Draft ACFA Rules

I have a draft of the ACFA rules after the modification by the “Missouri Solution”. These are draft until vetted by the Secretary of State.

The Humane Society of the US, the ASPCA, and the Best Friends Society had mixed reviews of the new rules. On the plus side, a veterinarian annual exam must be physical, not visual. In addition, the new rules do at least address some of the original concerns, such as providing a definition of what a “severe” illness or injury is, and what is meant by “extreme” weather conditions.

HSUS, ASPCA, and Best Friends still have their concerns, such as crowded housing, insufficient floor requirements, and the fact that so much of the animal medical care is still under the breeders’ interpretation. I’m concerned about the fact that the new rules demand that housing for the animals ensure they’re not subjected to lower temperature unless acclimated. Well, again, open to interpretation. However, the rules do say that the ambient temperature can’t fall below 45 degrees in indoor enclosures, period. Of course, this doesn’t say anything about the dogs in outdoor enclosures. Again, how the dogs are housed is too frequently left up to the interpretation of the breeder.

The space requirements are not good. The single cage spaces are fine, but then as you look at the space requirements table, you can see that the cages can become quite crowded when adding more dogs. And yes, the breeders will add more dogs.

In addition, the rules were weakened to allow for large groupings in cages, which are going to cause problems no matter how compatible the dogs are.

The draft does not cover the licensing fees, but according to our understanding, rescues and shelters are still being charged the same amount as commercial dog breeders. Nothing like providing a service for the community and being charged for the privilege. I would expect if this continues that communities pay this fee. After all, shelters and rescues taking care of stray, homeless, or rescued dogs means that many less dogs the communities have to deal with.

Yes, I’m talking about you, St. Louis.

Photography Technology

Rent not to own

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I have used Photoshop for years. I tried to use GIMP and UFRaw, and these are wonderful tools, but I’m comfortable with Photoshop. I like Photoshop.

Unfortunately, when I recycled my last Apple computer, I also lost my last copy of Photoshop. It was an older version, but still had what I needed. I looked at buying a few new version of Photoshop for my Windows 7 laptop, but the price of a new copy of Photoshop is beyond my means. And I don’t steal software, that’s not my thing.

Fortuitously for me, Adobe came out with a new way of acquiring Photoshop: instead of buying the application, rent it instead.

For a fixed monthly cost, you can rent a copy of Photoshop (or other high end Adobe product). How much the cost is, is dependent for how long you rent it. If you rent the application month-to-month, the cost is higher. If you rent it annually, the cost can drop a substantial amount.

The subscription plan is not the most economical way of accessing the software. The subscription cost is more expensive than just buying the software and the upgrades. However, for those organizations (or people) who just need a license for a temporary period of time, or people like me who don’t happen to have several hundred dollars lying around for a software purchase, the subscription plan does provide another option.

I signed up for a subscription for Photoshop and once a month, Adobe takes a bite out of my bank account. Hopefully, eventually I’ll have the income to buy the software outright. Or I’ll learn to live with GIMP. For now, though, the subscription does work for me.

Adobe isn’t the only “rent not to own” game in town: Amazon is getting into the rental business with Kindle books. I discovered the option when looking at a high priced book on zoos and animal rights (high, as in $108.00), Amazon is especially touting this option for textbooks, such as Sensation and Perception, 8th Edition, which sells for $116.76, but can be rented for $43.61 (and up, depending on how long you keep the book).

This is all old hat for O’Reilly, my book publisher for the last several years. The company provides access to many (if not most) of its books through Safari Online—a subscription based book site. The difference, though, is that you can download Photoshop or a Kindle rental book to your device(s) and access them offline. As far as I know, you have to access Safari Online, well, online. You can access the books through a mobile device, but you still have to be online. So Safari Online is less a case of renting the book, and more subscribing to a service. With Amazon, you’re literally renting the book.

The concept of “rent not to own” has its advantages: you don’t have to buy something you only need for a limited time, have to have the cash upfront, or charge the cost of the products to a credit card (which you most likely won’t pay off, anyway). The cost is fixed, and you know the price (and conditions) before you sign up. If your finances are erratic, you can rent month to month. Best of all, by not charging, you’re not giving interest to the bloodsucking banks.


Puppy Millers to Receive State funds under new MDA Rules

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has finalized the rules based on the passage of SB 161.1. They managed to go through thousands of written comments and finalize the rules in a week’s time. Must be a record.

The rules actually listed at the MDA are still the old rules. I have no idea when the Department is actually going to post the new ones. I would have expected a link with the news release.

In the meantime, as far as we know, shelters are still being charged the same fee as commercial breeders. This on top of the fact that the State is providing funding for the professional breeders to make whatever meager changes are necessary to meet the new rules.

We are mindful that these important changes prescribed by statute and rule require a significant commitment from our licensed, professional breeders,” said Dr. Hagler. “With that in mind, we have developed a plan to make financial resources available to professional breeders as we move forward to keep the breeding industry vibrant and strong. Moreover, in conjunction with the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association we are appointing a panel of veterinarians who serve our professional breeders to monitor the current changes and make future recommendations to enhance animal care.”

Let’s see if I have this correct: shelters and rescues that are taking care of the state and community unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats are being charged extra, while puppy millers who are adding to the problem are being given state tax payer money. And we’re doing this so that we can continue to be the puppy mill capital of the US.

OK, I see how this all works.