Why a No-New-Laws Approach Doesn’t Serve the Long-Term Interests of Responsible Dog Breeders By NADBR’s VP and Director of Research Rita Rice

I know that the popular view among responsible home-based dog breeders is “No more laws!”. And, it’s no mystery why we feel that way. The laws currently on the books manage to both discourage responsible breeding and still not do much to help end severe neglect and cruelty situations. Although many breeder groups are doing a great job fighting misguided new legislation, no one is thinking about creating an outcome that rewards good husbandry and responsible dog breeding.

The result is that most legislation is written by “anti-breeding” groups – who somehow don’t seem to understand that Americans want to buy purebred or well-bred puppies and that, if they can’t get them in their state, or in the U.S., they’ll just import from overseas, where the U.S. has no jurisdiction to require minimum standards of care.
Because, really, my friends – I know that many dedicated breeders get frustrated by having to deal with regulations on breeders that make no sense, but aren’t you also heartsick at the number of rescues that are truly needed? Aren’t you fed up by the number of poorly bred puppies, unsocialized and laden with mental and physical problems that pass for “purebred” dogs these days?

So, think outside the box for a minute.
What if the law actually worked in your favor and allowed you, as a responsible breeder, to operate more openly and to advertise your litters to the local pet market? What if the law actually helped bring buyers to you?
What if it gave you the opportunity to educate possible buyers about the quality dogs you produce? What if it gave you a chance to demonstrate the difference between your breeding program and those of people selling questionable dogs over the Internet?
Most of us don’t even advertise in the local market, because the laws don’t favor it. If they did, wouldn’t it be so much easier for good breeders to work with local buyers and to educate local prospects?

I believe that there are thousands of us: responsible, mostly home-based breeders who are quietly doing a great job raising happy, healthy puppies on a small scale. I also believe that most of us feel so pressured by the current political climate that we cringe every time we buy more than three bags of dog food, and stifle the rant that begs to explode every time we walk in public with our dogs and someone asks, “Is that a rescue?”

At some point, we need either to make our voices heard or to be ready to throw in the towel. I have spent the last six months working with the dedicated members of NADBR. For the first time in years, I feel like I’m a part of a constructive dialogue with a group of individuals who respect that, first and foremost, all of us love dogs and want what’s best for them, now and in the future.
NADBR is about promoting responsible dog breeding, not putting responsible dog breeders out of business. You can find this article on our home page, under leadership posts to blog.

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