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19 June 2008


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"Whenever you buy a pound pup dies."

Don't buy dogs from breeders, from pet stores, from the internet or ads in the paper. Get your next companion from a shelter or a rescue organization. Otherwise you're contributing to the devasting unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of dogs in this country who would have been somone's best friend.

Gina Spadafori

Thanks, Deborah, for dropping in to give an example of a brain-dead sound-bite feel-good policy statement that is it no way shape or form supported by the facts.

Why don't you think for yourself instead of letting others tell you what to think?

Suggestion: Do some reading on the no kill movement. You might realize that in fact it's not necessary to kill pets for population control. What we need are visionary leaders in the shelter industry who work to produce community-wide efforts to get pets adopted, instead of blaming others for the killing.

And learn something about breeders. Despite what you've been told, it's not true that "a breeder is a breeder is a breeder" and they're all bad. Everyone is against puppy-millers. And it's easy to spot and avoid a careless/clueless backyard breeder. Reputable breeders do not add to shelter populations, and they take responsibility for the animals they bring into this world for life.

While you're reading, you might want to do some research on spay-neuter, and find out why it's a decision that should be discussed with a veterinarian and left to the pet owner to decide.

The medical decisions I make for the pets in my care are none of the state's business.


Deborah, Deborah, Deborah...

That just isn't true. It never has been. Just because there are dogs at the shelter or in rescue doesn't mean that one of those dogs will fit the description of the next dog I plan to obtain. AND I don't know of a single breeder that calls up the shelter when you give them a check for your pup and says "okay, kill another one!" I've rescued, I've purchased pure breds, and I've kept strays after hunting high and low for their owners. My current dog is a rescue.

When AR groups bring in to this state 10s of thousands of intact dogs from outside the country, Chi's from south of the border, Potcakes from offshore islands, refugee dogs from every country on the planet, does a pound pup have to die then too?

Shut down puppy mills, ban the selling of pups in pet stores, get a handle on all the problems caused by irresponsible owners, educate yourself with facts not rhetoric... then get back to me.


As simple as it would make life, you can't just paint everyone with same broad brush.

I can't say I've known any good pet stores but I have known (and have been one myself) good breeders who advertise on the net and/or in the newspapers.

And not all shelters are places where people are going to want to adopt pets. For example, the "shelter" in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas which was actually some pens at the city dump. How many families fancy a stroll around the landfill to find a new pet?

Real answers are only going to be found when we lift the veil of "everybody else is wrong" and appreciate that we all want pets to have every chance to live long and happy lives. That's our common ground, our starting point. From there, things get a lot more complicated and the work gets a lot harder.


Gina And Dutch,

Thank you , thank you , thank you!! Well said both of you! It's funny how certain AR groups complain about animals dying but they, themselves have been caught and convicted of killing and dumping dead animals that they were supposed to have been trying to adopt out. it's also funny how breeders support rescue groups, do rescue themselves and all in all want to work with these groups to reduce animal deaths, but the door never seems to want to swing both ways. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm......


Back to the good news Gina gave us in the blog...

wooo hooo!!!

This bill deserved to die.

Thanks for making my day, Gina.


Its not totally dead yet. Its been changed for the worse IMO

CA AB 1634 - Same Number, New Bill

Among other things any 'complaints' made against you and your pets means they can mandate your dog(s) be sterilized.

Christie Keith

There is no way on earth this bill is worse.

You know, we always say, "They don't even enforce the laws they already have, why make new laws?" And here they're simply increasing the penalties for things that are already illegal, creating an impetus for communities to enforce their existing animal nuisance laws, excluding barking, and only invoking forced sterilization after multiple offenses -- how can you say it's worse?

I have some problems with this proposed law based on the reading of it that I have done, and feel in particular that you can't invoke penalties based on COMPLAINTS, they need to be invoked based on actual violations. And I bet that's something that will be fixed before this law gets voted on.

I keep seeing extremist viewpoints that this law is "just as bad" or "even worse" and I think that kind of wild talk simply ends up making those people look so extreme that no one will take them seriously.

Oppose provisions of this bill or the whole bill on its merits, but this soundbite that the bill is worse or the same is just wrong.


The issue of due process does need to addressed. And the burden of proof needs to exist and as per constitutional law, that burden rests with the state not the accused. To count unsubstantiated, uproven or invalid complaints as a "strike" violates these legal protections which all citizens enjoy.

If not, this will not hold up to a legal challenge. And it will cost agencies and individuals lots of time money and grief in the mean time. As Christie points out, this would need to be based on proven violations, not simply the act of investigating any complaint coming from virtually anyone.

Additionally, there needs to be room for common sense and discretion in this. A family who is forced to evacuate and becomes separated from their pet ought not have to pay a fine or subject their animal to surgery because it was taken into a shelter for safety reasons in an emergency.

Susan Fox

Who is Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod and how did she survive in the legislature long enough to become a committee chair with her common sense intact?

I agree that the process should be violation, not complaint, driven. That definitely needs to be fixed.

Deborah, I second Gina. Do the research. Learn the facts. A shelter/rescue dog isn't the right choice for everyone for too many reasons to go into here.

I volunteer at a county shelter that never euthanizes for space and has sent well over 300 dogs to rescue in three years, but there are almost always dogs up for adoption that need a pretty particular type of family and circumstances (the hounds and border collies come to mind). Dogs aren't "plug and play" ya know. And you don't have the right to decide where I will get my next dog.


"Dogs aren’t “plug and play” ya know. And you don’t have the right to decide where I will get my next dog."

Nope. And that's the thing, there is a huge market for purebred puppies -- that's what people want and they're the only animal shelters are short on. So to say that there is a significant market for dogs NOT found in shelters is correct. That market creates puppy mills (there are not enough "good breeders" to satisfy the demand for low price chihuahua puppies! sorry!) and the subsequent relinquishment of these purebreds to shelters and the multitudes of breed rescues.

Spay/neuter, despite the stance taken here, HAS helped reduce the euthanasia rate significantly in my local human society since the late 80s when the volume of unwanted pets was so significant that they euthanized puppies and kittens. Now in my middle class suburb, I can't remember the last time I saw testicles on a dog and anyone who's ever been present in a euthanasia room during *that* day of the week will appreciate that that's a good thing.

I agree that it shouldn't be legislated but encouraged with incentives. My friend in rescue once said that spay/neuter was a class thing -- with the exception of breeders you guess someone's income bracket by whether or not their dog is fixed. This is a disturbing generalization but indeed rural and urban areas produce the most unwanted puppies. Incentives would target the demographic that is clogging the pound with their puppies, yet keep the purebred breeders from getting huffy.

And I'm happy to say that shelter dogs are the right choice for me. ;)

H. Houlahan

It is lovely to see that the Stepford posters are cruising the interwebs repeating programmed slogans so darn fast. Deborah seems to be running on Vista.

I doubt that the new, neutered AB 1634 will make it out of the committee that vets legislation for constitutionality.

Since this gonad-grab is based on "complaints" without a due process provision for substantiating the complaints or appealing, it would go down in flames the first time someone with resources fought it.

BTW Robin, I can think of five or six families with six-figure incomes who have had a litter "for the kids" or an oopsie. One was a pair of very wealthy doctors who deliberately bred their pet BYB GSD bitch, who was already biting the neighbors. They had trouble *giving away* the purebred pups.

So while the command of written English betrayed by the puppymillers and "one-timers" on kijiji may be a pretty good indication of their powers of intellect, I wouldn't make any firm judgments about their economic positions. The zip codes don't necessarily bear your notion out either.


H. Houlahan, I said it was a "disturbing generalization" that I heard from a rescue friend, not MY notion or a judgment about economic class. She was more familiar with the statistics of what got dropped of where at which shelter. Your doctor friends clearly show that are irresponsible people of all income levels.

Christie Keith

Spay/neuter, despite the stance taken here, HAS helped reduce the euthanasia rate significantly in my local human society since the late 80s

This isn't reflective of the "stance" here. Gina and I are completely in support of voluntary low cost or free, accessible spay/neuter. We both own altered pets. What we are against is forced sterilization of pets, not just because it's an unwelcome government intrusion into something that should be between me and my pet's vet, but also because it DOES NOT WORK to reduce shelter deaths.

Of course spay/neuter reduces them -- specifically, widespread, accessible, affordable or free (or incentivized) voluntary spay/neuter. If AB 1634 were a funded mandate for every county in the state to provide free, accessible spay/neuter to their citizens, I'd have been all over it AND it would have actually helped reduce shelter intake in the state.

MSN, on the other hand, has never done that anywhere it's been implemented. The people who promote it are doing it for other reasons, because if their real goal was to achieve a reduction in shelter deaths, they'd be promoting the things that have actually made that happen in communities across the country instead of an intrusive bludgeon of a law that never has and never will.


And by the way, robin, the "M" in "MSN" in Christie's post stands for "Mandatory". MANDATORY Spay/Neuter. A point you completely missed in your mischaracterization of "the stance here".

Christie Keith

I've updated this post with the legislative analysis of the changes to the bill.


Gloria has is said it.. "Bad dog.. snip.. snip". Shows what she knows about animals.. "Bad bill writer..out of office.. out of office"


with my Swift hat on I propose this.. any dog impounded t=fot the first time will have a leg cut off.. if they still run the second time they will have another leg cut off.. th third time .. well another leg will go.. that will giv ethem a "leg to stand on" but they certainly won't be running loose.. this makes about as much sense as castrating a dog for beng loose. Does this mean that if a gate is open the dog will NOT run out due to the fact that he has no balls? a very silly law indeed..

Craig Sharrow

Just to add my two cents worth.

As others have said, a shelter dog isn't for everyone. Otherwise, why would Leader Dogs for the Blind have their own special breeding program using specific breeders and specific lines of purebred dogs?

I'm an owner of a Labrador Retriever female pup. My wife and I had spent months researching breeders and breeding lines to find a dog with the proven inherited temperment and intelligence to be able to do the work which this particular breed was designed to do.

Since it costs just as much to raise and care for a purebred, breeder-originated pup as it does for a adopted dog from a shelter with unknown inherited traits and genetic diseases, why would I want to gamble on the 100,000-to-1 chance that the shelter dog will be right for me? I'd rather take the 100-to-1 chance (e.g., even though we did all our homework on our last Lab she succumbed to cancer at age 9 - so it's still a chance)on a purebred and invest my thousands of hours of training and companionship on my carefully researched choice for a new canine family member.

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