- Global Canine Communication


PAWS - Pet Animal Welfare Statute, Introduced by Rick Santorum in 2005, was the worst animal legisistion ever!  Puppy mills were exempt but show breeders and hobby dog breeders would have become non-existant.FLAWS IN PAWS - TRUTH REFUTES RHETORIC


The Pet Animal Welfare Statute, HSUS and AKC's pet project was meant to profit puppy mills by putting show and hobby breeders out of business!




editor's backnote: 2011 hindsight on PAWS reveals the AKC & HSUS used Senator Rick Santorum (opens in window) to destroy show & hobby breeders while protecting puppy mills (commercial puppy producers) which are AKC's primary income source.


Even in 2005, we should have seen that the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Humane Society Of America (HSUS) actually had the same goal.  If hobby breeders fail to see the truth this year, we are doomed.  We hope that by working your way down this document to the AKC Press Release, you will be better prepared for what comes your way in 2011.


AKC set us up to accept puppy mills, which it cleverly re-named as High Volume Breeders.  AKC appointed the HVB Committee, (see EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Committee Chair and AKC Board Member Mrs. Patti Strand (w)) headed by AKC Board Member Patty Strand (who also started NAIA) to sell show/hobby breeders on the notion that we must accept puppy mills.  We have repeatedly pointed out that show breeders are monetarily insignificant to AKC,. something perfectly and inarguable summarized in Dog Breeders Defined. (w)  Indeed, with the exception of the very rich and socially prominent which AKC welcomes, show breeders are considered a necessary evil.  We are a bothersome bunch who have to be constantly reassured about insignificant things such as pedigree fraud and corrupt judging.


"Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-PA) bill, S1139 "Pet Animal Welfare Statute of 2005" (PAWS) is Sen. Santorum's third attempt to amend the Animal Welfare Act by expanding its scope. It is supported by the AKC and the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) and other animal rights groups. A total of 114 pet owner groups have formally declared their opposition to PAWS and that number grows as the bill's adverse impacts become better understood. Groups opposed include all the major cat owner interests, plus ten AKC parent breed clubs and local dog clubs representing all the sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, herding and non-sporting groups." Courtesy of


Excerpt from CFA: "We fought alongside AKC and the dog fanciers for over three years to maintain the concept of wholesale selling of dogs and cats as the characterization of "commercial" in the AWA.  This legislation would now completely change this.  It removes the exemption for breeders who sell directly to the public through a redefinition of "retail pet store".  Fanciers will remember the U.S. Court of Appeals decision in 2003 that resulted in overturning the Doris Day Animal League's law suits against the USDA when they tried to change this definition.  We question why we should now completely discard the sound rationale used before to reject this change."


NAIA Trust opposes S1139/H2669, the so-called Pet Animal Welfare Statute, on several grounds: the bill

  • puts federal inspectors in private homes, an intrusion that USDA argued against in federal court;

  • places home breeders in violation of many residential planning and zoning codes by classifying them as dealers;

  • siphons USDA resources from large wholesale operations housing hundreds of animals to home breeders keeping a small number of pets;

  • diverts USDA focus away from the middlemen, wholesale dealers, transporters and brokers that were the original targets of the AWA;

  • is poorly written and thus open to broad interpretation and lawsuits;

  • would destroy the agency's ability to concentrate its resources on large facilities that present the greatest risk of violations;

  • federally regulates retail dealers, including home breeders, that are already subject to public oversight, peer review, and state and local laws that govern humane treatment of animals;

  • changes the original Congressional intent of the AWA to focus on wholesale dealers selling pets through middlemen by adding retail pet breeders and sellers to the Act.

  • dodges a federal court decision that affirmed the right of the Secretary of Agriculture to exempt home breeders from the regulations;

  • is backed by animal rights groups that oppose pet breeding and have a record of using laws to harass and intimidate those who own animals;

  • drives the AWA in a direction not intended by Congress by adding a mixture of retail pet sellers to the wholesale dealers originally covered by the law;

  • deletes exemptions for some retail pet sellers by redefining a dealer as someone who exceeds a threshold number of litters raised and dogs sold;

  • will require hobby breeders to meet standards of housing and care that have not yet been written; and

  • fails to exempt individuals and organizations that rescue dogs and place them in new homes.


Cat Fanciers Assoc. notes six more co-sponsors signed on to the PAWS bill in the House (HR2669) on Wednesday. Do not let any more Senators or Representatives sign on to this bill!


Those who understood's no-holds-barred July Editorial AKC opposes PPA but supports PAWS & HSUS will also understand the emphasize and questioned portions of the following AKC press release.


"New law, if passed, would bring high volume breeders and resellers under the Animal Welfare Act.


FYI: Before reading the press release, be aware that the PAWS act stipulates more that 7 litters is considered a High Volume Breeder, but to anyone in a toy breed which may have only one or two puppies per litter, that is preposterous. It also says anyone who sells 25 or more dogs in a year will be inspected, most likely by AKC as a USDA agent which must enforce the new law.


AKC has worked hard to convince us that the demand for purebreds is such that show breeders can not supply enough pups so #1 it is okay to let the puppy mills help because we have failed and #2 we are importing puppies in huge numbers to supply the demand show and hobby breeders can't meet.


Senator Santorum Introduces Legislation to strengthen enforcement (that can only mean more enforcement against show breeders who are currently exempt) of the Animal Welfare Act


[Thursday, May 26, 2005]  Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) today introduced legislation which will bring under federal regulation persons who import large numbers of dogs for resale, individuals who sell dogs at retail through the internet or the mass media, and high volume breeders who sell dogs at retail. The legislation also strengthens the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ability to enforce compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and to identify persons who are evading the Act. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL).


One question - how will they enforce compliance, i.e. regulate you? Check your bank records, tax returns, litter records, hire people to watch the newspapers, look under your bed for puppies, what?????)


The bill, called the "Pet Animal Welfare Statute" of 2005, or "PAWS", includes provisions advocated by the AKC as an alternative to the "Puppy Protection Act" introduced by Senators Santorum and Durbin in the 107th Congress, which the AKC opposed. And here is why: The new legislation continues the current regulation of breeders who sell puppies at wholesale. However, it extends regulation to breeders who sell at retail and whelp 7 or more litters a year and persons who acquire and resell at retail more than 25 dogs a year which they did not breed. (Allow me to interrupt here.  First, AKC did oppose the Puppy Protection Act (PPA) but PAWS was in the works and it has far more impact on hobby breeders.  Furthermore, that is NOT what the regulation says.) The legislation continues the current exemption for retail pet stores, but defines "retail pet store" more narrowly than present regulations. The legislation exempts breeders who whelp fewer than 7 litters a year and raise the puppies on their own premises unless they sell puppies for resale. Not what it says!  Is the poor wording accidental or meant to obscure what PAW really says? It was fed to people who, not having read the proposed legislation, will gobble up and be satisfied by every crumb. Marketing. High priced marketing but effective.


While the AKC has traditionally opposed federal regulation of persons who sell dogs only at retail to protect hobby and show breeders who breed and raise puppies in a residential environment, the rapid rise in imports of puppies for retail resale (at that time, not one single statistic or substantiation of this absurd piece of propaganda which serves the purpose of selling PAWS), and the use of the internet and mass media channels (?? TV?) to sell large numbers of puppies at retail have made wholesale versus retail sellers increasingly less synonymous with commercial dealers versus amateur fanciers. (Read that sentence again and tell me if a 3rd grader works in the AKC press dept.) PAWS makes a reasonable distinction between commercial breeders and amateur fanciers and makes other significant improvements in enforcement that make the legislation worthy of AKC and fancier support. It does not attempt to regulate breeding and socialization practices, as the previous legislation did.


Absolutely not true.  PAWS will regulate hobby and show breeders who are currently exempt.  This is the oldest political ploy in the book. “Get it on the books” and then quietly change it.  In the meantime, it gives numerous agencies access to your private files and your premises. How else can they tell if you are in violation? And what would you be in violation of anyway except stepping on the toes of the puppy mills, AKC biggest and best customer! The millers and commercial breeders lose nothing, they are already regulated, their books are already open to scrutiny, they are LICENSED dealers. So far, we are not subjected to those regulations.  But there's more...


In addition to bringing high volume breeders under regulation (they already are, the statute just isn't enforced by USDA), PAWS will significantly strengthen the USDA's ability to identify breeders who sell puppies for resale (or who have 7 litters or sell 26 dogs in any one year, or who sell a co-bred puppy not whelped and reared on their own premises, or who sell a dog over the internet…..) but who evade licensing and regulation by requiring retail pet stores and others who acquire dogs for resale to maintain, and provide to the USDA on request, source records for the dogs they acquire. It also extends the period of time that the USDA can suspend the license of a dealer when the health of animals is in imminent danger from the current 21 days to 60 days. Finally, the bill authorizes the USDA's lawyers to go to court directly to obtain injunctions against persons operating without a license or with a suspended or revoked license, rather than having to convince busy U.S. attorneys to take up such cases. (The dog dealer in your area wants to stop you from competing with him, and he now has the means, signed, sealed, and delivered to his/her hand.)


Sen. Santorum is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Chair of its subcommittee on Research, Nutrition and General Legislation, which has jurisdiction over this legislation.


Companion legislation (guess what THAT will be, after PAWS is passed) is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives shortly. Bill numbers and more detailed information (after PAWS?) about the legislation will be provided as it becomes available.


Well, we know how it came out, PAWS was defeated.  Santorum was defeated at the polls, but this historical bit of data has been retained for public education because it is far from over.


Related PAWS Information:

The PAWS Bill = PAUSE For Thought

Santorum Slipped On Paws

Dennis Sprung, AKC President, Campaigns With Senator Rick Santorum

Flaws In PAWS: Truth Refutes Rhetoric

Flaws In PAWS Defined by TICA, The International Cat Association

CFA Letter to the AKC President and Board

AKC Opposes Puppy Protection Act but... TheDogPress looks at the back trail to see what's ahead.

PAWS and LAWS Editorial, Projects PAWS purebred dogs and dog owners.

PAWS Becomes PUPS In 2010 don't say we didn't warn you!


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