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Patti Strand's
Heart of Darkness
A Sad Day for Puppies

You beasts! But I'm not beaten yet. You've won the battle, but I'm about to win the wardrobe. My spotty puppy coat is in plain site and leaving tracks.

by Lisa G. Leming

"We won! The Puppy Protection Act was inspired by special interest groups that fundraise using emotional animal welfare issues."   As such, it was based on sound bites and depended on evidence from those who aim to restrict all dog breeding... NAIA supports the AKC's conclusion that there is no basis in current science and no consensus among breeders, veterinarians or animal behaviorists as to what constitutes acceptable "socialization standards."  Patti Strand jubilantly describes the defeat of the PPA on April 26, 2002.   Thanks in large measure to the selfless efforts of Patti Strand of the National Animal Interest Alliance and the American Kennel Club;  the Puppy Protection Act was defeated in 2002 A tragic day for puppies but apparently a reason to celebrate for Patti (hooray!)   "The NAIA supports the AKC's conclusion." (?)  How convenient, Ms. Strand has been on the board of  one organization (AKC) since 1995 and is the National Director, co-founder and primary spokesperson for the other (NAIA).   She dismisses humane legislation as "extremism" while ignoring a wealth of  information on this subject.   In 2001, Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced this amendment which would have created a "three strikes and you're out" system, limited the number of litters in a 24 month period and mandated a one year minimum age for breeding.  It also would have required socialization periods with other dogs and people for their well being and to prevent behavioral issues. The House-passed version of the Farm bill, H.R. 2646,  does not contain the puppy mill provision."   Opposition to this bill did not include welfare and advocacy groups which "promote animal well-being" but the commercial animal industries, including breeder and industry lobbies like the AKC, the NAIA and the American Veterinary Medical Association.   There are a percentage of veterinarians profiting through pet stores for filling out (often fabricated) "health certificates" required in some states.  They may also receive referrals from pet stores who send customers with sick puppies to them.  They don't work for breeders; which would cut into profits and who let animals go untreated (even performing gruesome surgeries like C sections themselves, often without anesthesia).  Almost all pet breeder associations link to the NAIA and the AKC websites.  Commercial breeders are often puppy mills that mass produce dogs which are sold in pet stores or on-line. There are reportedly 4,000 to 5,000 puppy mills in the U.S., each with 75 to 150 breeding dogs.  Female dogs used for breeding in puppy mills are bred until their bodies give out. Dogs are often "stored" in cramped, usually filthy, dark cages with little care, socialization or human companionship.  Dogs in puppy mills have been found starved and/or covered with fleas and tics.  The AKC licenses the litters of puppy mills as these are the registry's largest source of income.  In 2006 the AKC registered 870,000 individual dogs and 416,000 litters. At $20 per dog and $25 per litter (plus $2 per puppy) the AKC brought in well over $30 million in revenues from registration of dogs born in puppy mills.

A February 2008 letter from Patti Strand strenuously objects to a Washington State Consumer Protection Bill proposing that commercial breeders be held legally accountable for the health of puppies they sell.  In a shocking display of malice, pettiness and greed; she argues the unfairness of holding commercial breeders to health standards while exempting charitable rescues. She writes; "These entities are totally unregulated today, despite the fact that many of them operate like pet stores, using all the modern business methods of advertising and marketing to recruit and sell/adopt a huge number of pets in the burgeoning secondary pet market.  Complaints about sick, dying and vicious animals placed through these channels have increased tremendously in recent years as these new rescues and other quasi-humane groups have mushroomed."  Incredibly, she seems unable to make a distinction between commercial breeders selling sick puppies for hundreds or thousands of dollars each and charities rescuing sometimes older, neglected and abused.  In reality, even healthy puppies are euthanized due to pet overpopulation.  Most physical and temperament issues are due to inbreeding, inhumane treatment or lack of proper socialization. While animals from rescues are temperament tested before being adopted out (sometimes with restrictions); most issues (including over-population) are preventable and result from the very lack of mandatory standards which the NAIA endorses.  Some are rescues from puppy mills whose lack of standards and "professional breeders" she has spent 20 years defending.  Rescues are neither "quasi-humane groups" nor used cars lots as in "secondary pet markets."  (She even brings up a "lemon law".)  She adds "on a philosophical level, we disagree with any approach that treats animals the same as manufactured products..."  This is presumably for effect given the entire premise of the NAIA is that animals are commodities.  She also objects to "strays being imported from Asia..."  where dogs and cats are often victims of the fur trade and other atrocities.    To quote Patti Strand "NAIA also notes that campaigns to stop pet overpopulation have been so successful they have caused a shortage of puppies and small dogs in many shelters. Rather than declare success and close their doors, some of these shelters now pay for puppies and dogs and import them from other cities, territories and countries so they will have dogs available for adoption."  She adds; "NAIA believes some of the rescue groups and shelters participating in this relocation process are acting as dealers and pet stores and should be licensed accordingly."  Approximately 9.6 million companion animals are euthanized annually in the US.   Humane societies sometimes take in overflow from states and counties with very overcrowded shelters and high euthanasia who would otherwise by put down.  However, they do not buy and sell dogs nor are they "dealers".  Obviously, the real issue is not so much a "lack of standards" or "quasi-humane groups"; but competition with profitable and AKC registered pure bred puppies from mills.

The Hijacking of the Humane Movement: Animal Extremism (1993, out of print) by Patti & Rod Strand, review by Norma Bennett Woolfe (NAIA Editor Emeritus).  "...dog breeders and other "users" of animals are being squeezed between the pet-owning, animal-loving average citizen and a growing cadre of radicals who want to sever all use of animals... John Q. Public donates money to "end animal suffering" in abusive labs, so-called factory farms, sub-standard zoos and circuses, puppy mills, etc. The radicals take that money and use it to promote their own agenda-the end of meat-eating, zoos, circuses, medical research involving animals, even the keeping of assistance dogs and all other pets."   Animal welfare advocates support spay/neuter, breeding restrictions and often vegetarianism for health, ethical, spiritual or environmental reasons.  Many animal rights advocates own pets, rescue, volunteer or have worked in animal welfare.  There is currently no group that targets "keeping of assistance dogs and all other pets".   Politicians pocket large sums from vivisection lobbies and pharmaceuticals require scapegoats for their constantly rotating (off the market after tragic human consequences) arsenal of profitable drugs.    In 2002, the combined profits ($35.9 billion) of the ten largest drug companies in the Fortune 500 were more than the combined profits ($33.7 billion) of the remaining 490 companies together. The only reason these drug companies did not maintain this shocking financial advantage is that the oil companies' profits have increased considerably with the Iraq War, thus raising the 490 non-drug companies' profits slightly higher.   "Then, in the mid 20th Century, the activists resurfaced in Nazi uniforms and approved a spate of laws designed to protect animals. Hitler proclaimed himself a vegetarian, and so-called crimes against animals were often penalized by death while crimes against people went unpunished. The stage had been set for the reemergence of the radical animal rights movement, which began in earnest in the 1960s.  Animal rights groups range from the terrorist through the treacherous to the tricky and advocate everything from elimination of medical research involving animals to the keeping of pets. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) raids and vandalizes research laboratories and fur farms and terrorizes scientists; PETA is a mouthpiece for ALF and promotes civil disobedience, harassment, trickery, and lies to end the use of animals; and the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) proposes draconian breeding bans on dogs and cats and lobbies for an end to hunting."  "Vandalized" laboratories full of "terrorized scientists" are often notorious laboratories such as Huntingdon Life Sciences. "Large companies like Huntingdon get away with appalling violations of animal welfare. Whether in the name of science or product testing, they hide behind the fallacies that animal experimentation is necessary and in the best interest of the public.  The experimentation associated with Sucralose (Splenda) provides a charming example. Between companies testing Splenda, including Huntingdon, an estimated 13,000 animals, including rodents, beagles and monkeys, were killed testing a substance roughly 600 times sweeter than ordinary sugar.  With a surfeit of artificial sweetners already available to the public, Splenda is nothing but another link in a chain of questionably safe substitutes. After a slew of harsh and unnecessary killings, the world received another food additive it didn't know it needed.   Robert Payne, considered to be Hitler's definitive biographer states, "His asceticism was fiction invented by Goebbels (Nazi Minister of Propaganda) to emphasize his total dedication, his self-control, the distance that separated him from other men."   Micheal Krater, author of 'Doctors Under Hitler', states that "As soon as animal vivisection became standard practice, the question arose about experimental research on human beings... for there is no assurance from animal research itself that a given drug would be valid for human application. A famous example is the fact that aspirin kills rabbits...  The evolution from animal experimentation to human experimentation is a logical consequence... whether in Nazi Germany, or elsewhere and not the result of preferring humans to animals. "...the often-encountered theory that Nazis spurned human life in preference for that of animals, in particular house pets, is without basis in fact--nonsuspect societies love pets also."  'Human Experimentation:  Before the Nazi Era and After' from 'Strangers At The Bedside' by David Rothman.  Ms. Woolf's myopic and paranoid visions of "draconian breeding bans", "trickery", "terrorized scientists" and warm hearted support of hunters have little in common with animal welfare.  Patti Strand and the NAIA maintain an absurd denial of pet overpopulation, to the point of vilifying spay/neuter advocates and proposing that rescues and shelters be licensed as "dealers".  "The humane movement began in England in the early 19th Century when moralists, political philosophers, and members of several religions joined forces to force laws prohibiting cruelty to animals and children. They established the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the National Anti-Vivisection Society to bring about the end of blood sports (bear and bull baiting and cock and dog fighting) and a number of other cruel practices and to stop the use of animals in medical research. This latter goal was shared by the Luddites, a group of anti-science zealots, and Victorian activists, who were sure that people "deserved" the diseases they contracted and therefore didn't "deserve" to be cured. Remnants of both philosophies are rampant in today's animal rights  movement."   Ms. Strand makes predictably absurd and baseless connections between the Anti-Vivisection Society and "a group of anti-science zealots, and Victorian activists, who were sure that people "deserved" the diseases they contracted and therefore didn't "deserve" to be cured."  Scientists and physicians; both past and present, have always opposed vivisection as unscientific, cruel and dangerous.  (1)

Those carrying rifles, bows, arrows, whips, air guns, electric prods, knives, razor blades and steel leg traps pretend to be appalled by animal extremism (!)    It is amusing hear shills rave about PETA's hefty budget and or the targeting of defenseless corporations.   The entire annual operating budget for the largest animal rights organization in the world is 35 million (almost exclusively from membership dues.)  The American Kennel Club collects a similar amount selling "registries" for dogs from puppy mills and McDonald's spends 1.5 billion a year on advertising.  

footnotes:

(1)  Many vivisectors still claim that what they do helps save human lives.  They are lying. The truth is that animal experiments kill people and animal researchers are responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women and children every year. Dr. Vernon Coleman, Royal Society of Medicine (N.Y. Times Editorial)

Doctors who speak out in favour of experimentation do not deserve any recognition in society, all the more so since their brutality is apparent not only during such experiments, but also in their practical medical lives. They are mostly men who stop at nothing in order to satisfy their ruthless and unfeeling lust for honours and gain.   Dr. Med. Hugo Knecht (1909)

Further reading:

Voice for Ethical Research at Oxford

1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection by Hans Ruesch

Researchers from Harvard and Boston Universities concluded that medical measures (drugs and vaccines) accounted for
between 1 and 3.5 % of the total decline in mortality rate since 1900. Scores of animals were killed in the quest to find cures for tuberculosis, scarlet fever, small pox and diphtheria. Dr. Edward Kass of Harvard Medical School, asserts that the primary credit for the virtual eradication of these diseases must go to improvements in public health, sanitation and general standard of living.   Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals.  95% of drugs passed by animal tests are immediately discarded as useless or dangerous to humans.   At least 50 drugs on the market cause cancer in laboratory animals


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