Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pedigree dogs... the real truth

Most of you who know me understand that I am not a big fan of show dogs and bench shows in general. Dogs were bred to do specific jobs... they have a purpose, a focus that is driven by genetics. Show dogs do not. With respect to the red setter, the gene pool of red setters who are from working stock (those of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club and the AKC registered red setters, plus some isolated others) are bred to do the job of the red setter... and that job is to hunt, find, point and retrieve gamebirds for the handler. With few notable exceptions, the show stock red setters can not do this and have not been able to do this for over half a century.

Show dogs are bred for reasons that I am unable to fathom. Looks, money, personal ego, winning in the show ring, I'm not sure exactly what drives such an illogical passion. It has been my premise for years that this inappropriate breeding of dogs for the bench has been a huge factor in the rocketing proliferation of canine diseases that are found across the various breeds. While the working dogs of this world certainly are not immune to disease, the incidence of genetic diseases pales in comparison to those of the show dogs. I have always been a vocal critic of the AKC and other show-dominated registries for similar reasons. The AKC supports and promotes dog shows. They make a lot of money doing so. They are a closed registry, demanding continuous linebreeding generation after generation, with no hope for a breed to re-invigorate itself by going outside its limited genepool. They tacitly support "backyard" breeding because anyone who breeds as such can advertise their puppies as "AKC registered" (I would run the other direction if that were the sole qualifier for purchasing a puppy). The truth is, show dominated registries such as the AKC have no foundation in contemporary population genetics. They just don't get it.

Now, it turns out, that some folks over in Great Britain do get it. They have aired a very interesting (and sometimes disturbing) show on what's really going on with our supposed "pure bred" dogs. Don't miss this show... its an eye-opener.

Special thanks to the BBC for airing this informative documentary and to the Terrierman blogsite for posting the episodes.

The series is in 6 parts... I will post all 6 over the next few days.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tethering Dogs...

A news article posted today in the Raliegh News & Observer indicates that Durham County commissioners will hold a public hearing tonight on a proposed amendment that would make dog tethering illegal. If the proposed amendment passes, violators would face fines and possible loss of their animals. Acccording to the news article, a county-appointed committee has been researching the issue of dog chaining for the past two years. "Of the 1,500 animal cruelty complaints Durham animal control officers receive annually, a majority of the cases show abuse or neglect related to improper tethering," said Cindy Bailey, director of Durham's animal control department.

For additional info, see the Raleigh News and Observer at http://www.newsobserver.com/

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

The REAL story about show dog pedigrees...

From the Terrierman blogsite (a great blogsite devoted to the pursuit of working dogs)...

About 18 months ago, or a little more, I got an email from Jemima Harrison a television producer in the U.K. who first came across my name when she was forwarded a copy of Inbred Thinking, a post from this (The Terrierman) blog.We shot some emails back and forth, and talked some on the phone about the rise of the Enclosure Movement, Robert Bakewell, Charles Darwin, Francis Galton, John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge), and the rise of genetic loads.She then went on and chased down some good examples of bad outcomes and some smarter people to talk to (no shortage of those!) and has produced a one-hour documentary for BBC One called Pedigree Dogs Exposed.I have not see this special yet, but I have been promised a CD in the mail, and the squib is dead-on perfect:

An in-depth investigation into the health of pedigree dogs. This programme reveals the surprising historical reasons that have contributed to problems in some breeds and explores what might be done to tackle these serious and debilitating health issues.The first showing is Tuesday, August 19th from 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm.UK and other readers with an international reach would do well to tune in and put out the early word on list-servs, etc.I think this piece may be an eye-opener for some! The Kennel Club already has its knickers in a knot, and it has not even seen it yet. Of course, their cry is that it is all bias! Never mind the list of dog diseases by breed. Never mind the working dogs that no longer work. Forget the shortened faces that cannot breathe, the congential heart defects, the four-legged cancer bombs. Let's not talk about the dysplasia, the cataracts, and the Cushing's disease. That would be bias. It's also prejudiced to talk about the rise of skin allergies, the broken hind quarters of the German Shepherd, and the Yorkshire Terriers with teeth popping sideways out of their too-small jaws. Let's not talk about deafness in Dalmations and Harlequin Great Danes, the advent of "Scottie Cramp" or the rise of "Springer Rage Syndrome."Oh No!! All that is prejudice.What is not prejudice is believing that coat color is more important than working abilities. What is not prejudice is a standard for a border terrier that gives more points to the shape of its head than the size of its chest. What is not prejudice is the notion that dogs should be judged on looks rather than on health; on a scrap of paper that says it is of "pure blood" rather than its ability to do it job from youth into old age.That's not prejudice, you see. That's the founding mantra of the The Kennel Club! It's all about paper and ribbons. It's not about the dogs. It's never been about them.

Check out the complete posting at Terrierman... http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/

Irish setter from bench stock

Red Setter Fairy Taile Coyote

...a product of the the Purest Challenge

Which dog would you hunt over??

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


red setter Celtic's Dixie Rebel

In Defense of Dog Breeders

How Animal Rights Has Twisted Our Language

American Sporting Dog Alliance

“You’re a dog breeder!!!!!!!!!!!!”

In today’s world, that is a very loaded statement. It’s more like an accusation.

“I told the television news reporter that I breed dogs,” a friend from Dallas told me recently. “He looked at me like he thought I was a harlot.”

Dog owners have allowed the animal rights movement to redefine our language in order to paint everything we do in the worst possible light. If we say that we breed dogs, the looks we get ask us if we own a “puppy mill” or if we are a “backyard breeder.”

If we reply that we are a “hobby breeder,” someone immediately asks how we can consider living creatures a hobby. Some of us try the word “fancier.” We fool no one.

The most pathetic response to the question is when we call ourselves “responsible breeders.” Responsible to whom? Who defines “responsible” and “irresponsible?” Some bureaucrat? A politician? Animal rights cretins who say there is no such thing as a responsible breeder? Animal rights fanatics would rather kill all animals than see someone love them. In fact, that’s their plan.

If we say we are not breeders, it makes us “pet hoarders.” We are tarred as mentally ill people in need of psychotherapy.

The entire language about dog ownership has been hijacked by the rhetoric of the animal rights movement.

The worst part is that we have allowed it to happen. We are too fearful and wimpy to stand up for ourselves. We keep searching for inoffensive euphemisms to describe what we do, so that we don’t open ourselves up to attack.

By doing that, however, we have engineered our own demise.

The animal rights movement will not go away. Its agenda is to destroy our right to own or raise animals. Animal rights groups have declared war on all animal ownership, and they won’t stop until they either win or we finally have the courage to stand up and defeat them.

They have not taken that kind of power over us. We have given it away. We have surrendered our beliefs to the enemy.
red setter Eva

We apologize for what we do. We make weak excuses for things like animal shelter euthanasia, accidental matings, dog fighting and dangerous dogs. We take at least part of the responsibility for these problems onto our own shoulders, when in truth we have no responsibility at all for creating them.

None whatsoever!

I am sick and tired of watching dog owners constantly apologize and grovel, and allowing themselves to be put on the defensive.

Enough! It’s time to stop sniveling about who we are and what we do.

Let me state clearly and for the record: I am a dog breeder. I breed dogs. I raise puppies. I like it. I’m very proud of it.

If you don’t like it, you are free to take a flying leap. I don’t care what you think of me or what I do.

I raise two or three litters of English setter puppies a year. I wish I could raise more puppies, but can’t figure out how to do it without driving myself into bankruptcy.

My dogs work for a living, just like I do. They have to be good at their jobs, just like I do. If they aren’t good at their jobs, I don’t keep them and I certainly don’t breed them.

They are hunting dogs, and they have to be able to perform to a very demanding standard of excellence to be worthy of breeding. They have to meet the exacting standard of championship-quality performance in the toughest competition.

They are professional athletes.

ready at the breakaway...

Most of them don’t make the cut. Those dogs make wonderful hunting companions or family members.

I have never had a dog spayed or neutered, except for medical reasons, and I don’t intend to start now. If a dog is good enough for me to keep, it is good enough to breed.

Nor have I ever sold a puppy on a spay/neuter contract. With performance dogs, it takes two or three years to know what you have. There is no way that anyone can know the full potential or worthiness of a young puppy. I hope every puppy that I sell will become a great one that is worthy of being bred.

I do not feel bad (and certainly do not feel guilty) if someone decides to breed a dog from my kennel that I did not choose to keep for myself when it was a puppy. It still will be a very nice dog, and I have worked very hard on my breeding program for 35 years to assure that very high quality genetics will be passed along and concentrated in any dog that I sell.

On occasion, I have a puppy that has a serious flaw. I don’t sell those puppies, even though they would make many people very happy. I give them away free to good homes, and the definition of a good home is mine because it’s my puppy. I own it. You don’t.

My responsibility is to the puppy. It is not to you, and it’s not to some gelatinous glob called “society.” I consider myself to be personally responsible for every puppy I raise, from birth until the day it dies. It always has a home in my kennel, if its new owner can’t keep it or no longer wants it.

That’s a contract written in blood between the puppy and me. It’s a contract written with a handshake with the puppy’s new owner.

I laugh cynically when someone from the Humane Society of the United States or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ask if I am a responsible breeder. HSUS and PETA are two of the most vicious, bloodthirsty and dishonest snake pits on Earth. Their moral credibility is a negative number. PETA butchers more than 90-percent of the animals it “rescues” every year, and HSUS supports programs and policies that result in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals every year.

By now, I assume that I have pushed all of the buttons of the animal rights crazies. I can hear them snort and see their pincurls flapping in indignation. It makes my day.

Can’t you hear them, too? They are calling me an exploiter of animals. They are saying that I ruthlessly cull and manipulate the genetics of my dogs. They saying that I make the exploited poor beasts work for a living and live up to impossible standards. They will say that I do this to feed and gratify my own fat ego. They will say that I sell them for money and exploit them for personal gain. Then, of course, they will say that I use them to viciously hunt innocent wild animals.

Terrible, terrible me! My mother should have a son like this! She was such a nice woman.

Well, I plead guilty to all of the charges. Know what else? I don’t feel guilty, not even a little bit. I do it. I like it. I feel good about it.

Now I will speak in my own defense – as a dog breeder.

I happen to love dogs. I love being around them. I love working with them. I love watching a puppy grow up and discover its potential. I love having the privilege of experiencing a truly great dog in its prime. I love sharing supper with my dogs, wrestling with puppies, and sacking out with them on the couch. I lose sleep when they get sick, and work myself unmercifully to care for them. I spend almost all of the money I have on them, and some money that I don’t have. My heart breaks when they grow old and die. I have a dozen lifetimes worth of beautiful memories.

What do the animal rights freaks have? They have their ideology. They look in the mirror and feel smug and self-righteous, as if God has personally anointed them to protect animals from the likes of me.

What they have is nothing at all. Utter sterility. A world devoid of life and love.

They can keep it.

My life is filled with love and joy and beauty, and I owe most of it to my dogs. They have helped to keep me sane when sanity was not a given. They have given me courage on the days when all I wanted to do was lie down and quit. They have given me strength to endure on the days when all I wanted to do is run away and hide.

I owe them my life.

The animal rights folks are right. I ruthlessly cull and manipulate genetics. To make the cut, my breeding dogs have had to live up to the most exacting possible standards and pass the most strenuous tests.

I am very proud of doing that.

The result is that the vast majority of people who buy a puppy from me love it. When I sell a puppy, chances are that it has found a home for the rest of its life. The puppy will have a great chance of leading a wonderful life. I produce puppies that make people happy to own them and want to keep them. That’s my job as a breeder.

I have done this through rigorous selection. My puppies today are the result of 35 years of my stubborn insistence about never breeding a dog that does not have a wonderful disposition, perfect conformation, great intelligence, exceptional natural ability, breathtaking style and that mysterious ingredient called genius.

Every puppy born in my kennel has six or eight or 10 generations of my own dogs in its pedigree. All of those ancestors possess a high level of each of those desirable traits. I have raised, trained and grown old with every dog listed in several generations of each puppy’s pedigree.

Simply put, my puppies today are a lot nicer than my puppies of 35 years ago. Today, there is a much higher percentage of good ones, a much lower percentage of deficient ones, a much higher average of good qualities, and a much higher percentage of true greatness emerging from my kennel today.

That’s what it means to be a breeder.

Does that feed my ego? Yep. I like having my ego stroked. Don’t you? If you don’t, you are in very deep trouble as a human being.

But I’ll tell you what else it does. It makes for happier dogs. It makes for dogs that lead better lives, find permanent families and homes, and get to experience love in many forms.

It also makes for healthier dogs. Generation after generation of perfect functional conformation means that the dogs are less likely to get injured, wear out or develop arthritis. Many generations of selection for vigor, toughness and good health means that they are able to laugh at the extremes of climate, weather and terrain.

I also have virtually eliminated genetic health problems from my strain of dogs. For example, hip dysplasia is the most common genetic problem in English setters, afflicting a reported four-percent of the breed. In the past 20 years, I have had only two questionable hip x-rays, which both would be rated “fair” by the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA). The last one was 10 years ago.

Yes, I am very proud of being a breeder. I did that.

I am proud, too, that I am producing dogs that are so intelligent that it’s scary, so loyal that they can be your complete partner in the field while also possessing the extreme independence needed to do their job well, so loving that you want them with you every second of the day, so bold and brazen that nothing bothers them, and just plain drop-dead gorgeous to boot.

They make me smile a lot. I think I make them smile, too.

But, the animal rights whackos say I am doing it for the money. They accuse me of exploiting animals for profit.

Yep. Every chance I get. I am very happy when I am able to sell a puppy for cold, hard cash. It makes me feel good.

It makes me feel good because it shows me that someone appreciates the work I am doing. It makes me feel good because I have earned it, and earned it honestly.

My only regret is that I have not made more money as a breeder. With all of the sacrifices I have made and the hard work I have done, I should be rolling in money.

Alas, I am not.

It has been years since I actually have made money on a litter of puppies. Usually, I lose my shirt.

red setter Aiken

For every puppy I sell, there is another one that I keep to evaluate, and a couple of other ones that I am keeping for two or three years to evaluate for their worthiness to breed. Then there are dogs that are in competition, and that costs bushels of money, not to mention old dogs that are retired and have a home here until they die of old age. Almost a third of the dogs in my kennel are elderly and retired, and it takes a lot of money to care for them.

It takes money for dog food, supplies, veterinary bills, kennel licenses, repairs, vehicle use for training and field trials, advertising, internet, phone bills, and four pairs of good boots a year. It takes money. Lots of money. Bundles of money.

Oh, Lord, please help me to sell some more puppies!

Besides, what’s wrong with making money? It is a rather fundamental American value. Making money is something to be proud of, as long as it’s done honestly.

Even animal rights bozos have to eat. Someone has to make money to stuff veggies down their gullets, and organic veggies are rather pricey. Most working folks can’t afford them.

I also can’t help but notice that most animal rights activists over the age of 30 drive pretty fancy cars (we are talking about the Beamer set, folks), live in rather fancy houses and dress very well indeed. I can’t help but notice that many of the leaders of animal rights groups have pretty cushy gigs, with high-end six-digit salaries, fancy offices, and all the perks.

I guess they are saying that it’s ok for them to make money by the truckload, even if making money turns dog breeders into immoral greed bags. There is no one in America who exploits dogs for as much money as the paid leaders of animal rights groups. Their fat salaries depend on having animal issues to exploit. If there were no animals for them to exploit, they would have to get a real job.

It’s a rather perplexing dual standard, don’t you think?

Well, maybe it’s not perplexing after all. The only thing perplexing about hypocrisy is that so many people can’t see through it.

My next sin is making my dogs work for a living. The animal rights people try to paint a picture of whipping dogs beyond endurance, exploiting them, creating misery and causing unhappiness. The poor, downtrodden, huddled masses. You know the tune.

Only problem is, my dogs don’t agree. They love to work. They love their jobs. The only time they are sad is when it is not their turn to work. For my dogs, working is sheer joy and passion! They love every second of it.

What animal rights groups live for is creating imaginary victims. Helping victims makes some people feel better about themselves and, of course, it helps them to part with their money so that animal rights leaders can live high on the hog. Oops. I mean high on the carrot. How callous of me. I guess I’m just not a sensitive kind of guy.

Back to the exploited masses of bird dogs. Try an experiment sometime. Read an animal rights essay, and substitute the word “proletariat” for the word “animal.” You will find that animal rights philosophy actually is pure and straightforward Marxian doctrine.

I guess my dogs are not natural Marxists. They love their jobs. They are excited about their jobs. Their jobs make them very happy.

Animal rights people can’t seem to grasp that people can feel that way about their work, too. It’s how I feel about the very hard work of being a dog breeder. It makes me happy.

Another way of putting it is that both my dogs and my own example provide proof that life is not pointless drudgery and exploitation. We provide living proof that joy, beauty and personal fulfillment are possible in life.

I just don’t think of those qualities when I think of the animal rights fanatics I have known. They seem a rather sad and sorry lot to me. I’ll take my dogs’ company any day.

Oh, but the icing on the cake is that I use these poor exploited creatures to hunt innocent birds. How terrible!

Hunting, of course, is a subject of its own, and I won’t attempt to cover it here.

Suffice it to say that opposition to hunting flies in the face of a few million years of human evolution, the entire balance of nature everywhere on Earth, and common sense.

I know one thing for certain. The fact that we have healthy populations of most species of wild birds and animals today is only because hunters have cared enough to support strong conservation measures. We have preserved millions of acres of habitat that is vital to the survival of many species, saved more millions of acres of wilderness from development, supported the protection of endangered species everywhere, and put our money where are mouths are.

Animal rights groupies do nothing but blow hot air, when they aren’t too busy destroying the land and the animals that live on it to create vast wastelands of industrialized monoculture.

I am proud to be a hunter, too.

It’s time for every dog owner and breeder to stand up proudly and be counted.

Each one of you has done far more to enhance the quality of life of both people and dogs than all of the animal rights activists put together.

So stand up and shout it to the rooftops!

Stop crawling around on your bellies and apologizing. Your dogs deserve better from you. You will just have to get a little tougher if you want to live up to your dogs.

What you are doing is right.

It’s just that simple.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American society and life.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded solely by the donations of our members, and maintain strict independence.

red setter Prosper

Please visit us on the web at http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org. Our email is ASDA@csonline.net. Complete directions to join by mail or online are found at the bottom left of each page.

John Yates


Have You Joined Yet?The American Sporting Dog Alliancehttp://www.americansportingdogalliance.org

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Red Setter Awards...

The National Red Setter Field Trial Club is pleased to announce the recipients of the Duke Award, Derby of the Year Award, and Puppy of the Year Award. These three awards are compiled in a rotating June to July format (the High Performance Award, LeGrande Award, Walking Shooting Dog Award, and Shoot to Retrieve Award run January to December).

And the winners are....

The Duke Award:

Ch. Picadilly (Come Back Rock x Gillian)
Owned and handled by Roger Boser

Derby of the Year:

Jericho (Chaparral x Sunset Silk)
Owned and handled by Roger Boser

Puppy of the Year:
Flushing Whip Roger Ramjet (Breakstone x Flushing Whip Flash Edition)
Owned and handled by Allen Fazenbaker

Congratulations to the winners!
If you are field trialing red setters, be sure to report your wins to the Flushing Whip! (Remember, you must be a member of the NRSFTC to be eligible for awards)

The Ol' Saddle Tramp

Old time dog and horse man. Brand new Blogger! Anxious to get my feet wet and contribute to any website that involves Bird Dogs, Saddle horses and field trials. Give me a holler if you like to talk Hosses and dawgs. I can be reached at rschweiger.blogspot.com

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer training...

Enough of the nonsense of all the nuts circulating around the world! Back to red dog land! Here are some pics of some of my young derbies I've been working the last couple of weeks. As usual, I'm behind the "eight ball" with dog work... I took most of July off to get some work done down south, so didn't get any dog training done here at home... and, because of the high gas prices, we didn't go north to the Dakotas this year, so we're trying to get some work done here at the farm in northeast Ohio. These are my three young projects for this year...

Flushing Whip Razor Cut (Aiken x Solitaire)

Flushing Whip Photo Op (Breakstone x Flushing Whip Flash Edition)

Flushing Whip Roger Ramjet (Breakstone x Flushing Whip Flash Edition)

Have some pics of your training projects? Send a copy and we'll share them on the blogsite.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What would mother say??

BEIJING - U.S. swimmer Amanda Beard unveiled a demure nude photograph of herself urging women "Don't wear fur" on Wednesday, hours after Chinese authorities had prevented her from her staging a news conference for "safety" reasons.
The Athens 2004 Olympic gold medalist said she was determined to carry on even after plainclothes police banned her scheduled news conference at a Beijing hotel "for our safety."
Beard, 26, declined to say if she believed that was the real motive for the ban.
She went ahead with her campaign, only at a different location. Instead of the hotel, she appeared in front of reporters and TV cameras outside the heavily fenced Olympic athletes' village.
"What happens with animals when their skin is ripped from their bodies when they are still alive, it's heartbreaking for me," she said. The Olympics provided a great platform for making those views known, she added.
Chinese Olympic security guards watched the media scrum from the South Gate of the village but did not intervene. The German Olympic cycling team, heading out for training in hot, muggy weather, stopped for a look.
PETA spokesman Jason Baker said eight Chinese security officials in plain clothes showed up at the group's hotel late on Tuesday to announce the planned press conference would not be permitted. They cited safety concerns, he said.
"I think they just didn't understand what we had planned," he told Reuters. "We are not protesting against China. We just want to promote compassion for animals.
"We know they don't like talking about animal rights. I guess they didn't want to take any chances right ahead of the opening of the Olympics," Baker added.
But there would be no protest, he said. "Five years ago we wouldn't even have considered doing this here."
(From the Reuters wire service)

If You Handle Birds...

Ringneck Pheasant

Most of us who train and/or run bird dogs have some type of relationship with birds. Be it raising quail or pheasant, catching barn pigeons, raising homing pigeons, or handling game birds on a shooting preserve, we usually are interacting with birds. While most of us don't think much about it, working around birds involves a certain amount of health risk. Game birds are carriers for a variety of diseases, some of which are capable of causing human health concerns. One of the most common is histoplamosis, a fungus found in the droppings of various birds (and bats). This fungus is extremely common in the Ohio Valley and Mississippi Valley regions of the United States. It is especially common in the central eastern United States. Histoplasmosis can infect humans who are exposed to bird or bat droppings; it primarily affects the lungs, or sometimes the eye. While in most cases the infection is non-symtomatic, in some cases it can cause severe lung infections, similar to tuberculosis, or if in the eye, can cause severe retinal damage.

Other diseases associated with birds and/or bird droppings include Cryptococcosis, another respiratory disease, Psittacosis, a bacterial organism that usually attacks the lungs in humans, and encephalitis. Pigeons are suspected of being carriers for encephalitis, notably the St. Louis strain, which is disseminated primarily by mosquitos.

A serious concern with those who handle birds on a regular basis is the possibility of acquiring bird flu. Most authorities believe that it is only a matter of time until the bird flu (caused by the H5N1 virus) mutates and becomes a human-specific pathogen. H5N1 is highly pathogenic, and is capable of "jumping" to infect humans under certain circumstances, although it has not as yet mutated to a human-specific virulent form.

For detailed information on the bird flu, and precautions to take when handling birds, check out the following website produced by the state of Ohio:


Workers should follow certain precautions to minimize risk from disease organisms in the droppings of birds:

**During cleanup, seal any heating and cooling air ducts or shut the system down. Only authorized cleanup personnel should be present.

**The cleanup should be done by healthy individuals.

**Wear a respirator that can filter particles as small as 0.3 microns.

**Wear disposable protective gloves, hat, coveralls and and shoe coverings.

**Moisten the droppings with a light mist of water to keep spores from becoming airborne and keep them wet.

**Put droppings into sealed plastic garbage bags. The outside of the garbage bags should be rinsed off before they are placed in a disposal container.

**When finished and while still wearing the respirator, remove protective clothing and place it in a plastic bag.

**Wash or shower.

**Check with local government agencies to verify that disposal of the waste is permissible through standard trash pickup.

For additional information on diseases carried by birds, check out:


Saturday, August 9, 2008

We all need a few good nuts...

On the left, Joyce McKinney in 1977 after her arrest for stalking a Mormon missionary;
on the right, Bernann McKinney with one of her newly cloned puppies.

SALT LAKE CITY - A woman who made news around the world when she had five pups cloned from her beloved pit bull Booger looked very familiar to some who saw her picture: She's the same woman who 31 years earlier was accused of abducting a Mormon missionary in England, handcuffing him to a bed and making him her sex slave.
Dog lover Bernann McKinney acknowledged in a telephone call to The Associated Press on Saturday that she is indeed Joyce McKinney, who in 1977 became a British tabloid sensation when she faced charges of unlawful imprisonment in the missionary case. She jumped bail and was never brought to justice.
Through tears, she explained that she went public with her efforts to replicate Booger, who died two years ago, hoping people would be able to focus on that story rather than the "garbage" of the past.
"I thought people would be honest enough to see me as a person who was trying to do something good and not as a celebrity," McKinney told the AP. "My mother always taught me, 'Say something good or say nothing at all.'"
"I think I gave people too much credit," she said.
British tabloids first recognized the blond woman's smiling face when she appeared in news photographs this past week with the five pit bull pups she paid South Korean scientists $53,000 to clone.
McKinney, who initially denied a connection between the two women, acknowledged that she was one and the same after the AP ran a story noting the striking similarities in arrest records and court documents for the names Bernann McKinney and Joyce McKinney. They had the same birth date and Social Security numbers, the same hometown of Newland, N.C., and Joyce McKinney's middle name is Bernann.
But the now-57-year-old McKinney said that, as far as she's concerned, the Joyce McKinney of 31 years ago doesn't exist. She maintains her innocence and says the woman of all those years ago is a "figment of the tabloid press. ... I don't want that garbage in with the puppy story."
The story of Joyce McKinney is the stuff of pulp fiction: a North Carolina-born beauty queen who moved west, won the title Miss Wyoming USA and went on to college at Brigham Young University, where she became obsessed with a Mormon fellow student.
When that young Mormon took a missionary trip to England, authorities say McKinney hired a private detective so she could locate and follow him.
She and a male accomplice were accused of abducting the 21-year-old missionary as he went door to door, taking him to a rented 17th-century "honeymoon cottage" in Devon and chaining him spread-eagle to a bed with several pairs of mink-lined handcuffs.
There, investigators say, he was repeatedly forced to have sex with McKinney before he was able to escape and notify police.
In a 1977 court hearing mobbed by the British press, Joyce McKinney said she'd fallen head-over-heels in love with the Mormon man and acknowledged tracking him to England. "I loved him so much," she told a judge, "that I would ski naked down Mount Everest in the nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to."
But she denied a sexual assault, saying the young man was a willing partner.
In her call to the AP on Saturday, McKinney repeated the same argument her lawyer made all those years ago: There's no way she could have overpowered the young Mormon because he was much bigger and stronger.
"I didn't rape no 300-pound man," she said. "He was built like a Green Bay Packer."
McKinney and her accomplice spent three months in a London jail before being released on bail.
Press reports at the time that said the pair then jumped bail, posing as deaf-mute actors in Ireland to board an Air Canada flight to Toronto and eventually a bus to Cleveland, where investigators lost their trail.
Joyce McKinney surfaced again in Utah in May 1984 and was arrested for allegedly stalking the workplace of the same Mormon man she was accused of imprisoning in England. News reports say that police found a length of rope and handcuffs in the trunk of McKinney's car, along with notebooks detailing the man's daily activities.
Set to stand trial for lying to police and harassment in 1986, McKinney again disappeared just before proceedings and the case was dismissed.
It now appears Joyce McKinney may have escaped justice in the long-ago British case also. London police told the AP they've consigned the case to the history books because of its age and won't seek McKinney's extradition.
"They don't have a case," she told the AP. "It's been 31 years. They don't care."
"It's taken years of therapy to get past this," she said. "We go to church and serve the Lord and try to lead good lives and do good things."
McKinney refused to say where she was when she called. While in South Korea, she told reporters she was a screenwriter and handed out business cards with a Hollywood, Calif., address. The AP found that address did not exist.
At the Avery County courthouse in McKinney's hometown of Newland in the western North Carolina mountains, a clerk said she instantly recognized the woman snuggling puppies as the Joyce Bernann McKinney who has been a frequent defendant in court cases there.
"She is a person of note in our little community," said clerk Julia Henson.
Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frey said there are several charges on file against Joyce McKinney, including an active warrant seeking her arrest on a 2003 charge of communicating a threat against another woman.
Other charges include passing bad checks, an assault on a public officials and an 2004 animal cruelty charge alleging she failed to take proper care of a horse. That charge was dismissed.
James Stamey, the husband of the woman McKinney was charged with threatening, said that McKinney left Newland about two years ago and that no one had really seen or heard from her.
Until she showed up in the news about the cloned puppies.
"That's our Joy," Stamey said from his home in Newland.
Years ago, Stamey said, McKinney was a beautiful girl worthy of the Miss Wyoming USA crown. "She's ugly as sin now," he said. "But, sure enough, that's her."

(from the AP wire)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Chicago about to take more personal liberties...

A SAOVA message to sportsmen, pet owners and farmers concerned about protecting their traditions, avocations and livelihoods from anti-hunting, anti-breeding, animal guardianship advocates.

Forwarding and cross posting, with attribution, encouraged.

HSUS Weighs in on Chicago Mandatory Spay/Castrate

On July 29, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) and Ald. Virginia A. Rugai (19th) presented their draft mandatory spay/castrate ordinance to Chicago’s Joint Committee on Finance and License and Consumer Protection. The ordinance would require all cats and dogs be spayed/castrated at the age of six months. The ordinance contains an option for a breeding permit which allows only one litter per year if the litter is registered with a registry approved by the City commission. The ordinance also requires applicants for breeding permits to undergo criminal background checks.The distorted reasoning for this ordinance, as stated by Ald. Burke, is that the ordinance will increase public safety by targeting gangs and others that keep unsterilized dogs. It is beyond reason to think that anyone who engages in dog fighting, which is already a felony under Illinois state law, will obey a newly enacted spay/castration ordinance or submit to background checks to apply for a breeding permit. All that this ordinance can possibly accomplish is to create a potential new class of criminals--responsible dog owners and breeders, who choose not to spay or castrate their dogs, as well as waste a lot of Chicago taxpayers’ money in investigation and enforcement of a useless ordinance.Apparently, the Humane Society of the United States doesn’t agree.On July 30, HSUS issued a press release via their website in support of the proposed mandatory spay/castrate ordinance and thanked Chicago lawmakers for “addressing this important animal welfare issue.” The statement reads, “Every year, more than 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters nationwide-including 19,000 pets in the City of Chicago-because not enough people choose to adopt. Spaying and neutering, at this time, is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats, and this legislation provides an incentive for people to sterilize their animals and reorients public policy to expect that animal caretakers will see that their animals are sterilized.”With the same tired language used repeatedly by animal rights zealots, HSUS downplays the potential impact of the ordinance by stating, “It is simply wrong to refer to this ordinance as simply a "mandatory spay and neuter measure" because it does allow responsible pet owners to opt out of spay or neuter for their animals for numerous reasons. Under this legislation, people who elect not to spay or neuter their animals in order to breed their dog or cat must pay a permit fee. In that sense, this legislation provides incentives for people to spay and neuter, and it amounts to something of a differential license fee for people who do not want to spay or neuter their animals.”http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/hsus_statement_on_chicago_spay_neuter_ordinance_073008.htmlLet’s look at what the ordinance really means. First, if sterilization is required, then by definition it is mandatory regardless of exemptions which are only as good as the paper they are written on; exemptions can be removed at any time. Second, what registries (if any) will be approved and by what method remains unclear. Third, Chicago Animal Shelter Alliance reports, "Between 2003 and 2005 overall citywide euthanasia rates dropped 12% and shelter intake went down to 11%. With an overall shelter killing rate per 1,000 humans at a historic low of 6.9%, Denver remains the only city between the coasts with a lower kill rate (5.9%)." In recent years, Chicago already has seen greatly reduced numbers of cats and dogs euthanized in its shelters on a yearly basis without mandatory spay/neuter. Source: http://www.anticruelty.org/site/epage/42566_576.htmAdditionally, let us not pretend that "neutering" is a benign surgery. What HSUS (and other animal rightist activists) call "neutering" is, plain and simple, castration, specifically the gonadectomy of males, meaning surgical removal of the testicles, and the ovariohysterectomy of females, meaning surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. In other words, nothing trivial--nothing most people would want forced on themselves.Above all, has there *ever* been any doubt that mandatory spay/castration is NOT about the well-being of animals, but an agenda to end breeding of domesticated dogs and cats? HSUS makes their position pretty clear in Chicago that a good dog is a sterile dog. The tired overpopulation argument is told again in order to pass punitive legislation to cripple breeders, blaming them for contributing to shelter statistics. Yet on their web page for adopting pets HSUS states: “[In fact,] most animals are given to shelters because of "people reasons," not because of anything they've done. Things like a divorce, a move, lack of time or financial constraints are among the most common reasons why pets lose their homes.” In other words, the most common reasons for turning pets over to shelters has nothing to do with overpopulation, but instead people’s (usually) unavoidable and unpredictable lifestyle changes.http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_adoption_information/find-your-one-in-a-million-friend/top_five_reasons_to_adopt_a_pet.htmlIn State of the Animals 2001, HSUS stated: There was, however, general consensus among most animal related organizations that the term pet overpopulation was not only difficult to define, but that it was also probably no longer an accurate catchphrase to describe the reasons for animals leaving their original homes, especially for dogs."Does HSUS ever make up their mind what the real story is? Despite diminishing shelter statistics and knowing the source of shelter populations is due to owner retention issues, HSUS and Illinois activists continue chanting the animal rights mantra for across the board pet sterilization.In response to the proposed mandatory spay/castration ordinance, the ISVMA issued the following opposition statement:July 28, 2008. The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA) opposes the mandatory spay/neuter ordinance being proposed for the City of Chicago. The ISVMA opposes this proposed ordinance for the following reasons:* There is no scientifically-based research that supports the proponent’s argument that only intact animals bite.*There is no conclusive evidence that mandatory spay/neuter programs work.* This mandate would discourage pet owners from seeking rabies immunization if they are opposed to neutering/spaying and fear they will be reported. It is already a struggle to ensure the proper safeguards are in place to protect the public from rabies. Anything that makes rabies vaccination compliance more difficult should be seriously scrutinized. Rabies is essentially a 100% fatal disease to humans, dogs and cats.* There are not enough resources in Chicago to enforce mandatory spay/neuter in a meaningful way.* With regard to creating a healthier pet, there are both positive and negative affects accrued from sterilization. It appears that benefits outweigh risks; however, there are many breed and individual dog variants, suggesting that professional judgment is required to determine whether and when to neuter/spay pets.Although the ordinance’s stated goals to reduce the number of unwanted pets and gang activity are laudable, said Dr. Steve Dullard, ISVMA Legislative Committee Chair, the reality is that it will have no effect on these problems. Instead, it will create some serious public health concerns, cause many animals to be denied necessary health care, and will trample on the personal property rights of conscientious pet owners.http://www.isvma.org/member_correspondence/mandatory_spay_neuter.docNot every councilman has bought into the HSUS argument. An article from Medill Reports - Chicago, Northwestern University, quotes Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) as saying, “I don’t like when the government tries to get involved in everything to solve problems. Right now we’re starting with pets… What’s the next step?” Just a few months ago, in May, the Chicago City Council repealed the ban on foie gras sale that it put in place two years ago at the urging of HSUS and local activists. No other American city has prohibited foie gras. The Chicago ban brought a law suit against the City by restaurateurs and has been a source of embarrassment for the city as residents accused officials of trying to micromanage people’s lives. Is the Chicago City Council really willing to follow HSUS on yet another embarrassing, unenforceable animal rightist legislative journey?Many people in attendance at the July 29 hearing on the proposed mandatory spay/castratation ordinance did not have the opportunity to speak concerning the ordinance. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for September 10 and presumably the ordinance will be back on the agenda. If you cannot arrange to meet with your councilman before the next council session, continue to call and fax letters with your opposition. Contact information can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/4cuyr Tips and general information about lobbying can be found in our lobbying tutorial http://www.saova.org/tutorial.html By using the link provided to Congress.org you can also access a media guide to contact newspapers in Chicago and thru the state. Chicago dog owners and dog-related businesses are urged to organize themselves into a strong protest group for the September 10 hearing. Out of town dog owners are also urged to write, call, or fax Chicago council members and Chicago media.SAOVA remains, as always, in the forefront of animal owner legislation to protect your interests.Sincerely,Susan WolfSportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance - http://saova.orgIssue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislatorsPlease share this message widely.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Red Setter Hall of Fame...

Hi all,
It's time for voting for the Red Setter Hall of Fame. This year we have 5 nominations to the Red Setter Hall of Fame. All five are outstanding dogs in their own right, so the members of the NRSFTC will have to make the choice. Voting ballots have been mailed out in the latest issue of The Flushing Whip, the publication of the National Red Setter Field Trial Club. Ballots must be postmarked by September 6 to be counted.
Here are the five nominees for the 2008 Red Setter Hall of Fame:
Celtic's Sua Sponte, nominated by Allen Fazenbaker

Come Back Lady, nominated by Paul Ober

Smada Byrd, nominated by Christie Young

Wing Shot Fling, nominated by Stan Zdanczewicz

Zan Sett Peabo, nominated by Stan Zdanczewicz

Details on each of these dogs and their accomplishments can be found in the latest issue of The Flushing Whip. The dog chosen to be entered into the 2008 Red Setter Hall of Fame will be honored at the spring 2009 Red Setter Championships held in Berea, Kentucky.

If you would like to receive a complimentary copy of The Flushing Whip, please contact the editor Deborah Fazenbaker at flushingwhip@yahoo.com She will be happy to email to you an online version in PDF format. Better yet, consider joining the club!

Will you Honor the Challenge??

Aghy O’Daoine Sidh, aka "Ryland" UT Prize 1 NAVHDA
A product of the Purest Challenge