Isn't this proposed federal law coming up for a vote soon? It's a law designed to hurt puppy mills. (I mean real commercial puppy mills - the horrible places that mistreat, neglect and abuse animals) I've read various stories about it and am trying to gauge whether I support it or not with the intention of writing my federal rep and Senators if I decide that I do. I'd like to see a good discussion on the subject. The legislation,, if enacted, would require anyone who sells more than 25 dogs a year to comply with the same inspections as large-scale wholesalers of dogs, who are regulated by the Animal Welfare Act. Under PAWS, violators of the rules could face suspensions for as much as 60 days instead of the current 21-day maximum. Support or not?
I definately DO NOT agree with PAWS. First off most REAL puppymills that are creating so many puppies that they need to sell to petstores to 'move them' are already inspected by the USDA. Aren't they doing a great job already?
As far as 25 puppies a year, that can be under 3 litters a year for large breed dogs. I have more than that per year, and guess what? I am inspected yearly by AKC. Why isn't that good enough?
There are already animal welfare laws in place. They just need to be inforced. My main concern is that I used to work for the Government. I know once policy is approved, it can be CHANGED. You may be in support of the PAWS bill of today (which I am not), but you don't know what it will look like in 10 years.
My big fear is that they will say that puppies can not be raised in the house or that they have to be kept in some separate 'kennel' area. I really don't want people coming in to my home and telling me how to care for my puppies. It is like it punishes all breeders for the actions of a few.
Boxers are like cookies you can't have just one :)
That is the major concern I have with the PAWS. I can live with the inspection. That is not the problem. I am already licensed and inspected by my county, so that is not a big deal. What I am really worried about is that by getting a UDSA license, I will be subjected to the same rules and regulations that were design for commercial breeders. Many of these rules can not be applied to breeders who raise their dogs in their home. The AKC acknowledge this fact and claim that they will be working with the USDA to write new and different set of rules to accommodate those breeders, but with out knowing what the USDA would agree to and what those rule would be BEFORE the bill is passed, it is of little comfort and a really dumb move on the AKC part to trust the USDA to do right by its members and support this bill.
When do we "the people" tell our government, stick a fork in it and see if it is done. There are enough laws, rules and regulations printed that they would fill a good size house. Enforce the laws state, county, local municipality and federal before writing new laws. I swear these elected millionaires have nothing better to do with their time than to tell us how to live.
USDA inspected does absolutely nothing to help the dogs in the true puppymills. They are ok as long as they are kept in a cage that their head doesn't touch and can turn around. So, it's NOT about protecting the animals. They can say it all day long, but there are already laws to protect animals.
I think a big deal will be the 'license fees' for all these inspections. I think that is as much or more of the concern than the animal welfare, the goverment would like it's fees and to regulate all the people that you KNOW aren't claiming all their income from puppy sales.
Boxers are like cookies you can't have just one :)
I personally think PAWS would be a totally different bill if it was being written by someone who had ever raised a litter of puppies. What I love (and by love I mean hate) about the bill is that it is defining the quality of breeder by the number of puppies they produce. Unfortunately, some of the absolute worst breeders I've ever met are the ones that have 1 litter a year out of two pet dogs. (and no folks, this doesn't mean the puppies get raised in the home - often these folks don't want their home smelling like puppy poo and let Mom have them in a garage, unfinished basement, or even just outside in a dog house - they aren't vaccinated, they aren't wormed, they aren't socialized - except maybe total mishandling done by the family's 8 year old which results in a nervous, hyper, paranoid puppy - and the dogs they bred are almost always purchased from a pet store, puppymill, or another BYB). PAWS doesn't touch these breeders. The average public is getting more educated about the Puppymills and Pet Stores - but I don't think we're going to see a decline in the people having 1 litter a year. With a large breed dog - that could be 10-15 puppies that they produce, sell for $200-600 and they never look back. They don't use that money to care for their dogs, show them, improve their breeding program. They buy a new washing machine (or in the case I'm thinking of, put their children in private school...).
PAWS says that the USDA is going to regulate breeder quality. USDA standards for breeders are basically that dogs are treated like livestock. They may make changes, they may not. It also means that every breeder who has more than 25 puppies must be USDA licensed - which means zoned Agricultural. That does away with any German Shepherd breeder who has 4 dogs and is zoned in a residental area s 3 litters a year puts them over that usually.
So we're saying all breeders must live on farms, must house their dogs in outbuildings, and is now able to sell to a pet store? That fixes the problem how? All the major puppymills already do these things...
Like Alicat, I'm inspected - annually actuall - by the AKC. They come in, they actually check to make sure the living area of my dogs is clean and safe (my inspector crawled in my dog houses...). They make sure I'm documenting every litter correctly, all my dogs have identification on them and I know which is which (I know their birthdates off the top of my head, so that is easy :), and they can actually check DNA parentage on any puppies I have in my home. My males all have to be DNA tested to verify that I'm recording sires accurately and not using a dead dog or falsifying sires. AKC is pretty darn thorough. I know one of the stipulations recently added to the law was that any breeder already AKC inspected could get away with not having a USDA license - but how long will that last once the bill passes?
Breed and breeding legislation is way out of hand. And I don't see how these laws are being written by anyone who knows or understands what goes on with a great breeder.
Unless they are going to start requiring health testing, socialization standards, and care standards that treat ALL dogs more like pets and less like livestock, PAWS is a backward step for breeders.
And when we're starting to regulate the practices of breeders, maybe we need to have a mandatory fine for surrendering a dog at an animal shelter? Make pet care laws more strict for dog owners - especially the ones who chain their dogs outside all day everyday? Require everyone to feed the best dog food on the market? Make breeders pass a test so that "pet owners" can't breed their pet dogs? Require that all dogs bred must pass a conformation examination? How about we lock up the pet owners that let their pets get 10 lbs overweight because they don't think it hurts their dog to eat until it explodes? Or the ones that don't groom their dogs... Vaccinate them properly...
I see more problems in the canine community that PAWS is even going to start to fix because it largely targets and affects breeders who are trying to raise their breed seriously and devote most of their time to their dogs. Like me. I have more than 25 puppies a year. I also take my responsibility as a breeder seriously. I breed as much for me as for the people I place pets with. I keep my own puppies. I show my dogs - I actually just got a puppy in one of my recent litters I'll be starting in the ring this spring. I focus on temperament and health first and I health test my parents. I offer an exceptional health guarantee with a full refund in the event something comes up. I am still in contact with the very first person I sold a puppy with almost 6 years ago - on a monthly basis. I remember the date every litter I've ever bred was born. Trust me, I'm not a puppy mill. I also don't want to be USDA licensed. And I don't need someone else telling me how to be a responsible breeder - especially when their standards are lower than mine...