Friday, April 29, 2011

Go Walmart!!

Puppy miller operators, American Kennel Club show-dog breeders, right-wing ideologues, and folks who have embraced non-working and defective-by-design dogs, like to spend time inflating the power and influence of HSUS and PeTA.

As Border Collie man Donald McCaig has noted, this has largely been done as an organizing tool and as a way of deflecting away any sensible conversation about breeding for intentional defect, inbreeding, and ruination of working dog breeds.

Of course, HSUS and PeTA are actually very weak organizations that operate as little more than direct mail mills.

In fact, these organizations are so weak, that puppy mills operate without much oversight and commercial dog kennels have only the most minimal of legislated standards (and almost no on-the-ground inspections).

You want to know who has real power in America?

It's the NRA -- and I do not mean the National Rifle Association. I mean the National Restaurant Association -- the folks who want to pump you full of Taco Bell buritos, McDonald's quarter pounders, and all-you-can-eat pizza.

Drive down any strip mall and count the fast food outlets. There's not a sign of HSUS or PeTA is there?

HSUS and PeTA as a political force? Gimme a break! These folks are nearly invisible on Capitol Hill.

If you want REAL political power, go to the beef, poultry, dairy, hog, corn, soy and wheat producers in any state. That's power!

You want more power? Go to the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus (the largest caucus in Washington) which makes sure that we continue to have wild lands where hunting and fishing are preserved as core American activities.

The truth is that the headquarters of both HSUS and PeTA are surrounded by Pittman-Robertson hunting lands, national forest hunting lands, and state forest hunting lands.

There is no place in America that is more than 10 miles from a vendor of guns, fishing rods, and ammunition -- or more than 30 miles from public lands on which to use them.

And, sadly, there is probably no place in America that is more than 30 miles from a kennel of horror where dogs are shoved into feces- and urine-soaked cages without mental stimulation of any kind.

But we're supposed to be scared because HSUS and PeTA have all this power? Power to do what? To ask us to eat a salad every once in a while?

It's laughable.

So what's the latest?

The latest is that Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is now putting more hunting rifles, shotguns, and ammunition in its stores.

About a third of Wal-Mart's more than 3,600 U.S. locations sell guns and ammo right now, but that figure will rise to about half as Wal-Mart decides to restore "heritage categories" of merchandise.


Hunting and fishing is part of America's heritage.

I'm not sure right-wing paranoia, breeding diseased, deformed and defective dogs, or direct mail mills quite rise to that level... At least not yet.
Thanks to Terrierman blogger for this article.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wisconsin dogs...

MADISON, Wis.— A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to ban many felons from owning vicious dogs.

The bill being circulated by Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay would make it a misdemeanor for someone convicted of a violent or drug-related felony to own a dog that has been declared vicious by law enforcement or a humane officer.

The misdemeanor could carry up to nine months in prison. If that dog attacks another person and the owner didn't try to control the dog, the owner could be charged with a felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison. The prohibition would last 10 years after the felon is released from prison or until the end of the felon's extended supervision.

A dog could be determined "vicious" if it caused serious injury or death to a person or another animal, bit a person without being provoked or is seen as reasonably threatening by another resident. Hansen introduced versions of the bill in the last two sessions, with both bills dying at the end of the Legislative sessions.

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The bill includes a provision allowing felons to apply for an exemption based on their livelihood. Hansen said the language was added to protect those who may run breeding operations or require a guard dog for their business. It also allows a felon to appeal the determination of viciousness.

Green Bay Police Lt. Bill Dongle said vicious dogs are being used mostly by felons involved in drug trafficking and those involved in dog fighting operations. Dongle cited one incident in which a SWAT team on a local drug bust was attacked by a pitbull, which police then had to shoot.

The department's animal control officer, Sharon Hensen, said drug task force and probation officers have encountered dogs in at least half of the visits they make. Hensen said felons who use their dogs as weapons should be punished.

"To me it's a very necessary legislative tool," Hensen said. "If a convicted felon cannot hold a gun, why can they have a dog that's so dangerous?"

The Dog Federation of Wisconsin, an advocacy group for dog owners and breeders, opposed the bill in past sessions. Tracey Johnson, the group's vice president, said previous versions prevented a felon from owning a dog that was not spayed or neutered and that such a law ignored the fact that the felon has "served their debt to society."

Johnson said the group had not yet decided whether to support the latest version, but said she thought the definitions of vicious were difficult for a humane officer to interpret.

"In order to have a credible finding, the person observing and or testing the dog would have to be knowledgeable about canine behavior," Johnson said. "The current State of Wisconsin Humane Officer training does not begin to provide those officers with the necessary education to make a vicious dog declaration."

Hensen dismissed the criticism, saying that humane officers know these situations better than normal law enforcement officers.

"I'm very proactive, I don't want to see children get harmed, I don't want to see the elderly get taken down," Hensen said. "If they don't take steps to correct that behavior, they're leading down that path."

AP-WF-04-23-11 1516GMT