Remember the Breeders!

In light of the ridiculous outrage over a shelter director *gasp* buying a Collie from a breeder, and the petitions and attacks from online activists (two of whom have now been cited for harassment, by the way), it is easy to get mired in that totalitarian absurdity, to respond with outrage of one’s own, to point out the contradictions and inevitable extinction (usually unintentional) of healthy, well-adjusted dogs that awaits us at the end of the activists’ road…

But do not stare too long into that abyss, move in the positive, hakuna matata (ok, maybe worry a little)… let us never forget that there are so many wonderful things good breeders have to offer! It may be stated regularly, but it can never be stated enough:

Our communities need reputable, responsible breeders. They work hard to screen their dogs for diseases, to eliminate health problems, to protect and preserve the breeds they serve, and they provide us with with healthy, well-tempered dogs. And no matter what the activists try to tell you, remember that these people do not contribute to the number of homeless dogs; a good breeder sells on a contract and will take back a dog from an owner who can not or will not provide proper care. A great many of them also work in breed rescue, which helps keep dogs out of shelters.

People want dogs. You could argue that people need dogs. So guess what? Without breeders, people are still going to sell dogs to one another — the only difference being that pet sales would be driven underground. No regulation, sales taking place in the shadows with no contracts, guarantees, or accountability — the prime concern being to simply “move the merchandise.” Isn’t this exactly what we don’t want?

And speaking of serving their communities, remember that breeders not only provide companions, but also service dogs that help our police, military, and fellow citizens with special needs.

We, too, are appalled by the intolerance of people who would deny a shelter director her choice of dog, but we will never forget to applaud all of the passionate breeders who provide us with loving, healthy pets.

Thank you!

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NY City Council Will NOT Vote to Restrict Carriage Horses Tomorrow.

Great news out of New York City: the Teamsters have pulled their support for a bill restricting carriage horses to Central Park, and there will be no vote on it tomorrow.

Predictably, Mayor Bill de Blasio shows no signs of giving up his quest to eradicate these majestic and well-cared-for animals (as well as the jobs and tourism revenue they generate), and has said he is looking for a “new path.”

But with no vote tomorrow and opposition to his plans only growing, things are not looking good for de Blasio. As lovers of carriage horses and the people who work with and care for them, this is news we can cheer!

 

CarriageHorse

 

Feb 3, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    10 Comments

Western PA Humane Society Director Placed on Leave for *gasp* Buying a Dog from a Breeder

The director of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society has been placed on paid leave for allegedly purchasing a Collie from a breeder. Activists took to the Internet to call the director a “disgrace” and “hypocritical.”

According to humane society boarder member Anthony Pardo:

“She’s been put on paid administrative leave pending what’s going on. Allegations are allegations and we don’t know what’s true. We thought it best to get her out of the limelight while we try to figure out what’s happened and formulate a proper response on behalf of the board and the humane society.”

It is both telling and troubling when merely buying a dog from a breeder can be an “allegation” that requires a “proper response.” A dog lover should never be punished for valuing and choosing the traits a specific breed has to offer.

 

Bred with love and purpose for predictable traits... the horror!

Bred with love and purpose for predictable traits… the horror!

 

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Guard Birds: Drone Edition

Check out this video of a raptor taking out a drone:

Video provided by a Dutch company, Guard from Above, that has partnered with police to train these birds to disable drones.

While the idea of a bald eagle squadron guarding the white house may be far-fetched, if the technique can be perfected, we agree with the company’s founder that this is a very cool “low-tech solution for a high-tech problem!”

 

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Jan 29, 2016 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Tragic Conditions in North Carolina Shelter

In an alarming story out of North Carolina, dozens of dead animals were found at The Haven animal shelter, a no-kill shelter which has been riddled with health violations and adopted out sick dogs. This is a facility that has had issues for years, including several months of complaints leading up to it being shut down. The tragic conditions these animals were kept in reinforces the need for faster investigation and enforcement (when necessary) in order to protect animals and the public at large, and to prevent situations like these from spiraling out of control.

 

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Jan 28, 2016 - Animal Policy    No Comments

Congratulations, Dr. Goldman!

NAIA board member Dr. Arnold L. Goldman, DVM, MPH was recently presented with the 2015 Bebout Memorial Award for his groundbreaking work in advocating for the rights of responsible breeders and dog owners. In addition to being a proven leader in the veterinary field, Dr. Goldman developed legislation addressing retail pet sales and consumer protection that serves as a model for communities nationwide. All of this while owning and working in his own animal hospital. He is as active and engaged as anybody in the world of animal health and welfare — we are lucky he’s on our side! Please join us in congratulating him on this well deserved honor!

From Left: AKC Gov’t Relations Director Sheila Goffe, Dr. Arnold Goldman, CT Federation’s Laurie Maulucci, AKC President/CEO Dennis B. Sprung

From Left: AKC Gov’t Relations Director Sheila Goffe, Dr. Arnold Goldman, CT Federation’s Laurie Maulucci, AKC President/CEO Dennis B. Sprung

Learn more about Dr. Goldman’s exceptional work in animal welfare policy:

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Dec 22, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    No Comments

Rabid Egyptian Dog Imported by Rescue Group Had Falsified Vaccination Records

The CDC released a report on a rabid Egyptian street dog imported into the United States by a rescue group.

The dog suffering from the disease had to be euthanized, and 18 people underwent rabies postexposure prophylaxis, which is bad news by itself. But what really stands out if you read the full report are three things:

  • Only 3 of the 8 imported dog had certificates indicating proper rabies vaccination guidelines had been met.
  • The CDC was not informed about these dogs until after they had already entered the United States and left the port of entry.
  • Even if the CDC had been notified, the rabid dog most likely still would have been admitted, because its vaccination records were falsified (rescue workers admitted this after the dog’s rabies diagnosis).

 

This is unacceptable to us, and it should be to you, too. NAIA remains committed to solving this issue, and we will focus our resources on it in 2016.

This it is a problem that shouldn’t exist: if one is committed to rescuing dogs, why look halfway around the world, when there are local dogs in need?

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Oct 26, 2015 - Human-Animal Bond    1 Comment

NAIA President Wins AKC Lifetime Achievement Reward

Congratulations to NAIA President and co-founder Patti Strand for receiving a 2016 AKC Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of conformation!

AKC ANNOUNCES 2016 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS RECIPIENTS

A lifelong dog lover with 46 years experience breeding Dalmatians — a line known for its good health and temperaments — the recognition is a great honor, and a testament to the huge, hands-on role animals play in the lives of the people who make up NAIA!

 

PattiAndPurdy

Circa 1972

Flash

Merry-Go-Round Coachmaster, Multiple Best in Show Winner, and one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet!

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Patti Strand at an NAIA Conference

Oct 16, 2015 - Animal Science    No Comments

Fighting Cancer with Elephants

Thanks to the recent study published by Pediatric Oncologist, Dr. Joshua Schiffman and his colleagues, the elephant’s resistance to cancer, and how it may be applied to humans has been in the news a lot recently:

Of the nearly 650 elephants analyzed, Schiffman’s team found that only about 5% died from cancer. That’s an incredible statistic, considering the cancer mortality rate in humans ranges from 11% to 25%.

This is some fascinating stuff, and what you might not know is the role the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation (CET) is playing in this exciting research. Check this out:

Instrumental to this research is elephant DNA, and Dr. Schiffman needed a diverse gene pool to effectively study to species. Because the CEC has the largest herd of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere, the Feld Family felt compelled to help support this research. The incredible bond the staff has with these majestic animals, and the hands-on care provided at the Center for Elephant Conservation, allows the experts at the CEC to easily provide the blood samples Dr. Schiffman needs to further his research.

Dr. Dennis Schmitt, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Chair of Veterinary Services and Director of Research, and Dr. Wendy Kiso, Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation Research and Conservation Scientist, and other scientific collaborators on their team, have identified a key genetic link, called P53, that helps to protect both Asian and African elephants from developing cancer. The P53 gene’s job is to make sure that none of the cells in the body develop cancer. By studying the DNA in blood from elephants and the DNA in blood from patients with cancer, the team discovered that elephants have 40 copies of this P53 gene that attacks cancer while a healthy person has two copies.

Very cool findings! As humans work to preserve these majestic animals, will they in turn provide us with important keys in the battle against cancer? That would be certainly be poetic.

Oh — and by the way, Dr. Wendy Kiso will be presenting on the challenges and opportunities in saving the Asian Elephant at this year’s NAIA conference, in case you haven’t signed up already!

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Oct 12, 2015 - Shelter & Rescue    5 Comments

Big Business: More Dog Trafficking in the News

Humane relocation, dog trafficking, the “Puppy Pipeline” — whatever you call it, the practice is still relatively unknown outside of the organized animal community and to a lesser extent, law enforcement and media circles. In case you are scratching your head wondering what we are talking about, here’s a handy definition from the NAIA Shelter Project Glossary:

Humane relocation: Humane relocation refers to the practice of transporting un-owned pets in need of adoption (primarily dogs and cats) from areas with a surplus of homeless pets to areas with a higher demand for pets and more shelter and rescue space. When done responsibly, it is a cooperative, common-sense method of finding homes for pets that might otherwise be euthanized. When done without care, it does nothing to solve the problem of pet overpopulation at its source, and in some cases even encourages it. Worse, it can turn participating rescues and shelters into unregulated pet stores that deal in animals of unknown backgrounds – animals that may have serious behavioral problems or may be infected with parasites and diseases not endemic to a particular region (e.g. whip worm, heart worm, or rabies).

But it is appearing in the news with increasing frequency as sales of these dogs increase:

Dog sellers present the canines with heart-tugging tales of Southern kill shelters. They also describe residents of the South as uninterested in preventing unwanted puppies through regular spaying and neutering.

This is big money: at $300 per dog, a rescue operation that does not give the animals proper medical attention or humane transport conditions can make $420,000 a year for 1,400 dogs, said Raymond Connors, an animal control officer for the state.

“It’s a multimillion-dollar industry,” he said.

Industry indeed — and it’s not just dogs moving from the south to the northeast, as is most often reported, it is a multimillion-dollar national industry. Using Colorado as an example, the number of dogs imported into Colorado shelters nearly doubled between 2012 and 2014, to more than 24,000 dogs per year!

ColoradoImports

Given the unknown background, and behavioral issues of so many of these dogs and the way they are shipped, the issues of health, humane treatment, and consumer protection should be clear. The potential for this practice to impact the image of ethical rescue and pet ownership in general (e.g. avoiding rescues out of fear of health or behavioral issues, or deciding not to have pets at all) should not be discounted either.

As always, NAIA urges you to consider the source when picking your next pet: do your homework, support practices that create positive outcomes for pets and pet owners, and make an informed, ethical decision!

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