Close Internet Loopholes for Puppy Mill Sales

Mel Freer's Rescue Dog, JasperThe Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act or “P.U.P.S.” Act would close the USDA loophole allowing puppy mills to sell over the internet, by phone or by newspaper with no USDA oversight. To support the P.U.P.S. Act is to stand in solidarity against puppy mills. (The bill is available here.)


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Why It Matters

Mel's Mill Dog, DaisyPuppy millers and breeders who sell puppies to pet stores must have a USDA dealer license and are subject to periodic inspections by the USDA. In addition, they must follow state and federal guidelines around reporting (i.e., number of breeding pairs), transporting and shipping of animals (i.e., restrictions on age puppies can be transported) and overall care of their animals (housing, sanitation, food, water, etc.).

However, puppy mills who sell over the internet are not subject to these same requirements. As a result, selling from a website or an online classified ad is becoming an increasingly popular option. The internet allows them to continue to sell their puppies with ease while hiding the true nature of their business. Thousands of puppies are now sold each year through internet, either directly from a puppy miller’s own website or via internet classified ads. They create appealing websites featuring cute photos of puppies and pepper them with misleading statements like “family raised” to fool consumers into thinking they are a responsible breeder.

The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, or the “P.U.P.S.” Act, would close this loophole and would add more stringent exercise requirements for dog breeders. Specifiically, the PUPS Act would 1) require that anyone who sells more than 50 puppies per year (including those who sell over the internet) must be federally licensed and inspected, and 2) require dog breeders to exercise every dog every day, including allowing the dogs to reach a running stride without the use of treadmills or similar devices. Can you imagine a puppy mill with 500 dogs exercising every single one every day? That’s why this amendment is so important.

First introduced into U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Gerlach, Farr, Capps and Young, and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Dick Durbin, both bills have continued to garner additional support. The House bill already has 125 co-sponsors (up from 116 in September) and the U.S. Senate has 14 co-sponsors as of October of this year. You have a chance to increase these numbers and to change a dog’s life.

Senator Durbin is quoted in DVM Magazine to say:

Senator Dick DurbinThe media regularly reports stories about dogs rescued from substandard facilities—where dogs are housed in stacked wire cages and seriously ill dogs are routinely denied access to veterinary care. Online dog sales have contributed to the rise of these disturbing cases. My bipartisan bill requires breeders who sell more than 50 dogs a year directly to the public to obtain a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ensures that the dogs receive proper care.

Ask your U.S. Senator and Representatives to support and co-sponsor the PUPS Act. Spread the word any way you can. Let’s stop puppy millers from hiding behind the internet and save the lives of thousands of dogs who suffer needlessly every day. never asks you to spend a cent,
just a few minutes of your time.

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Mel Freer, Daisy and JasperEditor’s Note:
Please welcome BTC Team Member, Mel Freer. 

Mel has been an active cause scout and general contributor since June 2011, now making her writing debut during our October-long campaign against puppy mills.  Mel’s yellow lab, Daisy, is rescued mill dog – #201

Mel also blogs at No Dog About It

About Author

Mel FreerMel made her BTC4A writing debut during our 2011 October-long campaign against puppy mills. Mel’s yellow lab, Daisy, is rescued mill dog – #201. Mel is a former pet sitter and dog walker from St Paul, Minnesota. Before becoming a pet sitter, she volunteered at the Minnesota Valley Humane Society (MVHS) for 8 years as a dog walker and Star program trainer. In her time at MVHS, she fostered 4 dogs, failing with three – Daisy, Jasper and Lady (her present dogs). She also has a cat, named Nick. In 2012, Mel went on to pursue more hands-on, local rescue work.View all posts by Mel Freer →

  1. Doreen

    Since I posted my story on Saturday, I’ve been overwhelmed with emotion for some reason. I went back to view my very first video and cried and cried and cried. I can still see visions of those men pulling the dogs out of their living spaces, even struggling to show them as they tried to cower in the corners. They were definitely terrified. I would be, too. The men were not nice. I can still hear the sound of the gavel hit the podium and the two men doing the auctions yelling, “SOLD” and then calling out the number of the winning bidder. As I looked over they were almost always a farmer. My heart sank more times than I can count that weekend. This is something that will stay with me the rest of my life. It’s really made an impact on me. I can only hope that the dogs that didn’t get saved that weekend will be saved someday.

    • melF

      Oh Doreen. I completely understand! I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for you to not only go to this event and rescue dogs, but to also leave some behind. I don’t know if I could have done it. Just reading your comment here made me realize how difficult it must have been.

    • admin

      Doreen, I can’t even imagine the horrors you’ve seen in full, yet the bare minimum of the images I conjure make my heart ache.

  2. Elizabeth

    This is a pack of LIES. This bill will destroy ALL breeders of purpose bred dogs. It is pushed by the “animal rights” fanatics whose goal is to END all animal use including PETS!!

  3. Jane Carter
    Jane Carter10-17-2011

    I would not sign anything pushing an act that did not have a copy of that act on display for me to read first. Show me where I can read this PUPS act, and I’ll happily sign it. But there are too many Animal Rights campaigners misguidedly trying to stop all breeding rather than just wicked breeding.

    • admin

      This was an oversight and for this I apologize. Here is the link, easily searched online for anybody to see.

    • admin

      And the summary is here:

      2/28/2011–Introduced.Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act – Amends the Animal Welfare Act to define a “high volume retail breeder” as a person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit:
      (1) has an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs; and
      (2) sells, via any means of conveyance, more than 50 of the offspring of such dogs for use as pets in any one-year period. Considers such a breeder of dogs to be a dealer. Requires dealers to include on licensing applications and annual renewals the total number of dogs exempted from exercise on the premises of the dealer in the preceding year by a licensed veterinarian. Requires the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) to promulgate requirements for the exercise of dogs at facilities owned or operated by a dealer, including requiring daily access to exercise that:
      (1) allows the dogs to move sufficiently in a way that is not forced, repetitive, or restrictive; and
      (2) is in an area that is spacious, cleaned at least once a day, free of infestation by pests or vermin, and designed to prevent the dogs from escaping. Allows an exemption if:
      (1) a licensed veterinarian determines that a dog should not exercise because of the health, condition, or well-being of the dog; and
      (2) such determination is reviewed and updated at least once every 30 days by the veterinarian, unless the basis for the determination is a permanent condition. Subjects such a determination to review and approval by the Secretary.

  4. Jennifer

    And when NO breeders are left, where will pets come from? THAT is the goal of groups like PeTA and H$U$. Both of those groups claim they want to improve the lives of animals, but don’t tell you that they want to do that by ELIMINATING all human/animal relationships, including your PETS. There is a WORLD of difference between a responsible breeder and people who breed their dogs for commercial purposes, or just to see Fluffy have puppies. The thing that is needed is to TEACH people the difference, not try to legislate common sense, because it is proven that morality and responsibility can NOT be legislated into existence. Train your children to be kind to animals and that they are a lifetime commitment, not just a gift to throw away when they get inconvenient. Teach people around you to NOT buy form questionable sources. By that, I don’t mean the internet necessarily, as many responsible breeders seek the best homes for the ones they can’t keep that way. A questionable source would be any person who cannot tell you what genetic testing their breed needs, and that isn’t a “vet check”. That means things like OFA certification for hips, elbows, hearts and patellas, CERF checks for eye problems, testing for VonWillebrand’s disease, or other problems BEFORE the parents are bred. The questionable source doesn’t know the breed standard, and can’t tell you WHY they bred the litter beyond, “We thought they’d be cute puppies”, or “We wanted to make some money”. A responsible breeder breeds to create the healthiest, most representative of the breed’s standard puppies they can, and are doing so to improve the animals they want to show and breed in the next generation. They rarely breed more than one or two breeds, and know what faults and virtues every dog they own possesses. Educate yourselves and your friends about the differences between responsible breeding and don’t expect laws to solve all the world’s problems, because they don’t.

    • melF

      You mean like this Jennifer?
      It contains a description of what the differene is between a hobby breeder and a backyard breeder. Keep in mind we are talking about 50 puppies sold in one year. Pretty reasonable. Most hobby breeders would be exempt under this.

      • Jennifer

        More like this, which I am author of: For anyone wanting to breed, I suggest this:

        Do I feel *I* have a right to deny anyone the enjoyment of their own animals? No. I do NOT believe you can legislate responsibility. You have to TEACH it. The majority of substandard breeders aren’t following current laws. What makes anyone think they will follow any more laws heaped on teh books? Murder has been illegal since the dawn of man. Guess what? It still happens. All you can REASONABLY do is teach your children not to kill and punish the people who do so anyway. So you want to increase the penalites for current laws, fine, But STOP taking rights from people who ARE doing the legal thing, and more importantly, the ethical thing. Like a poster said below. The way I raise and care for my animals would be outlawed in a few short steps. I’d have to toss my dogs off my bed and sofa and relegate them to a concrete cage if I wanted to produce even one well-planned, carefully tested litter.

        • Jennifer

          Besides, “most” is NOT “all”. No responsible, careful breeder should be denied their right to enjoy the companionship of their animals and to breed well-bred, healthy dogs to continue their health and well-being into future generations.

          • KimT

            Jennifer, why would you have to, as you say, relegate your breeding dogs to a concrete cage? Forgive me, but I don’t find any stipulation in the bill referring to that.

          • Jennifer

            I am replying to myself as a computer glitch apparently makes it impossible to address the question by KimT. She asks How this law would make me relegate me to putting my dogs in a concrete kennel. Read it. I have to count my three retired, elderly girls, the one puppy I co-own who it hasn’t even been determined, and won’t be for at least another 18 month to two years, if she will be bred, as I insist on all OFA testing being done. I have one girl of breeding age that has passed all her testing. Right now, yes, I am exempt. Now suppose I do breed my female, and have a litter of 7 pups, and four are show/breeding quality females, which I choose to place in show potential homes on a co-ownership to ensure that if they don’t pass their testing or have some other undesireable inheritable trait that could pass on, I can be certain they won’t be bred. Ok, two years down teh road, they are of acceptable quality, and pass all their health testing, and their co-owners and I would like to get litters out of them. If my pup has turned out and passes testing as well, and has a litter in January, and the rest whelp throughout the year, I *could* conceivably become a ‘high volume kennel’ without even having more than 10 or 12 dogs on my own property all year.

        • melF

          You look to be one of the good ones Jennifer. What I can’t figure out is what parts of this bill, specifically, you are opposed to besides your belief that this is some HSUS agenda. I assure you that as the writer of this piece I am not an HSUS flunkie. I tend to look at things with a measured eye (with the exception of puppy mills).

          I actually had a client who was a breeder like you and showed her dogs. I saw nothing in what she did that would put her in jeopardy of falling under these new guidelines. I exercised her dogs every day (until she retired), she did genetic testing and took great care of her dogs. She bred the top male with top females, but only once.

          nothing in this bill would prevent her from operating as she currently does, and yes, she also has a website. But she does not sell dogs over the internet. She has a waiting list. In fact, her site looks a lot like yours.
          So educate us. What specifically in the bill would impact you. We can’t learn unless you teach us. Shouting at each other only means neither of us hear one another. I’m so tired of the shouting. How about just a really good discussion?

          • Jennifer

            Thank you for the reasonable response. I did reply to a similarly reasonable question below for Kristine. I’d like to add that the groups pushing for the abolition of human/animal relationships who support this bill, and other increasingly restrictive bills, have been quoted in public forums encuraging their followers to work to eliminate animals from our lives by ‘baby steps’.

            I think that this website may help show our reasons for concern.

    • dawn

      Where would we get our pets from was a question you asked. From kill shelters. They are overflowing with gorgeous animals who just need to be loved. Trust me, there will always be animals in shelters to love.

      • Jennifer

        Not every household is prepared to take in an animal they have no hitory of, and cannot predict things like temperament, size, coat, energy level, etc. While some families can adapt and make just about any dog work out for them as a companion, those families are damn rare. Most people have preferences. They don’t have time for the grooming dedication needed for a long, or double coated breed. They need a more energetic dog to keep up wiht their lifestyle, they can’t have a talkative breed due to proximity of neighbors….all these are things you can reasonably predict in a well-bred pourebred. If you tke in a puppy that is said to be a ‘sheltie mix’, as hapopoened to me, and it turns out to be a great pyranees/alaskan malamute mix, and you only have a tiny apartment, you are going to be either putting extra effort into exercise, extra money into feeding, and extra money into vet care than you expected to, or you are going to dump the dog. Some people get a dog KNOWING they have a St. Bernard, and STILL dump it, saying the dog, “Got too big”. I have had exactly that happen in a shelter situation more than once. They were hosed by an irrresponsible, breeder, and no one had taught them the difference between responsible breeding and irresponsible breeding.

        One of my favorite ways to enjoy my ‘puppy time’ with my dogs in showing and training. The goal of conformation showing is to prove that you aren’t the only one who thinks your dog is worthy of being bred. Mixes do not have a breed standard, and no responsible person breed mutts. I have the breed I do because they suit me perectly. They have the right energy level. I love grooming and it relaxes me. I can tolerate their talkative nature. I love their loyalty and devotion. I have had my share of mixes, and won’t turn one down if it shows up at my door needing help. Actually, I’m due to be chosen by a mutt soon. BUt I deserve the opportunity to have the exact breed I want, bred well so they are as hardy, healthy and long lived as my dogs have all been, and as fun to own and live with, and as pleasing to my eye. ALL those things go into a well-bred dog. I won’t go to any breeder who doesn’t adhere to the same ethics I do, and I won’t find a well-bred example of my breed in a shelter. In having over 5000 dogs go through my life in shelter and rescue situations, approximately 1/4 of them purebred, not a single one was from a responsible breeder as I have outlined on my webpage, linked above. Not a single one would havbe passed muster to add to the gene pool.

        So unless shelters are going into the dog breeding business just to supply pets, where are they going to come from if no one ever breeds a dog again? And where are they going to get healthy animals with many generations of animals genetically tested to prevent the spread of diseases like hip and elbow displaysia, Von Willebrand’s disease, luxating patellas, eye anomalies, deafness, cardiomyopathy, and tons of other diseases resposnible breeders check for before they breed? If the responsible breeders get shot down, you’re gonna wind up with shelties who look like this:

        Instead of like they’re supposed to:

        Which dog do you think could herd sheep and alert the farmer of trespassers in a cold, windy, rocky environment without freezing to death, breaking a bone in a crag in the rocks, and not be a flighty mess mentally? I know you can’t see the temperament, but I did. Trust me, the first dog doesn’t have a prayer. The first was bred by a family who “loved” their dogs. They had thirty, which put them over the allowable limit for a kennel license in PA, and that’s why they were given up. Many of the puppies had neurological ailments, and one couldn’t walk without stumbling and falling over constantly due to neural deficiencies. The owners didn’t part with many of the puppies because they loved them so much. They couldn’t afford to fix and vet so many. This is the end result. They aren’t evil people. Just not educated. But do you really think these folks didn’t do a BIG disservice to their own dogs, and to the breed as a whole? How many generally good, pet owning people aren’t going to know that shelties are NOT supposed to look and act like that?

  5. Anne

    did the author even READ the bill? It would lump in even the smallest breeders, regardless of quality of breeding. No more home-raised pups because home breeding is all but impossible under USDA regulations.
    How easy is it to become a so-called high volume breeder?
    Own or co-own at least 1 intact bitch over 4 months old and produce 50 or more puppies a year.
    so you co-own 5 or 6 bitches besides owning 1 five months old bitch puppy … make it a large breed with large litters. 4 of these co-owned bitches (not living with you!) have litters that year and BINGO!! You are a high volume breeder and a dealer! without even breeding your own dog! Here go the inspections and no, you may not breed a litter in your bedroom or have puppies underfoot, no more sleeping in bed with you for the bitch. And don’t count on walking her on a leash every day as sufficient exercise … nope, that would be ‘repetitive’ – think that training for agility or going hunting with your dog is enough exercise? Nope, because ‘ goal-oriented’ is also prohibited. So is ‘solitary’ or ‘restrictive of other activities’ … but heck, walking on a leash is already prohibited. Good thing walking your dog on a leash in the woods or park is already prohibited or you would have to clean the trails once a day – and make sure there are no pests and/or vermin in the parks or woods … and no, not even in your yard.
    Are you getting the picture how ridiculous and malicious the wording is for even a lot of the smallest breeders?
    Start pulling your head out of the sand and realize that it’s an animal rights bill and the restrictions on even the smallest breeders is very much intended.
    And no, I am not a large scale breeder, haven’t bred a litter in over 4 years, dogs sleep in bed with me and are out with me all day long, being allowed to live life to the fullest …. which would have to STOP under PUPS.

    • melF

      What I can’t figure out Anne is what is your beef in this game? You’re across the pond.

  6. Sean Duggan
    Sean Duggan10-17-2011

    I agree that the strictures being put forward here are far too restrictive and too broadly applicable. It’s one of those things like helmet safety laws. They’re well-intentioned, but if you applied them everywhere, over half of the population would be in jail. Which, of course, hasn’t stopped the enforcement, which <a href="; is almost exclusively used to target minorities. No law should be phrased in a way where the enforcers get to arbitrarily decide who’s guilty.

  7. Renee Brown
    Renee Brown10-17-2011

    If this is such a wonderful bill then why are rescues/shelters/vet offices and boarding kennels not held to the same standard? Because this bill is designed to end all pet dogs! There will be no more breeding of nice healthy pets and if you get very lucky and are rich enough you might be able to afford to import a puppy from over seas. This bill is being pushed by HSUS and PETA both who feel that pet ownership is slavery and no one should own a pet.

    Please stop this bill and save our pets!

  8. Edie

    I see the big money Humane Watch trolls have come out to play. They usually just attack HSUS and PETa because of their own agenda but… well, here’s a post from Dancing Dog Blog that explains who they are:

    50 dogs a year is not enough for a hobby breeder? Give me a break.

    • Jennifer

      Having an independent thought not spoon-fed to you by a radical anti-animal group makes WHO a troll? There ARE scenarios where there *could* be over 50 healthy, well-bred puppies by a responsible breeder in one year.

      • Edie

        Thank you for acknowledging your affiliation, Jennifer. Say hi to your sponsors, the Koch brothers, for me. I’m not affiliated with any of the so-called radical anti-animal groups, I’m just a blogger who knows the score.

        • Jennifer

          Oh, horsehockey. You are probably one of the MANY paid shills H$U$ uses the vast majority of their money to pay for. I reply because you blatantly infer that you direct your comment at me, so deal with THESE facts: H$U$ only uses 1/2% of their income to feed, vet, or shelter animals. They use ONE cent out of every two dollars for the cause they *claim* they need the money for. You are really John Dopp, aren’t you? Well here are 2008’s figures. 2010’s are even worse, with only .47%, yes, LESS then 1/2%, actually going to animals, but even THAT figure is overinflated when you back out the huge amounts of money they gave lobbying groups to fight animal ownership and use.

          2008 Financial Information:

          Per 2008 IRS tax return–Main focus Lobbyist Organization:

          Employees (555) Compensation/Benefits $37,792,786. This is 84 times as much as they gave to hands-on dog/cat/pet shelters.
          Note: Over $10 mil more then 2007, Directors alone received $2,634,996;
          Total fund raising expenses $24,215,236 (spent to raise more money…gifts, etc.) This is 84 times as much as HSUS gave to hands-on dog/cat/pet shelters.
          Professional fund raising fees $4,009,552;
          Investment fees $2,447,392
          Travel $5,368,401
          Mailing costs $10,155,616. This is 22 times as much money as HSUS gave to hands-on dog/cat/pet shelters.
          Payments to direct mail and telemarketing organizations $49,223,988. This is 109 times as much money as HSUS gave to hands-on dog/cat/pet shelters.
          Support for organization outside US for animal welfare and education $591,621
          There’s more, but I’m conserving room.
          Support to HSVMA for spay/neuter and vet training $2,934,315. Actual spay and neuter was only 7500 animals at $1.2 mil of that total
          ONLY 1/2 of ONE PERCENT, OR $450,000, WENT TO HANDS-ON PET CARE/SHELTERS THAT ARE CARING FOR AND SAVING PETS, yet their advertising is highly centered on this via their pictures and wording. They know that this is how to generate the dollars.

          • KimT

            Refer to link Edie supplied above…

    • Kim Clune
      Kim Clune10-17-2011

      Funny how these many “facts” were so readily available for this unrelated conversation. Looks like a cut and paste job to me, text locked and loaded in search of a fight.

      I love when Rachel Maddow unveils Humane Watch’s master puppeteer. Somebody likes to play dress up to satisfy his sick soul:

      • Jennifer

        Perhaps you can get a copy of the IRS forms that DON’T prove these numbers? Shall we stick to the numbers and facts, instead of going mudslinging, like ALL radicals tend to prefer.

        Yes, I keep the truth handy and in easy to comprehend language becasue SO many people who honestly care about animals and want to help are duped into thinking that more of their “$19 a month” actually is used for needy animals than just $1 a year. Yep, folks, $19.00×12=$228 .47% of that equals $1.07. Truth hurts, doesn’t it. Want to check facts yourself? Ask the IRS for a copy of the H$U$ tax returns. As a 501c3, they are required to be public.

        • Kim Clune
          Kim Clune10-17-2011

          And she continues…

          • Jennifer

            If you have NO facts to the contrary, our communications are done.

          • KimT

            Gosh, Jennifer, do you have the funds to lobby on Capitol Hill for the changes or protections those big organizations do on behalf of animals? Do you even have a clue about what it takes to get action on the Hill? Besides, you’re changing the subject. We want dogs protected from the slime that abuses them. That’s what this is about.

          • Jennifer

            I do not have lobbying funds, and I won’t LIE to animal lovers to get them. I’ve done rescue for over 20 years. I AM protecting them a LOT more than the lying big money organizations are.

        • melF

          I just want to clarify (again), that I have no connection to HSUS, Wayne Pacelle or any other animal welfare organization. I don’t give money to them either. I think there has been enough name calling on both sides of this issue. Do I have to be labeled an HSUS flunkie if I happen to have a passion for addressing the puppy mills in this country? I’m not a category of people. I am me. With my own experiences and knowledge. It’s different than yours.

          I don’t label you as a “bad breeder” or a Humane Watch flunkie or something else. Why? Because I recognize that you have a passion for dogs too. Your focus is on bettering the breed. Mine is on saving the dogs suffering in mills. We both love dogs. That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree on something, but let’s not assume one is better or worse by the label being applied. I have a reason for my passion. You have a reason for yours.

  9. Sharyn Hutchens
    Sharyn Hutchens10-17-2011

    Nothing disgusts me more than people soliciting others to “help the animals,” appealing to them as animal lovers, showing (often) doctored videos, and testimonials from animal rightists to pass legislation which will make NO difference to the real animal abusers but will throw good breeders under the bus. If we enforced current cruelty and neglect laws, none of this would be needed. Lobby for ENFORCEMENT, NOT NEW LAWS. And as someone else pointed out, where are the laws regulating shelters and pounds? They are exempt from all the commercial breeder laws even though many of them take in more money in “adoption fees” than most breeders see in a year.

  10. Kristine

    Honestly, and maybe this is just because I come from a very small province, but I don’t know any excellent, responsible breeder that sells more than fifty puppies a year. In fact, I think this bill is far too generous. 50 puppies?? That is a lot of dogs for one breeder to look out for. How many are on the property in total? Are the same dogs having litters year after year after year? That can’t be healthy for the mothers or their offspring. Fifty is excessive enough. If it were me, I’d be asking for thirty.

    Though I am Canadian and have no say, I would gladly support a law exactly like this one.

    • Anne

      the author conveniently forgot the actual bill, but you don’t have to breed your own dog in order to fall under this bill.
      You don’t even have to OWN a dog, co-owning is enough.

      • melF

        If you see above. A link to the real bill is above.

        • Anne

          even more puzzling why you choose to read or understand only parts of the bill. Or you seem to lack the most basic understanding of the subject .. what the USDA regulations are and that you cannot be a small hobby breeder under USDA, you know the breeders with the dogs in the family and house, puppies underfoot, whelping box next to the bed, puppies being socialized with noise, kids, other animals, stimulated etc.
          Do you WANT only breeding in kennel buildings, away from the house?

          • melF

            Again I ask, what’s your interest in this game Anne? You don’t live here and your laws are not ours. Canada is impacted because animals are shipped back and forth across the border, but your across the pond.

  11. karen Friesecke
    karen Friesecke10-17-2011

    First of all, internet sales of puppies should be banned. Period. Any breeder that primarily advertises puppies for sale on their website and a willingness to ship anywhere is NOT a responsible breeder. Every breeder that I know cringes when they have to ship a dog via air, too many bad things can happen. A breeder that will happily declares on their website that they accept a paypal or credit card payment for their puppies is a dubious breeder. A breeder that can arrange financing for the purchase of a puppy is a dubious breeder. These are very common features of breeders that list puppies for sale over the internet. Finally, anyone that is buying a puppy sight unseen isn’t dealing with a full deck.

    This is not some dark plot by PeTA, the HSUS or anyone else to end the privledge of humanity owning pets. This is a bill that tries to improve the welfare conditions for innocent animals. Seriously, what breeder, dedicated to producing quality animals, produces over 50 puppies a year? If you co-own 4 or 5 breeding bitches at the same time, all you are is a “hump and dump” breeder, more concerned with winning ribbons than what happens to the dogs when they stop winning in the show ring. Nobody I know does that, and I know a few breeders 😀

    • Anne

      my dear,
      co-owning is done by a lot of breeders and it’s often done to ensure that the dog cannot be bred nilly-willy, cannot be sold or end up in a shelter.
      Large breeds can easily have 12, 14 puppies per litter. Just do the math and see how easily you can reach 50 puppies without actually breeding them yourself. Heck, you could be in an old folks home already and be labeled a high volume breeder and dealer.
      Btw. via the Internet also means just having a website. People might contact you but it does not automatically mean the breeder ships puppies or sells online.
      Shows how much you know.

      • melF

        Anne – How many puppies a year would you be comfortable with? I’m trying to understand what WOULD be okay in your mind. What’s the limit for you?

        And don’t play stupid. You and I both know there are plenty of puppy mills and backyard breeders who sell over the internet, ship dogs and don’t care where they end up. If you want to change the bill. Have an influence on it. Contact your senator or representative. You don’t have to support the bill. I choose to support.

        • Anne

          what *I* find acceptable for *MY* situation is something completely different from the next guy. Differs by breed, home situation, location, pet or working breeds or show dogs … there is no one-size-fits-all!
          Bottom line is – I don’t even have to own a dog (as in sole owner) in order to fall under this bill.

          I am pointing to those parts of the bill which would include a lot of those small breeders you proclaim you have no problem with. And the dogs owned by all those small breeders caught up in this bill, they would take a HUGE step backwards. Of course, that would imply you care for those dogs too.
          Bottom line is, this bill is supposedly geared towards large commercial kennels – yet the provisions include a lot of small breeders, who do not have kennels per se, do not have the set-up, the desire or the need for such a commercial kennel. Yet they would be forced into exactly that situation.
          Heck, a lot of pet owners would not be able to follow all the provisions of this bill – like the exercise requirements. It’s all geared towards large commercial kennels.
          You betcha I have contacted my representatives.

          • KimT

            I, for one, would like you to actually answer that question, Anne. And what is the name of your business?

          • melF

            I believe I asked YOU what YOU find acceptable. NOT what others find acceptable.
            You say not one size fits all, but what would be a legitimate limit on number of puppies per year?
            If you believe that “not one size can fit all”, does that mean puppy mills are acceptable? After all, not one size fits all would be applicable to them.

            The logical decision would be for responsible breeders to write legislation that allows them to continue to do what they do – better the breed, but instead they side with the puppy millers in order to preserve their lifestyle and then wonder why people have an issue with it. I wish for once legitimate, responsible breeders would choose NOT to side with puppy millers. I guess that’s too much to ask.

            And you wonder why people confuse you with puppy millers. Sigh.

      • KimT

        Co-ownership can have a dark side; those who are ethical and humane by their dogs need not be concerned. However, if we are ever to rid the dog world of the unscrupulous, dirty breeders that bring shame and a bad name to the breeding world, wouldn’t it be wise to zero in on some of the ways they work around current regulations to continue their mistreatment of animals? As an ethical breeder, wouldn’t you rather the noose was tightened around them, even if it meant you were inadvertently affected, to clear your industry once and for all?

        • Jennifer

          I do not have an industry. I have a passion. WHY should I forfiet MY passion over what may or may not even be true? Some people run other people over with cars. Want to give yours up because of what someone else did with theirs?

          Laws already exist. Enforce them JUSTLY, and the problem is solved.

          • KimT

            Jennifer, you really could use some help with your analogies. Dog breeding is an industry. Puppy mills are part of that industry. You want to associate with them? Then we will see as that. You obviously don’t actually care about animals, or you would vilify those who mistreat them and give “dog breeders” a bad name. Methinks you sound a bit too defensive.

      • karen Friesecke
        karen Friesecke10-18-2011

        Actually, I DO know a lot about dogs & breeders since I have intimately been involved with Vizslas in Canada for 8+ years. I showed my female with the hopes of breeding her. She never made champion because she didn’t like to show, so I had her spayed. I now have a promising young male, which I will show. With the guidance of a breeder more experienced than me, if he does make champion, he’s a really great dog he *might* bred a few times. And I do mean a few, like 3 or 4 times, since over use of sires just isn’t cool.

        Breeders co-own for different reasons. Some breeders want to retain breeding rights, some breeders want to half own the dog so that if it gets lost etc.. the dog will be returned to them. co-owning does not prevent me from selling a dog that I don’t want anymore, provided that the buyer doesn’t care about the title transfer of the dog. It also doesn’t stop anyone from breeding that dog and selling un-registered puppies (which most buyers don’t care about, anyways). Of ALL the Vizsla breeders that I have ever know, NOBODY has every co-owned multiple breeding bitches with closley spaced litters. Good breeders don’t do that, but “hump and dump” breeders do. They try to churn out as many dogs as they can in hopes of getting a best in show dog. With your reasoning about controlling breeding with co-owning, it would be UNDER control of the co-owner and not OUT of control of the co-owner to decide which dog gets bred, thereby limiting the number of puppies produced in a year.

        And please, we all know the difference between a “good” breeder that has their information out there for all to see and a high volume breeder that is just out to make a quick buck. Credit Cards. A breeder that has a litter once every year or two DOES NOT accept credit cards as a form of payment. The yearly fee for accepting credit card payment (approx. $300) is prohibitive if you are dealing with one litter a year.

    • Jennifer

      When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, “If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born.” —-Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.

      “I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals.” —Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 251.

      “ One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals.” —Wayne Pacelle, quoted in Animal People, May, 1993

      Nooooooo…It doesn’t sound like H$U$ wants to end all human/animal relationships.

      • KimT

        Please refer to Edie’s link above.

    • Jane Carter
      Jane Carter10-18-2011

      I own more than four “breeding bitches” – as defined by this act, intact females over four months. Only two are breeders, I choose to not put my girls through major surgery without good reason. My elderly show dogs are still here, and one is counted in the tally above. I advertise my puppies on the net if I ever have any, but i do not ship and I take responsibility for them for life, so I have zero issue with advertising on the net – and I don’t ship, I drive them to their new homes now, so I get to see where they are going. We have a huge problem with puppy farms here in the UK – we also have strict welfare laws which are ignored by the farmers, the councils and the RSPCA. More laws aren’t the answer, enforcement of the ones you have are. All you’ll do is legislate out the good breeders, then when everything is puppy milled and ill, the AR bods can say how sick all dogs are and how they are all from inhumane people and get them outlawed. PETA kill 96% of the animals they take in to rescue, often not even getting them out of the van alive they collect them in – google for the truth, H$U$ are no better. Our RSPCA do not finance any of the actual dog shelters in the UK, they have to self fund and struggle. Oh – and they wont inspect puppy farms, saying its the councils job. as the councils collect their license fees for these places that’s not going to happen is it? We have the “welfare” acts in place already – more legislation is never aimed at the abusers, cos they know it gets ignored. From talking to friends in the states, its no different there either.

  12. Kristine

    Now that I have thought about it even more, I don’t even see what good, honest, caring breeder wouldn’t also support this piece of legislation. Good breeders have nothing to fear. If they are as great as they say, what’s an inspection? Good, responsible breeders who I would be comfortable purchasing from, would welcome this change as positive for all animal welfare. It benefits all and only punishes the ones who treat animals as commodities. I hope one day such legislation will enter the House of Commons.

    • Jennifer

      One again, this will take our dogs OUT of our homes and into kennels, or make the responsible breeders give up breeding all together. Then what are your options? Either have NO pets, or buy from the very people you have…the ones who breed large numbers of dogs commercially. You can’t have it BOTH ways.

      • Kristine

        Okay, I just spent the last half hour pouring over the bill and I didn’t see anywhere that it suggested breeding dogs must live outside in kennels. Can you please point this section out to me?

        And I notice you did leave one option out: one can always adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group. This law isn’t going to prevent dogs from being dumped by their owners, I can tell you that.

        • Jennifer

          16 The term ‘high volume retail breeder’ means a
          17 person who, in commerce, for compensation or
          18 profit—
          19 ‘‘(i) has an ownership interest in or
          20 custody of 1 or more breeding female dogs;
          21 and
          22 ‘‘(ii) sells or offers for sale, via any
          23 means of conveyance (including the Inter24
          net, telephone, or newspaper), more than
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          •HR 5434 IH
          1) 50 of the offspring of such breeding female
          2) dogs for use as pets in any 1-year period.

          The section above would define many responsible small breeders because responsible breeders frequently use co-ownerships to do a few things- share the expense of showing a top notch dogs, keep the dogs safe from unscrupulous breeders who might not do the proper heath testing, or might even resell the dog to a commercial operation, where most of us do NOT want our dogs to be, and to diversify bloodlines geographically, so as not to wind up with purebred dogs that look different on opposite coasts, for example. If you study dogs from England and Europe, and compare them to dogs in the US, you WILL see differences. That is because there’s not as much geographical genetic diversity. So that provision there can make a small breeder fall into the class of “High Volume” breeder if they co-own three or four females, and have a litter or two in their own home, since in reality, not every puppy born can be kept. If you can’t keep them, you must place them. It wouldn’t be prudent to give tehm away, considering the costs of testing the parents, proper nutrition, vet care, showing to prove the dogs worthy of reproducing, etc. And if you DID offer such quality pups for free, you’d be so overwhelmed with people wanting them that it would take months or even years to check out every home that wanted one to figure out teh BEST home for the puppy, which is what every responsible breeder wants. And money isn’t the issue for responsible breeders. I have seen responsible breeders GIVE puppies to the right homes; the homes that were the best for the puppy.

          So if your co-owned girls just happened to all whelp in teh same year, making you a ‘high volume’ breeder, YOU have to comply with THESE conditons, which I would point out, have NOT been required for shelters and rescues. Considering the number of hoarding situation uncovered lately in what were supposed to be rescues, this may be a gross oversight.

          10 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after
          11 the date of enactment of this subsection, the Sec12
          retary shall promulgate standards covering dealers
          13 that include requirements for the exercise of dogs at
          14 facilities owned or operated by a dealer, including
          15 exercise regulations that ensure that—
          16 ‘‘(A) each dog that is at least 12 weeks old
          17 (other than a female dog with unweaned pup18
          pies) has daily access to exercise that—
          19 ‘‘(i) allows the dog—
          20 ‘‘(I) to move sufficiently to de21
          velop or maintain normal muscle tone
          22 and mass as appropriate for the age,
          23 breed, sex, and reproductive status of
          24 the dog; and
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          •HR 5434 IH
          1 ‘‘(II) the ability to achieve a run2
          ning stride; and
          3 ‘‘(ii) is not a forced activity (other
          4 than a forced activity used for veterinary
          5 treatment) or other physical activity that is
          6 repetitive, restrictive of other activities, sol7
          itary, and goal-oriented;
          8 ‘‘(B) the provided area for exercise—
          9 ‘‘(i) is separate from the primary en10
          closure if the primary enclosure does not
          11 provide sufficient space to achieve a run12
          ning stride;
          13 ‘‘(ii) has flooring that—
          14 ‘‘(I) is sufficient to allow for the
          15 type of activity described in subpara16
          graph (A); and
          17 ‘‘(II)(aa) is solid flooring; or
          18 ‘‘(bb) is nonsolid, nonwire
          19 flooring, if the nonsolid, nonwire
          20 flooring—
          21 ‘‘(AA) is safe for the
          22 breed, size, and age of the
          23 dog;
          24 ‘‘(BB) is free from pro25
          truding sharp edges; and
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          •HR 5434 IH
          1 ‘‘(CC) is designed so
          2 that the paw of the dog is
          3 unable to extend through or
          4 become caught in the floor5
          6 ‘‘(iii) is cleaned at least once each
          7 day;
          8 ‘‘(iv) is free of infestation by pests or
          9 vermin; and
          10 ‘‘(v) is designed in a manner to pre11
          vent escape of the dogs.

          I don’t know about your home, but my bedroom is not large enough for a dog to reach a “full running stride”. My bedroom next to my bed is where a whelping pen would be when I breed. My other dogs, male and female, live in my house as well. The language of this bill implies that the dog is not considered being ‘exercised’ if you are playing fetch in the yard with it, or are taking it on leash walks. Doing doggie games like agility or training for obedience or herding isn’t exercise either. If you live where you can’t put up a fence, you are in violation, even if you spend 10 hours a day just focusing on your dogs. You have to admit, that is poorly written. I just happen to know the USDA requirements for “Large Volume” breeders, which this blurb here amends, is that the floor be “of material readily sanitizable, and must be disinfected daily”. I have carpet and hardwood floors. How do you disinfect a carpet? Thus, to meet requirements, I must build a concrete, wire and plastic kennel.

          Great that people want to improve animal’s lives and living conditions, but really, there are already tons of laws, and they aren’t being enforced yet. Let’s crackdown on the current offenders before we consider giving up more of our rights.

          • melF

            Jennifer – Am I misreading the bill or are you?

            I read “a separate area for exercise” and “separate from primary” to mean that your backyard can be an exercise area as long as the dog’s primary enclosure (i.e., your house) is not the primary exercise area. I also assume most houses and backyards do not have wire fencing on the floor.

            I’m not sure I am reading this the same way. You can still have your dogs exercise in your backyard, unless of course your backyard is your primary residence.

  13. Anne

    you guys don’t have facts to argue, so you have to make it personal.
    Such a pathetic strategy.
    but to keep you busy and screeching some more …
    I don’t have any animal related business, I have never made a dime with animals.
    I can’t be accused of being a puppy mill since I don’t breed.
    I do own dogs though and I do rescue.
    Oh, and I spend a LOT of money on animals.
    How about you? Do you keep your yard pest and vermin free, exercise your dog in sterile environment and not repetitive or goal oriented? Or do you own a little sad mutt which never gets to live like a normal dog?
    Can we at least pretend that we are actually talking about the provisions of this bill or do you want to shorten it, be honest and just declare you don’t give a rip about the fact that this bill could make many small breeders ‘high volume breeders’ because you simply hate breeders?

    • KimT

      Exercise your dog and not goal-oriented or repetitive – that’s what most dogs get for exercise, running around a fenced yard that is of a size to accommodate the dog and his energy level. Even decent rescues require that of potential adopters. Excluding goal-oriented weeds out exercise attained merely for the purpose of certain physical achievements; excluding repetitive weeds out activities such as the mills that stick a dog in a hamster-like wheel and call it exercise. Those types of exercise are not all-around, full-bodied, running exercise that dogs require. It’s a sane requirement. Yard pest and vermin-free? Well, have you seen what the dogs in mills must cohabitate with? If your yard is full of rats and roaches, then yes – you’re not doing right by your dog. APHIS is not going to ding someone for an ant. Perhaps the problem here is one of overreaction – and taking the wording too literally. The purpose of the bill is to narrow down the descriptions on the very activities that the horrible puppy mills have been guilty of and getting away with for too long. The wording needed specification.

      • KimT
        This is the USDA audit report that spurred the bill – take a look at it, read what was reported, look at the photos.

      • Jennifer

        If you can’t take the wording LITERALLY, how the hell do you ever write ANY law? If you’re arrested for driving drunk and causing an accident, and your BAC is “only” .02 over the limit, should we just not take the law ‘literally’ and let you go? Come ON! Hence the term, “Follow the letter of the law”. Anyone who has ever tried to write a reasonable law KNOWS that it is the unintentional, collateral damage that makes it fail passage. ANY ambiguity means it needs to go back to the drawing board.

        • melF

          Any ambiguity or disagreement or committee chair’s desire for the bill to fail an lead to it’s failure. But, you also know that a bill can accept amendments and that negotiating the specifics of the bill (via amendments) is part of the legislative process. So work with your senator and representatives on amendments.

  14. Jennifer

    What grinds me is that there are HUNDREDS of dogs ‘accidentally’ , or even worse intentionally bred at the ends of chains in backyards, who have NO socialization, NO vet care, and not even enough nutrition to sustain themselves, let alone a litter of puppies, but hey!! Their owners LOVE them!! But NO! You all sit here persecuting responsible breeders because we breed once in awhile from tested, vaccinated, evaluated, and loved animals, and we do NOT want our rights revoked. And as far as the personal attacks, I can see who is intelligent enough to debate an issue and who has to resort to name calling. I post facts and sources to actually back them up. You call me names and refuse to even consider that you might be wrong, without concern one about actually doing something constructive to increase enforcement of laws already on the books.

    All of you running your mouths about how I don’t care about animals, how about YOU do what I have done in the last 25 years? How about YOU take the job of walking through a shelter every day for two years and deciding who dies to make room for the animals coming in today? How about YOU get up every two hours to nurse day-old orphan puppies because some boob dumped the box of ’em on the shelter steps and left a note saying they’d bring the mother in when they ‘got around to it’? (No, she never was brought in, so that was the routine every day for three weeks!) How about YOU take well over 50 animals into your life and family, rehabilitate them, and find them loving homes, or even keep them yourself? How about YOU hold hundreds of them as they die because nothing you could do could save them, or maybe YOU be the person holding the other end of the needle pushing the plunger? YOU go unload the freezer full of dead animals every week and try not to bawl as you hand them to the guy on the rendering truck to be turned into ‘hydrolyzed animal protien’, and other products. There ain’t a rat-fink one of you that ever got your pristine hands dirty doing all the work, then had to watch as mislead, well-meaning people dump tons of cash into some group of snake oil salesmen who LIE to get the money YOU could do SO much good with, which THEY only use to build pensions and mansions, and try to take away the joy you get from interacting with your own animals. Do all this, and then volunteer even more time raising money for a REAL rescue or shelter when you’re too crippled to actually physically clean kennels, and walk the dogs. Then come tell me what a hero Wayne Pacelle and H$U$ is.

  15. melF

    I don’t disagree with you Jennifer. Dogs on chains, people not spaying their pets or caring for them and I have volunteered and worked at a shelter for 8 1/2 years, until it closed down last December. I know a lot about what you speak. I’ve seen people abandon pets on below zero days at the shelter door. I’ve seen dogs led to the bak room never to return, although in most cases for serious illness or dangerous aggression issues (our shelter never euthanized because of space issues). I am a foster mom to a rescue dog now, a Sheltie, and I have fostered before. I don’t think we are all that different. The reality is there are a lot of issues we could all choose to focus on. My focus is puppy millers and backyard breeders because I have a dog that was a breeder dog in one. It’s not everyone’s issue, but it is mine.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not against all breeders. In fact, I think you made some great points regarding the bill and how it may affect the smaller breeders. I think there is room to amend the bill while still addressing the people we both agree do more hard to dogs than good. But, do we have to throw out the whole bill to make a difference?

    • Jennifer

      In address to your question above about primary vs. seperate from primary enclosure-

      Due to concerns with the safety of my dogs, I do not at any time let them out unsupervised in the fenced back yard. I live in a rural area where the, “Dawgs belong out tied to the box” mentality prevails. Some people are pretty poorly off, and might see snagging one of my ‘fancy show dogs’ as an easy booze-money making scheme. And I seriously don’t trust the radical animal rights extremists, either. They have been known to let animals out of crates at dog shows to be “free”, with the end result being that a half hour later they are part of the freeWAY. I have had friends who don’t support all the propaganda of AR nuts find said people on their own property physically threatening them. I am aware that voicing my points endangers me and my dogs, but I am a FIRM beliver in ALL of the Constitution. I have a concealed carry permit, and I take full advantage of it. Besides, if these people have their way, I’ll have no dogs to protect, will I?

      Beyond them going out for potty breaks while I watch them the whole time, they get a leash walk for exercise purposes. They also get mentally stimulating games while indoors, and take turns going on errands with me. They do not display any of the behaviors typically seen in under-exercised, under-stimulated dogs. The typical age I lose them is 14-16. I currently have a 15 year old, her 13 year old son, a 12 year old rescue whom I adopted to my hubby before we started dating, (got married and got the dog back…go figure) another 12 year old retired show girl whom I never bred due to not being able to do it as I felt it should be done due to a divorce, a 5 year old rescue that my son HAD to have for his own, a 5 year old potential breeding female, and a 9 month old ‘hopeful’. For them to be outside for the amount of time prescribed would require me to stand outside for many hours. This is a task I am not capable of due to my recent loss of full use of my legs. (Leash walks are conducted via an electric mobility scooter, as are show activities.) Thus, if certain cirumstances were to become reality, which is NOT a stretch of the imagination, my type of exercise for my dogs would be in violation.

      I’m glad your shelter is beyond euthanizing for room. Mine was not, and I doubt it is at this point either. My biggest fear is that this bill will pass in a weak, ambiguous mess. I have experience wiht the PA ‘Puppymill Bill”. The law was *almost* perfect. It had a few gray areas that sincerely needed to be ironed out, such as floor surfaces for neonatal puppies and their nursing mothers. In the time I practiced as a veterinary technician, I experienced the difference in the health of neonatal pups whose dams had access to a raised, perforated floor at all times so she didn’t have to soil a hard surface then track it in with her pups if the owner couldn’t get her outsidewhen she needed, or if the dog wasn’t housetrained. Ever have a baby? You aren’t always completely continent, and sudden need to urinate can catch you unexpectedly. If I’m in the shower, and my girl needs to go, she can’t necessarily wait until I get out, dress and take her out. A “Raised, perforated floor” does NOT have to mean wire. Wording to allow the large volume breeders to choose a rubberized or plastic raised floor were shot down again and again by one particular member of the Dog Law Advisory Board and two of his handpicked cohorts. (I was indeed at the meetings.) Pressure to pass the bill during an election year got it signed with this and other serious flaws in it.

      So now, while the veterinary consultant on the board and the whole PVMA say that it is better for the health of the pups and dams, it is passed, and it would take an act of a God to undo it. The other big issue is the loophole that wasn’t closed in terms of licensing commercial kennels. Once a kennel is shut down for violations, the wording allows the PA Dept. of Ag to go ahead and give the spouse a commercial kennel license at their whim for the same property, as long as, “…the convicted spouse has no contact with or participation in the care of the dogs”. This is actually happening now.

      I spent a LOT of time going to the meetings in our state capitol, and put up with the hate and snide remarks of a lot of radical-minded “There’s no such thing as a responsible breeder” short-thinkers who don’t see where their “idols” are leading them. I have learned this: It is dangerous to pass a bill until it is TOTALLY ironed out. Revising this hot mess will take years, and the intent of the law is violated meanwhile. I see this kind of FUBAR on the state level, then I KNOW the feds are gonna screw it up. Fix it NOW, or dump it and start over. Do NOT pass a flawed bill. It will come back to bite you.

  16. Lorie Huston, DVM
    Lorie Huston, DVM10-18-2011

    I support those breeders who breed puppies (and kittens) in a responsible manner. At the same time, I still support this bill. I see far too many puppies in my veterinary practice that come from puppy mills to do anything else.

    Do I want to see purebreds become obsolete? Absolutely not! We have some wonderful breeds of dogs available today and it would be a shame to lose them.

    Do I want to see a world where animals are not and cannot be kept as pets? Of course not. I have six cats of my own and work as a veterinarian. I have no desire for my profession to become obsolete or to give up my companions.

    As far as HSUS and Wayne Pacelle, I’m not a supporter and do not share many of their opinions. But I won’t stand against this bill simply because HSUS supports it either. In this one instance, I happen to find myself on the same side as HSUS. In regards to Humane Watch, I don’t know a lot about them so I’ll refrain from commenting.

    When I see so many animals suffering the fates that these puppy mill dogs suffer, I cannot stand idly by and do nothing. Unfortunately, thanks to the unscrupulous nature of large commercial operations only interested in profits, this type of measure is necessary. Without it, there is no way to curtail their activities, which simply stated are abusive and neglectful.

    It’s said that a civilization is judged by the way it treats its weakest members; its elderly, its children and its animals. If that’s true, we’re failing miserably. It’s not a matter of anyone’s personal rights being taken away (in my opinion) but a matter of seeing that the weaker members of our society (in this case, puppies) are cared for properly. We can’t legislate morality. But we can certainly pass legislation that ends abuse and neglect.

    Will some responsible breeders be affected by this bill? Possibly they will. Still, I believe we have a common purpose here. As a breeder who is interested in more than making money, you obviously have a love of dogs and want to see what is best for them. That is what the supporters of this bill want also.

    If there are issues that need to be addressed that are not in this bill, then let’s amend it so that it works. Jennifer, it sounds like people like yourself could be helpful in that respect!

    There is room in the world for small breeders who breed responsibly. If there are regulations or exemptions that can be added to this bill to make life easier for them without taking the bite out of the bill or leaving gaping loopholes for puppy mills to take advantageous of, let’s talk about them. But let’s not simply throw the bill out and let the puppy mills be the winner of this fight.

    Jennifer, believe me, I hear you about coming into your world. I’ve been there. I worked with my city’s shelter for more years than I care to remember (close to 20 years). I didn’t have to choose the dogs that were euthanized, but I injected the solution that ended their life, over and over again. I cried over it and I’m glad I don’t deal with that particular part of the job anymore. But still, I realize that someone else does that job now and my heart goes out to her and those like her.

    On the other hand (and please believe that I don’t mean this in snarky way), come into my world for a few days and meet the family who is devastated because the cute little puppy they just bought online died of parvovirus the day after it arrived in their home. Or the kids that are crying because their new puppy not only is sick himself but has now been responsible for getting their other dog sick too. Or the young woman who had to take out a second mortgage on her home to pay for the treatment of genetic issues affecting her puppy mill dog. Those are all true stories and there are many more like them. Too many!! That’s why I find it necessary to support this bill.

    Despite the fact that many of us have been preaching to anyone who will listen about the cruelty that is puppy mills and the links between puppy mills, pet shops and sales of puppies and kittens via the internet, most people still don’t understand the connection. These companies tend to hide what they really do very well. And they prey on the unsuspecting. So the only way I know to stop this madness is to make it illegal for these people to operate, at least in the inhumane fashion they do now.

    • Jennifer

      Lorie, as a vet tech, I also have been in “your world”. My answer to that is to EDUCATE, not legislate. I hold classes, both formal, and standing in the grocery store checkout, if I can get an audience of at least one, for free, with themes like “How to Know Your Family is Ready for a Puppy”, “How to Choose the Right Puppy for Your Family”, “How to Avoid Puppy Raising Bloopers”. As a veterinarian, you can make a difference with some literature. Put a up a couple of racks of handouts like the ones I posted above: How to Recognize a Responsible Breeder, and How to BE a Responsible Breeder. Here are links, and I give you permission to print them off and hand them out:

      I still can’t support a bill that will throw me or my other responsible friends under the bus, and this bill has too many ambiguities to pass responsibly. And with H$U$ and PeTA, experience has taught me that they WILL keep mining away at ALL human/animal relationships until NONE are left. Just for giggles, join one of their discussion boards anonymously and lurk. It’ll keep you from sleeping at night. Here’s a direct quote from the International Society for Animal Rights:
      ISAR’s approach to the dog breeding problem is revolutionary because our goal is to end virtually all breeding of dogs in the United States and to prohibit the importation of canines bred elsewhere. End the breeding, not perpetuate it.
      This is our intention and our goal, because only in this manner can the dog-trade’s participants’ appalling, and often illegal, conduct be regulated out of existence once and for all.

      And your fellow veterinarian Michael Fox DVM:
      “The life of an ant and the life of my child should be granted equal
      Michael Fox – Vice President, HSUS
      “We’re not superior. There are no clear distinctions between us and
      Michael Fox – Washingtonian Magazine February 1990

      And all that Frontline you’ve been recommending?
      -(Expressing opposition to use of bug sprays) “Only a few of the million
      you kill would have bitten you.”
      Michael Fox
      Returning to Eden – Fox Publication

      These folks aren’t playing with a full deck, AND they will cheat and lie to reach their goal. They have said so themselves, but no one even believes THEM when they state their true goals. In parting:
      That’s the next step. You have to take one step at a
      time. It was easier to start with fur.
      -Dan Matthews, Director of Fur Campaign, PETA
      (_Detroit_News_, August 13, 1989)

      • Lorie Huston, DVM
        Lorie Huston, DVM10-19-2011

        Thanks for your response, Jennifer. And thanks for those links also.

        I wish I could believe that education by itself is enough. I’ve written extensively about puppy mills, breeders (responsible versus not), and the links between pet stores, internet live animal sales and puppy mills on my blog and in many other arenas as well. I’ve spent more time than I can even estimate talking to clients about why they shouldn’t haphazardly breed their dogs and what it takes to be a responsible breeder. I actively discourage people from buying puppies (and kittens) from pet stores or online. And I’m not alone. Many others share the same messages, you included. And for that, I’m grateful.

        Unfortunately, from what I can see, the message is not getting out. I don’t know whether people just aren’t listening or if it’s because they don’t understand the message. Or maybe the puppy miller owners are just outwitting us. Whatever the reason, the general public continues to buy puppy mill puppies and most of them don’t even realize til it’s too late where their puppies are coming from. And in the meantime, animals continue to suffer. That doesn’t mean that I intend to stop trying. I’ll keep writing and talking. You will too, I’m sure. And I believe that’s important. I’m just not convinced that it’s enough.

        I respect your decision not to support this bill. And I do understand your concerns. I hope you can understand and respect mine also.

        On a different note (well, somewhat different anyway), I’ve never been a supporter of HSUS and even less so of PETA. I don’t like the way either one these organizations do business. That’s all I’ll take the time to say about them here.

        • Jennifer

          I’m finding that the education IS getting noticed around my area. What I’m seeing is that people now know that the pet store pups come from less than ideal conditions at best, and feel so sorry for the pups, they buy them to “save” them. I’ve even heard people brag about having a ‘rescued’ dog, only to find out they ‘rescued’ it by buying it from a pet shop. They are NOT thinking through the whole equation of the pups are as safe as they’re going to be considering their background, but by buying them, you are leaving a space and a reason for the commercial breeders to keep cranking out as many pups as cheaply as possible.

  17. melF

    Why I support the PUPS Act. She lives in Minnesota. Still operates by selling dogs through the internet and is only one example of how puppy mills get around the laws that exist today. The ones several people think we just need to enforce now. I don’t think I need to restate my case. I rest my case.

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