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View Diary: Toi Hutchinson's NRA questionnaire ... and support for puppy mills (98 comments)

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  •  I got a different sense of that description (7+ / 0-)

    The question seems to ask if the candidate would support treating all dog breeders as puppy mills. I used to show, course and train dogs and have bred a couple of litters of dogs over the years, and I know that the AKC was on the alert for legislation which treated legitimate breeders of purebred dogs as puppy mills.

    Ethical breeders and puppy mills are worlds apart, but there are some groups which treat them alike and are eager to put draconian restrictions on any breeding of dogs (I don't know about cats or other pets).  So I for one would be interested in a candidate's stance on this question.  

    A well bred and raised hunting dog, properly trained, conforming to the functional standards of the breed, is already a very expensive proposition to buy and one which represents a significant investment of time and skill.  Eliminate the breeders who have kept the breeds going and these dogs would be rare unless one had the skill and time to do it oneself.  Most don't.  I can see why the NRA, which at least at one time regarded itself as champions of hunting in general, would be interested in making sure that good hunting dogs remain available.

    •  I agree (7+ / 0-)

      My wife breeds Shelties (Shetland Sheepdogs) for show and agility, and our dogs are very well cared for. They have a large fenced run, a large fenced yard, and all of them spend time in the house. We test all of our dogs for genetic defects, good hips, diseases, have their teeth cleaned, and if any of them have any issues that could be passed on genetically (this is very rare), they are immediately spayed or neutered and placed in a good home. My wife will also grill potential buyers about how they will take care of the dog, and she won't sell unless they have or plan to have a fenced yard. There is a huge difference between puppy mills and ethical breeders, and much of the legislation equates the two.

      •  that's my experience (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PragmaticDem, koosah, reddog1, ban nock, ER Doc

        with the breeders I knew when I was active in the 1970s and 1980s.  Attention to genetics, health warranties, lots of attention to training and assessment of disposition, breeding for health and longevity as well as performance and conformation.  Spay-neuter contracts for non-breeding pets, and a commitment to take back the dog at any time.  I used to do rescue, and the dogs we ended up with were often from puppy mills or pet stores (pretty much the same thing) and rarely from breeders we knew - if we could trace the breeder they would usually take the dog back no questions asked.

      •  I don't know where you are PragmaticDem, (0+ / 0-)

        but you sound exactly like the breeders we got our Sheltie, Mac, from.  Health and soundness were their goals as well as temperament.  It meant that they had quite a few "culls" which are always "culled" because they are too large for breed standard.  They have a long, long waiting list of people wanting one of the "culls" for a pet because they are such good, healthy dogs.  Our Mac is about 50 pounds-way too big for a show ring, but he is such a great dog for a pet!  Our breeder had all the same rules too: neuter the animal, do not show or breed him, bring him back to her if we couldn't keep him, and do not take him to a shelter.  He was born in a family home (in the kitchen) and has lived his whole life that way.

        I know the shelters are full of puppies looking for homes.  My son has autism, though, and we couldn't count on getting just any dog.  We were specifically looking for the dedication, steadiness, attentiveness, and responsiveness that this line of Shelties have.  

        I think we have every reason to be suspicious of the NRA, but as a pet owner, I am even more suspicious of PETA and its agenda.  These laws it sponsors or backs are notoriously riddled with unintended consequences and opposing them makes you sound like some monster.  But just as opposing "pro-life" legislation doesn't make one "pro-baby-killing," neither does opposing PETA make one "pro-animal abuse" either.        

        Metaphors be with you.

        by koosah on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:06:57 AM PST

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        •  Hey Koosah (0+ / 0-)

          We are in North Carolina. We have placed many dogs and keep in touch with the new owners, who usually send us cards and emails updating us in how much their new family additions have added to their lives.

          You make a great point about PETA-in my mind they are an evil institution who on the surface have a reasonable agenda, but in fact they are awful. Their goal is to shut down all breeders, and in fact don't even accept pet ownership as legitimate.

          I'm glad you got a Sheltie-they are terrific pets, very smart, and wonderful companions. They are often used for therapy as most are very affectionate and friendly.

      •  Both of you Make Good Points (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JGibson, Munchkn

        But from the Missouri experience, the NRA is against any animal rights type of legislation--they took a stand against the Missouri anti-puppy mill legislation on principle--not on specifics.  Certainly the initial law was a bit awkward, but they didn't want to amend it, they wanted to kill it protecting the puppy mills as well as legit and humane breeders.  

    •  But I don't think the NRA is qualified (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sheiladeedee

      to make that judgement, personally. YMMV.

      I felt the same about some of the California Farm Bureau's endorsements. I note that they have backed off a bit recently.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:25:21 AM PST

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      •  True (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sheiladeedee

        I won't argue that point. But it is a complicated subject and laws that could get passed might have unintended consequences (or perhaps the ones who bring these laws forward do intend to shut down all breeding programs). I know I have a knee-jerk reaction to oppose essentially everything the NRA supports, but in this case I'm not so sure it was all that bad. Many hunters depend on breeders for their hunting dogs-my guess that is why the question was in there.

    •  Legislation does sometimes overreach (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sheiladeedee, koosah, ban nock, Munchkn

      Putting puppy mills out of business (please!) needs to be done without blocking people who run caring breeding operations in their homes. It is conceivable that that's what the NRA means. They have lost our trust, of course.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:31:17 AM PST

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      •  The NRA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        was a pretty benign presence in my rural area when I was growing up in the fifties.  Lots of gun safety classes, support for rural outdoor sports in general, not just hunting and gun sports.  That was before it got hijacked by the crazies.

    •  I think that's accurate. They are worried (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sheiladeedee, ban nock

      about the effect of the "puppy mill" legislation on the professional kennels that breed high-level trial dogs as well as a high percentage of purebred gun dogs for hunters. Many of the same hunters who collect & use expensive, uber-high quality firearms also prefer the dogs with expensive pedigrees.
           I think another part of this may be an effect of the same type of "slippery slope" mindset that they apply to gun laws. The animal rights advocates include a number of people who are vehemently opposed to hunting. The "slippery slope" view is that any success in promoting animal rights legislation might lead to success in passing antihunting legislation.

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:43:07 AM PST

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    •  I think you are correct and I've been reading down (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sheiladeedee, ER Doc

      through the comments to see if anyone "got it". I don't hunt with dogs, but I run across bird dog and hound folks all the time. They are anything but puppy mills, and in my experience have a closer relationship with their dogs than many pet owners.

      Under some laws disguised as puppy mill laws any breeding of dogs by private individuals is illegal. Those laws are made by anti hunting people, not pro dog people.

      This issue has been with the hunting community for a long time.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:51:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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