How many is TOO many?

Bunny's Boys

Bunny's Boys - crappy resolution still capture from my new video camera

Here’s a Frenchie Friday question – How many litters are TOO many litters?

We debate this question all the time – what’s that magic number that tips someone over from ‘reputable’ breeder to ‘not so reputable’? Is there even a magic number – or should there be?

There’s a HUGE big name kennel out west (not Frenchies), who has an average of six to eight litters per year – in a breed with fairly large litters.

Is that too many litters?

What if I then add that they feed raw, employ a full time staff of three to care for puppies and adults, have an ‘open door’ kennel policy, and a huge waiting list for available puppies?

Still not good enough?

What if I mention that they have literally DOZENS of Best in Show wins, multiple BISS wins, Westminster group and breed wins, International Champions, etc? Are they still an ‘un reputable breeder’? Or would you even call them a puppy mill?

What if, instead of six to eight litters, they had ten to twelve?

What about the small breeder who only has one to two litters, but they’re raised in a garage, barely socialized and won’t see new people until they either go to their homes or hit the show ring?

Are those two litters still too many litters, if their breeder can’t or won’t care for them properly?

Does it matter if their breeder has multiple champions and shows every weekend? Does it matter if they’ve never shown any of their dogs, and don’t even register their litters?

Can you have four litters per year if your breed only has two puppies, or is just all about that number? Can you have three litters if you didn’t breed the year before?

Personally, I care more about the way that the pups are raised than I do about numbers.

For Frenchies, I want to see pups that are home raised, with tons of exposure to people and sights and sounds. I want them to be clean, well fed, and well cared for. I want to know you’ve got homes waiting, and won’t be trying to dump un sold puppies on Kijiji when they get too old. If you’re doing all of that, I don’t have a ‘number’ – although I do think that there’s a number, beyond which, it’s almost impossible to achieve all of that, or at least to achieve it well.

Of course, all of that is just MY opinion – what I really want to know is, what’s yours?

Banning Puppy Mills = The Commies Win!

Black Helicopter mocking at its very finest, courtesy of the Daily Show!

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How do puppies get to pet stores? Also, help Tia get surgery.

Do you ever think about how puppies get to pet stores? How do puppies from Missouri end up in a pet store in Manhattan?

They get there in trucks like this –

Snoopy is one of 27 puppies seized from a box truck in Webster, Massachusetts. Police arrested the driver, John Clayton, after they discovered the puppies covered in flies and filth. They were cramped in cages without water and the smell was horrific.

Investigators are now searching for 24 other puppies that also travelled from Missouri. They were all dropped off at pet stores before police raided the truck.

The delivery company, Puppy Ship out of Missouri, denies the allegations and claims the search of the truck was illegal.

Read the rest here.

Video of the seized puppies and additional details below the cut, along with details on how you can help save the life of Tia, a French Bulldog found wandering as a stray.

Read more

Your AKC Registration Dollars at Work

Since Sean and I are thinking about opening a pet supply store, we’ve subscribed to all the trade publications we can find.

One of them, Pet Age, seems to carry advertising that leans pretty heavily towards pet stores that also sell puppies. There are frequently ads in Pet Age from the big mid western puppy sellers like Hunte Corporation., and Hunte Corp. has booths at all the trade shows this magazine and its parent company, Backer, promotes.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the June issue of Pet Age and found a FULL page ad from the American Kennel Club – an ad touting the fact that “nine out of ten puppy buyers prefer their puppies to have AKC papers”. The gist of the ad is that store owners should skip the ConCK and APRI registered puppies, and sell only ‘authentic’ AKC registered puppies in their pet stores. That AKC puppies somehow carry more consumer appeal, due to their conception as being a ‘superior’ product. An appeal, I should add, that’s based on the public’s perception of the AKC as being the arbiter of good breeding practices.

At a time when everyone is decrying the allegiance between AKC and Hunte, and AKC and Petland, and when people are insisting that AKC take a firmer stand against the sales of puppies in pet stores, what does AKC do? They spend registration dollars touting AKC registered puppies as great money making products to sell in pet stores. They get in bed with the very groups that they should be opposing, and they tarnish the very reputation that they claim their paperwork conveys. What’s truly ironic is that the ad touts the fact that the AKC is “Not for Profit”. I suppose that’s true, if you put aside how much money they pour into salaries, real estate and perks. I understand the theory that NGOs have to pay decent salaries to attract decently skilled people, but after a certain point it becomes a vicious cycle – you have to make more so that you can pay more to get people who can make more… (repeat endlessly). It’s similar to the statistics about the HSUS — they are, in effect, nothing more now than a vicious cycle of fund raising to make money to pay for more fund raising, with the barest minimum actually going to anything concrete.

The AKC, of course, excuses their behavior by claiming that all of these registrations are needed – are necessary! – for them to be able to continue to run dog shows. On their own website, they state that they’d have to raise fees to a ‘staggering’ $20 per entry to be able to make up for declining registrations. Is this true? Possibly. I believe, as do many others, that they could trim this number down through selling their prime New York City real estate and a few other belt tightening measures. And if that isn’t enough? Then raise entry fees. Ask your average exhibitor which they would prefer – higher entry fees, and an AKC that refuses to allow puppies sold through pet stores to be AKC registered, or the current artificially subsidized entry fees. I’m pretty sure I know how that vote would turn out.

Every single time AKC does something like this, it makes it harder and harder for me to believe their line about being the ‘purebred’s champion’, and to believe their PR about how they’re all about sportsmanship and breed preservation. Clearly, the only thing that matters any more to the AKC is making more and more bucks off of registrations, no matter where those registered puppies end up being sold. With this as their mantra, someone tell me – what REALLY is the difference any more between AKC and America’s Pet Registry or any other registry for that matter?

When you start touting your services to the very people your organization is supposed to oppose, haven’t you lost the entire “We’re better than those other guys” moral high ground?


Pasado's Take a Page from the HSUS Playbook

Did anyone else receive the “help us care the 600 puppy mill dogs!!!!” email from Pasado’s Safe Haven?

I hadn’t heard about the case at the time, but I immediately found some links to it, and was surprised at the lack of mentions of Pasado’s in all of the coverage. Lots of talk about a small, grassroots group called “SPOT” (Saving Pets One at a Time) and Everett Animal Services, but nothing about Pasado’s. Huh.

Today in my inbox, I found this article about the rescue efforts. What immediately jumped out at me was this paragraph:

Some groups, including Pasado’s Safe Haven of Monroe, have challenged Snohomish County for not enlisting their help caring for the rescued dogs.

The help isn’t needed and the dogs are receiving excellent care, Lubrin said Monday. It’s also important to keep the dogs in one place as investigators continue to develop a possible criminal case, she said.

Shame on Pasado’s for taking a page from the HSUS fund raising playbook, while the grassroots groups actually housing the animals are crying out for donations. Doing a few pro bono spays on the seized dogs hardly justifies this kind of misleading fund raising. I hope they plan on turning over the money raised to the shelter that’s currently almost going broke caring for the dogs.

I’m not holding my breath, however.