Her nightmare could be yours when Animal
Control and police officers take your dogs over a breeder or kennel license
violation you may not even know exists. What she did when Animal Rights knocked
on her door...
“What is that?” you ask innocently while your mind churns, is that what they
called it online? No, wait, it was the Dog Breeder License Act. What is the
Animal Control guy saying?
February 11, 2013 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
The dog warden, hands on hips (you notice one hand is resting on a pistol!)
states gruffly “You are over the legal limit of three un-spayed females, you
sold a dog without a permit, and you have a litter of puppies but your vet did
not examine the mother dog prior to breeding. We are here to take your dogs.”
You can’t remember how things got this far but you clearly remember reading that
animal control can euthanize dogs. Kill them!!! You start to protest but the
armed dog warden you learn is now called "Animal Control Officer" has backup. A
Police Officer stands beside him and the local SPCA truck is in your driveway.
You begin to panic, thinking of the Group-winning bitch here to be bred to your
stud dog, oh no, and the 3-week old litter in the den. Your old boy is nudging
the back of your knees, his cold nose the only touch of reality in this surreal
nightmare. The AC officer is peeking around you at something. He thunders “You
have two adult dogs in the house with a litter of puppies!” Oh My God! Another
Suddenly you are running, running, gasping for breath, terrified, your legs
getting weaker. They are right behind you, there’s a cliff and you leap – and it
feels like your thumb is broken. You look down and see your thumb being rolled
back and forth by someone’s hand. What?! You are being fingerprinted, just like
on TV. Why didn’t you go get that kennel license and let them do the criminal
background check and fingerprint you then? You had nothing to hide. But wait,
now you are standing at a counter writing check after check, paying stacks of
license fees and fines and your broken thumb won’t hold the pen right and they
are coming to inspect you.
You scream “Don’t take my dogs!!!”
And you wake up, right hand crumpled under your cheek, thumb twisted in the
necklace you forgot to remove. “Oh thank you Lord” you breathe deeply, still
shaken. There’s tapping on your bedroom door and your son says “Mom, what’s
wrong? Why were you yelling? Are you okay?” Groggy and trying to make light of
it, you tell him it was just a bad dream, “a nightmare like you used to have… go
back to bed honey. Everything is fine.”
Oh but it’s not. You can’t sleep so you get up and go to the kitchen for milk.
On second thought, might as well make it coffee. Switch on the pot, switch on
the computer, switch on your brain.
It will be daylight soon and you’ll call in sick. You can’t afford it but you
can’t afford to let another day go by without going to the courthouse and asking
for the kennel license application form. You can probably fill it out right
there and pay with a credit card. Right. Damn the Humane Society, SPCA, Animal
Control, all of them! You'll sell Susie instead of spaying her to comply with
that damn law. The puppies will soon be ready to go and that pick male will have
to be sold too. You grapple with the per-dog fee on top of the yearly license,
and sighing, admit you just can’t afford the luxury of keeping three males even
if one of them is twelve years old. Illinois makes no allowance for old dogs.
Pouring coffee, you realize if you don’t keep the male puppy, you’ll have to
ship Maggie because she can’t be bred to Skipper, too close. How will you
manage? And what will it be like, having inspectors come into your home poking
around? Will it bother the kids? What about the shows? The handler has been
wonderful to work with and Skipper has started to do really well in the Groups.
Oh well, he’ll just have to come home.
But what’s the point? Suddenly you are overwhelmed and stirring the coffee, the
tears finally come. You love your dogs. They are part of the family. Your
husband will soon be reassigned and be here with you. He can fix anything. And
then, dropping your head in both hands, sobbing aloud, you realize there is not
one damn thing he can do about a state law! He can go off and fight a war, he
can put a rocket together and blow up things but he can’t fight city hall,
Animal Control, the SPCA or HSUS, and all the others with their hand out. Now
they have license laws, kennel laws, an endless list of ways to beat you down.
They have won.
It’s too late now. Gasping, tears streaming, your mind churning, reliving your
worst nightmare. There's no way to fight back. Shaking your head, you admit to
your own lack of initiative. You made time for all the day-in, day-out things
that seemed more important than fighting animal rights whackos, writing letters,
making calls, and getting to know the council member who lives on the next
Wiping your eyes, blowing your nose on the napkin, you sit alone with only your
guilt to keep you company at 5:30 in the morning. Well, it’s decision time. You
get up and pour more coffee, absentmindedly reach for the cream. What to do? The
answer is hard but obvious. Forget the courthouse today. Or any other day. Bring
Skipper home, let the dogs go, all but three which is all they allow without a
breeder or kennel license. Sell Skipper because the two old dogs have to stay.
Sell a bitch on co-own, get a puppy back later for the family but that’s it,
it’s over. They won.
You stir the coffee, take a sip, resolved now. Yes, you can do this thing. It
will hurt, like cutting off your arm but for your sanity and your family, you
have to get out of dogs. Then “they” will leave you alone, no more hiding dogs,
no more nightmares.
Standing up, you force a smile, telling yourself “I’ll be Miss Compliance, I
won't worry about animal control, the humane society, SPCA, or any kind of
animal rights legislation. No more crazy laws, I have rights. They will leave me
alone and everything will be fine.”
Your nightmare is just beginning.
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