Friday, December 30, 2011

Pups Act Gets Obama Support



The HSUS's petition for the PUPS act has met with a nod of approval from the OBAMA administration.

The Response from the White House:

Improving Regulation and Oversight of Commercial Breeders
By Rebecca Blue, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs

Thank you for signing a petition on the We the People platform asking the Obama Administration to "crack down on puppy mills."

The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which enforces the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), improves its regulation and oversight of commercial breeders. APHIS is currently developing proposed regulations that would ensure that Internet breeders provide their animals with care and treatment that meets the AWA standards. APHIS plans to publish its proposed rule covering Internet breeders in the Federal Register for public comment in 2012. We encourage interested citizens to provide their feedback on the rule at that time; comments can be logged at   

APHIS is also moving forward with an enhanced AWA enforcement plan to improve its oversight of currently licensed dealers, breeders, and other entities regulated under the AWA (particularly those who are repeat violators). It is also working to improve the performance of its inspectors. 
Additionally, in September 2011, USDA proposed a new rule that when finalized will help ensure that dogs imported into the United States for resale are in good health, are at least 6 months of age, and have received their proper vaccinations. Among other things, this proposed rule is designed to prevent the importation of puppies that have not yet been weaned or have fully developed immune systems, or are sick.

Stay Connected

Under PUPS, anyone with ownership or co-ownership of ONE intact bitch qualifies to be examined. That means EVERY BREEDER. Then APHIS will scrutinize how many dogs or puppies you and co-owners have placed or sold in a year. If at or over that number, you must comply with reams of AWA commercial rules and regs that are impossible to meet in a home environment, like keeping dogs on nonporous surfaces. Right now the number needed to be sold.....or OFFERED for 50, but HSUS has admitted they intend to ratchet down such numbers with future amendments.
The PUPS bill does NOT apply to commercial breeders, they already fall under APHIS regulations. An "Internet seller?" How many breeders have a WEBSITE? You are now an "internet seller." Make no mistake about it, the intent is to bring every dog breeder under Federal control.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Each passing day brings greater awareness about the deceptive practices of the Humane Society of the US. Less than 1% of the money collected by HSUS is used for hands-on care of animals, despite the TV commercials featuring pitiful, neglected cats and dogs. 99% of the budget of the HSUS is spent on salaries, pensions for executives, more fundraising, and excessive lobbying for anti-animal ownership legislation. This excessive lobbying is a violation of their status as a 501C3 tax-exempt "charity".

Despite claiming to protect animals, their actions demonstrate the exact opposite. The HSUS lobbied against no-kill sheltering bills in both Texas and California. The HSUS charges shelters for consultations in which they urge them to kill animals as soon as any mandatory holding period expires. That should clue you in immediately to their agenda. They are not "humane"; they exploit animal abuse and deaths for their own greedy profit motives. The drama  works  great for fundraising. 

 Don't be fooled; the intentions of HSUS are not honorable.  The HSUS asked the judge in the Vick case to kill all the dogs, even the puppies, while they fundraised off the backs of dogs they never possessed and never intended to help.  Then, the HSUS partnered up with dog torturer Vick in a fundraising effort!

Wayne Pacelle claims HSUS isn't anti-meat. But in October 2006, HSUS Vice President Miyun Park delivered some remarks as part of an "Expert Panel on Poultry":

"We don't want any of these animals to be raised and killed. But when we're talking about numbers like 'one million slaughtered in the U.S. in a single hour,' or '48 billion killed every year around the world,' unfortunately we don't have the luxury of waiting until we have the opportunity to get rid of the entire industry. And so because of that, a number of organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, we work on promoting veganism, and encouraging people to make daily choices that will positively impact the welfare of animals, and at the same time to reduce the greatest amount of suffering for these animals. We have a very active cage-free campaign. Are we saying that cage-free eggs are the way to go? No, that's not what we're saying. But we're saying it's a step in the right direction... .."

HSUS clearly said that they want to "get rid of the entire industry". You can't have it more plainly laid out for you than that.

No, don't be fooled by the doublespeak. When the HSUS says they work to "protect" animals, they mean, they work to eliminate domestic animals. The HSUS's goal is to progress us toward a vegan society by lobbying for laws that make animal ownership more expensive and inconvenient. Current employee John Goodwin publicly wrote, "My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture". No meat, milk, eggs, fish, or pets. No hunting, no fishing, no circuses, no rodeos, no zoos, and no animal parks, either.  

If you want to help shelter animals, support your local animal shelter. If you want to remove animals from our lives, then by all means, the HSUS is your group!

A few weeks ago, we heard about a new group entering the public arena. Tagged the  "Humane Society for Shelter Pets",  this group is not actually "new"; according to tax returns filed, it has existed at least since 2010. The group was formed by Didi Culp, a former employee and educational director for the "Humane" Society of the US. Didi knows firsthand about how the HSUS preys upon the unsuspecting public with deceptive fundraising tactics, and how they squander those fraudulently obtained funds. The HSSP has recently taken out newspaper ads and a website promoting shelter pets. Now, this "whistleblower" group is finding itself under attack.

HSUS has launched an all-out frontal assault on the HSSP. Their crime? Setting up an educational campaign and website informing the public that if they intend to help animals in shelters, then they should contribute directly to the shelter. Money contributed to HSUS does not go to shelters! That's an important message. We are glad to see another public education campaign that serves up the truth. Thank you, HSSP!

Surveys show that most people believe that the HSUS is an animal shelter "umbrella" group. The HSUS does nothing to clear up that confusion; in fact, they intentionally use the name "Humane Society" and flash pictures of dogs and cats in their ads to perpetuate their fundraising fraud. "Factory fundraising", as I've heard it referred to. In contrast, the HSSP does not ask for any donations. They do, however, provide on their website a nationwide listing of animal shelters for those who wish to donate directly to them.  

HSUS has also made the false public claim that the HSSP was established by the business group "Center for Consumer Freedom". While the CCF did not set up the HSSP (remember, they formed in 2010 or perhaps even earlier), they have provided assistance to the HSSP to help them advertise in an effort to educate consumers on exactly what their donations are used for. Despite the HSSP being an independent entity, the HSUS insists on linking them to CCF, and repeatedly slams the CCF, calling them a "front for animal abuse industries". I do not consider groups like outdoorsmen, ranchers, farmers, dairymen, cattlemen, poultry farmers, and pet breeders to be "abusers". I guess that's the fundamental difference between "them" and "us".   

Hooray for the Humane Society for Shelter Pets, and for the Center for Consumer Freedom for providing that group with assistance to spread their message!

From their website,

"Give Local. The best thing you can do to help animals in need is to support your local animal shelter."

Why is that message so threatening to HSUS? It's hissing and spitting like a cornered rat....

More information about the personal attacks by HSUS against the HSSP and its founders can be found on

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Where'd You Get That Puppy?

This article originally appeared in the December 9, 2011 issue of Dog News. It is posted here by permission of the author.

Where’d You Get That Puppy?
Carlotta Cooper

Have you ever noticed how many cute, Toy breed puppies seem to be available for adoption in the northeast/New England area? Does that strike you as odd when shelters in the South and other places say they have too many mixed breed dogs, a shortage of cute puppies, too many big, black Lab mixes that no one wants, and lots of pit bull mixes (sorry, Jan Dykema, “bully breed” mixes)? Why are there so many desirable Toy breed puppies in shelters in the northeast and so many undesirable dogs elsewhere?

There could be several reasons why the northeast has cute, Toy breed puppies when some other parts of the country don’t.

It’s been true for quite a while that puppies are usually “adopted” first at animal shelters. (And, by “adopted,” of course, we mean sold for several hundred dollars with lots of strings attached.) For years puppies have been in short supply because they are cute and cuddly and when many families think of adopting a dog, they automatically think they want to adopt a puppy. And Toy breeds seem to be in even higher demand than other breeds. Just look at the AKC’s list of breeds by registrations. At least half of the top 20 breeds are Toy or small-breed (under 20 pound) dogs, and small breeds are gaining in popularity every year. French Bulldogs, Cavaliers, Brussels Griffons, Norwich Terriers, and Papillons have all shown enormous increases in the last decade.

Humane Relocation”
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, rescue groups seem to have become aware of the fact that they could network nationally and send dogs around the country anywhere they wanted to send them. And they didn’t have to be overly concerned about the owners of the dogs emerging to track them down. At the time, it was believed that the rescue groups were acting altruistically, “saving” dogs made homeless by disaster whose owners were probably dead, even though some owners came forward later to track their pets down and demand them back. This led to a number of court cases which usually resulted in the dogs being returned to the original owners. It also showed up the fact that the rescue groups kept amazingly poor records about the dogs, where they were found and where they were sent; and that they did not try to help the dogs get back to their original owners, even when the dogs had microchips or other identifying information.

Since that time, rescue groups have greatly expanded these efforts at so-called “humane relocation,” to the point that they are now often accused of stealing dogs right out of people’s yards. Following the horrific tornado in Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011, hundreds of dogs were taken into the local shelter and many were sent out of state to be adopted by strangers instead of the local rescue groups holding the dogs longer for them to be reclaimed by their owners. The same thing happened following the outbreak of tornadoes in the South in April 2011. Dogs were scooped up and sent to shelters out of state instead of local groups working to reunite them with their owners. Purebred, mixed breed, intact dogs, spayed and neutered. Just dogs in general taken out of their community and sent to out-of-state shelters for adoption.

In some cases, animal rescue workers have even been caught taking animals out of people’s yards when their homes had not been struck by disaster. Following an outbreak of bad weather or flooding, they may have seen a dog chained in his yard, or thought a dog looked like he needed help in some other way, and simply took the dog. That’s putting a charitable spin on the event. In some cases rescuers simply stole dogs from their owners. Sometimes they were not caught in the act, but the dog was later discovered missing and had been “adopted” out to someone in another state. The owners had to plead or go to court to try to get their pets back because of the overzealousness of these “rescuers” who took it upon themselves to play God and decide that the original owner didn’t deserve to keep his dog.

In November a Bulldog named Samson was stolen from his family’s backyard in Vancouver. Police have recommended that two women, Janet Olson and Louise Reid, from A Better Life Dog Rescue, be charged with theft in the case. Olson had already been charged with theft in connection with another dog stolen in April 2011. Police believe the two women were behind a number of other dognappings in which they dressed up in “very official-looking” uniforms emblazoned with the words “Animal Welfare.” According to RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger, "This investigation quickly revealed Olson and Reid were operating their charitable not-for-profit organization beyond the scope of its mandate and allegedly unlawfully acting beyond their goodwill intentions.”

Grainger said officers watched in an undercover operation as Olson and Reid entered a family's backyard dressed in bogus uniforms and then tried to leave with the family's pet. The women were immediately arrested. Police haven't been able to determine all the reasons why Olson and Reid were allegedly stealing dogs, he said. But they believe the motive may have been the adoption fees the pair collected for placing the stolen animals in new homes.

The line between rescuers who rescue dogs that don’t need rescuing and people who simply steal dogs is a thin one, but there has been an increase in dog theft, according to the AKC. Judging by the reports of stolen dogs online, dog theft is happening all over the U.S. and Canada. And the favorite target of dog thieves is a litter of cute Toy breed puppies, presumably because they can be sold later, individually, for lots of money, and no one will think of asking if the puppies are stolen.

According to Lisa Peterson of the AKC, "We are getting reports almost daily of pets stolen during home invasions, out of parked cars while people are running errands and even snatched from dog lovers out for a walk in the park.”

According to the most recent national statistics available from the American Kennel Club — based on customer and media reports — in the first seven months of the year, 224 pets had been reported stolen, compared to 150 pets in the same period in 2010.

In Delaware at the end of November, a 5-week-old litter of Shih Tzu puppies was stolen from Lisa Ganc’s home while she was out running errands. The thieves left behind more valuable electronics, jewelry, and other items that might interest a thief. Five days earlier a litter of 10 Cane Corso puppies, also 5-weeks-old, had been stolen near Townsend.

In Buena Park, California, thieves broke through the window to steal three Yorkshire Terrier puppies and an adult Yorkie named Staci owned by Linda Bush. Staci (not the mother) has a long list of medical problems and needs medication. One story about the missing puppies blames the recession for all the dog thefts and mentions that in one case a gang burst into a home and stole six Yorkies at gunpoint. According to the Internet story, two of Linda Bush’s puppies were recovered after the owner put up posters offering a reward and two people were arrested on suspicion of burglary. But one puppy and Staci are still missing.

Are some of these stolen puppies ending up in rescues and shelters?

My friend in Setters, Jay Kitchener, thinks so. Jay is the AKC Legislative LIaison to the Gordon Setter Club of America, as well as the Secretary & Editor of the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs. He’s one of the hardest working guys in purebred dogs and he follows anti-breeding laws and other legislation, rescues and shelters, and dog imports, to name just a few of the dog issues that keep him busy.

According to Jay, “As regressive and draconian anti-breeding laws put the brakes on purebred dog breeders nationwide, we can expect there to be more and more dog thefts in the future. The economy has had an effect...with thieves seeing potential big money in a nice purebred dog, particularly if it is visible in a car...Easy money for some, and 'rescue' for others, as individuals...make themselves into cop, judge and jury — claim your dog is being abused or neglected by their standards, needing 'rescue.' People need to investigate, but usually they only see halos on people who claim to be 'rescuers' — a shame, isn't it.”

Breeding for Rescue?
Some people have also pointed out how very fortuitous it is that so many 8-10 week-old Toy breed puppies seem to always be available for adoption at New England shelters. What a wonderful coincidence, isn’t it? Or, is it? Could there possibly be some rescues and shelters who are intentionally breeding puppies to meet the demand for cute Toy and small breed puppies?

There is, without doubt, at least one person who operates as a “rescue” and who posts on her web site that she breeds her dogs to have puppies for sale so she can have more money to rescue other dogs. I used to have her URL but I don’t have it anymore. She was quite open about what she was doing, even if it was probably a silly idea in terms of making money.

But, are there really any rescues and shelters around who are breeding Toy and small breed dogs in order to have a supply for “adoptions”? Keeping in mind that these puppies are often “adopted” for $350 and up at rescues and shelters these days. That’s harder to answer. It does seem suspicious that some shelters in the northeast, which have been practically put out of business by MSN and anti-breeding laws, have a constant supply of these cute puppies at just the perfect age that people want them, don’t you think?

Let’s think about where rescues and shelters might get their breeding dogs. There were certainly lots of breeder raids between 2007 and 2009, when HSUS was pushing strongly for their puppy mill/commercial breeder bills in so many states. We know that many Toy and small breed dogs were taken from breeders in these raids. Some from commercial breeders, some from places with genuinely bad conditions. But some dogs were taken from better breeders and there were also some nice dogs taken (in my estimation) from hobby breeders. Were ALL of these dogs spayed and neutered and adopted out to the public? Or, were any of them retained for breeding purposes? Since 2009 there have been far fewer breeder raids prompted by HSUS as they have turned their attention away from puppy mills/commercial breeders and toward other initiatives. They were tied up in Missouri for quite a while (way to go Missouri!). But there have been occasional raids and Toy and small breed dogs continue to be taken from time to time, across the country.

IF there were people who wanted to supply rescues and shelters with cute, highly adoptable Toy and small breed puppies, it would have been quite easy to keep some of the better breeding dogs taken during these raids and keep breeding them during the last few years. They would have had their pick of Toy breeds. I do say “if” because I don’t have proof that this is happening.

But let’s also ask about the pregnant bitches who were taken during these raids. Did they go full-term and deliver their litters? What happened to those puppies? Were they kept or put up for adoption? It seems there is rarely any follow-up with that kind of information following a raid.

I am not particularly prone to conspiracy theories and I do look for facts and evidence, but I can’t get away from the fact that certain shelters do seem to have a steady supply of desirable puppies at just the right age that people want to “adopt.”

I find it hard to believe that there is a constant stream of dog owners who have “oops” litters of cute Toy puppies and they just bring them into the shelters to drop off. First, we’re talking about New England and I’m always told what wonderful dog laws they have there and how responsible all the dog owners are. So, they wouldn’t be having all of those “oops” litters. And, second, I have a feeling that if a dog owner has a litter of cute Toy breed puppies, they would be smart enough to know that those puppies are valuable. They wouldn’t just drop them off at a shelter. They would sell them themselves. Those New Englanders are pretty sharp, right?

So, we still have the question of where the New England shelters are getting all of those darling little Toy and small breed puppies.

Now, my friend Jay Kitchener has this to say:

From 2005 thru 2010 Maine saw so much anti-breeder legislation passed that the extremely radical Animal Legal Defense Fund now rates Maine's laws as second best in the nation. We were told by the supporters of this regressive legislation that it must be passed "because of the horrible dog overpopulation." Now we learn that during those same years shelters and rescues brought over 30,000 dogs to Maine to sell tax-free. Today we have a story of rescues stealing dogs from homes to sell tax-free. Tell me again about "dog overpopulation." Go ahead. Tell me.”

30,000 dogs between 2005 and 2010. That’s a lot for one state, especially a state that doesn’t have a large population, to absorb. (The entire population of Maine is only about 1,328,000, according to the 2010 Census.) In fact, Maine has taken in so many dogs that their State Vet is urging caution in adopting pets from groups that don’t have permits.

Maine requires that all dogs imported into the state receive a list of vaccinations for such diseases as canine distemper, hepatitis and canine parvo at least 14 days prior to their arrival in the state. Additionally, dogs are required to be quarantined for between two and five days — depending on the age of the animal — so that they can be monitored for sickness.

Approved rescue organizations have a track record of following these rules, but there are many other rescues who may not. Some “rescues” operate out of a van or only exist on the Internet. Good rescues, on the other hand, may take dogs north that are healthier than the local dogs that are turned into shelters in Maine.

I should say that I have one veterinarian friend who was under the impression that vets there, who were working with shelters, resented the fact that they were being asked to do spay/neuters on imported dogs. Seems they had originally agreed to do spay/neuters on shelter dogs and then, well, 30,000 dogs came to the state from elsewhere. I suppose that might be grounds for becoming unhappy about the importations.

Other northeastern states have taken strong actions against so many dogs being imported into their states from Southern shelters. Connecticut and the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association have pushed for regulation of dogs imported into their state:

Thus continued unregulated animal importation exposes Connecticut animals to disease, is unfair to citizens surprised by undisclosed medical issues and the costs to treat these, is inhumane To Connecticut source animals by decreasing their chance of adoption and shifts the cost of animal control activities from other states to our state. HB 5368 will allow animal health officials to control animal importation, prevent disease transmission, help ensure humane transport standards, protect Connecticut animal owners and animals, reduce Connecticut animal control costs and minimize the surrender of newly imported animals. Thank you.”

From that same testimony by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, which referred to pet rescue as an “industry,” came this fascinating statement:

Indeed, some animals are bred specifically for transport and characterization of these animals as needing rescue is misleading.”

So, while I am reluctant to make that accusation without more proof, the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association does make that claim. There may be dogs being intentionally bred to be sold as rescue/shelter dogs.

So, dogs are being imported into New England states from elsewhere, and some in the states are not happy about it. There are many cute Toy and small breed puppies, which is hard to explain. Some of the dogs may be pilfered by rescues; some dogs may be stolen; some may be intentionally bred; but what kind of dogs are being sent north by the shelters in the South?

In early December, in Birmingham, Alabama, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society took possession of 57 Chihuahuas from their breeder. According to a news release from the GBHS, “Due to rising costs and a struggling economy, the owner is no longer able to care for these animals.” Although the GBHS tries to pass this event off as an owner who is having problems because of the economy, it occurs to me that a breeder with 57 Toy dogs, many of them likely to be puppies which would sell well at Christmas, probably had to be coerced into parting with his dogs. The article says that “many” of the dogs were five years old or older...and many weren't. No specific numbers are given.

Half of the dogs were going to eventually be taken by North Shore Animal League to their facility in Port Washington, New York. Ah, yes. Another northeastern destination. Were the youngest and cutest of the Chihuahuas headed there? Is this how northeastern shelters keep themselves stocked with cute Toy breed puppies? Due to the efforts in other states to force breeders to surrender dogs? The local adoption fee for the Chihuahuas who remain in Birmingham will be $150. It's a good bet that the dogs that end up in Port Washington, New York, with the North Shore Animal League will command a much higher fee.

Actions like this one aren't called “raids” now. Instead, local pressure is brought to bear on breeders to make them surrender their dogs under the color of law. But the result is the same. Shelters and rescues are making money by forcing breeders to give up their puppies and dogs and fooling the public into believing that they are acting out of love for the dogs.

In one article, which I consider representative, 40 Young-Williams dogs head to barren New England shelters, 40 dogs were being sent to New England shelters. Out of those 40 dogs, 24 were adult dogs and 16 were puppies. The dogs were headed to Massachusetts and Connecticut.

If the experience goes well, Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Mass., has agreed to take 40 to 50 animals a month from Young-Williams.”

Could this kind of program account for all of the cute puppies in northeastern shelters? How many similar relationships does each shelter have? How many puppies do they take in and adopt out each month? We would need to know figures like that in order to form a better idea about the sources of the puppies for these shelters. But I think it seems obvious that there are a lot of loose ends and unanswered questions about where these puppies are coming from. I think it’s possible that shelters in the South are cherrypicking the dogs and puppies they send to northeastern shelters. They may be sending them an excess of cute Toy and small breed puppies, leaving people in the South with large breed adult dogs to adopt, older dogs, and other dogs that most people consider less desirable. Everyone wants a cute puppy, whether we like it or not.

I think we need to find out more information about how these puppies are supplied, who makes the decisions, and whether or not there really are dogs being bred specifically for “adoption” by rescues and shelters. We are constantly told that we have a dog overpopulation problem. We fight MSN attempts and laws against breeding. Serious dog breeders are vilified. If there are people who are breeding dogs for rescues and shelters so they can sell them for more money, we need to find out and make it stop. Rescues and shelters have already become too much like pet stores. But breeding so they have inventory is going too far.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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

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



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pot, Meet Kettle!

The “HumaneWatch” website has been doing a wonderful job exposing the deception of the Humane Society of the US. We’ve also blogged here about some of the more blatant examples of the fraud and hypocrisy of the HSUS. Now this week, we are pleased to report that a fledgling group, the "Humane Society for Shelter Pets" has been formed. One of the co-directors of this new group is a former director of education for the HSUS. This new group has both educational and "whistleblower" functions...their website urges individuals to support their local shelters instead of the HSUS.


The HSUS spends precious little of their vast income on actual care of homeless pets, which is what one might reasonably expect from a group calling itself a “Humane Society”. Most of their cash is spent lobbying for laws promoting the extermination of domestic animals, and the elimination of all animal agriculture. Even such time-honored traditions as hunting and fishing are on the HSUS hit list. A vegan society is their radical, extremist goal. HSUS has launched an all-out attack against any business that involves animals….and then cries foul when those businesses fight back for their very survival.

The credibility of the HSUS has been slipping dramatically lately, and they have lashed out with an aggressive attack against HumaneWatch and others who criticize them. The HSUS claims that HumaneWatch is a “corporate front group that defends animal abuse for profit”, and that other groups who expose their lies are “special interest groups”. Hmmm….pot, meet kettle!

HSUS is a front group for radical, vegan ideologues. If that isn’t a special interest group, (albeit a pretty kooky one), I don’t know what is. HSUS works hand-in-hand with notorious dog torturer Michael Vick….for profit. They charge shelters for consultations in which they advise them to kill animals as soon as mandatory holding periods expire. Defending the institutionalized abuse that is rampant in “shelters”….for profit! HSUS lobbies against compassionate No Kill sheltering methods and any laws that would require No Kill methods be employed by animal control departments. HSUS is the number one exploiter of animals, as they play on the heartstrings of the public with pictures of abuse and neglect, then collect donations that do not go to help these animals. Again, exploiting and abusing animals….for their own greed and profit!

Here’s an excerpt from Wayne Pacelle’s blog yesterday, where he criticizes the founder of the Center for Consumer Freedom and HumaneWatch:

“….his groups don't feed one animal, shelter one homeless person, or provide any other tangible social service. They are charitable organizations in name only, and Berman and his for-profit public relations company pocket a large share or even a majority of the total revenue. It's a personal enrichment scam of the
highest order, and he's the architect of the con job.”

Hilarious! He must be looking in the mirror, right?

The Humane Society for Shelter Pets directs people to their local shelters when they wish to adopt a pet, to donate money or to volunteer. Why is HSUS upset? Maybe because their days of conning the public are coming to an end.  

Possible Reasons Dogs In Europe Live Longer

Two Possible Reasons Dogs Live longer in Europe
Dr. Becker's Comments:

In part 2 of my interview with Ted, we discussed how being the 'alpha' in your relationship with your dog may create a lack of freedom, an inequality, for your pet that can increase stress hormones and impact his health.
We also talked about the ingenious way Ted tracks his dog Pukka when he's not with him. Pukka is one lucky dog – he has the freedom to come and go from Ted's home as he sees fit, using the dog door Ted installed for his previous canine companion, Merle.
And we discussed Ted's keen interest in canine health, how he went about selecting Pukka, and how he's using his research into both subjects as the premise for a new book he's writing, Why Dogs Die Young, which will be out next year.
Ted's Around-the-World Research Project
Like most writers today, Ted is able to do a great deal of his research using the Internet. But he's also done quite a bit of traveling to learn all he can about canine health.
Ted explains that in writing his new book, he felt the need to visit veterinary teaching centers, to interview geneticists, and also to see how dogs live in other parts of the world. He makes the excellent point that the U.S. is relatively parochial, or insulated. We're bordered by oceans east and west, a single country to the north and another to the south. We really don't have a lot of opportunity to know how other cultures do things, and what we do hear or see is often sifted through the media.
Ted had seen some data that indicated dogs in Europe tend to live about a year longer than dogs in this country. So off he went – to England, Ireland, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany and Italy!
He visited shelters. He talked to breeders and attended dog shows. He asked people on the street how they cared for their dogs. And he went to lots of pet stores and looked at the food they sold. The kibble in Europe isn't all that different from American kibble, as it turns out.
But European dogs do receive fewer vaccinations. Rabies has been essentially eradicated in Western Europe, so dogs that don't travel aren't required to get rabies vaccines. This probably provides them some protection from vaccine-related illness, especially since the rabies vaccine with its aluminum-containing adjuvant, is one of the more troublesome vaccines administered to dogs.
Spaying and Neutering – Europe versus North America
Ted goes on to explain that probably the biggest difference between how dogs in Europe are raised versus dogs in the U.S. is, Europe doesn't spay or neuter at nearly the rate we do in North America.
As I've written about here at, and a subject Ted and I have discussed more than once, sterilization seems to have a significant impact on both the endocrine and immune systems of dogs.
Ted points out there's no long-term study that has followed spayed and neutered dogs and intact dogs over their lifetimes to say definitively, 'Yes, Group A lives longer and has few chronic diseases.' But there's certainly a growing body of evidence pointing in that direction.
Ted explains that when he talks about the spay/neuter difference in front of groups, he receives a lot of concerned feedback and even angry responses, particularly from folks in the shelter community. People in the shelter community make the point that sterilization is how we control the dog population in North America.
So Ted went on to research the effectiveness of U.S. shelter operations. He wanted to know why we're still euthanizing an estimated two millions dogs each year. What are the key factors?
Ted talked to a lot of people in shelter leadership positions, and it seems the problem is becoming more one of supply and demand rather than that no one wants those two million homeless dogs. It's more a problem these days of connecting people with the dogs they want – getting the right dogs to the right shelters for the people who want to adopt them.
Why Not Tubal Ligations and Vasectomies Instead of Spay/Neuter?
When Ted talked to the shelter community about the possibility of doing vasectomies and tubal ligations rather than spaying and neutering in order to preserve the sex hormones, the response he received made a lot of sense. The shelter folks asked, 'Well, what do you do in a shelter where you have all these female dogs in estrus (heat) and all these howling male dogs? How do you make that work in a shelter environment?' Ted feels this is a very valid question.
The shelter community feels that while vasectomies and tubal ligations may be fine for individual owners who can keep their female dogs sequestered away from male dogs during heats, there's no practical way for a shelter to manage a similar arrangement. And Ted agrees, of course.
But Ted poses the question for those of us not running shelters. Why spay or neuter when there is so much evidence it may not be the best thing for the dog's health -- especially when there are alternatives available?
Ted asked his research assistant to call all 26 veterinary teaching colleges in the U.S. And he discovered not one of them is offering instruction on vasectomies and tubal ligations.
Some of those called became incensed Ted would even suggest things should change, which puzzled him. So he would ask, 'Are you invested in having fewer unwanted puppies, or are you invested in spaying and neutering?' Some of the people he talked to had no answer for his question. Others were quite honest in sharing they felt they were 'too old to change.'
Ted then mentioned a conversation he and I once had on the subject, and how he remembered it took me about 40 cadavers to learn how to do vasectomies and tubal ligations.
And he's right – I had to practice. And in fact, I practiced on wildlife, because they were about the only animals I came across that were still intact. So when someone dropped off, say, an opossum or a raccoon hit by a car – or if an animal died at my clinic – I would practice by performing a vasectomy or a tubal ligation on them.
People in the U.S. are Conditioned to Believe Being a Responsible Pet Owner Means Spaying or Neutering
It's a frustrating subject because in this country, we equate being responsible with spaying and neutering. We don't just alter an animal's ability to reproduce, we insist on removing important body parts like the testicles and ovaries.
And in fact, it is to the point where some people don't even recognize testicles on a dog when they see them. They're like, 'What are those?' When they realize what they are, they ask why they're still there. This is instead of asking whether the human with the dog is a responsible pet owner and has perhaps found the rare veterinarian who will actually perform a vasectomy. A male dog that has received a vasectomy gets to keep his testicles.
I have even done phone consults with people in Arizona who choose to drive to California for an appointment with a soft tissue veterinary surgeon who will do a vasectomy for $1,500.
This is a very unfortunate situation, when the technique could easily be taught in vet schools and made widely available to pet owners in every state. What needs to happen is a change in mindset.
I share with Ted that I think it's awesome he's willing to bring the issue to light so hopefully, at some point, we can come up with a better solution to control our pet population.
Ted agrees that culturally, we've succeeded in making spaying and neutering our default position. Pet owners blindly follow the program without understanding the potential health impact or that there are alternatives.
Ted mentions that when he interviewed Bruce Fogle, a British vet and author of many books, he said something very interesting. Fogle said, 'My North American clients living in London get a male dog, bring him to me and tell me to neuter.' And he asks them why. Their response: 'Well, you have to neuter male dogs!' And Fogle again asks them why. They have no other answer – no medical reason. They just assume it must be done.
He asks them, 'Is your dog free-roaming?' They answer no. 'Do you keep it on a leash?' They answer yes. 'Is it in the dog park under your supervision?' Again the answer is yes. So Fogle asks them who, exactly, their dog is going to impregnate.
Fogle told Ted it's very rare that a British citizen brings him a dog to neuter.
Off With Those Testicles!
Ted says he gets a lot of comments about Pukka when people notice he has testicles. He's gotten some extremely angry responses, interestingly, always from women and never from a man. A woman will watch Pukka walking away and she'll say, 'He's got balls!' This is a direct quote!
And Ted will respond, 'Well, yeah. He's a male dog.' So the next question is, 'Aren't you going to fix him?' And Ted says, 'Why? There are no intact female dogs in Kelly, Wyoming. Kelly has 35 dogs and we know them all. You don't move to Kelly anonymously. It's just too small.'
I agree with Ted that people equate your responsibility as a dog owner with whether or not your pet is neutered. We've been conditioned to believe that if we choose not to neuter (despite the individual circumstances in which our dog lives), we are being wildly irresponsible.
I worked at a kill shelter as a younger person, and we firmly believed owners who didn't spay or neuter were simply uneducated. And I could do enough talking as an employee of the shelter to convince people they must spay or neuter. At that point in my life, I believed pet owners couldn't necessarily be trusted to know what to do, and I also believed dogs were healthier if they were spayed or neutered.
These days, I have to re-educate a lot of my clients … after I apologize. I've cried many tears in my exam room as I apologized for creating some endocrine-related disease or other by insisting a pet be spayed or neutered, many of them before puberty.
I just didn't know then what I know now. And it saddens me.
Breeding Dogs: Another No No?
Ted reveals that another cultural dynamic he sees operating here is in regard to breeding dogs.
Ted might tell someone: 'Pukka's got good genes. I spent a lot of time looking for genes like his. He's clear for centronuclear myopathy. He's clear for PRA (a genetic eye disease). He's got good hips and good elbows. It might be nice to pass these genes on.'
The response is almost always 'You want to breed him?' in a tone that says clearly this is not a good thing. There is a small but vocal minority of the dog-owning population in this country that thinks breeding any dog is morally reprehensible.
Ted's response is, 'If you carry that line of thinking to its logical conclusion, there are no more dogs.'
He has to ask, 'Where do we think dogs come from?' Dogs must breed to make more dogs. The question should be, how can we make more dogs that are the healthiest dogs possible?
To alter every dog sounds crazy to Ted. It also takes a lot of genetically healthy dogs out of the population.
Ted feels what spay/neuter has done in the shelter population is what narrowing the funnel of purebred dogs to those with exaggerated anatomical features has done in the purebred population.
Both strategies have decreased the genetic diversity of dogs. Choosing only certain popular sires in the purebred world, and spaying or neutering everything that moves in the shelter world, has created fewer and fewer good sets of dog genes out there. At the same time, it has increased the incidence of disease because we are providing ever greater opportunities for recessive genes to meet.
Ted doesn't believe people are thinking through the issue of long-term canine health when they take the approach to 'Spay and neuter everyone.'
I agree, and another painful fact is that all the backyard breeders will continue to breed, regardless. They don't always care if the thyroid is clear, or the eyes, elbows, or hips.
The challenge is to try to protect and preserve stable, viable gene pools, when the underlying tone here is no dog should be bred ever again.
Ted will touch on this in his new book, as well as the overpopulation problem. He's spent a lot of time researching those issues, which is wonderful. He'll be asking some really tough questions that even the shelter community has not thought through.