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2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am not a breed of Maltese, but this federal bill, if passed, will affect every breeder AND owner of dogs (and cats and other domestic animals) in the country. Please act now!

Permission to cross post.

You can personally oppose the PAWS
legislation.  It only takes a minute or so,
they don't ask your name and all you have to
say is

I am calling to voice my opposition
to Senate Bill 1139.
You can even phone several times a day.  Tell
others to also phone.  202-224-2035
(Senate Ag. Committee)

Okay, as most of you probably already know,
Carmen Battaglia is a well respected judge, as
well as an AKC Board Member.  Here is his
answer regarding his opposition and his
concerns about this bill He suggests LETTERS,
not EMAILS to
address YOUR concern and opposition to this bill
Subject: THE PAWS ACT  (SB 1139/HR26690)
From: Carmen Battaglia
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding AKC's support for the
legislation that is being proposed by the Republican Senator, Rick Santorum
from Pennsylvania.  As you may know, four AKC directors voted against the
motion to support the proposed legislation. Those dissenting were: Carmen
Battaglia, Tom Davies, Patti Strand and Ken Marden.  I am with this memo
answering your inquiry and I am speaking only for my self.  Since you took
the time to contact me with your questions, you deserve a response.
Let me begin by saying that when people in a family disagree, we dont
divorce.  We continue to support each other even though we differ on
strategy.  The right to dissent should not be confused with disloyalty.  I
think you will better understand my point after you finish reading my
response to your email.
To begin, it is unlikely that the goals of the PAWS statue can be reached by
expanding Federal oversight to the small-scale breeder who produces puppies
and kittens as a hobby.  In simple terms, AKC has always argued against the
use of numbers to define hobby breeders. The reason was and is that numbers
can always be changed along with the definitions. A small change here and
there overtime could easily change things and eventually it could be
difficult to be defined as a hobby breeder.  The history of the Animal
Rights extremists on this point is clear. They have always worked to first
get their foot in the door, and then they begin to work on their target by
changing definitions, which widens their influence.  The fundamental
argument that is being used regarding the need for this legislation in my
judgment is flawed.  There is no documented record that we are being
"bombarded with horror stories from fanciers about commercial importers and
the "puppy mills" who are evading federal regulation".  If there is such a
report it still would not justify having the federal government coming into
our residence, telling hobby breeders how to breed
and raise their litters.   Senator Santorum has a long history of wanting
to regulate hobby breeders. In 2000, he proposed legislation focused on dog
breeding practices, socialization standards, and the idea of 3 strikes and
your out (you lose your license to breed). In November of 2003, this Senator
along with representative Whitfield made another attempt to regulate hobby
breeders. They reintroduced the Puppy Protection Act. This time the emphasis
was placed on setting a breeding limit on all
bitches.   AKC's lobbyist Jim Holt, said that these efforts were " the
brain child of the HSUS", "a radical animal rights advocate" group. He went
on to say that "we can look forward to the socialization standard returning
in some form".
One of the most dangerous parts of PAWS is that for the first time it will
inject the federal government into regulations about whether, when and how
animals (dogs) can be bred".  Once the government is able to establish this
principle, others can work on the details of making changes later. The first
step in their strategy  is to get the hobby breeders "to admit that a
problem exists".  AKC has always believed that "the answer is not in
expanding the scope of the law but in more effective enforcement." That has
not changed.  Over regulation always leads to unintended consequences. The
argument that the importers and those who sell on the Internet need to be
regulated by the federal government should not be linked to the hobby
breeder.   Using numbers like 25 puppies sold a year and breeding less than
7 litters on your premises should not be the way to exclude hobby breedersby
law.  We should not forget that there still remains several other  important
issues that have not been developed and the negotiations are not over. What
this means is that the numbers 25 and 7 can be changed with a simple word or
two.  For example, 25 pups can become 10,  and 7 litters can become 3
litters. What the Senator still has not addressed involves his intentions
about several other areas. He has yet to explain what he intends to do
-         The scope of the minimum "humane care standards" and the
penalties for breeders.
-         The provisions covering breeders who raise puppies in their homes
-         The language that authorizes the USDA to certify inspection
programs of non-governmental organizations.  This area includes private
inspections by contractors which is of particular concern due to a frequent
pattern of incompetence, abuse and corruption where organizations have
already been employed by state and local jusristications.
-   The non-profit entitles such as the shelters and whether they will be
Given all of these uncertainties, there is good reason for concern about
PAWS which is a poorly written statute.
What to do was a question many of you ask.   To date, my email box has over
600 emails from dog owners. It is impossible to read all of them.  But if I
received 600 letters, that would be a   different matter.  The last time
this Senator attempted to regulate hobby breeders we suggested that you and
each of your members and clubs write your US Senator and Representative.
Ask them to not co-sponsor or support PAWS. That approached worked and the
statue died. In this case,  we need to be realistic; this Senator is a
ranking Republican. He can probably get support in the Senate.  However,
the PAWS    statue must still be voted on by the House of Representatives.
So your second letter should be sent to your Congressmen. Remember that
this is a time sensitive problem. If you plan to let your US Senators and
Congressmen know about your feelings and how you want them to vote, act
now. Send letters, emails will not pay off.
Your friends, neighbors, clubs and organizations can defeat this bill or
remove from it all reference to hobby breeders by the numbers.
Thanks for your concern. I hope these answers have addressed your questions.
Carmen Battaglia


Here follows some interesting news:
"The Center for Consumer Freedom is
contributing $15,000 toward construction of a
new animal shelter in Yadkin County, NC, after
commissioners rejected a similar offer from the
People for Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA) at a county
commission meeting last month. The $15,000
offer from PETA was rebuffed by County
Commissioner Brent Houser, who led dissenters
in rejecting the offer, in
light of recent revelations that Peta has links to domestic terrorist groups"


1,122 Posts
Personally, I support the bill. I am pro animal rights and believe that regulation of breeding at the level proposed can only benefit the quality of life of puppies, dams, and sires.

17,659 Posts
I support PAWS. It will finally close the loophole that now allows unregulated sales of puppies on the internet and through newspaper ads. It will also limit the number of litters a bitch may have.

PAWS is supported by both the US Humane Society and the AKC. You can go to the HSUS website to voice your support for PAWS.

Darlene, you don't say why you oppose PAWS. Are you a member of the Missouri Breeders Association?

For those of you who don't know, Missouri is the largest puppy mill state. The millers have formed a large, vocal and well funded group to oppose any legislation that attempts to further regulate this multi-million dollar industry.

1,672 Posts
Interesting. Even if this statute is "poorly written" Carmen makes a case for voting FOR the bill with the statement about enforcement of existing laws working better than this new bill.

I can extrapolate from that that the "hobby breeders" part of the statute won't be any better inforced and thus won't affect them anyway. We don't have enough USDA oversight as it is so what makes anyone think they will be able to enforce this statute with the hobby breeders?

Vote FOR!

3,615 Posts
Personally, I think the legislation could go even farther by requiring states to adopt puppy lemon laws, humane animal treatment laws, and recognize that puppies and kittens (and cats and dogs) should not be treated as are other livestock. In reality, it is my opinion that we treat animals in our food stream better, and sometimes more humanely, than we do our pets. Don't even get me started on the treatment of horses!

2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I believe that there are more than enough laws governing every aspect of our lives already. As Mr. B points out, what is propsed and what will happen are two entirely different things... just look at separation of church and state! I do not live in Missouri... my zip code is part of my login id. I don't even breed dogs any more. I started showing my aunt's Boxers in 1960 when I was still in high school and continued showing until 2002. During that time I handled and finished several dozen dogs for myself and other people. The all-breed club and 2 specialty clubs I belong to are dedicated to bringing the true consequences of PAWS before the public as it will affect every aspect of not just dog breeding but the raising and ownership of ALL domestic animals. Within a few years, only the rich will be able to afford a pet and this country will be as devoid of canine companionship as China already is. I want more than that for my grandchildren.

2,942 Posts
This bill is of concern to me because it will put many of the reputable rescue groups out of business. I sit on the board of a no-kill shelter that would be affected. Our group does a lot of good for the unfortunate dogs in our area. We have over 200 dogs and 100 cats that are fed and well cared for. If this bill passes, we would not be able to operate.

Also, while I don't do large volumn breeding, I would not want to be told that I had to house my pets in a sterile kennel. This bill favors the large commercial breeders and mills that are already in action, but would force the hobby breeder to adapt their way of breeding so that their dogs would no longer be allowed in their home. If this group came into my home right now, they would not agree with anything I do. My dogs have the run of whatever room I'm in. I don't think I could sleep at night knowing my pups were housed in some cold, sterile kennel, rather than snuggled in bed with me. To me, this would take away animal rights.

This would affect many of the top, well respected Maltese breeders who also believe their dogs are a part of the family. They don't want to build kennels either.

So, what you would have is those who go "commercial" and those who don't breed anymore. Do you think you would have the option to get quality dogs then?
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