Jump to content
BC Boards
Eileen Stein

TEXAS: A really atrocious bill in the TX legislature

Recommended Posts

Are AKC and its members focusing on this "draconian bill"? Why would they now? They're exempt.

J.

 

Not sure what AKC club members you actually know, but I have been in a couple AKC clubs, am in one now, and I am pretty confident saying that none of the people I have met through the clubs (with the possible exemption of one lady who is frankly just a bitch), if this bill was being pushed here, would just say, "Oh ok, we're exempt, I guess we can stop fighting it now." That's so ridiculous it almost made me laugh (but really it just made me sad). That's similar to saying people won't fight BSL if they don't ever plan to own bully breeds because it won't effect them. In fact the people I know would probably do the opposite, and not back down until the bill was fair to all dog owners, and protected the welfare of all dogs as well.

 

But I get the feeling no one here is going to believe that all AKC people are not evil selfish people who only care about their rights and not the rights of their friends or strangers, and the welfare of all dogs, especially when it's coming from a *gasp* AKC club member.

 

Autumn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When the AKC starts refusing to register pups from mills I'll show them some respect. As of right now they cater to the mills as a major source of income.

 

Liz, other than the 4 "breeders" that were disciplined by the ABCA years ago, what is different about how the ABCA handles registration of pups from mills that earns your respect? Does the ABCA refuse to register pups from mills?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not Liz, but I have an answer to this question. ABCA will act on complaints from people who have purchased puppies from breeders (mills). Compare that to AKC, which apparently courts mills because the large numbers of registrations help fill AKC coffers.

 

Also, compare the staffing of ABCA with the staffing of AKC. Huge difference there. And yet with minimal staffing (and plenty of volunteer help) ABCA has shown that it *is* willing to go after bad breeders when someone alerts them to problems with such breeders. Can the same be said for AKC, with a cast of many (won't go so far as to say thousands), who could in fact work for the good of all dogs by taking an interest in millers beyond the *very important fact* that all those puppies produced and subsequently registered with AKC means $$ for AKC?

 

Who is ABCA? I count 12 unpaid directors, Patty Rogers (the only paid ABCA staff member AFAIK), and a number of volunteer members of various committees.

 

Who is AKC? I count 14 members of the board of directors, plus 19 folks with titles ranging from C-level executive to assistant VP. There's no easy way for me to find out the staffing at their NY HQ alone, but I imagine it's a number that's significantly greater than ABCA's paid staff.

 

If your implication is that ABCA is doing little more than AKC to abolish millers (or at least to address the conditions in which such dogs are raised), my reply would be that ABCA is extremely limited on the people power end of things. And yet it still manages to do *something,* however limited, when specific cases are brought to its attention.

 

All AKC would need to do is move its HQ and take the money saved on rent to make a concerted effort to make life better for the denizens of mills. After all, if those mills are lining AKC coffers, then perhaps the moral thing to do would be to put some of that money back into insuring that the lives of the animals producing all those pups are made at least tolerable. Instead, they spend their lobbying dollars working to exempt AKC members (which would include millers) from provisions of a bill meant to make the lives of dogs better.

 

Maybe I'm odd, but I see a HUGE difference between then two. FWIW, I don't think anyone will abolish mills, as long as there are clueless humans out there who want their pups, want them now, and don't care to research to find responsible breeders. Where there is demand, there will be someone to fill it. But the least any organization could do is promote humane care of all dogs, even those stuck in mills, rather than work to exempt its members from such legislation.

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right! You're not Liz.

 

And yes, my implication is that the ABCA is doing little more, if anything, than the AKC to --not even so much abolish puppymills -- but not support them. The reasoning -- for the purpose of this conversation -- is moot, as we all know the difference in size between the two organizations. My point was that Liz mentioned that she would show the AKC some respect when they start doing something the ABCA isn't even doing. I can see many reasons not to respect the AKC, and there are many areas where the ABCA and AKC vary greatly, but this is not one of them. It's almost hypocritical, in a sense.

 

Compare that to AKC, which apparently courts mills because the large numbers of registrations help fill AKC coffers.

 

Earlier in the year, I was trying to compare Border Collie registration numbers between the AKC and the ABCA. The AKC would not release the number of Border Collies registered for 2008, 2009 and 2010 (the years that they did not publish them in their newsletter), and I would have liked to compare that to the number of Border Collies registered for the same time period with the ABCA. But since the AKC would not release the numbers, the ABCA wouldn't either. So really ... I don't have any numbers to quote here ... or even consider ... so I don't know how much the ABCA relies on their registrations and if it is their main source of income or not, or even how much not registering pups from large scale operations like Lockeye or Hob Nob or About Ewe or Rising Sun or Outlaw or Fairfield or Bama Stockdogs (aka MAH) would even affect them, if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in 1989 or 1990, I went to pick up a puppy from David Rogers' uncle. I was graciously given a tour of the "ABCA office", which was in the corner of their living room. It consisted of a desk, chair, a few metal filing cabinets and a computer. Patti was the only employee. Fast forward about 21 years and although the registration office is no longer in their living room, little has changed- a couple of part time employees to help with the clerical issues, and still a core of dedicated volunteers who make policy, investigate claims when they are alerted, and all this is done on the volunteers own time. The AKC is a major money making corporation, with many staff, all paid. I have yet to see where the ABCA lobbies or gives tacit approval to proposed legislation that exempts their members from the legal ramifications that are intended to be imposed on others. I have yet to see ABCA kowtow to their "parent clubs" in all sorts of issues. I have yet to see ABCA try to reach out to Hunte Corporation and other large puppy millers to increase registries and therefor, revenue. While I applaud your dedication to bringing puppy mill dogs plights to light, it is inaccurate to consider the ABCA and the AKC to be in any way similar, barring the obvious- they both keep pedigrees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

Ms Darling writes:"But since the AKC would not release the numbers, the ABCA wouldn't either. So really ... I don't have any numbers to quote here ... or even consider ... so I don't know how much the ABCA relies on their registrations and if it is their main source of income or not, or even how much not registering pups from large scale operations like Lockeye or Hob Nob or About Ewe or Rising Sun or Outlaw or Fairfield or Bama Stockdogs (aka MAH) would even affect them, if at all."

 

Like every member I get ABCA registration figures in the annual newsletter. Things may have changed since I was a Director but at that time the only way to learn how many ABCA dogs "large scale" operations registered would be examining their files at the registry office. Only ABCA officers and office staff - rightly I think -had access to them.

 

Donald McCaig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Donald is, of course, right, all ABCA members get the annual registration figures in the newsletter, along with reports from the health committee concerning issues that are being investigated, as well as education, promotion, and research grant money that was allocated for the year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we do get the annual figure for registrations in the newsletter, but it does not state how many dogs were registered. It's kind of hard to figure because you don't know how many of those are transfers, etc. Many of the puppymills are an open book because of the sheer volume of advertising they do on the internet. For instance, you can watch the litters advertised on the internet for a particular breeder, see the upcoming litters, watch videos of the mom get "assisted" while having pups, see all of the photos, watch the puppies get clicker trained, and then if they're not adopted by the time they're ten minutes old, they go up on the website, and advertised by color and what they could all potentially do because they are all so "well bred" they could almost make dinner for you. Count the litters and you get a pretty good idea of how many pups that particular "breeder" is putting out every year. Compare that to how many dogs/puppies are registered with the ABCA for that year, and you get a pretty good idea of the impact of just that one breeder. I asked the AKC and the ABCA how many dogs/puppies were registered for particular years, but my request was denied. I don't think a trip to the ABCA office would help. But for this particular purpose, would it matter? Even if we knew how much of an impact the puppymills have on either registry, is it going to change anything? The ABCA won't -- and shouldn't -- be the breed police. They are a registry, and the only time they should intervene is the way they did with the breeders that did get disciplined for questionable breeding practices.

 

My point to Liz was ... criticizing the AKC for something the ABCA doesn't do either ... is hypocritical. Like I said, there are many reasons to support the ABCA and many more reasons to not support the AKC -- but this one is not one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My point to Liz was ... criticizing the AKC for something the ABCA doesn't do either ... is hypocritical. Like I said, there are many reasons to support the ABCA and many more reasons to not support the AKC -- but this one is not one of them.

Well, yes, both register pups from mills of all types, but only AKC actually actively courts mills as a means to increase revenue through registration, and only AKC lobbies legislatures to exempt its members (including mills) from legislation intended to improve the lives of mill dogs. Maybe it's a nuance lost on some, but I think it's pretty signficant.

 

It's not like we haven't had this discussion before regarding the policing abilities of registries. Heck, I need a job, maybe ABCA can raise registration fees (and other fees) to the point where it can afford to hire a full time staff to track mills and work to either get rid of them or at least make sure they are raising dogs humanely. But then I guess we all better start breeding lots more puppies so that ABCA can take in the $$ necessary to create an anti-mill task force.... ;) (Seriously, though, as I've noted before, the difference is really in the financial clout of the two organizations: AKC is in the position financially and as the de facto public arbiter of all things to do with purebred dogs to really make a difference. It's not hypocritical to take them to task for not doing the right thing while at the same time not also taking ABCA to task for the same thing. ABCA has neither the money nor the manpower, which AKC has in spades. What's hypocritical IMO is AKC's claim to caring for purebred dogs, when in fact it only cares as long as its sources of funding aren't threatened.)

 

Now I must get back to work....

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I'm a supporter of the AKC but this would seem to suggest the AKC doesn't like this bill with or without the exemption for their members.

 

AKC Legislative Update

 

Texas House Bill 2116 has been replaced with a substitute and has been sent to the Local and Consent Calendar for scheduling. The new bill will prohibit the stacking of crates or cages unless there is an impervious barrier between them. HB 2116 directs the Health and Human Services Commission to conduct a study regarding the proper care and conditions for dogs and cats and to report those findings to the appropriate legislative chairs. HB 2116 provides that rules may be adopted based on the study, but it is unclear whether those rules must be proposed by the legislative committees or if the Health and Human Services Commission is allowed to adopt them unilaterally. AKC strongly believes that any new standards should be presented through the legislative process and that impacted owners and breeders have the opportunity to comment on them to their elected officials. The bill states that, "A member of a club or an affiliate organization of a national kennel club whose mission is stated in the charter and bylaws to "advocate the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership" is exempt from rules that may be adopted." While the AKC appreciates this proposed exemption, we feel that a more effective strategy would be to convene a stakeholder group composed of responsible breeders, owners, sportsmen, rescue groups and others responsible owners that could draft a set of guidelines based on accepted animal husbandry practices. AKC opposes this legislation as currently drafted and encourages responsible owners and breeders to contact their Representatives in Texas and ask them to oppose this measure.

 

Source: Nebraska Kennel Club

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And yes, my implication is that the ABCA is doing little more, if anything, than the AKC to --not even so much abolish puppymills -- but not support them.

 

The difference is that the AKC actively courts large-scale commercial breeders and represents their interests, while the ABCA barely tolerates them. ABCA's registrations dropped after we excluded those millers you referred to earlier; we lost not just the fees from their considerable registrations but those of others similar to them who apparently decided it would be prudent to register elsewhere as a result. No officer or director ever once suggested we should worry about those lost revenues, or change our registration policy to cater more to this type of breeder.

 

Contrast this with the AKC, which repeatedly cites the need to tap this source of registrations to support their "programs." This was most visible back in 2006, when they entered into a contract with Petland whereby Petland would push its puppy-buying customers to register with the AKC, and in fact would handle the registration paperwork and fee collection for them at point of sale. At an AKC delegate's meeting, the AKC's treasurer described this "strategic relationship with Petland" as a response to declining AKC registrations:

 

[T[he trend with registration revenues continues to be disappointing. The number of litter registrations for the first eight months of this year is down one percent compared to the previous year. As many of you may recall from the June Delegates meeting, we reviewed with you how dog registrations have been in a downward spiral since 1992. Unfortunately, this trend still persists in 2006. Dog registrations for the first eight months of this year have declined by almost six percent from 2005, which is not good.

 

Their Chief Operating Officer explained further:

 

During strategic planning, the Board . . . considered all facets of registration. The Board's strategic plan outlines three main strategies. . . . And the third strategy: Develop constructive dialogues with pet shops and distributors. . . . The Board considered the tactic of working with pet shops and distributors to promot AKC registration at each strategic planning workshop. . . . They then prioritized this as a high priority tactic. . . . At the Board's direction, staff moved forward to develop an agreement with Petland.

 

When many AKC delegates questioned this initiative, AKC director David Merriam said:

 

In 1981, 96 percent of the income of AKC was registration money. That money did not come only from the Fanciers or the Sport. That money came from all the dogs registered with AKC, which means it was the backyard breeders and the commercial breeders.

 

In 1981, when we were living off of that money to fund our Sport, we did not feel we were prostitutes to the commercial breeders.

 

If we want to live in the real world, . . . we have to understand that if we want AKC dogs registered, we have to address that segment. . . .

 

[if we applied my own personal breeding standards to what dogs we'd register, we'd be registering much fewer dogs and] we would then radically change the way AKC operates. We can reduce the services. We can reduce all of the things that AKC does in an expansive way for what we believe is in the best interests of the Sport of purebred dogs, and we can place upon the participants of our Sport the entire costs of our Sport. . . .

 

But let me tell you that the cost of that would be very substantial. And if we had an up-down vote on that and if you wanted to say we are willing to pay $75 entry fees, we're willing to assess $5,000 or $10,000 a year membership dues on member clubs, we could do that, and we could do it all within ourselves. But I suggest to you that that is not the direction that most of the Delegates wish to go and most of our clubs wish to go. . . .

 

Every meeting, Jim Stevens relates the decline of our registration. If we are going to address this in a serious, honest and a realistic way, we have got to address that segment of the registration. That is the commercial. And that's simply the answer.

 

The absolute unthinkability of the ABCA's considering any revenue-raising initiative targeted toward commercial high-volume breeders and their pet-store middlemen points up the difference between the two organizations as far as puppy mills are concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that I'm a supporter of the AKC but this would seem to suggest the AKC doesn't like this bill with or without the exemption for their members.

 

It's pretty amazing to think that an exemption for their members got written into a bill they were actively lobbying against without any input on their part. But even if I can't quite swallow that, good for them for continuing to oppose the bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the AKC starts refusing to register pups from mills I'll show them some respect. As of right now they cater to the mills as a major source of income.

My feelings exactly.

It seems obvious to me that the AKC lobbied to have the bill changed so that their members and affiliates would be exempt from it. After all, the AKC gets a lot of money from puppy mills, and supports them.

I am disgusted that such a thing would even make it this far and wish I were able to oppose it but since I am not a TX resident I don't suppose there's a thing I can do. This bill is useless if it contains that exemption. But it's not useless to the AKC, because if it is passed, more puppy mills will give their money to the AKC in order to become exempt from the bill.

I wish there were more that I as an individual, that all of us, could do to stop the puppy mills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eileen, thank you for answering her question while I was at work. You addressed the point I was trying to make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

Ms. Darling wrote: "criticizing the AKC for something the ABCA doesn't do either ... is hypocritical."

 

Since I was on the board when the ABCA's first "puppy mill" prosecution was launched, I thought some might be interested to know what was at stake.

 

We'd had reports of improper registration practices from more than one injured person.

 

So. What to do? What can we do? What registry rules - if any - has this person broken?

 

Excepting Patty Roger’s office workers, the ABCA has no paid staff. Unlike the AKC, we have no trained paid investigators.

 

Investigating someone for failing to follow the rules of a dog registry is serious. Registry actions can severely damage or destroy someone’s profitable business and reputation.

 

Forget for a moment those poor puppies in the pet shop and those overblown pup-sales-websites and consider how a local jury might react when a never-before-heard-of dog registry (bunch of damn initials) arrives to destroy good old Joe’s livelihood. We know Joe - he luvs these dogs. He’s CRAZY about them. Who’s this outfit? The ABCA? What’s that? Are they the AKC?

 

Unlike the AKC, the ABCA does not have a powerful New York law firm on retainer. Unlike the AKC, the ABCA does not have insurance protecting itself, its officers and directors from lawsuits.

 

ABCA Directors and volunteers made a lengthy, scrupulous investigation, presented the evidence to the board, handled the appeals and faced down threatened legal reprisals. They were unpaid. They gave of their time and ate most (if not all) of their out-of-pocket expenses. They put themselves in jeopardy for the registry and for our dogs.

 

And, oh yes, that breeder no longer sells ABCA dogs.

 

 

 

Donald McCaig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The County Affairs Committee passed a substitute Bill, deleting everything except the rquirement for an impervious barrier between stacked cages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got a call from the tx non BC breeder that we and other shelters in the NE are helping and they dont feel that being AKC status is going to help them.

 

The license is going to be 1300 dollars to be able to sell 20 puppies and keep 11 breeding stock dogs. You will also have to pay the state of tx to evaluate your dogs and kennel approx 2 times a year. The price goes up form there.

 

I feel that it will make alot of border collie places in Tx begin to dump their dogs too.

 

The non BC breeder still has way more than than the 1st level even after putting about 1/3 her breeding stock and unsold puppies into rescue.

 

These dogs are all in great shape unlike a Pa puppy mill surrenders.

 

I worry that like in Pa people in Tx who find themselves desperate will auction their dogs into the places that milling is unregulated. Most of the Pa dogs went into Oh to be sold at auction. The Penn Pspca chased them there but, they had to drop the (cruelty) case against the millers of Pa due to violations in their case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

on HB 1451...there's still a call to get Gov Perry to veto....and since he said he's thinking about running for Prez....

what many aren't seeing in this Bill is that there are NO exceptions for rescues. Rescue takes in or has 11 intact bitches...20 puppies are sold... It applies.

 

it's also been nicknamed the "puppy kill bill" as there's an allowance for pups up to 6 months to be euthanized...

 

There are supposedly exceptions for dogs "primarily" bred for herding,hunting,retrieving game,tracking, chase BUT the language is vague.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The County Affairs Committee passed a substitute Bill, deleting everything except the rquirement for an impervious barrier between stacked cages.

 

I think you're mistaken about this. The version of HB 2116 that I quoted in the OP is the current version, the one that was substituted in committee. But it's been sitting on the Local & Consent Calendar since May 3 with no action. Looks to me as if it's going to be allowed to die there.

 

on HB 1451...there's still a call to get Gov Perry to veto....and since he said he's thinking about running for Prez....

what many aren't seeing in this Bill is that there are NO exceptions for rescues. Rescue takes in or has 11 intact bitches...20 puppies are sold... It applies.

 

Not the way I read it. Any mature intact bitch that you can show is not being used for breeding doesn't count against the 11-bitch total. Shouldn't be hard for a rescue to show that they aren't using their dogs for breeding. Of course, if they ARE using 11 intact bitches for breeding, I question whether they're a legitimate rescue.

 

it's also been nicknamed the "puppy kill bill" as there's an allowance for pups up to 6 months to be euthanized...

 

What do you mean "an allowance for pups up to 6 months to be euthanized"? What does that mean? Can you cite the section?

 

There are supposedly exceptions for dogs "primarily" bred for herding,hunting,retrieving game,tracking, chase BUT the language is vague.

 

This is the exemption language:

 

802.005. EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN PERSONS WHO BREED SPECIAL PURPOSE DOGS. ( a ) This section applies only to a dog bred with the intent that it be used primarily for:

(1) herding livestock, as defined by Section 1.003, Agriculture Code, or other agricultural uses;

(2) hunting, including tracking, chasing, pointing, flushing, or retrieving game; or

(3) competing in field trials, hunting tests, or similar organized performance events.

( b ) This chapter does not apply to a person to the extent the person breeds dogs described by Subsection ( a ) for personal use. A person described by this subsection may conduct direct or indirect sales or exchanges in return for consideration of dogs described by Subsection (a).

( c ) Notwithstanding Subsection ( b ), a person described by Subsection ( b ) may be subject to the requirements of this chapter based on the person's activities with respect to animals other than dogs that are bred and used as described by this section.

( d ) Dogs described by Subsection ( a ) may not be counted for purposes of determining the number of adult intact female animals possessed by a person as described by Section 802.002(8).

 

Not a model of clarity, I agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a link to what the signed legislation says? I clicked on a bunch of things on the page for 1451

 

Mostly I'm curious. I know in Pa all breeding kennels are supposed to be in total complience with the state law but, so many waivers of hardship have been given out some for another 18 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I did see that Actual working dogs are exempt but, I wonder how you prove they are real working dogs? It talks about a 3rd party hired inspector. From what I read it leaves alot open to intrepretation.

 

When Pas laws went into effect there were some who killed or sold off their dogs in other states but, plenty are still operating there is one I have been reading about regularly who has untill oct of 2012 to comply with state regs but, they cant enter the facilty without gas masks it's not heated or air conditioned. It almost seems like they made it more messy since they cant immediately close bad mills.

 

They got lucky that the only guy they ever agressively prosecuted in this area was also a drug addict and he assaulted a prision guard and a nurse over his meds. Otherwise he may have been paroled in a month. despite thumbing his nose at the state over and over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...