other large-breed dogs are lucky to make it to age 10, but to claim that death at age five from “old age” is really, er, stretching the truth a bit. Could his death be due to osteosarcoma, very common among large breed dogs? Could it be a result of crippling arthritis from his obvious abnormal structure, that hastened his demise?

I examined a few photos of Zeus that I found on the web. No testicles are evident in any of those pictures. Now if you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware that when a dog is neutered before maturity, he will not have the proper hormonal balance for closure of the growth plates on the long bones of the body. In other words, dogs who are neutered as a puppy will often suffer from a rangy, weedy growth pattern. The long bones often become excessively long. They will more often suffer from problems like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation than their intact counterparts.

Could Zeus's tall, rangy conformation possibly be due to being neutered as a puppy?

None of the news reports of his death mention whether or not Zeus was neutered. I did a search and found a discussion in an online forum in which one of the participants was a member of the family who owned Zeus, the world's tallest dog. *

Here's an excerpt:

Q: Has Zues (sic) been (or is he going to be) a father of giant puppies?

A: He has not, nor will he ever be. We did get him neutered when he was a puppy.

Q: Do you regret neutering him?

A: Not really. We got Zeus for a family pet--we never had any intention of breeding him when we got him.

Remark: Thank goodness, or else we'd all be serving our new great Dane overlords

Someone later in the thread gently informed her:


I know somebody already mentioned it, but waiting on neutering would have "bulked" him up more. Large breed dogs do not stop growing until at least two years old. Cutting off the hormones too early, can give the "gangly" appearance and cause them a host of problems. But I know it is becoming standard to neuter and spay early, because of many reasons. Yet there are just as many pros to waiting.


Lest you think this abnormal growth can be chalked up to genetics; it is possible, but unlikely. Further in the thread, we find that Zeus was one of 15 puppies, and that none of the others were abnormally huge. Additionally, Zeus himself was normal-sized as a puppy. There is no other explanation for his "tallness" than early neutering.
 
Q: Was he an unusually large puppy?




A: Not really. Regular puppy size

And elsewhere in the thread: "We really started noticing how tall he was when he was 10 months old--we took him back to meet his parents and he was already 6 inches taller than his father! "


Q: Did you ever hear about how the rest of the litter grew up? Are they also ridiculously large?

A: As far as I know, we've only met two others from the same litter, and they're normal sized Danes. No idea how we got to be the lucky ones!

The adult owner said in an article from a couple of years ago that she was “thrilled” to own a Guinness World Record-holding dog.
 
Again, we don't know precisely what Zeus died from, except reportedly "old age", but osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, is a common cancer in large breed dogs, and the risk of osteosarcoma is doubled when the dog is neutered.

I don't suppose life was quite so “thrilling” or “lucky” for the dog who died an untimely death.







Look Ma! No balls!






All humans smiling, but Zeus can't even stand up straight, and looks miserable.


*http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/101eyd/iam_the_owner_of_zeus_the_worlds_tallest_dog_ama/

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Enemies in our midst

According to Prager's post, "APHIS needs solid data, not conjecture, to bolster each type of exemption."

APHIS doesn’t need a damn thing. It’s none of their f***ing business. How can you have exemptions to something the Constitution gives you a RIGHT to do? I’ve probably said it before, but when I got into this (when AB1634 came out), I naively thought it would be a piece of cake. I knew dogs were property and I knew what the Constitution says about property rights. I thought it was a no brainer. Well, yes, it is…no brains have ever been involved in this entire animal rights war.

I will never understand how legislators can circumvent the Constitution to suit their own ends. I guess I’m still naïve.

And I’m horrified that Julian Prager got this job that makes him the official mouthpiece for all of us. How come no one knew the job opening existed? We could have supported someone who is actually on our SIDE and I could have slept at night. So why DIDN’T we know about it? Why was it so hush-hush? Or did he volunteer to create a position for himself?

 Dontcha love how he gave us all his official APHIS email address? Pompous ass.