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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Help Protect Puppies

Uploaded: Apr 25, 2014

I was doing some research on No Labels to write my blog on it this week when I came across the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act, H.R. 847. This Act sets minimum standards for exercise and activity for dogs raised for sale by a "high volume retail breeder" or what are more commonly called "puppy mills." You can get an idea of how bad the conditions for these dogs are from the summary of what the Bill requires.

H.R.847 "Requires the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) to promulgate requirements for the exercise of dogs at facilities owned or operated by a dealer, including requiring daily access to exercise that: (1) allows the dogs to move sufficiently in a way that is not forced, repetitive, or restrictive; and (2) is in an area that is spacious, cleaned at least once a day, free of infestation by pests or vermin, and designed to prevent the dogs from escaping."

The Bill was introduced by Rep. Bill Gerlach of Pennsylvania in February last year and has been languishing in the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit since March 13, 2013. It's discouraging to see how slowly our government moves at times.

San Ramon is a very dog-friendly city. We have three dog parks. Dogs here are well-cared for, even pampered. Most dogs in San Ramon are pedigreed and obtained from responsible breeders. This Bill will require high volume breeders to take better care of their puppies until they are sold.

The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act has 134 co-sponsors, including both of our California Senators and several recognizable names from nearby districts, Zoe Lofgren, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Mike Honda, Barbara Lee, and Jerry McNerney. Our Congressman, Eric Swalwell, is not on the list of co-sponsors.

I plan to contact Congressman Swalwell to urge him to add his name to the list of co-sponsors of the Puppy Protection Act. I will contact both California Senators to see if this Bill can be sped up through the subcommittee.

Susan Collins is one of the two Senators from Maine who is a co-sponsor of this Bill, but I was surprised that Senator Angus King is not. I shall contact my Sister-in-Law in Portland to urge Senator King to co-sponsor this Bill. I might even contact No Labels to see if they can get their "Problem Solvers," to get this bill passed. Senator King is one of the No Labels Problem Solvers.

I downloaded the No Labels book, which is worth reading to see how our elected representatives could be working for us and not for themselves or their political agendas.

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The book is in e-reader format, either Kindle or Nook, which I don't like as much as PDF. If you do not own a Kindle, which I don't, you can download the Kindle for PC app along with the book.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by dogfather, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 25, 2014 at 7:27 am

Thanks for this post, Roz. Puppymills are a scourge -- these pups deserve much better. To pump a bunch of poorly-bred and treated canines into an already over-supplied market has sad consequences all 'round. This bill helps ensure that breeder pups are humanely raised.

I don't have stats about the proportions of bred vs rescue-sourced dogs in this area, but I do know that there are very many rescued dogs at the local dog parks, and a vibrant rescue community fostering dogs and cats in California. Still, too many dogs and cats are killed in local shelters -- we are not (yet) in any no-kill equilibrium.

For folks interested in seeing what pets might be available in these environs, a great place to start is Petfinder Web Link . You can put in type (dog, cat, horse, rodent etc) breed age and gender and your location. They comb their database to give you descriptions, pics and distances. There are also breed-specific and general rescues like Safe Cat Foundation and TVAR, Muttville.org in SF specializes in dogs > 6 years old -- plenty of tread-life and undying gratitude!

Here's a montage of recent rescue dogs in our vicinity, set to Queen's "Best Friend." They're out there folks -- fetch! Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 25, 2014 at 9:25 am

Thanks Roz. I'm an animal lover and take the lives of my dogs seriously.

We spend lots of time together in the garden walking playing in dog parks and visiting beaches. They are wonderful pals and they're full of love! HOORAY!

ADOPT A DOG IN NEED. A DOG IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Apr 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

I think this legislation sounds about right.

Although she passed-on a year ago at the ripe old age of 12, we got our beloved dog through a rescue organization and couldn't have been happier with her.

Its downright shameful how some puppy-mills operate. I hate to see any animal caged up.

Dan


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I've been involved in cat rescue for at least the last 9 years. I started with TVAR (Tri Valley Animal Rescue). I must give Tom the credit for convincing me to join that group.

One of the TVAR cat fosters, Elise Stewart, started Safe Cat in 2009. I was a foster for Safe Cat for three or four years, but I opted out last year and kept my four remaining fosters. Cats are very smart and they all have different personalities just like people.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Victimized Neighbor, a resident of another community,
on Apr 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Roz, I've been going over this enough times to make me cry. More than once!

I have neighbors who live two doors down who have at least 8 dogs. Big ones, like Rottweilers. They tell us that they've rescued them. Which is all fine.

But I feel like I'm now living next to a kennel. At 6:45 every morning they let the dogs out into the yard. Which means everyone in the neighborhood wakes up at 6:45 to barking dogs weather they want to or not.

They eventually take them in, but then maybe an hour later they let them out again. This goes on all day so that a nap from the lost sleep the night before cannot be recovered. I'm at whit's end. This goes on until minutes before 11:00 at night.

I've tried to talk to the owners. But they claim the barking doesn't bother them. And I've called the police, but they claim as long as the dogs are fed and aren't barking between 11PM and 7 AM everything is just kopasetic. I've called the police at 6:45 AM but by the time they get to my house its after 7.

These neighbors seem to care more about their animals than their neighbors. Frankly, I'd like to go over there and stuff socks in each dog's mouth. But its not the dog's fault. And it's against the law to stick a sock into your neighbor's mouth. So, Roz, do you have any suggestions? I'm so upset, and I'm ready to start crying at any moment.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Neighbor,

I don't know what the laws are for dogs in your community. Usually there is a limit to how many dogs are allowed per household. Eight sounds like it would be over the limit, and the owners should be given a citation and told to reduce the number of dogs.

If they are rescued dogs, your neighbor might be fostering them. Are these dogs being offered for adoption through a rescue group? You should ask your neighbors about that. Try contacting TVAR or one of the dog rescues to speak to them about putting some up for adoption.

There are devices that are supposed to reduce barking. There are collars that provide a mild shock when the dog barks, and newer versions that spray water in the dog's face, but the owners would have to use them.

There are also horns that can be manually or automatically triggered when the dog barks. You can use the manual ones if you are up early enough, but then you are contributing to the noise yourself. The automatic ones only work if the neighborhood is very quite and the only noise is the barking. Otherwise they can go off from a lawn mower or a automobile engine.

You could file a nuisance complaint against your neighbors, but as you already said the police didn't try to stop the barking. I don't know if there is any other legal route you could take.

You could use ear plugs or try to sound proof your house.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Victimized Neighbor, a resident of another community,
on Apr 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Oh, Roz, thank you for your concern. When the police arrive, they deny having that many dogs. They hide some of them and claim the others are visiting them.

They claim the dogs are rescued because I think that makes them feel uppidity like Prius owners.

They won't use dog collars because they say their dogs AREN"T LOUD!!!!!

I tried using a Maritime Air Horn in response, but my neighbors (the dog owners you guessed it!!!!) called the police on ME!!!!!

Maybe I'll just soundproof the house and nail all the windows shut. Do you have any idea how much that would cost?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Neighbor,

If this is really a problem for you and other neighbors of this neighbor, and that neighbor is unwilling to acknowledge the problem, get up early and videotape or record the barking. Time stamp it. Bring the video to your neighbor and play it for them. Tell them that you will send it to the police and/or your local TV news "on your side" reporter if they don't do something about it.

If other neighbors are also upset by the early morning noise, set up a meeting with the other victimized neighbors to come up with other suggestions. I'm all out of them now.

Roz


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

Laws to protect puppies from puppy mill breeders are difficult to pass, but even when they are passed they are often not enforced. I just received an email from the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS) about sick puppies imported from other countries even though a law to stop these imports was passed six years ago. I signed the petition, and I hope some of my readers will too.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 5, 2014 at 11:39 am

Laws to protect puppies from puppy mill breeders are difficult to pass, but even when they are passed they are often not enforced. I just received an email from the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS) about sick puppies imported from other countries even though a law to stop these imports was passed six years ago. I signed the petition, and I hope some of my readers will too.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on May 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

PS Don't click the submit button again if the comment isn't posted right away. It will just post it twice.



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