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01/03/2013: The National Animal Interest Alliance’s Annual Conference

For the fifth year in a row, I attended the National Animal Interest Alliance’s annual conference. It never fails that I learn something new each year. I was especially looking forward to this year’s conference as Temple Grandin, famed animal scientist, author and professor, was the keynote speaker.

11/09/2012: The Power of Rallying For Your Rights

While things are somewhat quieting down on the legislative front, I had an opportunity to check in on the opposition. Several groups here in Michigan, including Michigan Humane Society and HSUS, and led by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, hosted “Pups Parade” for what they proclaimed as Michigan Puppy Mill Awareness Day of 2012.

10/11/2012: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Although the proposed USDA/APHIS rule changes took the forefront this summer with regards to legislative action, it certainly has not been the only issue to take the stage. Breed specific legislation is still alive and the fight continues, and a few key battles over hunting rights are continuing. However, it seems that the USDA/APHIS changes got the attention it deserved. At last check, well over 15,000 comments had been submitted.

08/14/2012: To Protect and Cherish

UKC stands behind responsible breeders, and is doing our part to help in producing healthy, vibrant, and sound dogs. Animal rights proponents have been pretty successful in implanting the idea that dog breeders are responsible for dogs in shelters. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

06/23/2012: Now It's the Feds' Turn

Last month, I revisited the state “puppy mill” bill issue as it was rearing its ugly head here in Michigan once again. That apparently was a foreshadowing of what was to come at the Federal level. Some very significant and disturbing changes have been proposed to the Animal Welfare Act that could negatively impact not only breeders but rescues alike! In this column I will go over those changes and contact info for comments as I urge each and every one of you to have your voice heard on this issue.

05/23/2012: "Puppy Mill" Bills Revisited

Recently, an incident occurred not far from United Kennel Club headquarters that has set the perfect storm for an anti-breeding movement by the animal rightests. In early April, over 350 dogs were seized from the home of George and Cheri Burke in Allegan County, just outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

04/23/2012: UKC Misconduct Rules and Forms

This month, I’m going to stray a bit off the legislative path to unroll the (insert drum roll here) new UKC Misconduct Rules and forms. After a lot of research, revisions and discussion, the new rules are finally finished. I believe this will make it much easier for clubs to conduct hearings, and makes the overall misconduct and hearing process much smoother, easier to understand, and fair to the parties involved.

02/08/2012: Hearings At Many Levels

Last fall was quite active in terms of dog legislation, but most notably has been breed specific legislation. Sometimes I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall fighting this battle, but there has been some light at the end of tunnel lately.

01/08/2012: The 2011 National Animal Interest Alliance Conference

This was my fourth year attending the annual National Animal Interest Alliance conference, and I have yet to be disappointed. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the organization, the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) is an organization whose purpose is to dispel myths perpetuated by animal rights groups, and to promote the rights of animal owners throughout all animal industries.

11/08/2011: Protect Yourself from the Vigilantes!

I like to try to find the positive in most people and give them the benefit of the doubt, and, for the most part, individuals involved in rescue or animal control are wonderful people with big hearts who just want to help animals. Unfortunately, there are many out there who have “drank the Kool-Aid”, have been led to believe by other judgmental souls that all dog breeders are evil, and become vigilantes.

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