Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't Pee on my Leg and Tell Me It's Raining!

Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS) recently posted an anti-dog breeder, anti-pet store message on their "network" website. In an article entitled "Humane Trend Continues", they take delight in the fact that fewer pet stores nowadays are offering pets for sale. 'Course, that is happening with a little gentle persuasion by pet store protesters who are actually animal enterprise terrorists. Extolling the virtues of "adopting" rather than "shopping", they claim that adoption of rescued animals is the way to shut down what they call "puppy mills".
Really? Well, this sort of rhetoric is really nothing new. It's a recurrent theme with animal extremist groups. HSUS wages a constant smear campaign against dog breeders, and PETA's Ingrid Newkirk has stated, that in her ideal world:  "….we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animals shelters and the streets….eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship – enjoyment at a distance."
How's that for crazy talk? Yep, it's 'out there', direct from the minds of lunatics. We all laughed when we first heard Ingrid spouting such ideas. Who would ever take such nonsense seriously?  we chuckled.
But today, right here, right now,  in 2011, BFAS, HSUS and the other fringe groups are taking such anti-pet ideas mainstream! And getting actual consideration and legitimization of their oddball ideas.
Some readers to the BFAS website apparently disagreed with this anti-breeder message. Several comments were posted to the site, but strangely enough, within a few hours all those critical comments were ELIMINATED by "Best Friends". These were factual posts, with links to new articles and facts about the present state of the rescue industry in the US.
Never fear! By the magic of the internet, I have saved a few of the choicest comments…..and here they are! 
"Kaitlyn Chaney" wrote: "How does Best Friends reconcile the fact that many "rescued" dogs are strays from Mexico, Taiwan, the Caribbean, Spain, Romania and other distant locales? There is also evidence surfacing that puppies are being bred in foreign lands specifically for the "rescue" market. Many rescues currently operate as unregulated pet stores. Breeders in the US have PLENTY of rules and regulations much so that very few small, ethical breeders remain. Sorry but I don't believe that "rescued" dogs with unknown backgrounds, genetics and health histories are preferable to dogs bred in the US under regulated conditions. Several dogs imported in recent years have also been infected with rabies."
Pretty heavy accusations, eh? If true, this blows their theory of "overpopulation" due to "puppy mill" breeding right out of the water. So, Best Friends pulled in their "top gun" anti-pet store crusader, Elizabeth Oreck, to conjure up a response. Ms. Oreck wrote that, while BFAS is not opposed to responsible dog breeders, they feel that the more "humane choice" was to adopt a rescued animal. This, she reasons, will help reduce "overpopulation" and ease the burden on shelters. She denied that there is evidence that rescues practice importation of animals from distant lands, but believes that even if it happens, it is preferable to "adopt" rather than "shop" for purposely-bred dogs.
Here we go, back to those kooky Newkirkian ideas again! No breeding, just street refugees allowed as pets….oops, sorry for the faux pas. They aren't "pets"; that's "speciesist" according to the Newkirk/Best Friends philosophy. They are "companion animals" instead.
Kaitlyn then responded with a partial list of the many "rescue" groups that currently import dogs:
Save A Sato
Compassion Without Borders
Save a Mexican Mutt
Pets from Paradise
Helen Woodward Humane Society (imports dogs from Romania)
Dogs Without Borders
Mary Chekov then asked, Don't you people read the news or watch TV? Rescues import dogs all the time.
Examples were given….there were over 40 Beagles imported from Spain by a rescue group into Los Angeles just last week. Links to a couple of article documenting pet importation by "rescues" were also listed.  We've posted those here before, the 2007 ABC news report entitled "300,000 imported puppies prompt rabies concerns" and the 2003 Tufts article "Filling Empty Dog Pounds"…. There was also an article in USA Today just a few months ago, about the pet importation situation.…see the comments section of our blog article "It's Raining Dogs….From Other Countries" for a link to that article, along with many others. NAIA has a recent article on their site as well, documenting the many "rescue" groups that import dogs on a regular basis.
"DougW" wrote: "If you want to keep dogs out of shelters, buy a dog from a good breeder and KEEP it."
Smart guy, that Doug.
"Freedom Lover"  wrote:  "That philosophy is so totally WRONG!!!!  You, of all people, should be aware and appreciative of why pure-breds are needed.  You know – I supported you when you rehabilitated and went to bat for the Vicks' dogs – when the jerks at H$U$ wanted them destroyed.  That was a proud moment in your history.  However – you have shown your true colors – and it's embarrassing.  I didn't think you were a butt-kisser of H$U$ - but apparently I was wrong!"
"Kelty Gordon" wrote:  "So, what is the difference between selling supposed puppy mill dogs from pet stores vs selling unhealthy imported dogs from shelters…they're both sales. At least the pet shops have rules and regulations governing the conditions and sales of their puppies. Are the shelters just trying to eliminate the competition?"
Yes, the heat was on, but Best Friends chose to firebomb the kitchen. All comments….now GONE. Erased, as though they never existed.
BFAS can't allow the public to know the TRUTH; to see to the warts of the "rescue" industry exposed. You see, groups like BFAS get fewer donations when the truth about their industry is made public. And they depend on the public making generous donations to fund their existence and to pay for their salaries. And I bet you thought that Best Friends was a volunteer organization! NOT!!! Lots of people on their payroll. Best Friends discovered years ago that it is more lucrative to be an animal charity than a church. Their old-time religious zeal magically transformed into animal fervor.
Heck, nothing wrong with turning a buck and making a fair profit. But please, BFAS…..admit that is what you are doing. Tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Hiding comments to your articles show us that, well, you have something to HIDE! And please, enough with the anti-dog breeding rhetoric already.
Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.




  1. Rescued dogs aren't always all they're cracked up to be. Yes some good dogs come from the shelter but some with loose screws come from there also. Dogs are abandoned for a variety of reasons including bad temperament. Some folks are so "gung-ho" over rescue that they will get one that is unsafe and unsound but they will never admit they have one that needs to have the plug pulled. They place them in new homes or in inexperienced foster homes so they can rush out and get another one. Meanwhile "the poor abused dog" bites the kid in the face, savages another pet in the household or breaks with disease putting the other animals and humans at risk. Then the rescue person blames the new home for the dog's bad temperament. I'm with Doug, "Buy a good dog from a breeder and keep it safe" It increases the odds of getting an animal with which you can live in harmony.

  2. becoming quite common to erase "differences of opinion" from blogs.. censorship is alive and well in America

  3. Doug is absolutely right.

    Rescuers often ask us 'So, what are YOU doing to stop the shelter suffering and deaths?' Many think I am a breeder (no such luck), because I defend breeders, most of whom are doing a good job.

    And I tell them 'I buy directly from breeders who I trust, and *those* dogs will never have to endure the 'shelter experience' .. unless some activist decides to take them away from me.

    Since the activists dump their 'rescues' directly into underfunded public kill shelters, many with kill rates of 70% or more, it's very hard for me to see them as 'rescuers'.

    I've had my share of shelter dogs, fosters and rescues. What I want is a dog with a verifiable background and a *contact* to consult if I need to. I don't need fancy guarantees; only that the dog (or cat) is a fair representative of its breed, warts and all.

    I don't think that's too much to ask, but you can't get it from a rescue or shelter.

    At one time, ASPCA reckoned that a solid 20% of shelter dogs were 'revolving door' pets. The way to shut that revolving door is to do your homework, buy from a reputable breeder, take his advice as to management and training. You'll be happy, the dog will be happy, and your lifetime commitment will be a pleasure, not a burden.

  4. The vast majority of rescues do not import dogs, work locally, and save animals that come from their community. Once again the author of this blog uses his big, broad brush to cast aspersions on a community of people who spend a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy helping animals in need. And, as usual, his fan base responds with a rousing, "hear, hear."

  5. Ah Mark! We can always rely on you to enter the picture and post some sort of fallacious argument. Today you have introduced the "Red Herring." This is a deliberate attempt to change the subject or divert the argument from the real issue.

    Your comment demonstrates what is known as a "straw man" argument; a subtype of the “red herring" fallacy. Building a "straw man" involves any lame attempt to "prove" an argument by overstating, exaggerating, or over-simplifying the arguments of the opposing side. When a writer makes a cartoon-like caricature of the opposing argument, ignoring the real or subtle points of contention, and then proceeds to knock down this caricature, he has created a straw man argument.

    I found this online explanation of the "straw man" technique:

    Straw man: This is the fallacy of refuting a caricatured or extreme version of somebody's argument, rather than the actual argument they've made. Often this fallacy involves putting words into somebody's mouth by saying they've made arguments they haven't actually made.

    So you see, when you claim that we have denigrated the entire world of rescue,
    when that is not the case at all, you are presenting a straw man argument.

    When groups suppress the truth, or attempt to legislate against dog owners and breeders using lies, deception or even blatant fraud, they deserve to be called out on it.

    Shelter and rescue dog importation is not uncommon and demonstrates that genuine dog "overpopulation" does not exist in the US. Even more common is "humane relocation" within the US from areas with a surplus of dogs to areas that don't have enought adoptable dogs to meet the demand.

    By denying that shelters import dogs, "Best Friends" is being disingenuous about the advisability of their "adopt don't shop" motto and the need for anti-breeder legislation.

    Once again, don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!

  6. Star, I know what a red herring and a straw man are, although your ability to copy and paste is duly noted: I get it - you wish to breed without restriction, regulation, or criticism. I save dogs, you sell dogs. I spend money saving dogs, you make money selling dogs. The breeding community's shrill, disingenuous attack on the rescue community is tiresome and unnecessary. When someone wants a purebred dog from a breeder, I help them understand how to identify a reputable breeder. When someone wants to save a shelter dog's life, I explain the challenges, pitfalls, and joy involved in bringing a rescue dog into one's home. Your incessant argument that millions of dogs are being imported while shelter dogs die is specious at best and your contempt for rescue animals and the organizations that advocate on their behalf speaks volumes.

  7. It's a common tactic for those who can't argue the facts to demonize the opponent.
    Mark, you don't "get it" at all. As a matter of fact, you are completely clueless. Your constant string of red herring arguments is really tiresome; you are dead wrong on each and every one of your talking points.

    Again, you thought you'd change the argument by making me your "straw man". You state that I "Sell dogs....make money selling dogs." Well, here's a news flash for you; I have never sold a single dog....or cat....or any other animal. I have worked full-time for the past thirty years in (human) healthcare, and make quite a comfortable living, thank you very much. I have stated so here in the past.

    Make money selling dogs! There's a joke. Everyone I know who breeds dogs loses their shirt. I own several dogs, (cats too!) and yes, have probably spent enough on my pets' medical expenses in just the past few years to have bought somebody somewhere a new car.
    I don't believe there should be regulation or restriction of breeders beyond basic animal health and welfare laws. Plenty of these laws already exist. Excessive regulation is also a death knell for genetic diversity, as only
    "purebred" dogs are invariably favored under such regulated systems. NOT beneficial for the species.

    I personally spend a great deal of my free time participating in canine welfare activities (including rescue). I currently volunteer with a group that supports shelters and rescues in both educational and financial capacities. I was instrumental in the formation of a Southern California breed-specific rescue. I own several shelter dogs and they are tops! Contempt for rescue animals? In a pig's eye! Yeah, that's it.

    When did I ever say "millions" of dogs were imported? Another straw man argument. You can't debate on an equal footing, so you resort to exaggerating my statements. The fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of dogs imported every year, and that is exactly what I have said, on multiple occasions.

    You know zip about me, yet are ready to jump in with personal attacks when you can't discuss the real issues at hand intelligently. And we have only your word to rely on regarding your morally superior "rescue" activities. Judging by your cheap debate tactics here, you don't have much credibility.

    Since you seem hell-bent on posting personal attacks and misinformation, I'd have to say you are done here. No need to put up with some malcontent internet troll. Your unfounded criticisms and your negative breeder stereotypes are not welcome here. This is not your arena to air your personal issues with breeders.

    Get your own blog, Mark. I'm sure you can find plenty of like-minded individuals to cheer you on.

  8. MARK,
    Actually shelters do import dogs. I am a groomer and I can tell you this. About 1/2 my clients bought their dogs from puppy store, breeder, etc. A small amount was given a dog, and the rest adopted.

    From the ones who adopted about 1/3 tell me the dog came from streets of Mexico, South America, or Puerto Rico. REALLY!

    I can also tell you this .... majority of the dogs adopted are adopted with obvious health issues that were neglected by the shelter.

  9. I think alot of the dogs in rescues or shelters are rejects. They should have been taken out of existence from the start.

    1. WOW... so because some garbage-person doesn't bother to take care of his/her animals through abuse, neglect, or both, and they end up being seized for their own safety in hopes of finding a DESERVING family, the animal should be punished for the humans behavior??? I work with a shelter (not no-kill unfortunately) who the majority of their dogs come from situations like this (ALL from the same neighborhood no less). Next time, think before you speak, you come across as very ignorant... the kind of person who causes the animals in this scenario to end up in the shelter in the first place.

  10. I'm a foster for an organization in Canada and I can say that this group of people who rescue dogs and cats truly screen the foster home, adoptive homes and make sure that all animals are completely vet checked, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and micro'd..not to mention any other added expenses for health care that may come along (amputations, demodex mange, etc.) This group runs on complete volunteer basis with no government funding and no one is making money. We make sure that all animals have basic training and any aggressive or passive behaviors are cleared before adoption takes place. The potential adoptive homes are screened and screened again and again before they can adopt one of our animals out. I know there are some rescues/shelters that may not take these steps and that can be a hindrance to the reputable rescues out there.

    I'm sure the same goes for breeders. There are good ones and bad ones. Do breeders explain the pros and cons to those who want bred specific canines? If so why are there so many bred specific rescues out there? What kind of screening process to people have to go through when buying a bred specific canine? My neighbour just put their one and a half year old mastiff down because she blew her knee. A week after they had spoken with a breeder on the phone and picked up a new dog on the weekend. Great screening process I think! You say that rescued dogs have issues like aggression, behavioral, health..well so can purebreds. Any dog if raised and trained improperly can and will snap. Aren't pitbulls a perfect example of that?

    I personally believe in adopting because there are so many animals, locally and elsewhere, that need help. They aren't the ones who put themselves in the position that they're in. We, the humans have. Maybe I didn't abandon an animal but some one did. Would we leave an abandoned child in the streets to get sick, injured and live in pain and suffering..even if they weren't our own child? I'm not comparing apples to oranges...abuse is abuse..pain is pain..compassion is all life. We who love animals, mutts or purebreds, need to take responsibility for all of them and not let our egos get in the way. That's what I'm seeing and reading a lot of...ego. I think it's time that rescues and breeders work together for the care and safety of all animals.

  11. Hi "Anonymous" fosterer from Canada,

    The point of the post seems to have escaped your notice.

    Yes, there are conscientious rescuers and breeders, and there are those who aren't. Of course we all know that any dog, be it mixed breed or purebred, can make a wonderful pet and companion. There are great purebred dogs, and purebred dogs with issues. There are great mixed breed dogs, and there are mixed breed dogs with problems. None of this is news to anybody. You say that "rescued dogs have issues like aggression, behavioral, health etc, well so can purebreds." OF COURSE any dog can have problems, who ever said otherwise? And many rescues ARE purebreds. None of that is in dispute here.

    You said "Do breeders explain the pros and cons to those who want bred specific canines? If so why are there so many bred specific rescues out there?" (I am assuming you mean BREED specific rescues?) Breed-specific rescues are out there because breeders CARE about their chosen breed, and want to do their part to help make sure that none of their chosen breed end up euthanized in the dog pounds of America, where they are quick to kill anything that comes through the door.

    Your statements about breed-specific rescues implies that if only pet sellers would do a better job of buyer education and screening, breed-specific rescues would not be needed. In reality, most often, the reasons that dogs enter shelters or rescues are social problems...loss of a job, home foreclosure, moving/landlord problems, disability or death of the owner. Sometimes there are behavioral problems which the owner is unable to solve, so the dog enters "rescue". Reasons for relinquishment rarely have anything to do with what breed the dog happens to be.

    And, with all due respect, none of this has anything to do with the subject of this post. The big issue is that breeders are being put on the defensive by the "adopt don't shop" rescue crowd. This despite the fact that dogs are in short supply in many areas, and have to be brought in fromn other regions, or even from other countries, by these very same "rescues", in order to fill the market demand for dogs.

    So please, don't tell me that there is a big problem with "overpopulation", when shelters have shortages. Don't tell me that we need to push spay and neuter, when it is often detrimental to health. And don't tell me that people shouldn't breed and sell dogs, when "rescues" import dogs into the US by the hundreds of thousands every year.

    Again, don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!

    1. Fine, there may be a shortage SOMWHERE, but overall, there IS an overpopulation issue, and breeding only adds to the problem. So what if a rescue saves a dog from another town, or a state over? Saving a life is great no matter where you are!!! A solution to your argument re: a pet shortage... import animals THOSE areas. TA-DA!!! There's your answer, not breeding.

  12. You do realize that those satos are from a "distant land" that's an American territory, right? Not exactly imported. So now you're down to... 5 examples. Thousands of rescue groups here in the USA and you've got... 5. Okay. Sure. It's a crisis of epic proportion...