Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Truth About Neutering

Neutering significantly increases the risk of bladder and prostate cancer.

Several older studies have shown that the incidence of prostate cancer is increased in neutered males. In 2007, in an attempt to verify the results, yet another study was done on the effects of neutering on the male urogenital tract.

The results were shocking.

Neutered dogs were four times more likely to suffer from malignant bladder cancer than intact dogs.

Neutered dogs were eight times more likely to suffer from prostate transitional cell carcinoma than intact dogs.

They were twice as likely to suffer from prostate adenocarcinoma, and four times as likely to suffer from prostate carcinoma. On average, castrated dogs are three times more likely than their intact counterparts to develop some type of prostate cancer.

However, to keep the situation in perspective, the overall incidence of these cancers is low, around 1-2% of all dogs. Risk can also vary by breed and increases with age.

Neutering obviously eliminates the risk of testicular cancer because, well, the testicles are now gone. Since testicles are a source of the hormone testosterone, the influence of that hormone on the body will be minimized. Benign prostate enlargement is exacerbated by testosterone, as is infection of the prostate, so if your dog develops either of these conditions, he can easily be treated by castration at the time of diagnosis. "Benign" means the condition is not life-threatening, and will improve with treatment. Prostate and bladder cancers, on the other hand, are not as easily treated and may well kill your dog.

Just a bit more information to follow up on the post earlier this month "Rethinking Spay and Neuter". Oddly enough, there are many veterinary websites out there claiming that neutering reduces risk of prostate cancer.

Really? It seems the truth is politically incorrect, or perhaps the truth is just too inconvenient for some people to admit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dogs and the Ethics of Training

Dogs and the Ethics of Training
Carlotta Cooper

This article originally appeared in the December 3, 2010 issue of Dog News.

It’s a fact that many of the breeds we have today were originally bred to do some very tough jobs. We have mastiff breeds which were dogs of war at one time. We have terriers who not only bolted but killed fox and vermin. We have sighthounds who coursed wolves, deer and hare; and we have other hounds who could corner bear, raccoons, and wild boar.

Times change, of course. Bear baiting was made illegal in England in 1835, resulting in changes to many breeds which had been used for that sport. Breeders worked hard to change the temperament of many of the bully breeds which had been used for bear baiting prior to that time, making them excellent family pets today.

However, there are many breeds today which are still used for their original purposes, at least part-time. Greyhounds still race and course. Many sporting dogs are still used as working bird dogs. And foxhounds and other treeing hounds are still used for hunting.

Recently in South Carolina the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released film footage of the practice of bear “baying.” This is a training exercise during which a bear is staked out in a pen and hunting dogs (in this case Plott hounds) are taught how to attack the bear without getting hurt. The bear is not allowed to be hurt either.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing. The answer is that Plott hounds are still used for actual bear hunting. They corner or tree bears and, in an actual hunting situation, the dogs need to know how to approach a bear without being torn to shreds. It’s the dogs’ job to hold the bear in place until the hunter can arrive on the scene. Presumably, if you simply take the dogs out to hunt without any training or experience they would be at greater risk of being killed by a bear they try to tree or corner. So, bear baying serves a training purpose.

South Carolina seems to be the only state where bear baying is still legal, according to HSUS.

Now, is bear baying a pleasant experience for a bear? I’m sure it’s not. Does it prepare the dogs for meeting a bear under actual hunting circumstances in the woods? It seems likely that it does. Is bear baying something that I personally approve of? That’s not really relevant. Done properly, the bear is not supposed to be injured during bear baying as the dogs are supposed to learn how to hold the bear in place without injuring the bear or being injured themselves. That’s the whole point of the training.

You should keep in mind, too, that bear “baying” is NOT the same thing as bear baiting, which was a bloody sport which resulted in the death of the animal.

This case has become important for several reasons. The American Kennel Club asked the American Plott Association to disavow bear baying and the club refused to do so. As a result, the AKC has severed ties with the parent club over this issue.

It’s easy to sympathize with the bear in this instance, but it’s important to remember the purpose of this training: to keep dogs safer during hunting.

This is not an easy issue. Before you decide that the AKC is correct in this instance, consider that there are many breeds which have advanced training which could be construed as being “cruel” by some observers. For example, shepherds and sheepdog trainers often train herding dogs with cows and sheep which will give them a kick in order to teach them better herding and nipping skills. Some gundog trainers in the U.S. use electronic collars, which are considered “cruel” in the UK — the Kennel Club in Britain is seeking to have them banned by the government. Hunting fox, deer and hare with dogs in the UK is banned as cruel, despite the fact that we have countless breeds which were developed for these purposes. There are people in the United States who believe it’s cruel to use hounds to course hare and other animals.

Just where do you draw the line?

In this case, HSUS has produced, once again, a video that certainly looks terrible, on first viewing. It looks like a bear is being abused by dogs. However, there is often more to consider. I would hate for any dogs to die during hunting because they were not properly trained, especially when bears are not physically harmed during the training process.

Many of us have breeds with long historical traditions. We’re proud of those traditions and some people try to maintain them as much as possible today. That’s not easy to do in an increasingly urban world. I don’t think we should be so quick to label those traditions “cruel” or try to eliminate them, especially without more evidence or without making more effort to understand them. Afterall, part of our job as breed custodians is to maintain our breeds and their traditions. That includes the work that our dogs were bred to do.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rethinking Spay and Neuter

Rethinking Spay and Neuter
By Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary, California Federation of Dog Clubs

Pet sterilization has become widely regarded as a routine procedure that is purely beneficial. Most breeders today sell companion puppies under contracts requiring spay or neuter as a condition of sale.(6) Ingrained in recent popular culture is the notion that pet overpopulation is a serious concern, and that to prevent the deaths of animals in shelters all pets should be sterilized. To bolster the campaign for pet sterilization, we have further been informed that a sterilized pet is happier, healthier and longer-lived than one who remains intact.

Should we believe these widely circulated ideas that “everybody knows?” What are the facts?


In the mid-twentieth century, there was an abundance of pets; many were available “free to good home” via newspaper ads. Few pets were sterilized, and many people unwisely allowed their dogs to roam the neighborhood. Consequently, there were many unplanned litters produced by family pets.

According to “Maddie’s Fund” president Richard Avanzino, in the 1970s, our country’s animal control agencies were killing, on average, about 115 dogs and cats annually for every 1000 human residents. This amounted to about 24 million shelter deaths every year.(2) Avanzino is also the former executive director of the San Francisco SPCA, and is regarded by many as the founder of the modern no-kill movement in the US.

"The Problem" of too many pets and not enough homes to go around was ingrained into the public psyche. To deal with “The Problem” of massive shelter killings, a huge public awareness campaign was initiated. The importance of spaying and neutering pets was emphasized. Vets began to routinely urge their clients to sterilize their pets as an integral part of being a “responsible owner”. Planned breeding became a politically incorrect activity. A popular slogan that persists today is “Don’t breed or buy, while shelter dogs die.”

The crusade for spaying and neutering pets has been very successful. A 2009-2010 national pet owners’ survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reveals that the vast majority of owned pets...75% of dogs and 87% of cats... are spayed or neutered.

In recent years, according to Avanzino, annual shelter death numbers have dramatically declined to about 12 per thousand human residents, or about 3.6 million deaths each year. This amounts to a staggering 85% reduction in killing since the 1970s.(2) We have reached a nationwide pet shelter death rate that averages just 1.2% per population. This can effectively be considered a “no kill” rate.

In most areas, feral cats and kittens account for the majority of shelter numbers.(9) Several areas of the country have actual shortages of adoptable dogs, particularly purebreds and puppies, and must import from other regions to fill the need. Dogs are being smuggled into the US by the thousands. Some rescue groups are even importing from other countries….Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, Taiwan and Romania, to name some of the most popular points of origin. The conservative estimate is that 300,000 dogs are imported into the US each year to meet the demand for pets.(3)

According to shelter expert Nathan Winograd, every year in this country, approximately 3 million adoptable pets die in shelters.* At the same time, each year around 17 million US households are looking for a new pet. That is 17 million households above and beyond those who already will adopt a shelter or rescue pet. There are nearly six times as many homes opening up every year as the number of adoptable pets killed in shelters!(8) It seems the greatest challenge these days is to find ways to match up the adoptable pets with the homes that are waiting for them. Breed rescues fill this niche admirably, but are privately funded and desperately in need of assistance in order to effectively perform this service. Perhaps some of the public funds budgeted for shelters to kill animals could be better spent helping rescue groups who are proactive in matching adoptable pets to suitable homes.


Now that we have addressed the issue of pet overpopulation, let’s examine the claim that sterilization surgery promotes better health. While there are some benefits to sterilization, there are some drawbacks as well.

Sterilization will naturally serve to prevent any unwanted litters. In bitches, spaying will greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer, pyometra, perianal fistula and cancers of the reproductive organs.(5)

Spay surgery itself carries a somewhat high rate (around 20%) of complications such as infection, hemorrhage and even death.(5) Spaying significantly increases the rate of urinary incontinence in bitches….about 20-30% of all spayed bitches will eventually develop this problem. This is believed to be most likely caused by the lack of estrogen that results from being spayed.(1)

Sterilization of males may reduce some unwanted sexual behaviors, but there are few other proven benefits to neutering a male dog. Testicular cancer is prevented, but the actual risk of that cancer is extremely low (<1%) among intact dogs. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that the risk of prostate cancer is actually HIGHER in neutered dogs than in their intact counterparts.(5)

Other studies prove significant health risks associated with sterilization, particularly when done at an early age. The most problematic is a delayed closure of the bony growth plates. This results in an abnormal, “weedy” skeletal development that increases the incidence of orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Working and performance dogs, if neutered before maturity, risk the inability to perform the jobs they were bred for.(10)

But by far the most startling news to surface this year is the result of a study that shows that keeping ovaries to the age of six years or later is associated with a greater than 30% increase of lifespan in female Rottweilers.(4) Similar studies in humans reinforce this finding.(7)(11)

A 30% longer lifespan means that you could have many additional years with your bitch simple by delaying spay surgery until middle-age or later.

Behavioral studies show that sterilization increases fearfulness, noise phobias and aggression. Other well-documented adverse health effects of de-sexing include increased risk of bone cancer, hemangiosarcoma, hypothyroidism, and cognitive dysfunction in older pets. Sterilization confers an increased susceptibility to infectious disease, and also a higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines.(10)

So there is no need to feel obligated to sterilize for health or welfare reasons. But, what about the need to protect the puppies that we sell from unethical breeders?


Many breeders are justifiably very concerned about the possibility of their dogs being subjected to neglect or abuse by falling into disreputable hands. To help prevent such situations, it has become commonplace for breeders to include spay/neuter requirements in their pet sales contract, and/or to sell the dog on a limited registration. Another common stipulation, particularly for a show/breeding dog, is requiring that the dog be returned to the seller in the event the buyer no longer wishes to keep him.(6)

Such contracts are highly effective when selling a puppy to someone who is honest and ethical. However, contracts are easily skirted by the unscrupulous, particularly if the buyer lives in a different region. Someone intent on breeding may do so regardless of contract language, and sell the puppies without any registration. And without personal knowledge of the living conditions at your puppy’s new home, it is impossible to predict what sort of care and attention he or she will receive. Even some show breeders may have very different ideas than the seller of what constitutes proper care. There is no substitute for a home check to follow up that initial puppy application!

Bottom line, the best insurance for a happy future for your puppies is making sure that you get to know the buyer personally. If something about the buyer or his attitude doesn’t seem right, then it’s probably best to cancel the sale. If you wish to sell puppies on spay-neuter agreements you might also consider advising the buyer to wait until the puppy reaches maturity before having sterilization surgery performed. Another idea is to ask your vet if vasectomy would be a viable alternative to castration for your male. This would preserve sex hormones and possibly prevent some of the adverse health effects of castration.


Sterilization of all dogs sold as companions may have some unintended adverse effects. The nature of purebred breeding for the show ring involves intense selection that severely narrows the gene pool in many, if not most, breeds. Some breeds started with just a small pool of founders. Through the years, overuse of only a few popular sires further reduced the genetic variety available in the breed. When troublesome health problems surface and become widespread, where can we turn for “new blood”?

The show-bred population of a breed may have become too small as a result of intense inbreeding or the genetic bottleneck created by overuse of popular sires; or the breed gene pool may have become genetically depleted because of unwise selection for specific, sometimes unhealthy physical traits favored in the show ring. As a result, dogs from the “pet” population may actually be the salvation of the breed gene pool.

Trying to guess which dogs are the "best" to keep intact for showing and breeding can be hit-or-miss. Imagine the scenario where a successful show dog eventually develops a heritable health issue, while his brother is much healthier...but brother was neutered long ago, thereby eliminating those good genes forever. What about that Champion's non-show quality sister, who just happens to have good health, great mothering instincts and/or the ability produce exceptional offspring? If sold as a spayed companion, her genes are effectively lost.

And what about the very future of the dog fancy? Many people (myself included) have bought an intact dog as a pet, and only later sparked an interest in showing and breeding. Developing new breeders is critical to the survival of our sport, but if we sell all companions on spay/neuter agreements, we will lose many fanciers before they have the chance to discover the joy of dog breeding and showing!

Sadly, mandatory sterilization laws are sweeping the nation and may further compromise the future of the dog fancy. AKC registrations continue to decline and the push to legally and/or contractually require spay and neuter of most every dog will only worsen that situation. Regardless, there is a huge demand in society for healthy pets; a demand which the responsible breeders could not come close to meeting even if they wanted to...and sometimes, they do not want to. The choice we have as a society is how that demand will be filled.

Many believe that only show hobbyists should be allowed to keep intact dogs and breed on a limited basis. However, the attempt to legally force well-regulated and inspected commercial breeders and the casual small home breeders out of the picture leaves only the unregulated, less visible "underground" producers and smugglers to fill the need for pets. Perhaps it is time to re-think our preconceived notions about who should and shouldn't possess intact dogs!

As a dog owner, one must weigh the risks of sterilization against the benefits in order to make that very personal decision. Popular culture and many veterinarians downplay or even ignore the risks involved with spay/neuter because of their own belief in the need to reduce dog breeding in general. Many people still believe that overpopulation remains a pressing concern and that sterilization always promotes better health. Some even believe that breeding a female is abusive. It seems the animal rights groups have done an excellent job of brainwashing the public on these matters!

As breeders, we may be wise to re-examine the routine request to have all our companion puppies spayed or neutered. The future availability of pets, the perpetuation of the dog fancy, the health of the individual dogs and the gene pools of the breeds that we love may all depend on keeping a few more dogs intact!

*An adoptable pet is one that does not have insurmountable health or temperament issues.
Per California’s Hayden law: The California Legislature Defines No-Kill Terms
 ■California Law, SB 1785 Statutes of 1998, also known as "The Hayden Law" has defined no-kill terms. What is Adoptable? 1834.4. (a)
"No adoptable animal should be euthanized if it can be adopted into a suitable home. Adoptable animals include only those animals eight weeks of age or older that, at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded or otherwise taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a behavioral or temperamental defect that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animal's health in the future."
Adoptable dogs may be old, deaf, blind, disfigured or disabled.

1Bovsun, Mara;
"Puddle Jumping; Canine Urinary Incontinence";
AKC Gazette April 2009

2Fry, Mike,
"Reflections from the No Kill Conference in Washington DC":

3James, Susan Donaldson (ABC News)
"300,000 Imported Puppies Prompt Rabies Concerns"
October 24, 2007

4Nolen, R. Scott
"Rottweiler Study Links Ovaries With Exceptional Longevity"
JAVMA March 2010

5Sanborn, Laura J., MS
"Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs"; May 14,2007

6Thoms, Joy
"The Importance of Spay-Neuter Contracts"
The Orient Express, Nov, 2009

7Waters, David J., DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
"A Healthier Respect for Ovaries"

8 Winograd, Nathan J.
"Debunking Pet Overpopulation"
June 29, 2009

9 Winograd, Nathan, “Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America” Almaden Books, 2nd edition, Feb 25, 2009.

10 Zink, Christine, DVM, PhD, DACVP
"Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete"; 2005

11 “Retaining ovaries may be a key to prolonged life in women and dogs”; DVM Newsmagazine; Dec 5, 2009.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's called CHOICE!

Commentary from a dog list regarding stated support for the role of HSUS in the Missouri voter initiative that limits number of dogs that may be owned. Posted here with permission of the original author.

We Americans have been lied to and cheated by HSUS. I respect every person's right to have only one dog if they choose-or none at all. I respect the commercial breeders who do a good job of caring for and raising good animals. I definitely respect show breeders who give more than anyone to their individual breeds. I do not accept anyone telling me how many dogs I can own, or how many children I can have, or anything that strips me of my freedom given by the constitution. It is why I have stayed in America. Therefore I cannot agree with or respect anyone's decision to try to interfere with my choices in life. It is my business. I do not attempt to dictate to others what basic choices they make for their lives and only ask that they do the same in return. What you feel may be right for you-could be disastrous for another person. To impose your will on another is unfair to say the least. We are not all cut from the same cookie cutter. That said-I can't help but wonder where you would find your next dog if everyone followed your plan of action. Truly-there would be no dogs for most people-only the very wealthy could afford to own a dog. That would be a sad condition for a country that loves it's pets as much as Americans love theirs. That has happened in many countries in the past-after wars or animal rights organizations "reformed" their legal structure concerning breeding and owning pets.

Your comment was:

"I also doubt if this would affect any show breeders or hobby

breeders with limited amounts of dogs, simply for the fact that

there would be no reason for neglect and no HSUS

mind....good breeders should continue to breed. "

I do so wish this were true-but it isn't. Show breeders have been heavy targets for HSUS for at least the last decade-and it is getting worse!!! They have caused breeders and rescue people to be arrested, fined, harassed, and stolen their dogs and killed most of them over and over in every state in the union. The breeder that President Obama got his Portugese Water Dog from ended up being a huge target for HSUS-largely because they were miffed that he chose a purebred-from a breeder-over a shelter dog. Make no mistake about it-HSUS ruins people's lives and murders their dogs. If you fly under the radar-stay there-as if you are noticed-they will come for you-no matter how good your are as a breeder or your care of your dogs. In the meantime-check out all you can find on pet law list or or petlegislation list. They are both good. Then go talk to every lawmaker in your county about laws that may be devastating to breeders. Above all-never trust that HSUS has the animals best interests at heart. They most definitely do NOT!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hollister passes mandatory sterilization for Chihuahuas and "pit bulls"

No kidding! What do Chihuahuas and "pit bulls" have in common? They are both now in the crosshairs of the new MSN ordinance in the City of Hollister, California.

Update from the Save Our Dogs website, posted here with permission of the author.

"There was a great turnout for last night’s Hollister city council meeting about the mandatory spay-neuter ordinance. The room was packed with more residents than the council had ever seen before on any issue."

"Only one person in the audience spoke for the ordinance. ALL of the others in the audience who spoke, at least two dozen of them, were opposed. Unfortunately the ordinance passed despite this unprecedented level of constituent opposition, by a 3-2 vote."

"Thank you to Mayor Gomez and Vice Mayor Valdivia for voting no."

"Council members Friend, Emerson, and Sanchez voted yes."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Language and Our Messy World

Language and Our Messy World
Carlotta Cooper

Many people have observed that there is a difference in world view between those of us who breed and raise animals and people at the other end of the spectrum. That would be people who would like to see an end to pet ownership, otherwise known as animal rightists. There may be some confused people in the middle. There may even be some dog breeders who espouse some animal rights philosophy without knowing it. Those are often the people shouting loudest about how awful puppy mills are or pointing fingers at their dog show enemies and calling them puppy millers.

You can often tell just where someone stands on this spectrum by how comfortable they are discussing certain things and by their use of language. For instance, when you hear or read animal rights people talking about animals you may be confused and think they are talking about babies or children. “I took Betsy to the doctor for x-rays and she was so good! She had her temperature taken and the doctor felt her all over. She never moved at all during the x-rays. The doc wants us to come back next week.” I have no idea if Betsy is a dog or a child. When my dogs go to the vet they lick shoes, wriggle, get petted and, if they are good, they get treats. Sometimes they eat things they shouldn’t or throw up. In short, they do dog things. Sometimes I have to apologize for them — a lot. But they are always dogs and everyone who meets them knows they are dogs and not children.

If you ever try to have a conversation with an AR person about a subject like, oh, dog breeding, it can be anywhere from frustrating to amusing. First of all, there is the word. The “B” word. Bitch. There, I said it. Breeders say this word 100 times a day. Having a bitch in your home is a fact of life and there’s nothing pejorative about the word. I have four bitches right now. They are all related and they get along very well. They get along the same way that you would expect any four related girls/women to get along. They have “words” sometimes. One may be cranky occasionally. The two youngest play. The older ones pull rank. They have relationships. But they are all intact bitches. Big deal.

Just the fact that I have four intact bitches is probably enough to set off some AR people. Most AR people prefer their female dogs to be “sterile.” What an awful word. If you consider the language you find in legislative bills and local ordinances, it invariably refers to bitches as “adult female dogs.” And it often calls for them to be sterile — unable to reproduce, which, of course, is the antithesis of what a breeder strives to do. So, let’s just say that AR people have a hard time with the bitch word. They won’t or can’t use it in normal conversation. If you insist on having a conversation with an AR person about breeding they will usually talk about the “poor breeding dogs” or the “girls” or “the mothers” or start using other soppy language for bitches which will take you far, far away from whatever it is you are actually discussing. Yes, it is hard to have a reality-based discussion with an AR person about dog breeding. This is largely because they have been brainwashed into thinking that all dog breeding is somehow harmful to dogs. It doesn’t matter that you spend every waking moment with your dog up to and during whelping, waiting on her hand and foot, tempting her with any kind of food you can get her to eat and doing everything in your power to make her happy. It doesn’t matter that you devote yourself to raising and socializing the puppies from the moment they are born. In the eyes of an AR person, you are a dog breeder and that makes you evil incarnate. You have to be breeding your dog for money and you cannot possibly love your dog the way they love their dog, even if these ideas are pure science fiction.

If ARs have problems with the concept of dog breeding then you can imagine how uncomfortable they are with the nuts and bolts, so to speak, of the act. Good luck if you are ever in the position of trying to describe breeding or whelping to someone with such exquisite sensibilities. Of course, it’s not just animal rights people who have problems with imagining their dog getting pregnant or having puppies. There are plenty of web sites online where pet owners ask questions about canine pregnancy. I suppose we should be happy that spaying and neutering have been so successful in this country that most people don’t seem to have any idea what happens during a dog mating or during whelping, but it’s too bad that more people don’t understand some basic biology about their pet dogs. Unfortunately, this has led to animal rights people spreading all kinds of inaccurate information about breeding and whelping.

For instance, most people now believe that dogs need to be spayed and neutered as young as eight weeks old, or by the time they are four months old. Hold everything! Spaying and neutering at such a young age is actually BAD for your puppy’s longterm health! It’s extremely rare for any dog to be sexually mature at this age. It’s much better for your puppy to wait until later to spay or neuter, even if you never intend to breed him or her.

Spaying and neutering is a good choice for many pet owners, but it should remain a choice. It should never be government-mandated. There are many things to consider before spaying or neutering your dog such as your dog’s overall health, age, sex, breed and so on. It is an individual decision between you and your veterinarian. Do some research before automatically deciding to spay or neuter your pet. It may be the right decision for you and your pet, but make sure. Don’t be a lemming.

Animal rights people have also leapt to some ridiculous conclusions out of possibly good intentions. For instance, we can all probably agree that dog fighting is a bad thing. But when it comes to the so-called “rape stands,” animal rights people are way off base. This is another case where they have misused language, in this case for propaganda reasons. There are no such things as “rape stands.” There are breeding stands to facilitate breeding. Anyone who actually knows anything about dogs knows that dogs don’t get bred by rape. This is a ridiculous anthropomorphism. Bitches have a heat cycle and when their hormones tell them they are ready to breed, they breed. They will not accept a male dog until they are ready. If a male tries to breed before it’s time a bitch is likely to bite his face off. Not only will a bitch not accept a mate until it’s time, but she is not fertile until she is ready to accept a mate. As any breeder knows, if a bitch won’t accept a male, it means she’s not ready to breed. So, rape would be pointless and would not result in any puppies. A breeder would be stupid to do anything to encourage a male to breed before the bitch was ready and willing. Breeding stands (not “rape stands”) are used to give the bitch physical support when the male leans on her. Some male dogs also need ramps in some cases, if the female is taller, and so on. These things are done to help the dogs, not because one or either partner is unwilling. Many breeders also offer physical support themselves during the breeding, holding up the dogs by placing an arm around their stomachs, etc. This is all part of being a breeder.

Unfortunately, too many times animal rights people make statements about dog breeding when they don’t understand what they’re talking about and don’t have any first-hand experience with the subject.

Many animal rights people seem to have a problem when it comes to contemplating bodily functions related to animals. They don’t seem to enjoy too much reality or being very close to nature. Consider, for example, this statement from the chairwoman of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s food and agriculture action team, when asked a question about city residents keeping chickens on their premises: “'What carries disease more than chicken poo is cat and doggy poo,' Mayo said." Poo? Chicken poo? Cat and doggy poo? Is that any way for an adult to discuss excrement? Especially when that person is supposed to be in a position of authority over chickens for city residents? Wouldn’t it be preferable to have someone in that position who could talk about chicken manure without sounding like an 8-year-old child?

I think it’s fair to ask ourselves if we have all become so distanced from animals that we have to resort to such childish language when speaking about barnyard animals and pets, or is it only people who prefer to have their animals in Disney form — without bodily functions, without genitalia, who don’t reproduce, and who only die when there is an orchestra standing by to play sad music. I think there are still plenty of people, especially those of us who breed animals, who are very familiar with animals in their true form. And we prefer to use language that really describes them as they are instead of euphemisms or words that make them seem like children. We love animals, too. And we love them as they truly are. Not in some make believe, fantasy form.

So, here’s to using the proper words for things. For describing our animals as they really are instead of pretending they’re babies or children. For calling “poo” manure. For telling my girls they’re bitches and appreciating them. And for celebrating heat cycles and all of the bodily functions that make the animal rights people so squeamish. This is a messy world and that’s a lot better than the sterile world the ARs would like us to have.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Humane Society of the US-Their Philosophy Explained

HSUS Philosophy Explained:
An Animal Welfare Advocate and an HSUS executive (an unlikely pair, I agree; but bear with me) were walking down the street when they came upon a homeless person and his dog. The Animal Welfare Advocate gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his business for a job so he could earn a living. Then he could afford food & shelter for himself and the dog. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person and a coupon for dog food so they could get by till the homeless person could start that job.
The HSUS person was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person with a dog, he decided to help out as only he could. He walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the local animal "shelter" and a coupon for euthanasia, because he knew the homeless person would be better off without the dog; and besides, dogs are better dead than in the company of humans. He then reached into the Animal Welfare Advocate’s pocket and got out twenty dollars. He kept $19.50 for administrative fees and gave the homeless person 50 cents.
If the homeless man refused this kind offer, the HSUS executive would make sure that he was cited for failure to license, failure to sterilize, and failure to provide food and shelter for the dog. And then he would take it to the "shelter" himself.

Now you understand the difference between Animal Welfare Advocates & the Humane Society of the US.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Inherit the Wind

Heredity is the means by which traits (distinctive features) are passed on to the next generation. Physical traits include such things as eye shape and color, body size, and coat color. Behavioral traits involve characteristics like herding or retrieving instincts. Some traits are not readily apparent, like blood type or predisposition to a disease. All these traits are inherited.

We talked a bit about chromosomes in a previous post. Chromosomes carry the genes that determine the traits that are inherited. Chromosomes are string-like ropes made up of thousands of genes. Chromosomes occur in pairs; one from each parent. Every gene has a partner on the opposite chromosome, and these partnered pairs of genes determine the traits of an individual. There are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, the female sex chromosome contains more genes than the male sex chromosome, so some traits are linked to the sex of the individual. Other genes might be composed of extra material created through mutation or insertion, and those might not always have a partner on the opposite chromosome.

But most genes do have partners. There are many different forms of a gene that can exist at any given location. These different forms are known as "alleles". For example, at one certain location on the chromosome, an individual could have a gene for sable, or for tan-point pattern, or for black. These are three alleles that might be found at that particular location. You will inherit only one allele from one parent, and one from your other parent.

How do we know how this all works? Let's take a brief look backwards at how our knowledge of genetics developed.

Way back in the 1700s, a man named Jean-Baptiste Lamarck developed some theories about how evolution occurred. Lamarck observed that organisms adapted to their environment. He believed that bodily features were gained or lost through use or disuse. He also believed in something known as "soft inheritance"...the idea that the effects of the environment on an individual's traits could be passed along to their offspring. While this idea has generally been discounted, science is now beginning to delve into the area known as "epigenetics". We now know that sometimes environmental factors (nutrition, toxins, radiation etc) can indeed affect the genes that are passed on to offspring! Lamarck may have been on to something after all!

In the 1850s and 1860's an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel did experimental hybridizing on thousands of peas. Mendel showed that the inheritance of traits followed certain patterns and laws. He was the first to postulate that traits could be dominant or recessive, or in some-cases co-dominant. Mendel also developed the theory of independent or random assortment of traits. The importance of his work was not realized during his lifetime, but Mendel is now regarded as the father of modern genetics.

During this same time frame, Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection. (Darwin knew nothing of Gregor Mendel or his research). Darwin's observations led him to the idea that organisms adapt and change through "survival of the fittest". Darwin's theory of natural selection is widely accepted today. In the early 20th century the ideas of Mendel and Darwin were combined to form the basis of genetic science and evolution.

We can see examples of how evolution occurs in an artificial, man-made manner by looking at the results of selection in domestic animals. Man can change a species form and function by selecting for certain traits that we find valuable. Traits less valued are selected against and do not survive. For example, we rarely see a thirty pound Pomeranian today....small size has been selected for and the genes that produce larger body size have almost disappeared. We also attempt to produce an almond-shaped eye, small ears, a high tail set and a relatively short back. Although this is a man-made selection process, and not "natural" selection, it's a good example of how evolution occurs.

But organisms are not simply the product of their genes. Scientists are finding that traits determined by genes can often be greatly influenced by environmental factors. Hip dysplasia is a good example of this phenomenon. The genes that predispose to hip degeneration can be influenced by the effects of nutrition or stress on the joint.

Another example is coat color which is determined by genes, but can be changed under the influence of the sun or hair dye.

A non-canine example of environment affecting expression of genes is the coat color of the Siamese cat. The Siamese cat has a form of partial albinism due to an enzyme that blocks melanin, but this enzyme that produces light coat color is inactivated by cooler body temperature. The coat color of the Siamese cat's tail, legs, ears and face (which is cooled by the nasal passages) remains darker than the rest of the body because these regions are not as warm as the rest of the body. The gene for blocking dark coat color depends on warmth (an environmental factor) to be activated and expressed.

We learned from Mendel that some genes are "dominant"; others are "recessive", and still others are co-dominant. But only a few traits are determined by a single gene. Most traits in complex creatures like animals are created by the actions of multiple genes. This is what we call a “polygenic” trait; one that is the product of many genes interacting together. Even a fairly simple trait such as coat color is produced through the interaction of multiple genes.

Traits like the size and shape of the ear, or the croup, or the front, are examples of polygenic features. This makes it difficult to predict with any certainty what sort of offspring will be produced from any certain mating. Remember, there are literally millions of different combinations of genes that each animal can possess. Selection of individuals who possess the traits you wish to perpetuate is important. This is actually more important than looking back at ancestors in a pedigree, because some genes that produce certain traits can be lost through the generations.

How can we stack the odds in our favor to produce the traits that are important to us in our breeding program? One tried and true method used by dog breeders has been inbreeding or linebreeding. This system involves breeding together dogs who are closely related or who descend from a meritorious common ancestor.

Inbreeding and linebreeding help to preserve certain valuable traits. However, inbreeding may also preserve undesirable traits at the same time. Another problem with inbreeding is that any hidden “problem” recessive genes that the admired ancestor possessed stand a relatively high chance of being doubled up and expressed in the offspring, because each parent has a higher than normal probability of sharing some common genes. These problems then become nearly impossible to eradicate from a line and in some cases from an entire breed.

Breeds that were founded on only a few ancestors or breeds that use a few popular sires extensively will almost always eventually develop a few problems that become characteristic of that breed. Another problem with inbreeding and linebreeding is that along with producing a more uniform type, the inbreeding process can also result in a lack of variability in the genes needed for optimal immune system function. Unfortunately, impaired immunity can mean a greater susceptibility to infection, higher rates of autoimmune diseases, lower birthrates and decreased lifespan.

Breeding outside the line, or “outcrossing” serves to introduce more genetic variability and improve health and vigor, but the downside is a lack of predictability of type. Most physical characteristics and even most diseases are produced through the interaction of multiple genes. Many disorders of the immune system such as autoimmunity or allergy may be caused by something as simple as lack of a variety of genes in the immune complex. Such problems can often be corrected in the next generation by outcrossing.

Usually an outcross must be carefully planned for certain features that the breeder wishes to introduce or to eliminate, and several generations are required to refine those features to reach a certain goal. This might require more patience than many of us possess, and there is no guaranteed pot of gold at journey's end. However, the rewards of improved health and vigor may make your “surprise” outcross experiment very worthwhile.

There are a few diseases produced by a single, identifiable gene, and some of these are able to be tracked by DNA identification of that gene or a closely located “marker”. Carriers of certain diseases may be identified in this way. Identification of problematic genes does not necessarily mean that we should eliminate the carrier from the gene pool. That animal probably has other very valuable genes to contribute as well. Judicious selection coupled with rigorous testing can result in the reduction of incidence of a genetic problem down through future generations once the genetic carrier status is readily identifiable.

The dramatic production "Inherit the Wind" chronicled the events of a teacher in the 1920s who was arrested and tried for teaching his students about the science of evolution and heredity. One great line from that play sums up our general knowledge of genetics: 

"The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool. College examinations notwithstanding, it takes a very smart fella to say 'I don’t know the answer!'"

Monday, September 20, 2010

In Defense of Dog Breeders

In Defense of Dog Breeders

How Animal Rights Has Twisted Our Language

by the late great JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
Reprinted here with permission of Donna Yates

“You’re a dog breeder!!!!!!!!!!!!”
In today’s world, that is a very loaded statement. It’s more like an accusation.
“I told the television news reporter that I breed dogs,” a friend from Dallas told me recently. “He looked at me like I was a harlot.”
Dog owners have allowed the animal rights movement to redefine our language in order to paint everything we do in the worst possible light. If we say that we breed dogs, the looks we get ask us if we own a “puppy mill” or if we are a “backyard breeder.”

If we reply that we are a “hobby breeder,” someone immediately asks how we can consider living creatures a hobby. Some of us try the word “fancier.” We fool no one.

The most pathetic response to the question is when we call ourselves “responsible breeders.” Responsible to whom? Who defines “responsible” and “irresponsible?” Some bureaucrat? A politician? Animal rights cretins who say there is no such thing as a responsible breeder? Animal rights fanatics would rather kill all animals than see someone love them. In fact, that’s their plan.

If we say we are not breeders, it makes us “pet hoarders.” We are tarred as mentally ill people in need of psychotherapy.

The entire language about dog ownership has been hijacked by the rhetoric of the animal rights movement.

The worst part is that we have allowed it to happen. We are too fearful and wimpy to stand up for ourselves. We keep searching for inoffensive euphemisms to describe what we do, so that we don’t open ourselves up to attack.

By doing that, however, we have engineered our own demise.

The animal rights movement will not go away. Its agenda is to destroy our right to own or raise animals. Animal rights groups have declared war on all animal ownership, and they won’t stop until they either win or we finally have the courage to stand up and defeat them.

They have not taken that kind of power over us. We have given it away. We have surrendered our beliefs to the enemy.

We apologize for what we do. We make weak excuses for things like animal shelter euthanasia, accidental matings, dog fighting and dangerous dogs. We take at least part of the responsibility for these problems onto our own shoulders, when in truth we have no responsibility at all for creating them.

None whatsoever!

I am sick and tired of watching dog owners constantly apologize and grovel, and allowing themselves to be put on the defensive.

Enough! It’s time to stop sniveling about who we are and what we do.

Let me state clearly and for the record: I am a dog breeder. I breed dogs. I raise puppies. I like it. I’m very proud of it.

If you don’t like it, you are free to take a flying leap. I don’t care what you think of me or what I do.

I raise two or three litters of English setter puppies a year. I wish I could raise more puppies, but can’t figure out how to do it without driving myself into bankruptcy.

My dogs work for a living, just like I do. They have to be good at their jobs, just like I do. If they aren’t good at their jobs, I don’t keep them and I certainly don’t breed them.

They are hunting dogs, and they have to be able to perform to a very demanding standard of excellence to be worthy of breeding. They have to meet the exacting standard of championship-quality performance in the toughest competition.

They are professional athletes.

Most of them don’t make the cut. Those dogs make wonderful hunting companions or family members.

I have never had a dog spayed or neutered, except for medical reasons, and I don’t intend to start now. If a dog is good enough for me to keep, it is good enough to breed.

Nor have I ever sold a puppy on a spay/neuter contract. With performance dogs, it takes two or three years to know what you have. There is no way that anyone can know the full potential or worthiness of a young puppy. I hope every puppy that I sell will become a great one that is worthy of being bred.

I do not feel bad (and certainly do not feel guilty) if someone decides to breed a dog from my kennel that I did not choose to keep for myself when it was a puppy. It still will be a very nice dog, and I have worked very hard on my breeding program for 35 years to assure that very high quality genetics will be passed along and concentrated in any dog that I sell.

On occasion, I have a puppy that has a serious flaw. I don’t sell those puppies, even though they would make many people very happy. I give them away free to good homes, and the definition of a good home is mine because it’s my puppy. I own it. You don’t.

My responsibility is to the puppy. It is not to you, and it’s not to some gelatinous glob called “society.” I consider myself to be personally responsible for every puppy I raise, from birth until the day it dies. It always has a home in my kennel, if its new owner can’t keep it or no longer wants it.

That’s a contract written in blood between the puppy and me. It’s a contract written with a handshake with the puppy’s new owner.

I laugh cynically when someone from the Humane Society of the United States or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ask if I am a responsible breeder. HSUS and PETA are two of the most vicious, bloodthirsty and dishonest snake pits on Earth. Their moral credibility is a negative number. PETA butchers more than 90-percent of the animals it “rescues” every year, and HSUS supports programs and policies that result in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals every year.

By now, I assume that I have pushed all of the buttons of the animal rights crazies. I can hear them snort and see their pincurls flapping in indignation. It makes my day.

Can’t you hear them, too? They are calling me an exploiter of animals. They are saying that I ruthlessly cull and manipulate the genetics of my dogs. They saying that I make the exploited poor beasts work for a living and live up to impossible standards. They will say that I do this to feed and gratify my own fat ego. They will say that I sell them for money and exploit them for personal gain. Then, of course, they will say that I use them to viciously hunt innocent wild animals.

Terrible, terrible me! My mother should have a son like this! She was such a nice woman.

Well, I plead guilty to all of the charges. Know what else? I don’t feel guilty, not even a little bit. I do it. I like it. I feel good about it.

Now I will speak in my own defense – as a dog breeder.

I happen to love dogs. I love being around them. I love working with them. I love watching a puppy grow up and discover its potential. I love having the privilege of experiencing a truly great dog in its prime. I love sharing supper with my dogs, wrestling with puppies, and sacking out with them on the couch. I lose sleep when they get sick, and work myself unmercifully to care for them. I spend almost all of the money I have on them, and some money that I don’t have. My heart breaks when they grow old and die. I have a dozen lifetimes worth of beautiful memories.

What do the animal rights freaks have? They have their ideology. They look in the mirror and feel smug and self-righteous, as if God has personally anointed them to protect animals from the likes of me.

What they have is nothing at all. Utter sterility. A world devoid of life and love.

They can keep it.

My life is filled with love and joy and beauty, and I owe most of it to my dogs. They have helped to keep me sane when sanity was not a given. They have given me courage on the days when all I wanted to do was lie down and quit. They have given me strength to endure on the days when all I wanted to do is run away and hide.

I owe them my life.

The animal rights folks are right. I ruthlessly cull and manipulate genetics. To make the cut, my breeding dogs have had to live up to the most exacting possible standards and pass the most strenuous tests.

I am very proud of doing that.

The result is that the vast majority of people who buy a puppy from me love it. When I sell a puppy, chances are that it has found a home for the rest of its life. The puppy will have a great chance of leading a wonderful life. I produce puppies that make people happy to own them and want to keep them. That’s my job as a breeder.

I have done this through rigorous selection. My puppies today are the result of 35 years of my stubborn insistence about never breeding a dog that does not have a wonderful disposition, perfect conformation, great intelligence, exceptional natural ability, breathtaking style and that mysterious ingredient called genius.

Every puppy born in my kennel has six or eight or 10 generations of my own dogs in its pedigree. All of those ancestors possess a high level of each of those desirable traits. I have raised, trained and grown old with every dog listed in several generations of each puppy’s pedigree.

Simply put, my puppies today are a lot nicer than my puppies of 35 years ago. Today, there is a much higher percentage of good ones, a much lower percentage of deficient ones, a much higher average of good qualities, and a much higher percentage of true greatness emerging from my kennel today.

That’s what it means to be a breeder.

Does that feed my ego? Yep. I like having my ego stroked. Don’t you? If you don’t, you are in very deep trouble as a human being.

But I’ll tell you what else it does. It makes for happier dogs. It makes for dogs that lead better lives, find permanent families and homes, and get to experience love in many forms.

It also makes for healthier dogs. Generation after generation of perfect functional conformation means that the dogs are less likely to get injured, wear out or develop arthritis. Many generations of selection for vigor, toughness and good health means that they are able to laugh at the extremes of climate, weather and terrain.

I also have virtually eliminated genetic health problems from my strain of dogs. For example, hip dysplasia is the most common genetic problem in English setters, afflicting a reported four-percent of the breed. In the past 20 years, I have had only two questionable hip x-rays, which both would be rated “fair” by the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA). The last one was 10 years ago.

Yes, I am very proud of being a breeder. I did that.

I am proud, too, that I am producing dogs that are so intelligent that it’s scary, so loyal that they can be your complete partner in the field while also possessing the extreme independence needed to do their job well, so loving that you want them with you every second of the day, so bold and brazen that nothing bothers them, and just plain drop-dead gorgeous to boot.

They make me smile a lot. I think I make them smile, too.

But, the animal rights whackos say I am doing it for the money. They accuse me of exploiting animals for profit.

Yep. Every chance I get. I am very happy when I am able to sell a puppy for cold, hard cash. It makes me feel good.

It makes me feel good because it shows me that someone appreciates the work I am doing. It makes me feel good because I have earned it, and earned it honestly.

My only regret is that I have not made more money as a breeder. With all of the sacrifices I have made and the hard work I have done, I should be rolling in money.

Alas, I am not.

It has been years since I actually have made money on a litter of puppies. Usually, I lose my shirt.

For every puppy I sell, there is another one that I keep to evaluate, and a couple of other ones that I am keeping for two or three years to evaluate for their worthiness to breed. Then there are dogs that are in competition, and that costs bushels of money, not to mention old dogs that are retired and have a home here until they die of old age. Almost a third of the dogs in my kennel are elderly and retired, and it takes a lot of money to care for them.

It takes money for dog food, supplies, veterinary bills, kennel licenses, repairs, vehicle use for training and field trials, advertising, internet, phone bills, and four pairs of good boots a year. It takes money. Lots of money. Bundles of money.

Oh, Lord, please help me to sell some more puppies!

Besides, what’s wrong with making money? It is a rather fundamental American value. Making money is something to be proud of, as long as it’s done honestly.

Even animal rights bozos have to eat. Someone has to make money to stuff veggies down their gullets, and organic veggies are rather pricey. Most working folks can’t afford them.

I also can’t help but notice that most animal rights activists over the age of 30 drive pretty fancy cars (we are talking about the Beamer set, folks), live in rather fancy houses and dress very well indeed. I can’t help but notice that many of the leaders of animal rights groups have pretty cushy gigs, with high-end six-digit salaries, fancy offices, and all the perks.

I guess they are saying that it’s ok for them to make money by the truckload, even if making money turns dog breeders into immoral greed bags. There is no one in America who exploits dogs for as much money as the paid leaders of animal rights groups. Their fat salaries depend on having animal issues to exploit. If there were no animals for them to exploit, they would have to get a real job.

It’s a rather perplexing dual standard, don’t you think?

Well, maybe it’s not perplexing after all. The only thing perplexing about hypocrisy is that so many people can’t see through it.

My next sin is making my dogs work for a living. The animal rights people try to paint a picture of whipping dogs beyond endurance, exploiting them, creating misery and causing unhappiness. The poor, downtrodden, huddled masses. You know the tune.

Only problem is, my dogs don’t agree. They love to work. They love their jobs. The only time they are sad is when it is not their turn to work. For my dogs, working is sheer joy and passion! They love every second of it.

What animal rights groups live for is creating imaginary victims. Helping victims makes some people feel better about themselves and, of course, it helps them to part with their money so that animal rights leaders can live high on the hog. Oops. I mean high on the carrot. How callous of me. I guess I’m just not a sensitive kind of guy.

Back to the exploited masses of bird dogs. Try an experiment sometime. Read an animal rights essay, and substitute the word “proletariat” for the word “animal.” You will find that animal rights philosophy actually is pure and straightforward Marxian doctrine.

I guess my dogs are not natural Marxists. They love their jobs. They are excited about their jobs. Their jobs make them very happy.

Animal rights people can’t seem to grasp that people can feel that way about their work, too. It’s how I feel about the very hard work of being a dog breeder. It makes me happy.

Another way of putting it is that both my dogs and my own example provide proof that life is not pointless drudgery and exploitation. We provide living proof that joy, beauty and personal fulfillment are possible in life.

I just don’t think of those qualities when I think of the animal rights fanatics I have known. They seem a rather sad and sorry lot to me. I’ll take my dogs’ company any day.

Oh, but the icing on the cake is that I use these poor exploited creatures to hunt innocent birds. How terrible!

Hunting, of course, is a subject of its own, and I won’t attempt to cover it here.

Suffice it to say that opposition to hunting flies in the face of a few million years of human evolution, the entire balance of nature everywhere on Earth, and common sense.

I know one thing for certain. The fact that we have healthy populations of most species of wild birds and animals today is only because hunters have cared enough to support strong conservation measures. We have preserved millions of acres of habitat that are vital to the survival of many species, saved more millions of acres of wilderness from development, supported the protection of endangered species everywhere, and put our money where our mouths are.

Animal rights groupies do nothing but blow hot air, when they aren’t too busy destroying the land and the animals that live on it to create vast wastelands of industrialized monoculture.

I am proud to be a hunter, too.

It’s time for every dog owner and breeder to stand up proudly and be counted.

Each one of you has done far more to enhance the quality of life of both people and dogs than all of the animal rights activists put together.

So stand up and shout it to the rooftops!

Stop crawling around on your bellies and apologizing. Your dogs deserve better from you. You will just have to get a little tougher if you want to live up to your dogs.

What you are doing is right.

It’s just that simple.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Message from New Brunswick breeders' group chair

By now most of you are aware of a few issues that have taken place in the past two weeks.

  • Threats that without owner immediate compliance Agents can arrive without notice and take away pets.
  • Still calling without immediately identifying themselves as NBSPCA agents - leading into the conversation pretending to be puppy buyers.
  • Still getting statements from agents “we become suspicious of wrongdoing if breeders refuse immediate entrance into their home”.
  • Agents lying to breeders to intimate them into inspection. (ie. being told they are the first to refuse entry into their home)
  • Threats to arrive with RCMP Officers - arrests of owners and dogs seized if you don’t let them in your primary dwelling.
  • Comments that we should be staying home 24/7 with puppies, not leaving them to take our children to school etc.
  • Arriving at people’s homes unannounced wearing bullet proof vests etc, very intimidating for citizens who have never dealt with the law nor aware they are operating outside the new legislation.
  • giving non-compliance chits (no puppies onsite nor do these people currently have any for sale)
  • going through dog show catalogues, initiating harassment based on information found within. Note: puppies born/sold prior to 1 June 10
  • using “anonymous tips” to begin the harassment even though legally these tips cannot be acted upon in a court of law.
  • Breeders are being quoted different fine amounts for initial non compliance.
  • Breeders given only a temporary license and lists of changes that need to be made yet there is still no appeal process in place.
  • Breeders having to make changes to their primary dwelling without an appeal process in place.
  • Chief Inspector doing inspections yet we have been told he wants be part of the appeal process, he is not on the list of agents we should be dealing with.
  • Breeders are still having to deal with their primary dwelling being videotaped.
Non compliance with the licensing regulation is not in these cases an act of cruelty to animals, therefore not covered in the criminal code of Canada. Therefore many of the threats and subsequent harassment handed out by agents of the NBSPCA to these citizens would without a doubt be considered overstepping their authority. They were given limited powers of a peace officer, yet are far exceeding the full powers of a Police Officer. If an RCMP was reported to have done even a small portion of what has happened to citizens in the past month, it would most likely result in an internal investigation; so why is it continuing?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Brunswick....animal rights terror

From a member of We The People for Pets:

There's actually something REALLY awful happening in New Brunswick, Canada, right now, this minute, today. Apparently a pol (they call them MLA's) snuck a LAW into the legislation that no one caught.

For the past several years, New Brunswick has had Breeder Permits for over 4
intact dogs that were being used to breed. Apparently you went down to the
New Brunswick SPCA office and told them about your dogs (as in, very voluntary) and they issued you a permit. It cost about $100. People did it to be "responsible" and to support the NBSPCA. There was no real reason not to except to avoid paying the $100.00. They even gave you coupons and crap at the local pet stores and groomers and vets.....making it almost pay for itself or better if you used a lot of these services.

My breeding partner and best GF in NB went in to pay. She had 4 breeding dogs. They KINDLY explained it was only if you had OVER 4, but thanks for coming and you can still donate to the NBSPCA if you want.

THEN, as of June, they passed what they called "Mandatory Breeder Permits".
Try imagining PAWS and PUPS and MSN all bundled into a nice neat package.
NO ONE had ANY clue what was really in the "law" that was passed. They all
seemed to believe it was just a way to get ALL the dog breeders in the area to pay their $100 and go on about their business, so if they DID see the proposal, they MIGHT have even voted for it as it was described as a law to STOP the "PuppyMills".

Even when my GF mentioned it back in June, and me, being completely paranoid due to living here in Calif., told her it didn't sound so "simple" because part of the language included a clause about "breeder inspections". I was assured that ONLY applied to those "awful puppymills" so they could be stopped." and that she, and the other "responsible hobby breeders" were fine, because they keep their dogs inside their homes, etc. and are not breeding for income, hence they are not "puppy mills". Except......

1. The new Breeder Permit costs $250 for a SINGLE INTACT dog.

2. The NBSPCA is being run by AR's and my GF's friends that worked there are
gone. Plus, they refer to HSUS "policies" in their "checklists", including no
inbreeding, no bitches bred under 18 months, only TWO litters allowed per bitch and TWO stud covers that result in pups allowed per dog. There are no
provisions for working or service dogs; if it's intact, it's in trouble.

3. They are doing physical inspections of people's PRIVATE homes and
VIDEOTAPING it even if you ONLY have a SINGLE intact dog.

4. They are physically handling each dog in your PRIVATE home to determine if
you pulled dews, cropped or docked, or haven't groomed it. (each carries a $500 fine per dog)

5. They are doing these "inspections" UNANNOUNCED! Dog owners and breeders are freaking out because they walk in during whelpings and ties and other private business and some lady had her Dane nearly die of bloat because she was feeding him when they burst onto her property.

6. They bring the RCMP (police) with them and are threatening getting warrants if you won't let them into your house or ....are not home. They have told people it is an "offense" (criminal) if they are not home when you have nursing pups. They were told to hire someone to take the children to school or the market because you must not leave your home.

7. They are chasing down co-owners and puppybuyers because they copy ALL your paperwork. If they find your co-owner or puppy buyer lives in the Province and has a still intact pet, they descend upon them for the $250 with videos and other demands.( I have found an argument in here, as Canadian law does not allow the sharing of private third party information)

8. They DON'T have a Rabies law, so they cannot even say this is why they are doing this.

9. The requirement checklist to breed a single dog was taken right from the
HSUS recommendation list, "impervious floors, 8 inch baseboards, no crating, clean metal water dish, affixed to floor" for EACH dog, .....basically NO ONE can afford to remodel their home to keep an intact pet, effectively forcing them out of breeding.

10. Parvo is spreading like wildfire (documented) because these NBSPCA IDIOTS are going from one home to the next and TOUCHING all the babies looking for crop/dock/dew violations.

11. My GF lives in a 3500 sq ft fabulous new home on SIXTY acres which has been in her family for 100 years. Her dogs have the life of luxury, every need is immediately met. There has never been a single complaint from anyone about her dogs. Because of the limit law stuff in Calif, I have a couple of my finished, intact, AKC Champions living with her. Now there is a fear they could be taken.

If anyone here knows anything about Canadian law, and their constitutional
rights in preventing this nightmare from continuing, I'd appreciate the help,
since my dogs are there.

They have formed a group similar to WTPP and have a Yahoo list. Due to a bunch of unannounced Nazi style inspections on completely naive owners last week, many of the owners are planning to approach their respective MLA's (like our senators, etc.) on Monday.....

I have heard that my GF's MLA (whom her father contributed heavily to his
campaign) is utterly aghast at how this is being enforced. Supposedly he
was under the impression it was just a law to get more money from people
who were making income from more than 4 active breeding dogs.

I am working on providing her with any constitutional violations that I can
find, along with having her vet provide documentation of the Parvo outbreaks.
Also I'll put together something about the No-Kill info from.....hello? Canada....that demonstrates how this new law will result in MUCH more costs
than income.
The actual checklist and the CVMA Guidelines are what the Inspectors are bringing with them along with videocameras and copy/fax machines to usurp paperwork. Also warrants to enter homes if they are refused and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) to carry out the warrants.

They are REQUIRING a RECORD of daily puppy weights from BIRTH God......

I spoke with another breeder friend in Montreal, which is in the Province of Quebec. She was quick to point out that "her" Province hadn't passed anything like this and she didn't think they would. I was almost yelling when I told her that was how New Brunswick got one actually believed that something like this could pass. They think someone else is watching the freakin' henhouse while the chickens are getting fried. I told her she had to get involved in her local lawmaking NOW or forever live with a choice that could leave her without her beloved dogs....