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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is apparently a lot of propaganda out there about the proposed PAWS legislation impacting rescue groups in an attempt to defeat the bills. The United States Humane Society's website debunks this myth:

Will PAWS have a detrimental effect on rescue organizations or animal shelters?

No. Some commercial breeders and organizations who profit from the high-volume sale of dogs and cats are using scare tactics to confuse caring people in the rescue community into taking a position against the PAWS legislation. These groups claim that if the bill passes anyone who rescues more than 25 dogs a year will need a federal license. This is not true. We hope those who work to rescue animals will not be fooled by these tactics. To oppose the PAWS bill is to oppose improvements in the treatment of animals at large-scale commercial breeding operations.

The PAWS bill deals strictly with businesses who sell dogs and cats. Non-profit rescue groups who charge an adoption/donation fee are not selling animals. The bill covers commercial businesses breeding large volumes of animals (six or more litters per year) and selling them directly to the public. These businesses have thrived due in part to the exponential growth in the use of the Internet for commerce and because in most states, there is no oversight of such operations. These breeders' dogs are sold via the Internet, newspaper ads, and through other unregulated formats, so the first hint of a problem often comes when local law enforcement or animal control discovers that there are a large number of animals on site in extremely poor condition. Cruelty cases associated with unregulated breeders require local shelters and rescue organizations to step in and take in ill and unsocialized animals at their own expense. This problem threatens to bankrupt local organizations.

The broad support that the PAWS bill enjoys, from organizations that often have differing views on animal-related legislation such as the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a testament to the fact that the PAWS bill is not overly restrictive and has been carefully crafted to regulate only those businesses that have exploited the loophole in federal law.

Animal welfare organizations like The Humane Society of the United States, Doris Day Animal League, and Society for Animal Protective Legislation—all of whom strongly support the bill—would never want to hamper the absolutely critical efforts and generosity of those who perform animal rescue and sheltering work. People who give of themselves to place dogs and cats in new homes and give those animals a second (or third or fourth) lease on life are unsung heroes. This scare tactic has been employed to divert attention away from the bad actors so sorely in need of oversight. The PAWS bill would close the loophole that has allowed large-scale commercial breeding operations to prosper without any agency ensuring that their animals are provided with basic humane care.

Rescue groups that respond to scare tactics and oppose the PAWS legislation are being duped into protecting the status quo in puppy mills, and are in effect opposing action that would make significant improvements in the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs kept for breeding in puppy mills.


If you go to their website, there are also a couple of clickable links under "Learn More" (one a letter from an attorney) that also address the issue.

http://www.hsus.org/pets/pets_related_news...vents/paws.html
 

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Thanks for posting that info, Marj. As with lots of things political, the facts often get distorted by the opposition trying to get people on to their side. It is always so difficult to know what, in fact, is true and what is not. It is all usually complicated and with many nuances.

It appears that this law would help animals without hurting the "good guys". Certainly the esteemed organizations that are supporting PAWS is a good indication that it is worthwhile legislation. I wonder if the ASPCA has taken a position on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They support it, too.

ASPCA ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR LEGISLATION THAT CRACKS DOWN ON PUPPY MILLS
Last week ASPCA president Edwin Sayres announced that the ASPCA will be joining the animal welfare community in support of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute, legislation that cracks down on the country’s large-scale commercial breeding facilities—otherwise known as puppy mills.

“This much-needed bill will help to close the loop in the Animal Welfare Act that has allowed commercial breeders to go unregulated and ignore humane handling requirements,” says Sayres. “It is vital for all animal welfare communities to work together to pass this bill that will help require breeders to meet the basic requirements for the care and treatment of thousands of companion animals.”

The Pet Animal Welfare Statute, H.R. 2669/S. 1139, would amend the Animal Welfare Act to cover facilities in which more than six litters of dogs or cats are whelped per year and that sell any dogs or cats to the public, as well as breeders who annually sell more than 25 dogs and cats directly to the public or wholesale. Passage of this legislation would require that these breeders be licensed by the USDA and comply with standards of care set forth in the Animal Welfare Act. The loophole in the current law allows puppy mills to classify themselves as “retail pet stores,” thus evading federal oversight.

ASPCA News Alert readers, please join us in support of this important legislation. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center today, where you can contact your federal representatives and ask them to support H.R. 2669/S. 1139.
 

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Originally posted by LadysMom@Aug 12 2005, 10:05 AM
They support it, too.

ASPCA ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR LEGISLATION THAT CRACKS DOWN ON PUPPY MILLS
Last week ASPCA president Edwin Sayres announced that the ASPCA will be


Wow, that's great to hear..... Thanks for finding that info....
 

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Ladysmom,

Thank you so much for sharing this...it is so very confusing what or who to believe when the politicians get going.

I do have a question though...if all breeders of 6 or more litters are required to register with USDA number than won't we need a better way of determining if they are in fact puppy mills...I know some on this very site have more than one breeding female which they keep in the house and under there wing so to speak and may actually breed 7 times a year and would be concidered a responsible breeder. With the number attached to them...it has been drummed into us not to go to them.

I actually agree that this loophole should be closed, but I also beleive that we need to have some classifications...I would want to know if a breeder is truly breeding 7 litters a year vs 70 or 700. Maybe a pipe dream but a way to make a breeder tell the truth on this issue with law would be in my opinion the greatest way of getting the puplic to step away from those who do breed 700 - the proof of the care they provide to the little ones with that number says everything to me.

I hope this makes sense.

Susan
 

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Originally posted by Teddyandme@Aug 12 2005, 10:27 AM
Ladysmom,

Thank you so much for sharing this...it is so very confusing what or who to believe when the politicians get going. 

I do have a question though...if all breeders of 6 or more litters are required to register with USDA number than won't we need a better way of determining if they are in fact puppy mills...I know some on this very site have more than one breeding female  which they keep in the house and under there wing so to speak and may actually breed 7 times a year and would be concidered a responsible breeder.  With the number attached to them...it has been drummed into us not to go to them. 

I actually agree that this loophole should be closed, but I also beleive that we need to have some classifications...I would want to know if a breeder is truly breeding 7 litters a year vs 70 or 700.  Maybe a pipe dream but a way to make a breeder tell the truth on this issue with law would be in my opinion the greatest way of getting the puplic to step away from those who do breed 700 - the proof of the care they provide to the little ones with that number says everything to me. 

I hope this makes sense.

Susan
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That does make sense. I wonder where they got the number "seven". Seems like maybe 10-12 might be a better number. But seven is still quite a few breeding females, figuring they don't breed one bitch more than once a year or even less. Yes, they need a way to distinguish puppymills. I wonder if there is easily available info for the public from the USDA on breeders such as how many litters, their inspection grade, etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually, being regulated by the USDA will make it easier to tell if a breeder is a so-called "responsible breeder" or a puppy mill since you can request inspection reports under the Freedom of Information Act.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/frequent_requ...t_requests.html

To me, one of the biggest advantage of PAWS is that it will regulate breeders who sell through internet websites. How many times do we hear of people who got duped by these people? Remember the poster a few months ago who was shipped a completely different puppy from the one pictured on the website? And Bella's mom, who thought she was buying form a Christian breeder who raised the puppies in her home? Turned out it was one of the largest puppy mills in the midwest and the puppies were raised in cages in barns. She was heartbroken when Bella had her routine pre-spay bloodwork and it showed Bella had a liver shunt.

With the ever-increasing popularity of Maltese and other toy breed dogs, there are more and more unscrupulous people out there ready to take advantage of unsuspecting, trusting people.
 

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Ladysmom,

Once again thanks for the information...I just went to the link you gave and although you can get information...the cost ranges from $25 to $99 and I truly beleive that this would be a major determent to most who would not want to spend the extra money.

I would love to see the system classify the breeders for the general public in a format that makes it clear what kind of breeder you are dealing with without having to go to the website. Look at all the people now buying puppies in a pet shop on a whim, if those places had to show a classification of what kind of breeder that puppy came from, I am sure the big breeders would be gone in no time...because no one wants to see there puppy come from a place that has no contact with humans. People would be able to walk away better knowing the ramifications...now I know that some don't care...but I do believe that most would care where the little ones coming into the family came from.

You so kindly gave me a link so I could track Teddy down...that was free....is there a place that you can do the same thing before you buy the puppy that you know of.



Susan
 

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Those who want to be honest and reputable will continue to do so, those who don't will find ways to get around this new bill. For instance, some will just put the dogs in other people's names. I know a woman who actually does this. She has them listed with her daughters' address, as well as at her sister's. She also has dogs in her son's name, as well as her grandchildren. This way, this woman could have 40 plus litters, and they would not touch her. She has never had an AKC inspection because she avoids them by doing this.
This new bill would affect a good number of the top kennels -- Rhapsody, Divine, Chrisman, etc. They would then be required to have a kennel situation so that their dogs are in waterproof housing. There would be no more laying around on the sofa or sleeping with you in the bed.
I've read the information that was sent about the rescues. There is just as much being printed stating that this is not factual. I'll find an article published in Dog News from a well respected AKC judge and post it to the list.
As I've said, my major concern for this is what it will do to our rescue work, and the information we are receiving from valid rescue organizations is that it is going to hurt us a lot.
 

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THE FACTS ON AKC AND PAWS

http://www.dognews.com/mcgowan.html Comments from Charlotte McGowan
Many of you may know Charlotte Clem McGowan from her judging.
She also recently won an award from AKC for her untiring fight against bad dog legislation.

Dog News is a well respected magazine for people in the show world.

I also encourage you to read the articles at the bottom of this article by Ms. McGowan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lucy Lou, I think perhaps the information you are getting from rescue groups is part of the propanganda designed to defeat the bills that HSUS warns about.

This is from the AKC:

RESCUE CONCERNS

What Is The Potential Effect On Rescue Groups?


This bill will not regulate any entity that does not intend to make a profit from the sale of dogs. Both existing legislation and PAWS define as "dealers" only persons who sell dogs in commerce for compensation or profit. Therefore non-profit rescue organizations are NOT covered by the legislation. Passage of the bill would result in better regulation and enforcement of the type of breeders who are unwilling to take dogs back from pet owners who can no longer care for them. Better enforcement of the AWA means less work for rescuers and, ultimately, a more secure environment for dogs.

Of course, "for profit" rescue groups (like Jay's now defunct National Maltese Rescue was) would be regulated under PAWS. I personally think that's a good thing. How often do we hear tales of these so-called rescue groups taking in purebred dogs, then breeding them and selling the puppies?

Again, from the AKC:

True rescue organizations would be exempt because they are not selling dogs as a commercial activity. However, groups that call themselves "rescue" operations, but that actually are conducting a business, will not be exempt. The USDA will have to write regulations to define when an operation is operating "in commerce, for compensation or profit," and as previously stated, AKC intends to work closely with the USDA and with members of Congress to assure appropriate implementing regulations. USDA does not have an interest in regulating non-profit rescue operations, and nothing in PAWS will require them to do so.

I personally will chose to believe the statements from esteemed organizations like the AKC and USHS over mailings from uncertain origins.

There is a lot more information about PAWS on the AKC website:

http://www.akc.org/canine_legislation/paws_QA.cfm?page=2
 

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Originally posted by LadysMom@Aug 12 2005, 11:02 AM
Lucy Lou, I think perhaps the information you are getting from rescue groups is part of the propanganda designed to defeat the bills that HSUS warns about.

This is from the AKC:

RESCUE CONCERNS

What Is The Potential Effect On Rescue Groups?


This bill will not regulate any entity that does not intend to make a profit from the sale of dogs. Both existing legislation and PAWS define as "dealers" only persons who sell dogs in commerce for compensation or profit. Therefore non-profit rescue organizations are NOT covered by the legislation. Passage of the bill would result in better regulation and enforcement of the type of breeders who are unwilling to take dogs back from pet owners who can no longer care for them. Better enforcement of the AWA means less work for rescuers and, ultimately, a more secure environment for dogs.

Of course, "for profit" rescue groups (like Jay's now defunct National Maltese Rescue was) would be regulated under PAWS. I personally think that's a good thing. How often do we hear tales of these so-called rescue groups taking in purebred dogs, then breeding them and selling the puppies?

Again, from the AKC:

True rescue organizations would be exempt because they are not selling dogs as a commercial activity. However, groups that call themselves "rescue" operations, but that actually are conducting a business, will not be exempt. The USDA will have to write regulations to define when an operation is operating "in commerce, for compensation or profit," and as previously stated, AKC intends to work closely with the USDA and with members of Congress to assure appropriate implementing regulations. USDA does not have an interest in regulating non-profit rescue operations, and nothing in PAWS will require them to do so.

I personally will chose to believe the statements from esteemed organizations like the AKC and USHS over mailings from uncertain origins.
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Hmmm...might I make a suggestion? How about contacting Sen. Santorum's office in DC (specifically the staffer assigned to this bill) and posing these questions? I think you both raise very good points. As is the case with most laws passed by Congress, there are good provisions and provisions that have unintended consequences. It may be that these issues can be clarified to everyones satisfaction. It certainly cannot hurt to ask. Especially since everyone's goal here seems to be the protection of animals and the demise of puppy mills.
 

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Originally posted by saltymalty@Aug 12 2005, 04:14 PM
Hmmm...might I make a suggestion?  How about contacting Sen. Santorum's office in DC (specifically the staffer assigned to this bill) and posing these questions?  I think you both raise very good points.  As is the case with most laws passed by Congress, there are good provisions and provisions that have unintended consequences.  It may be that these issues can be clarified to everyones satisfaction.  It certainly cannot hurt to ask.  Especially since everyone's goal here seems to be the protection of animals and the demise of puppy mills.
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You know, I think Lady and I both have the dogs and their welfare at heart. We aren't that far apart in what we want for them. We just see this bill as totally different. While she respects what she sees from AKC and some of the animal rights groups, I do not have the same opinion of them. True, I'm steadfast with AKC as the only registry, but I see them as selling out to the big commercial breeders here. These folks are already USDA compliant. They don't care about dogs raised in cages. The low life folks who run the puppymills will find ways to get around the bill. Senator Santorum is from Pennsylvania, and they have a rampet puppymill problem, especially with the Amish, yet the USDA hasn't made a dent in stopping them. Many of them don't use AKC anyway, so who is to know how many dogs they have or register? There is a long and growing list of national kennel clubs who oppose this bill. These folks are your reputable breeders.
 

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~ AKC Parent Breed Clubs *~ WHO OPPOSE PAWS
American Brittany Club
ASSA - American Shetland Sheepdog Association
American Chesapeake Club
GSPCA - German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America
American Pomeranian Club
Papillon Club of America
Dachshund Club of America
Pug Dog Club of America
ESSFTA - English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association
Yorkshire Terrier Club of America
Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America
American Spaniel Club
American Boxer Club
Saluki Club of America
Saint Bernard Club of America
Scottish Terrier Club of America
American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club
Labrador Retriever Club, Inc
American Brussels Griffon Association
Golden Retriever Club of America
German Shepherd Dog Club of America
American Miniature Schnauzer Club
Spinone Club of America

*These Parent Clubs represent 55.4% of AKC's registrations.
 

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Any bill is only as good as it's enforcement. USDA regulates puppymills NOW but there's too little enforcement to matter. So, how're they going to enforce the NEW bill any better?
 

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The way I see it, the PAWS legislation might better be seen as a starting point...as with any legislation, there are amendments that can be added to make the legislation what it should be. And short of language change, there are also opportunities to clarify the legislation's intent through "committee language". That's the term given to the recorded mark-up (amendment) discussions held during the committee review process. Can I ask is the problem with the bill the entire language? Or are just specific sections a problem? I see the process as dynamic and there are opportunities to improve on the legislative language. I understand you don't like the bill as drafted, but what language could you accept? Or is there another piece of legislation that is preferred?

And Pico's Parent is correct, that enforcement is a real problem. The USDA doesn't have enough inspectors for food safety, let alone puppy mills.
 

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Originally posted by saltymalty@Aug 13 2005, 02:06 PM
The way I see it, the PAWS legislation might better be seen as a starting point...as with any legislation, there are amendments that can be added to make the legislation what it should be.  And short of language change, there are also opportunities to clarify the legislation's intent through "committee language".  That's the term given to the recorded mark-up (amendment) discussions held during the committee review process.  Can I ask is the problem with the bill the entire language?  Or are just specific sections a problem?  I see the process as dynamic and there are opportunities to improve on the legislative language.  I understand you don't like the bill as drafted, but what language could you accept?  Or is there another piece of legislation that is preferred? 

And Pico's Parent is correct, that enforcement is a real problem.  The USDA doesn't have enough inspectors for food safety, let alone puppy mills.
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I think we all want an animal rights bill. The way I see it, from the breeder's standpoint, they do not want to go under the USDA guidelines which makes them treat their dogs like livestock instead of pets. I think the wording should be changed to help the small, hobby breeder who is already doing things right not have to go to the kennel setting that would be required under USDA guidelines.
You may think that the seven litter thing is too many for any breeder to have, but I think you will find this is not that many pups, as a whole for the top breeders of show dogs. We can do a hypothetical here: Lets say that Kennel A has a reputation for being one of the top breeders of Breed B. They had a Westminister win, and their stud is very much in demand. He was used as stud three times in the year where, instead of money, a pup was given back in payment for stud fee. That is three of that person's seven litters for the year. They are co-owner on two females who are bred by the other owners, and they get a pup back from each. This is common in some breeds. When I bought my Westie female, it was in my contract that I would have a co-owner until I completed her championship, and I gave a pup back from the first litter. Then, Kennel A does two more breedings in their kennel that produce a total of three pups. They are finished for the year, and they fall under the PAWS legislation where they have to build the sterile kennel where the dogs are in a waterproof setting -- no more sleeping in the bed or being a part of the family in the den. Now, if you were lucky enough to purchase your dog from Kennel A in the past, what do you think your chances are of getting one from them, if they decide to stay under the seven litter rule? If they go with the regulations and build this USDA approved kennel, and they have a total of ten pups in a year, how much do you think that will add to this already expensive dog? See folks, it can hurt the pet owner too! If 50% of the reputable kennels in each breed who now breed over seven litters would decide to cut back so they don't have to go under these guidelines, there are fewer pups from reputable breeders. Then, where do you go to find that already elusive Maltese? They will be plentiful at the commercial kennels. They will just expand to fill the supply. It will drive people there.
While PETA and such groups send out information that PAWS will not hurt rescue, the way it is done now, that is not what many of the reputable rescue groups feel will happen. It should be established that reputable groups (not those who take in dogs for resell in the name of rescue, should have adquate compensation for spay/neuter, and other health related expenses for the adopted dog. The numbers here need to be adjusted for them.
 

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This bill, in my opinion, can be the downfall of all reputable breeders and rescue as we know it. This is a dangerous bill that could end up affecting us all.

Simply put....the people behind this bill, are stating this is a first step......a first step for what though....that is the question. On paper, it basically looks good for the most part but the problem is that it does not address the problems as I see them, which are the commercial breeders, puppymills, and BYB's. There are already laws and codes for these people.....they can't even enforce those...why add more on the pretense of trying to make things better.

Did you know that Senator Santorum bred his lab (I think that is what she is) without any of the testing that should be done and all before this dog was two years old. No reputable breeder would have done this. Would this bill have an effect on him.....no!

Now if this bill passes what affect will it have on breeders such as myself.....or others who are much better known than myself. For one.........I will be expected to conform to USDA standards with a separate building with a concrete washable floor..............no more couches and beds for the little one because living in the house as part of the family is not allowed. And what about all those Rescue groups out there that work non-stop to help dogs in need. They state verbally that the bill will not affect rescue.....but no-where in the actual bill does it say it will not effect rescue. As it is written...it WILL effect rescue!!

Our own AKC Board is backing this bill.....why....who knows! Are they hoping to get some of the commercial breeders registration money back (they had a mass exodus from the AKC a while back when AKC introduced it's DNA requirements).....are they hoping to cash in on the inspection moneys because there is no way USDA is going to be able to keep up....who knows why but many of the National Parent Clubs are opposing this bill.

Hopefully you all will write to your state senators and let them know you are opposing this bill and that you want them to oppose this bill or in the future that cute little puppy or kitten you get will come from some commercial breeder or worse yet, will be massed produced in some foreign country, since they won't be required to meet these regulations.

Personally....I would quit breeding before I would move my dogs out of their current environment. They are part of my family!!
 
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