Thursday, July 3, 2014

Best in Sanctimony

Bo Doubles Down on offensive anti-breeder rhetoric

The 2014 prize for Arrogant Fool of the Year goes to Best in Show Daily's Bo Bengtson. Yes, I am prepared to issue the reward already, even though we still have half of 2014 left. Mr. Bengtson wrote an article a few days ago containing so many bigoted fallacies about commercial dog breeders that it's impossible to ignore them in good conscience yet it is equally difficult to begin to address all his wrong-headed ideas. He even doubled down on his ignorant comments a few days later, despite attempts by enlightened readers to educate him.

To paraphrase Mr. Bengtson in his lengthy followup diatribe, "Upon reflection and despite a ton of negative feedback, I still believe in my stand and would not change anything I wrote. In fact, let me slur even more people. I declare that a PUPPY MILL IS SOMEONE WHO BREEDS A LOT OF PUPPIES. I know because I looked it up in a dictionary."

It's in there, Mr. Bengtson dutifully informs us.

I looked up "sanctimonious" in the dictionary. Guess what, that's in there too!
Seriously? What is wrong with breeding a lot of puppies? NOTHING! Someone who loves dogs and decides to make dog breeding a career should be heralded as a hero, not vilified. There is a shortage of pets in many areas, and rescue groups are importing dogs from unscrupulous, unregulated and invisible sources in other countries to fill the void. Why can't professional breeders fill the need for puppies in our country?

Sorry, Bo, but I believe that even poor kids should be able to own a dog. But then, I'm not a misanthropist like you. You, who believe that few people deserve to own a dog. Yes, you actually did say that! I'm still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor..

In one fell swoop Mr. Bengtson slurred honorable organizations like AKC, CKC, APRI, the Missouri Pet Breeders' Association, and pet stores everywhere. He tarred ALL dog breeders by invoking upon them the animal rightist slur “Puppy Mill”, with the accompanying ugly implications that label conjures up. “State breeder groups” as referred to by AKC are generalized by Mr. Bengtson as “Puppy mill groups.” How can one person spew so much ignorance and hatred? It is difficult to imagine. 
The worst part of all this, judging from the comments on his hit pieces, is that he has a fawning audience. After all, he's a JUDGE and an AUTHOR and consequently a legend. Well, in his own mind and that of his like-minded fan club, anyway.

“The US is the biggest Puppy Mill country in the world” pronounces Mr. Bengtson. The sheer stupidity of this statement boggles the mind. Dogs are more pampered, coddled, and well-cared for in the US than anyplace else on earth. We spend untold BILLIONS every year on our dogs. And judging by his definition, large quantities of puppies equals "puppy mill". Where are the facts and figures on the numbers of dogs produced in the US vs. other countries? 
A person who does no homework and provides no factual information doesn't deserve a soapbox to spew forth his uneducated opinion.

 This author with delusions of grandeur goes on to proclaim he is “Stating the Obvious”:
“Dogs should NEVER be bred as a commercial commodity.”
Such a sweeping generality based solely on unsupported personal opinion is only "obvious" to those operating on limited brainpower.
If I want to breed dogs commercially and it brings joy to my life, Mr. Bengtson, you can just get your pointy nose OUT of my business. You have NO RIGHT to denigrate anyone who breeds dogs for ANY REASON. I can and will fight to protect your ability to breed your dogs for ANY DAMN REASON YOU PLEASE because that is your right as a member in good standing of human society. Even if your reason is chasing ribbons and pumping up your ego, it's your right to pursue your happiness. But you do not have the right to remove happiness from others' lives. You don't have permission from God to steal my joy.
“No commercial kennel can afford to hire enough qualified individuals to properly socialize a large number of dogs and puppies”....“No commercial kennel can afford to perform the strict health testing required to maintain breeding stock that is certified clear of all hereditary defects.”
The fact that Mr. Bengtson believe that dogs can be "certified clear of all hereditary defects" demonstrates just how woefully ignorant he really is. He's never actually read any articles on canine genetics, or given any serious thought to the subject, that much is painfully obvious.

But disregarding that stupid statement, just how, pray tell, did Mr. Bengtson determine what any commercial kennel can or cannot afford to do? Has he examined their tax returns? Better question, how can a “hobby/show breeder” who LOSES money afford to hire enough help to properly socialize or provide medical care and ridiculously expensive “health testing" for any number of dogs and puppies?  If you're away from home at work all day and lose money on your breeding efforts, you can't do either.

Mr. Bengtson operates on severely warped logic. He believes someone breeding for profit can't afford to care properly for his dogs, but someone who loses money with each litter can? Please. And what rock has he been hiding under? Doesn't he realize that the USDA wants to classify anyone with a few females who ships dogs as a commercial entity? Why, Mr. Bengtson, that could very well be YOU.
“All commercial kennels will be tempted to cut corners (and costs) when it comes to the dogs’ living quarters and general well-being — as vividly demonstrated in their objections to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.”
Here's a news flash for you Bo, Missouri's misnomered cruelty act had only one shut down as many dog breeders as possible. It was not intended to ferret out "cruelty" unless you consider the act of having puppies a cruel crime. It was out of that "cruelty" act campaign led by the misanthropist HSUS that the both the Alliance for Truth and the Cavalry Group were born.

Missouri is a state where many professional dog breeders operate their licensed, inspected and heavily regulated kennels, and Missouris has therefore been under relentless attack from animal rights extremists who want all breeding stopped. There is a reason that Missouri has very strong groups such as MoFed and the Missouri Pet Breeders Association. These groups have been formed to protect the rights of individuals who operate lawful businesses and care for their dogs maintaining only the highest standards. Maybe Mr. Bengtson should speak with them before he decides to support a stupid act from several years in the past, that he obviously knows nothing at all about. But no, that would require some research, a concept that is completely foreign to him..

And more broad brush generalizations; Bengtson claims that EVERY commercial breeder will cut costs, but of course the sainted hobby show breeders would NEVER do such a thing; right, Bo? Oh wait, hobby breeders don't have any money to spend on their dogs. They can't spend money on their dogs' living quarters and general well being. They LOSE money on every litter. Hmm..How on earth will they be able to afford any course of action other than cutting costs? Quite a conundrum, wouldn't we say? But then logic is obviously NOT Bo's strong suit.
“No commercial kennel has the time and resources to weed out unsuitable puppy buyers. For the same reason, pet stores are obviously not a suitable avenue for puppy sales, and pet stores are a major outlet for commerical kennels.”
Again, how would Mr. Bengtson  know what anyone has the time and resources to do, other than himself? I'm betting a lot of people seek out their next pet from a pet store to escape the sanctimonious busybodies of the dog world of which Mr. Bengtson is a prime example. Some of us wish to determine our own destiny, not be stuck in co-ownership contracts or pet contracts that dictate what we can or can't do with our own animal. When you buy from a pet store, you don't have to put up with insults to the intelligence like a contract with more strings than mozarella cheese.

Here's something you might be interested to know. I have a friend who owned a pet store. She ALWAYS made sure the puppies she sold went to suitable homes. She used an application form for her puppies. But pet stores in our areas are all being forced out of business by the Rescue Retailers who are creating for themselves a legal monopoly for their pets and who import them from unknown, unregulated foreign breeders. Dogs with unknown ancestry and unknown health history are better than dogs from licensed, inspected professional breeders? I don't think so.
 “ No commercial kennel would willingly take back —and provide a refund for — a puppy whose owners tire of it or mistreat it.”
This is just a plain flat-out LIE.  States such as mine have a Puppy Lemon Law that REQUIRES a breeder or pet store to take back any unsatisfactory puppy, as well as pay veterinary costs in an amount up to twice the purchase price. How does Mr. Bengtson know what anyone else would or wouldn't do? Is he perhaps trained in the use of the crystal ball?
Do non-commercial breeders willingly take back and provide a refund for dogs they have bred? Because in my observation, that isn't always the case. In fact, that is seldom the case, nor should it necessarily BE the case. People who buy dogs are responsible to care for them and find them a new home if they are unable to keep them. That's NOT the job of the breeders who produced the dog originally; although many of them do so, it is surely above and beyond the call of duty.
“Excuse me, but NO commercial kennel breeds with “the dogs’ welfare” as the primary consideration. If you did you would immediately cease to be commercial!” claims Bengtson. Gee, Bo, don't you realize that anyone who ships a dog or owns more than a few females is now regarded as a “commercial” breeder in the eyes of the law? That means MOST show and hobby breeders, and using your logic they are now considered PUPPY MILLS!!!!.
 Perhaps Bo believes that dogs' welfare is the primary consideration of a dog show? No dog's welfare is promoted in the least by being promoted for the objective of selling its offspring for bigger bucks than one without a titled parent. NO dog gives a damn about winning a ribbon, I'd say that must be STATING THE OBVIOUS.
The entire basis for this rant about commercial breeders is a feigned ignorance on the part of Mr. Bengtson regarding AKC having a division devoted to High-Volume Breeders. Notice they don't call it "Commercial" breeders but use the term "high volume". The distinction is subtle and more blurred with each passing day, but I am here to inform the oblivious Mr. Bengtson that a goodly portion of these "high volume" breeders are....HOBBY SHOW BREEDERS. Yes, that's right. Any show breeder who registers six or more litters in a year is automatically included. And six litters a year can be less than a dozen puppies when a toy breed is involved.
So was Mr. Bengtson really uninformed about this program, or was there another precipitating factor that instigated his venomous attack on the AKC and dog breeders? Well funny you should ask. Just this past March, the AKC Board of Directors voted (unanimously) to remove Mr. Bengtson's eligibility as a judge and as an AKC delegate, "based on the fact that he became occupationally INELIGIBLE" for these pursuits when he purchased a dog magazine in December 2013. This information is contained within the minutes of the March 2014 meeting of the AKC Board of Directors.
Smells a bit fishy, rather like a vengeful vendetta, doesn't it? 
Jerks like Mr. Bengtson, who think they are better than everyone else, are the problem. They are the reason that animal rights nuts are winning the war on breeders. Fools like him are the reason that the US rescue market imports hundreds of thousands of dogs from third-world countries every year. Numbskulls who can't think logically are driving anti-breeding legislation and new USDA regulations based on phantom cases of animal abuse. People like Mr. Bengtson are the reason that “hobby breeders” are regarded by much of the public as people who don't care so much about dogs as about their own fame and prestige. People like Mr. Bengtson are the reason we are ALL losing our rights to breed and keep animals.

But you don't care about any of that, do you Mr. Bengtson?

There is one comforting thought. Long after the holier-than-thous of the world are gone, the pet owners and breeders will remain the last men standing in the war against the animal rights agenda. We are not going to give up our rights as easily as one who would sell them for 30 pieces of silver.