Monday, July 16, 2012

"Dear Mr. Obama"

The following was written by Amanda Kelly of Fwaggle Manchester Terriers. Amanda edits "Black and Tan" which is a breed specific magazine, and she was the editor of Canine Review, the Canadian version of Dogs in Review, for several years.

The potential impact and intent of the proposed USDA/APHIS regulation change are crystal clear, even to someone outside the US. The collapse of dog-breeding in the US thanks to this ill-thought regulation change will impact purebreds around the world. The loss of genetic material as US lines are lost will be devastating to all breeds. Not to mention the extinction of the well-bred family pet, raised lovingly in breeder homes.

Permission to cross-post with attribution.


Dear Mr. Obama,

By Amanda Kelly

What a fantastic photo of you and Bo playing in the yard. It is obvious that you enjoy each other very much -- how lucky you are to have such a wonderful family dog. But I wonder... would Bo even have existed if your changes to the Animal Welfare Act had already been made? After all, his breeder did have a website (if you haven't been there, you really should visit www. Oh my God, you don't think they might have sold dogs to people in other parts of the country, do you? People who
didn't visit their homes in person to pick up their puppies? Oh wait...wouldn't that be people like you?

Under your new rules, after all, those breeders would automatically be subject to the licensing, inspections, and standards of the AWA. Sounds good, until you realize that means no more "home-raised" puppies. Uh-uh, no way -- USDA rules don't allow breeders to keep their dogs or puppies in the house, only in the kennel. And thank heavens, I mean, who would want a puppy raised in a home environment anyway... I'm sure you would agree that kennel dogs "always" make better pets. Right?

I'm sure Portuguese Water Dog breeders are also happy you chose their breed, if only to give their market a bit of a boost. After all, if they want to be allowed to have their dogs in the house, they will have to sell every one of their puppies locally so owners can pick them up in person. Whew, that's a tall order. Just imagine what a problem that would be for someone who breeds Manchester Terriers, say, or Sealyham Terriers, or Norwegian Buhunds. You mightn't have ever heard of these breeds, but they are really great dogs and their owners really love them. The trouble is, their breeders have worked really hard to protect them from popularity, over-breeding and the problems that come with it. I bet they're really kicking themselves now.

Most of these breeders have one or two litters a year as a hobby, their dogs live in their homes and they sell their puppies to people all over the United States and around the world. They have to, you see, because the market is relatively small and spread out. Guess they will have to move the dogs out to the kennel, breed them more often and get to work selling them to anyone with the money. Or maybe those breeds will just go extinct altogether. Well, that would be a shame, but why waste time worrying about that -- they have only existed for a few hundred years. and their owners are mostly just snooty people who love their dogs and like to go to dog
shows and agility trials and things like that. I mean, it's not like those leisure activities generate any income for their local economies.

And finally, whew, you won't have to worry about waiting around to find the perfect dog in the shelter, that's for sure, when the only people able to meet the USDA requirements are those with giant breeding operations, there will surely be lots to choose from. Won't it be perfect when all of the breeders of these rarer breeds are gone? If we're really lucky, the changes will take down all of the small breeders and when dog shows and trials collapse and some of the bigger breeds follow, we'll be set! Everyone can get shelter dogs -- it will be perfect. Well, maybe a little difficult for people who live in apartments and had their heart set on a small,
smooth-coated breed (they don't tend to be very popular among large volume breeders). Or families who have to think about allergies, I mean, it may be a little tough to find a reliably hypoallergenic breed down the road. Oh wait... isn't that you again?

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm so glad you are enjoying Bo. Be sure the press gallery takes lots of photos -- he may be one of the last of his kind.

Sign the AKC's petition to Protect Responsible Small Breeders here .