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The American Kennel Club, Senator Santorum, and HSUS picked the wrong horse when they gambled on the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) making it to the finish line.


October 2005 |

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief


AKC, HSUS, SANTORUM RODE A LAME HORSE TO PAWSOr maybe they thought an armored charger would sure-foot it right to the Lost Dutchman’s gold mine.  (Tells you how little they know about history and horses.) But let's face it, the Humane Society of the U.S. doesn’t need to know anything about animals. 


With such great marketing skills, HSUS is described as the richest animal rights legislation group in the U.S.  Like PETA’s Infiltration of local government and school systems, success in politics is expensive but the Humane Society Of The United States can afford it.


Senator Santorum?  Only Hillary has a bigger war chest, so he didn't launch the PAWS legislation for money.  Maybe he read The Black Stallion and thought he could ride a mythical horse all the way to the White House?


The pale rider in the picture is AKC.  At $60 to $70 million per year of non-taxable income, the American Kennel Club isn't hurting for money either, no matter what they say.  Budgets can look a little strained when organizations move money from one charitable cause to another in order to keep the coffers from overflowing.  Sometimes that’s a good thing because mobile money can do good for dogs through the AKC Canine Health Foundation and CAR.


To some observers, the battle over the ii Pet Animal Welfare Statute instant info is a fairy tale come true.  No animal rights legislation to date has generated such outrage and divisiveness as the pitter-patter of these cute little PAWS, not even the AKC's ii High Volume Breeders Committee (1) which works so hard to unite show breeders with puppy mills.


When AKC violated the dog fancy's trust, only insiders knew of it due to a complicit or cowardly press.  But not today.  SAAB Member Dr. Roberta Lee, a noted psychologist said "Dog owners either don’t understand the proposed PAWS legislation or they refuse to read it themselves, subconsciously fearing that they might have to admit that PAWS is not what AKC says it is."


Bob Kane, Lobbyist and one of our political consultants said "AKC supporters are hanging onto the horse’s tail, hoping it will pull them along to fame and glory."


He explained that for them, it isn’t about money, the attraction is the power and prestige of being connected with the law-makers, getting invited to the right parties, etc.  Bob chuckled and said "They must not know what’s under every horse’s tail."


Depending on one's point of view, there are some good things to come out of the Pet Animal Welfare Statute co-sponsored by Santorum and Dick Durbin.

  1. Santorum’s popularity has seriously fallen in the polls.  He has taken note and seems happy to soak his hot PAWS in cool water.

  3. Thanks to the PAWS legislation, the fancy is waking up to the new AKC and they are up in arms over the American Kennel Club's betrayal.  Dog clubs and Legislative groups accepted puppy mills into the fold with only a grunt or two.  We seldom questioned staggering profit for a non-profit. But thanks to and Legislative chats, dog people are harder to fool today.

  5. Show Breeders meekly submitted to ever-increasing fees but after this legislative betrayal, the cognizant are no longer sure it is okay for AKC to sell us to the highest bidders in vacuum cleaners, kid's toys, credit cards and insurance. 

Now suddenly, we see AKC acting like a common prostitute and it is for the money.  Well, and for political favors, personal ego and Wall Street connections.  Backing the right legislation is a much better bet than gambling on the wrong horse but this time, the American Kennel Club loses.


Breeders smell a stink a mile away and some are asking - Why is AKC pushing for USDA mandated microchipping?  Does it own stock in Digital Angel?  According to an intriguing blog there are 163 billion unchipped pets and if we could be made to “identify them in case they get lost” (yeah right) at an average cost of $35 bucks, it comes to over five trillion, seven hundred billion dollars.  Worth bending a few corporate and legislative arms for eh?  Especially if you are the world's biggest registry and you have big political and investment connections.


The fancy is just starting to ask why AKC seems to be deserting “show breeders.”  The answer is that we are only a tiny fraction of AKC's registry income.  The American Kennel Club actually encourages commercially-bred dogs when it supports anti-breeder legislation such as ii AKC & PAWS. The reason is obvious.  As long as puppy mill puppies are churned out by the millions and registered with the American Kennel Club, AKC is making money.  If AKC can mandate microchipping, the microchip business would also become a never-ending goldmine as pets die or are in fact lost and replaced.  PAWS legislation is but one cog in the wheel of profitable connections.


Okay, so the horse named Profit And Ego ran away.  Galloped right by some AKC Delegates who looked the other way.  Fortunately some of the Senators suddenly got saddle sores and claimed they could no long ride.  That was good because there was a time when we thought fighting PAWS and "animal rights" was hopeless.


Still... let's not relax just because the horse has been temporarily hobbled by the dog and cat fancy.  There are other rides out there…  We better hope the next mount AKC and HSUS decide to straddle is one of those plastic merry-go-round critters because that would be oh! so fitting!


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PAWS - Pet Animal Welfare Statute, Introduced by Rick Santorum in 2005, was the worst animal legisistion ever!  Puppy mills were exempt but show breeders and hobby dog breeders would have become non-existant.

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