Money, Politics and Deception
Sorry for the delay boys and girls. Our spider has been busy and this is that time of year when webs are spun faster than cotton candy at the state fair -- Legislation Time. One web leads to another, we're told, but we needed Spidey back in Pennsylvania for some updates, so he rushed back in his Ferrari L430 Spider packed full of facts.
Have you been writing letters to the new Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and letting your voices be heard about the overly restrictive proposed rules and regulations? The "Pennsylvania Puppy Mill Campaign" worked long and hard to bring this about. A hoard of animal rights organizations screeched loud and long and finally got the attention of the governor and other politicians, who were more than happy to accommodate the public misconceptions about dog breeding in Pennsylvania.
Their names are legion: United Against Puppy Mills, Save-A-Dog, Main Line Rescue, Keystone Golden Retriever Rescue, NJ Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse (NJCAPSA) - Bob Baker and Libby Williams - Libby is related to one of the Main Line Rescue directors and she personally attended more than 35 zoning hearings in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to hear testimony and offer comments regarding applications of new puppy mills. Several applications were denied. We would hope so. Whoever heard of applying for a PUPPY MILL LICENSE ? - Save Ardmore Coalition, Prisoners of Greed, Stop Puppy Mills, Last Resort Animal Rescue, to name a few. They never let common sense or truth get in the way of stirring up public opinion against animal owners and breeders.
We know that our readers support animal welfare 100%. Proper animal husbandry and care for our animals is a given. We protest the hot-button phrase "puppy mill" because it was created by an anti-animal ownership faction. These groups ultimately do not support animal ownership, period, unless, of course, you abide by their rules, have the monetary status to own and keep an animal the way that THEY prescribe. There was a more productive way to deal with sub-standard kennel operations, but where is the publicity and money in that?
Herein lies the problem. No matter how they try, the state cannot legislate human behavior. A few sour apples will taint the lives of decent, tax-paying, law abiding citizens. In an ideal world, the laws would be applied fairly and everyone would own a DisneyWorld kennel. However, in this world, good people are victims of legislators and law enforcement officials gone wild. Even the best managed kennels are not 100% pristine 24/7. There are more shelters closed because of 'disease outbreaks' than there are commercial and private kennels closed for that reason. Here are just a couple recent articles for you to review regarding shelter disease outbreaks and OVERCROWDING. Click here and here to read these very recent articles.
Because the proposed rules and regulations are too broad and have the potential to be unfairly enforced for the slightest infraction, will Pa. create more of a problem than what exists? We believe that to be the case and so do responsible breeders. Read the proposed regulations again-but take your meds first! We cannot trust the State to guard our Constitutional rights or our private property.
The New Dog Law Advisory Board - Not in the Best Interests of Dog Owners ...... OR ... How Can You Regulate What You Cannot Define ?????
Somewhere along the way, Jesse Smith commented that the Department was not looking for the small hobby breeder, but those that were breeding large numbers of dogs. What is a "large breeding" operation? According to the proposed regulations, failure to obtain a kennel license prior to operating any establishment that keeps, harbors, boards, shelters, sells, gives away or in any way transfers a cumulative total of 26 or more dogs of any age during 1 calendar year may result in violations. Is a large breeding operation one that has more than 26 dogs per year? Surely that cannot be correct. The regulations do not define small hobby breeders in any other manner that our researchers can find. There are also no definitions of "puppy mill" that we could find except on those web sites that claim they know what a "puppy mill" is.
One explanation, found on the Prisoners of Greed website is this:
'There is no definition of a puppymill. In our opinion anyone who breeds dog with profit as the main motivation and without consideration for the health and well being of the dogs and puppies is guilty of ethical crimes.
There are two kinds of these people - backyard breeders and puppy millers. They should both be driven out of business.
Anyone who has so little concern for the well being of the puppies that they have caused to be brought into the world that they sell them to someone else who will resell them qualifies as a mill in our opinion.'
By their own admission, THEY don't have a definition of a "puppy mill" - only an opinion and we all know about opinions. (As a matter of fact, we received a picture of an "opinion", via an anonymous sender, that originated from Main Line Rescue, apparently to one of our readers, who wanted us to see what type of mentality they were dealing with. We chose not to publish such a blatant display of ignorance.)
ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS - Absence of a rational connection between the facts found and the choice made. A clear error of judgment; an action not based upon consideration of relevant factors and so is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law or if it was taken without observance of procedure required by law. 5 USC. 706(2)(A) (1988). When a judge makes a decision without reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances, it is said to be arbitrary and capricious and can be invalidated by an appellate court on that ground. There is, however, no set standard for what constitutes an arbitrary and capricious decision; what appears arbitrary to one judge may seem perfectly reasonable to another.
The way the new rules are written puts everybody into the proverbial cauldron in this witch hunt...and you know it. Telling people not to worry certainly did not go very far in the dog world. We all know that there are some that don't apply good husbandry policies, but just which of the above named categories is the faltering faction in the Pennsylvania dog world? How many constitutional rights are needed for the witch's brew ?
Adding restrictions regarding the separation of puppies, larger crate/pen sizes, slope degree are all unnecessary to responsible dog owners. In more than several of the above mentioned websites, it is proclaimed that "these poor puppy mill dogs have never felt the grass under their feet." Bad news for all of those organizations. If these new regulations pass, they STILL won't feel the grass under their feet, will they? But hold on !!! None of these regulations pertain to the organizations that will house confiscated animals. Discriminatory? Yes, absolutely!
Overcrowding Shelters ??? or is it really ..... Hoarding for Profit !!!
Let's talk overcrowding or perhaps a better terminology would be "hoarding for profit." Shelters complain about overcrowding all the time. Could it be because they are not required to adhere to proper space allotments for particular animals? Do such cramped quarters constitute "humane welfare"? Will you start to pay people to foster like the state does with children? (Oops, pardon us - there are more stringent laws for DOGS than there are for the safety and welfare of children in Pa. !!) How long will you keep these dogs cramped in a rescue/shelter situation never being allowed to feel the "grass under their feet?" What about those dogs that are never adopted - they live their entire life in a SHELTER? .... for LIFE? You call that humane? We don't. If the intent is to be "fair", as stated, shelters should be included in the regulations as well. If you really think about it, "Shelter Hoarding for Profit" is not much different from what the regulations claim they are intended to stop.
Hopping Along the Money Trail
Who's who in this sad tale of wagging the dog? *Governor Rendell has powerful friends and supporters who helped finance his election campaign. Marsha Perelman (and other members of the Perelman clan) are at the top of the list. She sits on many of the same boards with him, socializes with him AND she is also a member of the new Dog Advisory Board. Perelman is also a valuable resource as a director of Main Line Rescue. Money talks and Rendell listens.
Click here to see the slideshow of who's who in the PA elite crowd. Perelmans, Hamiltons and Rendell and then let's talk about the 'handpicked Rendell committee' or better yet, click here for a cozy picture that speaks for itself.
Those of you that want to be a little adventurous, just Google Perelman and Rendell or "Marsha Perelman" for more information.
Perelman is also on the board of the ASPCA. (Bob Baker in an investigator for the ASPCA) Main Line Rescue admits that it has worked with the New York City ASPCA for years. In fact, they wrote that over half of MLR's dogs and cats come from other rescue orgs and SPCAs. The Spring 2004 issue of their newsletter stated that they received dogs from shelters in Delaware County, Baltimore, Maryland, NYC and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.
Another new DLAB member is Mary Remer, a MLR dog trainer, owner of What a Good Dog in Villanova, and First Vice President of the Bull Terrier Club of America.
We mustn't leave out Joe Trippi. He is the media guru for the Best Friends Animal Society. He orchestrated the questionable BSL conference to the tune of German marching music. That is to say that Best Friends wants to use Germany's dog laws as a model for our "dangerous dog" laws right here in the land of the free. Trippi also has friends in PA's high places and he could easily become Mayor of Philly and Rendell's right hand man! WHAT NEXT??? If you don't believe us, maybe you'd like to take a look at what you missed ! Joe Trippi's - Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything !!
You might want to also check out this article about Rendell's magic at raking in contributions! Just click here !
This is just one example of PA politicking. Wayne Huizenga of Florida donated $50,000 to Rendell in 2006. He owns Waste Management (WMI). Penn State is one of the most corporate-controlled universities in the U.S. - where tons of corporate and military research is done with no citizen right-to-know. For years, Penn State has promoted things that support Waste Management's operations in Pennsylvania, including the land-application of toxic sewage sludge and the site of a nuclear waste dump! But, those things aren't near as health threatening as "dog feces and worms," are they?
Wayne Huizenga is the only person in history to build three Fortune 1000 companies practically from scratch: Waste Management, Blockbuster Entertainment and AutoNation. He also owns the Miami Dolphins and is previous owner of the Florida Marlins baseball team and the Panthers hockey team. Blockbuster sold to Viacom for $8.4 billion in stock. He also re-entered the waste management field with the creation of Republic Services, which grew to be the third-largest waste management company in the U.S. before merging with Huizenga's first company, WMI. But Huizenga is not without his detractors. A 1994 article in the Miami New Times dug up a pile of dirt (both actual and alleged), including an early assault case in which he had roughed up a sales prospect who refused to do business with him (Huizenga lost the civil suit climbing his way to success at the expense of others; ties with organized crime; physical and emotional abuse of his wife; unfair competition practices; illegal political contributions; and disregard of environmental laws.
FYI - Several years ago, the Florida AR crowd began a campaign about hog crates. They created a PAC, chaired by Wayne Huizenga’s daughter, Pamela. Most of the PAC money came in six-figure chunks from the Farm Sanctuary, an animal shelter and former Animal Liberation Front “spokesgroup” based in New York and California. The web covers every coast and every border.
Smoke, Mirrors and Fire OR Is It Smoke, Mirrors and Photos ?
Back to the beginning. Save-A-Dog published "the Shame of Pennsylvania" website that featured a 6 year old Maltese, named Hope, that allegedly came from a puppymill. The dog appeared to be in terrible condition and was sure to stir the public's emotions and loosen their pocketbooks. In fact, Hope was a driving force behind the "puppy mill" campaign that eventually resulted in the new dog advisory board and the horrendous regulations that have been proposed.
This web page is published via petfinder.org, a group that MLR also networks with. (Petfinder.org is registered under Discovery Communications, Inc. which also is responsible for Animal Planet Media which is also a H$U$ partner). Main Line Rescue recently revamped its website and added pictures of another similar looking "Maltese" they named Shrimp.
The kennel in the photo posted to the Save-A-Dog site claimed that it was licensed in PA and that it had been inspected twice with no action by inspectors. They credited the reprint with permission of this information to Hearts United for Animals in Nebraska that has no contact name on the website.
An article from the Sept/Oct 2005 issue of the Best Friends magazine featured an article about Pennsylvania Amish puppy mills written by Julie Richard. Page 45 tells the story about a sick Maltese that was supposedly registered with the ACA - American Canine Association.
MLR recently emailed pictures and a story about Shrimp. They stated that he came from a PA kennel which was licensed and inspected 3 times without violations. MLR claimed the dog had been registered with the AKC and they sent this information to Governor Rendell and the new Dog Advisory Board in support of the strict proposals that may soon be law.
Though MLR is well connected, they leave a bit to be desired in the human relations department - and in credibility. These "maltese" stories share many similarities. Could this same story be recycled over and over? The claims are so similar - a very malnourished dog, from a licensed PA kennel that was inspected two or three times with no violations. Could such pictures be altered via a software program to create hideous and heartbreaking photos that would guarantee outrage, sympathy and donations? It has been known to happen.
The Great Wide Web
New Jersey has some of the, if not the most restrictive, animal legislation in the country with New York following close behind. We suppose they feel it their duty to see Pennsylvania become just as bad. Walter Hargis pushed the PA Puppy Mill Awareness day in the Long Island newspapers. Turns out that his wife, Kathy, is an active rescuer of animals that specializes in "unsocialized puppymill" dogs. She is also credited with being a founding member of Puppymill Awareness Day and is a certified Animal Control Officer.
By the way, that website also features the pathetic MLR Shrimp dog and a link to Last Chance for Animals, headquartered in Los Angeles. (President Chris DeRose )
NJCAPSA eagerly joined the PA puppymill bashing party and reputable dog breeders took some hard punches and low blows. Libby Williams is the founder of this organization. She learned her craft as a volunteer for the Fund for Animals which led to her stint as a cruelty investigator for the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Also speaking at this puppy mill rally was ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officer Annemarie Lucas, investigator for the NY SPCA, who is well known from the popular Animal Planet series, Animal Precinct. Bob Baker (former HSUS animal investigator now with the ASPCA) is also on the advisory board of NJCAPSA. (There is more about him on previous postings on this blog & easy for you to access.) During Animal Planet segments, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) officers can be classified as Special Agent or Special Investigator. Some HLE officers are spoken of only by initial (ex. Agent X, Y or Z) with their faces blurred when on-camera as a way to protect their identities so that they can do undercover work for the ASPCA.
Boys and girls, ladies and gents, we now show you the reward... !!!
A & N Research - bringing you the facts !!