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TheDogPress has suffered an organized attack for “promoting the Animal Rights agenda” in a guest column Defining Puppy Mills that had nothing to do with animal rights.


February 17, 2010

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, Editor-In-Chief,SAAB


Did Jenny Thrasher miss the guest writer’s point in Defining Puppy Mills{1} that ran in the Feb. 9, 2010 edition?  Among other things, Thrasher said TheDogPress was “so lacking in newsworthy information that it must resort to AR collaboration.


Believing her letter was sincere, I personally replied, accepting blame for editorial failure to make the writer’s position against Animal Rights clear, pointing out the column was about puppy mills, not animal rights.


We provided Jenny with links to animal rights coverage in TheDogPress, all of which clearly state our position on AR.  In addition, I included a link to the Projects Section{2} of TheDogPlace, which as the oldest dog site in the world, has tracked the animal rights agenda since it first emerged as a Constitutional threat to the rights of dog owners.  Both TheDogPlace and TheDogPress have vigorously supported and publicized the leading legislative groups.


Refuting her diatribe about “the man” Thrasher said authored the column and who she said was with animal rights groups, I assured her Lotta Chien is a woman and the last person in the world to support animal rights.  I suggested she re-read the column which was about supporting puppy mills.


TheDogPress doesn't have a legal staff and given the political misinformation churned out by many newspapers and TV channels, perhaps that is to our credit.  TheDogPress is however, the most credible and professional source of unbiased reportage in the sport of dogs.  We don’t bore readers with lengthy validations on every fact in every story but what is presented as fact is, with references usually included as footnotes.


We received over a dozen complimentary letters on our coverage but as could be expected, not everyone agreed with the cited definition of puppy mills, including Cindy Cooke, a “dog” attorney whom we all admire and respect.


Cindy said "FYI, that definition of a puppy mill is not a finding by the court, but rather the definition that was offered by one of the parties to the law suit. There's a big difference between a pleading or a claim by a party and a finding by the court."


The posture of the case before the court was a Motion for Summary Judgment. That is a ruling based on the pleadings, affidavits, and the law. It was the defendant's motion and the case was dismissed. The definition of "puppy mills" was included in the Court's Finding of Fact,under the subheading: FACTS. It is not in the Discussion section of the Opinion, nor does the statement begin with something like: "The defendants argue that "puppy mills" are....


Well, I’m only a “practicing” attorney and if I ever get good at it, I’ll take the bar exam.  So I asked a trusted source to check our reference for the definition.  The legal opinion which exonerates and supports my editorial insertion defining a puppy mill is in the table.


Okay, so a legal scholar has explained the COURT’S finding of fact and that’s good enough for me.


None of this would be newsworthy were it not for the organized attack on The Dog Press.  Our staff never looks at chat lists because most only provide a stage for would-be-experts or anonymous regurgitations of bile.  Thankfully, some of our readers find such lists interesting or amusing and one reader sent this:


This was posted on the St. Louis chat list and I don't know who wrote it, that is, who MAN is, but I think it is someone who has talked with Cindy Cooke.


We were amazed that the included MAN'S post was word-for-word, exactly the same as the accusatory Letter To The Editor from Jenny Thrasher!  We received other copies of the same “post” accompanied by comments ranging from wondering who we had “ticked off,” to an observation that “TheDogPress has the competition worried” and one that asked “is this person an AKC employee?


We don’t have answers to those questions although we doubt that AKC is involved.  True, we publish news and opinions which AKC might prefer we didn't but I have reason to believe that AKC respects our professional right (and duty) to report news that affects the sport of dogs.  No, it isn’t AKC that launched this attack on TheDogPress.


Barbara "BJ" Andrews BioMy response to Jenny’s letter{3} which we published as a guest column, said in part “I treat your read of the guest column as indicative that I failed … As editor, my job is getting the intended message across.  So I sincerely appreciate that you took time to help me see that the message here was not clear.


So please, any time we are unclear or incorrect, let us hear from you.  Your private communications are always held private.  If you have something to share with our readers, we invite you to submit a column or send a Letter To The Editor directly to


Thank you for your continued vigilance and support of YOUR “Free Press” for without our subscribers, we could not be the most read, most referenced, most quoted Unaligned News For The Dog Fancy”.


Reference & Related Articles and Information, dig for gold below

{1} Defining Puppy Mills by Guest Columnist, Lotta Chien

{2} When politics, bad pet laws, risky vaccines, prescriptions, DogMeds, shelters that don't, and animal rights terrorists become PROJECTS, informed owners get RESULTS! Check Projects Section

{3} Refuting Defining Puppy Mills by Guest Columnist, Jenny Thrasher EST 2002 © 1002



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