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Puppy mills? Seriously?
The gun safety proxy war being fought in the Illinois 2nd Congressional District special election this month features:
  • a candidate with an NRA "F" rating, our very own Robin Kelly
  • a candidate who wears her NRA "A" rating proudly, Debbie Halvorson, and
  • a candidate who has been trying her damnedest to obfuscate her own "A" rating by claiming an overnight conversion, Toi Hutchinson.

Neither Halvorson nor Hutchinson have volunteered either their 2010 or 2012 NRA questionnaires, and the NRA doesn't release them to the public. However, we got our hands on Hutchinson's 2010 answers, which you can find here. The document has been authenticated and is legit.

First thing you might notice is that it's a tedious 31 questions long, many with multiple parts. The NRA makes its candidates work for its endorsement.

Goal ThermometerAmong her answers:

She supports preempting Illinois cities from regulating guns within their borders. She opposes "state legislation requiring all firearm owners to register all their firearms" and a waiting period. She opposes legislation limiting the number of guns someone can buy, the banning of .50 caliber firearms, the "fingerprinting" of bullets so police can track down the gun that fired bullets in a crime, and the inclusion of serial numbers in bullet casings so they can be registered with their buyer. For an NRA that claims that it's the criminals we should be worried about, they sure are fighting hard to make sure we can't find the criminals.

Remember how the NRA is all about gun safety? Well, it opposes "mandating firearm-safety training for individuals to purchase or possess firearms," and Hutchinson agrees. She supports the NRA's push to get states to pay private landowners to open up their lands to hunters because Illinois is rich and has no pressing budgetary problems.

My favorite question, however, was this one:

Some animal “rights” organizations oppose the ownership of dogs as pets. They admonish people to never buy dogs from breeders or pet stores. Through so-called "puppy mill" legislation, they seek to regulate legitimate and caring breeders out of business. The proponents disingenuously claim that this legislation is intended to stop animal cruelty. Of course, animal cruelty laws already exist in Illinois and should be used to prosecute anyone who practices cruelty against animals. If dog breeders are driven out of business, hunters who use dogs must pay more for their animals, assuming they are still available, or quit hunting altogether. Would you oppose legislation that targets legitimate dog breeders as "puppy mills?"
The NRA opposes legislation banning puppy mills because hunters may have to pay more for humanely raised dogs, and god knows, licensing dog breeders and subjecting them to health and safety regulations is just another assault on the Second Amendment! And Hutchinson's answer? "Yes, I would oppose such legislation."

The irony is that Hutchinson supported legislation banning puppy mills in Illinois in 2009, so that 2010 answer was either a pander to the NRA, or a change of heart. I emailed the campaign on Friday asking whether she still supported puppy mills but unsurprisingly received no answer.

Now that we know what it takes to get an "A" rating from the NRA, Robin Kelly's "F" looks even better. Join the 4,000+ who have already opted to send the NRA a message and contribute to Kelly today!

Originally posted to kos on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Land of Lincoln Kos, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I had a bitch of a time (23+ / 0-)

    finding an appropriate image for this post. I mean, look at what a search brings up. Wretchedly disgusting.

    As if we needed another reason to hate the NRA.

  •  I think you mean NRA opposes (8+ / 0-)

    Puppy mill legislation?

    Nit picky, picky.

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:07:09 AM PST

  •  Has the NRA misappropriated... (10+ / 0-)

    Holocaust imagery and rhetoric for this yet? "First they came for the puppy-mills" or some such? What a bunch of assholes.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:07:32 AM PST

  •  I was a little pissed that she backed the bill (10+ / 0-)

    ... that made it legal to kick your dog when you arrived home after a tough day.

  •  The more you look at them, (13+ / 0-)

    The more repulsive the NRA really becomes, huh? And they somehow still think that they are in the driver's seat. While we may not be able to blunt them, we can stop their progress here. Ms. Kelly looks like the best place to start.

  •  Puppy mill support?? (15+ / 0-)

    Wow, if guns were manufactured in sweatshops with child labor, the NRA would be full force behind that too!

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:14:16 AM PST

  •  Like All NRA Questions, (15+ / 0-) is phrased in such a way to make it hard to answer other than the way they want.  I used to get their "Survey" every year after I got my IL Hunting License, and the questions were all along the line of: "Do you believe that honest, law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves, or should only violent criminals be able to carry guns?"  I sent back their postage-paid form with the comment "I am strictly a bow-hunter; guns are for wimps."

    GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

    by NormAl1792 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:18:17 AM PST

    •  Brilliant response!! LOL :D (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, NormAl1792, Smoh

      "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

      by mindara on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:01:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hunt only with a fishing pole ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munchkn, leftywright, NormAl1792, Smoh
      "I am strictly a bow-hunter; guns are for wimps."
      ... but it's always seemed that way to me.   :-)

      "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

      by JBL55 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:11:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's difficult for anyone to answer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NormAl1792, Smoh

      the "puppy mill" question the way it's phrased on the NRA questionnaire.  

      Would you oppose legislation that targets legitimate dog breeders as "puppy mills?"
      What do "legitimate" breeders have to do with puppy mills?  The question is tantamount to "When did you stop beating your wife?"  In the face of the NRA's introduction to the final question, there is no right answer - which I'm sure was the point of the question - in fact the entire questionnaire.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:41:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That was my thought too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NormAl1792, Smoh, vcmvo2

      I read the question, and I would have said, "That's a loaded question I can't answer because you're trying to elicit a particular answer that doesn't address the subject clearly."

      I am not for putting legitimate breeders out of business. I oppose puppy mills. But how is the legislation written and what are the parameters? Being in Ohio of course, we have none because we are the puppy mill capital of the U.S. and have some of the weakest animal protection laws in the country, so we are also the cock-fighting capital of the U.S.  Thanks, Republicans — and especially a big shout-out to Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel who boasted about voting no on cock-fighting regulations. We beat you in November, sucker, and we will do it again next year. Get ready for your post-political career.

      But I have no idea what legislation was introduced or is on the books in Illinois.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:50:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bad Question (0+ / 0-)

        You are right -- this is a much more complicated issue than one sentence can set out.  But if one answers the literal question, I don't think her answer is wrong.

        Illinois is ranked as the state with the best anuimal cruelty legislation.  Sen. Hutchinson has voted for well-crafted legislation that attempts to eliminate puppy mills while protecting legitimate breeders.  She is a huge animal lover and advocate, and has her own shelter dog.  This is a ridiculaous attempt to smear her by taking one badly worded question and making a very large issue out of it.

        •  I think your description of Kos is extreme (0+ / 0-)

          Your description of Toi, however, has a point.

          If I were running for office and received a question like that on a questionaire, I'd be tempteed to reply as she did.

          Then when somebody comes back on my vote, I'd say: "But that legislation didn't target legitimate breeders."

          Votes matter. Questionares matter much less.

  •  OK , (7+ / 0-)
    If dog breeders are driven out of business, hunters who use dogs must pay more for their animals, assuming they are still available, or quit hunting altogether.
    when the pounds are devoid of dogs needing adoption I'll join the NRA .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:20:28 AM PST

  •  What is NRA stance on stem cell research? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, JML9999, lyvwyr101, elfling, Smoh

    Or a moon base by 2020? Hurry, I need to study to pass this exam.

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:27:54 AM PST

  •  REAL men kick and shoot dogs, I guess. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, lyvwyr101, PSzymeczek, Munchkn, Smoh

    ...and have sons instead of daughters....

    and never eat arugula.

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:45:23 AM PST

  •  Seriously? The NRA has a position on puppy mills? (8+ / 0-)

    They are seriously nuts.

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

    by elfling on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:47:19 AM PST

  •  it is really stupid to... (7+ / 0-) any dog from a puppy mill but especially hunting dogs.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:56:06 AM PST

  •  speaking of puppy mills, NYT took down AKC (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, PSzymeczek, Munchkn, JBL55, Smoh, Quilldriver

    I just haven't had time to blog this.. NYT definitively showed the bullshit that is the AKC, and how they wink and nod at brutal puppy mill operators and work tirelessly to kill legislation that would reduce puppy mill brutality.

    Stop Prohibition, Start Harm Reduction

    by gnostradamus on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:57:29 AM PST

  •  Animal lovers can be a strong voting bloc (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crankypatriot, elfling, Munchkn, Smoh

    This would be good information to circulate somehow in her district, at least on something like Facebook.  I don't have hard evidence but it has struck me more than once that many animal lovers care more about treatment of animals than any other issue, if they vote then a piece of information like this will affect their vote, and they are a group to target.

    I never knew before this that the NRA weighs in on puppy mills.  Apart from this one race, this is another way to attack them nationally.

    and I never knew before reading that other recent post that they had their fingers in prison construction.  What else do we not know about the NRA??

    •  Seriously (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, Sharon Wraight

      It's amazing the stuff we're learning about the NRA these days. I never would've thought puppy mills or prison construction had any relevance to the NRA's core mission.

    •  Not so fast (0+ / 0-)

      I certainly hope people look at Sen. Hutchinson's record without blindly passing this on.  She has voted for legislation against puppy mills, and is a huge supporter of anti-cruelty legislation.  She is a shelter dog owner, but also respects the rights of breeders who follow the laws.

  •  There are some dogs ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, Munchkn, Smoh

    ... for whom simply being brought into existence is an act of cruelty.

    Informative piece here.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:03:25 AM PST

    •  Uga III was the mascot at UGA in the 70s (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, sheiladeedee

      when I was there.  The picture of Uga III does not even look like the same breed of dog as Uga VII.  The Ugas previous to Uga VII all lived to be about 10 years old.  Uga VII and Uga VIII died way too young at ages 5 and 2 respectively.  That ought to be a call to Sonny Seiler and other bulldog breeders that something is seriously wrong with the breed.

      •  The "before" and "after" images are horrifying. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sheiladeedee, Munchkn

        After looking at its appearance in the 19th century, when it actually looked like a real dog, the modern day version made me feel sick.  

        And those responsible claim to "love" the breed.  If they loved it so much, how could they have morphed it into something unrecognizable?

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:14:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not just bulldogs either. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Although they are probably the worst.  It's painful to watch most US-bred German Shepherd Dogs in the show ring.  Their posture is so crouched that they are almost walking on their pasterns.  Police departments like to get their GSDs from German and Czech breeders because the breed hasn't been tampered with;  they are still bred for work.  I dog-sat a Cavalier King Charles that fly-snapped at invisible flies.  They have been bred so that their brains are too large for their craniums.  The breed was either extinct or almost so, and in bringing back from the brink, the breeders made a dog that just is not healthy.  They are cute, but that's no excuse.

          •  I used to go to sheep dog trials @ Fosterfields... (0+ / 0-)

            ... near Morristown NJ when I lived down there, and it was a joy to see these dogs do their work.  The ones who weren't working could often be seen sitting side by side watching the one who was out there, herding & cutting, and my husband & I imagined them thinking, "Good move!" or "Over there!"

            One year we were asked to sign petitions protesting the AKC recognizing border collies as a breed for purposes of show, and there was a lot of supporting documentation, including observations like yours about German Shepherds.  Being more of a cat person, it was the first time I had really thought about the impact of breeding for looks instead of brains.

            Would that more people did.  

            They are cute, but that's no excuse.
            It is animal abuse at a profound level.


            "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

            by JBL55 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:16:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  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

        [ Parent ]

        •  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:

      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

      [ Parent ]

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

        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

      [ Parent ]

      •  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

      [ Parent ]

    •  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 ]

  •  "all about gun safety" (0+ / 0-)

    Even following the leadership coup forty years ago, you'll still find people in the rank and file who believe in the old ways. I've known them.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:04:02 AM PST

  •  The NRA gets more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    repulsive with each passing day.

    A bunch of losers!

    Mayan Word For 'Apocalypse' Actually Translates More Accurately As "Time Of Pale Obese Gun Monsters."......the Onion

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:04:11 AM PST

  •  Growing up, my neighbors owned a hunting dog. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They kept him in an outdoor kennel all the time. I never saw violent abuse, but I also never saw him out playing, ever.  I never saw any interaction between the dog and owners other than them sliding a bowl of food to him under the door.  Day after day, night after night, living is cold and solitude.

    I spent many hours as a child over at that dog's kennel, talking to him and occasionally taking him out to play in the yard with the neighbor's permission.


    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:07:08 AM PST

  •  Our chihuahua was rescued from a puppy mill. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigtimecynic, Munchkn

    For 5 years he was kept in a small cage and underfed to keep him small. When we adopted him he was near death with infected teeth and a bad heart murmur, and he was so starved he actually ate his own shit.  It took us almost a year to bring him back to health and get him to trust humans again.

    The NRA better not come knocking at our door with any survey, or they'll leave with a fist full of worthless paper shoved up their ignorant asses.

    •  My dachshund asleep on the sofa (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was rescued either from a hoarder or a puppy mill.  I do know the rescue organization that rescued and fostered her does help with a lot of puppy mill rescues.  I do know that Trinket had already had a litter of puppies before I adopted her at 10 months of age.

  •  I have had to work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, Munchkn

    on a puppy mill case,  any one who opposes puppy mill legislation isn't fit to be in public office.  I realize that leaves out most Republicans and red staters, but puppy mills really are all that bad and worse.

    •  I have no doubts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, ban nock, Munchkn

      that it was horrific, and seeing animal cruelty affects me to the core. But the difficulty arises in defining "puppy mill" without preventing ethical breeders from having dogs. One needs to look carefully at the legislation to be sure that they distinguish between the two.

      •  such petty excuses (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munchkn, vcmvo2

        every law pretty much has to draw lines.   Back when we had real legislatures that looked at policy and made decisions, that really wasn't a problem.

        Ethical breeders will be able to have dogs.   As many as they think they ought to have, maybe, maybe not.  More rules and inspections, probably, higher  fees for their breeder's licenses to pay for the inspections, etc., yes.  Without competition from unethical puppy mills, they should be able to command reasonable prices.

        But dogs starved to death because of genetic deformities which will prevent their sale,  bitches with serious injuries untreated, puppies with horrible genetics passed down, diseases such as parvo, where people buy a puppy, spend a fortune trying to save it and lose out all around, lost money, broken hearted over a pet, even if they only had it a few days, etc.  In areas with puppy mills the vets see all this, the local animal control sees it, and the citizens foot the bills of attempts at enforcement.

        The situation I worked on was tens of thousands in vet and boarding bills for close to 300 dogs, most in poor to nearly dead condition while the case worked its way through the system.    Volunteer organizations picked up the lion's share, vets gave discounted services, but the local government had fees and expenses and the trial.  

        Regulations make sense, limiting the size of operations, paying for inspection and enforcement,  all of these things would save the dogs, potential pet owners and the state a lot of money.  I'm tired of people who think they are free to hurt people and animals if it means they make a buck.

  •  She's a piece of work. (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder what she promised Preckwinkle to get her endorsement?

    (And I do think there's something rotten about Preckwinkle, just because of her alliances with Joe Barrios.)

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:14:10 AM PST


    No wait, think of the puppies. You like puppies don't you?

    Is Robin Kelly paying you for your service?

  •  Does anyone else look at these things and yell (0+ / 0-)


    and, by 'these things', i mean GOP propaganda pieces in general.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:20:11 AM PST

  •  Conscientious dog breeders (8+ / 0-)

    are very much concerned with legislation that uses the concept of puppy mills to make breeding difficult or impossible for breeders in general.  It is the stated goal of animal rights organizations to put an end to dog breeding (and ultimately all animal ownership), and, like ALEC, they provide model legislation to their favored legislators.

    Regulation is one thing, but typical legislation would subject home-based breeders to the same standards as commercial breeders.  Dogs would not be allowed to be kept, or litters raised, in the house (all those porous surfaces).  Breeders would be required to build kennels meeting the standards--kennels that would be prohibited by zoning in almost all jurisdictions.

    "Puppy mill" is a hard term to define, and the animal rights organizations are using this difficulty to cast a deliberately wide net.

  •  If You're Looking To Questionnaire Answers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you're looking to go after these folks for their questionnaire answers, you want to get hold of their Gun Owners of American questionnaire answers, if at all possilbe. The NRA questionnaire is tame compared to GOA.

    •  That barrage of answers favoring the NRA is ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... why no one should have credibility who retracts what they answered in an earlier life to get the NRA's "A".

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:32:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with puppy mill legislation (6+ / 0-)

    is that it invariably goes after the wrong target.  A puppy mill is an operation that is regulated by the USDA (yes, the Department of Agriculture!!), the prime purpose of which is to breed DOGS AS LIVESTOCK with the objective of selling to pet stores and to the pet market.  There are numerous good, responsible breeders who breed their dogs very carefully (and they don't produce a lot of puppies) for specific traits and purposes, and would never sell to anyone that they thought might abuse their puppy or to a pet store.  These people screen their prospective homes and sell their puppies with a contract that states that the breeder has first right of return if something goes wrong.  These are the dogs you see working sheep in the fields and circling the arena at Westminster, (and yes, pointing pheasants and retrieving ducks for a hunter).  These dogs did not come from a puppy mill, by any stretch of the imagination, and invariably puppy mill regulation bills are written by PETA advocates who want no dogs as pets, or even in private hands, for that matter, and they treat the responsible dog breeder the same as the puppy mill producing dozens of dogs for pet stores.  As usual, there are many on this list that have very little knowledge about a specific subject and yet have formed an opinion as the result of a well-financed propaganda campaign.  If you want a dog only for a pet, go to a shelter.  If you want a dog for a specific purpose, such as pointing quail, find a breeder with a track record of producing dogs that actually do that.  You won't get it from a puppy mill, believe me.

    •  a thousand recs, hope kos reads it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:58:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then the responsible breeders need to work (0+ / 0-)

      to write responsible legislation.

      Instead of treating all animal rights advocates as the enemy. find a way to work with them.  Not all of us are crazy.

      •  They do. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At least some of them do, and some of them work to prevent bad legislation.

        •  Cat Fanciers' Association and the AKC both (0+ / 0-)

          have groups who do nothing but track legislation that makes criminals out of hobby breeders (and don't fool yourself that it doesn't happen). Hobby breeders raise their animals in the house, one or two litters at a time (I will admit to 3 litters at one time, but that was a rarity).

          PETA and HSUS have been trying to get legislation passed that would prohibit breeding cats or dogs for several years (until the "overpopulation problem" goes away). There is a problem with that with cats - if they are not bred during their heats for several times in a row, they get cystic ovaries and become sterile. With mine, if a cat went into heat for the 6th time, she was bred, whether I wanted a litter or not.

          Unfortunately, when PETA and HSUS use pictures of barrels of dead animals, they convince people there is an overpopulation problem and strict laws are necessary. It's all a lie, of course, but it is effective.

          I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

          by woolibaar on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:38:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  this. (0+ / 0-)

      This was the point of my post but on a cell phone, didnt't quite feel like typing it all out.

      Short short version is PETA sucks (my opinion) and whatever good they might do in the world is completely offset by their batshit insane approach to dog responsible dog breeders.

  •  Only $430 to $100,000 for Robin Kelly (0+ / 0-)

    Right now the total is $99,570 for Robin Kelly

    Ref. link:

  •  Illinois puppy mill laws have had problems (0+ / 0-)

    I have family in Illinois that are very much what I would consider responsible breeders. I know there have been some efforts in recent history to pass so called puppy mill legislation but the wording was so awful it would cause lots of problems for responsible breeders.

    I'd have to ask them to get the specifics, but the gist of it was that the legislation at the time would have made it almost impossible to be a breeder of any sort.

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