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12 December 2008

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straybaby

Laura,



Did you get the impression all those puppy pics were taken at the same time? From what little I could see of the person holding the pups, the same top seems to be in all.

Anne T

While I did praise Joe's selection, as it seems to me some research was done, and he did seek a mentor in Tobin, I am personally not a fan of Big GSDs, preferring smaller, slighter less gawmy lines, and I was personally disappointed there were few if any current USA working titles on the dogs, nor any references to CHIC clearances. However, temperament seems to be important to this breeder. With an icon like a GSD, temperament is paramount.

Anne T

"And as I often say, buying a dog from a breeder doesn’t mean you’re “stealing” a home from a shelter dog. Many people who are involved with purebred dogs also support rescue, counsel pet owners on problems, and oh yeah, have rescue dogs as well as their purpose-bred dogs. I always have, and so has Gina. And if I hadn’t been doing activities like showing and coursing with my deerhounds, it’s not likely I’d have had as many dogs as I did — and most likely wouldn’t have had any more adopted/rescued dogs than I did, either. It’s not a zero-sum game."

Well said! Tnank you.

And Congratulations to you Joe on your new puppy and on the way you went about choosing it. Well done. Who know, maybe with Mark Tobin's influence, Joe or another family member and the dog will pursue dog sports! One can only hope.

2CatMom

Oh my gosh - that's one cut puppy. Politics aside, I'm much happier that our two top elected officials seem to get it as compared to one candidate who had his dog in a crate on top of a car and another who covered up for his son who killed a dog.



Now, if we could just a cat into the cabinet....

Christopher

I don't like Biden much, but it sounds like he did just about everything right in getting his new dog. Kudos to him for leading by example and supporting what appears to be a responsible breeder who is working with a breed who really needs a regime change.



I applaud him for overriding the breeder's suggestion of seeing only two puppies, going to visit them all and seeing the parents is an excellent idea. Way to go Joe.

Selma

Good for Joe, sounds as though he stayed away from the conformation type. That puppy is adorable.

straybaby

Cute pup! Hope we get to see it's "funny" ear stage, lol!~ That pic makes me want to go hold a puppy :)



Aren't GSDs one of the breeds some insurance companies ban?

Pamela Picard

Too cute. And huge paws. A big boy indeed. Thanks for sharing this Christie.

Pai

The kennel is supposedly 'Jolindy's German Shepherds', a breeder who specializes in working type & drive over show conformation GSD.

LauraS

Good for Joe, sounds as though he stayed away from the conformation type.



He apparently stayed away from the AKC conformation type. Most of this breeder's studs are German showline GSDs -- the international conformation type GSD. At least one of her studs is European working lines from an American kennel.



I don't know what lines her females are from since no info is given about them, other than the claim on the home page that her lines are "from top German and European bloodlines".



I haven't found basic info about her breeding stock that one would commonly find on websites of those who seriously breed European bloodline GSDs: pedigrees, radiographic hip ratings and other health tests, breed appropriate titles or working certifications, and breed survey ratings.



The kennel is supposedly ‘Jolindy’s German Shepherds’, a breeder who specializes in working type & drive over show conformation GSD.



If that were the case then there wouldn't be so much showline stuff in there. More importantly, the working abilities of her breeding dogs and what they've produced would be emphasized, of which nothing is said. Also listed would be working titles or certifications of her dogs and their progeny. She lists working titles and certifications of her studs' parents but not the studs themselves, and doesn't list these things about her females at all. That suggests no working titles or certifications on her breeding stock.



Looks to me like a pet dog breeder using predominantly if not entirely imported GSD lines, particularly German showlines, who does not work her breeding stock. I hope her breeding stock at least have radiographic hip clearances, especially since the Germans are notorious for selling GSDs to Americans after these dogs fail to get a German radiographic hip clearance.

Selma

I'd like to add that the breeders I know (quite a few, different breeds) will all take their dogs back at any age. One friend just took back a Westie that was 14 yrs old, for example.



There are about 1 million more homes available each year than there are dogs to fill them. Shelters across the continent kill roughly 1 million dogs that could be placed (obviously, some cannot and will always be humanely put to death).



Are some breeders in it for the money? Sure, they are the ones who sell to pet shops or over the 'net. They can be dealt with, usually through existing laws around humane care of animals.



I'm pretty tired of the mindless repetition of the animal liberationist slogans by people who haven't really thought things through.



Most dogs in shelters are mutts, usually large male pups around one year of age. Which 'greedy breeders' are producing these mutts?



Contrary to AR mythology, very few actual purebred dogs end up in shelters. A dog's appearance isn't what makes him a purebred but animal control people don't usually know that.



How can all these 'greedy breeders' be making money hand over fist if there is a 'pet overpopulation' problem? There are obviously more than enough homes for dogs out there.



Think about this fave of the AR people:



"Rescue one until there are none"



Until there are none....get it?



Those of us who truly love dogs have more and better ideas on how to help the homeless than just throwing out catchy slogans. sterilizing them en masse and killing them for convenience.

Anne T

OMG, I just remembered. GSDs are Andrew Hunte's breed of choice! Oh ack!

Barb

OK, I do know better than to respond to trolls... but in case someone reading this does still maybe believe the "Don't breed or buy" crap, maybe this will help you start to actually think:

Janice said: "There is NO justification for breeding a dog when millions of adoptable dogs are put to death."

There is plenty of justification for breeding dogs, if I don't want to leave the future of the breed I love in the hands of people who breed accidentally, or carelessly, or greedily. Unless you really think that ALL breeding can be stopped - in which case, if all dogs have been surgically sterilized we will be smack out of domestic dogs in 12 or 15 years or so.

She also said: "The whole notion of breeding a specific type of dog is archaic."

I don't know ANYONE who TRULY doesn't care what breed/kind of dog they live with. I don't care how altruistic your motives are for adopting a dog, you still have needs and preferences based on your lifestyle, where you live, the amount of time you have to devote to a dog, if you have kids, etc.

Think about it... would you be content to go to a shelter and say "give me a dog, I don't care what kind." Would you be equally content if they brought out a dog weighing 7 pounds or a dog weighing 170 lbs? Would you be equally content no matter what kind of coat the dog has - long, short, double, curly, silky, harsh, always shedding, or always growing? Would you be equally content with a high energy dog with lots of play drive and lots of prey drive - or a couch potato? An affectionate, maybe needy dog or an independent thinker? You get my drift. The only reason to believe that we shouldn't still be preserving different breeds and types of dog is if you don't believe people should be able to get a dog that they really want.

And if you believe THAT... then my friend, you just don't "get it" at all.

Gina Spadafori

Barb, I doubt she is a troll at all. Just a well-meaning person who wants to stop the killing, without realizing all animal-lovers want that. We're just a little more clear about the possibilities of getting those pets into homes, and we don't buy the "all breeders are greedy/all breeders are scum" agenda advanced by Newkirk et al.

straybaby

LauraS,



thanks for the info :)

LauraS

straybaby - it looks like a number of the puppy pics were taken in a kennel area, since there is chain link fencing in the background. They sure are cute pups.



BTW, I am not an advocate of breeding GSDs for the broad pet market. But within the breed, German showline GSDs -- which this breeder uses -- are among the best bets for temperaments suitable for many pet owners. In temperament, they are basically watered down working line GSDs owing to the mandatory working title system in Germany which even the showdogs must pass. As a result, German showline GSDs usually have better nerves and trainability than AKC GSD lines, but they are generally not as drivy and demanding as working line GSDs. One breeder I know who has bred and live with both working line and German showline GSDs describes the latter as "easy" to live with by comparison.



Also, the Germans have required radiographic hip clearances for all breeding GSDs for over 40 years, which has reduced (but not eliminated) the incidence of HD. German showline GSDs are gradually replacing other GSD populations for the worldwide pet market.

Janice

Of course Joe Biden killed a dog. Are you all delusional? Can you not count? Joe could have adopted a dog at a shelter or from a rescuer and opened up another spot for one of the millions of dogs dumped at shelters by people, and saved a dog from being euthanized due to over crowding. There is NO justification for breeding a dog when millions of adoptable dogs are put to death. All 3 of my rescue dogs were well behaved and lived to 15 + years old, so don't tell me about damaged, sick dogs. Most of the people I know with "pure breeds" encounter health problems at age 7 or 8 and behavioral problems earlier due to inbreeding. The whole notion of breeding a specific type of dog is archaic.

Gina Spadafori

Janice,



No one here is against shelter or rescue pets. Many of us have them. What we ARE in favor of is people being able to choose the kinds of pet who's right for them without being hammered. Getting a pet from a reputable breeder (NOT a pet store or direct-from-puppy-mill Web site)is just a legitimate a choice as going to a shelter.



As for pet "overpopulation," a small percentage increase in adoptions that can be more than accomplished with sweeping, progressive changes in the shelter industry's standard operating procedure of killing for population control would find homes for every adoptable pet -- and achieve shelter live-release rates of 90 percent or more. (There will also be some pets too sick, too feral or too unsafe to be placed.)



You might try doing some reading on the no-kill movement. Start with "Redemption."



Stop drinking the Kool-Aid of the animal-rights movement. Animal lovers of all kinds -- reputable breeders included -- are finding ways to work TOGETHER to get shelter adoption rates up. Reputable breeders are not the enemy, nor are people who get a puppy or kitten from them.

Anne T

Not strong enough, Gina. Pull out the stops. You have a heritage breed, I have one too. I can bore you with illustrations from medieval manuscripts to prove my point that my breed is an old type and has been around for centuries.

Frankly, it's the only one I want to Rescue/Foster. The preponderance of Rescue people in my Breed club are Breeders! They are the ones who take in the damaged, the distraught, the dogs victimized by the failure of their humans. The ones who sit up with the dog all night, administering the meds, giving the comfort of a loving voice and soft, gentle hands.

I am soooo tired and frankly angry over this Bullpucky about Mutts versus Breeds. That's poison spewed by people like Ingrid Newkirk, whose agenda is to completely sever the bond between our species and all others. It's got to stop. It's Time For A Change!

You, Christopher and whomever else here who has bred dogs for whatever reason ( making money wasn't one of them) including perpetuity of an awesome companion/helpmate to us humans, has the right to do so, and shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it.

If Guilt is the motivation, I can make an equally strong case why you shouldn't be breeding human spawn aka children and adopt from a shelter/agency.

2CatMom

Gina - apropos nothing - my brother and his wife adopted a 2 year old small poodle from LA County shelter. He was only there a few days and looks to be in good shape (foreclosure casualty).



Now why an I telling you this?



1) Because I read Pet Connection, LA County shelters are not unfamiliar to me. I've urged (OK, insisted) that they take the dog to a vet immediately.



2) Also, my brother has never owned a dog (he's actually somewhat afraid of dogs) and my sister-in-law hasn't had a dog since she was a child so I consider them both novices. So before I mailed their holiday presents out to LA, I stopped at my favorite bookstore and bought a copy of Dogs for Dummies to include in the box. If its as good as Cats for Dummies (and I'm sure it is) they will find it an invaluable resource. Thank you for writing 2 really good books.



As for my brother - you guessed it - he's fallen in love with the dog - he works from home and is with the dog all day - he said if he knew that a dog could be so sweet, quiet and well behaved he would have adopted one much sooner. I think they are well on the way to a beautiful friendship!

Christopher

Janice,



You are bound to die disappointed because there will never come a day when all dogs find homes and stay there until they die. There will never come a day when people don't get animals and abandon them when their situation changes or even their whims change.



Is there any rate of PTS animals that you'd be comfortable with? If the answer is no, then you're simply a lost cause. If the answer is yes, then what is a justifiable rate of abandonment/euthanasia?



22% of human pregnancies end in abortion, but only 5% of companion animals are put to sleep because they weren't found new homes. Only 5%.



When you say "There is NO justification for breeding a dog when millions of adoptable dogs are put to death." I say, the 95% of companion animals that aren't put to death are millions of reasons to breed animals.



Your absolutist position isn't tenable. If you think it is, I suggest that you stop eating until no child dies of hunger.



As proud of yourself as you are for adopting dogs, I'll note that picking up litter doesn't prevent anyone from throwing it on the ground in the first place. Nor does rescuing dogs prevent in any way the flow of animals from homes to shelters.



Good breeders, who create quality dogs that are less likely to be problematic and who find homes that are appropriate and less likely to fall into a situation that leads to abandonment, and who work to resolve any problems themselves versus dumping dogs in shelters do more to decrease the number of dead animals than savior complex adopters.



In fact, if you adopted from a kill shelter you just rewarded antiquated ideals and poor behavior.

Selma

"He apparently stayed away from the AKC conformation type"



I stand corrected! (CKC too). I use 'conformation' to refer to the show ring, as opposed to conformation meaning the shape of the dog which I agree is vague.



Darned wonks are everywhere :>)

The OTHER Pat

PetConnection made the Huffington Post (at least the reader comments part):



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/12/bidens-puppy-a-postelecti_n_150655.html?show_comment_id=18766883#comment_18766883

2CatMom

Its too bad that a lot of the comments on the HP reflect a lack of understanding as to the difference of a reputable breeder and a puppy mill. I guess that's what happens when all breeders get lumped together by PETA and the likes.



Unfortunately, the breeder did get fined for paperwork issues (falsification of registration papers) but nothing involving abuse or neglect. Someone previously pointed out about the missing info on her web site about parentage. I hope the Biden's don't end up with a dog with hip or other medical problems.





But you can't lay this one on Biden - if local law enforcement didn't know, how would he?

FrogDogz

As a dog breeder and rescuer (and one who is currently mulling over taking on the paid position of director for our local no kill shelter), I tend to sigh and shrug when reading another "Breeders make shelters KILL DOGS!" comment.



Take the shelter I might end up working at - they actually don't have ENOUGH dogs right now, to the point that they bring them in from other kill shelters. What do they get, for the most part? Large, mixed breed, adolescent males. The smaller breed dogs? Snapped up in a heart beat, because (shock, horror) not everyone is ready for or capable of owning a large breed, untrained teenager.



There's nothing wrong with someone choosing the dog breed that fits their lifestyle - this is, after all, the basic premise of the concept of pure bred dog breeds. Choosing a breed by its size, energy level and temperament is the best way to ensure that the dog you bring home FITS your life.

Ruth

I think it is terrible he did not rescue a dog from a shelter. What kind of example is this??????

lees

I have to add, I do live near, and have seen the facilities of this so called breeder, and they are NOT clean nor organized. Many locals in the area are starting to speak out to prevent the promotion of this GSD "farm" hence the update article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This breeder does not keep clean, segregated housing, does not keep proper records, and does not get proper health certification. along with the fact that they pump out over 200 dogs a year, and file under alias kennel names, depending on the exposure. The photos published of this pup do not show a healthy pup under the usual guidelines. Bright, clear eyes, no, clean, dry coat, no, bright and active personality no, this pup had hazy, runny eyes, something wet or sticky all over it's coat, and looked very lethargic. Great advertising for this breeder !!!!!

Lori

I'm late to the party but the whole "he killed a shelter dog" is silly. By that argument: Did you adopt a dog from a shelter yesterday? No? Then you KILLED ONE! Another today? No? Then you killed one. Are you going to adopt another tomorrow? Killed again. It's not a one for one deal like that.



Breed responsibly, love unconditionally I think would be a good slogan.

Tina Clark

In reference to the "adopt one until there are none" slogan, I always took that to mean until there are none who are homeless. Other than that, I don't want to get involved in the buy vs. adopt discussion here. What I do want to say though, is that, from reports I've read, the breeder in question certainly does sound like a puppy mill. I've seen statements from someone who actually investigated that breeder which read, "dogs living outside in igloos and a large side building wrapped in blue plastic" and "her inspection report states approximately 100 breeding dogs" and "she sold more than 275 dogs in 2006." If this is not a puppy mill, I don't know what is.

Susan Fox

Janice and Ruth:

For many of the reasons mentioned above, I chose a purebred collie from a long-established (1965) breeder for my very first dog. And he's been my entry point into rescue because of what I've learned from owning him.



I originally wanted an adult rescue dog because I'd been given to understand that those were the dogs most at risk because "everyone wants puppies", but when I tried that route (2 year old male McNab/border collie mix, yeah I know) it didn't work. No fault of the dog, but the cluelessness of me, the allergic-to-dogs-as-a-kid owner.



Now besides being a shelter volunteer, I do something I'd never have imagined - rescue transport. I've done six so far with a total of over a dozen dogs and puppies. Very satisfying. For anyone who can't adopt or foster, you might look into doing transports.



I guess the equation for me is that one purebred collie = 15 dogs and puppies moved on to rescue so far. Plus the shelter dogs I'm learning to reward for being calm instead of excited maniacs.



So, Ruth and Janice, I can't tell you how utterly uninterested I am in your uninformed, judgmental attitude about what kind of dog people choose to add to their families. Read "Redemption". Please.

Gina Spadafori

That's a lot of dogs per year, absolutely true, but as we said, we're not in a position to be able to see the operation and make a distinction. I actually know a couple of field dog kennels that may get close to those numbers ... and their litters are raised in house, socialized and healthy (and can hunt).



"If this is not a puppy mill, I don't know what is."



Actually I DO know. Numbers alone don't a puppy-mill make.



I don't recommend or support high-volume breeders for a lot of reasons we've written about here many times, but a "clean livestock operation" is not puppy mill. To me the distinction between a high-volume commercial breeder and a puppy mill is that the latter let their "production units" live in unspeakable squalor, don't provide even basic care for them and disposes of them when they're no longer "productive" -- including cases where they've killed the non-producers and fed them to the surviving puppy-producers.



So yeah, there's a difference. And a reputable, ethical, small breeder who raises puppies in the home from temperamentally and physically sound and healthy parents with all the healthy clearances is the way to go if you're looking for a particular breed (or cross-breed) of dog.

Gina Spadafori

It's an example of someone doing his homework, seeking out good advice, finding what appears to be a reputable breeder and choosing a dog to responsibly care for for life.



Other than that, it's none of your business, or mine, what this family does. Choosing a puppy from a reputable breeder is every bit as legitimate a choice and moral a choice as getting a shelter dog.



After all, he didn't go to a retail puppy-mill outlet.



We do not need to end reputable breeding and exterminate our heritage breeds to get shelter pets in good homes. A change in the "we must kill to save them" attitude from the shelter industry will more than get the job done.



Check out the no-kill movement to see what can be accomplished when animal-lovers work together, not assign blame.



And think about what "Until There Are None, Adopt One" really means in the context of an animal rights movement that wants an end to all domesticated animals, including our "exploited" pets.

Lis

Jeff, you did't listen to what Obama actually said. He likes that shelter dogs are "mutts like me" and would prefer to go that route--but he has a daughter with allergies and therefore some very specific needs. And most shelter dogs are mutts like him (and most of us.)



A major reason that dogs wind up in shelters is that the previous owners made an unsuitable choice of pet, a dog that didn't fit their needs and whose needs they couldn't provide for properly. Obama and Biden have both set an excellent example by thinking seriously about what they need in a dog, and trying to find a dog who will really fit those needs, making for a happy dog and happy humans. If more people took the time to do that, there'd be fewer dogs in shelters to begin with.



Here's hoping they start a trend!

Tina Clark

Gina,



I totally disagree that "numbers alone don't a puppy-mill make." You can't have that many dogs and not treat them like products. What you're describing as your definition of "puppy mills" is the worst of the worst. But just because a puppy mill doesn't horribly abuse its dogs, doesn't keep it from being a puppy mill. There are puppy mills, and then there are horrible puppy mills. A "high volume commercial breeder" IS, by definition, a puppy mill, just not necessarily the worst kind. A "mill" is any facility that churns out its "product" at high volume.



But your phrase, "clean livestock operation" is a dead giveaway as to your ideas about this, which are totally at odds with mine. Dogs are not "livestock," they are individuals, and should live in a home, not in some sort of mass breeding facility, even if it is "clean." Calling dogs "livestock" is obscene.



The only breeders I will consider to be "reputable" are those who are NOT in it for the money, but for the love of dogs in general and of their breed specifically, who only have a couple of carefully-bred litters a year, whose dogs live indoors, who screen potential buyers carefully, and who will take back, at any time, any dogs they have sold.



I have applauded you for speaking out against puppy mills. But now that I know what you DON'T consider to be puppy mills, I'm not so favorably impressed.



Yes, indeed, there is a difference. Between bad and unspeakable. I don't accept either.

Gina Spadafori

But your phrase, “clean livestock operation” is a dead giveaway as to your ideas about this, which are totally at odds with mine. Dogs are not “livestock,” they are individuals, and should live in a home, not in some sort of mass breeding facility, even if it is “clean.” Calling dogs “livestock” is obscene.



Comment by Tina Clark — December 15, 2008



New around here, are we?



The fact that I put "clean livestock operation" in quotes should have clued you in that I find it equally obscene.



Trust me: I don't support high-volume puppy operations. I do, however, support reputable, ethical breeders who are in it for the breed, not for the money.



Read the, oh, 459,234 articles on this subject on this very blog alone to see where we stand and you will see it's very much against commercial breeding.



However, there remains the issue of what is a puppy mill and what isn't. A high-volume commercial U.S.D.A puppy operation is legal. (Despicable, but legal.) A puppy-mill is in violation of any number of laws and regulations. (And hell isn't hot enough for anyone involved with one.)



We strongly and in no uncertain term recommend people not support high-volume for-profit breeders or puppy mills. But you don't get to just pick and choose how to define these terms. They've already been defined.

JenniferJ

Ruth, the majority of dogs for whom a shelter will be the last stop are teenagers or adults who had a home but were given up. And most of those should not have to die, there are homes for them and for well- bred pets too. Please read Redemption. it will explain it far better than I can here. Or just read the preceeding comments to yours.



If every potential owner did some research into what owning a dog entails, and gave due consideration to the energy levels, size, grooming, training needs etc... of the breed or mixed breed they are going to add and went through a reputable source, whether it be a shelter, reputable breeder or rescue group, that was honest with them and helped them select an appropriate puppy or adult for their needs, abilities and lifestyle (or directed them to a more appropriate choice including a different species or no pet at all) then we would dramatically reduce the shelter population.



By taking the time to do some research and going personally to meet both the dogs and the breeder, Vice-President Elect Biden sets an excellent example. The same thing applies to the selection of any pet. He has owned GSDs in the past and is selecting the dog he feels will be appropriate to his family.

Dorene

Here is the latest from the Philadelphia Inquirer on the Biden puppy story:



http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/36154699.html



Note at the end of the article that he adopted his cat from a shelter.



I'm not thrilled that he bought, rather than adopted a puppy, but considering that he is an experienced GSD owner, I can see why he went with a recommendation from someone he trusts, especially if he wants a dog for his grandchildren to play with.



Our dog park is a favorite haunt for folks who are fostering large dogs, especially GSDs and I have to say that while they are great dogs, almost all of them have drive, drive, drive. The current one is huge, 18-month old boy with a perfect gait that really, really, REALLY needs a 24/7 job. He wants to please, but he's just bursting with energy and intelligence and desperately needs something that puts both those qualities to work. Is he a great dog? Of course! Should he be playing with grandchildren? I think not -- unless the Secret Service has him bomb-sniffing for 12 hours first!



The numbers this breeder handles makes me nervous, but she did give the Inquirer reporter a tour and no alarm bells went off (and I would think a PA reporter would know or have access to someone who knows what a puppy mill looks like).



There are several large dog breeders around here that have big kennels that have okay reputations. The biggest problem has been the hips -- several big name celebrities have gotten burned on a local kennel that did have good temperment rotties, but were just too big. My neighbor had one that was over 100 pounds who was the sweetest dog in the world, but both is hips had to be replaced. I wouldn't trust anyone's word -- look at those x-rays and get those certificates!



Spring City isn't that far away -- I can dig if people are really worried.

Tina Clark

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I guess what confused me is that, even though you put the phrase "clean livestock operation" in quotes, you went on to say it wasn't a puppy mill, and that statement, and the rest of the paragraph, REALLY sounded to me as if you were defending the practice.



You say that the difference between a puppy mill and a facility that is not a puppy mill is that one is legal and one is not. This is simply not my definition of a puppy mill. The fact that something is legal (or clean for that matter) doesn't mean it isn't a puppy mill. USDA regulations are pathetic and don't come close to protecting the dogs. "A high-volume commercial U.S.D.A puppy operation is legal." Yes, it is legal, but it is still a puppy mill.



I believe you are incorrect that the term "puppy mill" has already been legally defined. At least I have not been able to find such a legal definition. And even if I could, a "legal" definition is only applicable as far as the law goes. And unfortunately, the law allows for treatment that I can't imagine you would find acceptable.



I guess our argument has to do with the fact that your definition of puppy mills is completely different from mine. If I am reading correctly, your definition says that anything that is legal is not a puppy mill, no matter how high the volume of dogs churned out, or how badly the dogs are treated. Mine says that a puppy mill is any high-volume operation that churns out dogs like products, with more interest in profit than in the dogs' well-being.

michell

Wow you people claiming that supporting a massive dog breeder such as the one mr. biden just supported are messed up.

Do your homework, I live here in Lancaster PA (puppy mill capital of the east coast) and know too well the horrors that exist within the commercial dog breeders hell. Some of your comments are so ignorant....YES he did buy his puppy from a puppy mill, that breeder is a k5 kennel, plus another kennel that sells less, so doesn't have to have a licence. This breeder churns out 250 plus dogs a YEAR! And most likely sells to brokers who sell them to pet stores.

Your ignorance is what is keeping the animal abuse operations in business!

Gina Spadafori

Your unsubstantiated claims based on geography and guesswork make your demands that we "do our homework" a complete joke.



No one here supports puppy-mills, and the volume that this kennel produces is indeed a major concern. The standards of care as reported don't suggest "puppy mill" in any way, however. But we haven't toured the place, and I daresay neither have you.



I have absolutely no doubt that the "until there are none, adopt one" advocates would be all over the Bidens if they did anything except adopt a shelter dog.



Again, we're all for adoption. The bloggers here have always had purpose-bred purebreds and rescue pets, too. (Heck, I RAN a rescue for three years, fostering and placing 30 dogs a year out of my home.)



But we are also in support of reputable, ethical breeders and the protection and continuation of our heritage breeds.



There's room for both.

Jeff

I am very disappointed in the Biden's choice. With his international prominance, he missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to call attention to the notion of animal rescue. I am saddened. I hope Mr. Obama does not waste his opportunity. His fear that "rescue dogs are mutts" like him is ill-informed and discouraging.

lees

Oh, it just keeps getting better !! Update as of Dec.15th pm.....

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/Kennel_where_Biden_bought_puppy_is_cited.html

""The state Department of Agriculture has issued citations to the owner of the Chester County kennel where Vice President-elect Joe Biden recently bought a puppy.



In a kennel inspection report posted online Monday night Linda Brown, owner of Wolf Den kennel, was cited for violating the dog law for failing to provide records for dogs purchased or sold and failing to produce complete rabies vaccination records for her adult dogs.



Rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs over three months of age.



Dog wardens also found a strong ammonia smell inside the house where a number of dogs are housed, and broken wires and piping in several outdoor kennel areas. As a result they issued warnings for maintenance and sanitation and will conduct a follow up inspection in the near future, the report said.



Brown could face fines of up to $500 for each citation. It was the kennel's first negative inspection report in five years.



Brown, of Spring City, who also operates as Jolindy's German Shepherds, holds a commercial kennel license that allows her to keep more than 250 dogs. She had 84 dogs on the property when the inspection took place on Dec. 10.



Biden bought the six-week-old male German Shepherd puppy from the kennel earlier this month.

dogparkdaddy

I have an American style GSD, Mondo, a big boy at 30" withers and 125 lbs. with lots of prey drive, trainability (intelligence?), loyalty, and a keen awareness of his surroundings. Mondo is a wonderful friend and life partner ... Joe Biden could not have done better than with this majestic breed of dog.

Kim Kapes

Putting the rescue dog/puppy mill/breeder issue aside, I am VERY saddened that this poor baby will now be sent off for 6 weeks of boot camp training and not have a chance to bond during a critical time with his new owners and family. Not only that but I wouldn't be surprised if the poor pup is cowered into a submissive role and tortured with a prong collar.

John

Reports are coming out that Ms. Brown is the owner of Wolf Den Kennel, aka Jolindy's German Shepherds, a high volume commercial breeding facility. She was cited in 2006 for falsifying AKC registrations and suspended from all AKC activites for 1 year:



http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/8439/PA/US



Wolf Den Kennel has been cited by the PA Dept of Ag recently for such violations as failing to provide records for purchased dogs and failing to produce rabies records, as well as cleanliness and maintenance violations. The PA Dept of Ag is not exactly known for zealotry when enforcing the dog laws.



http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/



A reputable breeder, indeed. Not Mr. Biden's proudest moment.

John

More excellent research I just ran across on Ms. Brown's operation - which certainly, as far as puppy mills go, seems to walk and quack like a duck...



http://abbyk9.blogspot.com/2008/12/breaking-news.html

LauraS

I am VERY saddened that this poor baby will now be sent off for 6 weeks of boot camp training and not have a chance to bond during a critical time with his new owners and family.



I see no reason to believe that this will adversely affect the pup's ability to bond with the Bidens.



Are you aware that multiple rehomings are common for working-bred dogs? Just for example, GSDs and other breeds that are bred to be guide dogs don't get placed with blind clients as young pups; they go from guide dog kennel to puppy raiser home to guide dog trainer to blind client. Dogs are a lot more adaptable than you seem to believe. If they weren't, all shelter adoptions other than baby pups would be failures.



Not only that but I wouldn’t be surprised if the poor pup is cowered into a submissive role and tortured with a prong collar.



You have a vivid imagination.

Grahund

I guess it is no shock that a Pennsylvania law enforcement officer can't recognize a high quality breeder. Pennsylvania is so tolerant of puppy mills that law enforcement is impressed by any breeder that isn't guilty of animal cruelty.

mrw

Thank you for this! My viewpoint as well. I read an article on shelter website stating that the dog came from a puppy mill, just because it was located in Pennsylvania I assume. I doubted that.

Lori

So prong collars can be used safely and humanely? I honestly didn't know that. I know Victoria Stilwell hates them and makes people put them around their own necks to see how they feel and stuff. I'm not sure if I could use one, myself, but I know there isn't only one way to train.

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