HSUS Lies To Congress About New `PUPS' Legislation – Which Would
Call Out Feds On Many Non-Breeding Kennels
by JOHN YATES Oct 2008 – The Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS) is pushing
new federal legislation that the radical animal rights group claims
is aimed at stopping large dog breeding kennels that skirt the law.
According to HSUS, the legislation targets only kennels that sell
more than 50 puppies a year. The bill's sponsors, Senator Richard
Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), repeat those claims.
Editor's Note, HSUS, Durbin & Farr don't take "NO" for an
answer, they laid low, then reintroduced
PUPS again in 2010 (ref #1).
They are lying through their teeth, an American Sporting Dog
Alliance analysis of the actual legislation shows. In fact, the
legislation targets almost every boarding, day care, training and
handling kennel in America, along with many hunt clubs and hunting
plantations. It also impacts many serious hobbyists, who have a lot
of dogs even though they only raise a couple of litters of puppies a
Rep. Farr is the prime sponsor of H.R. 6949, and Sen. Durbin is the
sponsor of its companion bill in the Senate, S. 3519. The formal
name of this legislation is the "Puppy Uniform Protection Statute,"
or "PUPS." It also has been nicknamed "Baby's Bill," after a rescued
dog from a commercial kennel that is touring the country with its
owner, Chicagoan Jana Kohl. Kohl is on an HSUS-sponsored campaign
against "puppy mills," and has visited several states. Her recent
book includes a photo of presidential candidate Barrack Obama, and
his reported commitment to clamp down on "puppy mills."
The legislation is an amendment to the federal Animal Welfare Act,
which requires federal licensure of commercial kennels (called
"dealers") who sell puppies wholesale to brokers or pet stores. This
law does not regulate people who sell dogs and puppies directly to
HSUS calls this a "loophole," and has been pushing for many years to
include kennels that sell directly to the buyer. Previous attempts,
such as the Pet Animal Welfare Act and Sen. Durbin's attempted
amendment to the 2008 Farm Bill, have failed. The PUPS legislation
is the latest attempt by HSUS.
Here is how HSUS describes the legislation: "The Humane Society of
the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund commend
federal lawmakers for introducing bills that will crack down on
abusive "puppy mills" in the United States — where breeding dogs are
often stacked in wire cages for years to produce litter after
litter. The legislation will close a loophole in the Animal Welfare
Act that currently allows large, commercial breeders who sell
puppies online and directly to the public to escape licensing and
Here is the HSUS description of who will be affected: "All dog
breeders who sell more than 50 puppies per year directly to the
public will be federally licensed and inspected…The bill will not
affect small breeders and hobby breeders who sell fewer than 50 dogs
per year directly to the public, but is crafted to cover only the
largest commercial breeding facilities."
Press releases by Sen. Durbin, Rep. Farr and other members of
Congress echo those claims.
Here is what the legislation actually says, in sections defining a
dealer and who is exempt from licensure as a dealer.
A person or kennel owner who "does not breed or raise more than 50
dogs for use as pets during any one-year period" and who sells dogs
or puppies "directly to the public for use as a pet" is exempt from
licensure and regulation as a dealer. Any dog is defined by the Act
as a pet, regardless of its use or purpose. Thus, a person who meets
that definition does not require a federal license.
The words "breed or raise" are an obvious and deliberate attempt to
snare many kennel and dog owners in federal regulations, including
many kennels that do not breed at all. The language is very
ambiguous and could be interpreted to include virtually anyone who
has a lot of dogs.
The term "raise" is not defined in the legislation, but is generally
interpreted to mean a person who keeps, cares for, houses or owns a
dog or dogs.
Most professional trainers and handlers of field trial, show,
obedience or performance dogs would have more than 50 dogs in their
kennels over the course of a year. In fact, many trainers and
handlers who employ helpers would have more than 50 dogs at any
given time, and most do not breed at all.
boarding kennel, dog daycare service, hound hunt club, hunting
plantation or circus could be included under a definition that they
"raise" more than 50 dogs per year. Even many private field
trailers and show dog people would have more than 50 dogs a year in
their kennels, as they often keep most of the puppies they produce
to evaluate. For field trial dogs, for example, it often takes two
or three years of working with a young dog to determine if it is
worthy to use for competition or breeding.
A favorite tactic of HSUS is to deliberately use ambiguity in model
legislation in order to entrap as many kennels and dogs in the law
as possible, going far beyond the stated purpose. If HSUS and its
elected cronies had wanted to be honest, the legislation simply
would say that it excludes anyone who sells fewer than 50 puppies a
It is obvious that truth is not their highest priority. The HSUS
propaganda mill for this legislation continues to attack people who
use the Internet to sell dogs or puppies. It attempts to
link Internet sales with sick puppies and shoddy "puppy mills."
In fact, almost all of America's finest kennels in every breed have
a presence on the Internet. Most have websites, and many run online
advertisements to sell individual dogs and litters of puppies. If
anything, a good case could be made that it is almost impossible to
buy a high quality puppy from a kennel that does not make use of the
Internet. The Internet simply is a reality of modern life, and a
reported 80-percent of American households use it.
This smear campaign is simply another attempt by HSUS to tar dog
breeders with the broadest possible brush. At best, it shows
complete ignorance of the real world of dogs. At worst, it shows a
vicious attempt to defame honest and conscientious people who raise
HSUS is not an animal welfare organization. It has nothing to do
with local humane societies. Instead, it is a political action and
lobbying arm of the radical animal rights movement that continually
pushes for tighter restrictions on animal ownership, with each piece
of legislation making a step toward its ultimate goal, which is the
total elimination of animal ownership in America.
Another section of the legislation requires all dogs kept in
federally licensed kennels an hour of exercise a day, divided into
at least two separate periods. Dogs would be removed from their
primary enclosures and allowed to walk for these exercise periods.
The final section of the legislation specifically allows states to
adopt more stringent standards. While a member of the
California Assembly, Farr also authored legislation to severely
regulate dog breeding.
Co-sponsors of PUPS in the Senate are Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA],
Sen. Claire McCaskill [D-MO], and Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]. House
co-sponsors are Reps. Judy Biggert (IL), Lois Capps (CA), Terry
Everett (AL, Barney Frank (MA), Elton Gallegly (CA), Jim Gerlach
(PA), Patrick Kennedy (RI), Mark Steven Kirk (IL), Daniel Lipinski
(IL), Betty McCollum (MN), Thaddeus McCotter (MI), James McGovern
(MA), Dennis Moore (KS), James Moran (VA), Patrick J. Murphy (PA),
Jerrold Nadler (NY) and Janice Schakowsky (IL).
The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging all dog and kennel
owners to immediately contact their congressman and senator and ask
them to vigorously oppose this legislation. Here is a link for
contact information for senators:
Here is a link to contact information for the House of
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and
professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for
hunting. We welcome people who work with other breeds too, as
legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement
working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the
traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its
rightful place in American society and life.
Editor: John Yates died Sept. 2009.
He was my friend and newspaper colleague, a fighter who won many
battles on behalf of all dog owners but lung cancer took him
swiftly. When I talked to John in the hospital, he was in good
spirits and optimistic the "tests and x-rays" would be okay.
John Yates Obituary
by his wife Donna Yates. John was Founder and Executive
Director American Sporting Dog Alliance