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26 April 2010


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So while I might feel sorry for dogs in cages, forced to breed (and having lived with intact dogs that I worked very hard at times to control their breeding, I think that’s a laughable statement) … I just do NOT believe it’s ALL about *them*.

So, you feel sorry for the dogs in cages, forced to breed and breed and breed--no, wait, you think they just love being bred every single heat and having their puppies taken from them too young and never getting out to play in the grass and never having positive interaction with humans. Or something.

You believe that it is not possible to oppose the commercial production of puppies as disposable consumer goods, and treating the breeding dogs as manufacturing equipment, without supporting every badly-written or maliciously-conceived law that says it's about opposing puppy mills, but whose actual effects will target responsible breeders and the owners of legitimate sporting kennels.

But that is not the case, and if you read any posts here that don't include your hot-button words, you'd know that most of the regulars here do oppose puppy mills without supporting bad legislation that only claims to target the mills.

I can regard Hunte Corp. as evil while also writing detailed letters with references for my state senator when she considers supporting an "anti-puppy mill" bill that would have mandated "clean puppy mill" conditions for any dogs being bred. This isn't even as hard as walking and chewing gum at the same time, honestly.


'forced to breed"...LOL.. no real person in animal husbandry would ever believe this statement.. animals are not FORCED to breed.. they WANT TO BREED .. it is how they perpetuate is how nature says.. HAVE MORE of what ever you are..

This "increase" that Gina speaks of is NOT documented anywhere.. in fact.. shelter dogs have had a HUGE DECREASE in the last 10 years.. but we still hear "overpopulation" from the HSUS..

who do you hate more.. LIARS.. or .. hmm LIARS comes to mind


Elaine - the one set of statistics I'd seen (and I'm trying to track down) said that something like 85% of iltter registerations with AKC came from folks who bred only a single litter within a 5 year period and the vast majority of THOSEnever bred another litter.

Glenye Oakford


Speaking of whom, if you're interested, check out our equine-canine "exacta Box" at

Happy Derby Day, everyone. Safe return to all the horses today.

H. Houlahan

Christie takes off shoe (a cute one, natch) and bangs podium -- Puppymills, we will bury you economically!

And finds herself accused of nuclear (or is that newkyooler, in this case) proliferation.


I'm sure that Christie's shoes (which, by all reports, are SUPER CUTE) don't need to be abused by smacking them on podiums!

Gina Spadafori

Are you even remotely aware of the realities of influencing legislation? If you do not live in Oklahoma, your efforts to influence the governor may well backfire. Some politicians won't even allow staff to count a contact from a non-constituent, even if the proposed law will affect them as a resident of the jurisdiction.

"while you claim that you don,t support such thing.. thou doth protest too much, methinks."

Oh yeah, we're sekrit animal-rights operatives.

Is that prop wash from the Black Helicopters I hear? Surprised it took so long.


You're done on this thread by the way. Thanks for playing. I'm now too busy watching horse-racing and texting my pals doing the squeeing fangirl thing at Churchill Downs to read your further blah blah blah fake Shakespeare blah blah blah.

Ya know, me loves the horse-racing, like all the other sekrit animal-rights operatives.

Go Ice Box!


How many of you have written or called the Governor of Oklahoma to ask for his veto on the "puppy mill" bill driven by the HSUS. This bill calls for anyone who has more than 11 intact females to be called a .. wait for it.. a COMMERCIAL breeder.. even if you never breed any of your bitches.

All of this talk is fine but truth is it IS about numbers to the HSUS and they have convinced the legislators of Oklahoma that 11 is the magic number for their state.

How many really.. one of you.. two..have called or written? Where is the blog about this.. Where is the outrage? Where is the TRUTH? It is all about numbers to the HSUS.. nothing else.. and while you claim that you don,t support such thing.. thou doth protest too much, methinks.

Gina Spadafori

This “increase” that Gina speaks of ...

Comment by bestuvall — April 30, 2010

You might want to recheck that. I haven't written anything about an increase. As a person who deals in actual, uh, you know, facts, I am well aware that shelter deaths have fallen consistently over the last couple of decades. In fact, I've written about it.

The original comment you're likely referencing was asking about the increase in puppy-mill breeding, not shelter intake or killing.

And, finally, while I appreciate (living as I do with an intact breed champion) that dogs are not generally forced to breed, you are of course missing the actual point: These "happy breeders" you seem to imagine are actually dogs living their entire lives in cages, bred and bred and bred until they can't be bred any more and then thrown away, never to know what it's like to be a member of a family or even to enjoy work like dogs in a hunting kennel.

I would be pretty sure your dogs don't live like that. But you're good with tens of thousands living like that, so you can .... what? Keep hating the HSUS? Really? Why don't you just sell your puppies through Hunte, then? Could it be because you really do know the difference?

Lis hits it on the mark: It's absolutely possible to oppose puppy-mills (even "clean" ones) AND oppose laws that hit reputable, ethical breeders whether intentionally or as "acceptable collateral casualties" -- acceptable, that is, to the breeding ban folks, not to those of us who are fighting to preserve and protect our heritage breeds.

I know it's possible to do both, because many of us do exactly that.


"work myself to support GOOD legislation that helps beat back puppy millers without also shutting down working pack kennels"

Comment by Glenye Oakford — May 1, 2010 @ 7:58 am

I think what a lot of us get stuck at is what that legislation would actually say.

We know it can't be about the numbers - numbers don't tell the story.

We know it can't be about abuse - those laws already exist.

We can make it illegal to sell through retail stores - but that won't stop internet or direct sales.

This is my issue with more legislation (as opposed to education) - I just cannot imagine how it could be written to stop commercial breeders without impacting responsible breeders or working dog kennels.

H. Houlahan

But can I—and should I—work myself to support GOOD legislation that helps beat back puppy millers without also shutting down working pack kennels? YES.

While I would also support good legislation, I don't think even GREAT legislation will do the job.

When I think about opposing puppymills, it is by consumer education, vigorous law enforcement, and economic actions, such as picketing petland and encouraging consumer boycotts that go beyond just not buying a puppy from a miller or a mill retailer.

Those are the actions that will make a difference in the long run.

Glenye Oakford

Gina wrote: "It’s absolutely possible to oppose puppy-mills (even “clean” ones) AND oppose laws that hit reputable, ethical breeders whether intentionally or as acceptable collateral casualties. I know it’s possible, because many of us do exactly that."

Exactly. I'm not clear on why HSUS even needs to be mentioned in the debate. But since it was at the outset ... the question in my mind is whether, as a hunt member, you can do what Gina wrote above and still also support the HSUS, when their legislation and stated mission consistently run in opposition to hunting and hunting kennels. I doubt you can without being thrown under the bus--the very thing Christie earlier noted is likely to happen to breeders who support puppy millers. As a hunt member who loves working pack hounds, can I give money or support to HSUS? No. But can I--and should I--work myself to support GOOD legislation that helps beat back puppy millers without also shutting down working pack kennels? YES. Would I like to see working packs and their organizations/associations do more themselves to combat puppy millers? Yes. If they don't, I blame them for that, but I can't blame them for not trying to work directly with or support an organization that has the goal of ending hunting. As Gina has said, there is a third way.


Hobby breeders are cautioned about collateral damage and questionable ethics for appearing to support "puppy mills". Some hobby breeders and dog owners -- having been under assault by a massive anti-breeding, anti-dog owning legislative agenda for many years -- go overboard with their rhetoric when these issues arise. Spending years on the front lines of these battles has that effect -- I half jokingly call it legislative PTSD and I know what it feels like. I still have not recovered from the damage that AB 1634 did to me personally in 2007.

I contend that opposing the "puppy mill" legislative attacks AND its associated campaign are not the same as supporting "puppy mills."

Show me the informed hobby breeder who recommends that pet owners obtain puppies from pet stores and will I show you somebody who actually supports the commercial dog breeding industry. If we turn over enough rocks I suppose we can find somebody who fits this description, but am unaware of a single case.

I would argue that endorsing HSUS also carries risks of collateral damage and questionable ethics. HSUS has caused and continues to cause widespread damage on many fronts.

Until HSUS ceases and desists with their damaging advocacy on all fronts, until they stop employing deception, until they start displaying a willingness to work cooperatively with and respect the expertise of key stakeholders, and until they stop trying to solve almost every problem with legislation that restricts the rights of individuals, I cannot endorse HSUS.

I do mean all of these fronts, including their anti-hunting advocacy. I do not hunt, and have no particular desire to do so. And yet I find HSUS'S anti-hunting stances to be deceptive, counterproductive from a wildlife management perspective, and at some fundamental level deeply offensive to the very nature and heritage of the human species as hunter/gatherers. It's a fact that we would still have brains on par with those of chimpanzees if not for meat protein acquired by hunting. To slur this as a "cruel bloodsport" is both false and self hating.

I also oppose HSUS's campaign against animal agriculture. For those who are passionate against "factory farming" and wish to reform it, I suggest finding a different advocate than HSUS. Aligning with an organization whose policies appear intended to incrementally impose veganism, who has considerable influence but no particular expertise on animal agriculture, who has no respect for key stakeholders, and who regularly employs deception as part of this campaign, is playing with fire.

Some prefer to see things in black and white, good guys and bad guys, and push back against even appearing to align with the interests of "puppy mills" even in those instances where their own interests objectively intersect. And so they say, "the enemy of my enemy is not my friend".

Well HSUS -- the organization -- isn't your friend either.

No, I don't "hate" HSUS. As an organization, I do not trust HSUS and they have only their own massive track record of deceptive fundraising, and deceptive and counterproductive advocacy, to blame for that.

I certainly welcome moves in a positive direction with respect to HSUS's policies. I'll take progress in any form it comes.

Yet I also recognize that at least some these changes -- no longer advocating for the death of fight bust dogs, no longer advocating against TNR, no longer dissing 'no kill', etc. -- appear to have been forced upon HSUS through extensive public shaming.

Other apparent positive changes by HSUS -- no public advocacy for MSN over the past 1.5 years AFAIK -- may in part reflect the fact HSUS doesn't wish to be on the losing side of the extensive legislative battles that MSN generates.

Or perhaps HSUS has looked at the facts and recognizes that MSN is counterproductive policy. If so, in the interests of animal welfare, HSUS should come out and publicly say as much, as the ASPCA has done.

HSUS's apparent change on MSN may represent the fact no organization has a hive mind. Within any organization of people there are individuals with very different views, even with respect to the core issues that bring them together. I have no doubt -- none -- that there are some very good people within HSUS. That's true of any organization of a significant size.

And yet no organization, including HSUS, can be fairly judged by the fact that it employs some good people. If that were the case then all organizations of significant size would get undeserved consideration for the organization's actions.

If Jennifer Fearing is the reason that HSUS did not endorse SB 250 then my hat is off to Jennifer on that point. But Jennifer Fearing does not have Wayne Pacelle's ability to direct the course of HSUS. We cannot assume that any sea change has occurred within HSUS because one mid level individual in a huge organization managed to keep HSUS from endorsing a stupid bill. Particularly a bill where HSUS had been on the losing side in the same legislature when advocating on that issue in the previous legislative session.

Unlike nearly all of the others I work with, I do not believe that HSUS is hopeless. Even a casual student of history can see that over time, massive changes in the direction and core values of organizations, societies, and governments can and have occurred, and former nefarious entities have transformed into responsible entities. I am not counting on this for HSUS, but I am not ruling it out either.

I remain an open minded and interested observer.

I close this overly lengthy comment with a plea. I suggest lightening up on the 'black helicopter', 'scum' and similar labeling around here. It is being grossly overused to shut down discussion through shouts and insult rather than reason. Those who slap these labels around every time somebody appears here using somewhat heated rhetoric to make points they disagree with, or who include a few (often small) misstatements of fact in an otherwise valid post, usually have no knowledge about the people they are slurring, and usually have far less experience and scars from the legislative battle lines that have helped preserve their own rights to own and breed dogs. Besides, the insults, shrill tone, and screaming make the delivery of one's own positions less effective, not more effective.

Gina Spadafori

Again, thank you, Laura. All points well-taken.


Elaine - the one set of statistics I’d seen (and I’m trying to track down) said that something like 85% of iltter registerations with AKC came from folks who bred only a single litter within a 5 year period and the vast majority of THOSE never bred another litter.

Comment by Cait — April 30, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

Cait, I have seen that same information. That would have been my off-the-cuff reply to anyone that asked had I not just happened upon the statement I quoted. I think the "85% never register another litter" stat goes back a lot farther though, probably at least 10 years and maybe twice that.

Math is not my strong suit, but it appears the numbers stated in the 2005 statement don't quite add up. I chalk that up to an effort to give a responsive answer to a question in the course of an interview or panel discussion, rather than as an intentionally slippery reply such as we routinely see from self-appointed "animal expert" organizations.

H. Houlahan

“the enemy of my enemy is not my friend”.

I believe I said that in reference to the CCF, which is most certainly a problematic organization, and most certainly NOT my friend, despite the fact that they can be bloody useful, especially when it comes to promulgating verifiable facts about PeTA.

I could have almost as easily said the same thing about HSUS.

Because yes, to the extent that I can correctly identify an entity's interests, I can also often predict how they will shake out on a given issue that matters to me.

It's not always straightforward to identify a person or organization's interests, especially when it boils down to "make mor moneyz" and the scenario is complex. What was Goldman-Sach's interest when it was betting against itself and melting the economy?

And despite the assumed spherical human of the economists, some people work against their own self-interest. This is either aberratly irrational or charitable and forward thinking, depending on where you stand.

Glenye Oakford

Well said, LauraS.

mary frances

LauraS comment #163 - suitable for framing - plus couldn't think of the word nefarious the other day...and there it was in perfect context.

Gina Spadafori

Frankly, No. 163 is among the best things that have ever appeared on this blog, and that includes stuff written by the bloggers. :)

I mean, seriously, she made ME shut up and think about MY behavior, and that's not easy to do -- ask anyone. LOL!

Lisa Handke

I'm all for stopping puppy mills, but money you send to the HSUS will NOT go toward stopping puppy mills. Almost 100% of money you send them will be used to bring lawsuits against corporate agriculture and raises for its board members. DO NOT SEND THE HSUS MONEY!

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