|Posted by P4PO on February 27, 2020 at 10:15 AM|
The latest dog seizure case I am following with fear and sadness in my heart, is the Connecticut case of Margaret Boisture, Star Mountain Podengos. Margaret is a show enthusiast and breeder of Podengos. She was relocating from her former property to a farm she owns in a different town that had previously had a renter occupying. The facility was undergoing some renovation, but even as is and in the middle of the moving and the work on it, it is a tidy place, with heat both from radiant floors and blown in/air as well. It is spacious, and these are small dogs.
Margaret kept her cool when she was raided. And she had been keeping her dogs in excellent condition, during all the turmoil of moving and renovating. Having been through both recently, I can tell you it is a monumental feat. When they arrived to raid her and seize her dogs, they prevented her from doing her usual dog related chores and care. They walked around taking photos and videos, inspecting, and Margaret quietly filmed them as they went, following behind them, until they forbid her from shadowing them and from filming. She caught the sneaky little odd things they did – like opening her trash cans, pulling out an empty bag that looked to be a treat bag, and photographing the trash. They photographed the inside of her floor mopping bucket. They photographed the cardboard boxes that were folded up and forming a divider between dog’s crates/pens – something done to lessen barking at one another and reaching thru to bite at another dog’s ears, etc. They then claimed the cardboard was to prevent dogs urinating on one another. (Sideways?) They photographed one dog, who looked nervous about these strangers’ intrusion, and labeled it “Terrified dog hovers in back of crate on non-sterilizable surface”. The dog had a clean blanket folded up in the crate to lay on.
(this cardboard was placed in front of a food bin by Sparky for a photo opp.)
(So scared that Sparky had to shove her fingers in each crate to pet them...rolls eyes)
Margaret’s place was remarkably clean, really. The temporary crates – there were platforms and pens being built and visible in the building – were clean, water dishes were clean and most had water in them. Yet the ACO claimed that the place was “Disgusting” “Deplorable.” “Loud.”
I am not sure why loud has a single thing to do with seizing someone’s animals. If you walk into a home with 2-3 dogs, and you are a stranger, it’s meal time, it’s time to go out, their expected routine is not unfolding…the dogs are going to bark, loudly. What does that have to do with neglect? Nothing.
The ACO stated that neighbors complained dogs were left out all night, yet she then stated there was a play area, fenced, with no dog footprints, so the dogs must have been confined too long inside and not let out at all.
When they removed all the dogs, crates, etc they photographed the leftover hair kitties, dirt, etc. left behind where the crates had been. It wasn’t much.
(wow dog hair and kibble under crates the horror!)
The dogs themselves were in good shape. Many were actively showing, were in condition and coat for that. The ACO reported that one dog had a heart murmur, one had a tumor. I do not understand why this has ANY bearing. If your dog develops a tumor of some kind, but it is still happy and living a quality life… no one comes and tells you that you MUST have the tumor removed or you must euthanize your dog. If your older dog develops a heart murmur and can live several more years, possibly with medication, possibly as is…why is that a notable detail? In this case, they didn’t use the old fall back “some dogs had ear infections” – which many pet dogs of various breeds chronically do develop, and are treated for, only to have them return. Except no one seizes your pet dog when he gets an ear infection.
So, here is why this case, (like Paul Upton’s case, a few years back, with the GSDs…he eventually won his case, it cost over 100K and over a year and his reputation.) really chills me. The dogs are not in danger, they are not in bad shape, they are not starved, abused, or neglected. They had a really nice facility and an owner who appears dedicated, just had a dog win a class at Westminster, and is in fact, known to breed excellent dogs – though that shouldn’t even matter. And yet, her dogs are gone, seized by an ACO who is a known AR extremist using her position to further her own anti-breeder agenda.
This MUST stop. It just must. It is wrong to vilify a group of people who are doing something they are passionate about – something that is not shady or illegal. News reports love to use the terminology “A suspected breeder” or “the owner was running a Breeding Operation” as if they are saying “Running a Meth lab.”
The public has been brainwashed. The dog loving public has very little knowledge about what is really happening or what they are seeing, and they all join in vigilante mob like unison, calling for the rotten animal abusing breeder to be hung or jailed or locked in a crate.
What the serious hell people?
As someone who lives with a lot of dogs, I am going to state something and ask you to believe it is true. Dogs eliminate, regularly. And they also do things we don’t necessarily like – they chew things, they play with things, they splatter mud as they come in the door, they tip over a water bucket, they de stuff a dog bed, they do things that cause them a wound, like stick their head under a chain link fence and scrape themselves. They shed. They get dirty playing outside and then, they come in and nap. When they get up, dry, sand slides off to the floor. If they go out in a group, some are too busy playing to want to poop, so they save that until they come back in, despite that you get them outside and give them ample time to do their business.
When you have 2 dogs, this kind of mess is slightly annoying, but you clean it up in a few minutes. If you let the dog or dogs back out again, it’s a quick re-do. When you have many dogs, whose needs you are trying to tend to, it takes a constant ground hog day like cycle of doing and redoing. No matter how hard you try, no matter how you work, it is never going to look pristine. You triage the most important chores first – you clean pens/crates/living areas, you pick up the outside bathroom area, you feed, you water. The dogs go out for their walks or play time. And if you have a choice of doing that or sweeping a floor, maybe the floor waits until later. And ten minutes after you do it, they mess it up again. There will be dog hair, there will be dirt. Some dogs like to empty their water bucket by dumping it and playing with the pail. This both makes a wet mess, and means that every time you walk by, they need a refill. Because if you get raided, and a bucket is empty, they will photograph that and say you neglect to water your dogs. Maybe you use shavings for bedding, and the dogs kick that out of their pens, leaving the aisles/floor covered constantly.
When you are cleaning multiple pens and a dog yard where they often poop, you need to pick up the waste and then dispose of it. You think you’re on top of things because you are picking up the poop and placing it in a bag for disposal. But if you haul that refuse to the dump once a week or once a month, and you have the filled bags set aside somewhere until such day…they take photos of the trash and fault you for it being there.
This, my friends, is witch hunting. This is looking to find fault and make reasons to take a person’s animals – a person’s property, by law, - and hold them for ransom to make money, headlines and to hopefully, ruin the person’s reputation and put them out of business.
It is wrong to create a different standard for one person than for another. Whether you own one pet dog or ten, you cannot seize one person’s dogs because the dog has dirty teeth that require a $400.00 dental, when there is no law stating as an animal owner, you by law have to get your dogs’ teeth cleaned. You can’t require one set of standards for one person and accept less from another. If you, as a pet owner, keep a dog who is abysmally skinny from IBD/constant diarrhea that can’t be managed, you might be a saint in many people’s eyes. If a Breeder keeps such a dog – a dog who is of no “use” to a breeding program – and cares for the dog who isn’t a great candidate to be homed because most pet owners don’t want to deal with constant diarrhea – your dog gets seized and you get charged with cruelty. This has got to stop.
Just like there are always some “bad” breeders, some “bad” pet owners, there are also some bad rescues. And in fact, the new “pet stores” – offering dogs to the public with questionable breeding and history from questionable sources – ARE rescues. In recent years it has become a huge money making endeavor for these organizations to buy dogs from less than reputable breeders, from auctions, from other countries and ship them across the country here, importing disease and in conditions that a someone not protected by Rescue status would likely be charged with neglect for, and then “adopt” them to the public with sad stories. Where our shelters were literally almost EMPTY in the Northeast for some years, now these places are filled with dogs brought up from the south or from other countries. These Rescues advertise getting shipments of puppies, which are “adopted” with higher fees. Purebred dogs are supposedly rescued from “Meat Trade”, and homes in this country. Do you really believe that some overseas meat operation is breeding purebred dogs???
With it becoming increasingly difficult for Hobby Breeders, people invested in their breed, to breed dogs, and with the push from the “Adopt Don’t Shop” campaign for you to ONLY get your dog from a Rescue/Shelter… your choices in obtaining a well bred, thoughtfully bred, animal with known parentage, temperaments, health, and raising practices, are being eroded. There is no accountability from these places if they adopt you out a dog that later bites a child’s face off. You are being asked to leave your children in the presence of a dog whose background and character history is largely unknown. And with all the laws on banning breeding, and mandatory spay /neuter, how long do you think it will be before there is no such thing as having a purebred dog?
The public has been brainwashed. What you need to know is that the reason dogs are in shelters is NOT because a Breeder’s dog had two litters last year and those puppies were sold to families. The reason dogs get dumped is PEOPLE. Buyers, Adopters, people…they dump the dogs. If the dog gets too big, develops habits they don’t like, is too expensive, has health issues, they’re moving and their new apartment won’t allow dogs…THESE PEOPLE are putting dogs in shelters or abandoning them as strays. NOT breeders like me. Many of us have contracts requiring our puppy buyers to offer us back a dog we bred, if at any point, they can’t keep the dog. This has led to me having many extra dogs, over the course of many years. Those dogs will never be bred. I pay for them and spend time and resources caring for them. And then I get called a hoarder because someone thinks I have more dogs than I need.
The fur baby loving public believes a dog can only be happy in a home with 1-2 dogs and buried in toys and treats. This is not true. For some dogs, that is a perfect home, for others, it is not. If someone has a group of 10 dogs, who have always had one another as a social pack, and have interacted together, played together, shared resources, and you send that dog to a traditional home where the people go to work and leave the dog alone all day, that dog might not thrive. That dog might rather have less individual human attention and less toys, and spend his day with canine companions and a rich dog-dog social life and with a human who communicates well with him and he has confidence in. Dogs have needs that must be met, and if their needs are met, they can live a very happy life in a non-traditional home environment. There are dogs who are happy, thriving, content in a kennel routine, and there are dogs who are miserable in a family home with a cushy dog bed, toys, and endless cookies.
What does that have to do with seizures? When you brainwash people into thinking the dogs are miserable simply for the fact of being in a kennel with a lot of dogs, you play on people’s false assumptions and heartstrings. So many of these people who comment online “I’d give that poor baby a great home” and trot on down to apply to adopt, wind up exasperated and ready to give the dog back up to the shelter because the dog has behaviors they don’t like, or is unhappy, or chews their stuff. Some of these families then have to crate the dog all day while they work, because the dog can’t be safely left in the home while they work all day and then at night, the dog is so eager for interaction, the family can’t make dinner and relax. But, hey, the dog is better off than he was in that Breeder’s kennel, right? Because now he has a soft bed and is only one dog with lots of attention.
Seized dogs that make headlines generate donations from the Fur baby loving public. They generate adoptions, even for other dogs in the shelter or rescue because they need to “make room”, or they already adopted those dogs out, but convince you to consider another dog that they have there. Many of these seized dogs that are supposedly in terrible shape, wind up adoptable within a week of being seized, if the owner surrenders them.
Margaret’s case is particularly disturbing because there are no horrific conditions. There was no neglect. All she is being targeted for is having a lot of dogs, having neighbors who don’t want her keeping dogs on her property, and of being in transition. What better time to raid someone than during a move, right? Because conditions would likely be at their worst right then. Except, in this case, the “worst” is pretty good!
While breeders find fault with one another’s protocols or set ups or even with their breeding stock and philosophy, and the number of dogs they keep or own or co own, the HSUS and others have cohesively united, launched and executed a propaganda campaign that has infiltrated the entire country and the pet loving public on the whole, and turned them against us, made us into “Greeders”, villains, lowlifes. The time to stand together and combat their efforts, the time to educate the public to the REAL truth is NOW, before there are none of us left because it becomes illegal to breed and sell puppies at all. Many of us supported Paul Upton for this reason. And now we should support Margaret, too. Down the road, you or I may be next. And most of us cannot afford to combat the deep pockets of an agency that seizes our dogs.
When it is YOU facing the loss of your world, you are going to want others to stand with you and help. And so, we must help Margaret. Together, we are much stronger and together we can fight and win. Alone, we will all be defeated, in the near future, we may be legislated and public opinioned out of existence.