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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been a very vocal adversary of the thinking behind the “Stop the PUPS Act” thread. I seem to be alone in my point-of-view.

I would like an open discussion about what people would see as “sensible” legislation at the local, state and federal level.

We can all agree, I assume, that the status quo is shameful. There are thousands, upon thousands, of dogs that are being housed in an inhumane fashion to produce puppies in accordance with unfettered capitalism. I, personally, find it appalling that we, as a society, have really not done much to stop those abuses.

This thread is designed to hear all ideas to help mitigate against puppy mill abuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
To get things started, I will quote from my last post on the other thread:


I firmly believe that an education-only approach will not work.


I would like to see the following:
1. Sensible local, state and federal regulation (that works in concert with each other). Legislation to better regulate puppy mills is coming. In addition to federal efforts, the number of states that have introduced new legislation has grown substantially over the past few years.

It’s too bad that reputable breeders have joined industry groups in fighting virtually all the proposed bills. I think we would have a better chance of reaching the goal of “sensible legislation” if reputable breeders joined with legislators and animal welfare groups to demand that animals not suffer at the hands of puppy millers in the pursuit of profit.

I believe that if reputable breeders would join the conversation, it would be a great way to have their concerns heard, and addressed, in a productive fashion. I believe that, in so doing, reputable breeders could help educate lawmakers about what distinguishes bad breeders from good and that could go a long way in allaying their own fears of eventually becoming subject to future regulation.

Instead, I fear that reputable breeders are doing themselves a disservice by fighting legislation with misinformation and scare-tactics. It discredits them in the eyes of the very people (lawmakers) that they are afraid of… not to mention in the eyes of the non breed-fancier public.

2. Better coordination and cooperation of local, state and federal agencies in carrying out mandated inspections and enforcing animal welfare laws.
Of course, remember, you can only enforce laws that are on the books. There are a number of states that do not even have felony animal cruelty laws (5 worst states to be an animal: Abuse laws lax - Health - Pet health | NBC News). Not to mention, many State “puppy mill” laws are woefully inadequate. So, better enforcement is not the only answer. That being said, IT IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PART of attaining a better future for the animals that are currently subject to puppy mill abuses.

3. Awareness and education campaigns. Gwen, I like your ideas on this. To be effective, these campaigns have to come from many different voices – not just the animal welfare groups. Having reputable breeders, the AKC, veterinarians, school children, working together with animal welfare groups on a common message would be great!

(btw: The AVMA does support the PUPS Act)

You know, it is interesting that perhaps this is the area where the current AWA has had the most impact.*** The AWA, in mandating inspections, has given the public a view into the conditions puppy mill animals are forced to live in. It is the inspection photos and reports that are being used by animal welfare groups to better educate the public.

***I think we all agree that enforcement of the AWA has been abysmal to date. Yes, the 2010 audit (that I provided a link to in an earlier post), is seeking to correct some of that. But, it remains a problem. The only good news is that awareness campaigns can also lead to better funding of APHIS/Animal Care inspectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
illinoisfederationdogclubs&owners

Look under position paper on PUPS. There are many good reasons to oppose the bill as it is currently.
Hi Andaka,

Thank you for posting this. While I disagree with the conclusions they draw as to the impact of the PUPS Act, I do respect that they make a good faith effort in linking their concerns back to actual provisions in the PUPS Act.

If I were to critique this ‘position statement,’ I would say that they are a little free and loose in how they define “hobby” breeder. If a “hobby” breeder is someone who sells 50+ puppies a year, what term do we use for breeders that produce and sell far fewer puppies per year? Chris Wild acknowledged, in the other thread, that breeders who are selling 50+ puppies a year likely have kennel facilities separate from the house – something this position statement seems to go to great lengths to avoid stating.

In addition, I think they are interpreting some of the provisions in a way that is a bit of stretch. With that said, some of the speculation included in the position statement is good in that it does point to a few areas where the language in the proposed bill could be improved.

As far as the co-ownership issue goes. I know they spend a lot of time talking about the impact this would have. I have to say that I think that could easily be handled by changing the language in co-ownership agreements. I think if responsible breeders sat down with a lawyer, they would find that a lawyer could very quickly draft an agreement that would take care of those concerns. I could be wrong on that.

I have to admit that I am surprised that they oppose the “exercise requirement” and summarize that objection by saying, “The need for the stated exercise requirements, intended for all AWA breeder licensees, is not scientifically proven.”

Okay with all of that said, it seems that this group, like Chris Wild, primarily object to the 50+ number in the definition of “high volume breeder.” What do you think would be a more appropriate definition? How can the PUPS Act better target problem breeders?

If you were tasked with writing the definition, how would you write it?
 

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I think that animal cruelty, whether you have one pet, working or sport dogs, an animal rescue for dogs -- private or public, or a breeder of any size, should apply to all.

On a federal level, I think that there could be laws that protect buyers of out of state puppies and dogs, to ensure that they receive an animal that has been certified by a veterinarian that the animal is in good health at the time of transport, laws that protect animals so that they are not transported over state lines cruelly.

On a state level, I think that there should be laws about how a dog is transported to ensure that the environment of the dog is humane. And, at the state level there should be laws about animal cruelty and animal neglect. I think that there should be levels of animal cruelty/neglect: animal neglect being the least severe, misdemeaner and felony cruelty and aggravated animal cruelty which would be where you have people deliberately torturing animals, maiming them, starving them to death, etc.

I think it should not matter if you have one dog or 600 dogs. If you have 600 dogs suffering, than 600 can be siezed and you have 600 counts of felony animal cruetly, and that would be net you more time than the dude with a single dog he left behind so it starved to death.

Animal cruelty is not only breeders, but rescuers, pet owners, exhibitors, shelters -- anyone who owns a dog.

It sounds like we want to deal with the problem of pet over-population by cracking down on breeders who have poor conditions. I see this as two separate issues. If the poor conditions are causing suffering, then animal neglect/cruelty laws apply, and we should enforce those laws.

I don't know if I like the idea of the government determining who should be allowed to breed their dogs. I think that those convicted of felony animal cruelty should not be able to own dogs and therefore, not breed dogs. And people who drop dogs at shelters should have some consequences, thought that would mean they would just kill the dogs, or dump them on the road somewhere.

I like my idea of a lifetime license microchip, and if they find your dog roaming about, or if your dog is turned in, then you can be held accountable.

Over-population should start with not allowing shelters to import puppies from other countries when they are low on puppies. Beyond that, I really think that there should be consequences for people who purchase or adopt a dog and keep the dog/puppy for a period of time beyond what is necessary to figure out whether the dog is a fit with your home, other animals, and then relinquish them to shelters. If getting a dog was a legal responsibility, with clear consequenses that are enforced, then maybe fewer people would buy puppies on impulse and dump them after the honeymoon is over.

The numbers of puppies being produced is simple supply and demand. If the demand for puppies goes down, the numbers that breeders will breed will also go down.
 

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That was a great read, Daphne. Thank you for sharing. It touched on a few more big questions I hadn't even considered... like would a natural area be allowed for the exercise yard. That is a huge question that isn't answered.

What I really don't understand, and probably the thing I find most infuriating with these discussions, is those getting hung up on the number 50 and the underlying vibe being that a breeder who has 50 pups a year can't possibly be a good, responsible, etc... breeder. They must only be in it for the money.

There is no number that separates the good from the bad. Many BYBs are horrible, but may not have 5 pups a year, much less 50. And there are many exceptional breeders who exceed that number. People with years, sometimes generations of the family, deeply involved in dogs. It's more than a hobby, it's their passion. Larger scale breeders producing excellent, healthy dogs, providing great customer support, whose dogs are very well cared for and housed, and who because of their larger operations have been able to have a huge positive impact on their chosen breed. The legislation that would provide just a few more hoops for puppy mills to jump through would put many long standing, wonderful breeders out of business. And that would be a travesty. Yes, some make a living breeding. Though most don't make a living solely on breeding but rather a combination of dog related activities such as competition, judging, training, boarding, grooming... But even if they did make a living on breeding, why is that inherently wrong? If their dogs are well cared for, they produce good solid dogs and help preserve their chosen breed while providing excellent examples of it to those who want one, who cares what their bank account looks like? People seem to assume that because the mills are horrible, that anyone who produces enough to be labeled a "high volume breeder" must be bad? I just don't understand this reasoning.... Or the need to apply a label to everything. Look at the breeder and their dogs, not the numbers.
 

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Also, since I was paraphrased from the other thread where I said those producing 50 pups probably have some kennels, I'd like to clarify.

First, that of course doesn't apply to everyone as there are many situations, including co-owns, where someone could hit that magic number without needing kennels. But for sake of argument I'll agree that most probably do.

Most breeders I know with kennels don't have all of their dogs in those. Not even all of their breeding dogs. Some are in kennels, some are in the house. Often they are rotated between the two. Many who may keep older dogs in kennels still whelp and raise their pups in the house rather than in those kennels. Once they hit the magic number for the AWA to take effect, that would no longer be allowed. Now all of those breeding dogs, and pups, must go to the kennels because no home can be set up to meet the requirements of the AWA. It just isn't possible.

Even in the rare situation of a breeder where all the dogs are kenneled, I know of many absolutely fabulous kennel set ups that as I said in the other thread are practically doggy palaces, which would not be AWA compliant. They provide nicer, safer housing for the dogs, but for one reason or another wouldn't be allowed. And in many cases to do everything required to make them compliant just wouldn't be feasible. Unless they were running a puppy mill sized operation, or were independently wealthy, they just wouldn't be able to afford to remodel their kennels to dot an i, or hire staff to cross a t.

So breeders who take exceptional care of their dogs and produce excellent dogs for their customers, doing a service to their breed, would be forced out by this legislation. How is that a good thing?
 

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As far as what to offer as an alternative, for the most part I agree with Sue. Enforce the animal cruelty laws already on the books, and if needed revise those. Laws that apply to EVERYONE who owns a dog, regardless of how many or what they do with those dogs. Not only would this be better for the dogs themselves, but it would also provide common ground for legislators and their constituents to come up with a workable plan because it would be something that most could not only identify with, but would potentially be impacted by. As it is, these things are being created, pushed through government, and supported by a populace that is in large part out of touch with the potential for problems because it doesn't affect them. It's easy for non breeders to point fingers at breeders and say what they should be doing... even though they don't know anything about breeding. It's quite a different thing when those fingers are pointing at themselves and most of the people they know who happen to own a dog.

The folks coming up with these laws and pushing for them would put a lot more thought into it if they themselves could be potentially affected. They would start thinking about "hey, I just spent a fortune on that new set up for my dog to be in when I'm at work during the day, but because of X in this bill it wouldn't be allowed..." instead of as it is now where it's only the smaller segment of the population that is impacted, and no one wants to listen to those concerns. The same applies to anyone reading them and trying to decide if it is a bill that they should support or not. General animal care laws that were applied across the board to everyone owning an animal would I'm sure be much more reasonable, and more well thought out, because of how far reaching the implications could be...and how close to home they could hit.

I do believe that much of the problem could be eliminated with a combination of good federal and state animal cruelty laws that are enforced and well designed education programs. If the buyers are educated, they won't buy from mills. If the cruelty laws are enforced, most of the puppy mill conditions that everyone is upset about would be taken care of. Between the two, mills would begin to disappear.
 

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As far as the co-ownership issue goes. I know they spend a lot of time talking about the impact this would have. I have to say that I think that could easily be handled by changing the language in co-ownership agreements. I think if responsible breeders sat down with a lawyer, they would find that a lawyer could very quickly draft an agreement that would take care of those concerns. I could be wrong on that.
Due to the nature of co-owns, and the way that they are handled by registries like the AKC, there is really no way around it. Even if a creative lawyer could come up with a way around it, why should the breeders have to go to that trouble and expense? Especially with a system that is not only time proven to be great way to handle dog business relationships, and mentor new breeders, but which is also usually better for both the breeders and the dogs?

Not to mention, wasn't it millers trying to come up with creative ways around the current laws (that whole no porous surfaces and we have to be able to sanitize it.. wire cages it is!!) that is part of the problem leading to the belief that more laws are needed? If the good breeders can find a lawyer to come up with a way around it, you can bet the millers will. They can afford the really creative lawyers. My guess is that if a way was found so co-owned pups didn't count against the breeder, suddenly every member of their family, their friends, their neighbors, co-own dogs with them an every single one now has no more than 49 pups a year and they could avoid AWA entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to those that have offered up some ideas.

I agree that animal cruelty laws are important. To be effective, I believe, the majority of the state laws would have to be revised to have more meaningful consequences and communities would have to work harder to demand that local authorities do a better job in following through with investigations and prosecutions – not an easy task, but not impossible and certainly something worth working toward.

The other piece that has been mentioned is that we should perhaps consider federal anti-cruelty laws that apply to everyone. While good in theory, in practice there are a couple of issues that pop to mind:

1. It is not “technically” possible. Below, an excerpt from the ASPCA website:

Why isn’t it a federal (nationwide) crime to commit certain acts of cruelty that everyone agrees should be illegal, like torturing an animal to death or beating a pet all the time?

There is no federal cruelty law—and technically, there cannot be. Animal cruelty is dealt with on the state level because the United States Constitution limits the areas in which Congress can pass federal laws applicable nationwide (Article 1, Section 8), and instructs that everything else is up to individual states to handle.

The U.S. Congress’s broadest Constitutional power is over activities that impact or affect international and interstate commerce. The term “interstate commerce” has been very broadly interpreted by Congress and courts throughout the history of our country—allowing Congress to legislate issues that don’t appear, on the surface, to be related to commerce “among the states,” like certain civil rights laws in the 1960s.
Acts of animal cruelty typically occur in a fixed place, and probably cannot be interpreted to impact interstate commerce—not yet, anyway—so the federal government has no jurisdiction over them. Some exceptions to the rule are federal laws involving the transportation of animals across state lines, such as the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.”


2. Even if we were able to pass federal anti-cruelty laws and re-vamp state laws, I believe that they (alone) really can’t be the answer to preventing puppy mill abuses in the first place. Anti-cruelty laws can only be applied after abuses have occurred. The intent of the pre/post licensing inspections and minimum care standards set forth in the AWA (and PUPS) is to prevent abuse.

I do not believe the current laws go far enough to actually accomplish that goal. One of the reasons why I like the PUPS Act is the addition of the "exercise requirement." I think that will greatly enhance the daily life of many of these animals that, as it stands today, can legally spend their entire life in a small enclosure.

3. Without some sort of inspection mandate on puppy mills, it would be very difficult to know what is going on behind closed doors. The leading source of animal cruelty tips is the public. Puppy millers often go to great lengths to keep the public away from areas where they house animals.

Stopping puppy mills is more complicated than it appears at the outset. My first instinct, several years ago, was to say, BAN PUPPY MILLS. But, that would probably only result in worse abuses on the black market. So, not the best solution either. Ughh.

Anyway, would love to hear more ideas/thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As it is, these things are being created, pushed through government, and supported by a populace that is in large part out of touch with the potential for problems because it doesn't affect them. It's easy for non breeders to point fingers at breeders and say what they should be doing... even though they don't know anything about breeding. It's quite a different thing when those fingers are pointing at themselves and most of the people they know who happen to own a dog.
I disagree with the notion that dog owners, veterinarians, APHIS/Animal Care inspectors and animal welfare groups cannot have a valid perspective on the PUPS Act (or any legislation intended to curb puppy mill abuses) just because they are not breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
This is a good tool! The USDA is in an interesting Catch 22. It is a large organization with multiple divisions. In one division (food), they are a consumer assurance for quality and yet in the Animal Welfare division the USDA label is a guarantee that the breeder in question is a puppy mill.

The fact of the matter is that the USDA, as it stands today, only has jurisdiction over those breeders that sell to pet stores. I think they should re-brand the certification to reduce consumer confusion.

I have also thought that it would be interesting if they did something like what California did with restaurant inspections. The inspectors assigned a "grade" to the facility and the legislation demanded that they post that "grade" on their storefront. I, for one, tended to take a second look if the grade was a "C" or below. Anyone from California have additional perspective on that?
 

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I disagree with the notion that dog owners, veterinarians, APHIS/Animal Care inspectors and animal welfare groups cannot have a valid perspective on the PUPS Act (or any legislation intended to curb puppy mill abuses) just because they are not breeders.
Everyone can have an opinion. How valid that opinion is depends in large part upon the base of knowledge upon which the opinion is made. Which in a whole lot of cases is practically nil.

Most of what else I would say about most of the comments made this thread would take this too far into the realm of general politics, since when discussing legislation on that level it is difficult to keep it strictly dog related as the board rules require.

The other thing I would throw out there for people to consider is WHY is this a problem in the US, and not elsewhere? Why doesn't Europe for example have puppy mills? Yes, some of it is government legislation but most of that in the form of general cruelty laws rather than anything aimed specifically at breeders. And a whole lot of it is a more educated general dog buying public.

Most people want to do the right thing. And that certainly applies to those purchasing dogs. They don't want to support a bad breeder and if they know that puppy mills exist they certainly don't want to support those. But they don't know any better. Educate them, and the market would disappear and then so would the suppliers. Historically, educating the populace has done much more to further change for the good than bureaucrats making more and more and more laws trying to legislate morality.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What I really don't understand, and probably the thing I find most infuriating with these discussions, is those getting hung up on the number 50 and the underlying vibe being that a breeder who has 50 pups a year can't possibly be a good, responsible, etc... breeder. They must only be in it for the money.

There is no number that separates the good from the bad. Many BYBs are horrible, but may not have 5 pups a year, much less 50. And there are many exceptional breeders who exceed that number. People with years, sometimes generations of the family, deeply involved in dogs. It's more than a hobby, it's their passion. Larger scale breeders producing excellent, healthy dogs, providing great customer support, whose dogs are very well cared for and housed, and who because of their larger operations have been able to have a huge positive impact on their chosen breed. The legislation that would provide just a few more hoops for puppy mills to jump through would put many long standing, wonderful breeders out of business. And that would be a travesty. Yes, some make a living breeding. Though most don't make a living solely on breeding but rather a combination of dog related activities such as competition, judging, training, boarding, grooming... But even if they did make a living on breeding, why is that inherently wrong? If their dogs are well cared for, they produce good solid dogs and help preserve their chosen breed while providing excellent examples of it to those who want one, who cares what their bank account looks like? People seem to assume that because the mills are horrible, that anyone who produces enough to be labeled a "high volume breeder" must be bad? I just don't understand this reasoning.... Or the need to apply a label to everything. Look at the breeder and their dogs, not the numbers.
Based on all accounts here, you are an excellent breeder. By extension, I assume, that the peers/friends that you are defending are also good breeders. But, what percentage of “high volume” breeders do you really think are good breeders? Look at the estimated numbers of breeders who would become subject to the PUPS Act. Do you really think they are all like your friends? I highly doubt it. Help legislators better distinguish between the different types of “high volume” breeders versus simply saying that numbers don’t tell the story. You are the type of breeder they want to hear from. Do not rely on the inflammatory form letters that the other thread provided.

I believe that 50+ pups per year is "high volume." It is a business, not a hobby! I do not believe that a number, in and of itself, should mean those breeders are classified as puppy millers.

But, if it is true, as you claim, that the 'breed' is the passion of these breeders, they should be more outraged than I am at the practices of puppy mills. They should be leading the charge to stop it! I guess that is my problem... I just don't understand how one can love a breed and oppose every effort to stop practices that are contributing to undermining it. That is what I find infuriating!

(btw: yes, I agree, BYBers "that may not have 5 pups per year" are a big problem. I just don't see how we can regulate them at the federal level. Puppy millers are a different story)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Everyone can have an opinion. How valid that opinion is depends in large part upon the base of knowledge upon which the opinion is made. Which in a whole lot of cases is practically nil.
@Chris Wild... we posted at the same exact time.

Re: your more recent post. I would argue that the base of knowledge you, as a reputable breeder, have of puppy mill operations is far less than those who have been inspecting them and investigating them for years.

In fact, I would argue that this is why you seem unable to view this proposed legislation through any other lens than that of a "responsible breeder."

We all know that the target of the PUPS Act is NOT responsible breeders. You may have legitimate problems with it, but why not address those in a more productive fashion... why reject the PUPS Act in its entirety?
 

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Because it "isn't targeted at responsible breeders" doesn't mean those breeder will be affected by the unnecessary legislation.
As Chris posted, educating JQP is what will make the difference, not more legislation, it is that simple.
 

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@Chris Wild... we posted at the same exact time.

Re: your more recent post. I would argue that the base of knowledge you, as a reputable breeder, have of puppy mill operations is far less than those who have been inspecting them and investigating them for years.

In fact, I would argue that this is why you seem unable to view this proposed legislation through any other lens than that of a "responsible breeder."
I'm quite sure I don't know as much about mills as inspectors visiting them. But I probably do know more about animal husbandry and breeding.

And since I can, and have, looked at the same puppy mill photos as you and everyone else who sits on the sidelines choosing to be for or against the act, I'm about equally qualified as anyone short of those inspectors to pass judgement on it's effectiveness, and much more qualified than most of those looking at the photos to see the dangers for good breeders and how some of the regulations are absolutely pointless and do nothing to help the dogs. If anything they work against helping the dogs by cluttering up the system with ridiculous small violations rather than focusing on the big offenders.

I went through the site Jane posted and was horrified at the photos. But much of my horror wasn't due to the conditions, but due to the things that triggered a violation:
Pallets of dog food stacked against a wall where everything "couldn't be cleaned properly". I'd never stack feed out of the way near a wall. How silly! They're so much more convenient in the middle of the aisle where everyone can trip over them.
An expired medication. I've probably got one of those in our dog cabinet... and probably more than a few in my own medicine cabinet. Which is why we always check to see if we need to reorder anything before having a litter because I don't make it a habit to regularly go through the dog's medicine cabinet, much less my own, and look at labels and throw out old stuff.
Some empty vaccine vials and syringes lying on a table. Yup, my puppy room counter would look the same if someone stopped by as we finished giving shots. So what?
A dog with a collar and tag that wasn't on the manifest. Guess we're supposed to update our file cabinets and computer programs everytime we dog sit for a friend.
A wooden post in a kennel.
Some non dog related tools stacked in a corner of the building that also happened to house (a very nice looking by the way) whelping kennel.
Straw bedding in a dog house. Not sure what is wrong with that, but it's apparently a voilation.

Does nitpicking those sorts of things really help anyone? There is more than enough in the AWA already as it stands to really crack down on puppy mills and force them to either improve conditions or go out of business. Yet there is either a lack of funding or lack of desire to focus on the real issues that the AWA already gives these inspectors the power to work against.

We all know that the target of the PUPS Act is NOT responsible breeders. You may have legitimate problems with it, but why not address those in a more productive fashion... why reject the PUPS Act in its entirety?
You say it isn't to target responsible breeders. Many feel differently, that it is intended to target all breeders indescriminately. As far as why do I oppose it, as I said in the other thread my objection is the adding the "high volume breeder" language and definition. If it were just about an exercise area, and otherwise nothing changed with regard to who it would apply too (IOW, only those already subject to AWA) then I wouldn't care. That's certainly more reasonable, and also will do much more actual good for the dogs, than writing up citations about where a breeder hangs the mops and brooms.

My objection to reducing the number to 50 pups isn't just because it's getting to a low enough number to impact good breeders. It's also because of the large number of breeders that it would add. The true puppy mills that are real problems are producing far more than that. Add an extra 0 to make it 500 pups a year and that is more accurate. Yet APHIS is already (supposedly) so understaffed and underfunded that it can't do anything about the huge operations that are serious, repeat offenders. So stretching things even more thin, adding thousands of breeders that are essentially small potatoes, isn't going to help anything. Least of all the dogs.

As far as "why reject it in it's entirety?", well, because that's how legislation works. It's all or nothing. The bill passes, as written, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, maybe it gets revised and submitted again. But there is no way to say yes to one part and no to another. It doesn't work that way. This is of course intentional and is how a lot of stuff, often completely unrelated stuff, gets passed into legislation by being a little blurb written into a larger bill. PUPS is no different.
 

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One thing I'd like to see that I think could help, is more involvement from AKC. People already think AKC papers mean quality, and AKC certainly encourages that belief. I think if they did more to make that true, a lot could be accomplished. While they're just intended to be a registry, they've already set themselves up as much more than that both in lobbying for and against all sorts of dog related legislation and in having an army of inspectors who visit breeders and will pull the breeder's ability to register pups with AKC if there are violations. So they've already set themselves up as somewhat responsible for being part of the solution.

While I don't know for sure, I would wager those inspectors are more knowledgeable and involved in dogs that those serving USDA. And AKC is a much more knowledgeable organization about how to judge a breeder and they have interests on both sides... combating puppy mills while preserving good breeding. And the public already has a strong opinion of the value of AKC papers.

Up the pro-AKC propaganda machine so that the dog buying public wants those papers... not papers from the fake registries that the puppy mills use. Then make those papers mean a lot more by ensuring some standards in terms of care are met by hiring more inspectors as currently there aren't near enough so that they can hit enough of the kennels producing high numbers of puppies.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable with a serious dog organization like AKC policing it's own than with the government, and am sure most other dog breeders and fanciers would agree.
 

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fwiw, my opinion on the necessity of this type of legislation has done an almost complete 180 since I started learning more about the world of purebreds.

I don't think that enforcing existing animal cruelty laws is a complete answer just because that is a patchwork of state laws, they're often surprisingly weak (I had an animal cruelty question pop up at work a couple of months ago and there was literally nothing the owner could do, because in PA it is not "animal cruelty" for somebody to come up and beat your dog with a stick right in front of you for no reason, unless they cripple or kill your dog) and they are often selectively enforced. And if it's going to be federal, it has to be tied to commerce in some way to justify the regulation.

But as far as this specific proposal goes, eh.
 
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