Apparently it can. PUPS
continues the relentless attack against breeders.
"PUPS"...otherwise known as the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, is NOT
as warm and fuzzy as it sounds.
PUPS is a federal proposal that has reared its
ugly head over the last several sessions. And now, we get the bad news that once
again, PUPS has been dredged up for this legislative session and it is picking
up more and more sponsors along the way.
We just can't seem to kill the PUPS bill (Ref #1), no matter how vigorous
the attempt. Much like a cockroach, we stomp it down, yet it still manages to
skuttle across the floor undaunted.
What's so bad, you ask, about protecting puppies? Well, not much if you consider
preventing their birth as protection! This bill is about as hard-core in animal
rights philosophy as they come and the animal rights agenda is not conducive to
pet culture. These folks want to protect animals from people... people who dare
to breed them, sell them, own them, or enjoy their company.
But the drive to shut down all breeding won't require federal intervention. Many
states have already implemented so-called "puppy mill bills" in the relentless
AR-driven crusade to stop the breeding of all animals, starting with dogs and
cats. These newly-implemented state and local regulations are promoted under the
banner of squashing the commercial breeding of dogs for pet stores.
The commonly accepted portrait of a "puppy mill" has somehow morphed from being
a place where dogs are kept in poor conditions into a reference to anyone who
sells via third parties like pet stores. The public has been whipped into a
frenzy of hatred toward pet stores and ALL commercial breeders. "They must be
shut down!!" kind-hearted John Q Public shouts as he wrings his hands.
But wait - here's a news flash: PUPS does NOT apply to commercial breeders, pet
stores, or shelters, So PUPS
would not serve to stop any abuse or neglect in the slightest. It would,
however, serve us up some pretty nasty unintended consequences.
Just who would be affected by PUPS? The intent seems to be to include more and
more breeders under the umbrella of "high-volume breeder". The bill defines
"high volume breeder" as someone with "an
ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs."
A further stipulation of "high volume" status is that one sells....or even just
OFFERS for sale....50 or more dogs in a year. You don't need to actually sell
any dogs! Just advertising or offering dogs for sale is sufficient proof of
You needn't even OWN a dog to become a "high-volume breeder"; just having
custody (as handlers and boarding facilities do) qualifies you! Co-ownership and
joint ownerships are common among dog show participants, sporting dog trainers,
hunting club members, and other hobbyists. Am I now required to comply with PUPS
regulations if the bitch co-owner offers enough puppies for sale?
And, HSUS has admitted in their public sessions that their intent is to ratchet
down these numbers in future sessions. Since a breeder with ONE intact female
cannot possibly produce 50 puppies in a year, it seems logical that PUPS would
be amended in the future to adjust downward the permissible number of dogs sold
(or just OFFERED for sale) to match the amount that one bitch might reasonably
produce in a year. Certainly, less than a dozen puppies.
Some states already require ownership numbers of less than a dozen to escape
commercial breeder status. Yet, as AKC noted in their latest PUPS legislative
alert: "A reference to the number of dogs owned by a breeder is unnecessary and
There is a whole segment of breeders who would never sell their dogs through pet
stores, but who would be considered "high-volume" under the provisions of this
bill. They might be small private home breeders who offer their dogs for sale
through newspaper ads or on the internet. They might show their dogs. They might
own just a few dogs, or many dogs. They might co-own dogs with others. And the
ranks of the hobby breeders could conceivably be joined by handlers, boarding
facilities….yes, even rescues, shelters, and kennels that produce service dogs,
police dogs, and hunting dogs. Are all these puppy purveyors greedy and evil
because they sell dogs?
According to the provisions of PUPS, YES, they are evil and they must be
PUPS would require breeders who fall under the definition of "high volume
breeder" to be subject to licensing and
inspection under the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and comply with
reams of APHIS regulations. Such
regulations are neither desirable nor feasible for most breeders, particularly
those who raise dogs in their home.
Surfacing of floors and walls must be "impervious to moisture", so no rugs
allowed. Crates would not be large enough for the part-time duty that they
typically serve most hobby breeders. PUPS also proposes vague and illogical
exercise requirements that defy reason and have no purpose.
First, we had AWA to regulate "commercial" breeders....but, we couldn't stop
there! Next a dozen states have already passed their own "Puppy Mill" bills, and
now, PUPS will make sure to include nearly everyone else as a "high-volume"
breeder in the quest to prevent breeding and selling dogs! Could your home pass
inspection as a kennel? I know mine could not. But then, I guess that's the
whole point of "PUPS"!
Never mind that poor kennel conditions are already illegal, and numbers limits
have forced many out of business already. Never mind that every locale in the
nation has existing animal cruelty laws. Let's conveniently ignore these facts
and push for more regulations that are increasingly absurd, and now increasingly
apply to people who just, well, enjoy and love their dogs!
NO MORE PUPS!
PUPS –2001, 2005, Santorum & Watching The BackTrail
- Line 19
Co-Sponsors List, courtesy of CARPOC
- Calif. Responsible Pet Owners Coalition