As a desperate US Senator from Pennsylvania (Senator Santorum) holds a stacked hearing on a Federal bill to license ultimately all dog, cat, and bird breeders; and thirty years after the Federal government insinuated itself (via the Animal Welfare Act) into State Constitutional jurisdiction over the treatment of animals a new "threat" to petdom looms on the horizon.

The news item headline in the Washington paper reads, "A new breed of smuggler. Sick dogs being ferried into U.S. for resale profit".

It goes on to tell us "Smugglers are buying puppies at rock-bottom prices in Mexico and selling them in the United states for up to $1,000, often to people who later discover they are too sick or too young to survive on their own, authorities said." If this bit of emotional hysteria (puppies, rock-bottom prices, sick, selling, too young) is not enough to cause you to cry out for Federal intervention and to send money to your favorite animal protectors, it goes on.

"The Border Puppy Task Force - a group of 18 animal control and health agencies and animal protection groups - said Tuesday that a two-week operation at San Diego's two border crossings confirmed what it long suspected: Mexico is a breeding ground for unscrupulous puppy peddlers." Oh my, "unscrupulous puppy peddlers", heavens!

There is more. "'It's a profit-driven practice, it's a disturbing practice', said Capt. Aaron Reyes, director of operations at the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority in Los Angeles County." The good (Capt.?) is dressed like a cross between a movie police commander and a lead in HMS Pinafore as he holds a golden retriever-like puppy that looks, well, adorable. The article and story seem to have jumped right out of some Monty Python skit but it is but the latest deadly serious chapter in the
saga of eliminating pets in this nation.

This bunch of Keystone Cops reportedly "turned up 362 puppies less than 3 months old, 155 that were 3 to 6 months old and 1,061 adult dogs." Yet, "No arrests were made". Wow, maybe they need "more" training or money or people?

I could write about how the "government and a gaggle of 'partners'" are occupying their time and our taxes with such nonsense while the border looks like one continuous northbound Boston Marathon. I could write about how this sort of activity in the midst of a "war on terror" is like asking Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday if they will hang onto your horse here at the OK Corral until the owner returns because you want to go and get a beer at the saloon. But really the bigger story is how this incremental elimination of pets in the US (like the incremental elimination of everything else from hunting and trapping to ranching and logging) is coiling around us like a giant boa constrictor.

Thirty years ago the Animal Welfare Act ripped legal jurisdiction over many animals Owned by (i.e. private property) citizens such as laboratories, circuses, livestock, certain dog breeders, etc. from state governments. The animal rights organizations were getting started then and there grew up a veritable weed bed of "animal rights" and "animal welfare" organizations, "partners", fundraisers, lobbyists, lawyers, radicals, and activists. Go to one of these "Animal Rights Conferences" and you will see every bunch from socialists, communists, feminists, anti-globalist, wilderness, wildlands, predator, abortion, UN control, global warming, and population control groups to animal shelter, animal rescue, humane, anti-vivisectionist, anti-hunt/fish/trap/pet/ranch/farm/medical experiment/etc., etc. group both known and unknown to man (and woman I presume) represented.

The Federal government has thrived with (just as with the Endangered Species Act, Wilderness Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Wild Horse and Burro Act) all these "partners", litigators (lawyers), radical outfits, and hidden agendas. One of the first "boogeymen" cranked out were the sinister "puppy mills". For thirty years these "puppy mill operators" have provided justification for all manner of Federal regulatory growth and politician reelection while driving Amish farmers and other rural residents deemed to sell "too many" puppies, or not clean up their own dogs poop often enough, or keeping their dogs in surroundings deemed "inadequate" by Federal regulators and enforcers and even these two-bit drugstore cowboy battalions like the "Border Puppy Task Force". So fewer and fewer puppies are available for sale, fewer and fewer stores sell puppies and breeders of retrievers, pointers, hounds, etc. are fewer and fewer as regulations and radical employee enforcers do what they believe is the Lord's work - stopping all animal "exploitation".

Add in all the local steps by animal rights outfits to pass local ordinances and restrictions. Add in the animal "rescue" groups that believe that no one should buy a puppy until all the "unwanted" dogs are "adopted". Add in the "shelter" groups that believe that no one should buy a dog as long as there is any dog anywhere in a shelter. Add in the "humane" propaganda by the multi-million dollar cash cow that everyone thinks runs shelters but really only collects money. Add in the drives to
legislate that you don't "own" a dog (or cat or bird or???) and can only be a "guardian", so you have no rights and the government can dictate all just like Kings of old. Add in the show dog folks and dog food folks that guard their own image and ignore the fray and disappearances all around them. Mix them all together and voila, you have fewer puppies and therefore (according to economists like Dr. Thomas Sowell) higher prices.

Like Claude Rains in Casablanca, I am "shocked" that there is smuggling from Mexico. The same bozos (the reporter that reported this tripe, the papers that ran it, and all the other "usual suspects") that are running dog breeders out of a perfectly legitimate business (if you don't like the pup or the circumstances under which they are raised or the parents kept - Don't Buy It) now paint another turgid picture (profit-driven[think about that one], sick puppies, smuggling, and unscrupulous puppy peddlers) and indicate we need more people, more money, more regulations, less property rights, more central government power, etc., etc. to sort through all the illegals flooding across the border looking for "sick puppies". Hello! Is anyone out there?

Capt. Reyes informs us at the end, "We're not going to sit on our hands and let these puppies be brought over in the condition that they are, and to be sold sick, and to end up dying." Really?

This whole debacle began like so many of these current government growth hormones based on the distortions of activists bent on radical hidden agendas. There is no end until all human ownership and use of animals is forbidden.

The answer is simple. Elect Federal politicians who reject the animal rights agenda. Defeat those politicians that pander to the animal rights agenda. Repeal the Animal Welfare Act and replace it with Federal legislation that limits the Federal government to regulation of imports and actual interstate commerce. Shrink the Federal animal welfare
bureaucracy by 80 %. Elect State politicians that reaffirm state authority and then pass state legislation that reaffirms animals as property and places maximum discretion at the local level so that communities, in so far as possible, set the standards and practices
regarding animal husbandry and animal use appropriate to their standards and not the impossible standards of unaffected persons far away that are untouched by the imaginings they impose on others.

Then Capt. Reyes you can then get a job with a truck, a noose, and a pistol picking up strays and dangerous dogs and the rest of us can once again get back to living in peace with OUR animals as we managed to do so well for millenniums before the absurdities of the past thirty years came along.

Jim Beers
28 December 2005

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