Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rabid Debate

Debate rages on canine mailing lists over new legislation regarding rabies vaccine, and whether vaccination requirements should be mandated, reduced, dropped altogether, and whether, how, or if "exemptions" for immune-compromised pets should be included. They're all missing the real point. As one response to the debate implies, if you put too many strings on rabies vaccination, it stops being about disease control (the real issue) and starts being about social control:

Want to fix that problem? Stop using rabies as a "track you and your pet" thing. Make it a mobile clinic where anyone can show up, ANONYMOUSLY present animals (to any number or description), and have them vaccinated for a buck or two apiece. (Rabies vaccine costs about 60 cents per shot in bulk.) Hand out certificates which only describe the animal, frex "canine, male, black" and maybe a guess at the predominant breed. Print 'em on watermarked paper to prevent casual counterfeiting, so they'll be legal as proof of vaccination in the event that the animal bites someone. There is NO need to include the owner's name (who else would have the certificate??) and if it's cheap and anonymous, there's NO incentive for a black market.

And do NOT use these clinics as sting operations to nail people with too many animals (which I have heard is being done in some areas) NOR those with animals in poor condition (would you prefer they didn't bother vaccinating them at all?? why further disincentivize good husbandry??)

STOP linking rabies vaccination to licensing and/or Mandatory Spay/Neuter, STOP forcing people to hide breeding stock from limit laws and MSN, STOP making it a pricey affair involving a $40 office call to the regular vet, and compliance will skyrocket. People do the cheap, easy, and risk-free. They resist the risky and expensive: I'd guess most of the ravings against vaccine risk have little to do with real risk and a lot to do with the fact that most breeders (who are almost the entirety of said ravings) are hiding over-limit dogs and ducking MSN.

So, all you Departments of Public Health out there -- if your true goal is indeed rabies control, put your policy where your mouth is. Remove rabies vaccination from Animal Control's clutches and put it back where every pet owner can comply -- without putting their pets at a far more immediate risk (of fines, confiscation, or MSN) than rabies could ever be.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Canine Nutritionist writes a letter to Delta

Dear Delta Society,

While checking to investigate your claims of raw protein causing a significant shed of pathogens in the dog's stool, I found the largest amount of information on an internet search shows that dry dog food is the biggest offender of carrying salmonella contamination:,2933,356203,00.html

One expert thinks contamination of pet food is likely to become more commonplace.

"There have been problems with pet foods before," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, chairman of the department of preventive medicine and community health at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in New York City. "If the food had any animal product in it, there could have been contamination, or if it was being processed in a plant where they were also processing animal product, then contamination can easily occur," he said. "There is greater industrialization of the production of food products, both for humans and animals, and these are complex processing systems. Therefore, there is greater opportunity for contamination," Imperato said. "We are likely to see many more of these problems."

Secondly, a large percentage of all dogs carry salmonella, regardless of diet. This has been known for some time:

Animal-to-Human -- Salmonella can be acquired directly from pets (e.g. cats and dogs), reptiles, and birds. The feces of pets, especially those with diarrhea, contain Salmonella and humans can become infected if they do not wash their hands after contact with pets or pet feces.15

The pets may suffer Salmonellosis as a reverse zoonosis, with infection transmitted from human-to-pet and subsequently back to other humans. Salmonella can also be found in healthy dogs and cats at rates of up to 36 percent and 18 percent, respectively.52

Here's what the Merck Veterinary Manual says about Salmonella in pets:

"Many dogs and cats are asymptomatic carriers of Salmonellae. Clinical disease is uncommon, but when it is seen, it is often associated with hospitalization, another infection or debilitating condition in adults, or exposure to large numbers of the bacteria in puppies and kittens." 2
To translate: Many dogs and cats carry Salmonella in their systems (as evidenced by the presence of Salmonella in their feces), but they rarely become ill. It is just a natural part of what lives in their GI systems. When illness does occur it is usually associated with an already ill animal who is already immune-compromised. Illness may also occur when young animals are exposed to very high numbers of the bacteria. This might happen if a puppy finds and licks the inside of an outdoor garbage can that has never been washed and is teeming with bacteria.

Research indicates that approximately 36 percent of healthy dogs and 17 percent of healthy cats carry Salmonella in their digestive tract.3 The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) agrees with these numbers.4 It is interesting to note that these numbers are based on kibble-fed dogs-which means that Salmonella is a natural part of life for our pets regardless of what they are eating.

The resistance to illness in dogs from Salmonella is apparent in a study of raw-fed dogs in Canada. In that study 16 dogs were deliberately fed commercial raw diets contaminated with Salmonella. None of those 16 dogs became ill. Additionally, only 7 of those 16 dogs shed Salmonella in their feces.5 While it was not further studied, one might speculate that the 9 dogs who ate Salmonella-contaminated food but did not shed it in their feces effectively neutralized the bacteria.

Even the FDA, in the FDA Consumer magazine, acknowledges that healthy pets rarely become ill from Salmonella contamination.6


3. Hand, M.S., Thatcher, C.D., Remillard, R.L., and Roudebush, P. (2000)

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. Mark Morris Institute. Pg. 36-42,188.


5. Finley, R., et al. (2007) The Risk of Salmonellae Shedding by Dogs Fed

Salmonella-contaminated Commercial Raw Food Diets. Can Vet J. Vol 48 #1. Pg. 69-75.


It is also interesting to note that humans can transmit salmonella to dogs:

Dogs and cats may suffer salmonellosis as a "reverse zoonosis," with infection transmitted from human-to-dog and subsequently back to other humans. Similarly, outbreaks of Salmonella infections in large animal teaching hospitals have been linked to the introduction of bacteria from infected human personnel, with subsequent spread to animals and then back to other human workers.

In one of the studies quoted on your website as part of your proof, in the first article only ten dogs were used to test for salmonella. The authors themselves state:

"Although these results are suggestive, they are not statistically significant owing to the small number of dogs studied. Larger numbers of dogs or multiple stool samples from each dog might have allowed the results to reach statistical significance. Unfortunately, the limited funding to this private clinic for this study did not allow for the inclusion of more study animals or multiple cultures from individual subjects."

And, in another study:

Since this study was an experimental trial with laboratory beagles, results may not be completely indicative of what would be experienced with owned dogs of various breeds. Determining that the raw food diet was the main source of salmonellae shedding in owned dogs would be more complicated, as they could be exposed to several other possible sources of salmonellae, including other animals; other food items, including treats; the environment; and their owners.

And information from your friends in Canada again. This is slide show that has been prepared to show the dangers of raw fed foods for therapy dogs. It was a great job of skewing the results. They show the high incidence of bacteria found in 40 raw fed dogs stools, but somehow tend to downplay the amounts found in dogs fed a dry diet. This study shows:

Raw fed dogs (40)
Dry food fed dogs (156)

0 - for Vanomycin resistant enterococci
1 - for Vanomycin resistant enterococci

1 - for Methicillin resistant S Aureus
8 - for Methicillin resistant S Aureus

5 - for Clostridium difficile
40 -for Clostridium difficile

19 - for Salmonella
12 -for salmonella

31 - for E Coli
32 - for E Coli

While this study may show more Salmonella and E Coli in raw fed dogs, it shows higher results for the bacteria Clostridium, Methicillin resistant S Aureus and has Vanomycin resistant enterococci. And the amount of Salmonella and E Coli, while not as high as raw fed dogs, is significant.

My conclusion is that, in your hurry to label the raw diet as the culprit, and eliminate its use from your volunteers in your program, you are only putting the spotlight on the issue that all dogs can carry pathogens regardless of diet . This could cause all dogs to be banned from use in any health facility. In essence, I see your new rule as 'shooting yourself in the foot'. I feel in your confidence and your bias of proving a raw diet could spread pathogens, you forgot to do a full research on the issue. Salmonella is everywhere, including dry dog food, the soil, pond water and even from humans. Understand you are looking at narrow parameters that need a more careful and extensive study on how pathogens are spread and how to use sensible and effective prevention.

I don't see a problem with allowing dogs into nursing homes, hospitals or hospices, as long as good hygiene is applied. That would include bathing the dogs, insuring therapy dogs are flea and tick free, making sure the dog's are properly exercised (ie pottied) before a visit, and carrying sterilization equipment (bleach, bags and paper towels) in case of an accident. All research points out pathogens are spread by stool or saliva. That would mean not allowing the dogs to lick the clients, making sure the coats and skin are recently bathed and trusting your volunteers. Your volunteers are the backbone of your organization, and they do this loving volunteer work without compensation and give the Delta group thousands of volunteer hours. I hope you take this email in the light it was written, in that sometimes, we need to look at any situation with more study and thought, and understand the healing, joy and encouragement dogs give so many people. Being a patient with serious illness and being away from home often stifles recovery. Pets, as you know, bring hope, happiness and support to begin the process of healing.

I hope you rethink your position on this matter, and continue to allow your therapy dog work to bring joy to both your clients and your volunteers. My interest in researching this and writing to you is in memory to my Ch Blackwood Dante V Lyvngwerth CD and Ch Bourbon's Bravo of Blackwood, two Rottweilers I owned who were the recipients of the American Rottweiler Club TRUE award, for their many hours of therapy work. And yes, they both were fed a raw diet. They both worked in the intensive care units of hospitals in Tyler, Texas, for many years.

Lew Olson
PhD Natural Health
Author of, "Raw and Natural Diets for Dogs"

Purina Peddles Influence at Delta Society

Is Delta's recent ban on raw fed dogs a payback for Purina's HUGE donation in 2008? The money was spread over two years, so that dried up this month.

Does Brenda Bax remain seated on the Delta Society Board of Directors as a result of her employer's financial muscle?

Enquiring minds want to know!

Talk about your conflict of interest!! I think we have found it!

Purina giving $400,000 to Delta Society

May 1, 2008

By: DVM Newsmagazine


ST. LOUIS — Purina will dish out more than $400,000 to the Delta Society for its animal-assisted therapy.

Purina's two-year pledge ranks as the largest grant ever received by the Delta Society.

"Through its Pet Partners program, Delta Society shows that dogs and cats are unique creatures that can help benefit the health and well-being of humans," says Brenda Bax, brand director at Nestle Purina PetCare.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Delta Farce

Delta Society Bans Dogs' Natural Diet!

The Delta Society is an association that coordinates activities of therapy and service dogs nationwide. In a move that can only be described as "boneheaded," the Delta Society has banned from participation in its programs any dog that is fed raw proteins. Citing myths, hearsay and studies (which they seemingly did not read) regarding the diet of the dog and risks to human health, they foolishly promote unsubstantiated "old wives tales" that were promulgated decades ago by...yep, you guessed it....the commercial pet food industry. The vote by the Delta Society Board of Directors to ban raw-fed dogs was reported to be unanimous.

Examine the board of directors list on the Delta Society website, and who do we find?

Brenda Bax, Delta's Secretary. Coincidentally, Brenda is also a marketing director for Purina.

It's interesting to note that the very study that Delta quotes to support their decision did not find a higher rate of pathogens in raw-fed dogs vs those fed a dry diet. In fact, just the opposite! There was a significantly higher rate of several pathogenic bacteria in dogs fed a dry diet, including Campylobacter, MRSA (resistant Staph), and VRE (Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus). The rates of E. coli were essentially the same in either raw-fed or dry fed dogs, with salmonella higher in the raw fed group....but existing in the dry food group as well.

Studies show that pathogens can reside naturally in dogs' intestinal tracts...regardless of their diet. In one study, over 1/3 of dogs were found to carry salmonella. And these dogs were fed a diet of kibble. Imagine that! This shouldn't surprise us because salmonella is present in a wide variety of foodstuffs, in water, and in dust and dirt. But, dogs transmitting GI pathogens to people....just not happening. Where is the evidence?

Humans can also carry pathogens without suffering illness. Disease risk varies depending on the immune resistance of the individual. Salmonella is not limited to protein sources, and has been found in vegetables, including such unsuspecting sources as tomatoes and peanut butter. Somehow, I don't see us hysterically banning salads or peanut butter in nursing homes. But raw fed dogs.....not allowed!
From the Delta website:
Did you know?

Delta is a Greek symbol of change and is represented by a triangle. Delta Society’s triangle represents the interconnectivity of Pets, Pet Owners, and Medical Professionals (human and animal). Together they change lives.
Yet it seems Delta sorely lacks the knowledge base that marks true progress and "change." And shouldn't one have a somewhat enquiring mind to be dubbed a "Medical Professional?" Rather than one who blindly accepts commonly-held "facts" that are eventually proven false.

Hey, I'm just sayin'....

Luckily, Delta has extensive pet loss and bereavement pages on their website, including a resource directory and a page of articles and research related to pet loss.

Forcing their participants' dogs to eat a diet of dry stale foodstuffs, bereft of natural vitamins and minerals, and laced with chemicals and yes even pathogens....their owners are definitely going to need all that bereavement info. Dogs have too short a lifespan under the best of circumstances, but commercial foods have just recently killed droves of pets....melamine, cyanuric acid, vitamin and mineral toxicosis, aflatoxin poisoning.....killing our dogs by the thousands. Documented!

News that Brenda Bax probably doesn't want to get out!

As to the rest of Delta Society, I hope when they get to the land of Oz, the wizard has some extra brains to pass out. And maybe some bones for the dogs?

Heaven forbid, dogs eating raw bones! That just goes against nature.


Friday, May 21, 2010

"I'm just not Breed Quality"

"I've got a bad hip, irritable bowel and wear glasses" a dog friend recently complained. "Gosh,I guess I'm not really breed quality...don't tell the kids!" she giggled.

She's right; she is not breed quality. And neither am I, or anybody else. And none of our dogs are either. You know why? Because every individual carries some bad genes.

It’s a fallacy to believe that perfection of health exists, and an even greater delusion to believe that we can produce that perfection if only we would eliminate dogs with health problems from our breeding programs.

This fallacy has been perpetrated by the soft-hearted animal rights people, believed as gospel by the general public, promoted by short-sighted veterinarians and bought into by AKC and breeders at large. We “test”, we cull, we sell on co-ownership agreements, spay neuter contracts and on limited registration.

Never mind that when you eliminate a dog from breeding, you also could be eliminating very valuable genes along with him! Never mind that breed standards have absolutely NO relationship to function, health or fitness. We dutifully linebreed to achieve a “look” that fits the standard and of course that WINS above all else…. And then wonder why robust health and immune function are just a distant memory in our breed.

Never mind that the dog with one testicle may be the absolute healthiest in the group. He’s outta there!! Never mind that bigger dog with great teeth; his cute brother who had to have all his puppy teeth pulled under anesthesia is more likely the champion whose genes will be carried forward.

Dog shows are fun, but why are points and championships and all that sort of fluff so almight important to people who SUPPOSEDLY want to breed good dogs? Is it the dogs you are concerned with or your own ego?

A question we do well to ask ourselves from time to time.

"Be Cautious about Mandatory Pet Spay-Neuter Legislation"

Be cautious about mandatory pet spay-neuter legislation

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Periodically, a number of facts seem to fall into place, revealing a truth that might not have been apparent previously.

Something like this happened to me this week. I had been wondering how it is possible for Americans to be so enchanted with dogs as pets, and at the same time, to hold beliefs that, if put into action, would actually eliminate the species in a relatively short time. Let me review the situation, and let's see if you agree with my conclusions.

Roughly 37 percent of American homes include at least one pet dog. Most people at least pay lip service to an appreciation of how much dogs add to our lives and to our culture. While dogs no longer have the job of warning cave dwellers of approaching danger, the jobs they do perform for us could be even more valuable.

Some very special dogs and their handlers search destroyed buildings seeking for survivors, and for the bodies of those who did not survive. Perhaps you noticed the news clips of search and rescue dogs working in the jumble of what used to be homes and businesses in Haiti?

If you ever fly, them perhaps you have seen bomb or drug detection dogs making us safer at airports? Military dogs are described by their handlers as their most valuable and reliable protection against roadside bombs.

The Dover Public Library is just one of many where dogs patiently help children learn to read. Dogs can also predict epileptic seizures, and locate and predict cancers in humans.

Certainly the tasks performed by dogs no longer fit their job description when they lived with prehistoric people, but an argument could easily be made that their modern jobs are even more important.

Studies show that dogs help us maintain good health. They encourage exercise and social contacts. I've been told that walking with a dog is the best way to meet new friends. I think it is safe to say that dogs have earned their place in our hearts and in our society. And yet ...

And yet laws requiring the mandatory spay and neuter of all dogs are spreading throughout the country. I wonder if people have given much thought to the only possible result if the MSN laws become universal? Logically, if all dogs are surgically neutered, then in about 10 years there will be no dogs.

If all breeding is stopped — where will you find the replacement for the dogs you love now? If you should want to add a purpose-bred dog to your family — will you still be able to in another 10 or so years?

James Serpell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has said: "The thing about mandatory spay-neuter is that those who are most willing to have their dogs spayed or neutered tend to be responsible people. And often, their dogs also happen to be nice animals in temperament. So what you're doing essentially is taking those dogs out of the breeding population. What will become of dog ownership if only the ill-tempered puppies from disreputable breeding programs are available?"

Dog and cat owners have certainly grasped the idea that responsible pet ownership entails being responsible for the reproductive capacity of their pets. Somehow, the idea is pushed that vast numbers of dogs are roaming around the country, reproducing at any and every opportunity. In actual fact, the reverse is true. Nationally, over 87 percent of dogs have already been surgically neutered.

Our figures here in the northeast are even more impressive. Last August, I asked three friends to help me perform a survey of veterinary hospitals throughout New Hampshire. I was surprised to learn that 98 percent of owned cats and 95 percent of dogs had been surgically neutered. Yes, we have a population of feral cats. But our pet owners have taken their responsibility to heart, as do owners throughout the north-east.

Here is one example of the adage "no good deed goes unpunished." Since this area of the country has a dearth of available dogs, and especially shelter dogs — we have become the repository of dogs, many with physical or behavioral problems that make them difficult for novice dog owners to deal with, from third-world countries and from parts of our South — where laws and programs such as we have are not established.

So — should we welcome these imported dogs, even if in so doing we put some of our own dogs at risk? Or should we help other parts of our country to grasp the lessons we have learned?

Being a responsible dog owner does not mean that all of our dogs should be neutered. What it does mean is that instead of importing potentially problematic dogs here, those groups who are profiting from these imports should focus their attention on changing attitudes in the areas these dogs come from.

So — do you really want ALL dogs to be neutered?

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous

A recent crusade against Nutro and other commercial pet foods has been undertaken by an "independent" group calling themselves the "Pet Food Product Safety Association". The PFPSA most recent claim is that a specific batch of Nutro cat food contained toxic levels of Vitamin D.

Nutro performed its own independent testing of the food. Here is their response to the issue:

Name: Julie Lawless
Subject: Info for you on recent Nutro story on PFPSA

This is Julie Lawless, corporate communications manager for Mars Petcare US and The Nutro Company. I wanted to make sure you had the latest information from us on the Nutro story posted on PFPSA for your readers. We conducted a thorough investigation and sent a retained sample of the food from the production run for Vitamin D testing. I wanted to share with you what we found (see info below). Thanks again, Julie
As a result of a consumer inquiry regarding possible elevated levels of Vitamin D in one lot of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® Chicken Meal and Rice cat food, we sent a retained sample – taken at our factory from this specific lot – for independent testing. The lab that conducted this test is well-known for its expertise in Vitamin D analysis.

The test results confirm our previous analysis that the Vitamin D levels are well within AAFCO requirements and achieve the target Vitamin D level designed for this food. NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® cat food does not contain elevated levels of Vitamin D.

Claims of elevated levels of Vitamin D are being reported on the website of the Pet Food Product Safety Alliance (PFPSA). Our test results clearly indicate that PFPSA’s information is incorrect. In addition to the test results, a number of facts question the validity of the PFPSA claims.

Conversations with the consumer’s own veterinarian did not indicate that food was the cause of the cat’s illness. Furthermore, blood test results presented on the website are not consistent with a diagnosis of a cat that has been consuming elevated levels of Vitamin D.

At Nutro, quality and safety are our most important priorities. We stand by the safety of our food. The consumer’s cat is now in good health and we are gratified that our food did not contribute to its recent illness.

Wondering whether to trust the PFPSA or Nutro on this issue, I visited the PFPSA website. This website is filled with inaccuracies, half-truths and downright dangerous information!

On the page touting recent "news" they is a tirade against Nutro for a presumed problem with their cat food. Here is a direct quote from that page discussing the cat supposedly affected by hypervitaminosis D from tainted Nutro food.

"ANALYSIS: High white blood cells and high lymphocytes generally indicate some kind of immune response. Diseases, allergies, toxins, drugs and foreign bodies can all trigger such a reaction See link. The other high values are consistent with liver problems and possible impairment of the kidneys."
Well we don't have any report of what exactly is meant by "high".... few specific results are mentioned. High results across the board on blood tests most often indicate....dehydration! The main indicator of kidney function, creatinine, is not mentioned, so it is unclear why they believe there is "potential kidney impairment." From a study of basic anatomy, one would know that lymphocytes ARE a variety of white blood cell, and significant elevation of white blood cell count is usually associated with infection. Less likely are the other problems cited here. ALT can rise if the patient is taking medications metabolized by the liver, such as tylenol, aspirin and antibiotics. Viral diseases such as hepatitis, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex -- can also elevate the ALT, as can gall bladder disease. One must evaluate these finding in conjunction with the clinical presentation and assessment of the patient...lab results alone cannot be relied on in most situations.

The entire "news" page rants on with erroneous logic and unreasonable analysis and conclusions, asserting several times that Vitamin D is rat poison. Well, just about ANYTHING in excess is toxic....including water.

The PFPSA states
"No reasonable person, of average intelligence, could view the research, data, circumstances and symptoms, without reaching the inevitable conclusion this food was the sole cause of this pet's near death experience."
I don't think we are dealing with any "reasonable person of average intelligence" on this PFPSA website.

I also visited their "recepie" page. Setting aside the fact that they can't even manage to spell the word "recipe" correctly, I continued on. There is a grand total of ONE recipe on this page, giving the impression that variety in the diet is inconsequential. There is no mention of the benefits of fish and fish oil, no mention of natural sources of vitamins and minerals such as liver and eggs. The "recepie" includes the use of crushed vitamins and Ca-Mg-Zn tabs with NO MENTION of any sort of dosage. Good lord, isn't this the very problem that they are criticising Nutro for? Again the assertion that Vitamin D is "rat poison"...they fail to mention any natural sources of vitamins A and D that are necessary to good health such as fish, liver in addition to eggs....all of which should be included on a regular basis as part of a healthy, varied diet for pets.

The PFPSA "recepie" further instructs us to add a powdered supplement of the amino acid taurine, because according to this group "there is too little of it in lean muscle meat to meet your pet's needs." This is patently absurd. The richest source of taurine is seafood and meat, so if there is a basis of meat in the diet, lack of taurine will not be a problem. It is high heat and pressure involved with producing kibble and canned food that can destroy taurine. And remember, the sole source of powdered taurine today is China....a risky source as we have seen with importation of tainted supplements in the recent past debacle involving melamine and cyanuric acid. Why would PFPSA suggest that anyone add supplements to their pet food, most likely sourced from China, with no dosing information? This is highly irresponsible.

I believe that commercial pet food is a poor source of nutrition for our pets, and am all for education and information, but overstating the case is not helpful. It is difficult to take a source seriously when they don't do their homework and don't have even a basic, minimal understand the topic at hand.

Having extensively researched dog and cat nutrition personally, I have come across several reliable and useful reference sources. The best overall site for factual, practical and useful information on pet food is Lew Olsen's B-Naturals website.

A visit to this website will provide the reader with a wealth of information about commercial vs home made diets, raw vs cooked foods. Variety in the diet is stressed. Sample recipes are included. Lew also has some fascinating articles on the history of commercial pet foods.

Another excellent site is Mary Straus's website which contains comprehensive information on dog nutrition and health.

Here are links to a series of articles on dog nutrition that summarize and explain important details:
Summary with recipes:

Let's research and present the facts on pet nutrition rationally, basing our decisions on knowledge and research.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Re: How Many Is Too Many

Dear Anonymous,

Usually I ignore posts by those too cowardly to identify themselves, but I'll make an exception in your case, not because I have the slightest hope of opening your mind, but for those who read your words and wonder.

Anecdotal experience gained from visiting a shelter, or several shelters, does not prove the rule. Statistics do. While you may have observed crowded cages, in other parts of the country, the cages are empty, or filled with dogs imported from third world countries or smuggled in from Mexico. Dogs are shipped across the country on a regular basis to fill the demand for pets where there are very few available.

I would say that YOUR knowledge of "animal rights" is what accounts for your baseless opinion. I see nothing to back up your accusations. There is a term for those who live life with blinders on - appropriately, it's "blind followers," the people who follow emotional, persuasive propaganda, celebrity endorsements and the like, rather than taking the time to do the research.

Did you know that the biggest animal rights organization in the country, the misnamed Humane Society of the United States, spends less than one half of one per cent on the care of animals and does not own or operate a single shelter anywhere? Or that it is under investigation by the IRS for tax fraud, being sued by Ringling Brothers under the RICO Act, was called to the carpet by the Louisiana D.A. for collecting 35 million dollars on the tails of Katrina, only 7.5 million of which ended up caring for disaster victims, and did the same in the Michael Vicks case, begging for money to help the dogs, even though they did not have possession of them and had formally requested their extermination?

Animal rights is NOT the same as animal welfare, which promotes the humane treatment of animals and believes that humans have a responsibility towards them. Animal Rights, on the other hand, is based on a philosophy that animals have rights equal to humans and that, among other things, pet ownership is slavery, and all animals should lead their own lives without human interference.

Pause for a moment in your emotional rush to judgment and answer one simple question. If all dogs and cats are spayed and neutered and all breeding is banned, where will our future pets come from?

My post, "How many is too many?" comes from the awareness that limit laws are one of many incremental ways of making pet ownership and breeding more and more difficult until, in the words of Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS, "One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals."

But you don't get any of that. You just think I hate animals.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How Many Is Too Many? None Of Your Business

Less than a month ago, a longtime, respected, poodle breeder was raided by Animal Control and had her 34 dogs confiscated based on a claim of "unhealthy conditions of the living environment." Evidence indicates that this may not be the case and that she was targeted by animal rights activists, but true or not, it has resulted in comments like the one below.

"I don’t understand why anyone would have 34 dogs. One person really cannot manage that amount...I just think unless you have hired help and a place for your dogs 34 is way to many for me."

Who is to say how many is too many? Just because you or I may be unable to care for 34 dogs does not give us the right to make that decision for anyone else. The number owned has no bearing on the level of care. One animal can be too many for some people, and yet others can handle fifty just fine.

Despite this, several states are moving to pass legislation limiting the number of animals an individual may own. As I have just explained, the number is NOT the issue, nor is it any of our business, and unless there is concrete evidence of abuse and/or neglect, it’s none of the government’s business either. These ineffective, irrational and unfair laws are in fact, the result of pressure from radical animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, whose much larger agenda is to eliminate animals from our lives altogether.

Having said that, what bothers me most about comments like the one above is that they are made by those who are most active in the fight to save our pets from these fanatics - the same people who have been with me in Sacramento, trying to make our legislators understand the true goals of the animal rights movement. How can such well informed people then turn around and judge someone for having too many dogs? The bottom line is that the minute we make that statement, we’ve opened the way for a limit law.

By the way, years ago I saw a couple on the Phil Donahue show who owned 200 cats. They were retired and spent every minute and every dime they had on those cats. Vet bills, food bills, all of it. They’d roast entire turkeys for them. Those cats were the most loved, most well-treated cats I’ve ever seen. Who are we to say that they had too many? For them, it wasn’t too many.

Hey, I think five cars is too many for one person to take care of, but unless you’re parking them on my lawn, it’s none of my business. As long as cats and dogs are considered property under the U.S. Constitution, NO ONE has the right to tell anyone how many is too many. End of story.