Proposed changes to Dog Laws- a nationwide problem

As a "hobby" breeder, I am becoming increasingly concerned about what is occurring Nationwide to laws that apply to dogs. Many organizations (HSUS, PETA to name just two) want the public to believe that anyone who breeds dogs is contributing to an overpopulation problem. The fact is, there are never enough "WELL-BRED" dogs to meet the demand. Since you are reading my blog- I will make the assumption that you too what a dog that came from a breeder who is genuinely concerned about the individual dogs as well as the health of the breed as a whole.

Dogs Laws At Large not only shows the direction some of these proposed laws are going, it will give links to other sites that will also give you an insight to how the breeding of dogs is being treated. Many of these laws are NOT based on what is healthy for the DOGS. For example- The CA law that PASSED requiring dogs to be spayed/neutered at 4 months of age is NOT HEALTHY for the dog and NOT based on the reproductive cycle of dogs.

4 months (16 weeks) is WAY TO EARLY to spay or neuter. Hormones are important to development! Dogs are not reproductively viable until 6 months of age and it has been shown that growth begins to slow down at 5 months of age- so where did 4 months of age come into the picture? This is one example.

Another example is housing conditions. The first draft of the proposed changes to Dog Law in PA stated that not only were dogs NOT ALLOWED on grass (remember- this is for licenced kennels only) but you were not allowed to have grass within 5 FEET of the exercise area! Presumably this was to eliminate fleas & ticks. I have been told that this has been taken out of the 2nd draft- BUT - the second draft has not be published yet.

Since you are reading my blog- I think that you are the type of dog owner who wants your dog to be a part of your life and cares deeply how dogs are cared for. I know I do. I don't want to own a "kennel building" where my dogs are housed. I want them living with me- that is way I have them. I also want to be successful in the show ring. I know that I live with more dogs than most- but I want to make that choice. My dogs are happy, people who buy my dogs are happy- and I am happy.

I have included a letter I wrote to my Rep. over a year ago. I didn't feel it necessary to post it until now. Too many new laws are popping up around the country. I HOPE that you will see that the issue is MUCH LARGER than "puppy mills". This affects EVERYONE who breeds dogs.

Thank you for reading all of this.

Senator Jake Corman January 3, 200731
West Third Street Lewistown, PA 17044

Dear Senator Corman,

Re. Doc. No. 06-2452

I spoke with you in person at the banquet for the Mifflin County Conservation District back in October 2006 about the impending changes to the Pennsylvania dog law, but at the time they had not been published. The proposed changes were listed in the December 16, 2006 PA Bulletin and I have now had the opportunity to review these proposed changes.

As I mentioned to you in person, I do agree that “commercial” dog kennels, i.e. kennels producing dogs for profit and the purpose of resale only do not currently keep the health and welfare of the dog first and should be subject to regulation changes that improve the living conditions of those dogs. However, I feel that these proposed changes will not in fact accomplish the stated goal.

The first paragraph contains the following statement, “The Department proposes to amend numerous sections of the current regulations to address changes in the industry…..” Upon reading these proposed changes it has become quite apparent to me that this administration does not understand that clearly there are two separate “industries” being affected by these regulations. The first “industry” is that of the commercial, for-profit, puppy producer. These producers produce large volumes of puppies to supply pet shops and other commercial uses. Typically they hold class Class II-Class V Kennel licenses. The second “industry” is that of the “hobby” show breeder. Typically these breeders hold Class I kennel licenses and many raise their dogs in their homes with their families.

As a participant in the second type of “industry” I am very concerned by the proposed comments. I do agree that dogs/puppies living in conditions typical of commercial, for-profit, operations need additional regulations to insure their health, safety and welfare. I do not agree that all licensed kennels be treated the same way.
The proposed changes to these regulations would impose undo hardship to most Class I kennel owners (“It is estimated that the costs will range from $5,000 to $20,000 per existing kennel for compliance with the new standards”), and actually lessen the standard of living of the dogs in their care.
I have included a copy of the document with the addition of highlighted areas. I would like the opportunity to meet with you again in person to discuss my concerns and the reasons that these areas are highlighted.

Senator Corman, I do not derive any significant portion of my income from the sale of dogs and these proposed changes would not impact my livelihood, but they would impact the quality of my life.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Cadie Pruss

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