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« Roverlution on Sautrday, 10/23 | Main | My name is Brent, and I'm a Pit Bull Owner »

October 22, 2010

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YesBiscuit!

So when exactly do we reach this purported future moment of bliss when we get to revel in not killing puppies because we killed them at some time in the past? Like you, I can't help but think if there was any merit to that plan, we would have yielded results by now. Instead, we're still killing.

Nokillhouston

I've heard these statements too. I heard it a few years ago from someone I "thought" was a great animal advocate in our community... someone who ran one of the low cost s/n clinics in town. He was advocating for mandatory s/n laws. Several of us told him that these laws were causing kill rates to go up. He said he thought that the kill rates would go up here for awhile after the laws were passed, but "thought" that they would eventually go down. How can someone advocate for passing a law when you are fairly certain that it will cause killing to go up, even if it's temporary? I lost respect for him that day.

I also love Jennifer's statement. If we had an abundance of homeless people, would we consider killing as an option to solve the problem? Of course not. Our human ingenuity finds other options. We should be thinking about homeless animals in the same way.

Roberta Beach

I have a similar concern re: Prop B. In fact, I made the argument in response to a local newspaper blog that those who are in favor of Prop B need to be prepared to be part of that solution, to foster 1-3 puppy mill dogs and to volunteer at the shelters and rescues who will be inundated with dogs - and I let them know this next year we will see a blood bath of dead dogs "because at least they don't have to live in those conditions anymore." - animal rescue friend of mine :(. LOVE Valerie's quote. My other concern is HOW will Prop B enforce our current laws any more than they are? I have heard this from several proponents and when I ask "How?," I don't hear anything back.

Shelley

I'm a supporter of Proposition B, and I've not heard one person say anything of the sort. I think you, like Mr. Winograd, are more interested in showing how uber humane you are...so superior to the people who actually work in the shelters, trying to find homes for dogs.

What will most likely happen is that the healthier dogs will be auctioned, with several, but not all, bought by rescues. The older dogs will, most likely, end up at rescue groups and shelters. How many of these can be saved will depend on the help Missouri gets from other organizations. But make no mistake: the shelters get these dogs anyway. Either that or the breeders kill them.

So what's your solution? Not pass Proposition B, and let the dogs live out their lives in wire cages? Starved, neglected, hopeless? Until they're worthless when they're either killed, or dumped on the shelters?

Let the kennels that have 800 or a 1000 dogs continue putting out 150,000 puppies a year, into a society that has to euthanize millions?

So you sound like you have the answers: what's your solution?

Laura Sanborn

Nokillhouston -- please tell the person who thought MSN would cause kill rates to go up for "awhile" and that they would go down "eventually" that 15 YEARS after passing MSN, Santa Cruz Co. California still has higher per capita animal shelter kill rates than neighboring counties that do not have MSN. If 15 years isn't enough time for MSN to show that it has worked, how long does it "eventually" take? This is the county that CA supporters of MSN use as their "model for the state".

Brent

Shelley - so, since YOU haven't heard it, it didn't happen? Heck, I've never met Roberta and she's heard it too, so it apparently isn't just me.

I'm not calling out anyone on the shelter level (other than the few folks who said killing them now is an ok solution) and certainly not declaring my moral superiority over them. Heck, it's the shelter community that potentially will pay the highest price for this. My point in bringing this up is that as of right now, HSUS and the YesOnPropB folks have raised nearly $4 million (I've gotten 5 fundraising emails from HSUS in the past 2 weeks for this so it may be a lot higher) and as of a week ago, not a single dollar has been set aside to help the local rescue groups out with the influx of dogs -- assuming this works. Their solution, no joking, was to try to convince the breeders to alter the dogs and keep them as pets.

My solution has never been to let the problem go on. It clearly needs to be fixed. However, my problem with Prop B is that it doesn't begin to address the major problem that has gotten us into this mess in the first place -- which has been complete lack of enforcement.

HSUS is estimating that there are 3,000 puppy mills in the state. There are less than 1500 licensed with the state. That means that we could close down over HALF of the breeding operations TOMORROW, without more laws, but with proper enforcement.

I've long supported raising the cost of licensing commercial kennels (the price of licensing hasn't gone up in 15 years) - and make sure all of the money gets funneled into enforcing the current laws and shutting down unlicensed kennels. If the $4 million that is getting spent on this was spent on just shutting down unlicensed kennels we'd have the majority of the problem kicked. As Roberta has pointed out, if we can't even enforce our current laws, how do we expect things to be different with a new shiny law?

Again, there are more than two options here. The two options are not let all the dogs be auctioned off (or killed by the breeders) and make the rescue community (with few financial resources and less space) try to buy them all up or letting all of the dogs live in horrible conditions. There are a LOT of other options other than that.

You can read more on what I'd recommend here:
http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2008/11/a-modest-proposal-for-commercial-breeders.html

Brent

Roberta,

That's exactly my problem with this. The whole problem has been created by decades of poor enforcement of the current regulations. Without any increased enforcement, most of the worst case problems will continue to carry on. Half of the operations that exist in the state are currently operating without a license -- if we can't find/shut them down now, more laws won't help. I can't believe HSUS wrote their own law and never addressed the primary problem -- which has been well-documented in 3 separate state auditor reports over the past decade.

PAFI - People Against F'ing Idiots

Gawd, I'm so sick of these ignorant people like Shelly who haven't even read the existing ord, the proposed ord, have no clue of the concept of "enforcement" yet like to be all self-righteous becuase they can't do basic math nor bother to educate themselves on Econ 101. "Starved, neglected??" Do you seriously not know that is ALREADY ILLEGAL? Do you really think that people currently not abiding by the existing ord will MAGICALLY abide by this one? Do you realize you make EXACTLY the ponit Brent is making - passing prop b and letting animals starve in wire cages are NOT the only two options. HAve you heard of Operation Bark? Have you formed any thoughts on your own or do you just read tag lines?

I'm convinced more and more everyday that animal "welfare" people are responsible for the sad state of affairs our companion animals are in. Not breeder, not irresponsible owners - people that THINK they know what's best without any efforts to actually educate themselves on what IS best. I'm past done with the willfull ignorance.

Tom K

I hope that if proposition B passes not one single breeders turn their dogs over to any of these so-called rescues. I hope they make the so-called shelters eat every bit of crap that they can throw at them.

Tom K

Don't human rights figure into this?

Brent

Tom, that's a completely different discussion outside of the context of this post.

Becky

I haven't read all the comments, so maybe this has been stated already.

We need to take the word 'euthanasia' OFF the table, except for the much less common cases where it may correctly be applied: When an animal is suffering and/or dying, and there is no hope of recovery or relief of pain and suffering.

kmk

First, enforcement in Missouri is not "poor". Is it perfect? No, but nothing else is, either. The HSUS is promoting their Dirty Dozen list of "puppy mills" in Missouri and five of the kennels were already shut down because USDA and MODA were doing their jobs. We do NOT have an additional 1500 illegal kennels. That's nuts. The strict chain of custody requirements make it nearly impossible for anyone breeding large-scale and illegally to sell the puppies.

If Prop B passes I'm not sure we'll need to worry about smaller rescues and shelters dealing with an overabundance of dogs. Most of the commercial industry has small and Toy breeds. The Missouri Humane Society has plenty of space to take them and sell them to shelters with a shortage of small dogs (like, in Kansas City for example).

Many of the commercial breeders already work with good rescues to place their older dogs that they're no longer breeding. They GIVE them to rescues, as opposed to many shelters and humane societies, which SELL them to rescues.

Any existing puppies born after Prop B passes will probably die, so no one will be burdened with them. Prop B requires commercial breeding kennel temperatures not exceed 85 degrees. Recommended nursery temp for newborn pups is 92 to 96 degrees. A vet has stated that hypothermia is a horrible death - the digestive system shuts down from the intestines forward, then respiratory complications finish the job. So, if they get too far away from the dam, they're toast.

If the pups survive that ordeal, the required "unfettered access to the outdoors" will kill them. Drafts/rain (hypothermia), heat stroke, airborne disease (parvo and distemper), and predators will kill off the rest of them. There's a reason "show breeders" don't let their young puppies run around the back yard, "unfettered". The people that wrote this wonderful ballot initiative have never seen a Great Horned Owl pull a chicken through a fence. They'll do the same to a Shi-Tzu pup, shredding them to bits in the process. The birds of prey will be picking them off like popcorn. Not to mention four-legged predators that can climb and dig under fences.

So, it's kind of a "good news/bad news" scenario. Yea, it's horrible and painful deaths, but shelters and rescues won't be burdened with puppies.

What's really sad is the money dontated to pass Prop B. 3.2 million dollars and the money keeps pouring in. It's a shame - so much good could be done for animals with that money.

Brent

KMK -- when the most recent state auditor's report says that only 60% of licensed facilities were inspected in 2007 -- even though the state requires inspection -- I'd say that's pretty poor.

Operation Bark Alert has helped, but there is still a long way to go.

I do wish the USDA were more of a "shut down repeat offenders" agency than "try to get them compliant" agency.

I have no idea where the 3,000 breeding operations comes from. There are only 1525 license operations in the state - -so either there are a ton of unlicensed facilites which could be shut down tomorrow with the current laws, or HSUS is making up the number (they wouldn't lie would they?). Reality is that the truth is probably somewhere in between.

kmk

Well, as long as we're on the subject I wish the IRS were more of a "shut down the alleged philantropic organizations that aren't doing what they claim they're doing with their millions of $$$$" rather than an "audit the tiny tax-exempts repeatedly that have less than 50K in assets and have proven they're doing what they say they're doing with their money" agency.

Maybe we'll both get what we want. ;-)

But, I will tell you this - Back when Senator Claire McCaskill was our state auditor (2001) I went to a meeting in St. Louis where the animal rights activists gave her an award for doing her job - she basically reported on the low percentage level of kennel inspections. Same old, same old. The crowd was harrassing her about more inspections, more inspectors, why don't they build huge jails to put these horrible breeders in, why can't she order repeated, more frequent reinspections, blah blah blah.

Finally, Claire had clearly had enough of these people and she looked a bit uncomfortable. I think she figured out this "wasn't her crowd". Keep in mind, I am NO fan of hers. Didn't like her when she was the Jackson County Prosecutor. Wouldn't vote for her unless she was running against Charles Manson for office.

But, she gained a few brownie points from me when said, (paraphrased), "I also audit the nursing home abuse hotline and the child abuse hotline, as well as the programs that go with those hotlines. I see HORRIBLE, awful abuse cases. When you're talking to a crowd like this, it's easy to say what people want to hear. But that's not my style. I simply can't dedicate more resources from my office for DOGS".

And then she had to leave to go help her girls with their homework. They were younger back then.

I came away with a little higher opinion of Claire.

Val

KMK, what are you talking about? You wrote above, "Many of the commercial breeders already work with good rescues to place their older dogs that they're no longer breeding. They GIVE them to rescues, as opposed to many shelters and humane societies, which SELL them to rescues."

Huh?

So a dog rescue takes in a few puppy mill adult breeding dogs for "free" (as you termed it) from a breeder... and then the RESCUE has to pay for the vet exam, the spay/neuter, the Rabies vaccination, DA2PP, Bordetella, heartworm test (and expensive heartworm treatment, for some dogs), fecal test and worming, flea/tick treatment, just to get the dog to an "adoptable" state. How is that "FREE?"

What do you mean that a shelter or humane society SELLS dogs to rescues? What are you talking about? Do you mean the rescue group is paying for vet care (at a reduced price) that a shelter vet or clinic provided? But the shelter "selling" dogs to a rescue group... really? Never heard of such a thing.

Maybe you can give an example of this, with a specific Kansas City area shelter or humane society and a specific rescue?

What would be really helpful is if the breeders, who have made $$$$$ off of these dogs for most likely YEARS... would PAY for the necessary vet care. Or provide it and have the dogs already spayed/neutered, vaccinated and vet-checked before "giving" them to a rescue group. THAT would actually be helpful! Otherwise, that "FREE" dog is far from it, for the rescue.

Judy Peterson

The money from the free dogs the rescues get from breeders is not coming from the actual sale of that dog. Sure they do have to spay and neuter the dog/ but I am pretty sure the breeder has taken care of all the shots and de-worming/microchip/heartworm treatment/flea and tick/ etc. If all of these weren't current the breeder wouldn't be able to sleep at night from worry. So actually the rescues should have very little in expenses in the dogs. Where their money comes from is all the donations they get for saving these POOR PUPPYMILL DOGS. The public falls for all of this hipe and they get money pouring in for them. One shelter I know of got over 10,000 for just one dog with a sad story. Someone wanted to adopt (buy) it but the shelter refused because it was pulling in just way too much money. The sad stories about these poor dogs has grown and grown and grown..just to pull in more and more and more, if it is true or not, who cares it is working. They are getting the donations. So you see, there is money to be made in dogs,yes, but it is not the breeders making it.

kmk

Val - You wrote, "So a dog rescue takes in a few puppy mill adult breeding dogs for "free" (as you termed it) from a breeder... and then the RESCUE has to pay for the vet exam, the spay/neuter, the Rabies vaccination, DA2PP, Bordetella, heartworm test (and expensive heartworm treatment, for some dogs), fecal test and worming, flea/tick treatment, just to get the dog to an "adoptable" state. How is that "FREE?"

You read a whole lot more into that statement than what I wrote and you appear to be a bit unfamiliar with current Missouri law. Judy explained it somewhat.

I'm not referring to situations where dogs are rescued from unlicensed substandard facilities, hoarders, or collectors. All breeders, both licensed commercial and show breeders, have dogs that they are no longer breeding. Or, they keep dogs that don't work out for the show/breeding program for one reason or another. I know breeders that have dogs that don't pass their OFA clearances and get placed in pet homes where they do just fine. Elbow and hip dysplasia appear to be polygenetic and we still don't have a handle on mode of inheritance. Testing is useful but not an absolute.

Many commercial breeders that have AKC judges evaluate their breeding stock. They also show their dogs at their own shows. And yes, they do health testing.

With show breeders older dogs are placed in pet homes and nearly always go out on a spay/neuter contract unless there's a health problem that prevents the surgery.

As I said, many commercial breeders work with reputable rescues to place dogs that are past their breeding prime or have a problem that makes them unsuitable for breeding but perfectly fine for a pet. These are usually Toy breeds that have a long life ahead of them. contrary to popular belief the current ACFA law in Missouri requires veterinary care and I don't believe commmercial breeders can transport or hand anything over without a health certificate. There is a chain of custody requirement and breeders must be able to demonstrate where their dogs went.

We had major problems in the 1990s with rescues buying dogs at auctions, which then vanished - the dogs vanished, not the people. The people vanishing would have been a bonus! The rescues couldn't tell the Mo Dept. of Ag where the dogs went. They provided names of rescues in other states that didn't exist. We suspect they were selling the dogs and making a profit.

So, the dogs from commercial breeders are already vaccinated and heartworm clear. Most of the commercial industry microchips everything for inventory control, especially if they have AKC dogs. (If it's sold at auction I believe AKC requires anything that's AKC registered to be microchipped). So, as Judy said, the rescue takes care of spay/neuter.

Everyone needs to look at what's happening with breeding TODAY. Read the current laws and visit a large scale breeding facility.

kmk

Oh, one more thing - yes, shelters charge rescues for the dogs they give them, just like they charge the general public an adoption fee. I call that "selling". You're providing a product in exchange for money, i.e., selling.

LynneMarie

Please, there is a 'pitti' type dog in Ireland that needs everyone's help.

You can read his story here...
www.savelennox.co.uk

Then please spread the word and sign the
Save And Release Lennox Petition
www.petitiononline.com

Thank you

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