Sunday, May 31, 2009

Snagged by the hand of fate

For almost a month now I have been chewing on if or maybe how I was going to write this entry. Finally things are starting to come into a better focus and I realize I have no choice. I simply MUST write it all down or go even more bonkers than I already am.

It's all mixed up in my mind, the animal radicals toiling away in the animal rights industry, the fallen economy that continues to force people out of their homes and in turn causes them to give up their dogs. The people who, unable to earn a living in their first chosen field are now deciding that since they "just love" dogs they will call themselves dog trainers. On top of that stew is poured a sauce of unreal expectations about animals in general.

As we move into now the third generation to have no connection with the land the lack of knowledge becomes not just a sad thing, but a terrifying danger to us all. Without our domestic animals to keep us human what are we to become? Soulless automatons who kill without a shred of remorse, take whatever we want with no thought to the outcome?

First comes a little Yorkie, a 7 year old, 8 pound mite who is about to end up in "the system". Her only fault as far as I can tell is she ended up in the wrong hands. Well not entirely in the wrong hands since as a year old pup she was brought here for a 4 week board and train program. And finally she ended up here again.

Little "Milly", no that is not her real name. Anyway, Milly was produced by a large volume breeding facility, sold to a large resale "kennel", registered with an organization that supplies "papers" that are of questionable value for a price.True, I do know who two of the three are and am choosing not to name them. I just don't feel the names add a single thing to what I have to say next.

Milly was purchased for a young teenage girl. Her parents knew less than nothing about the proper way to treat or train or care for a dog. They were young, up and coming professionals riding the housing boom to the hilt. With all the sudden influx of easy money when something was needed you just go out and buy it. Bingo! Instant pleasure with little to no effort.

Milly came here when she was about a year of age. The owners had been referred to me by another trainer who didn't want to be bothered by all their questions. I guess the fact they asked me no questions and didn't bother to come back for all the lessons they had paid for stemmed from...well who knows what it stemmed from. Meanwhile, Milly all 4 pounds of her at the time, wormed her way in to this household without so much as a quiver or hitch.

Wrap was very much the queen in those days and for whatever reason seemed to feel that Milly had come along just to be her private toy. For the entire time Milly was here the two of them were always together. Milly learned every single thing she was taught. She learned quickly and was able to string commands together to learn new behaviors at a blazing speed.

So what the devil happened? How did such a promising jewel of a pup end up on the hard end of life? The parents that bought her for their daughter are children of a generation that truly lacked for nothing. Nothing other than the touch of hard times necessary to build an adult of strength and character. They never set foot on a farm. Have no idea what it takes to raise the cattle that make the hamburger on the grill nor do they have a clue about what it takes to care for the cows that put the milk in the carton, the butter for their bread. I strongly suspect they would run in fear from the chickens that produce the eggs for their breakfast.

Lacking that sort of very basic knowledge is it any wonder they have not a clue as to how to care for, much less train a dog? And lacking that sort of basic knowledge is it any wonder why they are ripe for the plucking when the Animal Radicals come knocking at their door with pictures of horrid things, many of the pictures having been manufactured by the Animal Rights Industry itself? But I digress and must get back to Milly and then move on to Lass for this is going to be so long a blog I'm going to have to do it in parts.

Back to Milly again.
She was very unceremoniously handed over the fence to me. Her "stuff" followed. "We don't need her any more", was what I was told. "Our house sold faster than we had expected and she can't go with us."

"Where is her paperwork?" I asked.

"What's that?" is the response I got.

"At the very least I need her vet records and a registration slip would be most helpful" I responded.

"I don't know. If I have time later I'll try and look for it", is what I was told.

"Don't bother to look, just call your vet and asked them to fax me a copy. One phone call won't take that long and then you won't have to look", was my response.

And just like that Milly was here to stay or go or whatever. Another bothersome piece of excess baggage to be gotten rid of as the good days turn darker and darker. After a week went by I called them. The first number I had was no longer in service. The second number just took me to an answering machine, so I left what was to become a series of messages. All I was asking for was that they call the vet and have her records forwarded to me. After three weeks and 6 tries I still had a big fat zero.

What was she like, this older and sadder Milly? She was dirty and she smelled. Her coat was matted and her tail was stuck to one back leg with dried feces. Her nails were curling under, her ears were dirty, her face was caked with eye goop that had never been cleaned away. She was scared, defensive, barked pretty much non-stop and just shook pretty much all the time. UCK!! Who would even want to try with a 7 year old dog in that condition?

After three weeks of trying to get some response from the now former owner I gave up. Checked back through my records and found her original file. Great! Now I at least had a place to start and thinking hopeful thoughts googled the Vet listed. Found the number and gave them a call. Explained who I was and why I was calling and was handed over to the office manager. Lovely person that she is, she was first very glad to learn that Milly had landed in a safe place. It seems that on top of the problems I listed Milly had a "history". Milly, all 7 pounds of her was labeled as an aggressive dog. That's right, Milly was considered to be dog aggressive and could only go to a home that had no other dogs. Milly was considered to be human aggressive and needed to go to an experienced home.

Milly is NOT dog aggressive. Milly is NOT people aggressive. Milly is just another dog unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of fools. By the end of Milly's first week here she had been cleaned up, her nasty coat was gone and she was sporting a cute little Schnauzer clip. Her nails were short and didn't hurt anymore. She still needed a bark collar to help her remember the rule of silence unless it's important. She was starting to spend more and more time in the yard with ALL THE OTHER DOGS.

So I could honestly tell the Office Manager that Milly was most definitely NOT dog or people aggressive. Personally I think she was just desperate for some calm in all the chaos her life had handed her. The Office Manager agreed and she she had been really worried about what was to happen with Milly, since "they had lost their home". So is seems Milly was a victim yet again. This time the bursting of the housing bubble got her.

Now she is here and I have her medical records. Records, I might add, that have given me much pause for thought. Thoughts such as: why was it necessary to take her to the Vet for "observation" as often as twice a month? Why did they refuse to at least learn how to care for her? I know those and the many other questions I have will never be answered and they are the questions that really, really do bother me.

Looks like Milly will be staying since this past Friday she showed me she was willing and able to earn her keep. Earning her keep leads to the second dog, Lass.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The above link will take you to a column written by Amanda Nolz for the Beef Daily Blog. What she has to say and what those who wrote comments have to say is well worth the read.

The WBSTV video in question is presently available for view by going to:

The truly sad part about all this is that servers in the US have been forced to pull the video in question and just about all the transcripts have vanished as well. The only place to now learn for yourself just exactly why the show in question is kicking up such an uproar is to view it on a server based in IRAN. IRAN, for gosh sake’s!!!!! What the devil is that all about?

Have we become so weak-willed a citizenship that we can’t even be allowed to view the “opposition” to the web of half truths, twisted truths and outright lies that continue to be told by HSUS. Make no mistake, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is neither humane or a true society, however it does reside in the US. The leaders, i.e. those who receive a salary, are not interested in the welfare of any human/animal bond. They are very much interested in power and only slightly less interested in the wealth that comes hand-in-hand with said power.

I leave you with the following quotes and hope you will at the very least stop all support you may be currently giving them. Better yet, how about actively seeking 50 more people and convincing them to at the very least stop donating money to any of the HSUS names.

“Animals for the most part just need to be left alone.” Wayne Pacelle, Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2008.

“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993.

HSUS names? That’s right, HSUS is like Medusa of Greek legend. Cut off one arm and watch it re-growth as two arms. Some of the HSUS names are:

Nonprofit affiliates:
* Alice Morgan Wright-Edith Goode Fund (DC);
* Alternative Congress Trust (DC);
* Animal Channel (DC);
* Association Humanataria De Costa Rica;
* Center for the Respect of Life and Environment (DC);
* Charlotte and William Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare (DC);
* Conservation Endowment Fund (see ICEC) (CA);
* Earth Restoration Corps. (DC);
* Earthkind Inc. (DC);
* Earthkind International Inc. (DC);
* Earthkind USA (DC);
* Earthkind USA (MT);
* Earthkind UK [ also affiliated with the International Fund for Animal Welfare];
* Earthvoice (DC);
* Earthvoice International (DC);
* Eating with a Conscience Campaign (DC);
* HSUS Hollywood Office (formerly The Ark Trust Inc.) (CA);
* Humane Society International (DC), which also operates
* The International Center for Earth

Concerns (ICEC) in Ojai, California,
* the Center for Earth Concerns in Costa Rica, and
* the Conservation Endowment Fund in California;

* Humane Society International Australian Office Inc.;
* Humane Society International of Latin America;
* Humane Society of the United States (DE);
* Humane Society of the United States (MD);
* Humane Society of the United States (MT);
* Humane Society of the United States (PA);
* Humane Society of the United States (VT);
* Humane Society of the United States California Branch Inc. (CA);
* Humane Society of the United States New Jersey Branch Inc. (NJ);
* Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust (DC);
* Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust (KS);
* Humane Society of the United States Wildlife Land Trust (OK);
* Humane Society of the United States Utah State Branch (UT);
* Humane Society University (DC);
* Institute for the Study of Animal Problems (DC);
* Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature (GA);
* International Society for the Protection of Animals (UK);
* International Wilderness Leadership Wild
Foundation Inc. [d/b/a The WILD Foundation] (CA);
* Kindness Club International Inc. (DC);
* Meadowcreek Project Inc. (AR);
* Meadowcreek Inc. (AR);
* National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (DC);
* National Humane Education Center (VA);
* Species Survival Network (MI);
* Valerie Sheppard Humane Society University (DC);
* Wildlife Rehabilitation Training Center (MA);
* World Federation for the Protection of Animals Inc. (DC);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals (DC);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals (IA);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals (ND);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals (VT);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals - Canada;
* World Society for the Protection of Animals - Deutschland;
* World Society for the Protection of Animals International (UK);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals UK (UK); and
* Worldwide Network Inc. (DC).

For-profit affiliates:
* The Humane Catalog (VA);
* Humane Equity Fund [defunct] (DC);
* Humane Society Press (DC);
* Humane Society of the United States Connecticut Branch Inc. (CT);
* Humane Society of the United States Virginia Branch Inc. (VA);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals (MA);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals - Australia;
* World Society for the Protection of Animals Executor Services (UK);
* World Society for the Protection of Animals Trading Company (UK).

Just remember, friends don’t let friends donate money or time to HSUS, PETA or any other animal right/animal welfare/animal protection society. If you want to donate time, money or goods to a group working to help animals then keep it all within in your community. Most, not all, but most rescue groups and animal shelters are truly out there attempting to help. Just make sure you double check, because not all are as they seem on the surface and the above list attests. I’ll stop with this last thought, HSUS/PETA and their minions are not about the welfare of dogs, cats, horses or other livestock. They are all about eliminating all human contact with all animals for any reason.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Will Colorado law become "The Law"?

We must NOT allow this to continue to happen. If this is truly the case, however Cynthia Eliason of New Hampshire just shared with me a follow-up post on the topic. Please read through to the very end before making any decisions on the who, what, where and why when it comes to support.

Subject: This is why there can be no compromise, posted to the IRWS list

4a. Licensing facts---long
Posted by: "AvalonKennels@" AvalonKennels@
Date: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:39 pm ((PDT))

I normally never post on this list but since I have actual experience,
I am going to in this case. Colorado was the first and only state to
pass mandatory licensing for breeders. This came about when we were
informed about a bill that was going to the legislature the following
day. No advance notice, but in those days we weren't as alert as we
are now. We all gathered at the state capitol, dog breeders, cat
breeders, small animal breeders, 4-H Leaders and their troops, any
person who had an animal and was interested in protecting their rights
to own that animal.

The bill requiring mandatory 10 year moratorium on ALL breeding was
defeated. A meeting was held and we decided, to our everlasting
regret, that we needed to write a bill we could live with. We spent a
year writing the Pet Animal Care and Facility Act. A task force
representing 13 different animal groups, was formed. Dog breeders,
both large scale and small, cat breeders, small animal breeders, bird
breeders, animal welfare officers, veterinarians, Retail stores,
wholesale suppliers, general public, etc. We met for an entire year,
and presented a bill into legislature calling for licensing and
inspections of all these groups.

It passed into law easily as the entire industry was supporting it. A
Pet Animal Advisory Committee was then formed, with the same
representative groups, charged with writing the rules and regulations
to go with the law. I represented the dog breeders of the state of
Colorado for 4 years.

Originally, the licensing fee for dog breeders was $175, now it is
$350. The original number required to be licensed was 25, then 15, and
now it is supposed to go to 12. This is any dog over the age of 4
months. I have been told the age may also go down to 3 months. No
legislative voting, no nothing was required to change portions of the

Originally, if you worked a normal 9-5 job, you could put on the
application that the inspector could come by appointment. This year,
if you refuse to take off work, to allow them access at any time, you
are in violation, will have hefty fines and could even have your
license revoked.

The inspector recently demanded in person and later in writing from a
SHOW breeder, all her AKC records. When she refused, they have
threatened to take her license away. This is still being argued, so
will see how it plays out. The law only says you have to make all
records available to the inspector to see. Now, they are demanding to
take your records with them.

Also, at any inspection, they will not give you the inspection report
unless you demand it. It is mailed to you later with any petty
violations they find. You have no recourse or ability to argue the
unfairness of any violation.

The last inspection I had the inspector said everything was great.
But, I got a report in the mail later that I was in violation because
I had an opened sack of dog food on the property. And, because I had
an orphan litter of puppies. When I complained loud and clear, I was
told the litter should have been taken to the vet's, as they had the
knowledge and experience necessary to deal with the puppies OR I
SHOULD HAVE EUTHANIZED THE PUPPIES. I filed a formal complaint with
the Dept. of Agriculture and had a hearing. The open sack of dog food
was dismissed but the other was not. My vet wrote a letter and came to
the hearing and testified as to my ability to raise an orphan litter,
no avail. The inspectors still ruled the vet was better able to care
for them.

The inspectors have the right to enter ANY part of your house, garage,
kennel, yard, etc. where you might maintain, raise, etc. any dog. This
means your bedroom or bathroom if that is where you have any dogs.
Quesiton: how many of you have a dog sleeping by your bed???? How many
have puppies born in the bedroom?

All of the bills being introduced in various states are patterned
after the Colorado bill. During the bill writing process we had great
guys in the Dept.of Agriculture. has died, one retired,
and the other got promoted out of the dog program. The state vet, the
head of PACFA, the inspectors promote and encourage the Animal Rights
propaganda. One inspector has even gone so far as to say she would
like to see all breeders stopped.

The hen house is being protected by the fox. Do you want your state to
be in the same position?? Get involved now, don't give in to any of
their suggestions. DON'T ever think you can bargain with them. That is
like bargaining with the Devil. We don't know if it is too late for
Colorado, breeders have rallied and are fighting for their lives and
their rights to own, breed, and show dogs.

Jean Nelson
Avalon Kennels est 1964
Breeder/owner of over 216 champions


Sorry this has taken a while to write, but I'm still trying to figure out why the comments/statements were made in the first place. This post from Jean is not only full of inaccurate statements, it is a fabrication of events that still has me sitting here in absolute shock. I was involved in the writing of the Colorado Pet Animal Facilities Act ( PACFA ) as was Jean Nelson and several others in Colorado, but very little of what was stated in her e-mail is accurate. I would very much prefer to not have to dispute it, but her e-mail is making the rounds of the dog community and needs to be corrected. I can't speak to her personal conversations with inspectors, since I wasn't there, but the rest of what she relates has little or no basis in fact. I don't know why she wrote this, but I have the documentation from that period of time to back up what I say. Jean was involved in the PACFA development as a representative of the small commercial breeders group (she was a commercial breeder), not the hobby breeders since the hobby breeders are not licensed under PACFA .

* Colorado was NOT the first state to license breeders in the 90's.
We did have a more innovative approach to licensing than those that came before us. We licensed the 'facilities' rather than an individual. We also made the law workable for breeders who may breed small numbers of pets in their homes.

* There was NO bill that would have required a mandatory 10 year moratorium on breeding introduced with no notice. Never happened!

* The dog community was NOT responsible for the beginning of the process which became the PACFA law. It was initiated by the state health department deciding in 1991 they were no long going to oversee inspections of pet stores, kennels and bird banding. They turned it over to the state agriculture department who decided that maybe the law would be better if expanded to license 'facilities' who handled or bred pet animals. They invited ALL of the industries that might be affected to participate in the process to make the laws fair and effective. The dog community had several representatives present at those first meetings. The law was developed to insure proper care of pet animals and consistent standards. The development of the bill took from 1991 to 1993, with the bill being passed into law in 1994.

* Jean Nelson was on the advisory committee representing the small commercial breeders (transferring 25 to 99 dogs per year) AS a commercial breeder. The dog show community had no official representative on this committee since hobby breeders (transferring 24 or less dogs in a year) were exempt from the law. I sat in on all the meetings to keep the dog community informed of what was happening and to make sure what was written didn't negatively affect them, as did several other people over the almost 3 years of development of the law and regulations.

* The yearly licensing fee for a small commercial breeder is NOT $350, nor has it ever been. It is $250 currently, down from $280 in 2007 I
believe. The fee for a licensed rescue is $80. $350 is the law's
cap which no fee (for any licensed facility) can go beyond without changes to the statute, which no one needs or wants at this time. The program is 'self funding' and the agriculture department has done a good job of keeping costs down.

*The 25/15/12 dogs figure she talks about is NOT for breeder
licensing, since that license is not based on numbers of dogs owned.
There is a portion of the state law that if you have more than 15 dogs at one location, you need to be licensed under PACFA in any of the appropriate categories to address issues of hoarding and insure proper care of the dogs...rescue, breeder, boarding... Not sure I agree with this portion of the law, but it is what it is. There is NO movement to lower that limit to 12, nor is there any discussion of lowering age definitions from 4 months to 3 months.

* Her e-mail states that there is " legislative voting, no nothing was required to change portions of the requirements..." That is NOT true. Anything in the statute takes legislative action to change. LOTS of chance for input there, as we have proven with the HSUS bill this year to change PACFA ! We won- they lost. Changes to regulations require public hearings as well as publication of the proposed changes and public input under state laws. Since I track changes to the PACFA regulations I can tell you they do follow this process and don't just change them under the table as inferred by that post.

* Inspections are done on a random basis -unannounced, as is standard in many licensed regulations such as restaurants, shelters, ... If you aren't there when they come during your regular business hours (which you give them on the yearly renewal) then they will call to set an appointment. Most inspections are done on a 1 to 3 year cycle, unless you have failed a prior inspection or have a complaint. Then they will inspect you more frequently. They will work with you and your schedule within reason. If you tell them your business hours are on Friday from 4:00 to 4:15 then you might have a problem! They do not demand inspections outside of normal business hours. ( I know inspectors have volunteered to do an inspection on Saturday for people that work full time and have a home facility) They cannot require "...access at any time..." NOT in the law or regulations, and not allowed by the agriculture department. It was suggested in January of this year by another state department which oversee licensing agencies, but was immediately turned down by the PACFA program and agriculture department. Don't need it nor did they want it. I was at that hearing and would be glad to provide a transcript.

* She talks about no "...recourse or ability to argue the fairness of any violation", yet she then talks about having a hearing on the violations with the department of agriculture. Which is it? She also says they have a right to enter any part of a facility where you maintain dogs if licensed that way. If you have listed those areas as
part of your facility, then yes they do have a right to inspect them.
That makes sense doesn't it? If you don't list your house or bedroom as a part of the facility, and you don't have animals in those areas that fall under your license, then they can't go there without your permission. You DO have a right to refuse them entry even during business hours, but as with any licensing for any business you run the risk of losing your license if you don't have a good reason.

The Colorado PACFA law has been in effect for over 14 years. During that time it has been given high praise as a law written by those who are regulated under it, and as a fair law. Other states have used it as an example for their own laws. If Jean is trying to say that the HSUS and animal rights laws are being proposed this year based on PACFA , then she has no clue of what she is talking about. It is an unfair and inaccurate statement.

After closing her commercial breeding kennel, Jean ran a rescue facility for several years in Colorado before moving to Texas. I don't know why these e-mails have been written by her condemning the PACFA program and Colorado, but she seems to have a grip with them that is not being stated.

When HSUS came into Colorado this year to try to pass their standard version of a "puppy mill bill," the PACFA law actually helped us to fight against it. Because we had a good licensing and inspection law already in place, we could argue that no new laws were needed or wanted. We didn't need any changes to it or 'improvements' from HSUS . The problems that allowed HSUS to even get the bill introduced this year originated from the PACFA inspectors being too LAX in enforcement over the past year! The law was and is good, the enforcement needs improvement and strengthening. Not quite the picture that was painted in the e-mail.

* Jean stated that the everyone in the agriculture department
"...encourages animal rights propaganda...". Huh? Is that why they
helped us fight the HSUS bill this year, and the one last year, and the year before that? These are horse and cattle people in this department. They don't like animal rights or animal right nuts any
more than we do, and have proven it over the years. Why are we
trying to make enemies out of people who are on our side in this fight? I don't know if Jean had a bad experience with the PACFA program while she was licensed as a commercial breeder or rescue, but Colorado is in good shape for the dog community. We are not fighting for our lives or rights here with anyone right now. We won the battle on the 'puppy mill bill' and number limits in February, and are close to winning another one against HSUS on current legislation- with support from the very people you say are against us! There is no 'devil' to bargain with in Colorado and working WITH government officials for a common goal of fair laws and enforcement is much smarter than making enemies of them for no valid reason. Her comments
make no sense but seem to be meant to stir up problems and mistrust.
I'm posting this to correct the inaccurate information being spread by this e-mail only. Don't have any grudges against Jean, really don't care about her, but am concerned by this second post on this subject in the last few months and felt it needed a response. I hope Jean has a happier life in Texas since she seems to have been unhappy here.

Permission to cross post is given and encouraged. Anyone wanted to contact me privately on this is welcome to do so. Sorry about the length.

Linda Hart

From reading both emails, it is once again shown that we must all be careful to do the necessary background research before taking a statement at face value.