Thursday, October 06, 2005

Please Oppose "PAWS" Legislation

There is now a "Lobby Now" tool available to make expressing your opposition to this bill very simple. It's just a template where you simply choose and click "talking points" you'd like to include, and you can generate random pages of talking points for even more choices that express your opinions. When you're done, the message will be automatically sent to all 24 of the people who really need to see it. It only takes a minute or two.

The purported purpose of this bill is to "crack down" on puppymills. But there are already USDA regulations (which are steadfastly ignored by those they target anyway) in place that govern commercial breeders, and not enough inspectors to enforce them. The money (OUR money) could be better spent on enforcing existing law.

Another negative about this legislation is how it would effect hobby breeders, like us. We are the breeders who do not breed to supply a public demand, but only when we want something for ourselves to keep and show and continue to improve our breeding program. Commercial breeders just view dogs as a "cash crop". We complete all recommended health and genetic testing pertinent to our breed--Here's the OFA page on one of my dogs, Hope, as an example.

We do MORE testing than is recommended for our breed. Commercial breeders care nothing about genetic defects--they only guarantee that the puppy will be healthy for a number of days after you get it home. We guarantee and stand behind our dogs for life, and will always take one of our own back if there is every any problem in which the owner can no longer keep or care for it.

We raise our puppies in our home, socializing them from Day One. They learn how to live in a house with people, with other dogs and animals, begin their housetraining, leash-training, etc.

We are able to watch them closely, and observe personalities, to better be able to match a puppy with a prospective new owner (and also to pick out our "keeper" from the bunch). If PAWS passes, many hobby/show breeders would actually be breaking the law by raising our puppies this way. We'd (well, probably not US specifically, because our litters are so small, but MANY breeds of dogs have enough pups in one litter so that 2 litters a year would put them over the PAWS limit) be required to set them up in a kennel situation, with a concrete floor "with a center drain", and other such requirements that are designed for large-scale, commercial breeders...and certainly not your living room or kitchen, which is where "our" puppies are generally raised. Hobby breeders see this as treating dogs as livestock, when we prefer them to be part of the family.

Perhaps most importantly, this bill affects independent rescuers, of which there are THOUSANDS across the country, pulling dogs from kill shelters, fostering them in their homes and socializing them, then adopting them out, with a modest adoption fee that usually just covers (or doesn't quite cover) the cost to the rescuer for spay/neuter surgery and any other needed healthcare. If a rescuer places a certain number of dogs within a year, they are classified as a "retailer", and subject to the PAWS regulations. See where this is going? All but the largest rescue organizations, who are able to keep their dogs in large-volume kennel settings, will be unable to continue. The independent rescuer must cut back their efforts or even stop entirely. More dogs will die. If only the USDA could enforce the laws that are NOW in place, and leave hobby/show breeders, and rescuers, who have the best interests of their breeds and dogs in general at heart, not just $$$, it would be a much better use of our tax money that the potentially dangerous and ambiguous PAWS legislation.

If you're curious, in the last two years, we personally have produced 4, count 'em, FOUR puppies. We've sold ONE. Such is the life of the typical hobby/show breeder...we're not making money on dogs, we're losing it. But hey, it's still cheaper than, say, boating, as a hobby, and we do it because we love it, not because we see dollar signs in the bright eyes of our beloved pets.

So, whether you like adopting mixed breeds, or enjoy the right to purchase a quality purebred, or if you don't even care about dogs and cats (this legislation hits cat breeders/rescuers MUCH harder than us), but you like me even a little bit, OPPOSE "PAWS" LEGISLATION!!! Rant over. Thank you.
You don't get baby-snuggling temperament like this from a puppymill. You just don't. He has laid his head in her hand, for crying out loud! I love my dogs.

3 comments:

  1. thanks for educating me on this subject. I'm going to pass the info on to my family of dog lovers. And that photo is just so cute!!

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  2. Yes, you have to be very aware of the difference between "animal welfare" (GOOD) and "animal rights" (DANGEROUS). All these celebrities and animal lovers who support PeTA have no idea that their ultimate goal is NO domesticated animals of any kind. And they don't just mean food animals, they mean cats and dogs and horses and ponies and hamsters and birds...you get the idea. Ingrid Newkirk has said that they realize it would be impractical to just turn pet dogs out into the wild, so the goal there would be to make ALL breeding of dogs illegal, and spay and neuter every dog in the world until the species eventually just dies out. And so many people who are pet lovers support PeTA. Makes me sad.

    Animal Welfare is about just that--the welfare of animals, and taking care of their needs, making sure they're not ill-treated. Having shelters, and rescue groups, etc. Animal *rights* people value the lives of animals equal to or above those of people, and will even resort to terrorist activities (ALF, etc.) to further their goals.

    Anyone who knows me (or reads this blog) knows I ADORE my animals. But if it comes down to a choice between one of my beloved pets and a *human being*, well, I'm sorry, but I would save the PERSON and sadly grieve the loss of my pet friend.

    This PAWS legislation is backed by several animal rights orgs...it would be like a "foot in the door" for them if they could stop or hinder the process of breeding purebred dogs.

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