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nancy

"Quinn's Law" in Rhode Island

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I don't know how much clout those of us who are out of state can have. But signing in favor of this law against irresponsible breeders sure couldn't hurt:

 

https://www.change.org/p/rhode-island-state-house-pass-quinn-s-law-revised-laws-regarding-domestic-animal-breeders

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Well, here's one flaw in the law: 9. All breeders will insist their buyers spay/neuter the animals unless specifically purchased and proven to be a show animal.

 

Will working dogs be considered "show animals"?

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Apparently others can read it. I think in other such bills working dogs have been lumped with show dogs, but if the language doesn't say it, I wouldn't trust it....

 

J.

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Dear Doggers,

 

Well meaning but ill-informed and unlikely to be passed.

 

Donald McCaig

I am all for better laws to protect dogs but this law as proposed, is laughable at times. It is far reaching, expensive (background checks, required ethics classes, employment verification, and so on) and just not realistic. This isn't how to get laws passed. If they want better laws passed in their state they should hire or get legal aid on board that is experienced with getting legislation passed. I sure wouldn't want to pay for someone to sit in prison for "up to 5 years" for" continuing to breed after having their license revoked. "

 

And the show breeding line, is silly. It seems though that the state has no licensing or inspections in place which is surprising. NY has a license requirement though no one gets one except big mills or higher end show breeders. Inspections are rare and they sure can't require morality, just basic care and well being of animals. I doubt the licensing brings in revenue, the sales tax from puppy sales though probably does.

 

What I think would go farther is educating people on how to not support places like mills. Bad breeders stay in business because there is a demand. If people were smarter and didn't buy with emotions (lots of people will say they knew their breeder/place was bad but wanted to save the pup,not realizing they are just supporting the place to continue breeding), these places wouldn't exist.

 

Edit to add... Enforcement is also an issue. Even if some of this was passed, it would be hard to enforce. It's difficult to get basic laws enforced such as making sure dogs have insulated houses (nys law) and unfrozen water in below zero weather.

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Dear Doggers,

 

Two conflated issues:proper treatment and reckless breeders. The second is relatively easy to contain - in Virginia where everyone must get a county dog license with proof of rabies cert or be fined. Do some ignore the rule and fail to get a license? Sure, but even here in bear dog country, relatively few. The license has higher fees for intact dogs and gyps.

 

1. All dogs over 6 weeks of age must be microchipped to be licensed or get rabies papers.

 

2. Insist that every owner of an intact gyp be bonded (and can produce proof at licensure).

 

3. Whenever one of these pups turns up in the animal shelter, bill the bonding company for its costs.

 

Donald McCaig

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Wow. Your laws are strict. We are supposed to have a yearly license and you have to have proof of rabies for that. It is $10 a dog. Doesn't matter if the dogs are spayed or neutered.

 

I think only 17% of the dogs in KC are licensed. Fees used to be a lot higher and it used to be quite a bit more for an unaltered dog. I think the City is trying to get more dogs licensed so they eased the rules.

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Dear Doggers,

 

Sorry I was so unclear. Virginia counties license dogs with rabies certificates. Higher fees for intact. Most Virginia dogs are licensed.

 

The second part of my post: microchipping and bonding, is my suggested solution for pet overpopulation.

 

Donald McCaig

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My county in NC gave up on licensing due to a very low compliance rate. Plus, tying it to rabies vaccinations caused more people to forgo getting their dogs vaccinated. Wondering why Virginia had better results I did some checking. Turns out the good folks of VA are no more law-abiding than North Carolinians. According to one survey of 15 VA counties, the average rate of dog registration compliance only 36%, and this is thought to be an over-estimate.

 

http://www.myrtlerun.com/srvy_detail.php?order=3

 

Dog licensing fees, required under Virginia law to ensure that animal owners bear a portion of the responsibility for funding animal management services, are capped at $10 and the average rate of compliance among the fifteen counties surveyed is estimated at thirty-six percent (though it is likely lower). Sixty-four percent of pet owners choose to ignore the law, thus adding to the financial burden that falls on responsible pet owners and local taxpayers.

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IMO, the problem with any more laws is that you're not going to make much of a dent in the actual problem. Rather you're just going to make it more of a hassle for those who actually comply with the law. Enforce or rewrite the laws already in place before making yet another one.

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The problem I see with this proposed law is that it would simply drive the unscrupulous underground. The dogs who end up filling shelters - particularly pit bulls and the like - aren't registered anywhere, even if they are purebred, so a law of this sort would simply be ignored by those who don't give a flip about ethical breeding, in the first place.

But even if someone did register their dogs with AKC, there's nothing in the AKC that requires breeders to comply with local ordinances, so once again, the unscrupulous could simply ignore the law, sell their dogs as "AKC registered purebreds" and still be shoddy and shady in their breeding practices.

Plus provisions like this simply don't fly:

5. Breeder is held responsible for selling offspring to pre-qualified buyers:

 

a. Buyer demonstrates ability to house the animal in appropriate facility.

 

b. Buyer demonstrates the means to provide the animal medical care as required (example: is employed).

 

c. Background check for State of Rhode Island demonstrates buyer has no criminal history of animal abuse or the like.

 

Okay, so under this proposed law, a breeder is supposed to do a physical inspection of every home their puppies go to, demand proof of employment or perhaps do a credit check to assure financial solvency for each buyer, and ask the State of Rhode Island to run a criminal background check for each person? I don't even know if John Q Citizen can legally do all that, and if they need to hire a private investigator to sell their puppies, I guess the price of pups is going to go through the roof! Plus, most of the neglected/abused/abandoned dogs in animal shelters are not there because the owners were too poor or had a previous criminal history of animal abuse.

Totally not practical, however well meaning.

10. All breeders who sell dogs 9 months or older must sell only spayed or neutered animals.

Ummm ... what exactly is the point of this? I've seen numerous breeders keep two or three young dogs until they are 9 months to a year in order to see how they develop, and then pick the one they like most and sell the other one or two on. Why demand the premature spay or neuter of young dogs who may be of excellent quality and a credit to their breed, simply because they are sold at an older age than 8 weeks?


Plus there's the problem of enforcement of this law. Honest, law-abiding people would probably be willing to take this ethics course - though again who and what is going to host these classes? - and even sign a totally pointless and useless "agreement to respect life," but those breeders are generally not part of the problem. Those are not the people whose dogs are ending up in animal shelters. Plus, there's the logistical concerns: once someone decides they are a breeder, who polices them to make sure they have a license? Who is going to notice or care what they're doing and report them, and what is local animal control prepared to do if they get such a complaint?

A nice idea, perhaps, but as outlined here, not very practical.

~ Gloria

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Dear Doggers,

 

Mr. John C wrote: "According to one survey of 15 VA counties, the average rate of dog registration compliance only 36%, and this is thought to be an over-estimate."

 

In my very poor, sparsely settled Virginia County this doesn't seem to be the case. Perhaps because the dog warden's salary is partly paid by such fees. I'd like to see a citation of the original survey.

 

and Ms. Maralynn writes: "IMO, the problem with any more laws is that you're not going to make much of a dent in the actual problem. Rather you're just going to make it more of a hassle for those who actually comply with the law. Enforce or rewrite the laws already in place before making yet another one."

 

To my knowledge there are no laws governing dog breeding to enforce (at least, not in Virginia) If there were it wouldn't be hard to see them enforced.

 

Donald McCaig

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Dear Doggers,

 

Mr. John C wrote: "According to one survey of 15 VA counties, the average rate of dog registration compliance only 36%, and this is thought to be an over-estimate."

 

In my very poor, sparsely settled Virginia County this doesn't seem to be the case. Perhaps because the dog warden's salary is partly paid by such fees. I'd like to see a citation of the original survey.

 

http://www.myrtlerun.com/survey.php

 

http://www.myrtlerun.com/docs/survey/srvyLicensing.pdf

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Lots of uncollected revenue sitting out there just waiting for someone to push enforcement, but no...folks would rather push more laws that penalize those already following the laws.

 

I often wonder if the lack of desire to enforce current regulation is the greatest gift to those that want pet ownership eliminated, makes it clear that what we have on the books doesn't work so we must need more regulation.

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Every once in a while the City of Kansas City puts out on the news that they are going to be conducting house to house searches for unlicensed animals.

 

Of course, all the people who are over the City limit of 4 animals go into major panic mode. The last time this happened people were threatening to meet the City Animal Control people at the door with guns. I think lots of people got scared and licensed their pets. I don't think the City ever sent anyone door to door. It was all just a big ruse to scare people into getting a license.

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Every once in a while the City of Kansas City puts out on the news that they are going to be conducting house to house searches for unlicensed animals.

 

Is that legal? If someone knocked on my door questioning me about my pets and wanting to search my house I would tell them they needed a police officer and a search warrant.

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I recall a big scare and so many going on about the injustice, just not fair and on and on, but darn it, get's to be unfair with so many flying under the radar, seems with avoiding licensing they also don't do the proper vet work for fear of being found out.

 

Vent time....have new legislation proposed here in our state, seems that a group is trying to form to draft their own proposal to counter the new AR drafted version. Problem is, most involved seem to be breeders who should be currently licensed but are electing to exempt themselves via noncompliance of the state licensing law. So now the plan to go to their legislators to draft regulation formally exempting themselves and then place higher requirements on everyone else. I don't see where law breakers should be the ones making or amending the laws, just not cool, but the system allows it. Likely to lead to even stricter unenforced regulation that just applies to those that are already licensed, shame on those who dare follow the laws.

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Debbie, how do they distinguish themselves (in order to exempt themselves) from the ones they want to place higher requirements on? Is it number of pups sold, or something else?

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oh, it's a big debate and still being tossed around, just depends on the individual who is talking at the time. Sounds like some would like to see a 10 bitch and under exemption. Just makes me roll my eyes.

 

Some see MO as a 10 bitch exemption neglecting to really read the law which indicates that they would still need to be "registered" with the housing and care standards still applying to them if complaints are brought up against them.

 

If I recall correctly, the proposed legislation that is sitting at the state house right now gives exemption from inspection if you have 10 or fewer breeding females and also have certification from your vet that he/she has inspected all of your animals and you have administered all the proper vaccinations per AVMA standards, but all with over 3 unaltered would still need to be license which is what we have today. Anyone with over 3 unaltered that sells puppies is required to be licensed and state inspected, been that way for 20 years or so I believe.

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Some have issue with inspections and just don't want the intrusion, some have issue with the minimum housing requirements. We also have it in the state policies that a breeder can't have more then 6 dogs in their residence, doesn't matter if they are altered or unaltered. If you breed, need a license, any over 6 need to have accommodations outside of the primary residence. That's a big issue with many who are avoiding the licensing, they don't want to be told that they are limited to 6 in their primary residence.

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Eileen, have you read the judges opinion from the dismissed USDA lawsuit that was published over the last couple of weeks, while to a degree entertaining, it's likely to put a pretty big thorn in a lot of sides on the state and local level when it comes to exemption for minimum housing and care standards.

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I've read the opinion I think you're referring to -- the one that granted summary judgment against the lawsuit challenging the new definition of retail pet stores, right?

 

It was too cutesy for my taste, but I'm afraid I thought it was sound on the law. I think there were stronger arguments the plaintiffs could have made than the ones they did make. But I'm not sure what you mean about its impact on state and local housing and care standards? How are you thinking that will play out?

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"The clubs assert that some members will now be required to buy or construct new buildings with plumbing, electrical, and heating systems.

Pls.’ Mem. at 26 –27.

But the regulations permit outdoor housing facilities with none of those features unless the breed cannot tolerate the prevalent temperatures in the area. 9 C.F.R. § 3.4(a)(1)(i)

-

(iii). Thus, if the clubs are correct that some of their members would have to build new housing to avoid keeping dogs in inappropriate

conditions, it would only substantiate APHIS’s underlying justification for the rule: some unregulated online retailers may be treating their animals

inhumanely"

opens the door for a interesting conversation of what "inhumanely" is in relationship to the requirements outlined by USDA since so many are trying so hard to protest having USDA housing and care standards applied to them.

 

 

And yes, the "cutesy" one, loaded with puns.

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