Author Topic: Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)  (Read 943 times)

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Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)
« on: February 09, 2008, 01:23:09 PM »
AMERICAN HERDING BREED ASSOCIATION
______________________________________________________________________

04 Feb 2008

AN OPEN LETTER REGARDING DOG ORDINANCES

In the past several months, the American Herding Breed Association has watched with dismay the proposal of various State laws or local ordinances restricting dog ownership. 

Some of these raise the fees for owning a dog to a punishing level.  Some of these mandate neutering of any dog that does not meet special criteria.  Some prohibit owning more than a certain number of dogs without obtaining a special license that imposes special fees and inspections. 

In almost every case, the basic premise for such restrictions is wrong.  Individuals and organizations such as PETA and HSUS often present misinformation and falsehoods to justify these restrictions, despite the fact that several of these organizations have publicly stated their goal of eliminating all dog ownership and when it is known that the data is false.

In seeking to address a problem of animals in shelters by wholesale mandatory neutering of dogs, cities, counties or states do their citizens a disservice.  Such regulations will not eliminate shelter dogs.  The vast majority of shelter dogs are not puppies and they are not in shelters because there are too many dogs (see http://petpopulation.org/).  In most places within the United States, data shows that shelter populations are declining without resort to mandatory spay/neuter.  Many shelters import puppies or dogs from outside the United States in order to meet the demand of the public.  It is a drastic disservice to the populace to delete the rights of average citizens to keep an intact dog and to breed it if they desire while at the same time "shelters" are importing animals from outside the area.   

Often, the presence of strays is used as a justification to pass restrictions on dog breeding or dog ownership even though the area has an existing "leash law".  Instead of enforcing existing laws, more laws are passed.  Worse, often statements are made that the laws will be enforced only upon complaint ensuring that an entirely unequal enforcement of the law occurs. Claims are often made that "exceptions" will be made for dogs with titles or service dogs but in nearly all cases these exceptions are misleading, because they are subject to the determination and unilateral control of animal control or an official whose knowledge regarding dog clubs, organizations and dogs in general may be very limited.  Unequal and unfair enforcement ensues when a "local jurisdiction" determines what is an "approved registry" or determines what is to be a "legitimate show or sporting competition" without understanding that many rare breeds are not registered with AKC or some other well-known registry.   Individuals whose documents were acceptable in one city may find them unacceptable in another.  Moreover, such exceptions are subject to change or reduction at a later time, creating a situation where an owner is never certain that today's exemption will be sufficient for tomorrow.   

AHBA believes such legislation is bad for livestock dogs, and dogs and cats as a whole.  Such legislation cannot be fixed by addition of "exemptions" that are later eliminated.  It does not provide justice to pass an ordinance that will be enforced "sometimes" and against "some people".  It does not provide for domestic tranquility to have citizens of the United States concerned that they are breaking the law simply by driving through a city with an intact dog or a particular dog breed.  Criminalizing the mere ownership of an intact animal does not address the health issues of neutering (see http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf).  In the Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Non-Surgical Contraceptive Methods for Pet Population Control (see  http://www.acc-d.org/ ) research showed that neutered animals were more aggressive towards people,  not less (http://www.acc-d.org/2006%20Symposium%20Docs/Session%20I.pdf).  Female dogs had a significantly higher incidence of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, vaginitis and UTI if spayed before puberty rather than later.  A higher incidence of cruciate ligament injuries is documented, as are higher rates of cancer.  Rather than leaving the decision to spay/neuter as one between the owner and their vet and based on an informed evaluation of pros and cons, laws are passed that force sterilization, regardless of the consequences to the individual dog.  Such laws and ordinances make a travesty of the Constitutional rights of any citizen.

For these reasons, among many others, the American Herding Breed Association opposes any law or ordinance that requires spay / neuter or that limits the number of dogs/cats an individual may own so long as they provide reasonable care for those animals.

Sincerely,
American Herding Breed Association
Jennifer Walker
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TobysMomma

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Re: Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 03:08:55 PM »
Quote
  Many shelters import puppies or dogs from outside the United States in order to meet the demand of the public.  It is a drastic disservice to the populace to delete the rights of average citizens to keep an intact dog and to breed it if they desire while at the same time "shelters" are importing animals from outside the area.   

Not to disagree with the point of the article at all but I have never heard of shelters importing dogs from outside the US to meet the demand from the public, do you know where that data comes from and where this is happening? It is hard for me to get my head around that statement.
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Re: Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 04:14:06 PM »
Quote
I have never heard of shelters importing dogs from outside the US to meet the demand from the public, do you know where that data comes from and where this is happening?

Here's a USA Today article about the shelter in Salem, MA importing dogs from Puerto Rico:
http://www.petpac.net/news/headlines/20030130_cities/

They're not the only shelter receiving Puerto Rican dogs, of course; the article notes that over the last seven years, one organization has shipped 14,000 dogs to the US for adoption.

A statement from the NAIA, citing specifically a shelter in Seattle and one in San Diego have brought in dogs from Mexico and Romania, respectively:
http://www.naiatrust.org/resources/foreign_strays.htm
Links to the news articles at the bottom.

A longer article from NAIA, discussing the issue nationwide and with several source links:
http://www.naiaonline.org/articles/archives/humane_insane.htm

This website, though very outdated, shows the disposition of some Taiwanese dogs to the US:
http://www.geocities.com/t-aarf/

California has created a "Border Puppy Task Force" to deal with the estimated 10,000 puppies that are smuggled in from Mexico each year, though to be fair most of those are sold through pet channels rather than through shelters.

This is about shelters importing dogs from other parts of this country, which happens quite frequently:
http://www.cooldoghalloffame.com/dog-health/animal-shelters-importing-puppies-to-meet-growing-demand/1410

I'm not actually opposed to shelters bringing in dogs from other parts of the US - but it does really make one wonder why there is such an outcry about "overpopulation" when so many shelters have shortages of dogs.  I think Patti Strand said it best - it's not an overpopulation problem, it's a distribution problem.
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TobysMomma

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Re: Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 05:18:36 PM »
Thanks Jennifer, I learn something new everyday. I knew dogs were often transfered around the state or country from shelter to shelter or from shelter to rescue org. etc to meet the demand for a certain breed or to ease overcrowding etc. but I never knew any were being imported from outside the US. I would think if shelters don't have enough dogs to meet the demand, that is a sign of success and some of the shelters can be closed.

There are thousands of homeless dogs on petfinder and craigs list and most shelters and rescues have no shortage. I don't think much effort really needs to be put out to find yourself a rescue dog already here is the US. Is it people that have very specific (possibly unrealistic) expectations of what they want in a rescue/shelter dog or maybe they aren't willing to look very far, put out much effort, or get an adult dog, that are driving this trend?

It seems that most folks want puppies and not older dogs. That is a shame. Often times they get rid of the dog as soon as they are no longer puppy-cute and then get yet another puppy, never training or socializing the poor pup. :smash:
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Re: Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 08:38:49 PM »
Quote
I would think if shelters don't have enough dogs to meet the demand, that is a sign of success and some of the shelters can be closed.

You'd think so. :)  In LA, where the City Council has just (preliminarily, by a vote of 10-1) a mandatory spay/neuter law for all dogs and cats over 4 months of age, to combat the "overpopulation problem" they have, they're building eight new or expanded shelters.  Seems to me that if MSN is the solution to high shelter euthanasia numbers, then passing such a law would negate the need for more shelters..... (Incidentally, LA County instituted MSN back in 2000; apparently that wasn't especially effective.)
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Re: Nationwide - An Open Letter Regarding Dog Ordinances (ABHA)
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 10:07:16 AM »
Quote
  Many shelters import puppies or dogs from outside the United States in order to meet the demand of the public.  It is a drastic disservice to the populace to delete the rights of average citizens to keep an intact dog and to breed it if they desire while at the same time "shelters" are importing animals from outside the area.   

Not to disagree with the point of the article at all but I have never heard of shelters importing dogs from outside the US to meet the demand from the public, do you know where that data comes from and where this is happening? It is hard for me to get my head around that statement.

When I was helping my mom look for a dog  we searched pet-finder . There were alot of places that when you read about the rescue org , they were inporting dogs and puppies . There were a few that
Only import dog and do not even deal with dogs that are already here .
 
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