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Cathy Moon
23rd June 2007, 01:14 PM
I know that I'm only one of a small number of CavTalk members from Ohio. But I think this topic is important to many of us because it has to do with animal welfare and wanting to protect innocent dogs from lives of suffering.

Ohio ranks among the worst states for having puppy mills and dog auctions. There are over 10,000 kennels in Ohio, and only approximately 218 of these kennels are licensed wholesalers, which means only 218 are regulated by the USDA. Of the remaining kennels, there are both ethical breeders and puppy mills of varying sizes. Since Ohio doesn't have proper laws in place to protect the many, many dogs who are currently suffering in these puppy mills, my husband and I have joined with others to protest their plight. We had a cavalier hobby breeder and a shih tzu hobby breeder protesting right alongside us.

Now the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate are working on passing Puppy Mill legislation. Some of the people at our protest helped design these bills. Both bills are intended to regulate the puppy mills, where dogs are crowded into filthy outbuildings and living in deplorable conditions with no veterinary care. The bills are not intended to regulate hobby breeders and ethical breeders who take good care of their dogs.

Here is the new law: People who have been convicted of a specific list of offences relating to domestic animals are not allowed to be breeders or intermediaries (brokers) of dogs. People who have 9 or more adult dogs kept for the purpose of breeding will need a kennel license. Retired dogs or dogs not for breeding are not included in the total. The new law describes the size of the dogs enclosure, there must be light during daylight hours, the dogs must have a warm, dry shelter, urine and feces must be cleaned up every 12 hours. Clean, unfrozen water in an open container must be available at all times (not a drip bottle), dogs must have daily access to adequate and wholesome food to ensure a proper and healthy weight, the dogs flooring must be capable of being cleaned and must not injure their feet. There must be a clean, sufficient sized resting board for the dog and it can have soft bedding on it. Dogs must be kept in sanitary conditions with adequate ventilation, sheltered from the elements and not in the vicinity of contagious sick animals. Dogs must be kept in the shade during the months of May-Sept. Dogs must be provided with veterinary care for any disease, illness, or injury. Nails must be trimmed so they don't curl and impair the dogs' gait, a clean whelping box must be provided when needed. Dogs must be groomed regularly to prevent matting from fecal matter or bodily fluids. Dogs must be appropriately protected from fleas, ticks, biting and stinging insects, and must be provided treatment for worms if they are inflicted. Dogs and puppies must be provided with appropriate boosters and vaccinations as determined by the dogs' vet, and heartworm preventative. Dogs requiring euthanasia must be euthanized by a vet, and must not be left unattended between the beginning of the process and death. Dogs must not be beaten or brutalized. All licensed kennels must be inspected. Also fines are established for violations, and the kennel owner must be covered by insurance or bonds to cover the cost for care of the dogs if the dogs need to be removed from the kennel. Dogs sold in pet stores must have a vet health certificate and they must have the breeder's information. There will be a 21 day money back guarantee on pet store dogs.

Ethical breeders are already doing all of these things; this legislation is for puppy mills.

What I'm writing here are only words on a computer display. But I want to make this point: the suffering of these dogs is REAL. Their feet hurt because the wires of their cages are cutting into the pads of their feet, their feet are infected because they're soaked in urine and feces, their toes are splayed because no one cuts their toe nails. Their hair is matted and it hurts because it pulls their skin. They are overcrowded and they have to eat feces because the aggressive dog sharing their cage will not let them eat food. Their eyes are infected, their ears are infected, their gums are infected and their teeth are rotting and they HURT. I will not go on and on about the suffering of these dogs. I just want to make the point that this is real and it's tragic beyond words.

The only way we can help these dogs is to pass legislation that regulates puppy mill breeders; how can anyone be against it. I know this type of legislation scares ethical breeders, but the plight of these countless thousands of dogs is too important. This bill will not affect people who care for their dogs.

Here are some links to information about this bill:
http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/Legislation.html

Here is a link to a video showing footage from the dog auction we protested in April:
http://www.stoppuppymills.org/

Nancy
23rd June 2007, 03:05 PM
unfortunately , this law will also wipe out all dog breeding in Ohio in effect, it is not specific enough. Under this new law it would become virtually inpossible to be a hobby breeder in Ohio and only the large commercial breeders would be able to comply and that might be doubtful. If each breeding animal dog or bitch can only be bred once per year which seems to be the way this reads, the number of breeding pairs could be huge if someone chose to breed several litters a year. The fees alone would put an end to hobby breeding. Every dog breeder will be required to obtain large insurance policies payable to the state in case of failure to comply with any of the rules. The dog warden has the sole discretion to determine what is and is not acceptable animal care. The dog wardens will also have the right to seize and impound any dog they deem to be in violation of the rules. The visiting out of state bitch who does not have a proper Ohio registration can be seized and euthanized within days and the owner has no recourse. Please read it for yourselves. I have a list of every ohio senator who supports this bill and voiced my objections. Please contact me if you'd like it, you don't have to live in Ohio. I am all for banning all puppy mills, but not the dog fancy. There is a frightening trend going on right now and animal rights groups ( the ones who think no one should have pets) are the money behind it.
http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_SB_173

Cathy T
23rd June 2007, 04:13 PM
Sort some questions out for me guys

!.
Under this new law it would become virtually inpossible to be a hobby breeder in Ohio and only the large commercial breeders would be able to comply and that might be doubtful Why? If you have fewer than 9 breeding dogs it sounds like you don't need a license.

2.
If each breeding animal dog or bitch can only be bred once per year the number of breeding pairs would be staggering Does the wording say that? I don't think this is right, why limit it to once a year?

3. From what I'm reading in Cathy's breakdown in plain english of the requirements (sunlight, shelter, food, medical care) it all sounds like things a responsible breeder/owner does anyway but that the millers don't. Is there something I'm missing that's negative in this?

Not trying to start an argument...just want to understand better.

matties mum
23rd June 2007, 07:17 PM
A good breeder does not breed their dogs every year it is my understanding that a lot of people breed every two years
A puppy-mill or farm breed every season with out the dog not having time to recover and are keep in very bad condition I have been on a puppy farm in the UK and would not like to think that any of my dogs would land in that place
I know this is in the USA so I hope that you dont mind me saying this
Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

WoodHaven
23rd June 2007, 09:04 PM
A good breeder does not breed their dogs every year it is my understanding that a lot of people breed every two years
A puppy-mill or farm breed every season with out the dog not having time to recover and are keep in very bad condition I have been on a puppy farm in the UK and would not like to think that any of my dogs would land in that place
I know this is in the USA so I hope that you dont mind me saying this
Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)


I really don't want to keep my dogs tagged all the tim. I really wouldn't want to have to be subject to search and possible seizure by the whims of deputies. I don't think I need a background check, fingerprinting and signing affidavits.

My vet and I don't agree on some things (yearly heartgard, yearly shots, I don't do lepto, kennel cough, corona, lymes)-- I would hate to have these same discussions with a deputy with a napoleanic complex.

I can run a small child care center from my home with a LOT LESS problem.

The major problem with these laws is once they are laws-- their numbers are really easy to change. It becomes a silent amendment that no one sees until it is approved. Like the county tax where I live-- It was changed in one year from 19 dollars a year for an intact dog, now it is 40. So yes, they start with 9 intact dogs-- nine is a Lot. Then it is 6, the 3, then 0.

The key to this problem is EDUCATION--- show people where these 'cute' puppies in the petstore come from -- the answer to this problem isn't legislation. Bad people DON'T follow the rules anyway.

Cathy Moon
23rd June 2007, 09:29 PM
If each breeding animal dog or bitch can only be bred once per year the number of breeding pairs would be staggering.
The bill does not make a statement like what you're saying here.

The bill states that the definition of a breeding animal is one that is bred at least once per year.

Karlin
23rd June 2007, 10:40 PM
As someone who has spent several years helping get dogs out of pounds, working on spay/neuter issues and most especially on our puppy farm legislation proposals (where I have spoken to numerous representative sides of the issue for Irish Times stories), I feel very strongly about this topic.

One thing I have found a bit baffling is how eager breeders outside of Ireland are for IRELAND to have very strict legislation controlling dog breeding here -- yet breeders in the US in particular are anxious not to have ANY animal welfare legislation controlling breeding/spay/neuter over there.

Several US/Canadian breeders who have been supportive to me in recent times in trying to bring in welfare legislation here are also those who oppose legislation in their home territories (I refer to numerous peoople who were of help to me from the L-list over time; some of whom are very vocal against any legislation, on the L-list). Why? This is especially confusing to me because the vast majority of puppy mill cavaliers, to take just one breed, clearly come from these operations in the US -- Ireland (or Wales, or Romania) adds only a small drop to that number. Yet many cavalier N American breeders seem overly focused on seeing Ireland as a huge element in a problem that is primarily, and overwhelmingly, homegrown -- perhaps because it shifts focus, and hence risk of legislation, out of their backyard.

Just take the number of breeding operations for Ohio alone, as noted by Cathy. Even if you only look at the USDA-certified operations, that is *at least double the number of likely puppy farmers in the Republic of Ireland*. And that is just for one single state. Many of the Irish operations are tiny in comparison to the US mills featured in raids -- 60 dogs (as just were collected in a raid here this past week) is a large operation over here. That number might constitute one aisle of dogs in a US mill! Many times that number are sold regularly at US auctions (incidentally dog auctions, selling dogs at fairs, or selling dogs/cats in pet stores is illegal over here, but both the govt and national club still felt more needed to be done legislatively).

The problem in the US is vast compared to here and your pts rate in pounds is far higher than here (and we are one of the worst in the EU!). I would guess that in the US and here, maybe 20% at most of pedigree dogs come from reputable breeders. Yet pedigree dogs, mostly from mills and BYBs, make up about 20-25% of pound populations according to rescue contacts in the US, similar here, which is millions of dogs in the US. Why then should a small hobby restrain much larger welfare issues? And why is it so opposed to any form of welfare legislation? In Ireland, the IKC has repeatedly stated it supports, and STRONGLY supports, provisions that are more extensive than those in the Ohio bill -- I have spoken directly to the head of the IKC on this issue several times -- and no one is stating that hobby breeders will be done out of their hobby (if anything, the IKC wanted GREATER controls on how dogs can be bred out of concern for overbreeding). The IKC feels it is very important to protect buyers as well as breeds to place some legal curtailment on the horrors of puppy farming and better control a poor quality dog market that it alone cannot manage. They also feel such legislation is important for helping to protect some of the Irish native breeds that are being destroyed by puppy farmers. I have seen little sign that the AKC manages that trade in the US very well, either.

There is writing on the wall now in the US as can be seen be many ordinances passed in many regions and cities and states -- just as there is in the UK -- that breeders need to be part of solutions, not just oppose all proposals, a firefight that is pointless and will not be won. If there's nothing but opposition, the laws will be made around the breeders and breeders will get what they really do not want (in the case of the US, eventually state or federal legislation; in the case of the UK, further national and perhaps EU legislation).

I spoke to two US lobbyists on (or should I say, AGAINST) welfare legislation when I was writing my piece on Irish puppy farms. They both were thrilled that Ireland would bring in restrictions. But they could not give me a single example of something they felt could be done of a similar vein in the US. They talked in circles around every question I asked. They had endless reasons why not a single restriction, inspection, license, spay/neuter requirement, you name it, could possibly be imposed on the hobby breeder of cats and dogs because 'it would damage and destroy the hobby'. Yet numerous countries have such systems and they have not damaged and destroyed the show world in any of these places.

I know there are many hobby breeders, most especially small breeders (where it really is a hobby), and those who work in breed rescue or general rescue rather than support from afar, who are very disturbed as a lack of leadership at club level FOR anything in the area of animal welfare in the US and Canada. They do support action on these issues, and they feel unable to state that they do because they would be gunned down by the very vocal anti-welfare lobby. I think there's perhaps less broad support amongst the hobby than might be assumed for the standard position to date; many people do feel there needs to be regulation and some oversight but there's so little dialogue encouraged on the topic that they are voices that aren't being heard -- but they do vote. Not all bills are sound, obviously -- the California bill is poorly designed -- the spay requirements are way too early. But the Ohio bill looks pretty good to me, as someone who has read a lot in this area, across international legislation, while working with groups to get some changes here in Ireland. And is one I will be forwarding to our new Minister overseeing this area in Ireland.

Bet
24th June 2007, 01:14 PM
Can I say how sorry I'am to have mentioned on another List about how frightening this Bill is ,

Ijust hadnt understood the back-ground as to why it was so needed

Karlin and you Cathy have explained it so well ,surely ,nobody who is an Animal Lover can possibly have any objections to it.

What I cant understand is ,because I argued on other Lists about Animal Welfare ,it was insinuated that I was an Animal Rights Activist

Id to take Legal Advice about this Insinuation

Where the connection is between the two is beyond me !!!!!!!!!!!

Bet

Caraline
24th June 2007, 01:18 PM
Here in Australia we have seen several legislations implemented in relationship to companion animals, breeding, dangerous animals etc, and as these legislations were impending people got themselves all worked up about where it could lead. There was a lot of fear that it was just a foot in the door and that councils & the government would have breeders & pet owners in a stangle hold, but so far none of those fears have come to fruition.

It is always possible that some may be disadvantaged by new legislations but in the vast majority of cases, people are already acting in a responsible manner & the new legislations affect them little. It is an indictment on us humans that the rules of decency must be spelled out, but sadly it must, as there will always be those whos capacity for cruely & their worship of the almighty dollar cause unbearable suffering.

We don't breed anymore, but did on a very small scale some time back and personally I'd embrace such a legislation.

Nancy
24th June 2007, 01:22 PM
Bet, I am on the other list and this is a different bill and state entirely than the one on the other list that was discussed. The problem with these bills is that the lines drawn can change drastically. In the CA bill, all exemptions stop entirely after 2009. Same can happen with this one. I do favor this one more, because it does give some teeth to clamping down on puppy mill activity, but it gives absolute power to the dog warden. There is a very well known breeder in Ohio with excellent facilities who probably will not be able to meet the rules set forth in this legislation. She does have a lot of dogs, and is very active in the show world, and she judges, and there is no question her dogs are well cared for and amongst the most beautiful in the US.

Cathy Moon
24th June 2007, 02:52 PM
What I cant understand is ,because I argued on other Lists about Animal Welfare ,it was insinuated that I was an Animal Rights Activist

Id to take Legal Advice about this Insinuation

Where the connection is between the two is beyond me !!!!!!!!!!!

Bet
I understand what you're saying, Bet.

I would like to make it clear to everyone that I don't belong to any 'animal rights' groups.

My motivation for supporting this bill is my conscience, because I have seen some of these puppy mill dogs with my own eyes.

Karlin
24th June 2007, 03:21 PM
Yes, but 'the lines can change dramatically' could be said about every piece of legislation on every topic, and isn't an excuse to NOT legislate to improve a situation, and NOT change what has been acceptable in the past, but used as loopholes for abuse.

And every piece of legislation or concern by people about animal WELFARE is not a secret attempt by animal rights activists to inflitrate the system. There will always be AR people trying to change things -- but likewise there are extremists on the breeder side trying to make sure nothing changes.

I have seen plenty of extremism on the breeder side too -- for example the official breeder lobbyist whose email was crossposted to the L-list who claims the figures for pts in California are vastly distorted by people bringing elderly dogs to be pts and by gangs of feral dogs and 'groups' who let dogs stray.... jeez such 'groups' could constitute a lot of the suburban California neighbourhoods I grew up in, as well as lots of farms and ranches, but betcha those aren't the 'groups' this is meant to imply... :rolleyes: I mean, get real here -- MILLIONS of dogs are put down in Calif every year, of which what tiny number were elderly, feral, etc. Such laughable (and insulting) silliness directly undermines the hard efforts to defeat/change the California bill on *relevant* issues -- like the too early spay/neuter age that would be mandatory.

The reality as is already becoming clear from worldwide and much US legislation, is that hobby breeders will not be able to stall legislation simply because they endlessly say it constitutes a slippery slope for the animal rights activists. I think more also need to get directly involved in the reality of rescue, and not just 'club ladies who lunch' style rescue that I have seen first hand in too many places across too many breeds, where pound, ill or special needs animals are not on the agenda or only there with extreme distaste. They also need to spend a little more time in pounds (I used to go to our local one daily to take pictures of dogs for our general rescue network here; what a wake up call that was. I bet 95% of club breeders have never spent more than moments, if any time at all, in their local pound and have no idea of the pts rate, the kinds of dogs there, the reality of the situation outside the club world). Reputable breeders can either be part of making that legislation better legislation or they will see legislation enacted around them. For example why aren't breeders working for amendments to the California bill rather than trying to quash it on all grounds? Another will come along that will get through, eventually, and sooner rather than later -- I will lay money on that! Breeders need to be part of solutions, not the problem.

In Ireland you need and always have needed to buy a general (kennel) dog license for owning more than about 10 dogs. Our proposed legislation uses that existing requirement to attach more responsibilities regarding care and kennelling if you own more than that number of dogs, which makes total sense to me. If I had that many rescue dogs to manage I would be perfectly happy to have oversight on the basis of good welfare standards. I would like commercial boarding kennels to have such oversight (which they will). If show breeders have that number, I think they should be able and willing to demonstrate good welfare practice as well. ESPECIALLY those with 20,30,40+ dogs primarily kennelled and producing litters mainly for the pet market (which is a pretty minimal level of interaction for a dog, let's be totally honest here -- very few reputable breeders would home a puppy to a PET home that would keep that dog in the conditions in which they keep the bulk of their show dogs in such large scale operations, now, would they? Isn't there a lot of irony in that? Are there not two standards being applied?). The line is very slim between the 'hobby', and commercial breeding at that point, regardless of how reputable the breeder or how involved in the show world. I know full well many reputable breeders have big issues with breeders with such large numbers of dogs (not to mention cases where some formerly reputable breeders have slipped into the temptation to become puppy millers as has happened in the US recently and also in the UK) -- this has been debated on the L-list too several times -- so mass breeding/kennelling no matter how well known the person is not without controversy amongst breeders themselves.

I just am tired of the exhortation to oppose all legislation (except that in Ireland that US breeders seem to want :rolleyes: ) primarily on the vague assertion that 'it will end hobby breeding' and 'the animal rights activists will soon use this legislation to outlaw owning dogs and cats'. I mean, come on; I want more engagement on the real issues than that. I'd like to see more breeders involved with suggesting solutions. I feel fortunate to have been able to talk so directly with the IKC here about solutions, and I was very glad to have them firmly state to the former Minister here that they very much backed greater control and better licensing schemes for anyone managing larger numbers of dogs -- for whatever purpose.

Pansy
25th June 2007, 01:34 AM
Well, I can show how what were well intentioned regulations in Bermuda have definitely made it so that it'll be extremely difficult for me to breed.

Before I got my Cavaliers, I spoke with the animal control vet and asked if there would be any problem having up to ten dogs. I figured that would be a few oldies, perhaps two guys and gals of breeding age, and puppies which I wished to run on for up to a year. He said no problem. I didn't anticipate always having ten dogs, just that between pups and the occasional rescue it could be that had ten dogs living on the property.

Then an unsavoury (druggie/gang types) started using dogs as weapons. Some also used dogs for fighting. Instead of using existing laws, and they decided to impose regulate the ownership and breeding of all dogs and ban the importation and breeding of certain breeds.

Anyone with over two dogs needs a kennel license (premises inspected), before breeding the premises need to be inspected again, the name, age and sex of dogs listed, then a hefty payment when the bitch is pregnant, possibly another inspection after the litter is born, and all pups must be licensed and microchipped within 4 weeks.

Things have changed since the regulations were put in place. It's now not politically correct to have more than 4 dogs, when I asked for a breeding permit for an older heart clear boy and girl, it got stuck in red tape for a while, the whole situation has made it expensive and difficult to breed.

It's a wonderful example of well intended regulations making it difficult for people who are trying to do the right thing. Oh we now have brokers with flourishing businesses bringing in dogs, many with health or temperament issues. Progress? I think not. Though there is no doubt that the politicians who proposed the regulations thought they were helping. Perhaps they have, but it certainly has made me rather bitter. It's changed so much in the past ten years, heaven knows what it'll be like in another ten. If I didn't have an elderly mother, I'd definitely move somewhere which was friendlier to small dog breeders. So much for the dream of retiring and breeding Cavaliers. It's pretty much impossible, unless sell all oldies and rehome the pups when very young. Definitely a case of being wary of what seem to be well intended regulations.

Oh, I forgot... what happens if you want to keep the dogs who flunk their health exams, the dog with SM, the sweet girl who may have an early murmur.... nope, have to rehome them or not get anyone new. Really some of these laws can lead to heartbreaking situations for health conscious well intentioned breeders who are already paying for extra testing etc trying to do it all right.

Nancy
25th June 2007, 03:57 AM
Thank you for posting that Pansy, it makes all these proposals very real. It's very easy to toss around statistics about shelter rates, Levine misuses them all the time yet CA imports hundreds of dogs from Mexico and other countries and the bill does nothing to stop that. The quality breeders who really have nothing to do with the shelter surrenders get blamed for those sad situations.

Caraline
25th June 2007, 06:03 AM
It is the greatest good for the greatest number that is important. We should never lose sight of that. When positive change comes about there will always be some casualty. This is a fact of life. If we think through the history of our own countries, to times when some cruelty (that at the time was considered normal & a right) had been outlawed, then there will always be some negative fallout, but to think that those laws may never have been passed because of this, is unthinkable. We must never lose sight of the big picture.

Karlin
26th June 2007, 06:47 PM
I'd just like to note, for the benefit of certain breeders and other folks being sent to read this thread from off the board by comments elsewhere, that intelligent people do generally realise a difference of perspective and experience and belief does not constitute 'misinformation', but simply, an alternative point of view that you don't need to agree with, but (I would argue) you would be foolish to dismiss. I know not much dissenting opinion is ever offered on the L-list about legislative issues, but as a couple of my fellow members there have just demonstrated, why would anyone bother, if an unsolicited personal attack or snide comment is the result? Thankfully most on the list are not of that mindset.

As anyone with the most basic experience in campaigning would know, turning a discussion into an ad hominem attack is one of the weakest forms of debate. In a confident discussion, I'd have expected a discussion of issues and ideas, not people; however, on second thought, I've seen the same tactics repeatedly used by a few in discussing breed health issues as well. Personalising the issues, even spreading stories people know are untrue, is always a useful way of trying to deflect and suppress substantive discussion. So is implying only a small select group are entitled to have any view on subject, and that the only view is their view.

Fortunately, the world moves on. The internet provides, through boards, discussion list and websites, a way of democratising debates and getting other perspectives and information out into the open, whether people like it or not (and many do not). The debate isn't so easily controlled or confined any longer.

Jay
27th June 2007, 12:11 AM
Cathy,
I wish you the best of luck on getting this bill passed. It seems well thought out to me. While I believe educating the public regarding puppy mills is necessary, I don't think that in of itself will end this horrific problem. The bottom line is that some people flat out don't care. Walking into to store and plunking down your money on a cute little puppy is a lot easier than researching breeders and doing your homework. I simply don't agree with these large scale breeding programs whether they are run by millers or "reputable" breeders.


ESPECIALLY those with 20,30,40+ dogs primarily kennelled and producing litters mainly for the pet market (which is a pretty minimal level of interaction for a dog, let's be totally honest here -- very few reputable breeders would home a puppy to a PET home that would keep that dog in the conditions in which they keep the bulk of their show dogs in such large scale operations, now, would they? Isn't there a lot of irony in that? Are there not two standards being applied?). The line is very slim between the 'hobby', and commercial breeding at that point, regardless of how reputable the breeder or how involved in the show world.

Amen!
J.