January marks legislative season; numerous dog law proposals are sprouting up. The most recent comes from the state of Arizona, which seeks a mandatory spay/neuter law of companion pets. Once again the American Kennel Club issues a voice that supports backyard breeders instead of responsible breeders and dog owners. They state unequivocally (and falsely):
"If adopted, this unreasonable and unenforceable bill will have a profound negative impact not only upon responsible dog breeders in Arizona, but also upon all current and prospective dog owners."
Once again, DogsBite.org has to wonder the goals behind such a stance -- exactly who gets harmed by a mandatory spay/neuter law that also enables legitimate breeders to continue their practice? Don't real dog breeders also dislike backyard breeders? The bill states the requirements for being a legitimate breeder, which hardly appear outlandish.
Only one of the following requirements is needed:
- Proof of a business license and federal tax identification number as a dog or cat breeder (just as every other legitimate US business requires)
- Proof that the dog belongs to a recognized registry and meets show or title standards
- Proof that the dog is a working dog for law enforcement, fire agencies, or private sector working dog organizations
- Proof that the dog is actively used by law enforcement, fire agencies, or private sector working dog organizations for law enforcement, fire service, search and rescue or medical service activities, or is being raised or otherwise prepared for any of these purposes
- A letter from a licensed veterinarian stating that due to age, poor health, or illness it is unsafe to spay or neuter the animal
- Proof that the dog is used for herding or guarding livestock on property designated for ranching
- Proof that the dog or cat is temporarily in the state
- Proof that the dog or cat is being trained or used for any of the purposes permitted by the US Animal Welfare Act
- A written agreement to allow one male dog and one female dog per household to produce a single litter of offspring within one year after issuance of permit (pursuant to stringent health and care and conditions requirements).
If you are a "legitimate" dog breeder and cannot meet at least one of these requirements, you are clearly not a legitimate breeder nor ought you be considered a legitimate US business.