Jul 9, 2014 - Animal Policy    13 Comments

So we’re gonna outsource dog breeding too?

We have long known that when it comes to dogs, the term “pet overpopulation” is a misnomer, and that we’ll most likely be facing a shortage of dogs in the near future — more potential owners than there are dogs available.

For the millions of American households that won’t feel complete without the companionship of the “family dog,” this could be a serious problem. So how do we head off this impending shortage at the pass? Well, one blogger has an idea! Just import them from foreign puppy mills!

Yes, I’m serious. Of course, the author does suggest raising standards to make them humane and respectable:

[…] we should look at an alternative strategy, which was employed by the high-end coffee industry, where American interests (private and non-governmental organizations) work with foreign organizations and countries to institute basic humane standards for animal welfare as it applies to breeding of dogs. Rather than an import ban of questionable utility (given all of the ways that commercial breeders/distributors can sneak dogs over the border in large volumes), why not target four to five countries and provide them with tools to enforce meaningful animal welfare standards and best practices?

You can be sure that dogs imported into the United States for resale will not be flying first class.

You can be sure that dogs imported into the U.S. for resale will not be flying first class.

People love animals, and they are going to get pets from one source or another. Nobody is questioning that. So the challenge of meeting that demand with dogs from humane, responsible sources is very real.

But just think about what it means that somebody is suggesting — with a straight face (we assume?) — going into countries with virtually no animal welfare standards, instituting “basic humane standards for animal welfare as it applies to breeding of dogs,” then putting those puppies through the stress of being shipped into the United States, and calling that part of a solution. This might work for coffee beans…

NAIA opposes the importation of dogs into the United States for resale, and finds the notion of sourcing our dogs from foreign breeding operations to be ludicrous.

We have to ask if the author really believes that the breeding of pets domestically, raising standards where need be, and sourcing dogs locally is so taboo that mass importation from foreign, large-scale kennels actually sounds reasonable? Or is this the work of a provocateur — the author just softening us up with an assault on the senses so great that we’ll be receptive to something that makes sense in the next installment?

At least for the first question, let’s hope not.

To assure the future availability of healthy, humanely raised pets in the United States, we need to look closer to home. Contact us at NAIA for solutions!

  • Arnold L Goldman DVM MPH

    The ridiculousness of Attorney Cushing’s proposal is obvious on its face and belies his ideological rigidity and zeal. With dog’s from every source readily available within our borders, and with the capacity to create more according to the needs of our society, there is little reason to enable foreign competition nor create animal welfare concerns in places we cannot control nor influence. He conflates the US demand with a foreign supply that will be created to meet our demand but out of sight and out of mind. How cynical! How politically tortured! These activists will do anything to avoid blessing our American dog breeders. How unfortunate he was selected to write for a popular veterinary magazine. Our profession needs no further brainwashjing, thank you very much.

  • Stacey Dean

    In 2006 the CDC said we imported 199,000 dogs from Mexico. I can imagine it’s only grown in the 8 years since. Why is that ok? Why is it ok to bring dogs from Taiwain? Oh they are from shlters? Prove it?

  • A. Brown

    They are doing it right now with rescue dogs.
    Even more scary – Supposedly they have immunizations etc. equal to our standards, before they come over, but what about things like diseases that we do not have here that they carry that we may not be familiar with and that could make our animals very sick. The dogs may seem just fine and yet may have hidden disease or bacteria that their bodies automatically fight, then our dogs who do not have the immunity start getting sick or dying or even humans.

    Will it come to outsourcing and getting our dogs from out of the USA, I personally rather doubt it. But as to bringing dogs in that is already happening.

  • Bruce

    Here we go again……weren’t farmers in the US who were going broke at one time in the past encouraged to “raise puppies” to save them from failing crop efforts? Didn’t Sears actually publish ads from these sources as mail order pets? And didn’t that scenario, over time, evolve into the pet trade/puppy mill wars that have been headaches for USDSA and boons for fund raising animal rights opportunists? Right here in the good ol’ USofA? Aside from the idiocy of the suggestion, bear in mind that one of the primary, basic, bottom line, essential elements of effective standards enforcement is PROXIMITY. You have far fewer scofflaws within easy reach of authority (i.e. city or suburban areas or close in rural) than you do in the hinterlands – hidden from most public view. Encouraging “basic humane standards” across borders? Why hadn’t we thought of that earlier???? Maybe if we use the right honey instead of the flyswatter approach and make an attractive suggestion, the drug cartels could find a newer, better, more acceptable occupational area – yes! Breeding puppies!

  • Laurella Desborough

    I hope that article recommending outsourcing dogs was not serious. If it was serious, it is remarkable that anyone presenting themselves as a professional would make such a recommendation and fail to address the very real concern regarding potential for importing diseases which are presently not found in our domestic animals or wildlife. This importation of diseases is a significant issue which could have enormous health and economic impacts on our domestic animals.

  • Bruce

    Let’s see…..Petsmart didn’t exist before 1985 and around 2010 had 1160 stores in about 160 locations…….if you are doubting that people are looking into their crystal balls and trying to find the future, just think about how nice an enforcement audit trip to Machu Picchu might be for US monitoring authorities who have established a worldwide network of supply for the burgeoning US population (the majority of which in 20 or 30 years will be looking only for barking fur or singing feathers as pets…)

    Yah, I think it’s serious, and I would guess that countries are already targeted.

  • elaine

    The most printable word I can think of for the “alternative strategy” of [paraphrasing] “exporting US animal welfare standards to foreign countries so they can supply the US with humanely raised puppies because Americans don’t want to buy humanely raised puppies from American breeders” is – AMAZING!!

    Some other word or phrase was nagging at me as I read the blog proposing this, and this morning it came to me: cognitive dissonance. To be sure it was applicable to this proposal, I googled it. As it often does, Wikipedia provided an explanation that is concise and seems comprehensive:

    “In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort[1] experienced by an individual who (1) holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time or (2) is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction.[2]”

    Got that? The blogger proclaims that US breeders can’t be trusted to raise pets humanely, but the standards they abide by should be promoted in other countries so that pets THERE are raised humanely.

    But I am not sure who is experiencing the greatest distress here: the blogger who presents this contradiction or the knowledgeable pet breeders and owners who recognize the dangers of mass importation of pets bred elsewhere for resale in the United States. Most likely the blogger, though, as he seems to be afflicted by both types described above. The rest of us only have to wonder whether he is capable of recognizing what is wrong with the picture he is painting.

  • Kim Krohn

    I always find it amazing people in southern California are told not to buy dogs from pet stores because they come from Midwestern “puppy mills” – but they’ll buy dogs from Mexico, smuggled across the border or brought in by “rescues”. Here in Missouri our commercial industry is licensed, inspected, and regulated. Guess what it looks like in Tijuana? How about if Americans just get our dogs from America.

  • Denise Steffe Atkinson

    They outsource the dogs. Just ask a breeder of field golden who trains service dogs. No joke. BTW labs are great dogs too. All dogs. Just the people who train them need to be reschooled on gentle training methods.

  • Dana Quinney

    Outsourcing has already begun, with hundreds of thousands of dogs imported into the US per year. We are creating a huge industry in third-world countries where humane care and breeding standards do not exist, where the dogs are raised in appalling conditions, and where the breeders have no clue how to tell a decent dog from a structurally defective dog. Now, tell me this is better than my breeding one litter of purebred dogs per year in my home and guaranteeing them, taking them back if they don’t work out, and insisting that only the best of them remain unneutered? Right. The next time you vote for a pet-breeding ordinance, ask yourself why you are making it easier for American families to get a substandard puppy from FILTHY conditions, where the breeder has no idea what hip dysplasia even IS, than to get a strong, healthy, intelligent, and calm puppy from me.

  • Stormy Hope

    It seems that I have a stuck record, but here I go again. When/if USDA/Aphis finally publishes the Dog Import Regulations that has been languishing and ready to go for close to 2 years now, the regulations would probably not stop the illegal dog imports but would put a large crimp in the now legal rehoming organizations sourcing their product from outside the U.S. It would stop this nonsense of foreign puppy sources to meet the demand. We now read that HSUS and ASPCA are being concerned about the “market share” of product and creating new markets. It isn’t surprising that those who seek new readers bring out this controversial subject of foreign sources. They were given the lead in by the masters.

  • Allen Cooke

    We all should consider the problem of import regulations and the enforcement problems. Fresh produce is imported to the USA each year with less than 1% inspected and tested. Live animals pets or others can expect no better inspection and testing rate.
    Most all of our communities have regulations to protect our pets and the breeding of same. Enforce the the local regs, punish the ofenders for it’s easier to regulate at home than to attempt to control how other countries produce a product. The production of Salmon in Chile is a good example of distruction of the enviorment to satisfy a percieved need.
    I apologize for the rambling. But there are too many examples of imports not meeting reulations and restrictions ordered by government.

  • We must think about the results of outsourcing the dog breeding. If we do so, it will harm us much more than our imagination.

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