Friday, July 6, 2007

CA AB 1634

California's legislature is going to vote on a very bad piece of work that will hit home if you love dogs and happen to always want at least one in your life as a family member. It is known as CA AB 1634 and called "The Healthy Pets Act." In reality, it should be known as "The UNhealthy Pets Act." This bill wants to do away with the serious breeders altogether, the ones who have studied bloodlines and screened for genetic defects before even considering a litter. Instead it gives much in the way of free reign to puppy mills, because they are regulated under the Dept of Agriculture and as such will not be touched by it. It also allows a person or family to breed their dog and their bitch, provided they actually own both of the dogs and both live on their property. This pair may be bred once and then the spay/neuter will (thankfully) apply to them as well. There is no way to develop a bloodline true to the breed standard as you can get and as free from genetic disorders as can be hoped for with a disposition everyone would dream to live with in just the first and only litter you will ever have from this one bloodline.

Many of the backers of this CA AB 1643 wish to ban pet ownership completely in the USA, and this is just the first step in their process. I've written letters, signed petitions, faxed until I've said about all there is to say in the matter. Here's what I wrote today to the California Assembly Home website comment section:

"Bill Comment Response

Thank you for your comments on AB 1634 authored by Assembly Member Levine. Your comments have been forwarded to Assembly Member Levine's office and are listed below for your records.

Your Comments

We used to live in Half Moon Bay, CA, and now if this bill passes, you could not even GIVE me a home in CA nor would we ever visit for a dog show or for any other reason.

The idea that this bill will improve the situation of unwanted pets is a fallacy. Dedicated hobby dog breeders of quality puppies will screen would be puppy buyers carefully. They will be screening their own animals for genetic defects (doing so at sometimes great expense and repeating annually) and will also research the parents/grandparents of any dog they may hope to breed. Most belong to both local and national breed clubs as well as obedience and/or agility groups. They take care of their own, educating their "puppy people" and always being there for them. Also, the breed clubs themselves usually do their own Rescue. I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. No Cavalier in the United States ever goes without being rescued whether surrendered to a shelter or to the regional rescue group. Veterinary care is provided, as is training as necessary. Only then is the dog placed in a very carefully screened situation. Many breed organizations do this.

To think that it would be appropriate to allow only a female be bred to a male owned by the same person and living in that household is just one of the rather strange requirements in this bill. Any breeder with any sense at all will find the very best stud dog for their bitch, driving long distances when necessary to do so. We twice went from coast to coast just to achieve desired bloodlines and results. (and luckily got even more than we had hoped for in the way of puppies that grew up without hereditary disorders and also producing Champion offspring.) Our dogs have worked at Harstfield International Airport, they have been companions for the disabled, playmates for children and family members in all cases. None of this would be possible to do under your proposed AB 1634, because we did not start out with a plan that our own dogs'' offpring would work at an airport or be handicap assistance dogs or therapy dogs. They were sound, had excellent dispositions, got off to a good start in our own home and things just went from there. Although our puppies were sold, in no way was it a money making hobby, nor did we ever think it would be. It was a labor of love, a passion that brought so much into the lives of so many.

The powers behind this bill actually aim for eventually no household pets at all. Others are inexperienced who know little of what they speak.

I do hope that education and common sense will win the day and not subversive lobbyist groups that may have many dollars and much influence but the wrong goals in mind. Your bill will actually increase the number of dogs surrendered to shelters or dumped on the streets, because fewer and fewer dogs with sound minds and bodies will be bred. There won''t be any breed clubs to do the education and rescue that is now being done.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and consider my own personal thoughts on AB 1634.