Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sleeping with the Enemy

HSUS revealed in a press release yesterday that they have partnered up with some naive AKC breeders to form a Dog Breeder's Advisory and Resource Council. Hmm....the D-BARC. Rest assured, that name and its acronym are no coincidence! This is a blatant attempt to silence the voice of those who are independent thinkers. It's a typical divide-and-conquer ploy by experts in that tactic.

"The new partnership will help consumers shop wisely for a puppy by recognizing the difference between responsible breeders and puppy mills." the announcement states. "...composed of responsible dog breeders from across the country. Council members will advise HSUS on dog health and welfare issues, and talk to the general public about what constitutes proper breeding practices, promoting the health of the parents and the puppies."

Proper breeding practices according to WHO? While certain "hobby breeders" may believe that championships and adherence to a breed standard are the most important criteria for success and prerequisites for breeding, others may have different priorities. They may wish to produce nice companions, good workers, or perhaps just would like to experience the joy of raising a litter of puppies. Nothing wrong with that! 

Next we hear from one of the actual participants in the program:

"We want to protect our right to be responsible breeders and to enjoy and bond with our dogs in show and performance events, but if we think for one minute that ignoring the problem of cruelty to animals makes us responsible breeders and protects our rights, I believe we're wrong," says Council member and AKC Breeder of Merit, Kathryn McGriff. "We can no longer sweep puppy mills under the rug."

Apparently, this gal believes that breeding dogs=cruelty="puppy mill". Unless done her way. After all, she is lauded as an AKC "Breeder of Merit". A title signifying that the breeder registers all their dogs with AKC, and does some breed-specific health testing. This group of meritorious breeders is certainly not inherently more worthy than any other group of breeders.  

McGriff breeds Clumber Spaniels, a breed so rare that it is threatened with extinction. But soon, if HSUS and these "responsible" breeders have their way, laws will be crafted to demand that all breeders fit a certain, limited mold. It will be their way, or the highway. HSUS will use this D-BARC panel to try to eliminate any breeders who are independent thinkers, or who dare to wish to make a profit.

And where does McGriff come up with the ridiculous notion that anyone is sweeping the issue of substandard breeders under the rug? Has she read the APHIS rules? The many "puppy mill" campaigns in the popular press?

There are umpteen rules and regulations, both federal and local, that delineate humane care and treatment of dogs. If people are not complying with rules for care of their dogs then they can be fined, or, in some extreme cases, even have their dogs "rescued" from the situation.

PLENTY of laws exist already on the books. Substandard breeders are exposed every day, and they either reform their practices or they are put out of business. The current system is working quite handily, and it is the finest system in existence. We certainly do not lack sufficient guidelines or laws when it comes to taking care of our animals. Heck, we have plenty of nosy bureaucrats interested in controlling our every step! And now, these few foolish Breeders of Merit are inviting yet more regulatory shackles upon all of us through participation in a program that seeks to "advise" the public on a narrow view of breeding practices. How dare they place all breeders in jeopardy!  

"The primary aim of The HSUS is to promote pet adoption from shelters and rescue groups, and encourage consumers who choose to purchase a puppy to buy from a responsible breeder instead of inhumane, commercial breeding facilities known as puppy mills." the press release continues.

According to HSUS president, Wayne Pacelle, "We commend the responsible breeders who are showing leadership in their community and speaking out against the abusive operations that treat dogs not like loving family members, but like a cash crop."

Reality check for everyone.

DOGS ARE NOT PEOPLE. They are not equivalent to a family member, unless the owner CHOOSES to treat them as such. Many dogs are bred for work, for hunting, for protection, for guides to the blind and other service. While many dogs are also bred as companions, every one of the aforementioned purposes is just fine too.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with breeding dogs as a business. Gosh, how I wish I could make a living doing what I love, being around my dogs 24/7. But alas, that is not possible for those who breed only on a small scale. And now those who breed as a business are under direct attack from all fronts.

The HSUS puts the emphasis on "adoption" from shelters and "rescue" groups. Never mind the fact that shelters and rescues often import dogs from other areas and even other countries because they don't have enough dogs available for sale.

Today I also received word about another show breeder who has fallen under the spell of the HSUS. Just read her note from a message board on the HSUS's website!

Aloha, my name is Theresa Donnelly, and I am the secretary of Boxer Club of Hawaii. Thank you so much for taking this on and questioning the AKC. I am involved with helping pass some animal protection bills here in Hawaii, and I have really enjoyed working with HSUS. I have been hoping that the AKC could partner with HSUS for some time. The fact that health is not a standard that is judged against in confirmation shows is wrong. As a hobby breeder, I feel health and temperament should come before appearance. I can only hope that the AKC will stop opposing bills like our commercial breed bill here. It is too bad too, because AKC has a lot of great programs and it hurts both sides when we don't work together. I thank you for standing up for what is right and confronting them for their breeding standards. We can only hope that as time goes by, more ethical breeders will join the fight. Theresa

What can we reasonably expect from a ditzy chick who can't even spell "conformation"? And who thinks you can judge health in a show ring? Absolutely moronic. Where has she been all these many months that breeders have been under attack? She must be quite insulated from reality there in the Hawaiian islands. If there are more like her, no wonder we read this week that the State of Hawaii is now proposing a law requiring every dog sold be sterilized.* That has HSUS written all over it. Pet extinction in paradise.

Are these few sanctimonious and pious show breeders partnering up with HSUS in a pathetic attempt to eliminate the competition? Or are they really that clueless about the HSUS?

Sadly, some AKC "Breeders of Merit" have joined the circular firing squad. There is nothing meritorious about attempting to eliminate the rights of others to participate in breeding programs that comply with government regulations for humane care and treatment.


Theresa Donnelly, Boxer Club secretary, at a pet store protest in Hawaii on Jan 28, 2012. Wake up and smell the coffee, Toots!


  1. Every breed of dog was produced when dogs were bred for a specific useful talent. There was no AKC, UKC or XYZ. There was only a useful animal that was allowed to reproduce to other useful animals in order to produce offspring that were suited to a specific purpose. Herders were developed to fit the terrain. Hunting dogs were preserved that could run fast or go below ground, or flush a bird. Even toy breeds were created to be pets. Having someone control this process with a narrow outlook on what is ethical and what a correct dog should look like is just as damaging as requiring all animals to be spayed or neutered. With a mindset like this the human race stands to lose many talented animals that could have been wonderful service dogs, or talented athletes, search and rescue dogs. Many dogs are still bred only for a purpose. Not all of them are in the rarified halls of AKC, UKC or any other kind of registry. They are still bred for useful talent alone which is the highest form of breeding and the one that created all dogs we like today.

  2. permission to cross post? On Fb in an anti HSUS, and PETA rooms?
    Please let me know Id like to cross post ASAP!

  3. I'm still shaking my head! It is absolutely insane that any breeders would partner up with HSUS. I certainly hope that this program involves just a few misguided souls; probably the few that think that a dog breeder's worth is gauged by his or her success in the show ring. We'll have to see how this one pans out. I was a bit harsh on "show breeders"; and certainly did not wish to paint ALL with the same broad brush. Naturally, there are many who sincerely value producing excellent dogs regardless of point standings and having their egos stroked, but sadly, there are many out there who are of the "holier-than-thou" variety.
    Thank you Maggie B. for your thoughtful post.

  4. Thank you for posting. I hope that those AKC Breeders of Merit who have chosen to jump ship are few, far-between, and misinformed. Their actions are a slap in the face to those of us who breed responsibly and may have placed some intrinsic value on the BOM designation. Sadly, these breeders who have aligned themselves with the H$U$ are only serving to toll the death knell even louder for our rights to breed dogs.

    1. Hi Amy, thank you for your comment. It is also my fervent hope that these misguided souls are the exception and not the rule...and from my limited experience with people via dog clubs and shows they are not typical, but even a few rotten apples can spoil things for everyone else.
      A friend of mine reminded me today that the Kennel Club of the UK has a program similar to the Breeder of Merit. It's called the Accredited Breeder's Scheme, and it has caused divisiveness in the breeding community over there.
      I don't think we should fall into the AR trap of designating certain breeders as special or distinctive, and base that selection process on narrow criteria that may or may not be meaningful. I don't understand what AKC thought they would accomplish by establishing such a program. It's great to reward people for their special accomplishments but in this case, when we are under AR attack, it can and will be used against us. We can count on that!
      I'm not certain but I think this Breeder of Merit program came about during the same time frame that HSUS was asking breed clubs to develop criteria for "responsible breeders" as a part of their "stop puppy mills" program. That is a very uncomfortable coincidence, isn't it?

  5. "The HSUS puts the emphasis on "adoption" from shelters and "rescue" groups. Never mind the fact that shelters and rescues often import dogs from other areas and even other countries because they don't have enough dogs available for sale."

    This bothered me quite a bit as I work with a shelter and a few rescue groups in my area and too many dogs are put down no matter how many we save. I don't know where you are but I know this statement is NOT true in Georgia. You must not have done any work with a rescue before.

    Here is my view on puppy mills and how we can regulate breeding laws (check out the link I added below). I have nothing against hobby breeders. I just want the amount of dogs in shelters to decrease.


    1. First - there's no such entity as a puppy mill. As for H$U$'s definition - it's anyone who breeds. They may start at 50 dogs, but they WILL decrease it regularly - that's their modus operandi.
      Second - I would BET there are few pure-breds in your shelters. The shelters I've worked with, and I DO rescue for several breeds, can't tell a Golden Retriever from a long-haired yellow lab. They think a boxer-cross is a pittie. So - I challenge you to prove that commercial breeders are the blame for your shelters.

      Why are animals in shelters? The reasons are many and varied - allergic, moving to a smaller house, no pets in new apartment, owners die, and probably the #1 reason that they won't admit - behavior problems. Let's look at those behavior problems. Early or juvenile castration and hysterectomy WILL stunt the animals physical and mental and emotional growth. Do you really believe that doesn't cause the behavior problems, especially the house training?

      Maybe a re-evaluation at where the emphasis should go in the problem is in order. Remember - there are thousands of imports, dogs are shifted around from shelter to shelter, dogs are returned to the same shelter, AND don't forget the AR freaks see abuse in everything you do with an animal.

  6. Sarah, the author of this blog has worked with rescue. There are plenty of laws already in place which outlaw animal abuse; the problem is enforcement. More laws won't make abusers take better care of their animals. ;)

    You are probably not aware, but only two published studies have been done in the U.S. regarding where shelter dogs were originally purchased. They showed that only 1-2% of shelter dogs were purpose-bred, from show or working breeders. Only 4-5% of all shelter dogs came from pet stores. 85% (think about it!!) came from friends, neighbors, and probably places like craigslist or newspapers.

    Other studies have, however, shown the #1 reason dogs end up in shelters: 96% of all shelter dogs have ZERO obedience training. NONE. Why? I'm guessing that reflects a lack of *relationship* with those pups.

    If you really want to clear out Georgia shelters, start by developing good local obedience training programs that regular folks can afford *and* will attend. Make 'em fun. Publicize them at your local city or town councils. While you're at it, offer to obedience train the dogs in those shelters too. It all helps.

    Also, please research the 'rescue railroads' which transfer dogs all over the country - and which, per the CDC, can often spread local diseases from one part of the country to others. The CDC says between 200,000 to 500,000 or more dogs are imported from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, India, the Middle East, Europe etc each year by rescues and illegal importers who ignore federal restrictions. Why? Because there are *not enough puppies* that people want to buy in shelters. If someone wants a tiny puppy, they will not buy a teenaged untrained 80 lb bouncy whatchamacallit.

    By the way, animal abusers are animal abusers. The 'pm' term is hate language exactly like racial charged pejoratives or hate speech towards women. I'm sure you're aware that mere numbers of dogs bred and born do not by themselves constitute animal abuse; after all, Lackland AFB in Texas produces most of our nation's military dogs and they have 1,000 kennels and 800+ dogs onsite at all times. Good care is good care no matter how few or how many animals are bred in a kennel. ;)

  7. I AM an AKC breeder of Merit, and will have nothing what so ever to do with either PETA or HSUS. Neither organization has a track record of actually helping animals. Look up the web site PETAKILLSANIMALS the statistics speak for themselves. The best thing I can say about HSUS is that they have a great retirement program for their employees. Not so much for any animals they have anything to do with. If you want to HELP animals, give to your local area shelter, or a breed rescue that can prove it is a non profit 501C3. Forget the rest.

  8. Lituji americké chovatele, kterým vládnou takoví blbci a pitomci!!!

    1. Czech to English translation:
      "Sorry American breeders, who are governed by such idiots and morons!"

  9. I am hoping the author of this blog can let us know why it's okay to defend their position by attacking people calling another breeder a "ditzy chick" for having an opposing views instead of addressing issues. It would be wonderful for breeders use this issue as an opportunity to dispute data such as this: http://hawaiianhumane.org/petsurvey and offer solutions that they would support towards ensuring this kind of data is addressed in a manner in which breeders would support. Defending a position by maligning another is childish, inhumane, immature and only adds credibility to those who believe breeders are not reputable.

    1. Anyone who supports a position that calls for their own destruction is NOT playing in the real world!

      Adopt only? That's the motto of that organization. And - just WHERE will the next generation of dogs come from if it's only ADOPT? Remember - they ONLY ADOPT castrated and hysterectomied dogs. That means - no puppies. So - as an 8-year-old asked - just WHERE will HE get a dog when he's old enough to get his own?

      ADOPT in reality is a sale. They're saying that you should ONLY buy your dog from a humane society - where the parents are unknown, where the background is unknown, where the dog is carry baggage from its previous owner(s). What would you say to a parent with a sweverely allergic child? Tough crap? Your child is allergic to all but a few pure-breds - too bad. You can't have a dog. Pretty mean-spirited on your part. You got yours - the hell with the kid? Back to the 8-year-old - just where WILL he get his dog in 15-20 years? Will there be any?

      Why don't YOU do some research. Find out the agenda that's being shoved down all of our throats by the H$U$. Find out why they employ criminals. Find out why they LIE about their fund-raising. Yes, Anonymous - anyone who calls for their own destruction is not ditzy - they're just plain CRAZY!!!!!!!

  10. Yes, I’ve checked out the link, and Oh HORRORS, people in Hawaii are buying pets! They MUST be stopped! Get serious, toots.
    Yes, we can see by looking at their website that Hawaiian Humane Society doesn’t have any sort of agenda, they just lump all breeders together. Buying from a hobby breeder or a commercial breeder is supposed to be some sort of horrible transgression. Even the homepage for this group has a big banner stating “Support adoption always”….in other words, their goal is NO BREEDING. Ever. By anyone. And you think any reasonable person would support such nonsense?
    Where are the stats showing Hawaii’s statewide shelter statistics? Certainly not on this website. How many intakes do they have? How many shelter intakes in Hawaii are cats? How many are dogs? How many are young animals? How many are re-homed? How many are killed? How many are sent out to rescue groups? And not just on Oahu, but statewide. We need information in order to know the misguided rationale for anti-breeding legislation such as that proposed recently in Hawaii.
    Nationwide, the top reason for shelter relinquishment is moving. If someone lives in Hawaii and must move (think of the many military families there) they often have no choice but to give up their pet. Costs for transporting by airline are prohibitive and spiraling upward even as we speak. The Hawaiian Humane Society needs to DO THEIR JOB and find homes for animals in need. That is their purpose. Not criticise the public for their purchases of pets.
    Animal abuse and neglect is already illegal in Hawaii, as evidenced by the closure of a substandard breeder there recently. Enforce the current laws, instead of crusading for mandatory spay and neuter and other anti-breeding propaganda.
    I’ve got a great entry coming up and it is intended for Hawaiian Humane Society, Theresa Donnelly and all the other shortsighted fools in the world.

  11. Hey Theresa - do you castrate or hysterectomy all your boxers before you "adopt" them out? And - don't mislead the public - an "adopt" translates to "buy from us only" in any language!

    Know what the kids call someone who calls for the destruction of themselves??? Go ask them. While you're at it - stop saying you're a Breeder of Merit. You're not - you're a traitor!!!

  12. I would hope AKC will pull Ms. Donnelly's BoM certification. Anyone working with HSUS does NOT have the interests of purebred dogs at heart, regardless of whether those are show, companion working, hunting, or any other kinds of dog. I've heard talk that Ms. Donnelly may not be with the Hawaii Boxer Club much longer. Let's hope not. I would hope the other members of that club can aee beyond HSUS's friendly spider-to-fly approach.

  13. If the "ditz" fits.. you must quit.. being a representative of the pure bred dog.
    No real breeder would ever work with a group that is vegan. What will you feed your dogs Ms Ditz. HSUS does not believe in killing any domestic animal for food. so will you sweet little Boxer doggies be eating soy? how about tofu.. or you could get Wayne Pacelle to give you a few sacks of the vegan crap food he tried to push off on dog owners everywhere.. he must have oh probably a few hundred tons of the junk somewhere along with his million or so copies of "The Bond" that he flogs on the book tour trail..

    just knowing the HSUS tried to kill dogs with this food is enough for me..
    Friends Don't Let Friends Support the HSUS and certainly real breeders do not.

  14. I am a member of the Boxer Club of Hawaii and I assure you Theresa isn't going anywhere. So, the "talk" you have heard, is just talk. Aloha

  15. I really enjoyed your article. More power to you!

  16. We are fighting the fight of our lives against extremist animal rights legislation here in Hawaii and Theresa is not making it any easier. One of the bills on the move is Senate Bill 2494, which contains housing and exercise requirements drafted so that legislators don't realize that the bill eliminates crates and all but the largest kennel runs by making it illegal to close crate or kennel doors without violating requirements of "constant and unfettered access" to exercise areas. The bill also requires fire suppression equipment--something we don't even require of individual households with infants. Also drug dealers get better treatment than "breeders" under the bill. Drug dealers are protected by statutory requirements of probable cause before their property is subject to civil seizures. Under SB2494, "breeders" are subject to unannounced "inspections," i.e., searches without probable cause and their dogs are subject to seizure on grounds that the breeder has no license or the dogs have no dog licenses. It is irrelevant that the dogs might be housed under very humane conditions. Oh well, the world is going to the crazies.

  17. First off, SB 2494 is complaint driven (so don't think they are out to target good breeders for "unfettered access") and any ethical breeder I talk to already does the minimum standards in the bill. I encourage anyone who takes issue with the bill to contact their enforcement agency to better understand the reason behind drafted Hawaii bills. I challenge any breeder to tell the group a case where a breeder raising animals in good conditions was the subject of a witch hunt and show proof. In every cases I studied, it is the opposite where deplorable conditions go on for months/years and enforcement agencies don't have the laws they need to take action. This was the case in Hawaii before the pet confinement bill was passed and a main reason why enforcement agencies could not act on the Waimanalo puppy mill case. it is very unfortunate that folks can't just sit down and talk with one another and have a respectful discussion. We protect animals more when we are working together educating the community and passing needed, enforceable and funded legislation.

  18. "I challenge any breeder to tell the group a case where a breeder raising animals in good conditions was the subject of a witch hunt and show proof."

    You have GOT to be kidding. PROOF is what is produced in a court of law and is necessary before someone is deprived of their rights and their property. What is wrong with giving people a "fix it" warning to improve their conditions? Naw, we'd rather run in and seize all their animals, killing many of them. Heck, in the Alpha Tex case they killed treatable animals before leaving the property, and before consulting the veterinarian who knew their case histories.

    But just off the top of my head, here are a few cases: Dan Christensen, Jean Cyhanick, Wendy Willard, Norman Pang, Bailey in Washington (just last week), Alpha Tex, O'Neill, the Parkinson horse case....just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unjustified seizures.

    "Complaint Driven"....this is a LIE used to implement unjust laws which are ALWAYS strictly enforced eventually. We have mandatory spay/neuter/microchip in Los Angeles county, supposedly "complaint driven" and now they are going door to door to look for intact dogs. So much for "complaint driven".

    "Conplaint driven" = "Just another tool in the toolbox" to deprive citizens of their rights and to impound and kill more animals. Killing - what HSUS and their lackeys likes to do better than anything in the world.

    You really do need to expand your reading horizon before speaking on issues you don't have a clue about. For starters, read about the Alpha Tex case:


  19. Dear Anonymous,

    In IL, we made the mistake of agreeing to sit down at the table with H$U$. Not only were they unwilling to compromise on ANYthing, they additionally tried to get even MORE stringent regulations than those originally indicated in the proposed bill. A Task Force was formed and ultimately ended in a stalemate. While the BREEDERS were willing to make concessions, the HSUS was NOT. So much for sitting down and talking.

    "Constant and unfettered acces" to the outdoors is a LAUGHABLE concept. Wow, how many complaints will be DRIVEN if dogs are allowed outdoors at their free will? IMAGINE an unfettered dog outside at 3 a.m. howling at the moon. Get real.

    We spoke of this issue at our recent specialty. Our members were horrified to learn that the Breeder of Merit award was being used in this manner.

  20. I volunteered during the Hawaii Norman Pang case and personally saw dying and dead animals come to the Oahu SPCA. The animals were malnourished, severally neglected and completely unsocial. So when I hear about these cases and how they were portrayed in the media, I reflect on my own experiences working on this case and have to wonder why folks are using it as an example of overzealous enforcement. Nothing could be further than the truth.

    1. Can someone still be classified as a misanthrope if the person they hate is DEAD? I vote, YES. You are a spiteful, malicious misanthrope.

      You, in your infinite knowledge and wisdom, believe that this rescue, which was often described as a "hospice", a no-kill facility that housed aged and infirm animals is guilty of "abuse". And a caretaker who has DIED is an abuser. And the widower, who was voluntarily seeking help for the animals, should face criminal charges. Well, the courts may have a different view of that. This case had nothing to do with any "enforcement". It had to do with a person in need asking for help to care for animals that were also in need.

      Realizing that he could not care for the many animals in the shelter after his wife passed away, Mr. Pang accepted an offer of "help" from the HSUS and the Oahu SPCA to take over their care and custody. The HSUS decided to try to paint him as an animal abuser. The Oahu SPCA, however, subsequently strongly defended him.

      “We believe Mr. Pang is doing everything he should be doing, and for that he doesn’t deserve to be prosecuted,” Oahu SPCA president Alicia Maluafiti told The Honolulu Advertiser.

      Pang added: "I thought they [HSUS] were here to help me in my time of need ... But it's evidently not turning out that way. He told the Advertiser that HSUS was working with the Hawaiian Humane Society to carry out its “spiteful vendetta.”

      From "Humanewatch":
      "Even though the purpose of Pang's shelter was to care for any animal—no matter how sickly—HSUS took the opportunity to film the rescue. It posted video footage on its website and accused Pang of animal cruelty.

      But the Hawaiian prosecutor found no sign of abuse. Pang sued HSUS employees on September 11, 2009 for defaming him and depriving him of his rights. Among other things, Pang specifically alleges:

      HHS [the Hawaiian Humane Society] and HSUS both launched a media campaign of vilification against him, accusing him of animal abuse and neglect and other unsupportable acts of criminal conduct.

      The case is filed in United States District Court, District of Hawaii (case number CV09-00434). HSUS staffers Scotlund Haisley, Inga Gibson, and Rowdy Shaw are named as defendants."

      The County of Kauai apparently got rid of its Director of the Kauai Humane Society (Dr. Rebecca Rhoades) as a result of the Norman Pang case.

      Of course, you had no response to all the other cases, and to the many more that occur on an almost daily basis. Obviously, your fellow human beings are all horrible turds who should go to jail if anyone even so much as HINTS that they are an abuser.

      You are done posting here now.

  21. as soon as any legislator uses the words "complaint driven" they so be removed from office.. laws are just that LAWS there is no such thing as a "complaint driven" law.