Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

Why lax laws need to change

A sad reminder of why the lax laws—at both the federal and state level—need to change: The USDA has taken an Iowa breeder to court for unpaid fines. That’s about all the USDA can do, too—that and revoke the license.

This breeder has been repeatedly cited for filthy conditions and dogs that were desperately in need of care. He’s repeatedly refused to allow an inspection. He won’t pay his fines. He’s a past member of the Iowa dog breeder’s Hall of Shame. According to the article, the breeder said he’d rather kill the dogs that need care than actually give them the care they need. Yet not only is he still operating, but his last inspection shows that all is in compliance.

How do you go from being a repeat and habitual offender to everything sweet and lovely in the space of a couple of months? While being sued by the USDA for failure to pay fines? You don’t, really. The article says a judge rescinded his license, but the USDA records show it’s still active, and his neighbors say he’s still in business. And then there’s that business where the kennel owner would rather kill the dogs than trim their fur…

If the inspection report (pdf) for this Iowa breeder looks bad, I’ve seen ones for Missouri breeders that are much worse. Yet the inspectors, at either the federal or state level, rarely intercede for the dogs—in Iowa or in Missouri. Frankly, after the first surprised and pleased reaction to Governor Nixon’s proposed new budget request yesterday, I’m no longer sanguine that the budget item will pass, or that it will make any difference. More inspectors just writing up more violations that lead to non-existent actions and continued lives of misery for dogs doesn’t get me all that excited. We need laws with teeth and the people willing to use the teeth.

It’s all political smoke and mirrors, and in the meantime, we continue support for legalized cruelty to dogs while we pander to the big agribusiness interests.


I thought the name of the kennel, Black Diamond Kennels, sounded familiar. It is, but not for the same breeder.

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