Monday, June 29, 2015

USDA Helping Puppy Mill Breeders By Ignoring Violations Says Life With Dogs

10.9.14 - USDA Helping Puppy Mill Breeders by Passing Laxer Laws2
September 30, 2014 – In a stunning setback in their efforts to increase enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the USDA has suddenly reversed course and decided to, once again, tolerate substandard conditions at puppy mills. Dr. Chester Gipson, the USDA’s chief of enforcement for the AWA, recently told animal advocates that the USDA needs “to enable breeders to sell their dogs to pet stores” and citing violations is an impediment to such sales.
In the past few years, many municipalities have enacted ordinances restricting pet stores to only purchasing puppies from breeders with no violations on their federal inspection reports. These ordinances are intended to protect consumers from buying dogs from substandard puppy mills.
Shockingly, USDA has made the decision to help substandard breeders circumvent these ordinances and to continue to sell puppies in spite of continuing violations. The USDA has recently instructed their inspectors not to cite breeders for “minor” violations. When questioned as to their definition of “minor,” or as to how many minor violations of the Animal Welfare Act will be ignored per facility, and for how long such violations will be tolerated, the USDA responded that it will be left up to the individual inspector and admitted that no guidance has been provided for the inspectors.
At a recent meeting of dog breeders, USDA officials told breeders that, “if at any time a violation has the potential of affecting your business, please call our office immediately and let us know,” emphasizing that the USDA stands ready to enable breeders to market their dogs to pet stores.
In an effort to further aide substandard dog breeders, the USDA has hired a long-time puppy mill lobbyist and advocate, Julian Prager, to be its “Canine Advisor.” Mr. Prager’s duties will include assisting in the training of USDA inspectors. Ironically, Mr. Prager has consistently opposed all laws regulating puppy mills and vigorously opposed Pennsylvania’s new puppy mill law, and most recently, fought against implementation of the USDA’s new regulations on puppy mills selling over the Internet. Mr. Prager also opposed a law to prevent puppy mill operators from performing surgeries such as C-sections and debarking their own dogs.

10.9.14 - USDA Helping Puppy Mill Breeders by Passing Laxer Laws4

Above, Julian Prager is seated with AKC lobbyists.  This year the AKC allocated $10,000 to oppose Missouri’s new puppy mill regulations.
Yet this is the individual that the USDA has hired to assist in the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, the law which regulates the same industry that Mr. Prager has served to promote and protect for several decades.
Please contact the Secretary of Agriculture and remind him that the AWA stands for the Animal Welfare Act and not the Dog Breeders Welfare Act. The USDA’s sole focus, as mandated by Congress, should be on the welfare of the dogs and not the welfare of the substandard breeders’ businesses, regardless of how the neglect of their animals is hurting them financially.
Contact Secretary Tom Vilsack at mailto:AgSec@usda.gov, leave a message at 202-720-3631 or write to him at:
Secretary Tom Vilsack
U. S. Department of Agriculture
Room 200-A
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250

10.9.14 - USDA Helping Puppy Mill Breeders by Passing Laxer Laws1

Dog Owner's Guide : What Is A Puppy Mill ?

Just what is a puppy mill?

A puppy mill is . . . .


The dilemma

Twenty years ago, people knew that a "puppy mill" was a substandard kennel where unhealthy, overbred dogs were kept in horrendous conditions.
Today it's not so easy. In the last decade of the 20th Century, activist groups began to broaden the term to cover just about any kennel that they didn't like. As a result, commercial kennels and hobby breeders with more than an arbitrary number of dogs or litters have become targets for anti-breeding groups that lobby for laws to restrict these law-abiding operations. These organizations stir up public support for breeding restrictions and high license fees by deliberately blurring the lines between responsible breeding operations and real puppy mills. They use emotional rhetoric and pictures of dirty kennels and sickly dogs to imply that most or all breeders will subject their dogs to abusive lives unless they are regulated.
Shelter and rescue workers who receive dogs from raids on squalid kennels often lead the fight for laws restricting or regulating breeding in an effort to close kennels they label as puppy mills. Some responsible breeders are so incensed at the existence of substandard kennels that they are willing to accept these punitive licensing schemes even though the costs may limit or destroy their breeding programs.
Lawmakers who write bills aimed at preventing puppy mills leave the definitions up to those who lobby for the laws. As a result, publicity campaigns highlight kennels where dozens or hundreds of dogs are kept in poor conditions, but the bills themselves often target responsible hobby and commercial breeders with far fewer breeding dogs. 
So, how do we evaluate those bills and make sure that substandard kennels are cleaned up? First we have to define "puppy mill." Is it . . .
  • A dirty, trashy place where one or several breeds of dogs are kept in deplorable conditions with little or no medical care and puppies are always available?
  • Any high-volume kennel?
  • A clean place where several breeds of dogs are raised in adequate conditions and the breeder usually or always has puppies for sale? 
  • A place where a single breed of dog is raised in acceptable conditions and puppies are usually or often available?
  • A place where lots of dogs are raised, where breeding is done solely for financial gain rather than protection of breed integrity, and where puppies are sold to brokers or to pet stores?
The answer depends on who you ask. . . .
A hobby breeder dedicated to promoting and protecting a particular breed or two might consider all of the above kennels to be puppy mills. Animal shelter and rescue workers who deal daily with abandoned, neglected, or abused dogs might agree. Operators of clean commercial kennels, licensed by the US Department of Agriculture or by state law, will strongly disagree, for the very mention of "puppy mill" damages their business and that of the pet stores they deal with. 
John Q Dog Owner probably thinks of puppy mills as those places exposed on 20/20Dateline, or Geraldo or pictured on fundraising pamphlets by the Humane Society of the US and other animal rights charities. He has seen the cameras pan back and forth over trash, piles of feces, dogs with runny noses and oozing sores, dogs crammed into shopping carts and tiny coops, rats sharing dirty food bowls and dry dishes. He has seen the kennel owner captured on tape, dirty, barely articulate, and ignorant of dog care, temperament, genetic health, or proper nutrition. But is the television crew simply seeking the sensational and applying these appalling conditions to the entire dog producing industry? Are the photos on the fundraising appeals accurate depictions of the majority of high volume kennels or are they used to generate disgust for breeders and dollars for treasuries?
To be clear, we at Dog Owner's Guide believe that kennel conditions and dog health, not numbers or profit motive, determine whether a kennel should be called a puppy mill. 

Evolution of high-volume kennels

The post-war boom of the late 1940s led to more leisure time and greater amounts of disposable income. At the same time, farmers, mostly in the Midwest, were seeking alternative crops. Available money met with available supply, and the result was the development of commercial puppy businesses. Retail pet outlets grew in numbers as the supply of puppies increased, and puppy production was on its way. Retail giants such as Sears Roebuck sold puppies in their pet departments and pet store chains were born.
Unfortunately, many puppy farmers had little knowledge of canine husbandry and often began their ventures with little money and ramshackle conditions. They housed their dogs in the chicken coops and rabbit hutches they already had, provided little socialization because they didn't know that puppies needed this exposure, and often skipped veterinary care because they couldn't afford to pay. Organizations such as the HSUS (before it joined the animal rights movement) investigated conditions at these farms and eventually were successful in focusing national attention on the repulsive conditions at breeding kennels they labeled as "puppy mills."
The substandard conditions highlighted in this campaign were a major force for passage of the national Animal Welfare Act. "Puppy mill" first became synonymous with horrible conditions, then was used to indict any breeder who breeds lots of dogs, no matter what the conditions of the kennel or the health of the puppies. HSUS, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and other animal rights groups planted and cultivated this "most kennels are puppy mills" idea in the public consciousness to legitimize themselves in the eyes of animal lovers and to collect tens of millions of dollars in donations. 

The Animal Welfare Act 

The Animal Welfare Act is administered by the US Department of Agriculture. The act lists several categories of businesses that handle dogs:
  • Pet dealers who import, buy, sell, trade or transport pets in wholesale channels;
  • Pet breeders who breed for the wholesale trade, whether for selling animals to other breeders or selling to brokers or directly to pet stores or laboratories; and 
  • Laboratory animal dealers, breeders, bunchers, auction operators and promoters of contests in which animals are given as prizes.
  • Hobby breeders who sell directly to pet stores are exempt from licensing if they gross less than $500 per year and if they own no more than three breeding females. 
The AWA does not define either "commercial kennel" or "puppy mill." The American Kennel Club also avoids defining "puppy mill" but does label a commercial breeder as one who "breeds dogs as a business, for profit" and a hobby breeder as "one who breeds purebred dogs occasionally to justifiably improve the breed, not for purposes of primary income."
AKC does not license breeders, but they do inspect breeders who sell AKC-registered litters. [More on AKC registration] The USDA issues licenses under the Animal Welfare Act after inspecting kennels to determine whether or not applicants meet minimum standards for housing and care. Among the requirements are a minimum amount of space for each dog, shelter, a feeding and veterinary care program, fresh water every 24 hours, proper drainage of the kennel, and appropriate sanitary procedures to assure cleanliness.
USDA licenses more than 4500 animal dealers, the bulk of them dealing in wholesale breeding and distribution of dogs and cats. The AWA does not cover commercial breeders who sell directly to the public, and many animal welfare advocates believe that additional regulations are needed to assure buyers that breeding dogs and puppies are treated properly in these kennels. Some states have passed kennel licensing and inspection laws, but several attempts to amend the federal AWA have failed because they placed a huge burden on responsible breeders.

DOG definitions

It's deceptively easy to say that John Jones or Mary Smith runs a puppy mill or that pet store puppies come from puppy mills, but the label is tossed about so frequently and with so little regard for accuracy that each prospective dog owner should ascertain for himself whether or not he wishes to buy a dog from John Jones, Mary Smith, a pet store, or a hobby breeder. Here are our Dog Owner's Guide definitions to help you decide:
Hobby breeder: A breed fancier who has a breed or two (or even three); follows a breeding plan to preserve and protect each breed; produces a limited number of litters each year; breeds only when a litter will enhance the breed and the breeding program; raises the puppies with plenty of environmental stimulation and human contact; has a contract that protects breeder, puppy, and buyer; raises dog in the house or runs a small, clean kennel; screens breeding stock to eliminate hereditary defects; works with a breed club or kennel club to promote and protect the breed; and cares that each and every puppy is placed in the best home possible.
Commercial breeder: One who usually has several breeds of dogs with profit as the primary motive for existence. Commercial breeders that are inspected by USDA, state agencies, or the American Kennel Club should have adequate conditions. Commercial breeders that sell directly to the public fall through the regulatory cracks unless they do business in a state that licenses commercial kennels. Dogs in these kennels may be healthy or not and their conditions may be acceptable or not. The dogs are probably not screened for genetic diseases, and the breeding stock may or may not be selected for resemblance to the breed standard or for good temperament. 
Broker: One who buys puppies from commercial kennels and sells to retail outlets or other kennels. Brokers ship puppies on airlines or by truckload throughout the country. Brokers must be licensed by USDA and must abide by the shipping regulations in the Animal Welfare Act.
Buncher: One who collects dogs of unknown origin for sale to laboratories or other bunchers or brokers. Bunchers are considered lower on the evolutionary scale than puppy mill operators, for there is much suspicion that they buy stolen pets, collect pets advertised as "Free to a good home," and adopt unwanted pets from animal shelters for sale to research laboratories. USDA licenses and inspects bunchers to make sure that they abide by the AWA.
Amateur breeder: A dog owner whose pet either gets bred by accident or who breeds on purpose for a variety of reasons. This breeder may be ignorant of the breed standard, genetics, behavior, and good health practices. An amateur breeder can very easily become a hobby breeder or a commercial breeder, depending on his level of interest or need for income. 
A real puppy mill: A breeder who produces puppies with no breeding program, little attention to puppy placement, and poor health and socialization practices. Conditions in puppy mills are generally substandard and may be deplorable, and puppies and adult dogs may be malnourished, sickly, and of poor temperament.
Prospective buyers should keep these definitions in mind when seeking a puppy to add to their lives. For more advice on selecting a breeder, see "Finding a responsible breeder" and "Go to the source, directly to the source, to get that special puppy."
If you think you've found a real puppy mill with trashy conditions and sickly puppies and wish to report it, see "How to stop a puppy mill."

Do Something.org States 11 Facts About Puppy Mills.DoSomething.org, one of the largest orgs for young people and social change!

Welcome to DoSomething.org, one of the largest orgs for young people and social change! After you've browsed the 11 facts (with citations at the bottom), take action and volunteer with our millions of members. Sign up for a campaign and make the world suck less.
  1. A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that focuses on increasing profit with little overhead cost. The health and welfare of the animals is not a priority.
  2. Female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When, after a few years, they are physically depleted to the point that they no longer can reproduce, breeding females are often killed.
  3. Every year in Ameica, it's estimated that 2.11 million puppies are sold that originated from puppy mills, while 3 million are killed in shelters because they are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local animal shelter to encourage your community to adopt shelter pets. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR!
  4. In puppy mills, dogs can spend most of their lives in cramped cages, with no room to play or exercise.
  5. Often times, the water and food provided for the puppies is contaminated, crawling with bugs. Puppies can even be malnourished.

Nebraska Puppy Mills Are Not Nebraska Nice Video by:Hearts United for Animals Hearts United for Animals

Prisoner of Greed Video by: Hearts United for Animals

The Definition of a Puppy Mill by Prisoner of Greed blog .....

What is a Puppymill?
There is no definition of a puppymill. In our opinion anyone who breeds dog with profit as the main motivation and without consideration for the health and well being of the dogs and puppies is guilty of ethical crimes.There are two kinds of these people - backyard breeders and puppy millers. They should both be driven out of business.
Anyone who has so little concern for the well being of the puppies that they have caused to be brought into the world that they sell them to someone else who will resell them qualifies as a mill in our opinion. 






Prisoners of Greed's The History of the Animal Welfare Act According to them !!!

The History of the Animal Welfare Act
The first law protecting animals against cruel or abusive treatment was the Twenty-Eight Hour Law of 1873. This law was intended to insure that livestock being transported to market would be rested and watered at least once every 28 hours during their journey. 
In 1965 a Dalmatian named Pepper was taken from her backyard. She was seen being unloaded from the truck of a Pennsylvania animal dealers truck. She was sold to a dog dealer in New York state and then sold again to a hospital that experimented on her and then killed her. In 1966 the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act was passed. The purpose of the law was to regulate dog and cat dealers and the laboratories that purchase from them. The Act was signed by President Johnson. 
In 1970 the Animal Welfare Act was enacted. This law, according to the USDA interpretation, covers warm blooded animals used in research, animals in zoos and circuses and marine parks, and to animals sold in the wholesale pet trade. Although it is the subject of disagreement, the USDA contends that the law does not cover retail petstores, game ranchers, cold blooded animals used in research, county fairs or dog shows. Puppymills came into existance after World War I when farmers had lost must of their crop to drought. The farmers simply used the chicken coops and rabbit hutches they already had for the dogs. The terrible conditions in these kennels was partially the reason why the AWA was enacted. 
The Animal Welfare Act is enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture. Mike Johanns is the Secretary of Agriculture. Ron DeHaven is the Administrator for Veterinary Services. Chester Gipson is the Deputy Administrator for Animal Care. You can read about the APHIS organization in the USDA by clicking on this link. 
If you would like to read the Animal Welfare Act you can download a copy here. You will need Adobe Acrobat. If you would like to read the Regulations that implement the Animal Welfare Act, you can get a copy from these links - AWA Regs 1AWA Regs 2, AWA Regs 3
If you would like to read the list of kennels that are licensed by the USDA as breeders, you can download a copy of the list here. If you would like to read a list of the kennels that are licensed by the USDA as brokers, you can download a copy of that list here. This is the 2006 list of USDA Breeders and the 2006 list of USDA Brokers.
How does the USDA do as the agency tasked with enforcing the Animal Welfare Act.
Decide for yourself. Here are some facts:
1. The USDA Policy Statement states "Animal Care Investigators are in the best position to determine how to gain compliance at the facilities they inspect. USDA encourages the use of education and other methods of gaining compliance." This is consistent with what HUA representatives were told by Mr. Ron DeHaven (Administrator). He indicated that the USDA prefers to obtain compliance with the regulations by encouraging the kennels to comply rather than issuing citations. Additionally, he said that the Department did not have enough time or money to prosecute citations. Encouragement rather than citations! Is it any wonder that there are so many kennels that are not in compliance. HUA representatives asked to meet with the local USDA inspector and was told that would interfere with his relationship with the kennels owners so he could not meet with us to discuss our concerns. Download copies of the inspections at kennels in Lancaster County by clicking these links LC 1LC 2LC 3LC 4LC 5LC 6LC 7LC 8LC 9LC 10LC 11LC 12LC 13LC 14, LC 15LC 16LC 17LC 18LC 19LC 20LC 21LC 22LC 23, LC 24LC 25LC 26LC 27LC 28LC 29LC 30, LC 31LC 32, LC 33, 
The USDA has recently made some inspection reports available on line. You can read them on their website or download them here. Report 12345678910111213, 141516171819202122232425262728, 29303132343536373839, 4041
One kennel inspection report lists as the only concern "PRIMARY ENCLOSURES. 3.6 a 2 i Primary enclosures must be kept in good repair and maintained so that they have no sharp points or edges that could injure the dogs. The outdoor enclosure housing two Bernese mountain dogs has chewed and bent metal on roof of shelter. The front of shelter has detached and chewed metal edging in both corners. Shelter needs to be repaired or replaced. To be corrected by: 12-1-01 Inventory: 89 dogs & 4 weaned puppies" No other concerns were noted. It appears that there were no citations issued. 
These are photos of that kennel.


2. HUA has notified the USDA on many occasions about kennels that were in violation of the regulations and the USDA has failed to take action on every occasion. In two letters HUA outlined to the USDA two kennels that were selling dogs to pet stores which would require them to have a federal license. HUA provided sworn testimony from zoning hearings were the kennel owner testified that he sold to petstores and even gave the names of the pet stores. The USDA investigator visited the kennels and the kennels apparently said they did not "wholesale". It is unclear whether they didn't know what the word "wholesale" meant or they lied to the investigator. What we do know is that in spite of sworn testimony and the names of petstores that purchased the dogs, the USDA investigator walked away. 
3. Section 3.2 of the Animal Welfare Regulations says "Indoor housing facilities. (a) Heating, cooling, and temperature. Indoor housing facilities for dogs and cats must be sufficiently heated and cooled when necessary to protect the dogs and cats from temperature or humidity extremes and to provide for their health and well-being. When dogs or cats are present, the ambient temperature in the facility must not fall below 50 deg. F (10 deg. C) for dogs and cats not acclimated to lower temperatures, for those breeds that cannot tolerate lower temperatures without stress or discomfort (such as short-haired breeds), and for sick, aged, young, or infirm dogs and cats, except as approved by the attending veterinarian. Dry bedding, solid resting boards, or other methods of conserving body heat must be provided when temperatures are below 50 deg. F (10 deg. C). The ambient temperature must not fall below 45 deg. F (7.2 deg. C) for more than 4 consecutive hours when dogs or cats are present, and must not rise above 85 deg. F (29.5 deg. C) for more than 4 consecutive hours when dogs or cats are present. The preceding requirements are in addition to, not in place of, all other requirements pertaining to climatic conditions in parts 2 and 3 of this chapter." 
The above quoted section of the Animal Welfare Regulations requires that before certain dogs, short hair, older, small etc, can be kept in kennels where the temperatures fall below 50 degrees the kennel owner must obtain a certificate from the vet that states that the dog is acclimated to the temperatures. The USDA has proposed in it's Animal Care Strategic Direction Policy Statement to remove the requirement that the vet provide the statement and allow the kennel owner to make the statement himself. When HUA representatives asked Mr. Ron DeHaven whether USDA personnel asked to see copies of the certifications, he initially said that the regulations did not require such certification. Then when he was informed by another USDA representative that it did, they both acknowledged that the USDA did not ask to see the certifications. So little dogs with short hair were kept in outdoor kennels in the freezing winter and the USDA inspector do not even ask to see the certification from the vet. HUA sent the USDA a copy of the photo below which is a photo from 2.04 of a kennel in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. To our knowledge, the USDA did nothing. We did not receive a response from them and a week later the kennel was moved further from the road so it was not as visible. The little dogs in the kennel are Bichons. There is clearly no heat. Did a vet certify that it was acceptable to keep these little dogs in outdoor kennels when the temperatures were below 20 degrees? Or did the USDA just ignore the regulations. And, we would have to ask about the ethics of any vet that would provide such a certification. Please review the the Compassionate Vet Project to ensure that your vet would never provide services to a commercial kennel. 
There are hundreds of kennels across the midwest and in Pennsylvania that do not have heat. Imagine the dachshunds, yorkies, poodles, bichons, chihuahuas, papillons, maltese, bostons and so on curled up in tiny balls desperately trying to keep warm through the miserable winters. The USDA doesn't even ask if the conditions comply with the law. 
4. In the past it was the policy that Animal Care personnel conduct "unannounced" inspections at every licensed facility in the country. In 2000 under the direction of the Bush Administration the guidelines were changed to allow inspectors to notify licensees that they are en route to perform an inspection at their facility. 
5. From 1989 to the present Agribusiness has been one of the most generous contributors to political campaigns with donations of 249.6 million dollars. 67% went to Republicans and 33% to Democrats. In exchange argibusiness received 180 billion dollars in subsidies. Two Congressmen who were receipts of this largess were Combest and Stenholm from Texas. It's not surprising that when the Farm Bill which included the Puppy Protection Act went to Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House and the Senate versions of the bill, they stripped out the PPA. 
6. The USDA awarded a $900,000 dollar loan to the Hunte Corporation in 2001. In 2000 it awarded Hunte a 2.8 million dollar loan. These loans are backed by the US Government as part of the Rural Development Loan Proggram. Taxpayer dollars supporting one of the largest puppy brokers in the world. Given that the USDA has so much money in loans to this company, would a reasonable person expect USDA to investigate them for compliance with the AWA?
7. Section 3.1 of the AWA states: "(d) Water and electric power. The housing facility must have reliable electric power adequate for heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting, and for carrying out other husbandry requirements in accordance with the regulations in this subpart. The housing facility must provide adequate running potable water for the dogs' and cats' drinking needs, for cleaning, and for carrying out other husbandry requirements."

Hearts United For Animals Has Fabulous Blog and Video's ....

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"
- Mahatma Gandhi

Since 1996 one main mission of Hearts United for Animals has been the rescue and rehabilitation of puppy mill dogs. During that time we have rescued over 5,000 dogs from puppy mills. These gentle, fragile creatures have both broken and warmed our hearts. Every set of frightened, sad eyes steels our resolve to see the horrible practice of holding dogs prisoner come to an end. It is our belief that dogs are companion animals, not meant to be housed in bare wire cages with no blankets, no clean food or water, no veterinary care, no ability to touch grass and no understanding of love or kindness. The atrocities we see are staggering. The injuries we repair, both physical and emotional, are beyond comprehension for most loving pet owners. It is a labor of love, one that pays back when we see a dog know health, touch grass and understand that they are safe and loved for the first time in their long lives.

Please watch our movie, Prisoners of Greed:
Many people ask us what they can do to help. Here are a few simple things you can do:
  1. Let everyone know about the suffering of the parents of pet stores puppies. Even though "puppy mill" is becoming a more common term there are those who still don't understand. Let them know that buying puppies from pet stores and over the internet is the reason that puppy mills are still in business, and the reason that the parents of those puppies are still suffering year after year in pure misery. To help spread the word you can order our Prisoners of Greed brochures to pass out at events, local grooming shops, veterinary offices, pet supplies stores, etc. Just write to us at clinic@hua.org and we will be happy to send you some. They are a great way to illustrate the importance of everyone coming together to help the suffering animals who cannot speak for themselves.
  2. Let your state and local elected officials know you care. Let them know that you won't tolerate puppy mills in your state and if they vote against legislation that would help the dogs you will vote against them and tell all of your friends to do the same. It is hard to believe that anyone would vote against a bill to help animals, but in the Midwest we see it all the time. Puppy mill proprietors scare farmers into believing that if dogs are provided more comfort their agricultural practices might be next to be regulated. This is completely absurd, but unfortunately it has worked. Let the legislators know that companion animals are your concern. Over 60% of American households own at least one pet. We are collectively a huge voice…we just need to use it. Ask where they stand, track how they vote, inform everyone you know which legislators are for and which ones are against man's best friend. Look for voting bloc groups in your area.  In Iowa you can sign up for legislative alerts at www.iavotersforcompanionanimals.org.
  3. Educate yourself, know the issues, tell everyone you know DON'T SHOP. ADOPT.
  4. Educate the children. Our curriculum, created by a team of HUA volunteer educators and headed up by the Director of Curriculum for the Lincoln Public Schools, is available at no cost for grades 3 through 8. This curriculum includes many facets of animal care and concern. We find that children clearly understand companion animal issues. They feel badly for the dogs who suffer, they want the suffering to end, and they are willing to do anything within their power to help. We have some very heartwarming stories of fundraisers and projects that children who have happened across our website have implemented. These children are optimistic and pure of heart. We've had children put up Christmas trees at their schools and collect donations for the rescued animals. We've seen children print pictures from our website and put them in gorgeous handmade scrapbooks with each dog's name and story carefully handwritten so they can show all of their classmates. A six-year old girl whose family adopted two dogs from HUA tells the story of her dog, Tandy. She tells how Tandy was locked in a cage and forced to give birth to puppies, and how her puppies were taken from her and sold. This little girl and her sister felt so strongly that they set up a lemonade stand to benefit animals in need. Girl Scout troops have taken on the cause by raising money to help our rescue efforts. Entire classrooms have come together to make fleece blankets for the rescued puppy mill dogs, dogs who they know have never had the privilege of having a blanket or bed before in their entire lives. One elementary school student won a contest in which his prize was to have a pizza party for his class. He declined to have the pizza party and asked instead that the money be sent to HUA to help the dogs. Children fully understand WHY the dogs are with us, and they all go home and tell their parents DON'T SHOP. ADOPT. Kids get it, and they are the future of animal welfare! Please help educate them.
  5. Advertise. It could be as large as a billboard or as small as a bumper sticker. If you have the means to spread the word, large or small, please do it. The more visible the issue, the more people will talk and become educated. Do you have an idea and resources for a print ad? Perfect location and funding for a billboard? Write to us and we will be happy to help with design and details!
  6. Support HUA in our efforts to rescue puppy mill dogs. Monetary donations make it possible to rehabilitate the dogs we rescue from puppy mills. Most need extensive and expensive care to restore their health. It is almost a guarantee that any dog over the age of 5 who has come to us from a puppy mill will lose half or more of his teeth. We are seeing more and more luxating patellas due to poor breeding practices. Hernias, tumors, infections and fistulas are also a common occurrence with puppy mill dogs. Anything we can do within our means to relieve their pain we do. Our vet bills average $13,000 per month. Please consider a contribution to help provide comfort and health to the dogs.
  7. Adopt a dog from HUA. For each dog adopted it makes space for another to be rescued. The requests are pouring in for us to take more dogs, but we can only do it if we find good homes for the ones currently residing at HUA. We will not overextend ourselves, as it isn't safe or fair to the dogs already in our care to have to live in an overcrowded environment. Tell everyone you know about our wonderful dogs for adoption. Each space that opens at the shelter means another life can be saved!
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead

Friday, June 26, 2015

Some of the Hundreds of Blogs Dedicated To Educating About Puppy Mills

Hearts United For Animals
www.hua.org

PetShopPuppies.org

Prisoners of Greed
http://www.prisonersofgreed.org

The Puppy Mill Project
http://www.thepuppymillproject.org

For the Love of the Dog Blog
http://fortheloveofthedogblog.com/the-horrors-of-puppy-mills


Puppy Mill Mom - Blogger

puppymillmom.blogspot.com

Puppy Mills | PACK MENTALITY

tomgradyonline.com/wordpress/category/puppy-mills





Find out what you need to know about puppy mills and what you can do to shut down these ‘houses of horror’!

Rescued Is My Favorite Breed !!!


More Pets Go Missing on July 4th Than Any Other Day

Please Make sure your pet has proper identification on them at all times with your name and number. Way too many dogs end up in shelters and pounds on July 4th and unless they are microchipped or have some form of identification on them it is impossible to find their owners.

Encinitas Votes To Ban Puppy Mill Sales Video by CBC News 8 in San Diego, California

CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Abandoned pet dogs double on city streets By:Mithila Phadke


Abandoned pet dogs double on city streets


MUMBAI: Lucky is about 2-years old, with a shiny coat of brown, black and white. A Husky-stray mix, he's resident livewire, and adopted sibling to serene Misha, and the very glamorous Velvet. Watching him and Velvet wrestle across the floor for the better part of an hour, it's hard to imagine a time he ever sat still. Or had two broken hind legs, severely scabbed ears, and was so covered with ticks that Nina Joshi could barely see the white markings on his face when she found him. 

"He was lying on the pavement outside -malnourished and half-dead," recalls Joshi, who adopted Lucky a year and a half ago. "And look at him now." 

Joshi runs a pet supplies store in Matunga, but the better part of her day is often spent rescuing and finding homes for dogs abandoned on Mumbai's streets by their owners. Her cell phone buzzes constantly with calls from neighbourhood residents about pups dumped in dustbins, dogs left tied outside agiarys in the pouring rain, and those lying on the side of the road, after having been hit by a passing car. "There are so many that get abandoned every single day," Joshi says. "People buy a dog, realise it requires more care and expenses than they can handle, and promptly get rid of it." 

Until two years ago, animal NGOs rescued about 2 to 3 dogs abandoned on the streets each week. The numbers of orphaned dogs have multiplied since. 

"We frequently find as many as 8 to ten abandoned dogs now," says Pooja Sakpal, co-founder of Youth Organization in Defence of Animals (YODA). This includes foreign breeds like German Shepherds, Pomeranians, and even Huskies and Saint Bernards—that Mumbai had recently taken a great fancy to. From those as young as a month-and-a-half old to the elderly canines, they are open prey for infections and illegal breeders. 

With greater disposable income and easy availability of dogs-especially foreign breeds—in the market, the number of dogs being bought has grown considerably in the two years. A Euromonitor report pegged the number of Indian households with pet dogs at 12 million last year -a leap from 7 million in 2009. The numbers of those abandoned have kept pace. Dogs are bought or adopted on a whim, and owners soon realise the pet requires much more care than previously assumed. "It has never been easier to get a dog," says Sakpal. "There are so many kennels, and if you want to buy one, you get them at places like Crawford Market for a few thousand rupees. They are caged and live in terrible conditions but the buyers don't care." Lab puppies—crammed five to a cage—sell for as little as Rs 1,000. "Toy breeds" like Lhasa Apsos are Rs 10-12,000, while prices for Saint Bernards and Siberian Huskies hover between Rs 40,000- 80,000. The dogs can be ordered and taken home in less than a week. 

Because Labradors and Pomeranians are the cheapest, they are the most frequently bought and consequently, most often abandoned. At the Welfare of Stray Dogs kennels, it's customary to find at least two rescued Pomeranians at any given time, says CEO Abodh Aras. But as expenses for "prestige" dogs like German Shepherds, Huskies and Saint Bernards mount, owners don't always hesitate before getting rid of them either, says Rinky Karmarkar from Save our Strays NGO. 

"Siberian Huskies, for instance, are supposed to live in snowy regions," she says. "An air-conditioned room isn't a substitute." Dogs frequently fall sick and develop rashes during summers. "Some breeds shed a lot of hair, need a lot of room. As a pup grow up, it requires more care and that's when owners realize they have taken on too much responsibility," says Joshi. Moving into a new home after marriage where pets aren't welcome, relocating abroad, finding that a pet has grown old and isn't as "sprightly" as she used to be are other reasons. "I had a person who said the German Shepherd they adopted didn't act like the dog in a Bollywood from they had seen," Joshi recalls. "People abandon their pets for the stupidest of reasons." 

Activists have been urging people to adopt instead of buying a pet, and also, ensuring they do their research beforehand. "It's a slow process though. People don't realize that they're taking responsibility for a living creature," says Sakpal. "It's a member of your family, not some vegetable you buy in the market." 
 

JEFF EDELSTEIN: Lawrence pet store stops selling puppies, starts adopting out rescues

Even the more subdued dog people out there, of which I am one, advocate for adopting a dog instead of buying one, especially one that comes from a puppy mill.
Only problem? It’s often difficult to adopt a dog from a rescue organization.
My wife and I tried to adopt a dog when we were looking for one a dozen or so years ago. We had no previous pets, so we had no vet references. We lived in an apartment, so the dog didn’t have grassy fields to frolic in. We both worked, so the dog would be alone for a good chunk of the day. We both had previous convictions for ritual animal sacrifice, and so … OK fine, the last one is a lie, but we were treated as if it were true.
The dog we were eventually allowed to adopt, the dear departed Sparky, was only given to us because he was on death row. A biter, he was. Even the rescue had had enough. To be clear: This same rescue, which previously wouldn’t let us adopt a dog because we didn’t have a backyard and it might make the dog sad, let us adopt a dog that literally might have murdered us as we slept.But despite my personal experience, I agree 100 percent with the idea of adopting. It’s one thing to buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder, but a whole ‘nuther thing to buy a puppy from a commercial mill, where the care of the animals is substandard at best, inhumane at worst.
So what’s a prospective, non-ritual animal sacrificing new puppy owner to do?
Well, how about this: Adopt a puppy from a pet store. Adopt a rescued pup for $495, completely healthy, spayed, neutered, what have you. And you can also know this for-profit pet store is not making a dime on the sale, instead rolling all the money into rescuing more pups. 
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s exactly what Pets Plus is Lawrence is doing, along with the nine other Pets Plus stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“We’re on the leading edge of this,” said Dawn Bateman, the adoption coordinator for Pets Plus. “We’re one of the biggest chains doing this.”
Used to be you could walk into Pets Plus, pick out a commercially bred puppy, lay down some cash and walk out with the dog. Today, Pets Plus is running a background check on you, much like a rescue organization would. The only difference is a big one: They’re not going to deny you if you don’t have a backyard. “Easier” is the wrong word here, but “less rigid” might fit.
“We work with a bunch of different rescue groups, but our main source is the Humane Society of the United States,” Bateman told me. “And the fee we charge goes to rescuing more dogs, caring for them, all the medical needs. All costs go right back into the dogs and for us to get more dogs.”
Bateman said the vast majority of the puppies come from down south, where Bateman says things are different. 
“They don’t believe in spay and neuter,” Bateman said. “It’s a different way of life. Some people think it’s easier to throw your dog out the back door than to take care of it.”
Since Pets Plus started their program last April in their Jenkintown, Pennsylvania store, over 1,300 dogs have been rescued and placed.
“It’s a huge difference from the way it used to be, and it’s heartwarming to all of us to be able to do this,” Bateman said.
The Lawrence location (on the Brunswick Circle) just recently began the program, and soon will be undergoing a kennel remodel, replacing the small cages with bigger dog runs, big enough for a few puppies to play together or for two adult dogs to pass the time until they get adopted.
“We’re not doing this for profit at all,” Bateman said. “Business is obviously not doing better economically for it. But we’ve been to the south and we’ve seen the conditions. We’ve seen dogs living in holes, on the side of the road, or euthanized for no reason whatsoever.”
So Pets Plus, a decidedly for-profit operation, decided to do something about it. Rescue and sell puppies and take all the money to rescue more puppies.
The phrase “win-win” is certainly overused, but come on: It doesn’t get much more win-win than this.
Jeff Edelstein is a columnist for The Trentonian. He can be reached at jedelstein@trentonian.com, facebook.com/jeffreyedelstein and @jeffedelstein on Twitter.

AKC-registered breeders raising dogs in 'miserable' conditions By:Jeff Rossen and Avni Pat

AKC-registered breeders raising dogs in 'miserable' conditions

When you go to buy a puppy, you want it to be happy, healthy and well-treated. A lot of people count on the American Kennel Club to find a breeder. When you see that AKC seal, you think to yourself: "I'm getting a good dog." But we've discovered disgusting conditions and sick dogs at AKC-registered operations.
The Westminster Dog Show is the epitome of canine perfection, and the American Kennel Club is proud to oversee it, calling itself "the dog's champion," registering puppies with official papers and inspecting breeders "to ensure proper care and conditions." Many dog owners count on it, looking for that seal before purchasing a puppy.
But critics say there's an ugly reality you don't see: Some AKC breeders raising diseased dogs, malnourished, living in their own filth. It's so disturbing that now two of the country's largest animal welfare groups, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, are condemning the AKC.
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We asked Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States: "If I'm looking to buy a dog and I see it has been AKC-inspected, AKC-registered, does that mean I'm getting a good dog?"
"Absolutely not. It really is just a piece of paper without any value for dog welfare," Pacelle told us.
Lillian Devera thought she was buying a dog from reputable breeder, impressed by an ad saying they were "AKC-inspected." "I assumed automatically I was getting a very healthy dog that was coming from a quality kennel," she told us.
"What did you end up getting?" we asked.
"A very sick puppy." Sick, she said, with intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a congenital eye defect. But records show the AKC had just inspected that kennel weeks earlier, and found them "in compliance."
"What do you make of that?" we asked Lillian.
"Well, I would make that their standards must be low."
It turns out it wasn't just her dog suffering. Law enforcement went into the kennel just two months later, and rescued dozens of dogs. The breeders say they did nothing wrong. But according to a civil court judge, many of the dogs were in poor condition "for a substantial period of time." Remember, the AKC had been there and signed off on the place.
"Time and time again, we're going and raiding places and then finding these dogs in miserable conditions," Pacelle said.
He says that while most AKC-registered breeders are probably fine, they're seeing too many bad apples, from Montana to North Carolina. In some cases, those breeders are even convicted of animal cruelty.
So we went straight to the AKC. "If you had to grade your inspection program, what grade would you give yourself?" we asked Lisa Peterson, director of communications.
"I'd give us an A," Peterson told us. "In fact, our inspection program is more than 98 percent in compliance."
Critics say that's just smoke and mirrors: Breeders pay the AKC registration fees for every dog, yet the AKC has no idea what goes on at many of those kennels. 
"Nationwide, how many breeders are there that have AKC-registered dogs?" we asked Peterson.
"That's a great question," she said. "We don't know."
"You don't know?"
"I don't know. No, I'm sorry."
"What percentage of breeders that do have AKC-registered dogs end up getting inspected?"
"We do thousands of inspections annually," Peterson said. "We've done 55,000 inspections since the year 2000."
"But what percentage of breeders actually get inspected?" 
"The percentage changes because it's a balancing act," Peterson said. "It's--"
"Ballpark," we interrupted.
"I don't have that figure," Peterson said. "I'm sorry."
"How many inspectors do you have?"
"We have nine inspectors," Peterson said.
"That cover the entire country?"
"That's correct."
"Do you think that's an adequate number?" we asked.
"That's the number that we have," Peterson said.
And there's more. Animal rights groups say the AKC is actually protecting bad breeders, fighting laws that would regulate breeders based on the number of dogs they have, and require new standards or inspections.
"You have opposed laws in several states that would crack down on breeders. Why?" we asked AKC's Peterson.
"We oppose breeder limit laws, because it's not the number of dogs that you own, it's the care and conditions in which they're kept," she answered.
Pacelle says that AKC should be working with animal welfare groups to protect dogs. “They should be helping the Humane Society in its efforts to crack down on these awful breeders,” Pacelle said. “But they're protecting them.”
If you're looking to buy a puppy, experts say, you should always visit the breeder and check out the conditions for yourself, even if the don't want you to come -- that's a major warning sign. Better yet, you can buy a rescued dog; there are groups that even specialize in purebreds.