PAWS Act 2005 Petition (SB 1139/HB 2669)

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PAWS Act 2005 Petition (SB 1139/HB 2669)

Along with signing this petition, it is asked that each signer write letters to the American Kennel Club and your individual state representatives and senators (written letters or faxes hold more weight than emails and online petitions in the long run). An internet search of your state government will get you this information.

AKC Operations Center
5580 Centerview Drive,
Raleigh, NC 27606

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
Room SR-328A
Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6000

FMI to see how the PAWS Act 2005 may affect you: http://www.smythwicks.org/paws/

The PAWS Act 2005 was designed to tighten up loopholes in previous legislations regarding those who breed animals privately in their homes. However, any bill that targets breeders in this manner will ultimately negatively affect the good breeders, the bad will ignore it or find more loopholes and those mass producing puppies for the retail trade (Class A dealers and Class B brokers) will be able to continue on supplying puppies to the retail pet trade. Attempting to define breeders by the number of litters produced or animals sold in a year is not addressing the lesser quality breeders. It is the intention of the breeders and the means used to sell animals that is the worry. An excellent breeder may have on the odd year seven litters or sell 25 animals but then not breed much for some time. A lesser quality breeder may breed only a couple litters a year but not care for the health, quality and final placement of the animals. Defining breeder quality legally in such a way that does not affect the good but hurts the bad is a difficult and slippery slope that may lead to the eventual end of all good and responsible breeding.

The PAWS 2005 Act (SB 1139/HB 2669) is being opposed by many organizations including the United Kennel Club, The Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association, North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance, various dog clubs/organizations including the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America and the American Dog Owners Association. However, the American Kennel Club is supporting the bill though four members of their board at this time oppose it.

How can the PAWS 2005 bill affect even small breeders? If you breed more than seven litters a year or sell more than twenty-five (25) animals in a year, you will be affected by PAWS.

Seven litters in a year sounds like a lot, but look at it from this viewpoint: You are leasing three animals for breeding to one of your top males this year. Now, during this year, you have one older female you would like to breed one last time, as she has been a huge asset to your line. You have female that you would like to breed to an animal residing in this country for a short time with a handler and standing at stud come into season. You have now bred five litters. Earlier this year, you bred two litters that were very small (only one offspring each) that did not meet your own personal standard for your needs. Seven litters have been achieved.

How easy is it to sell 25 animals? You have three total litters this year of 7, 7, and 8. This is 22 offspring. You keep three offspring from each litter. Others go to show and pet homes accordingly. You have now sold 19 animals. You have two offspring growing out from litters from late last year. Neither is filling out to their potential so you sell them this year to pet homes. You are now up to 21. You have a couple young adults that have promise but will not add enough to your breeding program so you sell them to a couple promising Junior Handlers/4H-ers/FFA members to help them get started: 23 animals sold. A colleague of yours has health trouble and asks if you can take and place a couple animals and keep the cost as payment for your help. You are now at 25. An owner has to return a pet due to a messy divorce. It is in rough shape. You rehabilitate the animal at a decent cost and sell it to help recover some of your expenses. You have now sold 26 animals this year.

Most legitimate animal related clubs have a breeder code of ethics that requests all members breed to the standard, health screen breeding dogs and manage the animals humanely. Already, good breeders are policing themselves. The PAWS Act 2005 fails to recognize this.

Most communities already have solid animal welfare laws on the books. They just lack the finances and work force to enforce them. More laws will not help them. It could just make their jobs harder to manage. PAWS Act 2005 does not consider either.

The PAWS Act 2005 act will not benefit the animals of those who are trying hard to breed for form, function, health, temperament and then go to prove it through competitions. Instead, PAWS Act 2005 will make it harder for the good to continue providing quality animals to those who chose the option of a breeder and make it easier for lesser quality breeders and millers to continue to saturate the market with inferior quality stock.

We the undersigned ask that the American Kennel Club end it support for and that members of legislation do not vote for the PAWS Act 2005 (SB 1139/HB 2669).