Letter: Responsible breeders should support legislation

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Here’s a response to the March 30 letter titled “A misleading bill on animal cruelty”: 84 Great Danes seized by law enforcement in Wolfeboro, Chihuahuas seized in Croydon, 58 German Shepherds seized in Bristol and Alexandria. All unlicensed commercial breeders.

Senate Bill 569 creates an enforceable definition of a commercial kennel – one where a breeder has seven or more breeding females. A quick search of the letter’s author shows that she is a knowledgeable breeder and states on her website that she “rarely has puppies” because she takes on new dogs only when she herself would like a new pet. It’s clear that the author doesn’t come close to the definition proposed and thus would not be impacted in any way by the bill.

Here’s the problem: The Department of Agriculture has been unable to “prove” that the owners in these cases meet the current definition and have sold 10 litters of puppies each year. Many states, including Maine where the Wolfeboro defendant reportedly was asked to become licensed and then moved herself here, use a definition based on the number of breeding females. Without an enforceable definition, there is no licensing. Without licensing, there are no regulations ensuring basic care.

SB 569 also shifts the financial burden to care for animals who have been legally seized from me, the law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, to the defendant who has been charged based on probable cause of animal cruelty. Responsible breeders, of all people, should be urging the protection of dogs in commercial kennels.

Call your representative and ask them to support SB 569.