Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why Responsible Breeders Don't Support Anti Pet Legislation

This letter was written in response to a post from the VA PAWS group. While it is specifically talking about one group, it applies to many and illustrates more than anything I could say why responsible breeders do not support the anti pet legislation being proposed across the country by the Humane Society of the US. If you are in rescue, ask yourself if you have ever been guilty of any of these things. (Highlighting is mine and this is posted with permission. )

Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Lila Borge Wills <> wrote:
> Robin, I don't know where you got the information. VA PAWS board members did
> not go to Richmond and did not work with Teresa on this legislation. Teresa
> and others did this on their own.


I was in Richmond during all of the committee meetings on HB538 and
was not aware of any VA PAWS members there, though I believe the
organization was mentioned in Teresa's testimony as a supporter.

Lila, I don't imagine that there is a soul on this list who does not
applaud most of VA PAWS efforts in education, the human-animal bond,
rescue, etc. The trouble is that you have fallen in with bad company.
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and its mothership, HSUS,
are dedicated to making it more difficult,more expensive, and more
legally dangerous to own pets. If you look at the legislation they
promote, NONE of it is helpful -- it is all designed to punish people
they do not think are "good enough" to own pets. I won't even get
into the whole HSUS animal rights agenda, but if you want to know more
about it, go to and click on "The Future of Dogs."

The reason you run into such hostility on this list is that none of us
really want to be here. We don't want to have to spend our lives
fighting for the right to own and breed animals. We'd rather spend
our time with our pets and families. We believe that if current
welfare laws were ENFORCED, that along with leash laws and noise
ordinances, that's all we need.

We love animals -- many of us on this list rescue, volunteer at
shelters, have therapy dogs, you'd be surprised.. Walt and I have had
many shelter dogs and one of our older girls is a Lab/Chow mix I found
in the woodpile when she was four weeks old. I've been involved with
rescue since before it was rescue, when it was just "picking up

The trouble with "modern" rescuers is that many of them have gone from loving animals to hating humans. Because they DO see the worst, they assume all owners are terrible people and they spend their lives
looking for ways to separate people from their animals.

You see this in rescue organizations whose criteria for "adoption" are
so strict that only one out of ten people could pass.

You see it in shelter workers who would rather put an animal to sleep
than release it to a less-than-perfect (by their definition) home.
(And yes, I have heard that said out loud by the DIRECTOR of a large
shelter in Virginia)

And you see it in organizations like VVAW and VFHS who want to pass
laws that will prohibit anyone from breeding and even from owning more
animals than *they* think can be properly cared for.

These people are bitter and damaged and if you listen to their
conversations, they nearly always center around "stupid" or "cruel"
owners or how abused or neglected an animal was that they took into
care. They completely overlook the fact that for every mistreated dog
or cat, there are HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS living happy, healthy lives.
People who rescue or work in shelters are there to help the EXCEPTION.

But for many of them. the longer they stay in these positions, the
more they begin to believe that hardly anyone is "good enough."

The dog spends its day in the yard? Poor thing, probably never gets
any attention.
In the house? Probably spends all day crated without water.
Families got kids? You know they just drive that dog crazy and are mean to him.
No kids? That poor dog will never get any exercise and will be alone...
And on and on and on. I have actually heard a rescue say she would
not approve a family whose "house was too nice." Why? Because what
would they do if the dog peed on the rug? (Probably the same thing
that our puppy buyers who are doctors, lawyers, architects, and
stockbrokers do -- clean it up.)

Of course this is not true of all rescuers and shelter workers, but
these people are where the punitive laws come from. And it is why
those of us who believe people and pets belong together spend far, far
too much time fighting this kind of legislation,

The educational efforts you mention are good, Lila, and if you can
keep burnout from infecting VAPAWS with the "Rescue Messiah Complex,"
you'll do some good.

And I'll make you a deal. I can't speak for anyone on the list except
me and Walt, but if VA PAWS would
-- cut completely its ties with HSUS, VFHS, VVAW, and all other
organizations involved in passing legislation
-- stay out of commercial breeder seizures and "investigations", (that
is what animal control is for)
-- and stick with your non-punitive, non-judgmental programs to HELP
people and animals,

we would not only support you but would send you a check. A small one
because we don't have much money, but we'd put it where our mouth is.
Okay, where MY mouth is.

Think about it. A real non-political animal WELFARE organization we
could encourage people to support. Right now we just tell them to send
donations to their local shelters if they are not AR-leaning, or to
the AKC Humane Fund. I'd love to be able to support yours instead.
(and I am serious)


Sharyn and Walt Hutchens
Timbreblue Whippets

1 comment:

Debie said...

I agree wholeheartedly,so many animal activists suffer from rescue fatigue and lose their objective judgement.