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But Supports PAWS and HSUS!

The PPA excluded good breeders while regulating puppy mills so is that why AKC met with the HSUS gang to support PAWS and hobble hobby breeders?

July 2005 | TheDogPress

Barbara J. Andrews, SAAB Member


Backtracking AKC and the PPAFollow me and I'll lead you through some rough country. There's a rule every tracker knows well: Watching the back trail means fewer surprises ahead. So let's get the lay of the land, which means looking back to figure out how PAWS got so far out in front of us.


When the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS) was introduced to Congress on May 26, 2005 by Senator Rick Santorum, we spotted a parallel set of tracks. So before the trail turned cold, TheDogPress had to decide whether to risk following it or let blowing sand cover it up.


Your editor talked it over with my Comanche guide and re-read our Mission Statement.  Now way 'round it, so we mounted up and headed out to do some backtracking on PAWS and shoot holes in AKC propaganda.


The first smokescreen went up in December, 2001 when AKC sent out this "urgent" bulletin: "Puppy Protection Act May Be Added to Farm Bill This Week - Phone Calls to Senators Needed!"  AKC did a great job getting the word out.  We whupped it right?  Wrong.  The PPA never affected hobby breeders.  AKC said "remind your senator that a recent court decision which is now under appeal would require the federal government to apply the PPA to EVERY BREEDER, not just commercial breeders or "puppy mills."  Read the bill and decide if AKC told the truth.


Now we're told that Senator Santorum's PAWS bill is a modified, breeder friendlier version of the PPA bill.  We don't swallow the line much less the sinker.  Regarding PPA, AKC said it "believes the solution to the "puppy mill" problem is more vigorous enforcement of the existing Animal Welfare Act."  On that grounds, AKC loudly and proudly fought the PPA which did not regulate hobby breeders.  So does AKC's support for PAWS make sense?  Only when you ask "Does PAWS regulate hobby and show breeders?" and realize the answer is YES.


Three and a half years ago AKC said "the so-called "Puppy Protection Act" is based on sensationalized conclusions rather than facts.  It will involve the federal government in unworkable regulation of the breeding practices of individual breeders and unenforceable "engineering standards" for socialization of dogs."  AKC tells us PAWS legislation is better but the stated position of the cat registries and all other dog registries as regards PAWS contradicts AKC's position.  UKC's highly respected Legislative attorney Cindy Cooke says "Three organizations issued press releases recommending that this bill [PAWS] be passed: the Humane Society of the United States, the Doris Day Animal League, and the American Kennel Club."  Well, that explains the double set of tracks we're following. In fact, looks like we're following a gang of dodgers.  How else could AKC have joined HSUS and DDAL in support of PAWS? That was not a rhetorical question, it demands an answer.


PAWS is a frightening "bill of goods" no matter how you look at it but Cindy Cooke points out "The original AWA was an attempt to regulate commercial breeders who sold their dogs to brokers, pet stores, research facilities, etc.  The bill specifically exempted retail pet stores but made no mention of hobby breeders at all."  Well that makes this trail a whole lot clearer, especially when we look at it this way: The PPA bill totally excluded pet stores and hobby breeders yet AKC led the charge to defeat it.  Was that because the PPA would have been devastating to puppy mills, the Weapons Of Mass Production - AKC's major source of income?


Now look at PAWS.  It will apply to show breeders and AKC supports it. Tracks don't lie.  AKC "saved" show breeders from the PPA Act which did not and never would have applied to them.  But the PAWS Bill would destroy show breeders but have no impact on USDA licensed puppy mills. I hate to point this out but AKC has said that show and hobby breeders are less than 10% of its breeding income.  Conversely, those pesky show breeders are a rock in AKC's shoe, constantly demanding attention.


The prestigious and forward-thinking CFA (to cat owners as AKC is to dog owners) is dead set against the PAWS act.  TICA, The International Cat Association, second only to CFA, is also adamantly opposed.  UKC, second only to AKC, is opposed to PAWS.  So every dog and cat registry other than AKC is opposed to PAWS legislation.


Remember now, looking back is usually a clear view.  The PPA bill was defeated, things quieted down.  Suddenly we're confronted with AKC's unfathomable support of the PAWS bill!  The AKC Lobbyist Dr. Holt, explains that under current law, "persons who sell dogs for research, teaching, exhibition, hunting, breeding, or security purposes, or as a pet are defined as "dealers" and are regulated, EXCEPT retail pet stores."  Legal analysts point out that under current law, USDA classifies show/hobby breeders as retail pet stores.  Mr. Holt stubbornly insists that AKC's rationale for supporting PAWS is that USDA could change its mind any minute.  How does that idea play?  Let's see.


USDA couldn't keep up with inspections in normal times but IF it decided to add more inspectors so it could add enforcement of show/hobby breeders to its work load, we would just fight it then.  Despite the pretty picture AKC paints regarding PAWS, our position is infinitely better today than it could ever be under the obtusely worded PAWS act.  Therefore, we oppose PAWS and anyone that supports it.


We can defeat PAWS, with or without AKC's help but we would rather do it without having to also oppose AKC.  Looked at logically, what Senator wants to admit that 1.) he/she supported a bill which couldn't be implemented due to lack of funding? or 2.) passed a bill, enforcement of which further drained the country's resources during a time of war?  Would you risk your political career on that?  NO.  Well, maybe you would, for enough money and promise of future cooperation on your own pet issue.  It's done every day on the hill.  That's why there are lobbyists.


Mr. Holt. as the AKC lobbyist, says "PAWS narrows the definition of 'retail pet store' to include only actual stores, but puts a specific exemption into the law for small retail sellers and hobby and show breeders." STOP! That simply is not true.  PAWS specifically says we show breeders are retail pet sellers.  AKC admits that but says not to worry, we're not considered a dealer unless we sell 26 dogs per year or whelp 7 litters in a year.  That isn't exactly true either because the bill specifies a combined total of 26 kittens, birds, and/or dogs. Does AKC think we can't read?


In fairness to him, Mr. Holt did include the part that says "we can only sell dogs bred or raised on our own premises", meaning PAWS would be the end of co-ownerships and co-breeding because you would automatically become a dealer even if you only bred one litter or sold one puppy not whelped and reared on your premises!


PAWS would solve an annoying legal problem for AKC; no more co-breeder disputes and lawsuits involving AKC.  If, as we are told, the bill is a compromise with AKC taking credit for that, then how did AKC allow the "premises" sentence?


AKC Lobbyist Dr. Holt says "It also, for the first time, classifies as dealers persons who import puppies for resale."  That really makes us feel better!  Of course no fancier has ever imported a dog and sold it or taken on a backer or co-owner to help campaign it.  Heavens no.  And we never would because if we were to do that, we automatically become dealers.


But it gets stranger than fiction.  Under PAWS, USDA must go after mass importers who have created "overwhelming … growth…. in this (importing) activity.."  We are told this is true because "Parent clubs, breeders and fanciers from all over the country report significant numbers of imported puppies showing up at auctions, in pet stores, and offered for sale over the Internet."  I did not make that up!  It is from Dr. Holt's May 2005 "Made In China" article featured in AKC's propaganda publication Dog News.  Dr. Holt alleged that "individuals and business entities in the U.S." are importing and selling dogs in the retail market.  But not to fear, "AKC is taking the matter of importation of puppies for resale very seriously."  Holt emphasizes that AKC is "urging" the International Trade Commission and the USDA to "do something" and he assures us AKC is "working with" the CDC to implement better quarantine restrictions.  Somehow, that doesn't sound good for us "dog dealers" who want to import quality dogs for breeding purposes!  But what the heck, that kind of regulation sure will please the puppy mills...


Noteworthy: It was breeders, buyers, and multi-breed AKC judge Ms. Bruce Lorenzen (Pedigree Fraud exposed in TheDogPress){1} who finally got mass importer Gina Price, Rebel Ridge English and French Bulldogs convicted and sent to Federal prison!  It was not AKC. Disturbingly significant: a search of AKC's website shows no suspension for Gina Price before or after the 2008 conviction in Federal court for importing, breeding, and selling "AKC registered" dogs.  With that in mind, read the next paragraph.


Political strategists always invent a threatening situation in order to unite dissenters into a common cause.  Regarding "importers" and PAWS, AKC says "The change was proposed because there are a large and growing number of operations, including breeders and importers, who are breeding and/or selling large numbers of dogs exclusively at retail, over the internet, or through mass media channels (huh?) or other means and therefore evading regulation."  That's pretty scary!  Except.  Where are all those mass importers?  I asked others to help track them down on the pretext of buying an imported puppy.  We went online; called some pet shops.  Zilch. None of us knew which "mass media channels" to contact but we could not find imported purebred puppies except for cases such as cited above.  None from "Russia" and most definitely not from China!!!


Our Science and Advisory Board member, Lana Tsan, is president of the China Kennel Club.  She says there are not enough purebreds for Chinese fanciers and they import, not export.  Another of our writers, Fred Lanting, just returned from judging in China and he saw no crates lined up at markets, shows, or airports.  It appears that someone is pulling AKC's leg or the American Kennel Club is laying down misleading tracks.  So when we challenged that, the "China article" was scrubbed from the AKC website.  Credit to AKC,  it apparently decided there really isn't such a huge influx of "imported" puppies for the retail market.


Leaving the import debacle aside, there's a plethora of astounding comments floated out to dog people.  The May 27th Dog News Editorial actually said we should listen to the HSUS!!  Setting the stage for hoped acceptance of the unacceptable, it brushes off "past grievances" by saying it's about time to listen to what the HSUS has to say and then observes "Better for an alliance with HSUS with dog people than with PETA, wouldn't you think?"  NO! That is the problem, not the solution to PAWS.  According to Google and Wikipedia, etc., HSUS has been in alliance with PETA for years!  Surely Matt and Gene know that, they have written about it!!  So was that statement a slip of the pen or just another perfectly planted AKC press release?


It is good to "Know Thine Enemy" if you don't get confused about who the enemy is.  AKC could learn from HSUS and PETA but it should not agree with or conspire with them.  What common ground can there be on a proposed bill that would essentially do little to thwart the mass production of dogs but which would seriously impact hobby breeders?  We don't have to "work with" HSUS and PETA, we must OPPOSE them if we are to protect the rights of hobby breeders.  Could the real enemy have created a diversion, taken a short cut, and positioned themselves in the canyon ahead?


AKC told us that PAWS is good because at any time, USDA could come after us.  AKC is correct, it could.  The war could end tomorrow and USDA could quit checking all our imports for hidden bombs or contaminated foodstuffs, and instead come after US!  USDA doesn't even check puppy mills without prior notice and admits to being too understaffed to stay on top of puppy mill cruelties.  As our John Stossel says "Gimme a break!"


But there's more.  How would we prove we are exempt under the PAWS LAW?  Let's see now.  Who keeps track of how many dogs you sell and to whom?  Well?  It is a legitimate question which so far, NO ONE HAS ADDRESSED.  Who other than AKC counts our litters? Without frequent inspections, even AKC couldn't keep track of whether every dog we sell was "bred or raised on our own premises"?  AKC says PAWS exempts hobby breeders, allowing us to breed without regulation?  Without Regulation? Who are we kidding?


Make no mistake, over half my life is invested in AKC shows, dogs, and friends.  If anything I said is in error, I apologize up front and trust that AKC will send a factual correction so TheDogPress can publicly acknowledge my mistake.  We invite anyone who can provide other viewpoints or legal interpretations to send an article.  No one would rather be wrong than this editor!


It has taken an inordinate amount of time to research a subject that is "all over the internet."  One reader wrote "PAWS is a trick name because when you turn it around, it is SWAP. I can see that the AKC has swapped sides in mid-stream.  Thank God for TheDogPress."   Another reader observed "AKC is making the public believe that what is absolutely the worst legislation against breeders has suddenly become as soft as puppy paws but AKC has not convinced my club... Keep up the good work."


Dig up more GOLD on how AKC Supported PAWS and betrayed everyone who fought it

Ref {1} Pedigree Fraud - Ms. Bruce Lorenzen multi-breed AKC judge

FLAWS in PAWS - TICA world's largest international cat registry bamboozled too

FLAWS in PAWS - TRUTH Refutes Rhetoric Line by line in AKC's own words.

CFA Letter to the AKC President & Board includes contact phone numbers, etc.

PAWS and LAWS Editorial Aug 2005, Projects PAWS purebred dogs and dog owners.

PAWS BECOMES PUPS IN 2010 don't say we didn't warn you! EST 2002 © 0507165

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