GOTCHA! Former Animal Control Officer writes to Senator Santorum pointing out he could be a DEALER under his own Pet Welfare Bill. There is no refuting this kind of logic.
LETTER TO RICK SANTORUM
Dear Senator Santorum,
I have some questions about the revised Pet Welfare Bill, which you introduced earlier this year. There are rumors and inaccuracies all over the Internet about the effects of this bill on the showing fancier. If you could clarify some questions I would appreciate it.
I read your response to some of the concerns where you mentioned breeding your own dog this last year. What would be the effect if you had kept a male puppy, had his hips and appropriate health checks done, and a fellow German Shepherd Dog fancier had wanted to use him at stud, and you received a stud fee puppy in lieu of a cash stud fee? When you sold this stud fee puppy, which was not raised on your premises, would you be classed as a dealer?
If I imported a dog for my own use as a show dog or working dog, the dog was unsatisfactory for one reason or another, and I decided to sell him to someone else, would this classify me as a dealer?
If I co-owned a dog with a fellow showing fancier, she bred and whelped her 6 litters, I had sold some of those puppies for her, which were not whelped on my premises, would this classify me as a dealer?
If I carried a dog from one state to another to relocate it with a rescue organization, and received mileage for doing so, would this classify me as a carrier?
It was stated by an AKC representative that the limits were under 7 litters AND 25 dogs or cats sold, yet in the text of the bill it states under 7 litters OR 25 animals. Which of these is correct? Does this mean if I had 3 litters, containing 30 puppies, I would fall under this regulation?
In the text of the bill it also states selling of other animal for over $500 gross income. Does this mean if I sold a litter of puppies and a parrot I would be classified as a dealer? And a cat? And a horse? Many show dog and cat fanciers also have cows, horses, birds, etc., How does this effect them?
My concern is that having my personal show dogs in my home, whelping the puppies in my bedroom, and caring for them in the best possible way appears to be in jeopardy. The USDA regulations are for factory farming of dogs and cats, which is another item entirely, and not suitable or adaptable for the showing fancier. I love my dogs and wouldn’t consider keeping them confined in what the USDA considers proper dog housing, I consider that to be a dog prison.
Another concern is enforcement. Let me state that I have never had over 6 litters in my lifetime, of over 50 years active involvement in the dog fancy, but who is going to be in charge of regulating this proposal? There are numerous dog and cat registries in the US, are all of these records going to be turned over to USDA? How many inspectors will it take to inspect all the private breeders in the US? And who is going to be in charge of educating them about proper husbandry practices?
The horrendous puppy mills, many of them in your own state, are not properly regulated because there are not enough inspectors, how many will it take to inspect every person who breeds or sells dogs or cats?
Might it not be better to take the same amount of resources and strongly enforce the cruelty laws now in place rather than literally getting into the homes of thousands of active breed developers, preservationists, and fanciers? The supposed hoards of dog imports are in the main a fiction. There is no surge of dogs coming in from the orient; there are some imports from Puerto Rico, mostly for the NE rescue groups, some imports from Europe mainly for the police and security services. There are, without a doubt, people selling large numbers of dogs over the Internet. Might it not be better to have a task force investigating those people rather than throwing a blanket over all of the dog fancy? They are not difficult to find, by definition they must advertise over the Internet. Many good dog people do also, but the total number of people to investigate with Internet sales is considerably smaller and the record keeping less invasive than this wide sweeping legislation.
The very likely effect of this legislation, as it is now proposed, is to force the truly caring breed fancier, either dog or cat, to go underground. It will drive the caring person out of the fancy and make it possible only for the large scale puppy factories to thrive. The intent is good but there are many ramifications of this bill that go well beyond your original intentions.
I know you are very busy, and probably getting deluged by the letters about this bill, but if you would like to address these questions either by phone, e-mail, or snail mail it would be a good thing. I have a large group with which I network, in addition to being a member of the Science and Advisory board of a major dog website, and would like to be able to set the record straight.
Thank you for your time and attention,