We received your email in which you attempt to make RAW appear to be ignorant of, or uncaring towards, the welfare of animals in regards to dog breeders as well as pet stores. There were a few points in your email that were of particular interest to us to respond to. Let’s start with the last sentence of your email regarding pet stores.
“The day that ALL pet stores buy from responsible breeders is the day that I, personally, will stop working on these issues.”
Your claim is that NJ pet stores do not currently buy from “responsible breeders”. But just last year a NJ law passed REQUIRING pet stores to buy from ONLY USDA breeders, on the animal rights’ claims that breeders that were not USDA licensed were the “bad” breeders, unregulated, not inspected, no oversight. And so, pet stores were no longer able to obtain animals from small, private, unlicensed breeders of their choice, regardless of how great their animals were. That new law required stores to ONLY source from USDA licensed breeders, which was passed with the FULL support of animal rights groups as a great victory! It claimed that the new law would provide “transparency” to the public through the availability of inspection reports, and required only breeders without a single direct violation and no more than 2 indirect violations within a specific timeframe of two years. NOW, less than a year after the new regulation came into effect, these SAME animal rights groups claim that these SAME breeders that THEY insisted pet stores MUST buy from, are now BAD breeders. So, today they are trying to pass a new law BANNING pet shops from selling puppies/kittens from ANY breeders but rather, only sell rescue/shelter animals.
So Janice, where exactly would you propose pet stores find “reputable” breeders to source their puppies/kittens from so you can “stop working on these issues” when the animal rights groups such as yourself are trying to prevent them from sourcing from ANY breeder and only offer rescue/shelter pets?
So Janice, how exactly will you “personally stop working on these issues” when your goal is NOT to ensure that puppies/kittens are sourced from “responsible breeders” but to completely BAN the sale of puppies/kittens?
So Janice, if you are concerned about animal welfare, WHY are you not ensuring that regulations are passed to protect animals in shelters/rescues in the state of NJ to offer “transparency” and protections for consumers acquiring a pet are included in these bills?
So Janice, why are shelters/rescues continuously “exempt” from the same regulations in these bills that are supposed to provide a standard of care for the animals, and to offer “transparency” and protections for the consumers?
So Janice, are shelter/rescue animals not worthy of the same protections with regulations?
So Janice, is the public that adopts instead of shops not worthy of the same transparency and protections with regulations?
And by the way:
Are you the SAME Janice that is directly affiliated with the extreme, vegan, anti-pet ownership, animal rights group?
Are you the SAME Janice that pushed and testified last year for that law requiring pet shops to use ONLY USDA licensed breeders?
Are you the SAME Janice that received an “award” from HSUS last year for your “work” and support of the “adopt don’t shop” mantra?
Are you the SAME Janice that testified to BAN ALL breeders from selling puppies/kittens and delivering via commercial delivery service?
Are you the SAME Janice that is currently pushing and testifying to BAN pet stores from selling puppies/kittens from ANY breeder?
These are rhetorical questions Janice because we saw that you are in fact the same Janice as mentioned above.
So please Janice, tell us exactly HOW you support pet shops buying puppies/kittens from responsible breeders when your definition of responsible breeders is always changing with each new bill that you testify in support of? Tell us HOW you support pet shops selling puppies/kittens when your testimony directly disputes that position? Tell us HOW you support “reputable breeders” selling puppies/kittens directly to the public when the bills that you support and testify for in front of the Senate and Assembly are anti-breeder in their language? Tell us HOW you support “reputable breeders” when you belong to a group that is AGAINST the very idea of breeding, pet ownership, farming for food, and openly supports other radical groups such as ALF?
Your past history directly contradicts the idea that you support ANY breeding at all. The original version of bill S63 attempted to ban ALL breeders from selling into or out of the state in the “sight unseen sales” portion of the bill. Fortunately, breeders saw through the thinly veiled anti-breeder language of the bill and pushed back. Now, the wording has changed again, using the term “ pet dealer” instead of breeder and AR groups like yourself are attempting to again deceive breeders into thinking they are immune, all the while attempting to push their (your) agenda of adoption only.
And Janice, please let us know exactly how you expect all the pet stores to obtain shelter/rescue pets to offer for sale when a pet store last year attempted to source local homeless puppies/dogs with the help of a local animal rights group and was UNABLE to source a single puppy/dog from a NJ source? That pet store subsequently has been importing every shelter/rescue puppy/dog they obtain all the way from Puerto Rico and some southern states so they could use the “pet shop adoption model” that you and groups like yours are pushing for.
Do you expect all the pet stores to import rescue/shelter puppies and kittens from out of state like many of the NJ shelters/rescues do?
How will importing MORE shelter/rescue pets into NJ improve the euthanasia rate of animals currently in NJ shelters/rescues, as referenced in the bill?
Will pet stores be required to provide health warrantees and consumer protections for shelter pets offered for adoption from unknown backgrounds even though shelters/rescues don’t have to offer ANYTHING, not even a simple veterinarian examination to ensure its “fit for sale”?
Are you feeling impotent that the public has repeatedly shown that it WANTS the option to buy purebred puppies/kittens through breeders and pet stores and is not onboard with your adoption ONLY philosophy?
Finally Janice, you disparage dog breeders by citing violations on USDA inspection reports as proof of being a bad breeder (even though just last year you testified that requiring only USDA licensed breeders sell puppies to pet stores was a victory for the state!). These remarks you made against breeders, that included in YOUR words:
“USDA inspectors find dogs with dental disease, open wounds, eye injuries, leg injuries, possibly neurologic symptoms; thin bodies with ribs protruding” etc. RAW does not support ANY form of cruelty or neglect and does not know the exact circumstances of the items you listed above (just like you don’t since you are simply making comments from a “report”). But, ANYONE that is directly involved with dogs and USDA inspections, or simply owns dogs, understands that issues like those mentioned above does not automatically mean they are a bad dog owner/breeder. There are so many REASONS a dog could have those things that is not explained in detail in a simple report that is found online, and the owner is not BAD simply because a USDA inspection report shows something without a detailed description of WHY that dog is in that condition at that moment. Let’s discuss this shall we?
1. “Thin bodies” – it could be a dog with a bad case of enteritis or other similar issue that has trouble keeping weight on, it could be a nursing bitch with a large litter having trouble keeping weight on…it could be an older retired dog that is spending his retirement years with the breeder and not eating as well as he used to…should the breeder euthanize or re-home their dog in fear, just to avoid a possible violation for what could be a treatable issue, temporary issue, or an older dog getting….old?
2. “An open wound” – how would you want a dog owner to handle an open wound? Dogs do get injured from time to time like humans right? An injury can occur in a split second, just like with children right? Wounds need to be treated and sometimes it is best to leave the wound “open” for better healing, right? Should the owner euthanize or re-home the dog, just for fear of receiving a violation? The same response would apply to an eye injury, leg injury etc., anything can happen at any moment in time, in a split second, regardless of how diligent an owner is (just like the parent of a child) and that does not make them “bad”.
3. “possibly neurologic symptoms”- ok this one is REALLY annoying to us. Inspectors are not veterinarians, so by writing “possibly” that is NOT a diagnosis of a problem and shouldn’t warrant a violation in the first place! Really, “possibly”??? What does that even mean?
4. “dental disease”- this is a hard one because its impossible to respond unless there are more specifics. ALL dogs can get dental disease and USDA licensed breeders are required to provide dental care for their dogs annually. But that doesn’t mean that a dog is going to have perfect teeth! Should an owner euthanize or re-home a dog due to dental disease when that dog is perfectly capable of living a long life (like humans) with only some or even no teeth in their mouth, for fear of receiving a violation?
So you see Janice, it’s so very easy to point fingers at a breeder that you don’t know, have never personally visited, and call them disparaging names based upon a report, but a USDA report (both clean and those with violations) do not tell the whole story. It’s also easy to point fingers at someone when you haven’t walked a day in their shoes. We have visited USDA breeders that have perfect inspection reports, but honestly should not be breeding dogs in our opinion. We have also visited breeders who have had violations but do a FANTASTIC job of caring for their dogs and are great examples of what is RIGHT with the industry. We have visited hundreds of breeders over the years, have you Janice? Have you ever left your state and traveled across the country to visit and talk with the very people that you and your animal rights group vilify and disparage day after day in your adopt don’t shop agenda?
For that matter, have YOU ever traveled to see the all the different shelters and rescues that you so blindly support? We have Janice. We have traveled through many states and visited public and private shelters, and believe us Janice, they are not the angels that you tout them to be, nor are the animals in their care always treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. In YOUR state of NJ, some shelters have such abysmal records of humane care that they should be shut down, but you don’t care about that do you Janice? Rescues and shelters in YOUR state of NJ import animals in by the truckload, week and after week, month after month, sick animals, rabid animals, aggressive animals. Rescues BUY dogs directly from the same breeders that they disparage, but that is swept under the carpet by you and groups like yours Janice. You don’t rally for change in the shelter/rescue system with the same tenacity that you attack breeders and pet stores. You and your groups only scream about the need to ban breeders and pet stores. According to Animal Rights groups like the one you are affiliated with, USDA breeders are evil, non-USDA licensed breeders are evil, breeders that breed for “profit” are evil, breeders that have “too many” dogs are evil, show breeders are evil because they “deform” dogs for looks, breeders that keep dogs in “ kennels” are evil, breeders that breed in their “backyard” are evil, breeders that simply BREED are evil, because according to you and groups like yours, for every dog bred by a breeder, a shelter dog dies.
In closing Janice, it is so VERY easy to point fingers and pretend to be perfect when you haven’t walked a day in the shoes of a dog breeder. It’s very easy to point fingers and pretend that every breeder that has a violation on an inspection report is cruel and neglectful, when you don’t have to follow the same strict guidelines that they do. Breeders are human Janice, they aren’t perfect. It is so very easy to extol the virtues of adoption/rescue as being of higher integrity than breeding when you close your eyes and pretend that the cruelty, neglect, deceit, and criminal activity in the shelter/rescue realm doesn’t exist. You see Janice, animal welfare is exactly that. It is blind to WHERE the animal is located or by whom it is cared for. Animal welfare is about the ANIMALS needs, regardless of whether it is a shelter, rescue, pet store, breeder, zoo, sanctuary, circus, private ownership, kennel, stable, etc. Animal welfare is about LOGICAL regulations, put forth by SCIENCE and FACTS, not emotion. Animal welfare is about providing necessary regulations written and approved by EXPERIENCED and KNOWLEDGEABLE professionals in that specific field of expertise.
So Janice, if you want to retire from “working on these issues” may we suggest that you begin by:
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to adopt OR shop.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want a pet from a breeder, a pet store, a shelter, or a rescue.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to be vegan OR carnivore.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to wear fur or leather.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to ride in a horse drawn carriage.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to visit a zoo with animals/big cats, private or public.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to visit a circus with animals/elephants, like Ringling Bros.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to visit an aquarium with animals/fish, like SeaWorld.
Allow the public the right to choose whether they want to hunt or fish.
Allow the public the right to choose, NOT YOU!
This is the United States of America and in this country freedom provides for the public to decide if a business succeeds or fails, NOT based upon a vocal minority that are opposed to what the majority wants. YOU have the choice to decide what is right for you, the rest of the country is entitled to the same. So Janice, with all that being said, we believe we have been able to explain our position clearly to you. RAW is about animal WELFARE, not animal RIGHTS.
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