Monday, March 9, 2009

Rough Draft Final

Federal Legislation Regarding Dog Breeding

*Those who fall under the proposed legislation:
-If a breeder sells more than 40 dogs annually, they are subject to the following laws.
-If a breeder houses (dogs must be on the property for more than 90-days to apply) more than 40 dogs, they are subject to the follow rules.
-If a breeder houses more than 20 female dogs, this legislation applies.
-Co-Ownership (if the dog does not reside with one an applicable owner) does not apply.
-Dog handlers (for show ring purposes), or temporary ownership does not apply.
-Dog shelters are subject to different business and state legislation and therefore do not apply.
-Pet shops do not apply unless the business breeds dogs.
-This legislation is limited to canines only and does not apply to any other type of animal.

*Proposed Laws:

Responsible Dog Breeding Workshop
-All business owners must attend the annual “Responsible Dog Breeding Workshop” offered in two locations per state.
-The workshop will be offered twice a year in two different locations.
-States may incorporate more frequent workshops to accommodate business owners.
-The workshops can only be attended after a business license is approved.

Veterinary Care:
-Ongoing veterinary care (if applicable, specific rules follow) is required for each dog while on the premises of each breeder.
-Files must be maintained and kept for five years on each dog.
-Show dogs must obtain required vaccinations (per state).
-It is not necessary for all dogs on the premises to visit a veterinarian regularly; however, if illness is present in dogs during inspection, business owners should have proof of veterinary care on file.

Additional Record Keeping:
-Records of sales and breeding must be kept on file for five years after the breeding or sale occurred.
-Records for previous inspections are to be kept (and readily available) for 10 years.

Breeding Limitations:
-Only female dogs between the ages of 18-months and 8 years can be bred.
-Female dogs cannot be bred more than twice annually.
-Unexpected pregnancies occur; a fine will be issued for each pregnancy. If more than two occur per year per dog, licenses can be suspended.

Animal Caging:
-Each dog must have its own cage, with ample room (6-inches on all sides) to stand up and turn around.
-Every cage must be on the ground.
-Cages must be kept clean, within reason.
-Wire caging is permitted, but not on the bottom of the cage.
-Specific bottoms of the cage will not be required, as long as wire (or a wire-like) material is not used.
-Clean drinking water must be available in each cage.
-Every dog can have a maximum of 12 hours in a cage daily.
-No more than 8 hours should pass without a dog leaving a cage.

Free Area:
-One acre is required per 20 permanent dogs.
-Outside space should also provide shelter. This amount will not be specified, but should allow adequate room for all dogs (20 per acre) to gather at one time. An example would be a carport like area to protect dogs from the elements. This space does not need four walls, only a roof is required.
-All outdoor areas accessed by dogs must be kept clean and free of excess feces.
-No other plant, animal, or activity should be conducted in the outdoor space.
-This space will be specifically allotted for dogs.
-Clean water should be always available.

*Outline of Breeding License:
-A federally issued “breeder” license is issued once the initial inspection has been conducted and the premises is approved.
-Subsequent annual inspections will re-issue licenses only if the premises meets law requirements.
-Only one license per person, per location will be issued.
-Two licenses cannot be granted in one location.

*Enforcement of Laws:
-A state official will visit the premises once annually. If problems or citations occur, these visits will increase.
-Each visit, no matter the reason, does not require previous notification.

*Costs and Funding:
-Each state, depending on size and population, will be allowed sufficient money to ensure laws. These funds will come from other areas in the federal budget, not taxes, as well as the fees incurred by breeders.
-An annual fee of $2,500 will be collected during the reissuance of licenses.
-Licenses will not be granted until an inspection has occurred and

*Time period for adjustment:
*All existing breeders will have one year from the time of official legislation to accommodate new laws.
*All new breeders must begin business according to inspection rules before selling, housing, or breeding dogs.

-If dog rescue work meets or exceeds 25% of the business, annual fees can be lowered or eliminated.

*Punishment for laws not upheld:
-Non compliance of laws will result in varying punishments.
-These punishments include: warnings, fines, suspension of license, jail, and revocation of license.
-Specific punishments will be outlined once this bill is approved.

*Detailed explanation of why each law was chosen:

Responsible Dog Breeding Workshop:
This mandatory workshop will be created to enhance awareness and consistency throughout the breeding community. Many breeders have little or no education about what it actually takes to breed and raise multiple dogs. These workshops will give them a chance to unite with other breeders and form potential networking systems.

We understand that business owners are busy and cannot be expected to get away several days a year, so these workshops will be offered in two (or more) locations, twice yearly. The workshops will last one full business day and include a multitude of classes, some required and others optional (treated like electives).

Veterinary Laws:
Dogs should, like humans, be cared for. They get sick, have babies, and contract diseases which require a doctor. This law omitted the requirement for all dogs to have a regular veterinarian (unless for reasons earlier broached) because some breeders may choose a holistic or alternative medicine, which has proven itself effective in the past.

Show dogs are required by the AKC to be up-to-date on vaccinations, thus the enforcement of veterinary care requirement for them. Also, it is in the best interest for all dogs exposed to the public to be protected from potential disease.

Five years allows enough time for breeders and potential owners to refer back to previous health problems.

Additional Record Keeping:
Five years allows enough time for breeders and potential owners to refer back to previous purchases. The health of dogs can be optimized if they are not paired (bred) with another dog with issues.

Inspection records should remain consistent between breeders and the state. Keeping them for 10 years should allow enough time for referring back to previous inspections. This amount of time is intended to protect breeders from inconsistencies during inspections.

Breeding Limitations:
Very young and old dogs are susceptible to many more health problems when bred. Thus the basis for this section of the proposed legislation. It is meant to protect dogs from being bred too young or too old.

Dogs should not be bred during each heat cycle. Allowing only two breeding per year gives female dogs the chance to recover from pregnancy and raise puppies.

It is well known to breeders that accidents occur and dogs can breed themselves. Thus the allowance (fine only) for such occasions. Dogs, however, should be closely monitored to protect them from over breeding. Punishments can occur if this happens repeatedly.

Animal Caging:
One of the biggest problems of puppy mills are is the environment in which dogs live. They are often crammed into cages without adequate room to move and no drinking water. Also, wire cages can cut the feet of dogs if over exposed. This portion of the law is very important because dogs should have a safe and clean “home.”

Dogs need to have time outside cages. This is also a big problem with puppy mills. It is understandable that business owners have time to sleep or leave the premises, which is why 8 hours is for the dogs to remain in cages. Dogs are meant to have time to run, so they are to be caged for a maximum of 12 hours daily. This allows them plenty of free time and socialization.

Free Areas:
Most dogs enjoy running outside. They, depending on size, should have ample room to do so. One acre per 20 dogs seems adequate for them to run freely. Many dogs, especially smaller breeds, require shelter from the elements. Having a covered space allows them to feel secure while outside.

Having the acreage dedicated solely to dogs protects them from other animals, poisonous plants, etc…

It is understandable that a certain amount of feces be present when housing 20 dogs on one acre. Messes should be cleaned daily to prevent the area from becoming hazardous to dogs.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Op Ed

The AKC suggests self-governance is the best way for dog breeders to conduct their business. Conversely, PETA is calling for intense legislation, which mostly bans breeding all together. Can we find a middle ground? Potentially, yes.
Both sides of the argument seem a bit idealistic and lack realistic governance of breeders and breeding. Let us start with the facts about breeding and pet overpopulation. First, according to the humane society, over 5 million animals (dogs and cats) are euthanized each year. This fact, to most, would warrant a claim that too many animals exist in the United States. Next, few states have laws governing the breeding of animals and their welfare. Finally, the AKC has yet to admit that pet overpopulation exists, instead calling it a “perceived problem.”
Let us first broach legislation. Since it is widely believed that self-governance is not realistic, this would leave the idea of legislation open for a solution to pet overpopulation. Also leaving choices up to the general population would generate varying levels of governance, leaving out consistency.
Current breeding laws vary from state to state, so a federal blanket law would be most effective. For the sake of time, I will not outline specifics of legislation; instead I urge that it is explored.
Virginia has adopted recent laws that specifically govern dog breeders. This law specifically states that those who breed more than a certain amount of dogs (that are subsequently sold) must adhere to veterinary, exercise, and caging restrictions.
A law similar to the one in Virginia could be a stepping-stone toward federal legislation. However, we must first explore the Virginia case to find what works and does not work. Implementation is also a key aspect of potential laws surrounding dog breeding. It isn’t enough to enact laws; they must also be enforced. Once federal laws are approved, money should be set aside to ensure that they are upheld.


Personally, I feel that imagery is easily taken too far when it deals with fiction. Horrific images are displayed on network television nightly. People are killed, raped and maimed in front of us, but real images from PETA are often considered too graphic for primetime television. Why are we, as a society, comfortable with fictitious images of cruelty, but condemn PETA for displaying non-fiction?
Subconsciously we might know that crimes committed on television are fake, thus making us okay with watching it. I say, worry about what is really happening instead of subjecting oneself to the “pretend” stresses of fictional drama.
Animals are actually dying because of neglect and overpopulation. This is a fact, yet so many people cry extremism when it comes to PETA’s powerful videos. Think about, PETA does not condone violence of any kind. It refrains from abusive protests and normally launches campaigns on its website. Not exactly a flag burning type of organization. We, the public, have the choice to visit PETA’s website and subject ourselves to its views.
PETA probably uses extreme visuals to grasp the attention of those even partially interested. Yes, the images could potentially turn off potential supporters, but polarization—even peaceful—tends to draw attention. Taking one side or another has come to a head in the U.S. post September 11th and I believe that PETA has (to some extent) jumped on the bandwagon of the “with or against us” mentality. Conversely, it has used powerful images and campaigns to reach out to those interested in animal welfare and pet overpopulation. But has done so in a peaceful manner.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Military and Octomom

Personally, I believe that reproduction rights should be open and women should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies. This, however, is a broad statement when reproduction aspects like military involvement and invetro fertilization comes into play.

Today we looked at two different arguments about womens' reproductive rights. On one hand, it was argued that they should receive special--or different--treatment from the military when pregnant or already have children. Conversely, we discussed how someone like Nadia Suleman probably should not be reproducing 14 times in her young and single life.

In keeping with my personal feeling about women's rights, I believe that military moms should take their personal and professional lives into consideration when enlisting. They have a unique and very different situation from most working mothers. For instance, a tax accountant would most likely be able to take a moderate amount of time off work post pregnancy, but a military mom might be expected to return to duty--and travel outside the country--very soon after giving birth. Where does the difference lie? In the job.

When enlisting in the military everyone should--like any other job--take children and the future into consideration. This, of course, seems idealistic, but is rather simple when you think about it. Those in the military (especially during times of war) must expect that they will be sent far away for long periods of time. Thus creating issues when pregnancy and parenthood are concerned.

We cannot, however, guarantee that everyone puts such thought into the future, so blanket laws should be enacted. Single parents should not be sent away. The risk of death and parent less children are too high in this situation. I'm not positive, but feel confident that numerous jobs are available that do not require relocation to a war zone. Such a law would allow single parents to enlist, but also be kept out of harms way professionally.

Suleman, the octomom, is another story altogether. She chose to--and delivered--14 children in her life. She is a jobless single mom with no realistic plan for how to care for her children. Multiple interviews have produced conflicting stories and blatant lies from her...and has left all of us wondering why she felt it necessary to have so many kids.

I could go into overpopulation or tax payers, but the underlying problem with Suleman seems to be her mental health. Should her doctor have allowed 6 potential babies to be implanted in her? According to me, the answer is no. But, she could have found another doctor willing to perform the surgery.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Make claim...

I have conducted extensive research on dog breeding and the world of show dogs. After that research, I have decided that legislation should be enacted to govern dog breeding.

The most predominant issue is pet overpopulation. The AKC doesn't really recognize that it even exists. Conversely, PETA believes that virtually no one should breed, unless a specific license is obtained. Clearly, a middle ground should be reached.

Few laws currently exist surrounding breeding. Basically anyone can breed as dogs wherever and whenever they choose. This lack of governance has resulted in millions of dogs euthanized yearly in shelters. Also, puppy mills are rampant throughout the U.S. They provide almost all of the dogs that are sold in pet stores.

Honestly I think that people just don't do the adequate research prior to purchasing a dog. Every breed is different and not all of them will work for everyone. Ample research is required before buying a dog. Also, dogs should be purchased from reputable sources. Yes, the AKC has members that are often "good" breeders, but they are harder to find and often more expensive.

The only viable way to ensure the safety of animals is through legislation. Money should be put behind laws, then it should be used to govern them.

Viaduct Replacement

A replacement to the Alaskan Way Viaduct is inevitable, thus I would vote in favor of a tunnel. First and fore most, our state is in dire need of jobs and this project would provide tens of thousands of jobs throughout the next nine years.

Next, Seattle is well-known for traffic problems. Nothing will better relieve conjestion than additional roadways. Seattleites that currently use public transportation are unlikely to revert back to the roads just because a new tunnel is in existance. Yes, the tunnel could free up some traffic, but it is not likely to solve the problem all together.

Finally, the current viaduct is dangerous. Numerous experiements have proven that it is likely to collapse in an earthquake. A safe and effective alternative is necessary.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Veronica Martin

Veronica Martin
Martin takes a personal approach to her education and hopes to further her personal interests through the education received at Seattle University.
It was a toss up between Seattle U and Chapman in Orange, California. In retrospect she feels that the schools are polar opposite and is happy with the decision to attend S.U.
Martin has, however, discovered that Journalism promotes relationship with people that is forced and relies on the “what’s in it for me?” approach. She does not feel comfortable looking at friends as potential stories and would like to lead her life in a different manner.