Dog Politics

I wish a page like this was not necessary but unfortunately in the times we live in it seems to be.


Do you know the difference between Animal Welfare Groups and Animal Rights Groups?

In short those of us that care for animals who want to have companion pets are for the welfare of animals, we are individuals that subscribe to the agenda of

"Animal Welfare Groups" (AW)

Those that feel companion animals are unnecessary and that no one should own pets of any kind are individuals that subscribe to the agenda of

"Animal Rights Groups" (AR)

Before you support any group please take the time to educate yourself on what is the agenda of the group. Be aware too that animal rights groups do not come out and say up front who they are or what their true agenda is!

A good overview of AR Groups and a partial list of who is who is posted at:


PeTA, HSUS, DDAL are the largest that most people are aware of and make no mistake about it these groups are fanatical ANIMAL RIGHTS organizations

Unfortunately dog politics goes beyond state and local codes and legislation.

On May 26, 2005 Senator Santorum of PA and his colleague Senator Durbin introduced the “Pet Animal Welfare Statute” of 2005, or “PAWS.”

Brier Golden Retrievers is OPPOSED to this piece of legislation!

Please visit for up to date information on "PAWS" and other pet legislation Pet-Law is a very compressive site with many links to other organizations that as well oppose "PAWS" and stay up to date on issues regarding pet legislation.



Brier Goldens Letter of the week on "PAWS"


August 1, 2005


Dear President Bush, Senator Gordon Smith, Senator Ron Wyden, Senate Agriculture Committee and All Concerned Dog Fanciers -


Below my signature line are links to pages from Senator Santorum's own web site, his personal press releases. If you would like to read these releases in whole I have included the links. From what Senator Santorum has stated I can only surmise that he is not knowledgeable at all regarding breeding dogs. His female GSD was probably bred at about 1 year of age, based on his statements. This is in direct conflict with the principals of ethical dog breeding, no question about it to anyone who is a serious dog fancier, breeder or any dog owner who has done any kind of research into ethical dog breeding practices.


What I do not understand is how someone that has displayed such poor judgment can be allowed to write bills, potential laws that may affect private citizens who do subscribe to ethical breeding practices. I do realize ignorance is only a lack of knowledge, however I would like to hope that an individual of Senator Santorum's degree of education would have looked for and employed tools to educate himself and his family on the basic standards of breeding dogs prior to doing so. Furthermore by making the statements he has regarding his own buying and breeding experience it is my opinion as well as the general consensus in the responsible dog breeding community that he has set an example that is in direct conflict with what he purposes SB1139 "PAWS" is all about; Protecting animals from poor breeding practices and unethical standards of care.


In lay terms Senator Santorum has joined the ranks of the back yard breeder. A term which is used to describe individuals who breed dogs outside the code of ethics set forth by national breed clubs which is exemplified by the American Kennel Club's (AKC) general education regarding the breeding of purebred dogs. Perhaps with absence of malice, however still wrong.


In short no dog should be bred before they are fully cleared for specific health issues of the breed; each breed has specific diseases that should be looked into prior to breeding. It is globally accepted that the German Shepherd should be cleared for hip and elbow dysplasia as well as other breed specific diseases. With respect to the screening of hips and elbows as an example; in the United States of America x-rays are submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for consultation and certification. The OFA will not supply a clearance certificate to an animal prior to 24 months of age regardless the breed.


No matter the absence of malice, ignorance is not a suitable defense when one is potentially affecting the livelihood of others, and or, more importantly - The welfare of companion animals. In addition some of the groups (DDAL, HSUS & PETA) that Senator Santorum refers to as "animal welfare groups" are known animal rights activists whose mission statements are undeniable to eradicate, do away with completely, not "regulate" the breeding of companion animals. SB1139 is poorly written, by a Senator that has displayed lack of integrity with his own breeding practices as well as his past record of sponsorship of bills that have not passed committee, but never the less serve as additional examples of his ignorance on this topic. Please President Bush, and the Senate, do right by the dog breeders of America and do not allow this bill to come out of committee.


In closing I call on everyone who reads this to compel Senator Santorum and his co-authors to educate themselves on the ethics of dog breeding and standards of care before another such proposal is written. To waste our countries funds at a time like this with poorly written legislation really is not in our country's best interest in my not so humble opinion. There are many groups our legislators could consult other than the noted groups that I believe would be in the better interest of the mission of helping animals and without affecting hobby breeders.


Kindest Regards,


Gina Heitz

1060 South Pacific Hwy

Woodburn OR 97071-8913



attached: Press releases (2) from Senator Santorum, links to ethical breeding practices from the AKC web site, and the GSD Club of America.


May 26, 2005: Senator Santorum writes: LINK

"As the proud owner of a two-year-old German Shepard (sic) named Schatzie, it is disturbing to see the number of breeders who are careless in their responsibilities of breeding dogs in a healthy and humane environment, said Senator Santorum. Breeding and raising dogs without respect to the animal's welfare guarantees bad results for the unknowing owner, and for the health of the dog and her puppies. "


July 27, 2005: Senator Santorum writes: LINK

"My family and I purchased our beloved German Shepherd dog Schatzie from a small breeder. We and Schatzie raised a litter of puppies in our own home last year, and fully understand the hard work and commitment that it requires. "


AKC Link:



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