Friday, July 8, 2011

Shame on the Connecticut Dog Federation: FORR declares shenanigans

Governor Malloy received the bill on his desk on June 30. He has fifteen days from that date to either sign it or veto it. If he does nothing, the bill becomes law. What this means is that we have until July 15 to call the Governor. As a reminder, if you haven't called, now is the time to do so. You can reach Governor Malloy at: 860-566-4840. 

As expected, the other main proponent of the bill, the breeders' trade association which calls itself the Connecticut Dog Federation has reacted with lies to the animal rescue world's response to the bill. This is what they had to sayThe "Animal Rescue" trade groups reportedly are running a calling campaign to the Governor's office urging a veto. There is a good bit of incorrect info and emotional comment regarding H.B. 5368 on various web sites and blogs justifying their opposition to this bill. In order to support the good work done on this bill by the legislature, it seems that we must flood the Governor's office with our own calls urging him to sign H.B. 5368 (Public Act 11-187)." 

As is typical, the breeders continue to disrespect the work that responsible animal rescues do. Conndogfed is comprised of a very small group of breeders who work to defeat laws like the one that was designed to require the spay and neuter of dogs, and they oppose the most basic things like making it a crime to debark a dog or allowing humane education in schools that mention or accept funding from any animal welfare group. Look for the statement that this bill would have allowed animal welfare groups equal treatment in promoting their agenda. Wow, who knew that demanding equal treatment was so outrageous? Guess we didn't get the memo. In fact, they had this little gem on their siteIt is no secret that certain groups representing themselves as animal “welfare” organizations are, in fact, animal “rights” organizations.  Their literature and web sites very clearly state their agendas which, with regard to companion animals, are in direct conflict with our right to own such animals and to promote their proper care." They don't want anyone telling them it's unacceptable to have their animals debarked or bred to death for profit. 

Let's think about this for a moment. Those who breed are ultimately responsible for all the millions of dogs in need of homes that die in shelters every year. If breeders were capable of preventing the millions of unwanted dogs, there would be no need for regulations or even animal welfare groups like the members of this federation. No, breeders are perfectly happy to sell you that new, unaltered puppy for $800 with one set of shots and some deworming (at a cost of less than $30), but they won't do a damned thing to clean up their own messes. 

What's their motive for this law? The real answer is money. Rescue cuts into their profits. If rescue can adopt a dog out for $450 completely vetted (spayed/neutered, all shots, fecal screen, heartworm/lyme/ehrlychia screenings, frontline, heartgard, collar and microchip plus health certificate) that certainly looks attractive to a person comparing it to a kennel selling a completely unvetted puppy for $800. Adding to the cost of an adopted dog is nothing more than a hidden tax designed to make rescue more expensive. 

What's their stated reasons for supporting this law? They try to scare the public claiming that rescue "puts the health of its citizens and their lawfully bred and owned animals by contagious diseases and potentially deadly parasites carried in imported animals." FORR declares shenanigans and demands they provide proof of these so-called deadly parasites in imported animals and prove a) it wasn't already in Connecticut, b) they actually exist in statistically significant numbers and c) that it's not a naturally-occurring phenomena. With all due respect to Conndogfed, if you've got it, bring it, or politely shut up already. We note their concern for the lawfully bred and owned animals, but I guess they could give a damn about the dogs in Connecticut shelters or anywhere else for that matter.

Then they claim that rescue subjects "many unwary recipients of such animals to extraordinary veterinary bills for treatment of undisclosed diseases or infirmities." Really? Prove it. The testimony of four people who got sick dogs is all there was in support of this bill. FORR loathes people who in the name of rescue hand out sick dogs without proper vetting, quarantine and care, but to claim that "rescues" bring in sick dogs in droves to the state of Connecticut is ludicrous. The biggest rescues in Connecticut have rescued collectively more than 60,000 dogs. Where's the constant news stories of sick dogs? Where's the local outrage? It does not exist and they are scaring people with imaginary monsters that only they can see.

Then they throw out the sympathy card: Rescue deprives "healthy animals in state pounds and shelters the chance for legitimate adoption." Really? As we discussed in a previous post, this is essentially a red herring. As of June 27, there were less than 500 dogs in shelters in Connecticut in need of homes, and that includes private rescues that pull dogs only from local shelters. You can see the numbers here. I don't see Conndogfed clubs running to the Connecticut shelters to save the bully breeds, the chihuahuas and labs sitting there waiting for rescue. That's because they want to sell you a new dog.  That's called hypocrisy.

Finally, they make this absolutely slanderous claim: "To satisfy the need for low‐cost animal adoptions, a lucrative business has emerged, particularly in the south and Midwest, to breed and provide “adoption” animals to Connecticut and other states." Conndogfed, you had better be able to provide proof of this claim or be prepared to eat it.  Rescues DO NOT BREED AND BUY WHILE DOGS DIE. That's the difference between legitimate animal rescue and Conndogfed. Shame on you. 


  1. You are dead on, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

  2. I appreciate the frustration regarding this bill, however I disagree with a few statements in the article. I am the proud "owner" of several adopted dogs, one of whom was adopted from a southern rescue. I am also employed in the veterinary industry and have seen numerous pets adopted from southern rescues that have presented with various ailments such as intestinal parasites, kennel cough, pneumonia, parvovirus and heartworm. These dogs became clinical immediately after transport. Most of the new owners that I have encountered chose not to report their pet's illness and concentrated their efforts on treating their pets, often at substantial cost. Perhaps only 4 sick animals were reported, but that does not mean that only 4 animals were ill.

    I also disagree with the statement that breeders are responsible for the high numbers of homeless pets. Just as their are responsible rescues, there are also responsible breeders who carefully screen their buyers, require spaying or neutering in their adoption contracts and require that animals be returned to them in the event that the new owner becomes unable to care for them. Many of these breeders are involved in breed rescue as well.

    You mention several times the term "responsible rescue". Not all rescues are created equal. A responsible rescue is a wonderful thing, but some rescue groups do misrepresent new owners and ship dogs that are too ill for transport.

    Shipping dogs from areas with a high concentration of homeless pets to an area of low concentration is a short term solution to a long term problem. Until individual states with high numbers of homeless pets take measures to stem the numbers of puppies and kittens being born daily, the situation will never improve.

    While I do not completely agree with this bill I am glad that it has shed light on a very real problem. Perhaps the bill can be retooled to insure the safety of the animals and the integrity of responsible rescue organizations.

  3. I have seen dogs sold by "responsible" breeders with intestinal parasites. I have seen dogs come out of shelters with kennel cough and parvo. They are a product of their environment. This bill will not stop communicable diseases and everyone would be naive to think so. A responsible rescue will treat the illness if it is within their means and give the dog/cat a chance. The shelters will euthanize. This bill will not stop a stray dog with parvo from coming into contact with your dog. The rescues I have had are isolated until they get to a vet. Do not tell me that the dog I bring into your state is spreading disease when they don't come into contact with any other animals until they are vet checked. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it. When you need a rescue they will not be there.

  4. With all the anti-breeder rhetoric on this blog I am thankful the state of Connecticut will enact this law to protect the honorable pursuit of dog breeding. Supporting forced sterilization when your state has to import animals? LAUGHABLE. Supporting banning of bark-softening surgeries? Such ban will increase the noise complaints and the numbers of dogs who end up in shelters. Hey, that's always good news for the "rescue" groups, though, isn't it? More product to sell.
    What's the motivation for the opposition to this law? The real answer is MONEY. Sales of rescues is no different than sales of dogs by private parties. ADOPTION=Money changes hands=SALE.
    And allowing crackpot, hypocritical groups like HSUS and PETA to educate our children is dangerous. PETA kills over 90% of the animals they take into their Virginia headquarters "shelter". HSUS urges shelters to KILL instead of re-home animals. These sicko groups don't deserve anyone to listen to them, much less impressionable children and they sure don't need to suck more money in donations or payments from our state-supported schools to further their sick Animal Wrongist agenda.

  5. Uh-huh. “Those who breed,” no matter who they are, or where they live, are responsible for the fact that we HAVE animals in our lives. Without “those who breed,” there would be no dogs, anywhere.

    So after we have spayed or neutered every dog born, where do you expect future dogs to come from? Maybe you don’t grasp basic biology, or maybe you’re part of the HSUS/PETA extremists who believe we should not HAVE dogs in our lives. Or maybe you think the hundreds of thousands of poorly bred, unhealthy dogs being imported yearly from China, Romania, Taiwan and other third world countries will fill this country’s demand for pets.

    Yeah, that makes sense. Instead of healthy, well-bred, socialized pups from American breeders, we’ll all have sickly, indiscriminately bred strays from countries with no health standards in place for pets.

    Maybe rescues don’t care where the dogs come from, as long as they can keep selling them to the public as “adoptions.” I have yet to see a shelter or a rescue go to any lengths to make sure owners get the dog that’s right for them. It’s all about numbers. I’ve attended many rescue events and watched people being pushed to adopt a dog, any dog, if the one you wanted is gone, we have plenty of others. Just GET one. And the next day they’re bragging about how many they "adopted out" (sold). Does anyone ever ask how many of them end up being brought back?

    On the other hand, any responsible breeder will have a long list of questions to ask before they will let you have one of their carefully bred and loved puppies, after which, they’ll stay in touch in case you need help. And if all else fails and the home doesn’t work out, they’ll take the dog back, no questions asked.

    Responsible breeders provide about 5% of the total dogs out there. Personally, I think if you can get a pup from one of them, you’re very lucky. It’s not easy to do, especially when all the rescue places are screaming about “evil breeders” and doing their best to shut them down.

    And if they're successful at doing so, if not for the imports, all those rescues would then be out of business. Might have to take those blinders off and take a look at the real world.

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