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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM DOG SHOW JUDGES, BREEDERS, EXHIBITORS & HANDLERSYour Letters To Editor are one of our most-read features!  

DoodleDog's nose is permanently bent out of shape so keep your letter short or typical bully, he'll bury it!  He likes letters signed but if he knows you (and you toss him a bone) he can withhold your name.  NOTE: We embed your email to block spammers but will sometimes provide your URL as additional information for readers. 

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Legal Issue and local dog Rules, plus the controversy over AKC handler Ron Williams are the perfect lead to a hot story later this month. We promise you a follow-up with AKC on the disgusting Williams story.  When did AKC start mandatory DNA?  And have you been AKC inspected Tell us how that went. Interesting Crop & Dock response from a reader-Veterinarian, let us hear from YOU.

Crop & Dock History - Mr. Lanting stated that tail docking is "nearly completely painless" and the pup immediately forgets about it. He offers no proof that cutting through the caudal spine with all its nerves and tendons is painless. The pup probably will not form a memory of the act, but there are cases where dogs have chronic tenderness or even pain at the site of the crop.  Why did he not also address the unnecessary practice of cutting off the first digit of the dog's front paws - the misnamed dew claws? This is only practiced in the USA (and now Canada), and was started by the show people to make the front legs look more "elegant." It is illegal to do this in some European countries. There is no substantiated functional or medical reason to remove them but veterinarians like the extra income, today even removing them on mixed breeds. The excuse the claws might get terribly hurt is belied by all of the working hounds, sporting dogs and open field coursing dogs, let alone the wild canids, who never have dewclaws removed. The front "dewclaw" is firmly attached and its ligaments support the carpals (the "wrist") of dogs and so have a function.  Removing them is correctly called mutilation. Taking them off does cause pain even at 3 - 5 days of age as the nerves of the face and front feet are the most developed at birth. Again, the pups will not form a long-term memory of the event, but why mutilate for no reason other than having one less nail to clip or making the legs look smoother?  Sincerely, Janice Koler-Matznick, M.S., A.C.A.A.B. Kandu Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Ron Williams - Hello, I may be wrong but isn't Ron Williams the handler who flipped his rig full of dogs while "racing" to see who could get from one show to the next the fastest? This was during one of the VA-MD circuits back in the late 90s. That landed him in jail, at least temporarily, and I thought it had taken him out of the handling world altogether, unfortunately it appears his absence was short-lived. Ellyn Signet
Ron Williams - I am more incensed by the lack of concern by AKC than anything else.  What type of organization is this??  Louise Guyton
Ron Williams - The thing that stands out in every case in this article is a lack of common sense on the part of the owners of these dogs!  Alcohol and/or violence is repeatedly mentioned in each case.  What kind of person would leave their animal for any reason whatsoever with someone they had little personal knowledge of that, in some cases, lived hours away and that had appeared drunk either on the phone or in person at any time?   Would they have considered hiring a drunk, abusive driver to teach their child to drive or take him to school in the mornings?  Based on the evidence I’ve just read, I’m not so sure they wouldn’t!   Crates were also a common denominator in these cases—no mention of runs, which should have been a tip off to these people from the beginning.  Jeanetta Sharp

Let 19,000 interested readers know what's on your mind and what we need to cover

Questions re; Insider Subscription - wow Dennis, I'm impressed with your prompt response.... Thanks for also putting so much effort into your newsletter, I really do learn a ton and enjoy reading it.  And HEADlines’ topics really create a huge discussion at any shows I attend... it is nice that breeders are thinking and sharing ideas and I think it is great to be the newsletter that is stimulating that communication.  Laura Turner
"Visited" by AKC for an inspection. I bred GSD for 38 years, all in outside pens on "chapel hill grit"...a nice drainable rough sand type surface... and yet, after only 18 years of breeding the Russell terriers and an occasional GSD litter (and an online assault from a renowned cyber bully that has AKC pull). I was told it was because i had "more than 2-3 litters"...BUT in the same breath, I was told they didn't care if I was a "puppy mill" or "commercial breeder" as long as I was "taking proper care of the dogs"...WHAT!!!!!!!!!! I was sited because he saw a flea on a couple of my outside pets running around (I live on 20A with horses/ woods/etc.) and use every available product to protect these animals...non of which are doing a perfect job. He also cited me because I had "litter" in the pens (play toys for the dogs" and some weeds (these are outside pens, under trees with cedar mulch, and yes, there is some naturally occurring vegetation in some pens in the summer...so!!!). He said the dogs all looked happy, fit and healthy.....but why the visit, I asked, after all of this time? No good response. He said he could understand if I was breeding for show dogs, that with 16 Russell Terriers and 4 GSD, I would have more than 1-2 litters a year. He briefly glanced at only a couple of my records, seemed satisfied that I knew what I was doing and told me he really wanted every dog on the place (including retired breeders, pets, etc.) to have a collar with ID (the GSD do) or microchips (on all of the Russell terriers). What surprised and amazed me was his attitude about the "puppy mills" and commercial breeders. As far as I can tell...it's just all about $$$$, since the shows are not bringing in what they used to. Perhaps the feeds should not be so high and there would be more patronage. I know I haven't been able to show as much as I did in 2010 and 2011 because of gas, fees, hotel bills, (and hospital bills for me from a bout of 13 years with Lyme's I got WHILE WORKING IN AN ANIMAL SHELTER TRYING TO GET DOGS ADOPTED. Billie Sumrell

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Sheriff Joe is running for Sheriff again in Maricopa County in AZ. One of his ads shows stacks of dogs in metal crates... and it seems he is blindly (?) endorsing HSUS. Could be the reports in TheDogPress need amending.  Patty Coyne

DNA TESTING - I am looking for the case that starting the DNA testing for Sires with AKC. A breeder was telling me the story, but I am looking for the actual case.  There are breeders requesting AKC to have both Sire and Dam Testing. They spent good money on dogs to only find out that they are mixed.  Thanks. *Editors Note* try  AKC Conditional Registration from 2007

Local Dog Rules - Hello,  I just moved to Warren County, Virginia and the planning and zoning for the county has decided to draft a 2 page memorandum to amend their regulations for “kennels” in the county (kennel to them means anyone housing more than 4 dogs). We breeders, boarders and such in the county are looking for any help with this and I can send you copies of the present regs and what is proposed to change these rules in the next month. We have already contacted the Virginia Federation of Kennels and Breeders and we are looking for anyone else who could help squash this nonsense. If you have any advice please let us know.  Thanks so much in advance, W. Tenney and other breeders within the county.  Gethsemane Mountain Ranch
Legal issues – I just bought 2 retired females Coton de Tulear who were represented to be certified healthy by specialists.  I took them to Vet, they had horrible dental, swollen gums, teeth caked with black plaque and several loose and falling out as well as paternal luxetel (major congenital knee issues as well as kennel cough. 5 grand later, I could get both dogs healthy.  Contract says no guarantee for retired dogs health, no money back for retired dogs; although breeder represented they were healthy. They had a plethora of health screenings annually. My Vet says no way, do not return girls to breeder, it would be more "dogmane" to take the animals to the Humane society, where they will be given proper health care and let them put up for adoption.  Who should I call to determine how to best deal with these issues? Shall I just do a small claims court case?  I am in CA, she’s 3.5 hours away.  Thanks for any direction, with warm personal regards, Renee Marcelle
Editor's Note: Renee, I trust some of our readers will reply directly to you!  We are working on a similar story as regards legal recourse for later this month.

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