The past few years have brought a plethora of legislative proposals to most, if not all State legislative houses. It appears that certain "Animal Rights" or "Animal Welfare" enthusiasts, are on an active campaign to force their version of so-called "progressive" /social engineering (changing society based on their political viewpoint) on otherwise law-abiding and unsuspecting dog owners and breeders.
Some organizations are extremist and want to end all breeding of domestic pets, yet other organizations seek to improve the health and welfare of pets, and feel it is wrong to breed dogs in mass operations. As a responsible breeder, I agree with the latter policy.
*Mandatory spay-neuter provisions*
Responsible breeders breed their dogs appropriately, and alter their dogs at the time that is right for the dogs and themselves. They never contribute to shelter or stray populations, and accept responsibility for all the dogs they breed, throughout their lives. They do not need and should not have misled individuals or the government mandating those decisions.
*Limits on the numbers of dogs*
While most responsible fanciers nowadays probably keep fewer than a dozen dogs, there is no evidenced-based correlation between the numbers of dogs possessed and those who neglect and cruelly treat their charges. Some people neglect or are cruel to even one or two dogs. Others keep 15 dogs ethically and responsibly. Interestingly, most reputable hobby breeders are also opposed to commercial or large scale breeding, as well as backyard breeding. The numbers for each type of those operations vary, and some backyard breeders may have only 3 or 4 dogs but they are repetitively bred. Numbers are an illogical way to control profit-motivated breeders.
However the fear many responsible breeders have of number-limit bills is related to the arbitrary nature of "numbers." They fear the "numbers" will insidiously creep down and then eliminate the responsible and ethical hobby breeder. The trust between responsible breeders and the organizations that desire to work with them towards the common goal of keeping the dog as the worthy human companion has been in place for thousands of years.
*Banning tail docking*
Tail docking is correctly done at or before the age of three (3) days, by the educated, responsible breeder or their veterinarian. Often in the office, veterinarians delegate this chore to assistants. A tail-less hindquarter is one of the most characteristic features of Pembroke breed type in the United States. Tail docking in the Pembroke is not "cutting" the tail, instead it is bloodless banding as has been done with lambs for hundreds of years. The tail is tied, and quickly goes numb. The pup is nursing at mom's side immediately after banding. This technique is also used to remove extra toes from human babies. Those who say tail docking removes a vital communication tool for dogs simply lack any scientific evidence and are again, imposing their personal views much the same as they do with human circumcision.
*Ownership vs. Guardianship*
People own animals, and all should abide to an ethical standard of care that provides excellent husbandry needs, including proper socialization, needs provision, and training. Use of the term "guardianship" introduces another degree of social engineering into the American pet-owning population, based on a philosophical belief originating with those who feel animals occupy the same spiritual space as humans. Unfortunately, well-intentioned but uninformed people may use the term simply seeking something that sounds "gentler" than the term ownership, as if there is something "wrong" or "ugly" with the term.
*What Can I Do To Get Involved?*
Get involved at any level in which you are comfortable --
Volunteer in your child’s class, attend local city hall meetings, volunteer at the local shelter or
Join the local all-breed. obedience, or breed kennel club.
Just walk your dog and tell people you got him/her from a responsible breeder and why!
Stay in touch with current proposed State legislation at your state's website.
Write your legislators -- they represent you!
Support you local responsible breeder! Email or call them and ask how you can help!
Educate yourself, and spread the word!