Puppy Mills – AKC Against New USDA Regulations

by Mary Haight on July 11, 2012

puppy millPuppy mills, puppy farms, commercial dog breeders, whatever you like to name them, have not been subject to oversight or to basic rules of humane animal care for far too long. Finally in May the USDA has proposed new regulations that would bring internet pet sales under their jurisdiction. USDA has asked for public comment by July 16th.

The AKC has come down on the side of puppy mills once again and is gathering signatures to fight bringing internet pet sales under the control of  the USDA, making them subject to the rules of the Animal Welfare Act. Their approach is “join with the AKC to protect small breeders.”

Interestingly, over the past five years the AKC has opposed more than 80 laws and ordinances meant to crack down on puppy mills according to a report by HSUS. I have written about several of these instances on this blog dating back to 2009. Four days remain to give the USDA your comments on proposed rule changes. If you go comment right now, you won’t forget – and you will have taken action to afford some protection for dogs in puppy mills where there was none. That’s a good days work by any measure!

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22 comments
dadof10
dadof10

btw, read the whole law. This short article does not tell the whole truth!  It would make it impossible for breeders of rare breeds to survive in the US!  What the AKC says about this is true!  Who knows what a Xoloitzcuintli is?   If we cant breed these (and lots of other breeds) and sell them to breeders over the internet the breed will die un the US.  The best dogs to breed to might be 2000-5000 miles away....the best dog to breed to might be in Texas when the best bitch might be in California.  not alot of people want a Xolo   or even know what a Xolo is.   Internet might be the best place to find great homes for the puppies.  Most would be show homes because most regular people dont even know what a Xolo is!  Rare breeds would not survive this law!   what does Mary Haight  say about this?    Or is she for rare breeds dieing in the US?

 

dadof10
dadof10

Ummmmmmm.........HOW IS USDA DOING WITH THE LAWS THAT THEY HAVE NOW?   They deal with all puppy mills,  and dont stop anything!  The reason this law is comming isnt because of the internet.  It's because the USDA doesnt have the power to close puppy mills now.  AKC inspections would close most puppy mills, but most puppy mills dont register with AKC! Government is never the answer.....1 size fits all never works.  There are good and bad breeders out there......how do we find the bad?    This law isnt the answer.....keep looking.....probably in the private sector,   like AKC.   They do care about the dogs they register! 

Darrell
Darrell

Great article. The fact is this type of treatment should not be allowed. I'm glad to see the US stepping up their game and starting to do something. Animals can't decide for themselves. They offer unconditional love.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Kimberly. The AKC argument ( I have no clue who "P Ross" is) doesn't hold water and never has - it's merely a ruse to keep any checks and balances on the commercial puppy mills they buy from and the very lucrative internet market. And since the AKC is opening a registry in China, I'm certain they don't want interference in internet trade. We need to stop this right now before it's too big. I had heard a couple of years ago in California that licensing fees would rise on breeders. Well, licensing fees, gasoline costs and food costs rise as years go by. It is the way of the world. And I agree that good breeders never make much money at all on their pups* because* they are responsible breeders and not breeding for a show champion or to sell puppies for cash until the bitch can't breed any longer. If fees go up on them, I am sure they will pass them along like any other business person would. The AKC does not believe commercial puppy farms are puppy mills. They are. Those dogs never get out of their cages and don't have a life, even if they are fed, have water, and get medical attention when needed. The AKC registry sends these puppy mills papers so they can pay the fees to register their litters (not the *same* papers show dogs have), fool the public with their bragging rights of AKC "papers" so Joe Blow pays more - much more for unsocialized puppies. So no, I don't believe the AKC wants to see an end to puppy mills - their gravy train would disappear. AKC Registry is no leader in animal welfare and no friend to dogs, IMO. There are many good clubs out there, but the Registry is something else entirely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Kimberly
Kimberly

I completely understand where the AKC is coming from, but I don't agree. I know plenty of reputable and responsible small breeders. They are fantastic, love dogs, aren't getting rich breeding. Only breed their females 1x a year (if that) and they don't sell their puppies on the internet. I would hate to see these breeders harmed by new laws aimed at controlling the growth of puppy mills. I feel like it's similar to punishing everyone for the few that pirate music. Not fair! The breeders I know are so well known that people (including rescue groups) spread the word about them. If someone wants to work with a breeder, they don't have to Google one. I don't think anyone should do their research online. I think it should be done by word of mouth, by speaking to a vet and friends. That's the best way to find a breeder who is good and that can be trusted. There are way tooooo many breeders online that I find questionable. The AKC may want to banish puppy mills too, but they need to understand that there has to be some give and take. And unless they're going to expend the man hours to monitor all breeders advertising online for legitimacy, then we need the government to step in and help. I think the internet is a great start. Again, I hate to see good breeders put out of business, but when you spend an afternoon with puppies rescued from a puppy mill, it's hard not to walk away wanting to ban all breeding.

cath ens-hurwood
cath ens-hurwood

we really don't need anyone breeding animals when the rescues are struggling, the shelters are full and country roads are dumping grounds for unwanted animals. The AKC is big business, interested in registration....

p ross
p ross

Because of our long history and breadth of experience in advancing the care and conditions of dogs, and responsible dog ownership, we know that regardless of the number of dogs owned or the manner in which breeders interact with potential puppy buyers, a "one size fits all" breeder regulation is unfair and unenforceable and not in the best interest of dogs and consumers in this country. That experience has led us to the conclusion that the proposed USDA regulations will place an unfair burden on small, hobby breeders because the hobby breeder who raises puppies in their home will be impacted in the same way as the large scale commercial internet puppy seller. The AKC believes it is neither the intent of the Animal Welfare Act nor USDA to do this, and as the leader and expert in raising and maintaining dogs, the AKC is obligated to express its concerns to the USDA and share the benefit of its expertise.

p ross
p ross

Joining AKC are more than 60,000 voices heard on its petition to protect responsible small breeders in light of proposed rule changes of the Animal Welfare Act. The American Kennel Club, in its leadership role as experts in breeding and raising dogsprovides dog owners, responsible breeders, and lawmakers careful analysis of proposed local, state, and federal laws and regulations. As a leading animal welfare organization AKC is dedicated to have a more informed public policy process. AKC speaks up for dogs based on more than a century of shared knowledge in the breeding and kenneling of dogs.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @dadof10 I think you are confused. I don't see a cogent argument here. To quote another person who gets her dogs from breeders "Any decent and reputable hobby breeder would have ZERO problems with any regulations that the USDA tables in regards to dog welfare. The recently proposed law about how many puppies one person can register without being considered a commercial breeder (I think it's 50) is only a problem for the "hump & dump" breeders that churn out puppies by the boat load to try to get that one perfect dog to win championships."

 

The position you take that rare breeds will die without selling them on the internet is preposterous. We are talking about adhering to a piece of legislation called the Animal Welfare Act. that governs the humane daily healthy and welfare of dogs and cats in breeder facilities, none of which is too much to ask.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

Thanks for joining the conversation, Darrell - yes you would think this would be a "no-brainer";)

LibertyLover
LibertyLover

What we really don't need is anyone telling us what dogs we have to own. I don't want a shelter dog. I will never own a shelter dog. None of my dogs have ever ended up in a shelter. The VAST majority of shelter dogs are mongrels. Obviously, mongrels are the problem.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Thanks for your response Cath - we need to do what we can for the animals stuck in these horrid facilities.

veryvizsla
veryvizsla

Seriously p ross, who are you? Any decent and reputable hobby breeder would have ZERO problems with any regulations that the USDA tables in regards to dog welfare. The recently proposed law about how many puppies one person can register without being considered a commercial breeder (I think it's 50) is only a problem for the "hump & dump" breeders that churn out puppies by the boat load to try to get that one perfect dog to win championships.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Laws generally *are* one size fits all: seatbelts, no smoking, stop at stop lights, false advertising, animal cruelty...one size fits all until you get to the courtroom where extenuating circumstances, insanity and other arguments can be claimed. The AKC registry's argument for years has been "unfair", hobby breeders would have to comply with cleanliness, food, water, walking - nothing any good breeder wouldn't do. And no, the puppies can't be kept in a chickenwire box or some other inadequate shelter. Instead of working against animal welfare, assisting the puppy mill connections that pay your registry fees, why not stop stonewalling and add something constructive to the USDA proposals. They are asking for comments. The above is the same answer the AKC have given time after time, year after year, to any legislation that would begin to make life bearable for those tens of thousands of dogs and cats stuck in commercial breeding and lesser puppy mills. Shame on the AKC. Anyone with a license to adopt dogs, as in shelters, are also subject to the Animal Welfare Act - are we to believe that puppy mill contacts should be exempt and small breeders should not provide basic humane services and medical care to the animals they care for? Fees and licenses are/can be based on volume - is there a real argument here? Sorry, this all smacks of a red herring to me. We are talking about insisting that animals in anyone's care have basic needs met, not about how some hobby breeders will be impacted. But what you should never be doing is defending animal cruelty and that's where your position takes you - year after year after year.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

I have seen the AKC in action in Illinois, and how they worked with the NRA and others to defeat good legislation that would clean up puppy mills and bring down those who practice animal cruelty on a daily basis. I am sorry, but I don't see any claim to leadership by the AKC . Here's just a taste of what the AKC gets behind according to the recent report by HSUS (thanks to Karen of DoggieStylish.com for listing these examples): Laws in several states that would have required puppy producers to comply with basic care standards. Legislation in three states that would have prevented the debarking of dogs without a medical reason. An ordinance in a Tennessee town designed to prevent dogs from being left in hot cars. A Rhode Island state bill to prevent people from chaining or crating a dog for more than 14 hours a day. A Louisiana state bill that would have prevented breeding facilities from keeping dogs in stacked, wire-floored cages. THIS is being a "leading animal welfare organization" "speaking up for dogs"? This is what I and thousands of others see. How do you explain this?

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @LibertyLover Also, I don't allow people to spam comments, and so deleted several. Your profile is blank. Anonymous comments mean nothing and most will assume you are a commercial mill troll or a puppy miller. If you have something to contribute, please update your profile rather than hide behind anonymity. I am happy to have counter opinions voiced here as long as we all keep it civil. We might be able to hear each other on a couple of points or just agree to disagree, but we can't know that until we know who you are.  Thanks!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @LibertyLover Mixed breeds are not a problem, and in fact are usually healthier than breed dogs. "Shelter dogs" were not born there so why would you brand them as if they had cooties - you're comment regarding mongrels is simply offensive, and sounds like a comment that originated 100 years ago. You're welcome to think what you like of course but you won't find a lot of sympathetic ears on this blog.

LibertyLover
LibertyLover

You don't even make sense. Certainly you aren't so narrow minded that you can't understand why a temperature regulation that might be adequate for a Chihuahua might also be detrimental to a Siberian Husky? Please tell me you understand why the ability to use situational common sense must be preserved. 

veryvizsla
veryvizsla

I guess that now you can get sweet & sour sauce with that new puppy, huh?

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

OMG - Karen...WHAT?!? I did love your article! I had a follow up post on the USDA comment end date on my calendar, and a reader also commented on the time left, but this news re an AKC China registry has me sputtering. China does now have legislation in place about animal cruelty (and please don't eat them) but enforcing that is an entirely different matter and I doubt enforcement has been funded. Wow...thanks for sharing!

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