1) In our modern day of instant access to information it is almost impossible for anyone to raise dogs without being under scrutiny. Those horrendous photos you see in commercials for the “Humane Society” are mostly outdated or a 1 in one million exception to the care given animals by breeders everywhere. The photos are intended to shock and horrify you into giving money. Any photo can be photo shopped into looking really bad. Be skeptical. If you didn’t see it with your own eyes take it with a grain of salt. “Believe nothing that you hear, read or see, trust what you see with your own eyes and uncover with your own skills and believe in your own heart.” Jon Katz

2) All the hobby breeders in this country cannot produce enough puppies to meet the demands of the American market. Recent changes in laws are NOT stopping substandard kennels from continuing. It is closing down reputable breeders who work very hard to produce healthy purebred puppies by making it more difficult and expensive for them to continue in their HOBBY.

3) BREEDERS are NOT responsible for the presence of dogs in shelters. “Producing” dogs due to failure to be a responsible owner and “breeding” dogs are not the same. We have a problem with a lack of responsible ownership, poor shelter management and poor pet distribution. Education is the key to improvement in this area.

4) It has been PROVEN there is NO PET OVERPOPULATION. Since 2005 the birthrate for puppies has not been meeting the demand. Many rare breeds are declining to the point of extinction due to anti-breeder laws. According to the USDA more than 300,000 dogs were imported in 2013 from foreign countries by SHELTERS. If the current rate of laws and decline continue within 20 years your only source for a puppy may be a shelter “mutt” from Mexico, China or Puerto Rico with possible behavioral issues and NO health testing. www.shelterproject.naiaonline.org

5) There is no such thing as a “puppy mill”. “Puppy mill” is not a legally defined term, it is slang invented by the “animal rights” extremists to denigrate any and all breeders — small or large, standard or substandard. It’s the “N-word” of breeders. The phrase “puppy mill” has been promoted in the media by the animal “rights” movement, people who want to end all animal ownership. It is applied indiscriminately by these fanatics to anyone who breeds dogs.

6) There are three main types of breeders: Commercial, Pet and Hobby/show breeders. Every one of these can be a large-scale breeder, every one of these could be a substandard breeder. Commercial kennels are subject to state and/or federal oversight. Substandard care can be found with all types of breeders. It is about the standard of care, NOT the numbers. Most commercial breeders have state of the art kennels that meet USDA standards and the standards of their state laws. They are inspected at least yearly and must meet or exceed stringent standards far higher than those expected of the average hobby breeder.

7) “Sick” puppies do not sell. It is counterproductive for any industry to produce a defective product and expect to stay in business. Any dog can have health issues. It’s about Mother Nature NOT lack of care or numbers.

8) Passing laws intended to outlaw “puppy mills” will not solve any problem. Most substandard breeders are already in violation of existing laws and don’t care. New, stricter laws will only affect those who are already working to follow the laws. The only way to have any effect is to provide the funds and manpower to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

9) A shelter dog is NOT for every family. Shelter dogs come with baggage that can require an EXPERIENCED owner. Shelter dogs have NO health testing and frequently have behavioral issues that take years of training to overcome. Obtaining a dog should be a time for rational decision making–not an excuse for moral preening. If ‘adopting’ a shelter dog makes you feel ‘better about yourself’, you don’t need a dog. You need a therapist.

10) You are more likely to purchase a dog with health or behavioral issues from a shelter than a pet store.