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April 2008

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Pitbull Owners Survival Guide

« Dog Thief Tammy Grimes Announces 12 City Stalking Tour | Main | How To Stop Breed Bans - New eBook »

April 04, 2008

Comments

Bill Palmer

Thanks for the information. None of these organizations are perfect, they have made life better for animals.
The government isn't doing their job, they inspect the "puppy mills".

April Russell

I have been raising American pit bull terriers since 1997 and they are the utmost best dog in the world. Its not the dogs fault on how they tirn out its the ownersfault and how thay raise and treat them. Don't condemn the breed on human stupidity.

DDBrep6

An ordinance violation does not give permission to search. It's not a criminal act, it's an ordinance violation.
On the state level, it is only an infraction, not a criminal offense, does not give permission under the law for a warrantless search.
In essence, what you're saying is equivalent to saying if code enforcement comes to your house because your weeds are too high (which is an ordinance violation in most cities) then they would have permission, under the law to conduct a warrantless search. This is not the case.
If a cop stops you for speeding (an infraction) and he asks to search the car you can say no, if he sees a handgun or a bag of crack (criminal violation of the law) he can conduct a warrantless search.
You are again using propoganda to further promote the cruel act of constant chaining/tethering.

"Scenario B: Warrantless Search
NC - Anti-tethering law prohibiting dog from being tied up for more than 3 hours AND/OR having more than one dog tied out at the property at the same time

An officer is driving down the street in a primarily low income or minority neighborhood where drugs are sold. He/she passes a home where a dog (pitbull, Rottweiler, etc.) visible in the yard. Tethering for more that the allotted time triggers a violation of the law. The officers may now stop and search the premises without first having to obtain a warrant.

Scenario C: Selective Enforcement
NC - Anti-tethering law prohibiting dog from being tied up for more than 3 hours AND/OR having more than one dog tied out at the property at the same time

An officer is driving down the street in an upscale neighborhood where more affluent, white people live. He/she passes a home where a dog (Beagle or Golden Retriever) visible in the yard. Tethering for more that the allotted time triggers a violation of the law. The officers wave to the white woman watering her lawn and keep on driving."
I live in a city where we have had the exact 3 hour limit in place for 2 years and the white people are being cited as much, if not more than are the black people. It's not about me, or you, or race. It's about the animals and our police and ACO's as well as the code enforcement officers all know that.
No-one has been the subject of warrantless searches of ther property.
Talk to other communities who have similar ordinances and you'll know the truth for yourself. Please don't be convinced by Ms. Haywoods unsubstantiated writings. Anyone wishing to speak to anyone in any municipality who has similar ordinces, you can to look here for a list of all who currently do.

http://unchainyourdog.org/Laws.htm

Then you can make your own educated decision based on knowledge, not speculation.

If you have the time, and are interested in signing petitions, please take a moment to sign this petition to stop Ohio from declaring pit bulls as a dangerous breed, first step to BSL.

http://www.petitiononline.com/10121985/petition.html

Thanks !

EDIT'S NOTE: Yo, DDBrep6 - Ms. Haywood Here - and i will tell you there is NOTHING UNSUBSTANTIATED about what I wrote.

I have seen the local ordinances here and around the country - which give the power of search and seizure to any police officer, sheriff, ACO - as well as "any humane society offial" - which could mean any DDB rep - "the power to seize the property or amimals, etc.".

As a STAUNCH Defender of the Breed and the owner of TWO "pitbulls", BOTH RESCUES - I can tell you wiithout a doubt that BSL, Breed Bans, as well as anti-tethering laws are used to criminalize, marginalize dog owners, deprive them of due process and remove their animals without recourse.

Furthermore - Breed Bans & BSL are openly supported by PETA and HSUS, and as public sentiment agsinst BSL grew stronger, they needed a new strategy to accomplish the same.

All the while - they sucker in dog lovers like you who think it's about "dangerous dogs" or "anti-cruelty".

These laws are nothing but a PRETEXT to get people like you to act as thier UNPAID LOBBYISTS and help shrink the pool of animal owners and available homes.

Wakey, wakey.

S Kennedy

The bottom line is O does not know much about the dog world. she had that "rescue" on her show that BUYS puppymilled dogs/sells them, bringing in $500,000+, which clearly shows there is and always will be a demand for small frou frou dogs/other small breeds.

Using HSUS to speak up is completely stupid (to dog people)and was the ABSOLUTE WORST choice outside of Newkirk; but that is about par for the course for the ordinary citizen watching "O", since they already believe all pitbulls are demons. I don't care for O myself, and she didn't do too many people a favor with the show since that expose has been done over/over by different channels/people. In the end, people still want those dogs.

And no one is going to change that fact. HSUS stands for getting rid of dogs/pet ownership. HSUS could care less about any dogs suffering. they just want to get rid of PEOPLE using or owning dogs period. We all know that as the sport alliance guy stated, if you wanted to change the CONDITIONS of milled dogs, you need to change the laws if they are not strict enough AND you need to have ENFORCEMENT.

Gee that kind of sounds like what we need in every day life against unsafe dogs, eh???? But still it goes on. that tells us all one thing. the government isn't interested in changing it.

KC KS Kills Dogs

Some posters are so oblivious to the blatant disregard H$U$ has for pet owners they are willing to sleep with them in the name of rescue. This isn't the original H$U$ anymore.

What has been posted by Ms Haywood is true - do your homework. No one who fights the AR fanatics is arguing that Oprah shouldn't have aired a show on puppy mills or that puppy mills don't exist, the selection of H$U$ as a guest is the million dollar question.

It's true H$U$ doesn't care like the GP wants to believe. In my area I personally know of small shelters that have contacted them for financial assistance and received none.

Where was the H$U$ when any dog owner of a short haired, blocky headed dog (and we know that covers a lot of mutts and various breeds) was being harassed by an entire metro area, because two separate dog attacks occurred in a span of 3 months? They were contacted, but their response - they were busy saving the seals.

John Yates - American Sporting Dog Alliance

American Sporting Dog Alliance Seeks
Investigation Of Kennels In Oprah Report

Asks U.S. And PA Attorney Generals To Find Out Why, Prosecute

by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org

An April 4 report on the Oprah Winfrey Show was a scathing indictment of abuses in Pennsylvania puppy mills, but it failed to ask or answer the most basic and important question.

How can this horrible situation happen in light of tough existing state and federal kennel and animal cruelty laws?

The American Sporting Dog Alliance is asking U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett to find out the answer to that question, and to prosecute anyone who is responsible for not requiring the kennels portrayed on Winfrey’s show to follow the law.

Every kennel in Pennsylvania must follow stringent state kennels regulations, and also comply with more than 60 pages of federal kennel regulations if puppies are sold to pet stores or dealers. In addition, every dog in Pennsylvania is protected by a comprehensive animal cruelty law, and everyone who buys a puppy from any source is protected by a “lemon law.”

The report on the Winfrey show by special reporter Lisa Ling showed video footage of several puppy mills in Pennsylvania. All of those kennels were operating in clear violation of existing laws. None of the terrible and heart-breaking things shown in the report would be happening if current laws were being enforced.

The video footage makes it crystal clear that the kennels were operating in open and flagrant defiance of existing laws.

Why aren’t those laws being enforced? Is someone protecting these kennels from the law? Are these kennels licensed and inspected? If so, have dog wardens and animal cruelty police officers been ordered to ignore these kennels? Why haven’t rescue groups that obtain surplus dogs from these kennels on a regular basis reported them to authorities? Has there been a cover-up?

We are quite surprised that Winfrey and Ling didn’t ask or answer those basic questions.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance (ASDA) can’t answer those questions, either. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do know the laws. We have spent hundreds of hours studying existing kennel and cruelty laws, and have worked with our committee of attorneys to be able to interpret them correctly. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, existing laws could have shut down every commercial kennel shown on the Winfrey show, protected the dogs and resulted in prosecution of their owners.

ASDA also believes that everyone in America who loves dogs and is concerned about their welfare has a right to demand answers to those basic questions.

Thus, we are asking the U.S. and Pennsylvania attorney generals to intervene.

We believe that an independent investigation is required because the agencies that should have enforced the laws cannot investigate themselves objectively, and because the Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement answers directly to Gov. Rendell, who has close personal, political and financial ties to the Main Line Rescue Group in Chester County, PA.

Main Line Treasurer William Smith was the primary source on the Winfrey/Ling report and escorted Ling on a guided tour through every step of making the report. Main Line Vice President Marsha Perelman has social ties to Rendell and contributed a reported $7,500 to his election campaign. Rendell also has adopted dogs from Main Line. Thus, any investigation by the Rendell Administration would be clouded by the potential for conflicts of interest.

The Winfrey/Ling report was enough to break anyone’s heart. This reporter has seen some terrible things in 20 years of hard news and investigative reporting, but I couldn’t hold back tears several times during the Oprah Show.

Non-stop video images showed dogs in cramped and crowded quarters, turning exercise wheels like caged gerbils, wallowing in mud, suffering from untreated illnesses and injuries, being unable to walk on solid ground after a lifetime on wire floors, showing fear of people, and victimized by having pipes rammed down their throats to destroy their vocal chords to stop barking.

All of these situations are in clear violation of existing laws, yet Ling apparently never asked Main Line’s Bill Smith to explain the contradiction between kennel conditions and the law as he led her from kennel to kennel to film the report.

This reporter was deeply impressed by the depth and intensity of caring about these animals shown by both Winfrey and Ling, and commends them for bringing animal welfare issues before a national audience of millions of people. This reporter also has great respect for Winfrey’s sincerity and love of animals.

However, it also seems that the intensity of their emotions may have gotten in the way of asking tough and objective questions to get to the bottom of this issue. It also was apparent that they were being manipulated and used by animal rights groups to advance a hidden agenda that is not what it appears to be on the surface.

A review of existing laws shows why tough questions should have been asked of the sources for this report. Strangely, the Oprah team never went to the key source for accurate information: The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

“Neither the Department of Agriculture nor Dog Law Officials were contacted at any point to participate in the show or provide information or comments about what is being featured,” Bureau Deputy Director Jessie Smith wrote to ASDA on Sunday. “We do not know at this point all of the kennels featured and whether or not they are state licensed.”

In Pennsylvania, the law says animal cruelty means someone who “wantonly or cruelly ill(-)treats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry.”

Almost all of the abuses shown in the Winfrey/Ling report would fall under this definition, and the alleged practice of tearing out dog’s vocal chords is covered by another section on mutilation and disfiguring. Legal precedent clearly has been set for all of these problems, and literally dozens of cases are successfully prosecuted each year under this law in Pennsylvania. The law also provides for forfeiture of any animals that are in danger, and fines and possible imprisonment for someone who is found guilty of violating this law.

Main Line’s website has a page devoted to what people can do to stop animal cruelty. After describing cruelty in much the same way as it was shown on the Oprah Show, the Main Line website says: “Don't sit by, day after day, and watch your neighbor's pet suffer, call the proper authorities and report the abuse. Again, the police WILL act on anonymous tips.”

We must wonder why Bill Smith doesn’t follow his own advice. On the Oprah show, he told of building long-term relationships with these puppy mills, so that they would allow him to rescue any dogs that are no longer wanted by the kennel owner. While those relationships allow Smith to rescue some dogs, shutting them down under animal cruelty laws would allow all of the dogs to be rescued, and eliminate the problem once and for all. There are six registered animal cruelty police officers for Chester County, and all of them are only a phone call away.

Smith also brought one of his own dogs onstage. The dog, named Shrimp, was happy and healthy, but a photo showed him near death when Smith took him from a puppy mill. Did Smith report Shrimp’s puppy mill for cruelty to animals? The dog clearly had been treated in an inhumane manner.

Is Smith protecting these kennels? If so, why? Are revenues from adoption fees for these rescued dogs, plus invaluable publicity for fund-raising to cover a reported $2.3 million construction project and political lobbying for the animal rights agenda, factors in Smith’s silence on this issue? We don’t know the answer to any of these questions, but we are urging Attorney Generals Mukasey and Corbett to find out.

Animal cruelty laws are only one part of the picture. State kennel laws apply to every kennel that keeps 26 or more dogs over the course of a year, and all of the kennels in the Winfrey/Ling report clearly would require state licensure and, at a minimum, at least two inspections a year.

If these kennels are licensed, we must ask why the regulations are not being enforced. If they are not licensed, we must ask why Smith and other people at Main Line haven’t turned them in to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. An unlicensed kennel is breaking the law. It can be shut down immediately and a fine of up to $500 for each day of noncompliance can be ordered. Any dog that is deemed to be in danger can be seized and protected under the law.

State kennel regulations set strong standards for health care, food and water, cleanliness, and pen sizes, and numerous violations were observed at the kennels filmed by Ling and her associates.

The report clearly showed numerous situations where several dogs were crammed into tiny cages with wire bottoms. Wire bottoms are legal, but they must be coated with vinyl, the holes in the wire must not allow dogs’ feet to pass through them, and resting boards must be provided. From the films taken by Ling, none of these requirements appeared to be met.

Kennel size requirements also weren’t met. The minimum legal enclosure size is based on a complicated formula, but in general requires four square feet for each small dog, eight square feet for each medium-sized dog, and 12 square feet for each large dog. None of the cages shown in the Oprah report would even come close to meeting this legal requirement.

The law also mandates special size requirements for females with puppies: “Each bitch with nursing puppies shall be provided with an additional amount of floor space, based on her breed and behavioral characteristics, and in accordance with generally accepted husbandry practices as determined by the attending veterinarian. If the additional amount of floor space for each nursing puppy is less than 5% of the minimum requirement for the bitch, the housing shall be approved by the attending veterinarian.” The Oprah report also showed several clear violations of this provision.

Why are these violations being allowed to continue? Are dog wardens failing to enforce the law? Or, are they being told to back off from certain kennels?

Again, we don’t know the answers, but are asking for an investigation to find out. We do know that a dog warden has been assigned to Chester County, and is being backed up by a special team of wardens and attorneys created specifically to investigate and prosecute puppy mills in that part of the state. We also know that Gov. Rendell has mandated a crackdown on non-compliant kennels, and the number of citations for unsatisfactory conditions issued increased by 10-percent statewide last year alone. In other parts of the state, dog wardens are being specifically instructed to issue citations for every violation.

We commend the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement for doing an overall fine job to protect dogs in Pennsylvania kennels, and also commend the Bureau and Gov. Rendell for stepping up enforcement of the laws.

This reporter has personally known six Pennsylvania dog wardens and two regional supervisors. None of these dedicated and honest professionals would have ignored the situations shown in the Oprah report.

Then why are the kennels shown in the Oprah report falling through the cracks? We are asking Attorney General Corbett to find out.

State kennel regulations are only a part of the regulatory picture. All commercial kennels that sell wholesale to pet stores or dealers also must have a federal kennel license and comply with 60 pages of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations. These kennels are inspected at least once a year by a team of USDA officials that includes a veterinarian.

The federal regulations cover many of the same protections as their counterparts in Pennsylvania. They set stringent requirements for food, water, sanitation, cleanliness, construction and kennel sizes. The kennels depicted on the Oprah Show also completely fail to meet the test of these federal regulations.

In the report, Smith emphasized that many of the dogs never get out of their kennels, and some can’t even walk on solid ground after a lifetime on wire. The film footage verified his claim.

However, there is no explanation about why this situation is allowed to continue, as it clearly violates federal regulations.

The federal rules require that all dogs over 12 weeks of age must be given the chance for exercise, and a plan for doing this must be approved by the kennel’s veterinarian. There are several ways that the requirements for exercise can be met, including by larger cage sizes.

For a single dog, a cage twice as large as the minimum requirement would suffice. For a cage that houses several dogs, the total space would have to be the combined total of the space required for each of those dogs individually. None of the cages shown on the Winfrey/Ling report would meet those requirements. None would even come close.

In the report, Smith said the worst kennel he has seen uses wheel-shaped treadmills to exercise dogs. Graphic film footage was shown to prove his point.

However, Smith failed to mention that such devices are a specific violation of existing federal regulations, which say: “Forced exercise methods or devices such as swimming, treadmills, or carousel-type devices are unacceptable….”

The federal regulations also encourage – and for many dogs require – human interaction and contact with the dogs.

At one point in the broadcast, Ling asked Smith if a lot of dogs die from the cold in the winter. Smith said that they do.

Smith did not say that both state and federal regulations, as well as the animal cruelty law, offer very specific and stringent requirements to protect dogs from extremes of weather. Dogs that are housed in indoor facilities must be in a climate-controlled environment, and outdoor kenneling is banned for dogs that are not used to the weather, or which are elderly, infirm or of vulnerable breeds.

Smith also alleged that puppy mill owners routinely shoot dogs that are no longer useful. This is a violation of the federal regulations, which require euthanasia to be done only by a veterinarian.

There is not even a shadow of a doubt that all of the kennels shown on the Winfrey/Ling report could have been – and should have been – shut down under existing animal cruelty laws, and both state and federal kennel regulations.

But they were not shut down. Was justice obstructed? Or was it simply an accident? We want Attorney Generals Mukasey and Corbett to find out why.

If these laws are not being enforced, or if they are being enforced selectively, new laws are not the answer. The answer is to commit the money, resources and supervision necessary to enforce the current laws. New laws will not fix a system that is broken. They simply will add to its list of failures.

Within the next few days, The American Sporting Dog Alliance will release our proposal for making the current system do its job better. This proposal will include amendments to regulations that will triple minimum cage sizes, clarify that the sizes must be increased if more than one dogs is put in a cage, ban the use of wire flooring of any kind, restructure the enforcement of Pennsylvania kennels laws to require dog wardens to be law enforcement professionals, and to use a $15 million Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement budget surplus to make sure the job gets done right.

While the Oprah report was about puppy mills, it gives a black eye to all kennels in Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, Gov. Rendell, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance believes that black eye was intentional, even though that was not the intention of Winfrey and Ling. It was the intention of the animal rights groups that used Winfrey and Ling to accomplish their camouflaged true agenda.

Another guest on the Oprah show was Wayne Pacelle, who heads the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS is not like a local humane society, which is set up to help animals. HSUS is a political group that is organized to push for an animal rights agenda.

On the Oprah show, Pacelle showed his public relations skills of trying to appear moderate and caring. Before he entered the public spotlight, however, he showed his true colors in several interviews with groups that share the same agenda.

Here is one example from Animal People Magazine: “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding ...One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.”

Thus speaks this so-called friend of animals. Perhaps he forgot to inform Oprah about his real beliefs.

Here is another quote from Pacelle that might surprise Oprah: “I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals… In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born.”

Dog lovers have been led to believe that new and tougher laws are needed to protect animals. As we demonstrated above, current laws are more than adequate to protect dogs, if they are enforced. If the problem is enforcement, then fix the enforcement problem. Creating new laws will simply create more enforcement problems.

Those new laws are not aimed at puppy mills. They are aimed directly at everyone who breeds, owns or works with dogs. The laws are deliberately written to confuse and burden all kennel owners, and impose irrational, meaningless, time-consuming and often impossible demands on them. The penalty provisions are meant to impose frightening liabilities that can destroy good people’s lives for even minor infractions.

I wish I had the opportunity to sit down with Winfrey and Ling over a pot of coffee and go over both existing and proposed laws line by line with them. I believe I could convince them that they are being misled and used to accomplish an animal rights agenda that they would find horrifying and in direct opposition to their own love for animals.

The clear goal of animal rights groups is to completely eliminate the ownership of animals in America. That goal has been stated clearly by their spokespersons thousands of times on the public record. There is no doubt about this agenda whatsoever.

The problem is that people who love animals are not being told the truth by the animal rights groups. They are being told that the proposed new laws will help animals.

What they aren’t being told is that the true intention of the proposed laws is to drastically reduce the number of animals in America, eliminate breeding of dogs by anyone for any purpose, and then to spay or neuter all of the survivors.

As Pacelle put it, “one generation and out.”

If we were talking about human beings, it would be called genocide.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance works to protect the rights of people who own and work with dogs of the breeds commonly used for hunting. Our grassroots approach is based on informing hundreds of thousands of people about the issues, and then empowering them to take direct action as citizens. Please visit us on the web at http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org. Your participation and membership are vital. We maintain strict independence and are funded only by the donations of our members.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CROSS-POST AND FORWARD THIS REPORT

alex can

Fantastic effort. Keep up the good work. In Australia we have the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Perennial Culling of Animals) which is does operate shelters but kills dogs by the skipload primarily for looks and in the name of good management. They fight the same fights here as H$U$ and hopefully will eventually be exposed. Australia is a much more cowering society than the US and will not take on organisations readily.

Mary Verbeck Pomeroy

Ok..I tried to read "A Million little Pieces" and Oprah..he was a fake, so is HSUS and PETA.if you want to be able to have a pet dog or two,these are not the people to aid.

Dan

When you start throwing around "racial profiling" you lose me. Targeting dogfighters, who in some cases happen to be black, is not racial profiling.

I watched Oprah and I think the show provided an important service for the dogs we love. I noticed you posted this before the show even aired. You would have been better served by waiting, and reserving comment.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dan - it is not the show's subject was objectionable, but the character of HSUS as an organization that puports to help animals. They raise millions each year, do not operate or fund local shelters, and facilitate a racist legislative agenda. I can only surmise from your comment that you do not own a "targeted" breed.

Ginger

There is something that does need to be pointed out that the HSUS does do. Something I find very wrong, and against what the HSUS Claim they stand for. The importation of street dogs from other countries. Many coming in with new diseases. Some coming in and giving the humans that adopt them rabies. This needs to be addressed. This is adding to our pet over population bringing in dogs off the streets of Mexico, Asia, and Puerto Rico. Please make the rescues stop doing this. For it is causing the death in gas chambers of thousands of dogs in the US. Say no to imported rescues.

bestuvall

I am in awe.. what a great letter... I am sending it to everyone I know. As the owner of a bull breed i have seen the prejudice that occurrs.. and I am a "white woman".. when i moved inot my neighborhood I got a call that there was someone ( else, I thought) moving in with 10 "pit bulls" and oh dear what could be done before they ate the neighborhood children ( some of whom no doubt deserved it) I laughed and said that "demon person " would be ME.. but now.. it is not so funny..when i mention that I had a litter of pups.. they says Oh my AGAIN.. even though it has been two years since my last litter.. Large scae commercial breeders serve a purpose.. they supply people wiht pets. As much as we would like to deny it.. they are market driven. I cannot supply all of the dogs people want.. nor would i but i also do not beleive that someone should have to wait ( soometimes for years) to own a dog. Oprah is hook line and STINKER in the H$U$ pocket of bigotry and she probably does not even know it..
We need a concerted effort.. dogs will be "adopted" by the thousands because of this program.. you can bet on it.. Cash will flow to the H$U$ while local shelters cry out for someone to take the nice "pit bull" in the last run.. The H$U$ will still call out for the killing of all "pit bulls" ( they are all fighitng dogs and cannot be saved).. Dogs that are 'adopted" on the spur of the moment will be back .. turned in when the Oprahness wears off .. Don;t fall for it.. Bigotry is bigotry.. no matter where it happens.. Oprah herself should be fully aware of that.. Happy Birthday Dr. King.. whoknow we dont kill "just because of the way we look"

Dana

This isn't a show to highlight HSUS it is to highlight the horrors of puppymills. Yes society who continues to purchase these dogs are part of the problem. But I think you have to fight it at both ends. Certainly just telling people what they are doing is supporting this behavior isn't enough and hasn't worked. No matter your beef with HSUS. It's a moot point. They aren't even the one's that got Oprah to do this show. It was a private rescue group and that rescue will be represented. Everything you mentioned about HSUS is irrelevent to Oprah presenting this issue. I can't imagine why you would have a problem with it unless you support puppymills. That can't be it right?

Dr. Kim Bloomer

Has anyone stopped to question why puppymills exist in the first place? Humans have been casting blame all over the place since Cain and Abel but the bottom line is this:

Puppymills exist because of demand. Economics and Marketing 101. The suppliers are rising to meet the demand of this throwaway consumer society. "I don't want to wait to get a puppy or kitten when they are available, I want one NOW." So because of free enterprise, puppymills were born by those who see animals only as enterprise to meet a demand by who? All of us, the consumer.

If Oprah wanted to do a TRUE expose, she could just have a show about who is to blame by having a mirror on the set pointing it back to everyone in the audience who is sitting there in shock while they watch the underground video expose OUR crime. Because we have demanded to have a pet when we want one never considering the outcome of that demand.

Michael Jackson may be weird but he has a point with his Man in the Mirror song. The problem is US not the supplier.

The only way to stop supply (i.e., the puppymills/animal mills) is to stop the demand for them.

Caveat

We don't need more laws, we need enforcement of existing laws which are being largely ignored due to a misguided belief that resources are lacking.

I can't think of one piece of legislation drafted by H$U$, or lobbied for or promoted by them for that matter, that in any way addresses animal welfare issues.

Maybe that's because they are not an animal welfare organization.

The focus needs to be on educating the public, that's a given.

However, slagging on breeders, lying about pet overpopulation, pushing for BSL in its many forms and other H$U$ machinations are not helpful.

What needs to be done is simple.

1. Enforce your existing bylaws, eliminate all breed refs, any mention of mandatory invasive surgery, and pet limits. In other words, treat dog owners as adults.

2. Come down hard on scofflaws, abusers and repeat offenders. Fine their asses, in other words and don't hesitate to do that.

3. Teach the public that buying a pet retail is contributing to animal abuse and neglect, no matter what the pet shops/internet sellers/fleamarket vendors say. There is no ethical breeer, anywhere, who will allow their pups to live in isolation in a public cage to be purchased by a stranger off the street with cash or a credit card as their only requirement.

Name one thing that the H$U$ has done to promote animal welfare. I'd be interested in hearing about it because I haven't been able to find it.


Joanne D. Wolff

I agree with the basic content of this piece written by Mr/Ms. Haywood...but would beg, PLEASE have someone proof read your work before sending in the future. Or at least re-read it yourself. I stumbled through it due to several left out, misused words. You're attempting to reach an educated influential woman. ALL our letters need to be well written. Credibility depends on it.

JEDITOR"S NOTE: My fingers fly faster that the bran - and I do appreciate readers who point out spelling or grammatical errors. Please be specific & I am happy for correct them,

Connie Morgan

Sometimes it isn't about the writer and the writer's beliefs but a far greater goal and that is the suffering and exploitation of dogs--man's best friend. Even if they are our worst emeny, it doesn't allow anyone the right to abuse and torture a living creature. Enough, enough, enough--no more profit for the millers on the blood of these creatures. There is no hidden agenda here--Thanks to the power that comes from Oprah for the most amazing opportimity to introduce this agony to millions of people who will surely become educated and positively respond to the horrific plight of the creatures that share our world.

Heather Blancher

May I send this whole letter to Oprah ? Maybe if she gets enough of them , she will take a look at what she`s promoting a bit closer.
I do applaud her for exposing 'puppy mills '
But she should be talking to a real rescue group that struggles to make the vet payments instead of a 'money making machine' like the HSUS. I am from Canada and the law changes that are being presented right this minute have a close resemblence to the crap that HSUS thinks is so wonderful.

"The HSUS legisative agenda includes laws that faciliate racial profiling, the redlining of real estate, push "undesirables" - and primarily minorities and the poor from the community, deprivation of property and most egregiously, a backdoor to conduct warrantless searches and seizures.""
If we dont speak up , nothing will be done to address these issues in a more responsible and well thought out manner.
I believe that the big "O" has been hoodwinked and needs a wake up call from her viewers.


Monica (Plans for Pups, LLC)

What is the significance of whether or not HSUS operates or donates money to animal shelters? I have heard this several times now, and although it is interesting, I'm not sure I understant what it has to do with the current argument.

Perhaps it would be nice if HSUS did operate or support shelters; however many organizations that do only just that. We (as a society) need to change laws to improve lives of animals. That costs money too.

Operating and donating shelters is a very good way to help animals. Changing laws is also a very good way to help animals--some may argue that it is even better--the old "teach them to fish" theory.

Monica (Plans for Pups, LLC)

I do not understand (see below) this section of the letter. Can someone please explain specifically which laws the author is talking about. Thank you.

"The HSUS legisative agenda includes laws that faciliate racial profiling, the redlining of real estate, push "undesirables" - and primarily minorities and the poor from the community, deprivation of property and most egregiously, a backdoor to conduct warrantless searches and seizures.

schipriot

may I please copy this article and send it to the PetLaw list @ Yahoo?
Thank you. I thought thisa was extremely well written and could possibly get Oprah's attention.
Thank you.
Dee Scott in Western NY

EDITOR's NOTE: Permission granted.

James

SOME organization(s) and someone HAS to be a sentinel for the ones that are unable to speak for themselves, i.e. the most helpless of our society. What ever axe the author of this article has to grind with the HSUS is one HE must resolve personally. I believe Oprah is great by using her public voice and show to illustrate to ALL people just how inhumane and cruel these damned puppy mills are! I say, right ob, Oprah. BTW, I'm Caucasian.

Stephanie G-Sierra

Awesome letter. I am spreading this around.

Carolyn

I stopped watching Oprah when she showed that she, herself, is a very prejudice person. I take everything she says and sponsors with a grain of salt. She has lost all credability with me because she uses her media power to push her own beliefs, ideas and concepts on to people who are not able to think for themselves.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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