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Combating Animal Rights A Different Perspective

The first thing I would like to address in Mr. Bengston’s remarks is the word “puppymill”. The word was invented by the animal rights movement and has been used by them for years to indicate ANYONE who breeds dogs. They don’t discriminate about breeders. Anyone who breeds is a puppymill. They believe as part of their core values that NO ONE should be breeding dogs. And make no mistake they mean no one. They don’t care how many pretty ribbons you have won under prestigious judges. They don’t care how much health testing you have done. They don’t care how many champions you have produced. And they don’t care how well you take care of your dogs. It is never good enough for them. The use of the word “puppymill” by a breeder is the equivalent of a black man calling another black man by the N word and should be just as insulting.

The AR movement first published their agenda in their own magazine in 1987. I won’t reprint the entire agenda here since it is wordy and can be found easily online.It is something dog breeders should be aware of and read for themselves. But number 10 on their list directly applies here:

“10. We strongly discourage any further breeding of companion animals, including pedigreed or purebred dogs and cats. Spay and neuter clinics should be subsidized by state and municipal governments. Commerce in domestic and exotic animals for the pet trade should be abolished.”

ABOLISHED.Not reduced or controlled but ABOLISHED. These extreme fanatics don’t believe anyone should have an animal or use an animal in any way including pet ownership. So they invented this word “puppymill” as a way to insult breeders – all breeders, any breeders because they don’t believe any one should be breeding. They invented the word as a convenient LABEL to slap on breeders and they have convinced the general public that it is a real crisis, a problem that needs to be addressed to stop these nasty breeders and end pet overpopulation so dogs don’t have to die in shelters. The animal rights cult has grown and spread and is fast becoming part of our mainstream thinking. Every time I hear some breeder pointing at another breeder and calling them a puppy mill I want to smack heads and take numbers.

The phrase is usually directed at the commercial breeders in Missouri and other states that have recently received support from AKC. What you may not be aware of, thanks to the bias of the media is that commercial breeders have long since cleaned up their act. They have been under siege for almost 40 years and they took action to protect their profession. And yes I said profession. Are you aware that the commercial breeders have organizations? They hold educational seminars for their members that put most of the ones held by AKC clubs to shame. I have never been lucky enough to attend one of their seminars but I have talked to AKC hobby breeders who have attended and they were stunned and amazed at the huge amount and variety of educational material made available to the commercial breeders. Many of the commercial organizations now require attendance at these educational seminars for membership. Here is a link to one of those organizations:http://www.mofed.org/.MoFed is regarded as one of the most powerful animal welfare lobbying organizations by Congress. Many of our Congressional leaders see the value of working with a group that contributes jobs, income and taxes to the country rather than just taking donations and paying no taxes such as HSUS.

In our modern day of instant access to information it is almost impossible for anyone to raise dogs without being under scrutiny. Those horrendous photos you see in commercials for the “Humane Society” are mostly outdated or a 1 in one million exception to the care given animals by breeders everywhere. The photos are intended to shock and horrify you into giving money. Any photo can be photo shopped into looking really bad. Be skeptical. If you didn’t see it with your own eyes take it with a grain of salt. The USDA imposes hundreds of pages of regulations on commercial kennels. Most hobby breeders could not even dream of complying with the scope of those regulations. Here is a link that will show you the full burden of the regulations that commercial breeders must comply with or lose their license to breed dogs: http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Education-Training/regulatory-compliance-for-commercial-dog-breeders.php

Every time I hear a hobby breeder get up on their high horse about commercial breeders making money off of dogs I have to ask “WHY?” When did it become a crime to make money selling dogs? Many of the founders of our sport operated huge kennels and sold pets to make money for their kennels. When did it become socially unacceptable to raise dogs and make some money? This is more of the long term propaganda of the animal rights movement. They have brainwashed us that there is a huge “pet overpopulation” and that dogs are better than other animals and we shouldn’t be making money off the poor puppies. First of all the reality is if every hobby breeder in this country bred every girl at every litter and sold the puppies, we still would not fill the niche for purebred puppies. Most of us don’t have the time or the money to meet the demand. Second – can anybody tell me why someone shouldn’t make money selling dogs when they have put their life’s blood and sweat not to mention money into raising them? I used to believe that too before I took a long look at the situation. Years ago I would have been among those leading the “puppymill” lynch mobs. The more I learn about commercial breeders and animal rights the more I am willing to admit that commercial breeders have as much right to exist as I do.

I have questions for those who condemn commercial breeders. Have you been to a commercial kennel? Have you seen with your own eyes the conditions there? Have you talked to a commercial breeder and determined for yourself that they are some kind of soulless monster just in it to “make money”?

You see, I have been to a commercial kennel and talked to their breeders and leaders. I know what they are doing and the conditions in their kennels and the struggles they have fought against the animal rights extremists AND the snobby hobby breeders who would put them out of business. I have seen commercial kennels where you could have eaten off the floor and I have been in hobby breeder’s kennels where I wouldn’t let my dogs set foot. If you have been paying attention to recent “raids” on “puppymills” you would know that a large percentage of them have been respected hobby breeders and even in some cases, AKC judges. One of the things the animal rights groups are very good at is the game of “divide and conquer”. They pit the hobby breeders against the commercial breeders and the public against all of us. They lie about pet overpopulation – which no longer exists by the way. Last year alone, SHELTERS in the United States imported more than 300,000 dogs from foreign countries according to the USDA. I would bet the majority of you still believe in pet overpopulation when 70 to 80% of American pets are spayed/neutered.

WE are being lied to by a multi-million dollar juggernaut called “animal rights” and we are contributing to our own demise by repeating the lies that will destroy us as well as the so-called “puppymills”. Do you really want some AR slanted animal control officer able to come into your home at any time without a warrant and tell you that you can’t remove dew claws or write you a ticket because your dogs don’t have water bowls in their crates 24/7? There comes a point where we have to start drawing lines in the sand and refusing to give in to the politically correct language that has infiltrated society from the far out AR groups who really don’t seem to like animals all that much. Mostly they just seem to hate people. To Ingrid Newkirk of PeTA “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” To me “a dog is a dog is an animal”. I am proud to say that I am a breeder of purebred Shetland Sheepdogs. Shakespeare said “that which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet.” And dog poop is still just as stinky.

I own dogs who live in a kennel and I am a breeder. And that’s my final word.

Some recommended reading:
http://pet-law.com/introduction
“The Hijacking of the Humane Movement” By Rod and Patti Strand
“Animal Rights, The Inhumane Crusade” Daniel T. Oliver
“A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy” Wesley J. Smith
“The Death of a Culture, Understanding the War: Animal Rights vs. Animal Welfare” David Fritsche
“Animal Scam, The Beastly Abuse of Human Rights” Kathleen Marquardt
www.naiaonline.org

Written by

Elizabeth Brinkley has been involved in the sport of dogs for 49 years starting out as a 4-H kid with the family pet. She is a Legislative Liaison to the American Kennel Club, a Delegate to the Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and a member of the NAIA. She says “I have spent most of my life raising, training and showing dogs. I have taken enough classes, workshops, seminars and symposiums to earn at least a Bachelor's degree and while earning my five college degrees in other fields I have taken college classes in biology and genetics.” She earned a national certification through NADOI as a dog obedience instructor and has worked in vet offices, animal shelters, grooming shops and boarding kennels.
Comments
  • eshever
    Carlotta Cooper July 8, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Outstanding article, Elizabeth! The only thing I would possibly add is how animal rights groups manage to make money from the raids they orchestrate — taking healthy purebred dogs from breeders and then selling them through shelters and rescues to people who can’t wait to buy “poor, abused” animals who are nothing of the sort. They put honest breeders out of business while stealing their dogs by twisting the law and profiting from it. Disgusting.

    Carlotta

  • C Webster July 8, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Well said, Elizabeth!! –C Webster

  • Linda Fitzmaurice July 8, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    STANDING OVATION!! Every hobby/show breeder and anyone who ever bought a puppy from one, needs to read this TWICE. And Bo, who sadly Don’t Know, should memorize it, then be honest enough to admit his ignorance (thankfully a curable disease). It’s just so painfully obvious he wrote these two articles to get back at AKC. –Linda Fitzmaurice

  • Barbara Mann July 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Hurray for Elizabeth! I hereby promise that I will never, ever use the term “puppy mill” again. We need to understand what we are up against in the AR movement and we also need to recognize who are our friends and who are our enemies. Anyone who owns a dog as a beloved pet, regardless of where that dog came from, is potentially our friend and needs to be treated as such. Anyone who believes that it is important to provide purebred puppies to people who want to own one and are committed to caring for it is most definitely our friend. If someone is raising purebred dogs for a living and follows decent kennel standards, then they should be cultivated as a friend. Hobby breeders simply cannot provide a big enough supply of purebred puppies to meet the demand. So commercial breeders help fill the gap. — Barbara Mann

  • m biehl July 8, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    There is so, so much wrong with this article!
    The general usage of “Puppymill” is NOT used “to indicate ANYONE who breeds dogs. They don’t discriminate about breeders. Anyone who breeds is a puppymill” . This is broad generalization that will polarize instead of pull together so people can achieve a common goal of helping the dogs we so love. Many good BREEDERS strongly support the legislation that limits and sets standards of living for the animals they breed. There is a difference in a BREEDER versus a Puppymill.

    “commercial breeders have long since cleaned up their act.”
    If the above quoted statement is true, why are there “commercial breeding facilities” (*cough* one might call them ‘puppymills) being shut down and dogs living in deplorable conditions?

    A question for the author, or any other person who has many, many dogs who live in kennels- How do you know your dog’s health, temperament, etc when you aren’t living with it, see it in different settings, know if is drinking more, less, slightly more anxious etc? Don’t you worry you might miss a subtle cue from your dog when it isn’t feeling well since you only see it randomly thorough out the day?
    Why don’t your dogs live with you? — Meredith Biehl

    • Edith July 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Very well said and very true, Meredith! I am really embarrassed about the many negative reactions to Bo’s article. The lobby of the commercial breeders must have been shocked to read the truth about them….

    • A. Masters August 11, 2014 at 3:11 AM

      m. biehl wrote:
      “The general usage of “Puppymill” is NOT used “to indicate ANYONE who breeds dogs. ”
      WRONG! Here’s your answer!
      Quote HSUS:
      “A puppymill is a dog breeding operation, which offers dogs for monetary compensation or remuneration ”
      Twitter, 27 March
      The Animal Rights fanatics regard ANYBODY who breeds as a *insert breeder insult*. Get over it already! They don’t care if you have one dog or 100, if they sleep in bed with you or in a kennel, if they eat off golden plates or out of the dirt.
      Remember – when you stick your head in the sand, you automatically assume the position, offering your rear end as easy target.

  • jen smith July 8, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    BRAVO! Very proud of you for a well-written, well-reasoned entry. THIS is what we need to take to heart. We’re hanging by a thread in the show community as it is … if we don’t retract our heads from “down below” SOON, and realize that we’re all in it together, we might as well lock up the tack boxes and find a new hobby. Thanks for doing this — jen smith

  • Bob Pierce July 8, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    A well constructed and thought provoking article. Thank you for taking the time to sort through the issue. Your article should be used in the future as the perfect rebuttal and representative expression on the subject by the entire sport. Few know the great traditions and history of the sport of dogs and are too quick to fall victim to the AR skill of manipulation.

    Well Done Elizabeth from a former breeder, exhibitor, and old time licensed handler.

  • becky July 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    An excellent article that tells it like it is. Even HSUS has stated that there is no pet overpopulation. Those of us who breed & care for animals are under attack like never before. The public has been brain washed by the animal rights groups. If we want to keep our hobby, ALL breeders & animal lovers have to stick together to fight the animal rights agenda. Elitism & pointing fingers will destroy us.

  • Pam July 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Just amazing!!! Thank you!!!! I really hope people start to open their eyes!

  • Freddie's mom July 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Well done Elizabeth. If we are going to remove puppy mills from our vocabulary, can we also remove “fur kids”? It drives me crazy when I hear experienced dog people refer to their dogs in this manner. It’s nothing but another ploy by AR people to elevate dogs to a somewhat human status. I love my dogs, they’re well taken care of, but they are DOGS. –Freddie’s Mom

  • Joyce Becherini July 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    I do believe that the term Puppymill is a hate word. And as such, carry the same kind of stigma as racist or other divisive terms that have been used to promulgate hate towards others. I have to admit that in the past I struggled with the differences between a home/hobby breeder and a Commercial Kennel. But when I see puppies and dogs being transported by the Money-Making machines in the shelter community and realize they are rapidly replacing licensed commercial kennels and petshops as a source of puppies, I had to draw the line in the sand. Hobby Breeders will never be able to satisfy the demand for bred puppies. There are good Commercial breeders that have earned and deserve our support. — Joyce Becherini

  • Charlotte July 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Bravo Elizabeth! It bothers me that this is news to some folks in the fancy, but clearly it is, and needs to be explained and shared. I, too, was one of those people who campaigned to shut down pet stores, believing that commercial breeders were all greedy, thoughtless, heartless, people who ‘cut corners’ to the point of neglect to keep overhead low . . . and on and on. I have since made an almost daily promise to make up for the damage that I helped to perpetrate on OUR sport through these destructive campaigns. I do what I can, but some days it’s hard to be hopeful, such as when I read things like Mr. Bengston’s attack on the AKC for working with commercial breeders. And even worse, the comments from others who also seem blind to the real problems we face from animal rights movement. I’m not a breeder, although I did whelp one litter last summer as a co-breeder – I came into the conformation show ring from training, dog sports competition and K9 search and recovery work. This perspective gives me a slightly different view, certainly a much WIDER view, than probably most of the readers of BIS Daily. I try very hard to help out the real breeders, the dedicated people who have provided me the most wonderful dogs – I really hope this won’t all be in vain. I became so passionate about this issue that I began to volunteer as a legislative liaison for my breed club, which requires that I follow this destructive movement through the media – if Mr. Bengston would spend only one day with me, looking at the propaganda that is fed to the public, he would be shocked right down out of his ivory tower. I don’t know if he took up the offer from “schipnut” earlier, but if not, I highly recommend he do so. Immediately!

    There is no denying that there are “too many” substandard breeders selling puppies – one is “too many”. But an elitist attitude that hands ammunition to the AR groups is counterproductive, Friendly Fire, no excuse for it! At least the AKC understands this and is taking action to try to repair the damage we have done to people we desperatly need on our side.

    The “money” angle that Elizabeth mentioned is a big factor. I have a much deeper understanding of the financial responsibilities of breeders after whelping my one litter – why should it make us somehow “better” if we lose our shirts regularly, that makes no sense at all. And the AR movement really capitalizes on that little gem – so bragging about how we do this “for love, not money” is hollow, because our enemies merely substitute ego and ribbons for money, that works very well for them. Show breeders are the laughing stock with these groups when we use that foolishness to differentiate ourselves from commercial breeders. Are we that stupid? They think so. A puppy from a commercial kennel may not be MY cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that my preference is “right” and another is “wrong”. I have talked to many people whose whole lives don’t revolve around dogs like those of us reading this today – and I have learned a few things. One, not everyone wants to buy “a relationship” along with a puppy. Many good people, excellent dog owners, don’t want their dog’s breeder “hovering around” for the life of the dog. They see that as meddling, while we may see that as helpful. Two, not everyone cares about ribbons or show wins or finished championships, most folks don’t want a show dog, they want a family companion, or a hunting partner, or a watch dog and playmate for their kids. They don’t see the point of showing. Many object to what they see as intrusive questionnaires, expectations of housing requirements, spay/neuter demands, “the third degree”, or the “inquisition”, the demands for personal information and home visits. The assumptions that they will be careless with their pet because they object to these requirements, or that they are hiding something, is insulting. How can we complain about “rescue” applications when ours could very well be more strict, intrusive and demanding? Do we sell dogs, or merely rent them? If we continue to be snobby and elitist, how do we expect the public to care about how good our dogs are, or how “holy” we breeders are compared to those icky commercial breeders . . . Does this make you cringe? I hope so. Just because we believe that the best way to raise dogs is “our” way, that doesn’t mean that someone else’s way is wrong.

    It appears that dedicated Legislative Liaisons like Elizabeth and the rest of us who work so hard to keep the fancy from extinction still have a lot of work to do. With friends like Mr. Bengston and those who agreed with his blog post, who needs enemies? Will this be an ever more thankless job? Or will we be able to open the eyes of the fancy soon enough to save it? If we can get out of the habit of playing by the enemy’s rules, be proactive instead of always reactive, maybe.

    While we keep up the backbiting and undermining of each other, or thinking that some other group’s struggles don’t matter because they don’t affect you personally, or we don’t approve of what they do, we are being destroyed – death by 1,000 cuts. And just food for thought – dogs aren’t the only species facing these threats. Calling our own people nasty names because they do things differently is only feeding the beast that will get around to us sooner, rather than later, and the AR beast will only be bigger and stronger with every species it devours. Check out a book called “Rules for Radicals”, by Saul Alinsky for an understanding of what we are up against. Pay attention to what is going on in agriculture, horses, hunting, other companion species, even honey bees for goodness sake. Who would ever believe that pollinating our crops or eating honey would be considered by a anyone to be “shameless exploitation”. This is war, make no bones about it, and the battles are only expanding. Just the other day a NYC horse carriage driver sent me a link to a group called “Non-humans First” – http://nonhumansfirst.com/
    This frightening view is spreading within the animal rights movement.

    Again, thank you Elizabeth! — Charlotte

  • Ricka Smith July 8, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Well said. Elizabeth! As one who used to be a “voice crying in the wilderness,” and now finds herself in company with many fine breeders who recognize the danger we’re facing from these cult-like Animal Rights true believers, I’ve finally begun to have some hope. I’m sure there are still some out here who’ve not been involved in the recent struggle to save our dogs, but one would certainly wish for them to not cut the rug out from under those of us who do know the score and are fighting the good fight with all our might. –Ricka Smith

  • Tara July 8, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    As someone with several dogs in a kennel, let me tell you how you know when something is wrong. You spend all day with them, most times all night. You study your dogs temperament, personality, eating habits, so you can tell when something is a little off. You play with them, love on them and STUDY them. You are observant and their sole provider. (gasp….not much different from the observant pet owner.) As a commercial breeder, you are regulated by 3 different factions in the state of Missouri, 4 if you are AKC. I don’t know many hobby breeders or just average pet owners who could pass the inspections that we have to go through. The commercial breeder is someone that goes out of their way to learn about the health and well being of their animals and is continuously striving for knowledge.

    You are right about one thing, there is a difference between a commercial breeder and a puppy mill, a commercial breeder takes care of their dogs and go out of their way to insure their health and well being and a puppy mill is a fictitious entity created by the AR’s to push their personal agenda to abolish all dog breeding.

    You ask a silly question here ” Why don’t my dogs live with me?” Because as a dedicated commercial breeder, I LIVE WITH MY DOGS.

    m biehl
    There is so, so much wrong with this article!
    The general usage of “Puppymill” is NOT used “to indicate ANYONE who breeds dogs. They don’t discriminate about breeders. Anyone who breeds is a puppymill” . This is broad generalization that will polarize instead of pull together so people can achieve a common goal of helping the dogs we so love. Many good BREEDERS strongly support the legislation that limits and sets standards of living for the animals they breed. There is a difference in a BREEDER versus a Puppymill.
    “commercial breeders have long since cleaned up their act.”
    If the above quoted statement is true, why are there “commercial breeding facilities” (*cough* one might call them ‘puppymills) being shut down and dogs living in deplorable conditions?
    A question for the author, or any other person who has many, many dogs who live in kennels- How do you know your dog’s health, temperament, etc when you aren’t living with it, see it in different settings, know if is drinking more, less, slightly more anxious etc? Don’t you worry you might miss a subtle cue from your dog when it isn’t feeling well since you only see it randomly thorough out the day?
    Why don’t your dogs live with you? — Meredith Biehl

  • N. S. Smith July 8, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    This is the most succinct description I’ve read of what is going on in the Animal Rights Movement. They seem to be very active here in my home state or maybe it is a National campaign to bring down Breeders with misinformation. Thank you for putting it in understandable form. When Bo’s article appeared and he reported that AKC was contributing $10,000 to the commercial breeders my first thought was it is a small amount of money compared to how much they make selling dogs and we are waiting for an answer to the question “for what”? I might also compliment your list of reading material–same list I use with a few additions I’m anxious to read. I can’t imagine a world without dogs, which give dog lovers such comfort with their companionship. Maybe that is the real reason behind this horrible movement. Thank you. –N.S. Smith

  • Karen Tormey July 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Thank you for a well written different perspective. In a time of a well orchestrated plan to obliterate breeders, we need to join together in an united front against the enemy. Maintaining animal ownership also helps preserve our freedom against an oppressive government.

  • Cathy July 8, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Excellent article! You are so right in that we have got to stop name-calling and fighting amongst ourselves. The AR movement wants to put us ALL out of business, even if it is not our business. And one thing is for certain – the last thing any of those people are actually concerned about is the welfare of our animals. They believe they should all be running free to starve to death or die of disease rather than sleeping on our beds with us or sitting on the couch while we watch television.

  • Casey Zimmer July 8, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    You go get him, Sister! Great article, could not agree more!

  • mark July 9, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Make no mistake these animal terrorists are evil. they have destroyed the lives of many gamefowl breeders by using the same tactics and what was once legal is now outlawed in all 50 states. now they are done with us they are after dog and horse breeders and plan to do the same. these groups dont care about animals and spend less than 1% of donations on animals. many of these same groups have been convicted on RICO charges and have felones that are VP and CEO’s of these organizations. they have no problem burning dow your home with u in it just to prove there point. i hope everyone puts an end to the H$U$ and Sister organizations before its to late. please dont be fooled by there sad puppydog comericials. they kill more animals than they have ever saved.

    • C Webster July 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      And they publish false photos, such as one that I’ve seen, supposedly illustrating “experimentation on animals”. What the photo really depicted was a spay/neuter clinic!

  • Swan Mulligan July 9, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    Very good article! We need to shine a light on this problem, fight fire with fire. The HSUS has done a much better job at manipulating the media, the AKC and others should fight back. The author asks us “have you ever been to a commercial breeding facility?” My answer is no I haven’t, take me to one. Film one and show me who, what, and why. Long term, if the AKC and its supporters don’t start using the media more to get across their message they will lose, its important to be in front of an issue and be a leader AKC, the future of all purebred dogs is at stake.

  • Laurella Desborough July 9, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Elizabeth has done a masterful job of educating about the animal rights cult and their outrageous agenda. I don’t breed or own a dog. I raise exotic birds. And for many years, since 1984, we bird breeders have had to deal with the actions of the animal rights radicals. Because of these radicals, I have spent many years working against bad regulations and laws proposed by the ARs. I am SO glad to see that individuals in the dog fancy are mostly well aware now of the dangers posed by these radicals. Even farmers and cattlemen and hog producers have felt the effects of their actions. IMO it is going to be up to all of us involved with any aspect of animals interests, including zoos and marine mammal exhibits, as well as dog breeders and farmers and herpers, to work together to fight this extremely dangerous radical movement every time they take action. For me, that also means that we never ever assume their reports of abuse are accurate unless we have seen the situation with our own eyes. These people have been spinning the facts and doctoring videos for years and years…And according to some videographers, even paying people to perform abuses on animals in order to convince the public that there is cruelty there.

  • Suzanne Tharpe July 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Elizabeth may find it acceptable for her dogs to live in a kennel, I DON’T. Dogs are social animals and require regular human interaction to be well socialized and happy. I know how much time it takes to raise one litter and find quality homes for the puppies. I do not believe this can be accomplished on a large scale and maintain proper care of the dogs. Elizabeth’s propaganda is just as bad as HSUS because she purports to represent quality hobby breeders and she does not. I’m not talking about people who have kennel runs for their dogs but those whose dogs live in kennels 24/7.

    • catrens
      CathyM July 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      The wonderful thing about living in the USA at this moment in time – You can choose to raise your dogs they way you want.

      Relish this while you can because by wearing blinders and saying ” I do not believe this can be accomplished on a large scale and maintain proper care of the dogs. Elizabeth’s propaganda is just as bad as HSUS because she purports to represent quality hobby breeders and she does not. I’m not talking about people who have kennel runs for their dogs but those whose dogs live in kennels 24/7.”

      To the person who wrote this: You are falling into the HSUS trap of pitting yourself and your way against anyone who does not conform to your thinking. In the end you will be by yourself and then they will take you down.

      Animals are not humans. They do not require the social contact with people as long as they have social contact according to their species’ needs. Dogs are pack animals and need a pack hierarchy. Cats are solitary and don’t require a pack; occasional contact with their species is fine and for some they only want contact when it is breeding season. (How do I know? I observe the feral cats that live on our farm).
      The reason to socialize them with people is because we (the people) foolishly believe that they would suffer and become depressed if they were not.
      Also, so we can handle them when required for medical and other physical requirements.

      Animals that do not have daily contact with people, are okay. People are not okay. We need the animals – animals do not need us. We were given dominion over animals for our use and need of company.

  • ESW July 9, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Being “social” creatures is defined as animals are social with their own kind. Many “pack” animals are fine with little to no human interaction. The current fad to think of dogs as “little people” with their attendant needs and desires distracts from animal husbandry. I have dogs in my home and also have kennel runs, but they are NOT little people–as much as I love them. Elizabeth is correct in her comments. One who assumes they are a “quality” breeder just because they espouse the “fur kids” and dogs cannot live in a kennel situation is mistaken. Is the dog in a house with no none home all day really better off than a kennel dog or outside dog with other canine companions? I think not, and there are many destroyed homes, much ruined furniture, chewed woodwork and walls to support this!!!! Some who consider themselves “quality” breeders fantasize about their qualifications.

  • Chere Fuessel July 13, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Most people do not know (or care) what went into the breeding of their puppy. A cute puppy at the shelter is just fine. And so it might be. But there are those of us that feel a dog is more than just a canine pal. We study the history of dogs. We study the different bloodlines. We decide what we want and it may not be easy to arrange to get that dog from where it is to where we are. As breeders, we are something like artists. We want to produce something that is correct and is pleasing to the eye. We spend hours researching possible stud dogs. of course, he might not be in our own back yards or just up the street, either. We spend big bucks on health testing. We study tests to find out the perfect time for the breeding. We sleep by the whelping box for a few weeks, so that not a single puppy gets lost under Mama or gets chilled. Then there are the vet expenses for mother and babies. We are careful about where our pups go, so that they will be well treated and appreciated. We take them back, sometimes years later, if the owners are no longer able to keep them. And for this, we have fingers pointed at us for committing the terrible action of raising healthy, typey, good tempered dogs, where the owners will have a pretty good idea what they are getting with regard to size, coat, temperament, etc. People are encouraged to not buy from a breeder but go save a dog from a shelter. All fine and good, except that then the only dogs available will be ones that were born of accidental matings, often with NO idea who Dad might have been or what he was like. No health testing, of course. I have nothing against mixed breed dogs, overall. But I don’t see how NOT breeding good specimens is going to stop the problem of careless production. i do think there is a difference between breeders and puppy mills. I think an animal used for breeding should have been tested for possible genetic defects and carefully bred to suitable partners, not just the one the owner happens to have in the yard. i am somewhat suspicious of “breeders” who are producing a hundred pups a year, or perhaps a dozen different breeds, who have NO idea where their puppies will wind up. And take a dog back? Ha!
    I think we who are what most of us consider breeders need to start standing up for ourselves.

  • Lorry Schlick July 15, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    becky
    An excellent article that tells it like it is. Even HSUS has stated that there is no pet overpopulation. Those of us who breed & care for animals are under attack like never before. The public has been brain washed by the animal rights groups. If we want to keep our hobby, ALL breeders & animal lovers have to stick together to fight the animal rights agenda. Elitism & pointing fingers will destroy us.

    Correction to your post: There is an overpopulation of UNWANTED PETS. That is the problem. Commercial kennels are not the answer to a social problem that is also a consumer issue. Read the USDA audit done by the OIG in 2010. Is that ok with you? And these are not just a random few.

  • Lorry Schlick July 15, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    There is an overpopulation of UNWANTED PETS. That is the problem. Commercial kennels are not the answer to a social problem that is also a huge consumer fraud issue Read the USDA audit done by the OIG in 2010.www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/33002-4-SF.pdf . Is this ok with you? And these are not just a random few.

  • Liz de Boisgelin July 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    The trouble with this blanket hatred of animal rights people is that it treats them in the same way you say dog breeders are treated, that, is as if there were no difference between them any of them and this instantly alienates many of them, just as saying all breeders are puppy mills. There was a 1984 Federal Court decision which defined puppy mills as “a dog breeding operation in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits”. Elizabeth Brinkley, do you really know so little about the dog breeding world as to be unaware of the existence of such places? By defending all and every breeder including those whose abuse dogs (stacked wire cages etc) and pollute the environment by irresponsible (money saving) disposal of dog waste you bring all dog breeders into disrepute. It is people like you that threaten dog breeding, not the animal rights people.

  • Elaine Hobson July 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    I realise that this is predominantly a US discussion and that events for you are different than here in the UK but the distinction for me is one of animal husbandry. If dogs are well cared for and their health is monitored and managed then whether it has puppies in a home or a commercial kennel is irrelevant. The “puppy mills” that we refer to here are the horror units where dogs are kept in cages, never exercised, groomed and fed as cheaply as possible. The bitches are bred and re-bred endless litters of puppies that are sold through pet shops or through back door practices that unsuspecting want to be owners fall for. At the end of their usefulness they are disposed of in the cruellest ways. Dogs are capable of adapting to many different lifestyles, some are in close proximity to their owners, in their homes and even beds. Others live an outdoor life and love it. Polarising the debate seeks to demonise people who may actually be on the same side, we should all put our efforts into stopping the huge numbers of mistreated animals in both our countries.

  • Dennis Foster July 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Elizabeth,

    Very well done, BUT you fall into HSUS’s trap with their clever use of labels and linguistics by referring to the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, as the Humane Society. It is not a humane society and to refer to them as such just helps to keep the media and public confused which is what they want. Even people who know what a villain HSUS is often refer to them as the humane society. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by doing so.

    Dennis Foster

  • Liz Lufrano August 10, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Thank you Elizabeth! Very well written. There are way too many hobby breeders who have fallen into the AR trap. It seems to be human nature to build ones own ego by degrading others. There is a huge market for pets in this country and hobby breeders cannot supply this market on our own. We need the commercial breeders to exist in order to continue breeding “artisanally”. Imagine how our hobby practices would need to change in order to try to meet the demands of the pet market! In order to produce animals in such quantity and with high standards of care, we would have to have state or the art facilities and employees very much like the Hunte Corporation, wouldn’t we? We should not be so egocentric to believe we love animals any more than commercial breeders do. I, for one, will fight for everyones’ right to purchase their animals wherever they want.

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