Which do you hate more: HSUS, or puppy mills?

April 26, 2010

Would it shock you to know that there are good, dog-loving people out there defending puppy mills?

It’s some kind of misguided fear of the slippery slope, that if anyone ever suggests we should advocate against people cranking out puppies like they were washing machine parts then all of us who keep, breed, or simply value dog breeds will instantly and utterly lose our rights to continue doing so.

That was the subject of a long conversation I had a few months ago with Stephanie Shain, who heads up the HSUS’ campaign to stop puppy mills. Among other things, we discussed that almost no one in the dog fancy will speak to her, even though she has repeatedly and publicly stated that she supports and believes in good dog breeding and breeders, and that good breeders are “the first line of defense against puppy mills.” From our conversation:

When I came to HSUS almost nine years ago, puppy mills were at the top of my list to work on. And about five years ago we said, “You know, something is wrong here, because we have people who want to do the right thing. They don’t want to get a dog who came out of a puppy mill. They’re coming to us saying, ‘Please help me find a breeder,’ and we’re not helping them.”

And to continue to have that “don’t breed or buy while shelter animals die” mindset felt wrong in a lot of ways. Number one, it felt wrong for those of us who had personal relationships with dog breeders that we had known over the years, and we knew they took amazing care of their dogs, and adored their dogs, and all of those great things that we all do, and it felt silly.

I mean, we’re trying to help people, they want to get a dog of a certain kind, and whether we think the greatest dog in the world is sitting in a shelter or not doesn’t really matter, because for this family, this is the kind of dog that they want. So let’s start talking about where to get that dog and helping them identify a good, wonderful, compassionate responsible place to get that dog.

So it was about five years ago that we decided this is crazy, and started talking about responsible breeders. And we’ve taken some heat for that, certainly, from people in the animal welfare community, who say, “There’s no such thing as a responsible breeder.”

We expected that that would happen, but we really felt like there is a very big difference between someone who is taking care of their dogs, and that dog is living in the home, and is part of the family, and they’re breeding, and having puppies, and selling puppies. That is like night and day when you look at a puppy mill.

But what’s been the most frustrating, having worked on it for so many years, is that I expected flack from the animal welfare community but I expected a different kind of a response from the dog breeding community, and that for the most part just hasn’t happened.

Look, I don’t approve of everything HSUS does. Hell, I don’t approve of everything my own family does, or the other bloggers here.

But when it comes to puppy mills, yes, I absolutely agree with HSUS in opposing them. And, as I tell Stephanie in our conversation, this is why:

I don’t have a puppy mill breed myself, but I was at a friend’s house once who breeds and rescues Italian Greyhounds, and she put a little puppy mill rescued breeding dog in my lap, who had lived her whole life in a mill, and I looked into that dog’s eyes, and there was nothing there. She was dead inside. And that’s why it doesn’t matter to me how sanitary or well-lit or well-ventilated a high volume puppy farm is, or how many vets or vet techs work there, it will never be acceptable to me. It can never be okay.

Now, maybe your antipathy to HSUS goes so deep that even reading that doesn’t change your view. Fine.

So if you still think HSUS sucks so badly you can’t even get behind them raising and spending money to support things you believe in, then get off your asses and form your own group to stop the mass production of family pets in barns and warehouses.

Stop hiding in the shadows and letting your enemies define what dog breeders and fanicers are.

Stop hoping no one will notice your little breeding program and wall of trophies and ribbons and just letting the big puppy brokers and retailers do the lobbying for you.

Because their interests are not your interests. Not only don’t they care about your dogs (or their own), they don’t care about you, either. When California twice tried to pass mandatory spay/neuter laws, the power of the puppy mill lobby got them exempted from the legislation, but they didn’t do anything to help you; the fancy and the working dog folks fought that back on their own.

And if you’re not going to do any of those things, then get over this “all or nothing” attitude about the things HSUS does that you don’t believe in, and utilize the massive resources and infrastructure of the nation’s largest and wealthiest animal organization to help stop the soul-deadening cruelty of puppy milling.

At least check out my conversation with Stephanie Shain. Open your mind for a few minutes that there’s the possibility we could really get something done if we worked together on this one issue.

Filed under: pets, connected — Christie Keith @ 9:59 am

170 Comments »

  1. Word.

    Comment by Vicky — April 26, 2010 @ 10:58 am

  2. their interests are not your interests

    A – FECKIN – MEN Sister!

    I will get between the political sheets with repugnant people whose values I in general abhor — if their interests and mine are genuinely the same on a given issue. Because I can trust someone to follow his interests most of the time.

    Both the most radical animal rights wingnuts and the most heinous commercial abusers of animals have a vested interest in tossing normal animal owners into the same sack as puppymills, agribusiness, etc.

    I ain’t getting in that bag. It’s the job of those of us who both care about animals and actually, you know, know something about them to be their advocates to the world, including in the political process.

    When someone tries to scare me about humane laws with the boogie that “PeTA thinks you are the same as the puppymill” — well, so what? I should agree with them because…?

    However, I will have to see HSUS be a LOT more public and loud about good breeders, and actually come out against bad anti-breeding, anti-ownership legislation that “sounds good” before they get a pass on this.

    I know there are sincere individual animal welfare advocates who work for HSUS. I’ve worked with some of them. That doesn’t give the organization a white hat. Nor can it ever compensate for the fundraising mill aspect of their business plan, which seems to be inherent, or the shameless way they deceive the public and steal donations from local animal shelters.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 26, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  3. Word, part 2, on what Ms. Houlahan says.

    And on what she said a couple weeks ago: The enemy of my enemy is not my friend. But he can sure be damn useful.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 26, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  4. Well said. There’s way too much divisiveness in the animal welfare movement; we often lose sight of where we agree. These are big issues we’re up against, and we need as much collaboration as possible.

    Comment by Stephanie Feldstein — April 26, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  5. Finally – the voice of reason! A colleague just got a puppy online from a “broker” – the pup is now being treated for parvo and severe ghiardia and this is an educated woman who knows about puppy mills but believed what this online “broker” told her about where her little guy came from. These are good people, but not informed! (They are now!)
    We need to put a stop to this horrid practice! Your story about the greyhound just broke my heart. I’ve seen the rescued dogs with permanently disfigured feet from spending years in a cage, etc. I don’t understand how any human being can do that to an animal. I just don’t get it.

    Comment by catmom5 — April 26, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

  6. Nice post Christie.

    I’ve never been one to think that the vast majority of people are either all good or all bad. I don’t like it when people oppose any legislation just because HSUS is behind it – so it must be bad.

    On the flip side, I’ve seen many who think that No Kill is a horrible movement because the breeding community by and large supports it.

    Whatever.

    However, there are times when I really question Humane Society’s motives behind their puppy mill legislation.

    We’re dealing with a possible ballot initiative in Missouri that HSUS is spearheading. The ballot language is honestly very soft and on the face seems like “well dah” type of language.

    But it won’t do a single thing to solve the ‘puppy mill’ problem in Missouri.

    HSUS says there are 3,000 puppy mills in the state — which may well be true. But as of right now, we have 1525 licensed breeding operations. This means that we could shut down nearly half of every commercial breeding operation TOMORROW if we just had the state funded resources to do so.

    However, at the time of our last state audit, the state only had enough inspections officers (13 at last count) to inspect about 60% of all of the LICENSED operations (even though the state law insists that all are inspected annually – the 60% includes shelters and rescues too which also have to be inspected by the state department of ag).

    The new law will do nothing to solve the single biggest reason the state has a problem with poorly run, uninspected, unlicesed commercial breeding operations — which is lack of inspections officers.

    The folks at HSUS aren’t dumb. They HAVE to know this. So why would they waste $500,000 to fund the petition initiative, and another likely $2 or 3 million in promotion to win the votes they need to pass this legislation when it won’t come close to solving the problem and really only includes a couple of line items not already covered by the USDA guidelines?

    I don’t disagree with them for disagreement sake — but if their true motive was to help solve the puppy mill issue this would not be the way to do it. And if that’s not really their motive, then it scares me to think of what they’ll do next.

    Comment by Brent — April 26, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  7. Puppy mills.

    Going after AR groups is a distraction– a bright shiny object that the really evil people use to confound the sane voices for animal welfare.

    Comment by retrieverman — April 26, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  8. Brent comment #6 – “I don’t disagree with them for disagreement sake – but if their true motive was to help solve the puppy mill issue this would not be the way to do it. An if that’s not really their motive, then it scares me to think of what they’ll do next.”

    This cautious statement sounds logical.

    Play chess and don’t let your guard down.

    Comment by mary frances — April 26, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  9. It should read – if you play chess, don’t let your guard down.

    Comment by mary frances — April 26, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  10. Obviously a very hot topic, as topics tend to be when there is a lot of passion and emotion involved, or when stakeholders on both sides stand to lose something. A good example is mountaintop removal mining here in the Appalachian mountains.
    Can we quell our emotions some and look at this rationally? Nothing in and of itself is either good or bad (like a pocketknife) it is what we humans do with it that determines the goodness or badness of it. My family owns a beautiful, loving, frolicsome Duck Toller. This breed would have become extinct had it not been for a dedicated group of BREEDERS that pulled it back from the brink. The world would have been much poorer without them. Do I want to see them mass produced by greedy people for profit. That would be a resounding NO! Responsible breeders, not “backyard” breeders breed for the maintenance and improvement of a breed. Not for profit, or just conformation, but for health and temperament also. Responsible breeding is good, irresponsible breeding is just that, irresponsible and should be shut down.
    I interviewed a local politician when I was in JR. High school and he said something I will never forget “You cannot legislate morality.” He proved this point later by losing his license to drive for driving while intoxicated. Poignant isn’t it.
    Mandatory spay/neuter isn’t the answer. Neither is political in fighting and nit- picking. I agree, let us who TRULY CARE about animals COMMUNICATE with each other.

    Comment by Tom Blankenship — April 26, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  11. There’s no dispute here that the HSUS has headed down some really bad roads — anti-TNR, anti-no kill, pro-death to bust dogs, etc. etc. They’ve reversed course on some of these since.

    But … there’s also a longstanding tradition in politics that if you don’t like something/someone, make it illegal. In liberal tradition, these laws are “nanny state” types. In conservation tradition, these laws are “prohibition/punishment” types.

    So everyone naturally wants a law to “fix” things … but the question becomes what kind of law will do it? Where you go with that question often depends on where you start.

    I do believe the “true motive” of HSUS is to eliminate puppy mills — not reputable, ethical breeders. (I don’t believe that to be true of PETA’s leaders, which want a world without domestic animals, all pets included.)

    Most of the people at the HSUS come from a sheltering background, and that’s a community that has long failed to see a distinction between an ethical breeder and the others. A few (notably Wayne Pacelle himself) come from an animal-rights background, and that’s not a tradition that’s even going to try to see a difference.

    It’s really, really bad for us “good breeders” to stand on the side of puppy mills, because you’re judged by the company you keep. When we side with puppy-milling scum (even “clean” puppy mills), it reinforces the idea that we don’t care about those dogs, or any dogs, except our own.

    And that’s not true.

    Better to represent our OWN interests, and demand our OWN seat at the table. As animal-lovers, and as dedicated preservationists of our historic heritage breeds.

    The fact remains: The HSUS went neutral on breeding ban in California last year, after being a sponsor of a similar proposal the year before. It would have been easier for them to stay on the “breeder is a breeder is a breeder and all are scum” team.

    But they didn’t. Because some of the folks at HSUS actually do understand the issues, and the distinction, between the litter I raised last year and the litters being raised in filthy exposed cages in the Midwest and in Amish country.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 26, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  12. I am in agreement with some of the causes that HSUS has stated to be support of. But these “issues” or “causes” are never black and white, rather they are so many shades of grey, often making it difficult to be in complete agreement or complete disagreement. Or at least the rhetoric surrounding the issue or cause is never black and white.

    However, until HSUS starts to “earmark” money to a specific issue or cause (to which I might be in agreement), they still will not get my money. And I have yet to see anything that shows that they spent a substantial amount of money on helping the victims of puppy mills, either with rescuing, housing, vetting or transporting. They seem to sweep in, create alot of noise (and call for donations), but then leave it to the locals to take care of the fall out, often with little to no financial support.

    Their legislative tactics seem to be similar. Sweep in, cause alot of noise, and then leave it to the locals to interpret the consequences of a piece of legislative fallout (all the while calling for donations to allow them to continue with their sweeping changes to legislation).

    So, I guess bottom line, I still don’t trust them even when I may be in agreement to some cause that they are promoting, like ending puppy mills or dog fighting.

    Comment by Katrina — April 26, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

  13. 1. For some reason your article reminds me of a scene from West Wing where Amy essentially says that going with the other guy just because they are less mean-spirited didn’t send her to her special polling place.
    2. I don’t trust HSUS to spend money.
    3. I would support HSUS on any measure to stop puppymills.

    It reminds me, though, of the ARC (Rottie club) who would not support allowing rotties to be shown without a tail because PETA groups were involved in banning docking/cropping in Europe. Insanity. So because someone you don’t like agrees about something, you should stop others from doing what they feel is right for their dogs… or not show? Makes me sick.

    So we agree I guess, support on issues you agree on. But frankly, her responses to you are about as convincing of HSUS being good as any polished puppymiller’s web page. People learn to say the right thing, especially if money is involved.

    Comment by Debra — April 26, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

  14. I think this post conflates two different issues.

    Those of us who oppose the HSUS-sponsored campaign to pass puppy mill legislation in most of the USA don’t support puppy mills. These bills are typically an absolute cap, usually 20-50, on the number of dogs or the number of intact dogs one can legally own.

    We have previously discussed on this blog specific opposition points to California’s puppy mill bill AB 241.

    Among these opposition points is that these bills do not limit themselves to their intended targets but end up criminalizing some of the most responsible dog interests in the nation — guide and service dog organizations, hunting dog kennels, boarding kennels, brokers of law enforcement dogs, hobby breeders who sell their pups on co-ownership contracts, etc.

    Partly as a result of years of being on the opposite sides of heated battles about MSN and other legislation and partly for a host of other reasons, fissures within the dog community run so deep that constructive dialogue is largely impossible. Most attempts degenerate into a stream of insults if not outright slander & libel, and those of us who attempt to keep discussion fact-based are trusted by neither side.

    Even after it was vetoed we saw AB 241, sponsors insisting that this bill would not have affected service/guide dogs groups. So even THE subject matter experts within the service/guide dog community, who had to go directly to the governor’s office and convey the message, are dismissed by puppy mill bill sponsors as know nothings.

    Among the sponsoring and support organizations the attitude toward all the varied interests that constitute the opposition appears to range from ZERO respect to outright hatred. They either brush us all off as dog-abusing black helicopter extremists, or they just assume we could not possibly have any knowledge pertinent to these issues they do not themselves possess.

    More fundamentally, most of us who oppose the HSUS puppy mill bills do so because we don’t agree with the fundamental premise that some arbitrary number of dogs is automatically bad. We believe that inhumane care and conditions should define illegal conduct — and already does. Every example I’ve heard about that was used to try to justify HSUS puppy mill legislation described conduct that is already illegal under animal cruelty laws. If that’s the problem, then we don’t need any more new laws. Enforce the laws we already have.

    Others will respond, and I agree, that dogs intended to be family pets should be bred and raised in family homes and not mass produced like livestock, even if the operations are clean and the dogs’ nutritional, social, and veterinary needs are well cared for. This is of course a central premise of selective dog breeding — if you want high odds of success, you get what you select for.

    But here’s maybe where some of us differ. I don’t want the government making value judgment choices for me. The ideal selective dog breeding methods do not cross the line into an area that government laws are justified. That amounts to mandating moral values, not improving animal welfare. Whether it is the religious right and their moral values crusade or the humane movement and their attempts to over regulate dog breeding and my animals’ gonads, I have had it with people trying to stuff their moral values down my throat through force of the law.

    Comment by LauraS — April 26, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  15. As to the question “Which do you hate more: HSUS, or puppy mills?”

    I’m tired of all the hate.

    Comment by LauraS — April 26, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  16. “However, I will have to see HSUS be a LOT more public and loud about good breeders, and actually come out against bad anti-breeding, anti-ownership legislation that “sounds good” before they get a pass on this.”

    Before HSUS can come out against bad anti-breeding, anti-ownership legislation they need to stop supporting and sponsoring such legislation. I think we’ve seen some progress with the first step, with MSN. I am not aware that HSUS has supported MSN since Chicago’s 2008 ordinance. The Googles cannot find mention of more recent HSUS support MSN. But, I have no idea what HSUS is doing with respect to current MSN such as the pending New Orleans ordinance.

    If HSUS would actively come out against MSN and lobby against it everywhere it does come up it would put and end to this counterproductive policy. And maybe the polarized dog community could start to heal some wounds.

    But MSN is not the full extent of the anti-breeding, anti-ownership legislation that HSUS has supported or sponsored. See above, for a more recent example.

    Comment by LauraS — April 26, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

  17. I have had it with people trying to stuff their moral values down my throat through force of the law.

    Comment by LauraS — April 26, 2010

    I am SO THERE, on a whole range of issues.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 26, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  18. HSUS has many, many miles to go to prove it’s on the same page/plane with responsible breeders. So far, it hasn’t walked an inch. I don’t believe one iota of their anti dog ownership propaganda, and your interview hasn’t relaxed my belief that HSUS is my enemy one whit.

    Comment by Anne T — April 26, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  19. PS: I suspect this ‘softened’ stance on responsible breeding by Ms Shain is in response to the recent and very effective flak HSUS has been taking at the hands of HumaneWatch, and not because Wayne Pacelle has lost his leopard spots.

    Comment by Anne T — April 26, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  20. Anne T, you’d be wrong. I spoke with Stephanie last year, before HumaneWatch came into existence, and the WashPo chat was two years ago.

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 26, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  21. Why would we want a terror supporting mob connected fake charity over puppies bred by American puppy breeders? Would you prefer Mexican pups? CHinese? Same goes for farmers… does anyone really believe that California farmers aren’t the most advanced in the world? HSUS would want you to “believe” otherwise. This isn’t about a slippery slope. It is about truth. The truth about HSUS.

    Comment by Diane — April 26, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  22. I want dogs not to suffer, no matter what nation they’re in. There is NO reason good enough to perpetuate the suffering that is the mass production of puppies, and if you really think ag in California is the greatest in the world, you haven’t been paying attention. (Although there are some wonderful farms here… I just suspect you and I don’t have the same ones in mind when we say “wonderful.”)

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 26, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

  23. How soon we forget.. wasn’t it not so long ago it was “FAYE NOT FAY” that took top billing on this blog.. all HSUS driven for M-O-N-E-Y.. all a scam.. even more.. the call to “help Vicks Dogs” when the HSUS never even had possession of them..all about M-O-N-E-Y..Both of these propaganda issues were LIES.. out and out LIES promulgated by the HSUS as truth in fact when actually is was just the reverse..they did not have Faye.. they did not have Vicks dogs.. and in fact called for Vicks dogs to be killed, as they have for so many years, causing the death of countless “pit bulls” for no reason. They even indoctrinated our children with such ideas in their “Humane Teen” magazine. Have they changed course? They say they have but I am waiting to see how much money, shelter and care they will offer to the dogs taken from the “bust” today in TN. Believe me I am not holding my breath.
    It is not a matter of who hates which more…it is a matter of trust and so far the HSUS has failed every time..seems the HSUS has given up (for now) MSN battles and have taken on the “numbers game”.. much more successful across the board.. after all.it it much easier to explain to the average “joe” that no one could possibly take care of more than X number of dogs..Those of us who have watched this tactic know ( and have actually been in rooms with HSUS people that have confirmed this) that any given number is only a start..for example why are the bills being pushed by HSUS to “stop puppy mills” by limiting the number of intact animals different in each area? In Oregon a woman GAVE 40 dogs to the local Humane society in order to comply with the new 50 dog limit law that HSUS managed to get passed in that state.Here is what the Oregon Humane Society leader said of the dogs turned in:

    “They’re a little long in the tooth,” she said. “But it looks like they’re in reasonably good health and are reasonably social, so that’s really good for us.”

    Really good for “us”?? You bet.. free dogs , in good condition , socialized and ready to sell..all uprooted from their home where they were cared for, even by the admittance of the Oregon Humane Society, because of the HSUS.
    So excuse me if skepticism creeps in when they are mentioned.. they have a track record..

    HSUS?? No thanks.. you can be sure if you sit down at the table with them.. YOU will be the dinner..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 26, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  24. Incrementalism.. it’s what’s for dinner at the HSUS

    Comment by bestuvall — April 26, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

  25. Christie says:
    “Stop hoping no one will notice your little breeding program and wall of trophies and ribbons and just letting the big puppy brokers and retailers do the lobbying for you.”

    Surely you jest?? Have you BEEN to Sacramento? Have you been to the hearings on MSN and other anti pet laws? I am sure that you have. Did it look like “big puppy brokers and retailers” were there en masse? Or was it people who have a “little breeding program” and even people who have NO breeding program.. just individuals who CARE about their freedoms and their rights as pet owners. I am proud of my wall of trophies and ribbons. I have worked hard to get where I am with my small breeding program. I am even prouder to be a part of the group that DOES lobby, fights BSL, and denounces anti pet laws.. most of them written by the HSUS…

    Comment by bestuvall — April 26, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  26. “Look, I don’t approve of everything HSUS does. Hell, I don’t approve of everything my own family does, or the other bloggers here.

    But when it comes to puppy mills, yes, I absolutely approve of what HSUS does”
    says the blogger

    What exactly do they do.. as a charity.. not as a lobbying machine?
    I see them go in.. take dogs.. then leave them with local rescues.. and shelters.. and then ask for money “to fight puppy mills” with big color photos and HSUS blogs and mass mailings…..

    Ask Mr Pang what the HSUS did to “help him”.. it is an interesting read..
    http://www.animaladvocateinc.org/PangLetter3.htm

    Comment by bestuvall — April 26, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

  27. “does anyone really believe that California farmers aren’t the most advanced in the world?

    Comment by Diane — April 26, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

    Not sure what this has to do with the HSUS and puppymills, but, yeah, I don’t believe that California farmers are the most advanced in the world. Nothing against California farmers, mind you, but there are millions of other farmers in hundreds of other countries… and then again, “advanced” isn’t necessarily a good thing in agriculture, depending on what your definition of the word is.

    Comment by K.B. — April 27, 2010 @ 2:59 am

  28. “Whether it is the religious right and their moral values crusade or the humane movement and their attempts to over regulate dog breeding and my animals’ gonads, I have had it with people trying to stuff their moral values down my throat through force of the law.”

    Comment by LauraS — April 26, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

    WELL SAID!

    Personally, I despise the whole “if you are against this legislation, then you are for puppymills” thing. Exactly what Laura was saying, so I won’t repeat it, but numbers don’t matter – conditions matter, and there are already laws for that – laws that are seldom used by overworked and underfunded agencies charged with animal protection. If the HSUS wants to lobby for something useful, instead of asking for more laws, ask for adequate funding for animal protection agencies – the real ones, the ones actually investigating abuse cases, not just making money off of them.

    Comment by K.B. — April 27, 2010 @ 3:03 am

  29. Go to Guidestar.com and look at the 501c3 public tax return records. You can see the amount of funds any group including the HSUS brings in, and what goes out and where.

    While I agree with what the Hsus is saying about striking down puppy mills, I wonder as with the South Dakota Christensen Breeder raid of 200+ animals that it seemed they handled the confiscation, set up the fairgrounds where the animals would be held, got supplies, had their vet examine them/treat them….and then seemed to leave the animal rescue center on it’s own.That was the appearance to the public…
    the latest:
    http://www.ksfy.com/news/local/91912394.html
    as of April 23, 2010

    I know there are good breeders in our breed…a handful, as they do rescue for my organization. There are only two licensed 501c3 rescue organizations in the Nation for my breed and I am one of them….and “If” I were to buy a puppy ever, it would be from one of my friends that feel if you breed, you must rescue. However, running a rescue center never allows me to have the $1,000.+ to purchase one. And thanks to Hobby breeders out of control in MO, we have no end to puppies. I say that with complete sarcasm.

    I do support the mission of the Hsus, but do wish they would consider helping licensed 501c3 organizations and shelters that take in puppies and adults in breeder confiscations such as we do. Our raid last summer cost our small organization thousands of dollars…our building fund depleted, but 33 lives saved, and of course I got my most special puppy Baldwin our of the deal. GWPRescue.com

    Comment by Mary — April 27, 2010 @ 5:33 am

  30. LauraS speaks for me, too. It’s rare that I give up an opportunity to run off at the mouth on this subject but she said it well enough for me to co-sign.

    Comment by YesBiscuit! — April 27, 2010 @ 6:16 am

  31. Leaving aside the predictable talking-points parroting of “bestuvall” — did ya stay up all night spewing that stuff? — I’m fascinated by this:

    Why would we want a terror supporting mob connected fake charity over puppies bred by American puppy breeders? Would you prefer Mexican pups? CHinese? Same goes for farmers… does anyone really believe that California farmers aren’t the most advanced in the world?

    Comment by Diane — April 26, 2010


    “a terror supporting mob connected fake charity”

    There’s nothing “fake” about lobbying and advocacy. I have no problem with the HSUS raising money to do both, with a caveat: They need to be honest that that’s what they’re doing with the money, and that has been an ongoing problem. As for “terror[-]supporting, mob[-]connected” …. yeah, whatever, and the president is Muslim born in Kenya, blah blah blah blah.

    But this American puppy-mill thing … as long as dogs in puppy-mills provide Americans with money, you’re OK with the cruelty? Seriously?

    As for California farmers … you’re absolutely right that they’re some of the most advanced in the world. And Christie’s absolutely right that the ones you’re talking about as “advanced” are not the same ones I’m talking about as “advanced.”

    The ones Christie and I buy meat from — honest-to-God family owned farms — are all within 100 miles of our homes. Because the area between and north of San Francisco and Sacramento is the most fertile ground for a new generation of family farmers who have respect for the land and their animals. We support them in all ways possible.

    If they are not our future, we are all well and truly screwed.

    Industrialized corporate ag, those “advanced” concentrated animal feeding operations you’re so very proud of, are using tons of ever-more-rare fossil fuels, are the breeding grounds of drug-resistant bacteria and new strains of viral disease, and are the source of toxic lagoons of waste that pollute groundwater and rivers. And by the way, these “American” interests can’t wait — and have already started — moving their factory farms the way of all other factories, to third-world countries with dirt-poor work forces. So much for America.

    The bill for the “cheap” food produced by Big Ag is has not yet been paid. And it’s gonna be a shocker.

    Finally, neither Christie nor I are big on laws. Laws that restrict the number of “intact” dogs are a problem for reasons having nothing to do with the “slippery slope” arguments. First, they ignore the growing evidence that leaving dogs intact may be better for their health. And second, they ignore that it’s absolutely possible to keep X (however you define “X”) number of animals happy and healthy, if you have the money and the staff. (Look at Best Friends’ Dogtown, if you doubt this.) Hunting kennels such as the one profiled on the wonderful “Full Cry” blog take extraordinary care of their dogs. Spaying and neutering isn’t a mandatory requirement for the good care of an animal. It’s an option, and should remain so.

    Me, I doubt that there is a legal remedy to puppy mills. I think education and peer pressure to get people to avoid retail puppy outlets and puppy-mill Web sites is the only thing that will do it.

    And that requires providing them with a genuine option besides a shelter dog if they want that, and having shelter advocates STFU when someone does choose to buy from a reputable, ethical, breeder. Which returns us to Ms. Shain’s point: The best weapon against puppy mills is having people understand what good breeders do. Because when you know the difference, why would you pay more for a sick, unsocialized puppy when you could have this?

    How does that start? By recognizing the distinction on one side of the current fight, and by stepping up to say “WE ARE NOT WITH PUPPY MILLERS” on the other.

    Which is why I picketed Petland, and why I continue to fight puppy mills. And why, in giving a keynote address to a sheltering group in Texas last weekend, I made no secret of the fact that I am a reputable, ethical breeder.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 27, 2010 @ 7:15 am

  32. Me, I doubt that there is a legal remedy to puppy mills. I think education and peer pressure to get people to avoid retail puppy outlets and puppy-mill Web sites is the only thing that will do it.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 27, 2010 @ 7:15 am

    Exactly. And WHO will be leading this educational effort? In large part, organizations with the money and the expertise to do it effectively. Via web, advertising, social media, etc. campaigns. Organizations with people who know how to take the complex and smash it into soundbites and the money to reinforce it over and over and over and over again so that it STICKS in the brains of Joe Q Public and — eventually — maybe inspires changes in buying behavior.

    I say this as someone who is in the trenches of animal welfare education without a big budget but with a fairly big mouth and no problem repeating myself over and over and over. Plus I get paid to smash the complex into soundbites at my day job and I know how hard it is, and how long it takes for things to sink in to the target audience … even longer for them to change behavior (if ever).

    Look, even Catmom (comment 5) had a friend who is “educated” but still bought a sick dog from an internet broker! Clearly there is a lot of work to be done, and the more organized/funded the effort, the better.

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 27, 2010 @ 7:39 am

  33. Leaving aside the predictable talking-points parroting of “bestuvall” — did ya stay up all night spewing that stuff? —

    says Gina.. Nah.. slept like a baby

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 8:34 am

  34. I do support the mission of the Hsus, but do wish they would consider helping licensed 501c3 organizations and shelters that take in puppies and adults in breeder confiscations such as we do. Our raid last summer cost our small organization thousands of dollars…our building fund depleted, but 33 lives saved, and of course I got my most special puppy Baldwin our of the deal. GWPRescue.com

    Comment by Mary — April 27, 2010

    Again, no disagreement.

    As I said above, I have NO PROBLEM with raising money to advocate and lobby, and long as the fund-raising is honest, and that has long been a problem with the HSUS. But I do think the HSUS should be ALSO putting its money where its name is, into HUMANE SOCIETIES — and they have enough money to do this as well as lobby/advocate.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 27, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  35. And Gina, I think your last comment, sadly, comes back to my comment/beef.

    They have enough money to solve a lot of problems.

    Which is then why, when I see how they are lobbying for puppymill legislation in Missouri, I realize they really don’t seem to be about solving the problem. In many ways, they seem to benefit from perpetuating the problem so they can raise more money.

    Comment by Brent — April 27, 2010 @ 8:53 am

  36. I think a lot of organizations are like that. The liberal groups did it during Bush and the conservative groups are doing it now.

    There’s nothing better for fund-raising than something to rouse the troops into fury.

    Not to speak for Christie, but I think the point here is that there are good, reputable breeders who actively defend and side with puppy mills because they think Wayne Pacelle has devil horns and a “true and sekrit agenda.”

    Does he? Maybe, maybe not. But what’s in Wayne Pacelle’s heart doesn’t change what’s in mine, and I REFUSE to stand on the side of puppy-milling scum. Period.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 27, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  37. I personally think that it is way past time to develop a 3rd side.

    Comment by Brent — April 27, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  38. I personally agree. :)

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 27, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  39. I’m fully in favor or reputable breeders producing healthy animals that are the best of each breed but I am drastically opposed to puppies being churned out for profit alone without regard to health or anything else.

    I believe the way to promote the former and eliminate the latter is to have stronger animal protection laws and more aggressive enforcement of those laws.

    I think the AKC could and should do much more to assure that purebred dogs are of good quality, free of genetic defect and raised in a caring and responsible way.

    Comment by Laurel Ashley — April 27, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  40. “…and by stepping up to say “WE ARE NOT WITH PUPPY MILLERS”…”
    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 27, 2010 @ 7:15 am

    I think the problem is that groups who raise a lot of funds off stating they are anti-puppy mill (such as HSUS) have so alienated some pet lovers that we feel we can’t hold up our WE ARE NOT WITH PUPPY MILLERS signs unless we include a huge asterisk and disclaimer at the end.

    Comment by YesBiscuit! — April 27, 2010 @ 9:48 am

  41. Not to speak for Christie, but I think the point here is that there are good, reputable breeders who actively defend and side with puppy mills because they think Wayne Pacelle has devil horns and a “true and sekrit agenda.”

    I think I’m probably a member of more of the dog law related forums and discussion lists than you and Christie are, and I’m seeing relatively few examples of good, reputable breeders actively defending and siding with the kinds of abusive puppy mill operations that are roundly deplored. What I see a LOT more of are good, reputable breeders attacking ill-conceived HSUS-sponsored puppy mill legislation. Again, I think this is conflating two different issues.

    Comment by LauraS — April 27, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  42. Christie’s essay is right on the money. Breeders who defend puppy mills might think twice if they understood just how deplorable these places are and the extent to which they poison the well for everyone else. Well done!

    Carol Bradley
    Author of “Saving Gracie: How one dog escaped the shadowy world of American puppy mills”
    (Wiley, hardback, $21.99)

    Comment by Carol Bradley — April 27, 2010 @ 10:30 am

  43. Finally, neither Christie nor I are big on laws.

    That’s what your previous posts and comments on this blog had led me to believe.

    But when I read Christie’s post above — the parts referring to a “misguided fear of the slippery slope, that if one law gets passed anywhere limiting the rights of people to crank out puppies like they were washing machine parts…”, and “But when it comes to puppy mills, yes, I absolutely approve of what HSUS does” — I wondered if there’d been some change in her position about HSUS-sponsored puppy mill legislation.

    Because to me, the laws such as AB 241 that I oppose and that HSUS has sponsored are a KEY component of what HSUS does with respect to puppy mills. HSUS sponsored variations of AB 241 in most state legislatures over the past few years. Last year I heard 34 states had bills like AB 241, thanks to HSUS.

    If what Christie meant was limited to the HSUS educational campaign against puppy mills, and not their legislation campaign against puppy mills, I think the blog post is unclear on that point. Otherwise, I don’t know which slippery slope puppy mill laws she was referring to.

    Comment by LauraS — April 27, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  44. I shouldn’t have said I approve of what they do, because I wasn’t talking about their proposed legislation, for instance. I was talking about the philisophy of opposition to puppy mills.

    I would say the most accurate statement of what I believe is this:

    I share HSUS’ opposition to puppy mills, and believe they have the resources to do things no other group can do. I believe we as breeders/fanciers should engage in dialogue with them, and I believe that dialogue would result in more effective strategies to end puppy mills and fewer such proposals that are damaging to us and our dogs.

    I explicitly do NOT support numerical definitions of a “puppy mill,” and don’t want them proposed or passed in legislation or implemented in regulation.

    I also genuinely believe that the fancy is often attributing to malice that which can more accurately be attributed to unfamiliarity, cultural differences and ignorance on the part of people like Stephanie Shain. I had a discussion of licensing laws with someone at HSUS recently, and it was the first time anyone had explained to her in a way she could understand what the problem with them is. I think that this process — communication — can and will do more to both end puppy mill and stop misguided, ineffective laws than all the marching around with signs saying “H$U$” ever will.

    All I want the fancy to do is engage in dialogue with HSUS, because they are the 3 million pound gorilla in the animal welfare world, and we can accomplish more to end puppy milling with them than without them.

    However, I also said that if people don’t want to ally with HSUS on this issue, that’s fine, but they need to engage in their own efforts to end puppy milling and not just let the “H$U$” crowd convince them not to fight mills because it gives aid and comfort to an organization they oppose.

    Last, I have noticed in the last two years that the “we have to allow some commercial breeding to protect our rights and provide enough pets for American homes” meme has been gaining more, not less, traction in the fancy. That is explicitly what prompted me to dig up this interview, which I did last year, and publish it.

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 27, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  45. bestuvall said, “Surely you jest?? Have you BEEN to Sacramento? Have you been to the hearings on MSN and other anti pet laws? I am sure that you have. Did it look like “big puppy brokers and retailers” were there en masse? ”

    You need to read what I said again. That was my exact point.

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 27, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  46. I think Stephanie Shain sounds like a very reasonable person.

    However, I’d like to know where she, or her predecessor was, when Dallas was fighting our MSN law. We (the dog fancy community) tried extensively to meet with the other side- kept getting told that we were puppy mills, supporting puppy mills, hoarders, everything. The HSUS rep* that supposedly came to Dallas only talked to the rescue groups and couldn’t be bothered to meet with us at all.
    *(To be fair, the person might have been a lobbyist for another group, I wasn’t involved in that side of things- I was just helping with the petitions and flyers and letter campaign.)

    I’m far from a puppy mill defender, but I really think the issues with conditions that meet definitions of cruelty and neglect can be addressed with existing laws- and the rest will never be fixed with a law, just education. And I don’t trust HSUS as far as I can throw ‘em, even on this issue. Stop spending the money on laws that won’t work and may very well hurt; start spending it on education.

    Comment by Cait — April 27, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  47. Animal welfare is quite different from radical animal rights which tries to force the nation to go vegan to save animals by forceful laws. Of course added into that not to kill animals or use wool for socks, jackets, shoes or try to influence world trade, then that is going way too far. Many of us fall on the side of animal welfare without realizing it and do not have to give up eating meat or number of dogs or type of breed or anything else including taking care of ferrel cats without a psychiatric lable. With that said, no one agrees with unlicensed kennels who raise 10 different breeds, fighting of any animals. Animal welfarest do not believe in animal cruelty but many of us consider showing a dog or other sports offered with dogs is not cruel – it is a sport which both enjoy. Animal welfarest tend to support local shelters much more than we support HSUS because we want our money and donations of food, beds, towels, clorox, Lysol etc to go where we see it does the most good. Folks whether you want to admit it or not, there is not any difference in those who believe in animal welfare. It seems when an organization forces sometimes detrimental laws at great costs to the USA, pet owners, towns and cities and states, in general and in an attempt to remove food from our plates, then that is stepping overboard not only in animal welfare, but human rights. If people came together who believe in animal welfare we would really see that many, many believe wholehartedly in animal welfare on both sides. When an organization comes in and tries to force an agenda, it reminds me of the first animal rights laws initiated by by Hitler. It is getting more difficult to find a particular breed on would like to own which has a history that goes back as many as 6000 years. I love the history of the different breeds but that does not discount the shelter dog in any way. If you care about one dog you care about them all. It is time to ask if you are an animal welfarest or an animal rights person. Animal rights started with vivisection. The anti-vivisection movement was strong in England and the United States in the 1890s (the American Anti-Vivisection Society was formed in Philadelphia in 1883. following World War II, the decline of agriculture as a way of life, the growth of affluent suburbia, and the increasing number of older people living independently combined to increase appreciation of dogs and cats as companion animals. It was the precursor of USDA who “invented” commercial kennels that brought familes and purebred dogs together. Not everyone could afford a purebred dog.
    Growth of humane organizations led to conflicts among leaders over the extent to which principles of animal protection should be carried, and whether controversy would erode public support.
    Growth of humane organizations led to conflicts among leaders over the extent to which principles of animal protection should be carried, and whether controversy would erode public support. Has the animal rights split those who believe in animal welfare right down the middle? Thinking the same way but do not talk or have a mindset of what they have heard being repeated by the vegan animal rights social movement. I already know the answer but that will have to be something each person decides for themselves. Are you for a vegan animal rights social movement leading to no use of animals or are you interested in the true welfare of the animal. I have just finished reading Temple Grandin’s book, the autaustic holder of a Ph. D. who designed almost 50 percent of cattle slaughtering business’ and was amazed, she said, “good gosh we eat them, we have to give them some respect!” She is not an animal rights activist but I would call her a dedicated animal welfarest, through and through.

    Comment by Grace Sawyer — April 27, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  48. Education is the key.. and if you really want to stop”puppy mills” then the only way to do that is BREED MORE PUPPIES yourself the right way ( whatever that is to you). I do think there were a few blogs here talking about Gina’s litter.. (her only one so far? I am not really sure) and how they celebrated their first birthday.. How great is that?? Pretty darn great.. BUT that is not enough puppies to satisfy the “market”.. now I am not saying that people have to breed to satisfy any demand for pups.. BUT again people who want a puppy will get it from some one.. or some where. So if you are indeed a “reputable ethical breeder”.. why aren’t you having more pups and not less. Why aren’t you flooding the market with well bred ,well raised puppies? Why aren’t legislative groups making it EASIER for the home breeder to raise happy healthy puppies so that people can get a decent pet? Because HSUS and others like them continue to bring up legislation that curtails the hobby breeder, supports laws ( and yes even writes them) that limit the number of intact animals one can own..writes laws that tell people when and how often they can breed their own animals. ( something that should only be decided between the owner and the vet)and insist on permits that almost no hobby breeder can ever comply with… Not all of this is HSUS driven.. but the splinter groups ( like those in LA.. who either give to the HSUS or get from donations them)manage quite well to “carry the message” that comes from the HSUS.
    None of us support “puppy mills”.. All of us support education.. not propaganda and out and out lies to garner donations.. when you are cognizant of dealings like Faye not Fay.. and Vicks dogs.. it is VERY difficult to “come to the table” to discuss anything. I agree with Cait.. Dallas had a very rough go.. Texas has been amazing in the struggle to keep their rights and their pets..New Orleans is now undergoing a test run for MSN.. Where is the HSUS at that table? Are they not coming.. or just late for dinner?

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  49. Christie wrote: “I believe that dialogue would result in more effective strategies to end puppy mills and fewer such proposals that are damaging to us and our dogs.”

    The problem for those with hunting packs is that HSUS already is staunchly opposed to our hounds’ whole line of work, and I doubt they’re going to write legislation that will help make it easier for hunting kennels to exist. If puppy mill legislation puts hunting kennels out of existence, I’m pretty sure HSUS wouldn’t mind that at all. I do agree wholeheartedly that hunting kennels should then fight their own fight against puppy mills, but asking hunters to trust the HSUS and open a dialogue with them in the hope that HSUS will then accommodate hunters’ concerns when they introduce their legislation–no, thanks.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — April 27, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  50. Glenye, how about if I ask people to talk with a human being who works for HSUS in the hope of changing that individual’s perspective? Or do you really think HSUS is a monolith with a hive mind?

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 27, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

  51. I just think it’s going to be difficult for a single individual who is working for HSUS to remain with the organization and also support hunting. Do you know of any individual there who does? I think hunters’ time is probably better spent on separate efforts to stop puppy mills and promoting ethical hunting, for example, than in hoping to change a single mind in an organization that is avowedly anti-hunting. Every foxhunter I know is happy to talk to anyone who wants to learn more about hounds, so it’s not like they’d refuse to talk to an HSUS employee, but I don’t think anyone is under any real expectation that converting a single individual there is either a likely outcome or an effective way to make a dent on the HSUS groups’ anti-hunting stance.

    It’s hard not to see HSUS as monolithic when you consider their budget, the breadth of their communications and legislative initiatives, and statements like “Hound hunting, besides being cruel to dogs and wildlife, is a serious annoyance to many property owners,” which is in one of their many pieces against hunting with hounds (that one from 2009). Search their website for “hunting with hounds,” and their position is clear. It’s hard to imagine that even if the Masters of Fox Hounds Association, for example, were to talk to Stephanie Shain in hopes of a fruitful dialogue, that this would prompt any real change in HSUS’s long and ongoing anti-hunting agenda.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — April 27, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  52. So if you are indeed a “reputable ethical breeder”.. why aren’t you having more pups and not less. Why aren’t you flooding the market with well bred ,well raised puppies?

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

    Maybe it’s because part of being ethical is being responsible to and for each puppy for his/her entire lifetime?

    When I started fostering seven years ago, very low number per year, I told each adopter that I would take the animal back WHENEVER it was needed.

    Well, after what I went through over the past year — vet bills, daily care, extreme stress — when my very first foster animal from six years ago came back to me with an equally sickly partner … let’s just say I have changed my “return policy.”

    If I bred dogs, I would not create more puppies than I could manage over their lifespans.

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 27, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

  53. I frankly don’t believe that HSUS wants to come to a table with anyone. I think that this is obvious by what is happening in Ohio in reference to their farm bill. Ohio appointed a competent group of people with experience and knowledge of what is right for agriculture IN THAT STATE but it wasn’t good enough for HSUS so now they are petiticning for another law.

    In Colorado ( I think, could be wrong on the State ), reporters with ag interest were kept out of a HSUS meeting on the same subject.

    If HSUS is willing to talk to dog people and dog breeders now, it’s only because they are seeing their donations go down and we are finally making a dent in the fact that HSUS isn’t what it implies that it is. It implies that it is the umbrella organization for ALL humane societies by it’s ads. Help us fight puppy mills they implore. Then they go and utilize most of the donations toward their own salaries, their pension plans, stock in food companies and lately attempts at changing America’s appetite for meat and eggs.

    If HSUS wants to talk, they got a lot of explaining to do first.

    Comment by Susi — April 27, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  54. Mary Mary I would be interested to know what you changed?.. good honest post.. thanks. It is stressful to raise puppies.. and breed dogs.. it takes courage, knowledge, a sense of “art” and lots of money to breed and raise a litter of healthy pups….and then do it again.. and again.. and again..if I may make a recommendation for a great puppy whelping and raising book.. The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies by Muriel Lee..http://www.workingdogs.com/store/item-0793804973.htm
    It should be on every persons bookshelf.. if you ever have puppies at your home.. lots of practical info.. and some savvy advice from breeders.. .. oh and it has plastic pages.. and is spiral bound.. handy for lot of reasons we won’t go into here.. LOL

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  55. Susi wrote:

    “I frankly don’t believe that HSUS wants to come to a table with anyone.”

    “HSUS” can’t want anything. It’s not a human being. Only individuals have desires.

    And:

    “I think that this is obvious by what is happening in Ohio in reference to their farm bill. Ohio appointed a competent group of people with experience and knowledge of what is right for agriculture IN THAT STATE but it wasn’t good enough for HSUS so now they are petiticning for another law.”

    It wasn’t good enough for me, either. I eat meat and believe in the sustainable and humane raising of livestock for food, and I find the practices of most large-scale ag operations completely unacceptable from a number of standpoints.

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 27, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  56. Mary Mary I would be interested to know what you changed?

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    I foster domestic rabbits (and occasionally dogs) for local shelters. I’ve had about 20-25 through my house, and always told the adopters I would take them back if needed.

    Well, I am not promising that anymore. I do not have the capacity, as I learned the past year. The next time I foster, any returns will go to the shelter. I am very active at the shelter so I am usually involved in the care the rabbits get there anyway. But bring them back to my home? No.

    I would love to see puppy mills shut down. I just cannot envision the “business model” that would replace them. I also have no sense of the numbers … ex: how many Maltese puppies are born each year? How many in-the-home breeders would need to be recruited to fulfill the demand if the Maltese puppy mills shut down?

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 27, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  57. It wasn’t good enough for me, either. I eat meat and believe in the sustainable and humane raising of livestock for food, and I find the practices of most large-scale ag operations completely unacceptable from a number of standpoints.
    ————
    Do you really know anything about Ohio’s agricultual economics and agriculture business’?
    Enough to decide what it is that they should or should not be doing?
    Have you ever stepped foot on a farm period, Christie?

    Has HSUS told you about the horse rescue they participated in? The one in Arkansas … where they *rescued* twenty plus horses from a woman with over fifty years experience and PLACED them on an unfit pasture. Then left without making sure that anyone was FEEDING or WATERING the horses ????

    http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Jolley–They-Shoot-Horse–Owners—Don-t-They/2010-04-05/Article.aspx?oid=1034823&fid=CN-LATEST_NEWS_

    Yea, it’s individuals alright … individual’s working in HSUS name.

    The fact remains that *IF* HSUS or &the individual’s* at HSUS want to talk to *ANYONE* they have a lot of explaining to do before I’ll or any awful lot of others will listen to them. Like why did they leave those horses, horses that were not pasture savvy out in the dead of winter, with NO shelter, with only stagnant pond water that they didn’t know how to break the ice with their hooves … why did they do that???

    I’m supposed to believe that they are really worried about puppy mill dogs when they go and do something stupid and heartless like that????

    Yet under Pacelle’s reign, they are a farce … they are nothing more than a lobbying business, nothing humane about them.

    Comment by Susi — April 27, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

  58. Don’t you dare tell me that it’s my god-damned patriotic duty to breed more dogs in order to “flood the market” and “meet demand.”

    I’ve spent the last year and a half of my life cleaning up the mess from a “breeder” who did a dandy job of flooding the market. Too bad for the dogs she overshot that “demand” thing a bit.

    I’ll breed exactly as many litters as I have the time, money, energy, and ability to provide lifetime followup for. I’ll breed a bitch when *I* have determined that that bitch is a worthy candidate, and I’ll breed her no more often than is good for her health and career advancement.

    And I’ll encourage thoughtful, kind, committed owners of one or a few dogs to do the same — to breed a few well-considered litters from good dogs who are also beloved, and spend plenty of time placing the pups in carefully-selected homes.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 27, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

  59. So, Susi… new around here, I guess?

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 27, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

  60. Christie – I’m someone who has been in Brittanys for almost 30 years. While I’m not a breeder (that’s my daughter), I have done rescue for almost that many years. I’d be happy to enlighten anyone who wants to hear why
    I hate HSUS

    Among other things, we discussed that almost no one in the dog fancy will speak to her, even though she has repeatedly and publicly
    stated that she supports and believes in good dog breeding and breeders, and that good breeders are the first line of defense
    against puppy mills.

    Good breeders ARE the first line of defense. But have you actually looked at the wording of the HSUS legislation? It would make it
    impossible for many good breeders to continue what they do. In some cases – it would make it impossible for rescue to continue.

    Do you know how it galls me to be “on the side” of people I’d never get a dog from – people who I’ve worked many years to educate the public against? I wish they’d share a little of their very deep coffers with
    the people out here actually saving animals!

    Rhonda Carlson
    American Brittany Rescue
    http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
    1.866.BRIT911

    Comment by Rhonda — April 27, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  61. H. Houlahan: I never said it was your duty to do anything.. what I said was.. if you don’t want “puppy mills” then hobby breeders should “flood the market” with WELL BRED WELL RAISED puppies because no matter what .. people WILL buy puppies.and it seems the issue is .. where will they come from? that is a fact…so if you don’t want “puppy mills’ build a better mousetrap and produce more well bred well socialized puppies because nature hates a void.. and when there is a demand for something there is always someone to fill it in a way that may not be acceptable to you. The way to cure that dilemma is to fill the void with what you would want.. not what others provide..Raise the bar as to what is available to the standards YOU feel are acceptable and then maybe you wouldn’t have had the problem you are describing with the breeder.
    How else will you “stop puppy mills”?
    I encourage my puppy people to bred their dogs after they are health tested and evaluated for temperament and soundness. I encourage them to breed their bitches and dogs.. exactly as you said.. my point was made when you said:
    “I’ll breed a bitch when *I* have determined that that bitch is a worthy candidate, and I’ll breed her no more often than is good for her health and career advancement.”

    exactly..when YOU decide.. not when the government or the HSUS decides…that is all anyone can ask.. it is a personal decision.. one that only you can make.

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

  62. Mary Mary.. thank you for the information.. and I agree with you..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  63. wow Glenye.. i went to your blog.. what FUN.. great videos.. and pictures.. I also read about “Scout” and how you are looking for a home for him.. I noticed you said you would take him but you were “up to your limit”.. of four.. i am not sure if that is your personal limit.. or the laws where you live.. but if it is the laws.. then how sad is that.. here is a person who looks like she could take care of many dogs.. but “limit laws” will not allow it.. and Scout continues to look for a forever home.. Please let us know if he found one.. what a lovely dog..
    Limit laws KILL dogs..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 27, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

  64. I don’t think that it’s right to say that good breeders should ‘flood the market’- and I don’t think breeders should be producing more puppies than they themselves would be comfortable bringing home tomorrow. But I *do* think that we should be encouraging responsible, serious pet owners to get educated, get more involved, and consider BECOMING responsible breeders. I *do* think we need more of them- each taking responsibility for the number of puppies they feel they reasonably COULD care for if they were returned- working on concert with mentors and co-breeders and stud owners. This was frequently the case in the past, as I understand it- someone bought a nice puppy bitch, her breeder helped them find a complimentary stud dog at the right time, and they bred her, kept a puppy, and the rest went to family and friends. The lifetime takeback thing might or might not have been there then, but it should be now, right?

    A lot of the s/n scare tactics play into this- how your unspayed bitch is of course going to die of pyo, or of mammary tumors, or in labor because of COURSE no one with a vet school diploma could POSSIBLY safely whelp a litter. And that your intact dog is going to be aggressive and a marker and scale 20′ fences to get to any intact bitch within the same zip code, making him impossible to live with if he ever ‘gets a taste of it’. It scares off a lot of people who do the research and the people who are too dumb to research or care too little for their individual dogs aren’t dissuaded.

    Comment by Cait — April 28, 2010 @ 12:08 am

  65. So, Susi… new around here, I guess?
    ————-
    Actually, I caught up with you on the Faye/Fay incident.
    Thought that was well handled and I respected that.
    Pretty much over all that now.

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 1:29 am

  66. So, I guess, then, that your main issue is opposition to HSUS, rather than your main issue being animal welfare.

    Or perhaps your main interest is protecting factory farming.

    Regardless, the Ohio farm bill was good or bad based on what the farm bill actually did for animal welfare and sustainable agriculture, not based on whether HSUS did something stupid or incompetent or even outright evil somewhere else. In order to defend something, anything, no, it is not sufficient to simply know that HSUS is against it.

    Comment by Lis — April 28, 2010 @ 2:55 am

  67. My main issue is that my rights are being attacked … specifically property rights. Since HSUS seems intent to remove animal’s designation as property then yes, that’s my main focus.

    You are the one that brought up that HSUS wants to talk to dog people. I simply replied that from my POV they got some explaining to do first. I listed a couple of examples of that and also someone else has listed Mr Pang’s experience with them. He needed help, he called the Humane Society local, who called HSUS, all played nice/nice … then he’s behind bars for cruelty? When he tried to do the right thing and WHILE he was grieving his dead wife??? wow, where’s the humanity in that one?

    As far as my stance on animal welfare … hel-low?
    Come on out to the farm and you decide for yourself. How dare you make an assumption on the basis of two blog posts and again you prove another point. If someone disagrees with HSUS in any form, then automatically they are against animal welfare. rofl …

    The real issue tho is that HSUS as a corporate lobbying machine made of individuals with PETA, ALF and who knows what else poltical leanings is NOT for welfare either,
    They are firmly standing up and trying to enforce for animal rights.

    Tell your buddies to boot Pacelle to the street. Then maybe we can talk about welfare issues.

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 3:29 am

  68. Susi, you’re not even reading carefully enough to notice that I’m not Christie. Or even Gina.

    And if you found this blog through the Faye controversy, then you ought to have noticed that criticizing the HSUS is not out of bounds here. What will tend to get pushback is the assumption that if you want to defend something, all you have to do is point out that HSUS is against it.

    I can only base my opinions about you on what you post here, since you have not identified yourself beyond a first name, and you’re not the only farmer in Ohio. This makes it rather difficult for anyone to accept your kind invitation and visit your farm.

    Factory farming is destructive of animal welfare, destructive of the environment, and destructive of the overall safety of our food supply. My father’s family farmed; cousins farmed until quite recently. What they did had nothing to do with corporate factory farms. Nor would laws banning high density feeding operations as practiced on factory farms have had much impact on them–other than to lessen a bit the degree to which the corporate behemoths could underprice them.

    HSUS is a big organization that does and says a lot of things. I’m very unhappy with a lot of those things. But when they come out against puppy mills, and the factory farming of dogs as if they were battery hens (which is also a bad thing), and provide excellent information and advice on how to find a responsible breeder or an adoptable pet–I support that.

    Supporting that doesn’t mean I automatically support their proposed legislative “fixes” for puppy mills, because so far they seem to at best regard responsible breeders as acceptable collateral damage. But there’s at least something to talk about, and the HSUS is composed of human beings, whose opinions can be changed. Change enough of those opinions, and HSUS may change. (Unlike PETA, which was founded by people dedicated to the elimination of domestic animals, and still has one of those co-founders as president.)

    Comment by Lis — April 28, 2010 @ 3:57 am

  69. Big surprise !!
    I’m not even in Ohio!
    Yea, it’s a bit hard to keep up with who says what at times.

    Where I am is besides the point.

    I do think that the board that Ohio picked is good. Sorry that HSUS wasn’t invited to it but what really do they know about meat production other than they’d rather folks not partake of it?

    psst … I am in Florida. HSUS DESTROYED what pork industry we had … not that Florida was ever that big into pig farms but there were a couple. Where was HSUS when the farms slaughted *HUNDREDS* of hogs instead of conforming to HSUS standards as dictated by their new legislated Florida law? Did they offer to take in and rescue any piggies?
    waiting, waiting waiting for … ok time’s up.
    Didn’t think so.

    Factory farming has NO meaning. It’s a term from the mid 1800’s and the industrial/mechanical revolution hit the farm.

    If there is a machine IN place to help the farmer do what he needed to do … he was at that point a factory farm. So if your family farm Liz has a tractor or even a automatic watering system surprise or maybe an electric gate opening system — YOUR family farm is A FACTORY FARM!
    taa-daa!

    (I’ll say it for you now because I’ve had this argument by several pro HSUS clones)
    *I know that*

    I’m not even going to respond to the ecological affects from farms because most of it has been proven NOT true. Green space is green space and most farms are considered as green space.

    HSUS is hardly the first person to put out information on responsible breeding/breeders.
    AKC has had promotional/educational tools to that affect for twenty plus years along with several dog clubs, rescue organizations.

    Interesting that Fay’s rescuer has popped back up on another blog … not 100 percent sure but it seems she still hasn’t gotten that promised $5000 from HSUS. I think that’s what she’s saying without saying it directly.
    So anywho, gotta go run the farm Liz, or Gina or whoever, been fun, chat later

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 4:42 am

  70. “Susi” … that’s BS. What’s meant by a “factory farm” — and I don’t much like the term myself — is more accurately what is known as a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO.

    The problems with CAFOs, aside from the debate over whether or not animals “like” them, is this:

    — They present grave risks to our health and national security. Health is well-documented: CAFO’s indiscriminate use of antibiotics had led to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, and these crowded operations are also suspected in viral mutations. If these “super-bugs” don’t scare the living hell out of you, you’ve don’t know enough about them to form an opinion. As for national security — think of the contaminated meat “accidentally” coming out of the corporate ag machine. Then think about how easy to contaminate on purpose.

    — They are high users of fossil fuels and other resources. There’s a limited amount of the stuff — how limited is debatable, of course, but CAFOs take a low-energy-use industry and spin it 180. It takes a lot of resources at all stages of industrial farming.

    — They are massive polluters of groundwater, streams and rivers. CAFOs take something that has traditionally been of value — animal manure — and turn it into toxic waste.

    As for whether people who aren’t farmers should be “allowed” to have a say in how farming is done … well, “Susi” the alleged farmer who is so concerned about your property rights, let me say that once the ag industry gets off the teat of my tax dollars we can have a discussion of your “rights.”

    In the meantime, you are risking MY health with MY money. So hell yeah, I have a say.

    But since I don’t have much of a say with the money spent in DC and the statehouses by the lobbyists of corporate ag, I’m supporting real family farmers with my hard-earned money. And guess what? My overall food budget is less because I’ve changed how I eat (almost all meals are made at home) and how I buy (direct from farmers, CSAs, farmers markets and co-op buys). Yes, it’s possible! And also healthier: I’ve lost weight and all my vitals are GREAT! (Another plus: The food tastes better. Chicken tastes like … chicken, not a rubbery meat-like substance with saltwater and flavorings added.)

    Am I a vegan? Puh-lease. Nothing I love so much as a nice grilled rib-eye. And as for the carnivores here, feline and canine, I have TWO freezers for all the wonderful meat they eat, from regional family farms that have respect for their land and the healthy animals they raise for food.

    In other words, I support farmers, real farmers, not multi-national ag corporations.

    None of which, of course, has anything to do with the point of Christie’s post, which is this: Why are good, ethical, caring breeders supporting puppy mills?

    And mostly, all we’ve read in the comments is that they are because the HSUS is “worse” and “dangerous.”

    What the HSUS really is: A convenient “enemy” for the forces of big money who are playing you like a cheap violin to keep business as usual on the corporate farms and in the puppy-mills.

    When then HSUS deserves to be slammed, we slam them, but good. They are really a fund-raising machine with an advocacy arm, and frankly, that needs to be changed before *I* would ever give them a dime. But they’re on the side of the angels with regards to puppy-mills, even though they haven’t offered anything that respects (and encourages) reputable, ethical breeders and protects heritage breeds and work, like those of the hunting kennel Glenye writes about so artfully.

    We will fight them on bad legislation, and we have done so. But we will not defend puppy-millers in doing so. Not. Gonna. Happen. I will also fight for hunters, hunting and gun rights, for reasons that would require another few hundred words so I’ll leave it there for now.

    As for you bemoaning the loss of CAFOs for hogs in Florida, you might want to rather consider that you dodged a bullet. Give a read to the Raleigh News and Observer’s 1995 Pulitzer Prize winning series on what Pork CAFOs did to North Carolina. You can find “Boss Hog” in its entirety, here.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 6:01 am

  71. Uh, yeah, farmer here. One who uses a real name, verifiable, small detail, I know.

    The Farm Bureau, Cargill, the USDA, Frank Perdue, et. al. do not speak for me or my land and livestock. The AKC, NAIA, USDA, UKC, and Pennsylvania Professional (sic) Dog Breeders(sic) Association do not speak for me or my dogs.

    And neither may “Susi.”

    Again, PeTA et. al. don’t get to define who I am or what my interests and values are. Why should those other creeps?

    Is there a special label for the logical fallacy that goes “Enemy-of-your-way-of-life A considers you to be exactly the same as Enemy-of-your-way-of-life B, therefore you must join with B and accept that identity?”

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 28, 2010 @ 6:24 am

  72. Hi, bestuvall–and thanks for your kind comments on the hound blog! Maybe I should point out here that our hunt breeds only a single litter a year and retires every hound we have (including any we get from other packs)! As for our capacity, it’s not a legal limit (yet–there’s been a push to limit to three dogs, but that hasn’t happened so far) but due to the size of our property. We’re in a suburb, and we and our vet feel that four smallish dogs would be our limit given the space we’ve got.

    We’re pulling hard for a home for Scout, and I sure hope he finds one soon.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — April 28, 2010 @ 6:40 am

  73. For those of you who want to read more of Glenye’s wonderful writing, may I recommend her book, “The Home Run Horse: Inside America’s Billion-Dollar Racehorse Industry and the High-Stakes Dreams that Fuel It.” It’s especially on topic during Derby Week!

    I am a horse-racing fan, and I couldn’t put it down. Great insider info, from a woman who knows racing inside and out.

    Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Home-Run-Horse-Billion-Dollar-High-Stakes/dp/0972640126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272462394&sr=1-1

    As for the Derby, Glenye and I agree: Go Ice Box!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 6:48 am

  74. Thanks for the plug, Gina! Not surprisingly, we in Kentucky are overtaken by Derby fever at the moment. I’m getting ready to go talk to Ice Box’s breeder right now, in fact …

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — April 28, 2010 @ 6:55 am

  75. Hi Brent….I was at the Kansas City Pet Expo last weekend, with GWP Rescue, inc and Dock Dogs. I love your blogs….I also had all of the puppy miller babes photos in Plexiglas frames on my table when Gary Jones came to inspect the files and HC’s that we had on all of our dogs.

    We filed a formal complaint with the Dept of AG on this byb/miller in Branson, as we took out 33 puppies and one pregnant Mama last summer, and again took more puppies in Jan.
    Is there anything else we can do. Gary said the monster was within compliance…but we have files 3″ tall with proof of Parvo on the property (as we treated 4 babies for parvo the days after the raid), all the babies had worms that were so heavy, they were passed by the Mom’s to them in the womb …the mother we got was high hw positive so we took the babies from her at 4 weeks per vet’s advice.

    The new legislation as I read it, says there is a safety net somewhat “except for dogs used for hunting” I have been trying to get clarification. This man’s dogs and puppies were taken to bring him into compliance, 3 intact females and one intact male with city ordinances. Is this legislation the product of the HSUS and if so…what can you share about it? My email is GWPRescue@yahoo.com. I am on the MO border in Kansas City, licensed in KS and MO as an animal care facility…
    thanks!

    Comment by Mary — April 28, 2010 @ 7:02 am

  76. Gee, where to start?

    Okay, so you’re in Florida, not Ohio, and bitterly resent the lost “opportunity” of hog CAFOs in Florida.

    You believe CAFOs don’t have any negative ecological effects. Which means you haven’t taken any serious look at the matter–or else it’s in your financial interest to deny it.

    The livestock on my family’s farm didn’t live their entire lives confined because it was more efficient. Not pigs, not cows, not chickens. My sister’s chickens still don’t live confined to little cages, relegated to life as battery hens.

    I’m kinda skeptical myself whether HSUS would be a positive addition to Ohio’s board; that doesn’t mean the current board is perfect or that continuation of the status quo is a good thing.

    HSUS is hardly the first person to put out information on responsible breeding/breeders.

    A) HSUS is not a “person” except in a technical legal sense. B) No, they’re not the first, and won’t be the last. This doesn’t change the fact that the more voices and the more resources spreading this information around and making it visible, the better.

    AKC has had promotional/educational tools to that affect for twenty plus years along with several dog clubs, rescue organizations.

    Yup, and every one of those resources is a contribution to the good. It is much to be encouraged. No one distributing good information on the subject of how to find a responsibly bred puppy or how to find the right adoptable pet should be dissed or discouraged from doing it. IT ALL HELPS. Even when you disagree with the organization doing it on most other things.

    Meanwhile, you are aware, aren’t you, that AKC has made no real effort to prevent puppy millers from being able to advertise and market “AKC registered purebred puppies” and in fact has made some very determined efforts to get in bed with the puppy millers for the greater profit of the AKC, and to the extent that they have been prevented from doing so, it has been ONLY due to the determined opposition of the national breed clubs.

    AKC isn’t pure and saintly, either; they’re still a great information resource. Although in many cases you’re best off using them mainly to locate the national breed club, to get really good information.

    It’s not all or nothing. I don’t have to throw out HSUS’s excellent information on avoiding puppy mills and finding responsible breeders to oppose bad legislation they support, whether it’s poorly thought out, actively malicious, or just badly written. And I don’t have to embrace their legislative activities to point to HSUS as an excellent source of information on how to find a responsibly bred pup.

    Interesting that Fay’s rescuer has popped back up on another blog

    Interesting that you’re making the same mistake HSUS made, when they were exploiting Faye for fundraising purposes with no intention of contributing to her care.

    … not 100 percent sure but it seems she still hasn’t gotten that promised $5000 from HSUS. I think that’s what she’s saying without saying it directly.

    Careful readers will have noticed that HSUS was strongly and vigorously condemned here for its behavior WRT Faye, and that no one here, certainly not our hosts, treat HSUS as above criticism. Their practice of running fundraising ads that give potential donors the impression the money will be used to help animals is a fairly common theme in that criticism.

    Comment by Lis — April 28, 2010 @ 8:06 am

  77. The above comment #76 – Lis said “Their practice of running fundraising ads that give potential donors the impression the money will be used to help animals is a fairly common theme in that criticism.” – it’s fraud – people are really fed up with frauds –

    Comment #10 Tom Blankenship said he learned “you cannot legislate morality”

    Add to that one piece of advice – Get any transaction or contract in writing…signed.

    I once trusted someone affiliated with HSUS and if I had followed my own advice…well I’ll just say it would have been better for the animals and humans.

    As for HSUS, PETA and ASPCA – their motives? Money seems to have corrupted…and when Winograd did his post on Ingrid Newkirk’s mental state…it was scary (and wasn’t he brave for writing it)…Nathan Winograd ended the piece saying we may never know what triggers such behavior. (paraphrase) Same with Wayne Pacelle and Ed Sayers…strange behavior..the result is animals suffer and die – it’s no picnic for people either.

    Comment by mary frances — April 28, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  78. ok. perhaps “flood the market’ is not the term you want to hear.. how about REPLACE the current market with healthy hobby raised puppies.. to do that we will have to raise more pups.. not less as the HSUS wants to see.. I am not suggesting that only a few people do this.I am suggesting that a lot of people do this… I am suggesting that not every puppy needs to be castrated at 4 months old.. that not every puppy needs to be sold on a “limited” registration.. and that yes MENTORS are needed.. not laws to restrict the breeding of healthy dogs.. the “demand ” is there..people will get puppies.. why shouldn’t the “reputable” breeder reap the profits.. not only monetary ( that evil word.. money) but the emotional profit of knowing there are healthy happy puppies in the world that have come from good breeders.

    Comment by bestuvall — April 28, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  79. bestuvall–I don’t think anyone here regularly thinks speutering at four months is a good idea.

    Lots of regulars here are in favor of increasing the numbers of responsible breeders. But that is by definition a process that does not happen overnight.

    And “flood the market” isn’t a clever new phrase you invented yesterday. It has a meaning, and that meaning is not consistent with responsible breeding. Not even if we get more people interested in responsible breeding, and get current responsible breeders to open their minds to the idea that “just one litter”–from healthy, stable, but not necessarily show-champion dogs–can be done responsibly with the willing mentoring of the responsible breeder(s) of those dogs.

    We need to increase the numbers of responsible breeders. We need to lose the closed studbook and be more willing to recognize responsible owners who are able and willing to manage intact animals safely and effectively.

    But those things take patience, education, persistence. It cannot happen overnight, because the most responsible person in the world still needs to learn what they need to know in order to breed responsibly.

    Comment by Lis — April 28, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  80. I am not suggesting that only a few people do this.I am suggesting that a lot of people do this… I am suggesting that not every puppy needs to be castrated at 4 months old.. that not every puppy needs to be sold on a “limited” registration.. and that yes MENTORS are needed.. not laws to restrict the breeding of healthy dogs.. the “demand ” is there..people will get puppies.. why shouldn’t the “reputable” breeder reap the profits.. not only monetary ( that evil word.. money) but the emotional profit of knowing there are healthy happy puppies in the world that have come from good breeders.

    Comment by bestuvall — April 28, 2010

    I know you are not new here. And as such, you should know we’ve discussed exactly this. MORE good breeders, not less breeding. Family pets from family homes.

    But that does require not IDing with puppy-milling scum. Which too many good breeders do, out of fear of “ARs” and peer pressure from other breeders.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  81. In other words, I support farmers, real farmers, not multi-national ag corporations.
    ————–
    One of the interesting things is that any farm can incorporate and many do for the various protections that being incorporated can provide them. Smaller family farms are often corporations just as many CAFO’s are family owned.

    If factory farm is an incorrect term known by so many folks on this list then why continue to use it? The fact of the matter is that when one is speaking of a CAFO, it is an end step for beef on the way to the market. They are rarely in the facility for more than two months. This is not where they are born, grow and reproduce. This is where they go to put a finish on them prior to a trip to the butcher. If you sell any of your beef calves thru an auction market, it’s likely they are going to a CAFO at some point.

    On top of a gentleman farmer, I’m also a nurse. I’ve been dealing with superbugs for years in the medical industry. I’ve heard it all about the origin of MRSA et al. From nuclear bomb testing in Australia to Xray’s to indiscriminate physician use to incorrect patient use of antibiotics and now to cattle and hog lots. So what came first, the CAFO or the bug in the environment? I really do not think that anyone has an answer to that.

    There are NO CAFO’s in my area yet MRSA and a super Pseudomonas has been a problem here for a couple of decades now, think we got our first case in late 80s or early 90s… don’t think we’ve had any nuclear bomb testing around here but we do have a lot of sick people in the wintertime. I don’t know what the answer is to that but I suspect that the answer is somewhere in between it all and a reaction to it all. Bugs adapt. Even those little mono-cellular ones. That is what they do to survive. When you use ATBs indiscriminately, you are only causing the bugs to get stronger. Doesn’t matter if it’s your neighbor who got some for a cold and only took half his prescription or the farmer. I think that if farms are following the guidlines set out by the USDA and/or even their own vets and use them correctly, they are no more and no less guilty than your neighbor.

    I don’t mean to speak for ANYONE. I simply want to educate those who want to be educated.
    I simply do not believe that big automatically equals bad, inhumane treatment nor environmentally unsafe. Here is a video of a huge dairy in Indiana which shows that big can also mean environmentally responsible and humane.
    They milk 30K cows a day.

    http://www.fofarms.com/pblog/index.php?m=09&y=09&entry=entry090902-062122

    enjoy

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  82. i was musing on the words of Gina and others who “buy their meat locally from Fred the friendly farmer”.. how much do you pay? when I see ‘specialty meat’ it is always priced much higher that the Safeway meat.. so.. if everyone should buy locally .. can the family who lives in the “tenderloin” actually afford one.. or will their protein have to come from a less expensive source like Wal mart chicken at .59 per pound…can you expect a child who is living in poverty to afford a pork chop from a Duroc? Or the parent who is scraping by to shell out for “cage free”. . I think sometimes our middle class and higher morality gets in the way of acutely LOOKING at people.. and assessing their needs..above the needs of animals.. many many many children go to bed hungry every night.. they do not have the opportunity to “pick and choose” where their food comes from.. in fact.. they have no choice at all.. and are lucky just to get food..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 28, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

  83. I did look at the article Gina. The one called Boss Hog. I remember a bigger problem with a hog farm and run-off into a river in NC after a hurricane. That was caused by flooding from the hurricane and guidelines were set in place to prevent it from happening again. Mother nature is not always your friend when you are a farmer … big or small.

    The main complaint voiced by neighbor’s of hog operations in the article … the odor.

    Well, pigs do stink at times. Even if you’re keeping them clean and only have one or two, they stink. If you say your pigs don’t stink, chances are they do at times but you’ve probably gotten used to it.

    It’s always amazed me that folks want to live *in the country* and then complain about it.
    When we were a grove, people who moved next to us, complained about the dust set off by the tractor when we cut weeds between the rows. They complained about the scent from the orange blossoms bothering their allergies. Mother nature took our grove out since we could no longer kerosene heater protect it(big pollutant, it was nasty) in ’82 and we went to cattle. No complaints.

    If the hog farm was there first, they shouldn’t have moved next to it because … pigs stink.

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

  84. many many many children go to bed hungry every night.. they do not have the opportunity to “pick and choose” where their food comes from.. in fact.. they have no choice at all.. and are lucky just to get food..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 28, 2010

    Actually, as has been well-documented recently, the nutrition problems of poor children in America have nothing at all to do with “going to bed hungry” and everything to do with eating crap and ending up with the problems caused by obesity.

    The cover article in the current Atlantic Monthly may bring you into the current century, where our military has expressed concern that our fast-food culture is producing young men and women who are too fat to fight.

    The “elitist” charge is an easy one to make, and aimed to shut down discussion. I hear it all the time, usually thrown out by people who couldn’t care less about the “poor people” they’re claiming to be fighting for.

    What health officials are fighting now: “Cheap” food is killing our kids, and creating another generation of obesity-related health problems for tomorrow’s adults.

    I don’t know how old you are, but many Americans grew up not eating meat every meal. I’ve gone back to that, to the pot of beans and pastas of my youth. To offset the higher cost of the meat I do buy, I do eat less of it (and lesser cuts, and in bulk). But mostly, I make up the difference by making meals at home.

    As for those “poor children” I don’t care about as much as I presumably care about animals (another of those charges tossed out to shut down discussion): Part of my own volunteer commitment in my community is working with a local CSA to get fresh, healthy food to children who have no access to it, in some rough neighborhoods.

    They are not “starving” children — many of them are in fact fat – but they have malnutrition nonetheless. As with most poor kids, the only “grocery store” in the neighborhood is a liquor store or some fast-food joints. And that’s where they eat.

    Cheap food isn’t. And the bill is coming due.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  85. Have to add – PBS had on POV a documentary entitled Food, Inc – how our food supply is controlled by a small group of corporations – who are no surprise guided by profit not health concerns.

    Also don’t miss the short documentary following Food, Inc – entitled Milk in the Land: Ballad of an American drink – it’s haunting in a way – politics involved in being an independent farmer.

    great stuff.

    Comment by mary frances — April 28, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  86. Amazing that we’re approaching the 100 comment level without anyone answering the question of why good, reputable breeders who love dogs support puppy mills.

    All that’s been offered is HSUS bashing.

    As Brent said: We need a third option.

    As for Susi’s quick take on the “Boss Hog” article, I’d recommend anyone interested in taking a read on your own. Because it’s not about “stinky pigs” or the problem with those dumb city folks moving into the country.

    And by the way, Susi, I’m wondering how much farming you actually do, since it appears from some simple use of Teh Googles that you live on a big suburban lot, not a farm.

    Did you used to be a farmer? Just curious as to your “expert” credentials here.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  87. Amazing that we’re approaching the 100 comment level without anyone answering the question of why good, reputable breeders who love dogs support puppy mills.

    Probably because the charge is a grossly exaggerated strawman.

    The fact that many good, reputable breeders oppose “puppy mill” legislation does not mean they support substandard puppy mills.

    Comment by LauraS — April 28, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

  88. Gina – I think it’s a combination of things.

    Firstly, I think there ARE some dog people- and I think this is a generational thing- who think that sanitary mills are okay, who do not feel a personal responsibility to place their puppies directly, maintain contact for life, or for their lives after the check has cleared. (These people would not meet my definition of responsible breeder- but they DO exist even in the ‘fancy’, either show or work/performance. And, on a semi-related topic, there’s the dichotomy of ‘this person does not meet the standards that I would tell people are necessary, but their dogs are excellent in some trait that I feel very strongly is necessary, and which I cannot obtain elsewhere for various reasons’- it seems like the more research I do, the more breeding is one series of compromises after another, and I think that’s something that doesn’t get talked about much)

    Nextly, there’s the people that are just plain scared. The commercial breeder/mill/whatever we’re calling them today folks are organized and appear to be DOING things- and they don’t act afraid. I think that’s probably reassuring to some people.

    Comment by Cait — April 28, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  89. Both Gina and LauraS told me I had not expressed myself clearly in one section of this post, so I’ve made a slight edit. This is the original paragraph:

    It’s some kind of misguided fear of the slippery slope, that if one law gets passed anywhere limiting the rights of people to crank out puppies like they were washing machine parts then all of us who keep, breed, or simply value dog breeds will instantly and utterly lose our rights to continue doing so.

    Because it’s usually a proposed law that triggers the reaction I was discussing, my mind sort of jumped from “law as trigger” to “law as the thing we were supposed to be supporting.”

    That is not what I believe. The point of my objection was not that we should be supporting LAWS, but that we should be talking to others who also oppose puppy mills, and not simply abandon mill animals because we think it will hurt our own ability to keep and breed dogs.

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 28, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  90. Cait wrote:

    “The commercial breeder/mill/whatever we’re calling them today folks are organized and appear to be DOING things- and they don’t act afraid. I think that’s probably reassuring to some people.”

    I think so, too, but the fact is, those people couldn’t care less about hobby breeders and fanciers and throw us under the bus every time — as happened in California with mandatory spay/neuter.

    We’re being lumped with them because we’ve allowed it, and we’re not even going to get the benefit of their lobbying and organizing, because they don’t raise dogs in their homes and thus, couldn’t care less about regulations that require things like drains and industrial HVAC systems (unless they’re too expensive for them to keep making a profit).

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 28, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  91. Christie:
    Allow me to share my perspective of Stephanie Shane. Over the past 6+ years, I have had multiple conversations, meetings and other communications with her. While I personally believe that she believes what she is doing is right, and that she can be disarmingly cordial, I also believe that she has blindly carried out the agenda of the HSUS, which in reality, is not in the long term best interests of all responsible breeders, be they fanciers, hobby breeders or Federally licensed and inspected breeders who are required to meet Federal standards that are more stringent than those established for nursing homes where many of our loved ones must spend the Last Days of Their Lives. Again, allow me to tell you why, with a bit of background.

    Personally, I hate loathe and despise “substandard kennels” for a myriad of reasons. That is why for the last four+ years I have personally urged State Pet Breeder Associations to follow the lead of the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, and PUBLICLY CONDEMN SUBSTANDARD KENNELS,WHICHTHEY DID OVER FOUR YEARS AGO. As of today, State Pet Breeder Associations in eight other States have now publicly condemned substandard kennels. Significantly, over 60% of all Federally licensed and inspected breeders are in those states. Additionally, the leadership of several of those Pet Breeder Associations include AKC breeders. Here is one of my “rubs” with the HSUS. Despite my repeated requests to Mr. Pacelle for the HSUS to publicly acknowledge these public condemnations, he refuses to do so. Why? I suspect he does not want to admit that there are thousands of responsible breeders who have publicly condemned substandard kennels because that could dilute the distorted image of ALL breeders that HSUS uses to perpetuate its lobbying and fund raising agendas.

    By Letter dated April 4, 2009, I asked Mr. Pacelle to identify the more than 3,000 “p – – – – m – – – -,” that he claimed in his April 1, 2009 Blog were in Missouri. He passed my letter to Stephanie Shain for response. Stephanie did respond to my letter, but never identified a single “p – – – – m – – – .” Instead, said, “As I am sure you are aware, we likely have different ideas of what is a “p – – – – m – – – .” I understand that your constituency may prefer to use terms like “substandard kennels, but I don’t see semantics as the real issue here. We, and the constituents we speak with and for as well as reputable breeders we talk with, do not believe that dogs should live for years in cages even if those cages are cleaned regularly.” (Do any fanciers or hobby breeders ever use cages to house their dogs?!?!?!?)

    By letter dated November 9, 2009 I again asked Mr. Pacelle to publicly acknowledge the public condemnations that had been made by responsible breeders. He responded by E-mail dated November 16, 2009. Again, he declined to do so, and stated that “Every p – – – – m- – – – – is a responsible breeder, every factory farmer a family farmer, and every poacher a responsible hunter, in terms of their self descriptions.”

    BOTTOMLINE: Despite Stephanie’s representations to the contrary, I personally do not trust the HSUS to ever “TELL THE TRUTH , THE WHOLE TRUTH , AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH when it comes to responsible breeders, be they fanciers, hobby breeders or the responsible commercial breeders who are Federally licensed and inspected.

    If all responsible breeders do not hang together, each will hang separately. And that is also why all responsible breeders should avoid using the HSUS “p – – – – m – – – “ phrase, which responsible breeders who truly care about the health and welfare of their animals consider to be the equivalent of a racial or ethnic slur.

    Frank Losey

    Comment by Frank Losey — April 28, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  92. Lis.. I never said it could happen overnight.. my point is that there ARE good breeders who are hampered from breeding RIGHT NOW by laws put into place by the HSUS group of people….these breeders are RESTRICTED by limit laws.. onerous zoning laws and by the constant harassment of the HSUS ( and others like them)who are uneducated in dog husbandry. People like Pacelle who has never even OWNED a dog are telling those of us who DO know exactly how many times we can breed our dogs, how old they must be before their first litter.. and how old they must be before their last litter.. I don’t know how many of these “plans of action” you have actually read.. but I suggest if you have not.. take a look.. there is NOTHING positive about breeders in that type of bill..
    the original question here is “which do you hate more.. the HSUS or “puppy mills”.. frankly I don’t “hate either one.. I would actually like to see both disappear .. so that good breeder can continue to breed good dogs.. and so that the fraud perpetrated by the HSUS in so many arenas can dissipate and new groups who actually have animal welfare issues at heart can flourish would I like to “flood the market” with this type of action.. you bet I would

    Comment by bestuvall — April 28, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  93. Frank, I strongly and passionately disagree with you. Family pets from family homes. I don’t want to see big commercial sources of puppies, no matter how clean and purty and non-sub-standard their facilities are. You and I don’t see this issue the same way AT ALL, and I will never, ever get in bed with the organization you represent, the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, on this. And I’d spit on HSUS if they did, too.

    Your frame is EXACTLY what I’m objecting to, and the term “puppy mill” is a powerful and accurate one I won’t stop using, either.

    I will thank you for being civil, however.

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 28, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  94. “the long term best interests of all responsible breeders, be they fanciers, hobby breeders or Federally licensed and inspected breeders who are required to meet Federal standards [...]”

    That last, Mr. Losey, is not a responsible breeder. It is a puppy mill.

    “If all responsible breeders do not hang together, each will hang separately.”

    Under no conditions do I, as a reputable, ethical breeder, support puppy mills. You can hang alone, and I will fight breeding bans without you.

    Laura S, you know I think the world of you, but this is what we’re talking about. The “you have to defend puppy mills or the HSUS will get us all” is what is keeping good breeders from doing what’s right: Fighting puppy-mills AND bad laws. Or, to put it in a positive light: Fighting FOR good breeders.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  95. Well, since you don’t have my last name or my specific area, I don’t know how you’ve googled me, Gina but I realize that the internet community is a small community. If by some way you’ve gotten my last name and specific area, let me just say kudos and that there are three of us with the same name in this community and one does live on a large surburban lot. I know because I am related by marriage to her. I’m flattered that you took the time to do so, think that it’s relevant to the conversation when actually it’s just a lame attempt to discredit me. Well there is that. lol

    I come from farming stock, four generations actually and I’ve stated I am a gentlemen farmer these days … the term means one who does not make their primary living from farming anymore. Which would probably make up a large majority of *small* family owned farms these days. None of which are capable of feeding the world, even together.

    I grew up on a much larger cattle ranch that what we have now although this one has been in the family for three generations and initially it was a citrus grove/vegetable farm. Now it’s not. Yes, I’ve been around cattle for some time … and other farm animals, too to include dogs.

    Now back to your question. No I don’t trust HSUS, it’s a big corporation … something that so many profess to despise. It’s a business to lobby against animal owner’s and I don’t respect no, I hate their inability to be truthful to their donation giving public.

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  96. Now back to your question. No I don’t trust HSUS, it’s a big corporation … something that so many profess to despise. It’s a business to lobby against animal owner’s and I don’t respect no, I hate their inability to be truthful to their donation giving public.

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010

    That wasn’t the question.

    “Trust” isn’t the issue here. The question is, again, why are good, reputable breeders so willing to side with puppy-millers? Because you’re scared? Understood. But I’m arguing fear of the great “AR” bogeyman isn’t reason enough to stand with puppy-millers. By my use of Teh Googles, you seem to be a reputable breeder who cares about her dogs. Don’t you care about the dogs in puppy mills? That’s really OK with you, how they’re treated?

    It’s not with me.

    I don’t “trust” the HSUS, either. “Trusting” isn’t my job, which is why when they’re not playing honestly, we call them on it. Have done so, and will continue to do so.

    Like Christie, I support the HSUS calling out puppy-millers. And like Christie, I don’t support breeding bans, limit laws and other actions that have what may or may not be unintended consequences with regard to reputable, ethical breeders.

    It’s just so much easier to hate on something isn’t it? Sell out someone else to protect what you want. Tell yourself there really aren’t “puppy mills,” and that the AR folks make it all up, when you yourself don’t even believe that.

    This is why I so respect Laura S. She is not a breeder — she is a search-and-rescue handler — and yet she has fought tooth and nail on behalf of laws that restrict good, reputable breeders. She doesn’t like coming to Sacramento, but she has done it so much her car knows the way. She could likely have sold out the whole lot of show and dogsport breeders and let us all go down with the puppy-millers during the AB 1634 fight, but she did not.

    She stood and fought for what was right, not what was politically expedient.

    It comes back to the third way. We have to find it.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  97. “As I am sure you are aware, we likely have different ideas of what is a “p – – – – m – – – .” I understand that your constituency may prefer to use terms like “substandard kennels, but I don’t see semantics as the real issue here. We, and the constituents we speak with and for as well as reputable breeders we talk with, do not believe that dogs should live for years in cages even if those cages are cleaned regularly.” (Do any fanciers or hobby breeders ever use cages to house their dogs?!?!?!?)

    Comment by Frank Losey

    Frank, if fanciers or hobby breeders make their “breeding stock” live outside in cages or even in clean warm buildings in cages, I would argue that they are providing substandard care.

    Thus they are not quality breeders, or just maybe we could call them micro m_____s.

    Do you and your organization think it’s OK to make a pet live away from the human pack? I looked at your website but could not find anything about what you (plural) consider “substandard” care.

    You are PET breeders. Are these puppies being socialized, housebroken, etc., as part of the family pack? So that their PET training starts at birth, not at the point of sale at a pet store?

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 28, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  98. Trust” isn’t the issue here. The question is, again, why are good, reputable breeders so willing to side with puppy-millers? Because you’re scared? Understood. But I’m arguing fear of the great “AR” bogeyman isn’t reason enough to stand with puppy-millers. By my use of Teh Googles, you seem to be a reputable breeder who cares about her dogs. Don’t you care about the dogs in puppy mills? That’s really OK with you, how they’re treated?

    It’s not with me.

    I don’t “trust” the HSUS, either. “Trusting” isn’t my job, which is why when they’re not playing honestly, we call them on it. Have done so, and will continue to do so.

    —————
    Let me ponder on that for a while Gina. I do have some ideas on that but gotta cook dinner for the hubbie and take care of the critters. Thank you for coming back at me with respect … finally. BTW, I’m not a breeder either.
    My last born here on this property is now eleven years old although I do lay claim for a some good co-breds.
    later

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  99. Frank,

    I found this site a while ago that shows the USDA allowance for cage size. You can calculate it based on the dog’s size.

    http://www.animalarkshelter.org/animal/ShelterLife.nsf/CageSizeCalculator?OpenForm

    Is this what your organization would consider acceptable? I’m not the best at math, but it seems like a beagle might spend its entire life in a cage a little bigger than a bathtub.

    And this would meet federal guidelines.

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 28, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  100. Let me ponder on that for a while Gina. I do have some ideas on that but gotta cook dinner for the hubbie and take care of the critters. Thank you for coming back at me with respect … finally. BTW, I’m not a breeder either.
    My last born here on this property is now eleven years old although I do lay claim for a some good co-breds.
    later

    Comment by Susi — April 28, 2010

    Thanks, Susi!

    Sometimes when everyone flames out … we can then start to talk, really talk. :)

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 28, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  101. So Mr. Losey, who plays Locutus of Borg for the association of puppymill operators in one of the (the?) largest puppymill states, tells us — actually USES THE PHRASE — that we must all hang together or we will hang separately. The exact phrase that I and others so often trot out when MOCKING the scare tactics of the puppymill industry.

    Life is getting harder and harder for a habitual parodist.

    And so coy. Won’t use the term puppymill (or puppy mill, if you must). As if he was avoiding spelling out G-d or M—er F—er, or hiding Truth from Google. It’s a dirty, dirty “HSUS” term. Right. Coined last week by Wayne Pacelle, not in any way in common currency among dog people since the 1960’s or early 70’s (sorry, that’s as far back as I can remember — perhaps the term is much older).

    It’s very nice that the association of allegedly “clean” puppymills says they are against the nasty dirty puppymills. Now attend carefully to what comes next:

    I

    Don’t

    Give

    a

    Rat’s

    Ass

    The “clean” puppymills where grandma would gladly spend her last years because of their ever-so-stringent regulation ARE THE SAME THING as the “dirty” puppymills that he claims to repudiate. Same abuse and exploitation, with KennelSol and a written business plan.

    And I will continue to do all that I can to put all of you out of business. Starting with exposing your lies and the way you abuse and exploit the mothers and fathers of the overpriced animals you so cynically peddle as pets to the ignorant and vulnerable. Because ultimately, it will be consumer choices that put you out of business; you know that too, don’t you? That’s why you are so adamant about trying to control the language. Well guess what? You can’t control language.

    Puppymill
    Puppymill
    Puppymill

    BOOO!

    As for hanging, I’m very good with knots.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 28, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

  102. H Houlihan’s post is why breeders are afraid of HSUS.

    Not only are animals threatened to be taken away but they get death threats. Those are the kind of people that hide behind HSUS so called educational efforts.

    You want to me to talk after a statement like that is allowed to remain?
    sheeze …
    I don’t think so.

    Comment by Susi — April 29, 2010 @ 4:32 am

  103. Know how to tell when an HSUS/PETA staffer is lying? Their lips are moving.

    I don’t think anyone supports the irresponsible breeding or care of any animal. I know I don’t. And if these organizations actually DID anything constructive I would support them as well.

    However, their agenda is NOT helping animals. That’s just their cover story. Their real agenda is “one generation and out”–the end of all domestic animals. Guess that’s why in every state where they try to pass anti ‘Puppy Mill’ laws they redefine that term to anyone who keeps 3 or 10 or 25 intact animals. Which, basically, is where you find the real proof of their deception: they want to legislate ALL breeders out of business.

    To them, there’s no difference between a responsible or irresponsible breeder. To them, there are ONLY breeders, and they all must go.

    So the reason *I* fight for the rights of commercial breeders is because I’m fighting for my OWN rights as a breeder and owner of dogs. Once restrictive laws are passed, it’s easy to make changes to what the law defines as being a ‘commercial’ breeder.

    HSUS only wants us to stop opposing their fake attempts against ‘bad’ breeders for two reasons: 1) we’re effective at stopping their unconstitutional legislation, 2) they want to paint us as being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    But here’s where their whining falls apart. They take in $100M/year. Over the last five years, that’s HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. And if they haven’t been able to fix the ‘overpopulation’ problem in 54 years with well over a half billion at their disposal…then either they are utterly incompetent at what they’re doing, or maybe Nathan Winograd is right and there is no overpopulation problem in the first place…

    Sorry, but when the choice these folks offer me is giving up either my dog OR my civil rights, the answer is NEITHER ONE!

    Comment by Eden Springs — April 29, 2010 @ 5:20 am

  104. To them, there’s no difference between a responsible or irresponsible breeder. To them, there are ONLY breeders, and they all must go.

    So the reason *I* fight for the rights of commercial breeders is because I’m fighting for my OWN rights as a breeder and owner of dogs.

    Comment by Eden Springs — April 29, 2010

    Do you see the problem here? Now, how on earth are people supposed to see the difference between YOU and a puppy-mill when you stand up and say you ARE the same, and you are on their side? Because to you, the high-volume manufacturing of puppies (which, as a good breeder, you well know to be in opposition to everything you have worked hard to learn about socialization and the development of a good companion) is OK-fine with you because the HSUS says it’s not.

    They’re lumping you in with the puppy-millers because you just did it yourself.

    As for the HSUS (or PETA) inventing the term “puppy-mill” … Heathers’s right: It dates at least to the ’60s, and a Life magazine expose that first introduced the country in a big-way to the filth and cruelty of these operations.

    Susi … Heather is a farmer. A real one. And a search-and-rescue handler, breed rescue worker, dog trainer and breeder. If that helps you with context for her remarks. She also lives in Amish puppy-mill country, so she has a fair amount of knowledge of the subject.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 6:16 am

  105. Comment by Susi — April 29, 2010 @ 4:32 am

    Huh?

    Heather Houlahan neither threatened anyone’s possession of their dogs, nor their lives, nor–anything.

    She made a strong statement against the puppy mill spokescritter who thinks that confining dogs to small cages for their entire lives and breeding the females every heat until they stop “producing”, is just hunky-dory as long as the “facility” is “clean.”

    Do you think that’s an acceptable way to produce pets for family homes?

    Comment by Lis — April 29, 2010 @ 6:40 am

  106. Yah, death threats.

    Threatening them with rash actions like consumer edjimicashun. Quite a fatwah.

    Straight from a well-known HSUS shill like meself.

    Susi, you are indeed a type-specimen of what Christie was talking about. As is “Eden Springs,” whose courageously anonymous tracks on teh interwebz include, as far as teh googles could find, ONLY bitching about proposed laws and (my fave) equating protesters outside a puppy-mill retail outlet with Hitler.

    I’m trying to figure out how to clean sprayed rant spittle from the inside of a laptop screen.

    Christie asked “why,” and I know this was an honestly-posed question.

    I’ve spent a lot of time compulsively asking “why” about the behavior of my favorite animal-abusing convicted felon and her supporters, and have finally concluded that dwelling on the inner workings of some minds is a pathway to frustration and disorder. I leave it to a court-appointed therapist with great courage and robust ego boundaries, should any such exist. It’s above my pay grade. I just fix the animals as best as I can, and work with the humans of good will.

    I’m getting there with certain of the doggie Black Helicopter crowd and their single-note screeds. (And this is coming from someone who really did have an unmarked black helicopter come hover low over her property this fall.)

    However, this discussion has inspired me to volunteer to protest Pittsburgh Petland this Saturday. I’ve written to ensure that an ethical breeder with her own sign will be welcome. I intend to bring Cole, my puppymill survivor foster. Maybe I’ll bring his home-bred probably-uncle, Moe. They look nearly identical, except Cole is 2/3 Moe’s size. That’s not from genetic variation. That’s from starvation in infancy.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 29, 2010 @ 6:40 am

  107. So … here’s what I’m thinking while I’m sleeping …

    If we assume that the HSUS carries just too much baggage to build a foundation for people who care about animals, aren’t against “family pets from family homes” breeders and want to see an end to puppy-mills …

    Who builds that foundation? Is there an organization out there that can do it? Or do we need to start from scratch?

    And before anyone says “Best Friends,” I gotta say that based on their last couple of “anti-breeder” features — including a loving profile of the venomous breeding-ban advocate Judie Mancuso — I’m not exactly feeling the love for that group right now.

    See … I believe that good breeders who whelp puppies in their bedrooms and raise them lovingly and carefully, and stand behind those puppies for life would dump the puppy-milling scum in a second if they had a third way.

    So, thoughts?

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 6:46 am

  108. It does seem as if we’d have to start from scratch.

    The community is there, it just doesn’t know itself.

    It’s not just disjointed individuals. There are breed clubs, breed rescue groups on the old model (lots of breeder-volunteers). So there are some already-organized building blocks, but it doesn’t add up to a whole picture.

    It seems that any organization that is already BIG is also already compromised. AKC/UKC are in bed with the millers because without them, they’d go bankrupt. HSUS and ASPCA are fundraising mills first, even if they were willing to get on-message, they are a waste of money and time.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 29, 2010 @ 6:56 am

  109. As for hanging, I’m very good with knots.

    Comment by H. Houlahan

    —————
    You know what Houlahan. A real farmer doesn’t have time to sit on a computer and drum out remarks like you have been the past few days.
    I grew up in the south during the civil rights period. I know hate/threats when I see it.

    You’re nothing more than a cyber bully and probably the only farming you do is on farmville. This may be ok with some of you folks but it’s not ok with me.

    Comment by Susi — April 29, 2010 @ 7:08 am

  110. Susi, Heather Houlahan has a real track record here, is posting under her real name, and is personally known to a number of the regulars here.

    Unlike your anonymous self.

    Comment by Lis — April 29, 2010 @ 7:22 am

  111. Susi … Ms. Houlihan really is all that I said in Comment 104.

    She uses her real name, has a real farm and is really well-known in SAR and English Shepherd circles.

    Use Teh Googles, girl.

    Now … can you get back to the question I asked in 107? I’d like to know what is the way out of it. Because aside from a few crazies, I really have a hard time believing that any real dog-lover and reputable breeder stands with puppy-milling scum for any reason besides distrust and fear of the other side.

    So how do we get past that?

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 7:23 am

  112. The spittle and hate flying around here between people who don’t know each other, but are more than happy to fill in the blanks with their imaginations, makes me wonder if there is any hope for thoughtful fact-based dialogue.

    Comment by LauraS — April 29, 2010 @ 7:41 am

  113. Not from me, LauraS. No wonder breeders aren’t interested in conversations. I had no idea the hatred ran so deep but I’m really glad I finally got to experience it. I agree it’s a real shame.

    Comment by Susi — April 29, 2010 @ 8:02 am

  114. The hatred and fear run deep on BOTH sides, Susi. I have the “privilege” of being vilified by people whose dogs are probably three rings over from my own at a show, as well as by the “all breeders are scum” people like those behind the breeding ban proposals in California.

    Lucky me, huh?

    In California (actually, Sacramento, where I happen to live) the only two people I came out with respect for after the last legislative battle were Laura Sanborn(Laura S here), who never stopped lobbying against a breeding ban, not only to preserve a future for working dogs and heritage breeders but also by pointing out that such laws counter-intuitively kill more pets than they save, and Jennifer Fearing of the HSUS, who kept the group neutral on the last breeding-ban bill, after it was in favor of the one before. Why? Because she listened, and learned, and was looking for a better way.

    And Laura … well, I’m pretty convinced AB 1634 would have passed without her. Period.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  115. In California (actually, Sacramento, where I happen to live) the only two people I came out with respect for after the last legislative battle were Laura Sanborn(….and Jennifer Fearing of the HSUS

    =========
    Well, there ya go. No need for anyone else to get involved, you’ve named your players and set the stage.
    I really don’t see the sense in wasting any more time here
    have a good day.

    Comment by Susi — April 29, 2010 @ 8:54 am

  116. Uh … did you miss the point that one of those people fought the breeding ban and the other kept the HSUS from endorsing it?

    If you can’t understand how hard many people are trying to find a solution that respects reputable, ethical breeders without encouraging puppy-mills, then you really are wasting everyone else’s time.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 9:21 am

  117. Pretty usre Heather doesn’t play Farmville. (Or if she does, she hasn’t replied to my neighbor request, damn her. I am SO addicted.)

    When the MSN law was passed in Dallas, we had the core of a group of folks dedicated to fighting it- and without, I think, anyone who was willing to condone puppy mills in the process.)

    However, once we got a little more distance, everyone sort of got busy. We all had lives, and dogs to train and classes to teach and stuff to do, and the idea’s faded away. Inertia’s our enemy, there.

    On the “Finding A Good Puppy Shouldn’t Be This Hard” post, we’d talked about the idea of a Puppy Yenta. Thta never happened, either. But I *do* think that ethical dog folks need to organize and get the word out. And I’d like to volunteer to help however I can. I just don’t know what I can do.

    Comment by Cait — April 29, 2010 @ 10:23 am

  118. Comment 107: Who builds that foundation? Is there an organization out there that can do it? Or do we need to start from scratch?

    Let me preface my comments by saying that I’m a 23-year-old college student with close to no real life experience with dogs, other than owning one.

    But I’ve been following this discussion for its duration and in the past few months I’ve read (or better yet, researched) some of the debates and discussions across the dog blogging/animal welfare world. One day I would love to run a rescue for MY favorite breed, and I want to be well-informed (or as well-informed as I can be). At the present I do not pretend to fully understand the issue here nor do I claim to have a valid solution.

    With that being said, it seems to me that the HSUS is a divisive entity in the dog world, splitting up people and groups who could otherwise work together (as the original post observes, responsible breeders could be supporting the HSUS anti-puppymill work, but many aren’t). I don’t personally agree with many things the HSUS does, but that doesn’t stop me supporting a good cause ie anti-puppymill awareness (if not legislation).

    Gosh, I’m being more long-winded than I intended to be :)

    What I’m really trying to say, so I’ll just say it: I would support and applaud you, or someone else, who founded an organization who fought puppymills, ENCOURAGED responsible breeding (much like you’ve already outlined, Gina), and educated the public about the many adoptable pets in shelters and rescues.

    Why don’t people like you, Christie Keith, H. Houlahan, etc., people who have experience, know-how, and passion, start something up? I’d support you.

    Or am I being too naive?

    Comment by Ciccia — April 29, 2010 @ 10:53 am

  119. If we assume that the HSUS carries just too much baggage to build a foundation for people who care about animals, aren’t against “family pets from family homes” breeders and want to see an end to puppy-mills

    Who builds that foundation? Is there an organization out there that can do it? Or do we need to start from scratch?

    That’s a really good question.

    The influence that large organizations like HSUS have would not exist without a large stream of income. And yet the income stream of HSUS in particular, and similar groups to a lesser degree, is almost entirely based on misunderstandings about where their money goes, as well as misleading but effective fund-raising campaigns.

    Most donors to HSUS believe that the bulk of HSUS’s money goes to hands on help for shelter and rescue pets — they falsely believe that a donation to “the Humane Society of the United States” is a donation to their local humane societies. Not true, and public records that HSUS files with the IRS show that less than 1% of HSUS’s money goes toward that end.

    AKC has some influence with policy makers but considerably less than HSUS, etc. AKC has a significant income stream from dog registrations.

    Some animal owner advocacy groups gain income from industry donations, though from what I’ve seen this amounts to a tiny fraction of what is generated by HSUS, ASPCA, and PETA.

    If one looks at other animal advocacy organizations that are not misleading donors and don’t rely primarily on money from dog registrations or industry donations, one finds very small groups with considerably less influence.

    Observing what’s out there, I am not seeing a sustainable public advocacy model that can generate influence on par with HSUS etc. and does not rely largely on one of these income streams.

    In theory pet owners and hobby dog breeders should be willing to support a large, effective, and influential advocacy group that can represent their interests with policy makers.

    But instead what I see is absolutely monumental apathy, where even 95% or more of dog breeders who would have their breeding practices destroyed by pending legislation that’s advancing through a legislative process won’t get off their butts to write a letter or make a phone call to their legislators, and literally 99% can’t be bothered to attend a seminar on this legislation scheduled at a dog show they are already attending.

    We see the apathy when those who try to spread the word are censored or ignored on dog discussion lists and forums by moderators and membership who get tired of calls to action about dog legislation. Trying to generate the donations required to sustain an organization to carry out an effective public policy campaign is even more difficult.

    An exception is Maddie’s Fund, a fantastic group that exists largely thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars donated by one very wealthy individual. But Maddie’s Fund steers far away from legislative battles and sticks to a mission of funding grant campaigns to hands on programs that reduce shelter killing. Billionaires willing to support public advocacy for hobby dog breeders and pet owners seem to be in short supply, even when their goals overlap considerably with those of groups like Maddie’s Fund.

    I don’t think the problem can be distilled down to leadership. I think this is more fundamental, and speaks to human nature.

    People make animal-related donations when they feel *sympathy* toward abused pets like Faye/Fay, or heart-wrenching stories about other shelter dogs in need, or dogs affected by hurricane and earthquakes. That emotional tug is why the HSUS fund-raising model works.

    While I too would like HSUS to stop their deceptive fund raising, the inevitable collapse of their fund raising and organization if they stopped the deception means that’s not going to happen.

    Dog owners also send money that supports animal advocacy because they want to register their dogs for breeding or so they play in dog show or sport events.

    Donations with the explicit purpose of preserving our right to have purpose-bred dogs and cats, and to advocate for effective policy measures — even though it has a corollary in things like NRA’s effective model — doesn’t generate anything like the same widespread emotional response. So it doesn’t generate the same fund-raising response required to support influential organizations.

    If you don’t think money matters you don’t understand how public policy making is done.

    [In case anybody is wondering if this is self serving, despite a smear campaign by Mancuso and her minions, my group Save Our Dogs has never accepted any donations and has no intention of changing that model.]

    Comment by LauraS — April 29, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  120. Laura, I mostly agree with you- the degree of Apathy IS frustrating. However, I think there’s just as much “What money?” (I think a lot of people are in my position- I write letters, I’ll volunteer, but money is in short supply.)

    I think there’s also some frustration from various dog groups that were proactive but have really gotten spammy in recent months. (SOD isn’t one of them, but some of the others that were active in the 1634/541/whatever it is now fight are). there’s the overlap of getting the same “Urgent update!” forwarded to 9 different lists, all of which I’m subscribed to, by one person- plus the original update itself!

    Apathy is definitely a problem. All I can see that we can do is keep offering the opportunities to get involved.

    Comment by Cait — April 29, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  121. I wasn’t tying to suggest that any particular person donate to any particular group, and I understand that many cannot afford to donate. Besides, effective volunteer time is more valuable than most donations. Alas, most who do spend their time on these issues don’t do so very effectively.

    If people would spend less time venting on email lists and discussion forums and more time writing respectful, effective, fact-based letters, making similar phone calls, and (this is really important) doing the footwork to build long-term trusted relationships with legislators and their staff — and successfully urging their friends, family, and associates to do the same — we’d be a lot better off.

    I was thinking more of the big picture, and why the kind of advocacy groups that some wish existed do not exist.

    HSUS & PETA –> still raking in tens of millions of dollars a year despite the Great Recession. Again, their fund-raising models work because they effectively and misleadingly leverage our compassion for defenseless animals. I won’t use those tactics myself and don’t have an answer for how to ethically compete with it.

    Comment by LauraS — April 29, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  122. warning.. off topic…

    “Actually, as has been well-documented recently, the nutrition problems of poor children in America have nothing at all to do with “going to bed hungry” and everything to do with eating crap and ending up with the problems caused by obesity.

    The cover article in the current Atlantic Monthly may bring you into the current century,”
    says Gina..
    well I am in this century and when I work the “table” ,a daily food bank at the local church I see kids who are NOT fat.. and ARE hungry.. if you really think that no child goes to bed hungry and that they are “choosing” to eat junk and then get fat and cause society and our military all sorts of problems them you are mistaken.. along with Atlantic Monthly. It is truly shocking to see someone in your position to say “the nutritional problems of poor children have nothing to do with them going to bed hungry”
    Grace Episcopal is pretty near you.. why not take a trip down there and see all of the “fat kids’ lined up to eat “junk food”

    Comment by bestuvall — April 29, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  123. It’s not about “choosing”: It’s about the lack of choices.

    Programs designed decades ago to fight Great Depression starvation were geared to provide kids with calorie-dense, over-processed products — that was needed then. Now, these kids need to eat healthy — but that’s not what school lunches and food stamps push. Add poor neighborhood with no food options except fast food and liquor stores (and no transportation) also dig these kids into a deeper health crisis.

    Now, the proportion of kids overweight correlates precisely with their socio-economic status: Poor kids (especially black girls and all Latinos) are more likely to be obese than middle-class kids are, and more likely that white kids (who are also more likely to be middle class).

    And despite what you “see,” it is well-documented that the No. 1 malnutrition problem of poor American children today is not going hungry, but is, in fact, obesity and related health issues, such as diabetes. Have you not noticed the unending stream of news coverage of this? Have you not noticed that first lady Michelle Obama has made ending childhood obesity — not childhood starvation — her mission? Have you not noticed that there’s even a reality TV series on fat poor kids?

    Frankly, this point is not even debatable, it’s so well-documented. I have no doubt that some kids some where go to bed hungry. But the facts are that more will go to bed after eating processed crap and soda for dinner. The multiplication of “anecdote” is never “data.”

    This does go back to the thread here, that assumptions aren’t what you base arguments on: Facts are.

    Your data is more than 30 years out of date.

    Do your homework. I have, since food, nutrition and the politics of agriculture is the only interest that trumps pets for me.

    But don’t worry: Given the fact of limited resources and the continued growth of the human population, starvation may yet win in America.

    In any case: You are off-topic, and this line of digression is closed.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  124. HSUS neutral on a “breed- ban bill”?? which one? I wasn’t aware of a breed ban bill.. that would override the current law that disallows banning by breed in the state of California..
    If you are speaking of SB 250, that was a MSN bill.. and yes HSUS was “neutral”.. while supporting other bills that allowed for limits on the number of intact animals one could own.. and a few others like AB 1122.. looks to me like they “picked their fights” and knew that SB 250 was a losing cause.. so far.. let’s see if it is resurrected.. what they do then..why isn’t a bill ever really dead??? Some of them are like “night of the living dead”..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 29, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  125. As you guessed, I did indeed mean breedING ban, which was clear in the context. Yes, SB 250 was the one in reference. And yes, the HSUS did not support it, and considering they supported its predecessor, that was probably the best they could do was go neutral.

    They didn’t “pick their fights”: It’s quite possible with their support SB 250 would have passed.

    Anyway, Laura S’s comment above may be the best of the entire thread. If you missed it, go back. And Ciccia’s makes me think that maybe those of us of a certain age will not be able to solve this — we’re too vested in our points of view and carrying too much baggage and too many scars — but maybe her generation can take a fresh look and find a new way.

    In the meantime … I won’t stop trying.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  126. actually I did not catch that.. whenever I see BREED BAN ( my caps.. not yours) I see NO.. as I have a breed that is often in the cross hairs..
    I never miss Laura’s posts.. they are the ones with the most sanity.. and logic.. and I agree.. this one was a “straw man”

    Comment by bestuvall — April 29, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  127. I was impressed with Ciccia’s comment #118 as well – and thanks for the background history as to the work LauraS has done – maybe a new third way as described will happen – KC Dog Blog has an informative blog today re: HSUS – it’s true in my area Kennewick, Washington the local Humane Society just broke ground and is renaming itself “The Roger James Animal Adoption Center” (No Kill) after a wonderful 90 year-old retired chemist who donated big time –

    Just hope I don’t have to be 90-plus to see a No Kill nation – as well as rights preserved for purpose bred dogs and cats.

    Comment by mary frances — April 29, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  128. And just another 2 cents – Raised by Wolves is always excellent to read – try it Susi you might like it.

    Comment by mary frances — April 29, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

  129. She also lives in Amish puppy-mill country, so she has a fair amount of knowledge of the subject.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 6:16 am

    *******

    Actually, no.

    Pennsylvania Amish puppymills are concentrated in Lancaster County, over four hours east of here. They have easy access to east-coast urban pet stores there, and also sell direct to tourists. (I’ve got some stories about THAT …)

    There are a lot of puppymills, Amish and English, in rural eastern Ohio, an hour or two away. Some of those sell direct at a perpetual “puppy fair” in the Youngstown area, but I believe that they mostly ship to retailers via Hunte or other brokers.

    But here in Western PA, notsomuch. There are some Amish communities in the next county north, but I haven’t yet heard about large-scale milling. I could be behind the curve there.

    (To add to confusion, my township is called Lancaster Township, and my farm is just outside the wee village of Middle Lancaster — but we are nowhere near Lancaster COUNTY that is famed for its beautiful farmland, Amish and Mennonite plain folk Anabaptists, and puppymills.)

    Not that there aren’t mills here, but they aren’t the kind of booming industry that one finds in other places — Lancaster County in the east, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, somewhere in Russia …

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 29, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  130. Thanks for the correx. I knew “Lancaster,” and from there, well …

    See, in many places, they have the common decency to name the counties after the biggest town in them. Or what was the biggest town, when all the naming was being done.

    Like here: Sacramento. Sacramento County.

    :)

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

  131. Lots of good people were involved in the fight against AB 1634.

    No one person killed AB 1634 or caused the defeat of SB 250 last year. Other than a senior leader in the legislative majority, it’s not possible for any one person to exert that much influence.

    My approach is a respectful dialogue with legislators and their staff on policy issues. Policy arguments ALONE could not win, I’m sorry to say, because that’s not how it works. Flooding the legislature with tens of thousands of calls and letters, and sustaining that for months — now THAT helped a lot. And THAT required tens of thousands of people.

    That said, if I didn’t think policy arguments had ANY effect I wouldn’t have kept going back to Sacramento to visit legislators’ offices. The effectiveness of policy arguments varied from totally useless to maybe it helped but I wasn’t sure to apparently persuasive. It depended mostly on who was talking to, though I got better at it as time went on.

    As it was, the person I met with whom well-reasoned policy arguments are apparently the most effective, and is one of the most thoughtful people I met during these visits, is a freshman Assemblymember. What a great discussion we had. You could have knocked me over with a feather when he uttered the phrase “confounding variables”. He not only voted NO on SB 250, he was one of the few Democratic Assemblymembers who spoke against the bill on the floor of the Assembly. Better yet, he’s now Speaker of the Assembly. Which bodes well not only for a more rational approach to pet legislation, but perhaps a more rational approach to a lot of things in Sacramento.

    Comment by LauraS — April 29, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  132. This whole article seriously insults my intelligence. Commercial and hobby breeders should work together to fight for our rights. Christie is asking us to deepen the division and to base our discrimination against some breeders on the number of dogs that they breed.

    Comment by Tom — April 29, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  133. “This whole article seriously insults my intelligence.”

    Your intelligence isn’t that keen, “Tom,” and you’re seriously lacking in reading comprehension. Neither Christie nor any of our staff bloggers have ever supported limit laws. To the contrary, we have argued against them, consistently. This post isn’t about “discrimination,” but nice try. You’d also think you’d have enough intelligence to not jump in here, but you couldn’t stand the idea of anyone questioning your “right” to crank out sick, neurotic, impossible-to-housetrain puppies while keeping their poor parents caged for life without ever knowing the love of a family.

    As for deepening the division between “breeders,” I sure as hell hope so. Because the puppy milling scum you support do not speak for me. What you support has nothing to do with what a good breeder does. Nothing.

    Siding with puppy-mills, even “clean” ones, makes it damn easy for people who want no breeding to say “a breeder is a breeder is a breeder.” That’s not even close to true, and your high-volume puppy factories are in no way the same as what a reputable, ethical breeder does in bringing a well-planned, health-screened litter into the world, socializing those puppies and standing behind them for life.

    Family pets from family homes … not high-volume commercial operations with no care for anything but the bottom line.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 29, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  134. today: Eleven intact female animals.. and viola.. YOU are a PUPPY MILL in OK is that OK with you?? HSUS written and driven….got 11 intact bitches.. YOU are PUPPY MILL…so says the HSUS.. so say all of you who promote them…if this passes WATCH the KILL rate go with it.. but oh well that will just be for a little while..so says the HSUS.. so say all of you who promote them.. Please note that “sportsmen” are not EXCLUDED.. neither are “show breeders”.. so if you have a line of hunting dogs.. or you are breeding to show.. and have spent years creating you own show line HSUS say “off with your dogs”.. and so say all of you who promote them..

    The AKC Government Relations Department expects Oklahoma Senate Bill 1712 to be sent to Governor Brad Henry soon for his signature or veto. It is imperative that all responsible dog breeders and owners in Oklahoma contact Governor Henry immediately and respectfully ask him to veto this bill.
    Bill Summary:

    Known as the “Commercial Pet Breeders Act”, SB 1712 expands government regulation of anyone who breeds dogs or cats and who owns more than 11 intact females of either species. The bill’s vague definition of commercial breeder includes no time frame, which means it will require anyone who owns or co-owns more than 11 intact females over 6 months of age and has ever bred a dog or cat, even if they are not currently breeding their animals, to be licensed as a commercial breeder. The amended bill does not exempt sportsmen, and will also require many of those who maintain hunting dogs to license their hobby kennels as commercial enterprises.

    SB 1712 will create the Board of Commercial Pet Breeders to enforce and administer the provisions of the Act; and will adopt rules establishing license fees, procedures and requirements for license application and renewal, conditions under which licenses are revoked or denied, and qualifications for registered breeder inspectors. The Board will also be required to establish minimum standards for proper veterinary care, treatment, feeding and watering, shelter and confinement, grooming, exercise, socialization, transportation, disposition of dogs, and other standards it deems necessary to protect the public health and the health and welfare of animals. Additionally, the Board will maintain a public directory of licensed commercial pet breeders.

    Should SB 1712 be enacted, owners or co-owners of 11 or more intact female dogs will be required to be licensed as commercial breeders, regardless of whether those animals are being bred. Licensees will be subject to:

    Pre-licensure inspection of facilities, the undetermined cost of which must be paid by the license applicant. Separate licenses for each premise, even if fewer than 11 intact females are kept at each.
    At least one inspection annually, during normal business hours but without advanced notice, of each facility kept by the licensee. Additional inspections based on written complaints received by the Board.
    License display requirements at the licensed facility. License number disclosure requirements on advertisements, sales contracts, and transfer agreements. Annual reporting requirements. Record-keeping requirements for each dog maintained in a licensee’s facility. Under the bill, the Board is required to adopt all rules by November 1, 2010, and licensees are required to come into compliance by January 1, 2011. Licensees who violate the act may have their license revoked, and be subject to a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or a year in jail. Those who interfere with an inspector would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or two years in jail.

    Comment by bestuvall — April 29, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  135. so?? you don;t support limit laws proposed by the HSUS.. but you DO support “puppy mill” laws proposed by the HSUS.. please make the “pet connection” to the above..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 29, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  136. I guess I would like to hear what the version of “puppymill” is (Gina), because I’ve heard you say more than once it’s not numbers…and yet the arguments being made seem to be focusing on that very thing. I’d also like to hear–in contrast–what you believe is a ‘reputable ethical breeder’ because that’s important to the discussion as well. I’ve read the Shain interview three times now, and have actually gone over to the HSUS site to look at what they say about puppymills and breeders… and I’m about ready to give *my* personal feelings about why some breeders and fanciers are standing alongside commercial kennels and not HSUS…but I think the above definitions are important to the discussion.

    BTW, I’m not sure that calling Tom “stupid” (in post 133 his intelligence was questioned) is doing anything to open the discussion here–whether you agree with him or not. Just sayin’.

    Comment by MaryAnne — April 30, 2010 @ 4:46 am

  137. I’ve read it … i/e Houlahan’s blog.
    Didn’t recognize the author at first but yea, I’ve read it and even at times enjoyed it. Does that mean she’s world famous and a real farmer?

    I get the feeling that some believe the world to be straight up black and white.

    I’ve seen really well-bred home raised and should’ve been good dogs ruined by *owners*.
    Maybe bad placements, well obviously bad placements but yeesh, I’ve seen some really sad outcomes.

    A friend went to a store in a neighboring community called Just Puppies (no lie, gross place and Just Puppiess) several years ago.

    She saw a puppy on the sale rack, half off — when she told me about it, I about died. I’m like what is that? the bluelight special, on a little clothes rack that goes round and round? —
    Anyway, the dog lived to be fourteen, never sick a day in it’s life, she trusted it with her grandkids, she got a CDX on it WITH a specialty HIT.
    He was a good dog and we all loved him.

    Good owner ? … well yea, she’s a friend, so sure.

    My own first purebred dog came from a dubious background and was a complete impulse buy out of the newspaper one day. Yep, got sick right away … misdiagnosed by vet as parvo but it was cocci … survived it all. Free to good home became one expensive pup quickly but I loved her and she got me started in purebred dogs.

    Good owner, gee I’d like to think so.
    I’d like to think that my ability to feed her well, train her well, provide love, exercise asprinkled with a belief that good vet care was important was responsible for a lot of that beyond just genes and beginnings of life.

    I get that folks hate the Amish. They don’t view animals as much more than tools.

    I get that folks don’t like big. Big automatically means out to do harm … and in some cases that’s true. Thinking Enron, AIG and now, Goldman Sachs.

    I picked up another dog on the side of the road one day on the way to work. Skinny, frantic and something really yuck coming out of her bottom
    A week at the vet and home she came. Purebred Dobie, appx nine months and 30 pounds. Think it was a tad underweight?

    I dunno how she got there but glad I stopped to picked her up. She was a good dog, most drivey bitch I every owned and got me an obedience tournament bid. For those that think that’s something cool. I was thrilled. I miss that dog a lot but I’ve had a lot of good dogs.

    I don’t advise folks to get dogs like that particularly but I just don’t believe that CB bred dogs are innately bad and of ill-health.

    Cruel is cruel and should be rooted out flogged publically if I had my choice in the matter but it’s probably good that I don’t.

    I wonder if we’re blaming the wrong problem here tho.

    I’ve seen ONE dog come out of ONE backyard, abused, neglected and infirmed. I’ve seen sport and even show kennels w/50 plus dogs, healthy and well adjusted. How does HSUS educational material protect the latter? Those that are doing things right and are taking care of dogs. And yes, sorry I do believe that someone can love 50 plus dogs. And no, I don’t believe that dogs need to live in a house situation to be happy and contented in their dog-dom.

    Anyway, last post on the subject from me, I swear so all you *experts* can tear it to shreds.

    I don’t profess to know the real answer but HSUS isn’t it. While their educational materials might be good, their agenda is NOT.
    I don’t believe that fraudalent behavior is something that I want to support in any form.
    I believe that asking for donations to *save* dogs and using the money for something else is fradulent.
    I believe that impersonating cops is illegal.
    If I kicked down a door, said turn over your dogs or you’re going to jail … I’d be put under the jail and it’s amazing to me how HSUS *individuals* get away with it.
    I don’t believe in supporting that type of behavior so I do NOT CARE how important their education material is … the rest of *their* garbage is just bad.

    Life is very gray these days … and animals get caught up in that.

    When HSUS drives a wedge between us, those that know the difference between good animal care and bad … well, then that’s a problem … and ya gotta wonder why they do that?
    At least I do.
    I hope that some of you wonder the same thing.
    Have a great weekend all.
    Hope it’s good to you.
    I do appreciate all the GOOD things that *individuals* do for animals.

    Comment by Susi — April 30, 2010 @ 4:52 am

  138. Thanks for the correx. I knew “Lancaster,” and from there, well …

    See, in many places, they have the common decency to name the counties after the biggest town in them. Or what was the biggest town, when all the naming was being done.

    Like here: Sacramento. Sacramento County.

    *********

    Oh, I live in Butler County, county seat is the city of Butler.

    But Pennsylvania’s place-name principle is to reduce, reuse, recycle. My theory is that early settlers were men and women of few words. They didn’t know enough different words to give every place its own name.

    I’ve lived in Baldwin Borough and had people get lost going to Baldwin Township — which is nearby, but not contiguous.

    I’ve lived in Cranberry Township and folks have been misdirected to … Cranberry Township, 70 miles north.

    My postal address is Harmony, PA, which is 100 miles west of … Harmony, PA

    The Lancaster C-F we’ve been over.

    So I often throw up my hands and tell people we live in Zelienople.

    Only one of those in the WORLD. And an indie rock band. Which named itself after getting stranded in town.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 30, 2010 @ 5:42 am

  139. so?? you don;t support limit laws proposed by the HSUS.. but you DO support “puppy mill” laws proposed by the HSUS.. please make the “pet connection” to the above..

    Comment by bestuvall — April 29, 2010

    Christie (nor I) have said NOTHING about supporting HSUS puppy-mill laws, because we don’t. I’ve personally said many, many times that only convincing people not to buy from a miller source is the only thing that will end this. Education and peer pressure.

    The question remains: Why do good, reputable breeders who love dogs support and side with puppy-millers who do EVERYTHING in opposition to all we good breeders spend our lives learning to do right, in terms of of health testing, raising in a home, socializing, etc., etc., etc.

    And Susi … everyone can point to a puppy-mill dog who “turned out great.” The problem is … what happened to that dog’s mother? Do you really think being stuck in a cage for life and used as a puppy machine is a good life for a dog? I can’t imagine you do, since you are a reputable breeder who loves her dogs.

    And yet, that’s what you support when you say you support commercial breeders, and that “we” must stick together.

    No. I believe we must stand apart, and make the distinction clear: We are NOT like them.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 30, 2010 @ 6:33 am

  140. Love Luisa’s post at Lassie Get Help triggered by this one. Follow her links, too — great reading.

    The money quote:

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: we dog lovers screwed up big time when we told the average pet owner to forget about breeding his friendly, healthy Lab to the friendly, healthy collie mix down the street. When we did our best to prevent that, with our spay/neuter campaigns and our lists explaining “how to identify a good breeder,” we gave up much of our freedom to have the dogs we really want. We granted ideologues and politicians, puppy mills, rescue groups and AKC breeders of functional cripples the power to shape and choose our dogs for us. Which reminds me: where exactly am I supposed to find a nice puppy these days? Hey, let’s ask Wayne Pacelle — he knows all about animals!”

    That last bit? She make joke. Go read.

    Also: Brent’s latest at KC Dog Blog:

    “If HSUS wants to solve their little PR crisis, they badly need to either a) be honest about what their fundraising dollars go toward or b) change where their fundraising dollars go. But the bait and switch scheme is out — and if you want to get out of the hole, you have to stop digging.”

    It’s the same playbook that PETA uses when PETAKillsAnimals.com (which is a product of the same PR shop) points out their kill rate: Blame the messenger.

    Better option: Clean up your act.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 30, 2010 @ 7:56 am

  141. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: we dog lovers screwed up big time when we told the average pet owner to forget about breeding his friendly, healthy Lab to the friendly, healthy collie mix down the street

    ———–

    Really? Has she looked at Craigslist lately?

    Plenty of mixed-breed big-breed puppies out there.

    And I don’t see how Lab-Collie mixes are relevant to the puppy mill debte.

    If I am one of the pet store buyers who wants a 10-pound dog and am willing to use my Visa to afford the $1000+ price tag … am I really going to settle for a 40-50 pound lab/pit mix instead?

    Plus, if you look at the data on where shelter dogs come from, most come from “passive” sources. Free of charge from friends or neighbors.

    Yes, there needs to be a third answer, but I shudder to think of what will happen if the average civilian starts breeding for fun and profit or merely “oops.”

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 30, 2010 @ 8:36 am

  142. Luisa has BC and pit bulls, two dogs that aren’t exactly rare in shelters, so she’s pretty well aware of how hard these dogs can be to place relative to the number of people who want one.

    I’m not going to put words in her mouth, but how I read it was that we took a wrong turn, and that led to puppy-mills filling the gap.

    Like to go back and take a different route to where we are now — so maybe we wouldn’t BE where we are now.

    Hindsight, of course, is always 20/20.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 30, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  143. But I wonder — go back to … when? What convergence of variables led to people getting their puppies from puppy mills, via pet stores?

    I always wonder how much the “backyard to bedroom” factor plays into this.

    Meaning, back in the good old days, people kept dogs outside. And they perhaps were FAR more likely to live in one house for a long, long time. So dogs were less bother and there was less impetus to get rid of them.

    AND so what if the dog was a beagle or a German Shepherd. If he lived outdoors, size was not a factor.

    This describes my neighborhood and family in the 1960s-1970s. Dogs lived outdoors in pens. Or they roamed a bit, not far from home, greeting me when I came home from school.

    So if a neighbor had a litter, he might be able to find homes for all the puppies within the neighbors and family.

    But now things are so very different and people are much more choosy, for many reasons.

    On the other hand, the shelter manager tells me that in those good old days it was common to get litters of puppies on the doorstep … and while this still happens, it is far more rare. And while Luisa might not like the spay/neuter trend, the shelter admission rate (or at least the rate of killing) has diminished significantly over the decades, presumably from less home-based breeding, accidental or otherwise.

    But the tradeoff, a huge increase in breeding dogs living in mill cages.

    Comment by Mary Mary — April 30, 2010 @ 9:21 am

  144. It doesn’t make much sense to talk about what could have been, I guess. I just wonder if we could have reduced numbers by educating honestly about spay-neuter, and by incentivizing instead of demonizing.

    We’ll never know.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — April 30, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  145. But the tradeoff, a huge increase in breeding dogs living in mill cages.

    Is there data to support this? Because I look at it from a different angle.

    It used to be very common to see puppies for sale in pet stores. 20-40 years ago I saw puppies all the time in locally-owned neighborhood pet stores and in mall pet stores. Now, years go by and I don’t see puppies for sale in any of the pet stores in my region.

    I know there are still some stores like PetLand that sell puppies. But Petland doesn’t even exist in most states, including California.

    The reduction in casual and unintentional breeding of family pets did cause one key shift — it was a primary reason why shelter pet kill rates fell from 20+ million in the 1970s to 3-4 million today. If we consider the number of baby puppies killed in shelters — a better indicator of surplus breedings — the drop in numbers would be more dramatic because in many regions there is a shortage of baby puppies in shelters relative to adoption demand.

    I have not seen numbers but my guess is that there are fewer puppies being breed in large scale commercial operations today than in the past, not more.

    Comment by LauraS — April 30, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  146. I have not seen numbers but my guess is that there are fewer puppies being breed in large scale commercial operations today than in the past, not more.

    The rise of the puppymill registries, and their apparent success, seems to suggest otherwise.

    I think it would be hard to get numbers that are comparable across time. The AKC could tell us what proportion of pups came from breeders who registered more than X number of litters a year — if they wanted to. But they’ve almost certainly lost a disproportionate amount of mill business since starting their frequently used sires program, so those numbers would probably end up meaning nothing anyway.

    There are still a lot of pet retail outlets in other places than California.

    Yeah, you and I don’t hang out in shopping malls so much, so we don’t see it.

    And the internet has fueled the direct-to-consumer puppymill industry — the Linda Kapsas (don’t forget that she produced pugs for decades before branching off into ES, and had been milling Shelties before they were all confiscated) and Dakota Winds, etc. These kinds of places existed before the internet, but had to spend more money advertising in magazines, and sales were more cumbersome when they had to talk on the phone and handle checks, etc., so there were not as many and they were not as big.

    Some also sell at “puppy fairs” like this one:

    http://www.gadzoo.com/PostGazette/Ad.aspx?Id=141806976

    Are there fewer than before? Don’t know. But there seem to still be LOTS.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 30, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  147. The rise of the puppymill registries, and their apparent success, seems to suggest otherwise.

    That can be explained by the shift from AKC to non-AKC registries by many commercial breeders, and is reflected in the more than 50% decline in AKC registrations since the mid 1990s.

    Agreed there are additional outlets such as Internet-based sales that didn’t exist in the past, so even if we had a quantitative measure of pet store sales over time it wouldn’t tell the whole story.

    It’s difficult to say.

    I wonder if anybody has been conducting population surveys that have tracked over time “where did you get your dog?” Something like that might shed light on this. I checked the AVMA U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook and it does not include this kind of information.

    Comment by LauraS — April 30, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  148. Yes, somewhere did track this…. wasn’t it the National Animal Population Control Council or whatever it’s called?

    Comment by Christie Keith — April 30, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  149. But the tradeoff, a huge increase in breeding dogs living in mill cages.

    Is there data to support this? Because I look at it from a different angle.
    ———–
    I have a different angle too.
    It is a number’s game.

    The breed that I adore has a history of large kennels, not so much to produce puppies although they do but to enjoy the sport that the dogs are known for. Dogs that saved a town in this country’s history as a matter of fact.

    The dogs aren’t house-dogs, although they may come inside from time to time and they are bred from antiquity to thrive in extreme weather conditions.

    An outsider without much knowledge of the sport or situation would look at them and say they are being abused … when they aren’t. They might also say due to the numbers, they are a puppymill when there isn’t even a puppy in sight.

    If you aren’t anti-hunting or anti-sledding or anti-enjoy the original purpose of the dogs that you choose, Gina, how can one protect these kennels that might have a large amount of dogs because of that sport yet aren’t a commercial breeder?

    It is a number’s game.

    I’ve not seen an anti-puppymill law yet put out by HSUS that doesn’t list a set number of dogs … without any clear definition of what those dogs are to be used for. yea, we get told it won’t hurt sport kennels and we get told it won’t affect hobby kennels but when it says 11 intact bitches or 6 intact bitches … how can one support it? Oklahoma is now fighting a bill that speaks to 11 intact female dogs and that does engulf probably a lot of show breeders. So in my mind, those parents of my friend’s dog that did so well aren’t the real issue to HSUS … it’s everybody with a set number of dogs no matter what they might do with them.

    You’re right, I could live within those confines well but does that mean that everyone should be forced to? Where does it speak to the actual welfare of those eleven dogs anyway?
    So you can have eleven intact bitches and treat them like crap … and that’s gonna be ok with everybody?

    FYI, in my area last year, they tried to force all of us to register ourselves with them even if we weren’t a breeding kennel, they wanted to make … err, *give* us a disignation of HOBBY PET OWNER for free except letting them know if we owned more than ten companion animals. Ten *animals* … not dogs, not even breeding dogs … just ten *animals* with no mention of their breeding status. How many fosters for rescue would we have lost and how many rescuers period would we have lost with that? Who knows? We successfully beat that to a pulp but lost a lot of other things, too. If they have my rabies records, they know how many animals I have anyway … what’s up with that ?? … other than a foot in the door for the proposed inspections that we would have to under-go. There was no disgnation for a licensing an actual breeding kennel either … hul-lo.
    Uh,no, thank you!

    So while I might feel sorry for dogs in cages, forced to breed (and having lived with intact dogs that I worked very hard at times to control their breeding, I think that’s a laughable statement) … I just do NOT believe it’s ALL about *them*.

    Sorry but I don’t.

    I’m know I keep promising no more posts but what the hey. Sorry.

    Comment by Susi — April 30, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  150. ~I think it would be hard to get numbers that are comparable across time. The AKC could tell us what proportion of pups came from breeders who registered more than X number of litters a year — if they wanted to. But they’ve almost certainly lost a disproportionate amount of mill business since starting their frequently used sires program, so those numbers would probably end up meaning nothing anyway.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — April 30, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    On another blog I was reading tonight I found this information on “where do those AKC-registered litters come from” –

    “The vast majority of persons who register litters with the AKC are hobby and show breeders. In recent years, more than two-thirds of all persons who register a litter with the AKC, registered only one litter that year and more than 85 percent registered only two litters a year. Litters registered by these small hobby and show breeders account for more than half of all puppies in litters registered by the AKC. On the other hand, persons registering 10 or more litters in a year with the AKC, account for only 2 percent of our litter registrants and only about 20 percent of the puppies in AKC registered litters. Constituency of the AKC, therefore, is primarily hobby & show breeders.”

    (USDA Animal Welfare Listening Session, March 23, 2005)

    Whether these proportions have changed significantly over the past 4 years, I can’t say. It does seem that AKC has been less forthcoming with such statistics in the past few years. I can think of some possible reasons for that, but all would be speculation.

    Comment by elaine — April 30, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  151. So while I might feel sorry for dogs in cages, forced to breed (and having lived with intact dogs that I worked very hard at times to control their breeding, I think that’s a laughable statement) … I just do NOT believe it’s ALL about *them*.

    So, you feel sorry for the dogs in cages, forced to breed and breed and breed–no, wait, you think they just love being bred every single heat and having their puppies taken from them too young and never getting out to play in the grass and never having positive interaction with humans. Or something.

    You believe that it is not possible to oppose the commercial production of puppies as disposable consumer goods, and treating the breeding dogs as manufacturing equipment, without supporting every badly-written or maliciously-conceived law that says it’s about opposing puppy mills, but whose actual effects will target responsible breeders and the owners of legitimate sporting kennels.

    But that is not the case, and if you read any posts here that don’t include your hot-button words, you’d know that most of the regulars here do oppose puppy mills without supporting bad legislation that only claims to target the mills.

    I can regard Hunte Corp. as evil while also writing detailed letters with references for my state senator when she considers supporting an “anti-puppy mill” bill that would have mandated “clean puppy mill” conditions for any dogs being bred. This isn’t even as hard as walking and chewing gum at the same time, honestly.

    Comment by Lis — April 30, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  152. ‘forced to breed”…LOL.. no real person in animal husbandry would ever believe this statement.. animals are not FORCED to breed.. they WANT TO BREED .. it is how they perpetuate themselves..it is how nature says.. HAVE MORE of what ever you are..
    This “increase” that Gina speaks of is NOT documented anywhere.. in fact.. shelter dogs have had a HUGE DECREASE in the last 10 years.. but we still hear “overpopulation” from the HSUS..
    who do you hate more.. LIARS.. or .. hmm LIARS comes to mind

    Comment by bestuvall — April 30, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

  153. Elaine – the one set of statistics I’d seen (and I’m trying to track down) said that something like 85% of iltter registerations with AKC came from folks who bred only a single litter within a 5 year period and the vast majority of THOSEnever bred another litter.

    Comment by Cait — April 30, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  154. Christie takes off shoe (a cute one, natch) and bangs podium — Puppymills, we will bury you economically!

    And finds herself accused of nuclear (or is that newkyooler, in this case) proliferation.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — May 1, 2010 @ 1:15 am

  155. I’m sure that Christie’s shoes (which, by all reports, are SUPER CUTE) don’t need to be abused by smacking them on podiums!

    Comment by Cait — May 1, 2010 @ 2:20 am

  156. This “increase” that Gina speaks of …

    Comment by bestuvall — April 30, 2010

    You might want to recheck that. I haven’t written anything about an increase. As a person who deals in actual, uh, you know, facts, I am well aware that shelter deaths have fallen consistently over the last couple of decades. In fact, I’ve written about it.

    The original comment you’re likely referencing was asking about the increase in puppy-mill breeding, not shelter intake or killing.

    And, finally, while I appreciate (living as I do with an intact breed champion) that dogs are not generally forced to breed, you are of course missing the actual point: These “happy breeders” you seem to imagine are actually dogs living their entire lives in cages, bred and bred and bred until they can’t be bred any more and then thrown away, never to know what it’s like to be a member of a family or even to enjoy work like dogs in a hunting kennel.

    I would be pretty sure your dogs don’t live like that. But you’re good with tens of thousands living like that, so you can …. what? Keep hating the HSUS? Really? Why don’t you just sell your puppies through Hunte, then? Could it be because you really do know the difference?

    Lis hits it on the mark: It’s absolutely possible to oppose puppy-mills (even “clean” ones) AND oppose laws that hit reputable, ethical breeders whether intentionally or as “acceptable collateral casualties” — acceptable, that is, to the breeding ban folks, not to those of us who are fighting to preserve and protect our heritage breeds.

    I know it’s possible to do both, because many of us do exactly that.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — May 1, 2010 @ 6:43 am

  157. Gina wrote: “It’s absolutely possible to oppose puppy-mills (even “clean” ones) AND oppose laws that hit reputable, ethical breeders whether intentionally or as acceptable collateral casualties. I know it’s possible, because many of us do exactly that.”

    Exactly. I’m not clear on why HSUS even needs to be mentioned in the debate. But since it was at the outset … the question in my mind is whether, as a hunt member, you can do what Gina wrote above and still also support the HSUS, when their legislation and stated mission consistently run in opposition to hunting and hunting kennels. I doubt you can without being thrown under the bus–the very thing Christie earlier noted is likely to happen to breeders who support puppy millers. As a hunt member who loves working pack hounds, can I give money or support to HSUS? No. But can I–and should I–work myself to support GOOD legislation that helps beat back puppy millers without also shutting down working pack kennels? YES. Would I like to see working packs and their organizations/associations do more themselves to combat puppy millers? Yes. If they don’t, I blame them for that, but I can’t blame them for not trying to work directly with or support an organization that has the goal of ending hunting. As Gina has said, there is a third way.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — May 1, 2010 @ 7:58 am

  158. “work myself to support GOOD legislation that helps beat back puppy millers without also shutting down working pack kennels”

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — May 1, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    I think what a lot of us get stuck at is what that legislation would actually say.

    We know it can’t be about the numbers – numbers don’t tell the story.

    We know it can’t be about abuse – those laws already exist.

    We can make it illegal to sell through retail stores – but that won’t stop internet or direct sales.

    This is my issue with more legislation (as opposed to education) – I just cannot imagine how it could be written to stop commercial breeders without impacting responsible breeders or working dog kennels.

    Comment by K.B. — May 1, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  159. But can I—and should I—work myself to support GOOD legislation that helps beat back puppy millers without also shutting down working pack kennels? YES.

    While I would also support good legislation, I don’t think even GREAT legislation will do the job.

    When I think about opposing puppymills, it is by consumer education, vigorous law enforcement, and economic actions, such as picketing petland and encouraging consumer boycotts that go beyond just not buying a puppy from a miller or a mill retailer.

    Those are the actions that will make a difference in the long run.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — May 1, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  160. How many of you have written or called the Governor of Oklahoma to ask for his veto on the “puppy mill” bill driven by the HSUS. This bill calls for anyone who has more than 11 intact females to be called a .. wait for it.. a COMMERCIAL breeder.. even if you never breed any of your bitches.
    All of this talk is fine but truth is it IS about numbers to the HSUS and they have convinced the legislators of Oklahoma that 11 is the magic number for their state.
    How many really.. one of you.. two..have called or written? Where is the blog about this.. Where is the outrage? Where is the TRUTH? It is all about numbers to the HSUS.. nothing else.. and while you claim that you don,t support such thing.. thou doth protest too much, methinks.

    Comment by bestuvall — May 1, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  161. Are you even remotely aware of the realities of influencing legislation? If you do not live in Oklahoma, your efforts to influence the governor may well backfire. Some politicians won’t even allow staff to count a contact from a non-constituent, even if the proposed law will affect them as a resident of the jurisdiction.

    “while you claim that you don,t support such thing.. thou doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Oh yeah, we’re sekrit animal-rights operatives.

    Is that prop wash from the Black Helicopters I hear? Surprised it took so long.

    ::::yawn:::

    You’re done on this thread by the way. Thanks for playing. I’m now too busy watching horse-racing and texting my pals doing the squeeing fangirl thing at Churchill Downs to read your further blah blah blah fake Shakespeare blah blah blah.

    Ya know, me loves the horse-racing, like all the other sekrit animal-rights operatives.

    Go Ice Box!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — May 1, 2010 @ 9:32 am

  162. GO ICE BOX!

    Speaking of whom, if you’re interested, check out our equine-canine “exacta Box” at http://houndwelfare.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/our-exacta-box/

    Happy Derby Day, everyone. Safe return to all the horses today.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — May 1, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  163. Hobby breeders are cautioned about collateral damage and questionable ethics for appearing to support “puppy mills”. Some hobby breeders and dog owners — having been under assault by a massive anti-breeding, anti-dog owning legislative agenda for many years — go overboard with their rhetoric when these issues arise. Spending years on the front lines of these battles has that effect — I half jokingly call it legislative PTSD and I know what it feels like. I still have not recovered from the damage that AB 1634 did to me personally in 2007.

    I contend that opposing the “puppy mill” legislative attacks AND its associated campaign are not the same as supporting “puppy mills.”

    Show me the informed hobby breeder who recommends that pet owners obtain puppies from pet stores and will I show you somebody who actually supports the commercial dog breeding industry. If we turn over enough rocks I suppose we can find somebody who fits this description, but am unaware of a single case.

    I would argue that endorsing HSUS also carries risks of collateral damage and questionable ethics. HSUS has caused and continues to cause widespread damage on many fronts.

    Until HSUS ceases and desists with their damaging advocacy on all fronts, until they stop employing deception, until they start displaying a willingness to work cooperatively with and respect the expertise of key stakeholders, and until they stop trying to solve almost every problem with legislation that restricts the rights of individuals, I cannot endorse HSUS.

    I do mean all of these fronts, including their anti-hunting advocacy. I do not hunt, and have no particular desire to do so. And yet I find HSUS’S anti-hunting stances to be deceptive, counterproductive from a wildlife management perspective, and at some fundamental level deeply offensive to the very nature and heritage of the human species as hunter/gatherers. It’s a fact that we would still have brains on par with those of chimpanzees if not for meat protein acquired by hunting. To slur this as a “cruel bloodsport” is both false and self hating.

    I also oppose HSUS’s campaign against animal agriculture. For those who are passionate against “factory farming” and wish to reform it, I suggest finding a different advocate than HSUS. Aligning with an organization whose policies appear intended to incrementally impose veganism, who has considerable influence but no particular expertise on animal agriculture, who has no respect for key stakeholders, and who regularly employs deception as part of this campaign, is playing with fire.

    Some prefer to see things in black and white, good guys and bad guys, and push back against even appearing to align with the interests of “puppy mills” even in those instances where their own interests objectively intersect. And so they say, “the enemy of my enemy is not my friend”.

    Well HSUS — the organization — isn’t your friend either.

    No, I don’t “hate” HSUS. As an organization, I do not trust HSUS and they have only their own massive track record of deceptive fundraising, and deceptive and counterproductive advocacy, to blame for that.

    I certainly welcome moves in a positive direction with respect to HSUS’s policies. I’ll take progress in any form it comes.

    Yet I also recognize that at least some these changes — no longer advocating for the death of fight bust dogs, no longer advocating against TNR, no longer dissing ‘no kill’, etc. — appear to have been forced upon HSUS through extensive public shaming.

    Other apparent positive changes by HSUS — no public advocacy for MSN over the past 1.5 years AFAIK — may in part reflect the fact HSUS doesn’t wish to be on the losing side of the extensive legislative battles that MSN generates.

    Or perhaps HSUS has looked at the facts and recognizes that MSN is counterproductive policy. If so, in the interests of animal welfare, HSUS should come out and publicly say as much, as the ASPCA has done.

    HSUS’s apparent change on MSN may represent the fact no organization has a hive mind. Within any organization of people there are individuals with very different views, even with respect to the core issues that bring them together. I have no doubt — none — that there are some very good people within HSUS. That’s true of any organization of a significant size.

    And yet no organization, including HSUS, can be fairly judged by the fact that it employs some good people. If that were the case then all organizations of significant size would get undeserved consideration for the organization’s actions.

    If Jennifer Fearing is the reason that HSUS did not endorse SB 250 then my hat is off to Jennifer on that point. But Jennifer Fearing does not have Wayne Pacelle’s ability to direct the course of HSUS. We cannot assume that any sea change has occurred within HSUS because one mid level individual in a huge organization managed to keep HSUS from endorsing a stupid bill. Particularly a bill where HSUS had been on the losing side in the same legislature when advocating on that issue in the previous legislative session.

    Unlike nearly all of the others I work with, I do not believe that HSUS is hopeless. Even a casual student of history can see that over time, massive changes in the direction and core values of organizations, societies, and governments can and have occurred, and former nefarious entities have transformed into responsible entities. I am not counting on this for HSUS, but I am not ruling it out either.

    I remain an open minded and interested observer.

    I close this overly lengthy comment with a plea. I suggest lightening up on the ‘black helicopter’, ‘scum’ and similar labeling around here. It is being grossly overused to shut down discussion through shouts and insult rather than reason. Those who slap these labels around every time somebody appears here using somewhat heated rhetoric to make points they disagree with, or who include a few (often small) misstatements of fact in an otherwise valid post, usually have no knowledge about the people they are slurring, and usually have far less experience and scars from the legislative battle lines that have helped preserve their own rights to own and breed dogs. Besides, the insults, shrill tone, and screaming make the delivery of one’s own positions less effective, not more effective.

    Comment by LauraS — May 1, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  164. Again, thank you, Laura. All points well-taken.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — May 1, 2010 @ 11:53 am

  165. Elaine – the one set of statistics I’d seen (and I’m trying to track down) said that something like 85% of iltter registerations with AKC came from folks who bred only a single litter within a 5 year period and the vast majority of THOSE never bred another litter.

    Comment by Cait — April 30, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

    Cait, I have seen that same information. That would have been my off-the-cuff reply to anyone that asked had I not just happened upon the statement I quoted. I think the “85% never register another litter” stat goes back a lot farther though, probably at least 10 years and maybe twice that.

    Math is not my strong suit, but it appears the numbers stated in the 2005 statement don’t quite add up. I chalk that up to an effort to give a responsive answer to a question in the course of an interview or panel discussion, rather than as an intentionally slippery reply such as we routinely see from self-appointed “animal expert” organizations.

    Comment by elaine — May 1, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  166. “the enemy of my enemy is not my friend”.

    I believe I said that in reference to the CCF, which is most certainly a problematic organization, and most certainly NOT my friend, despite the fact that they can be bloody useful, especially when it comes to promulgating verifiable facts about PeTA.

    I could have almost as easily said the same thing about HSUS.

    Because yes, to the extent that I can correctly identify an entity’s interests, I can also often predict how they will shake out on a given issue that matters to me.

    It’s not always straightforward to identify a person or organization’s interests, especially when it boils down to “make mor moneyz” and the scenario is complex. What was Goldman-Sach’s interest when it was betting against itself and melting the economy?

    And despite the assumed spherical human of the economists, some people work against their own self-interest. This is either aberratly irrational or charitable and forward thinking, depending on where you stand.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — May 2, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  167. Well said, LauraS.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — May 2, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  168. LauraS comment #163 – suitable for framing – plus couldn’t think of the word nefarious the other day…and there it was in perfect context.

    Comment by mary frances — May 3, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  169. Frankly, No. 163 is among the best things that have ever appeared on this blog, and that includes stuff written by the bloggers. :)

    I mean, seriously, she made ME shut up and think about MY behavior, and that’s not easy to do — ask anyone. LOL!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — May 3, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  170. I’m all for stopping puppy mills, but money you send to the HSUS will NOT go toward stopping puppy mills. Almost 100% of money you send them will be used to bring lawsuits against corporate agriculture and raises for its board members. DO NOT SEND THE HSUS MONEY!

    Comment by Lisa Handke — May 4, 2010 @ 11:55 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment


Syndication

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Categories

website design by Black Dog Studios