postheadericon July 22, 2007-new champion

In very limited showing and with several major reserves to his credit, Ch. Rattlebridge Up In Lights, our wonderful ruby boy, finished his championship yesterday in Houston the home of his co owner and my dearest friend Hazel Arnold who died last December.  “Marquee” is also owned by my buddy Margaret Valentine.  He was shown by Lenny Brown, who is Jim Moses’ assistant.  Jim and I have been friends for too many years to count.  I appreciate his continued support and help.  I was 63 last week and Al was 78.  We cannot breed and show dogs forever; thanks to our friends, we have been able to continue as long as we have.  Until next time . . .

postheadericon July 22, 2007–dog fighting


In our rural county, dog fighting has been a long time concern. It is barbaric to be sure and goes on in many venues from rural areas like ours, to deep country, in well to do areas hidden by security fences, and of course in urban areas.  Dog fighting, like cock fighting, is barbaric and in fact goes back to less civilized times. Dogs have been used to bait bulls, bait bear, and fight each other since very early times.  In fact some breeds were developed from these earlier uses of dogs.  One would think that in our society today, such horrible games would not be taking place, but then one would think that mankind would no longer be practicing genocide and waging war.  The veneer of civilization is indeed thin.

We all know how our country seems to revere celebrities and watch and sometimes copy every thing a celebrity does.  I feel celebrities have a real responsibility especially to our youth to set examples for moral and lawful behavior.  Many celebrities fail in setting a rightful example; headlines center around drugs and rehab, public fights and disturbances, outlandish behavior and so forth. For Michael Vick, a big time NFL celebrity, hero and role model to our sports crazy youth, to be brought up on charges on a felony so heinous as dog fighting, is not to be condoned in any fashion.  In this country, one is innocent until proven guilty; Michael Vick may be innocent, but dog fighting is so horrific and ugly, that Mr. Vick should be suspended from the NFL until his innocence is proven.  The case against Mr. Vick seems solid. Other athletes have been suspended pending investigations and so should Mr. Vick.  If you feel the same way as I do, let the NFL know how you feel.  Dog fighting is immoral.

Please read the following letters to the NFL (permission to cross post has been given)from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America at

and the American Kennel Club letter which I applaud is below:

RONALD H. MENAKER                            DENNIS B. SPRUNG

Chairman of the Board president and chief executive officer

July 20, 2007

Roger Goodell

Commissioner, National Football League

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Dear Commissioner Goodell:

As the Board Chairman and President & CEO of a 123-year-old sport-governing body, we are very much aware of the conflicting pressures you face in the matter of the Michael Vick indictment.

Michael Vick is not only a nationally known superstar, but he is also the face of the National Football League?s Atlanta franchise. The Atlanta Falcons will not take any unilateral action on the matter because of the negative impact both in their financial liability and their on-field performance.
The buck thus stops with you as NFL Commissioner.

It is easy to take the position that you will just let the legal process play out, and that he is innocent until proven guilty, which is what the NFL and the Falcons, as well as the players association, have done to date. However, the nature of the crimes described in detail in the indictment in this case are so heinous and repulsive that they should be strongly condemned by any civilized person. This activity is anathema to everything the American Kennel Club stands for, and the millions of AKC registrants and competitors, many of whom have been NFL fans, unilaterally condemn it and those who perpetrated it.

It is common for state laws to recommend the immediate suspension of a teacher when charged with certain crimes. To acknowledge the severity of Mr. Vick?s charges, we urge his immediate suspension.


Ronald H. Menaker Dennis B. Sprung

Chairman President & Chief Executive Officer

postheadericon July 16, 2007


Update on California Proposed Legislation  AB 1634:  the bill went to the Senate Committee. The hearing on the bill was most interesting.  Instead of having the bill go down in committee, 5 to 0, the sponsor of the bill Assembly member, Lloyd Levine, pulled the bill rather than see it go down in defeat. By pulling the bill, Levine opened the door to reintroduce the bill in the next Legislative session.  John Hamil, past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, testified as following:

Twenty five years of experience in trying to find solutions to the problem of animal relinquishments and euthanasia leads me to request that you reject this ill conceived bill which can not solve these problems and, more likely, will worsen them.”

The California Veterinary Medical Association reversed its original support of 1634 to come out against the bill. 

The California and national dog community came together to have our side heard in opposition to 1634.  Too long has our dog community ignored all the warning signals of Peta and the other animal rights organizations.  The bottom line to Peta’s beliefs is that all animals are equal to people and should not be owned by people.  Since the beginning of mankind, animals have served us and worked with us in partnership. 

Bill Hemby, Chairman of PetPAC, said in his letter of thanks and congratulations to the PetPAC supporters and opponents of 1634:

“We are grateful for your support of PetPAC and thrilled with the outcome. It was an honor to testify against the bill today, and I was especially pleased to enter into the record an additional 742 organizations opposed to the measure.
PetPAC has worked around the clock advocating against AB 1634. Coming down to the homestretch, our television commercials took our story to millions of Californians and bringing Lassie to the Capitol stole the hearts of everyone in Sacramento.
We will continue to grow our coalition and organize our efforts against opponents who for months have shown more enthusiasm for personal attacks and misleading the public than working towards making good public policy.”

For a look at a video celebrating the relationship of people to their pets, please view the video Stand By Me:


Susan Van Luchene aptly sums up what happened at the hearing:  Please do watch the video of the hearing which is most interesting.

I”If you didn’t listen to the hearing, go watch the video. URL above.  Select
“Local Government” It doesn’t include the supporters …. It begins with Dr. John Hamil, past president of the CVMA. I am not sure if he was the first speaker in
opposition or not as I was not physically present myself.

This is quite an eye-opener.  It is obvious that Senator Kehoe had been set
up by Levine to give him some openings to make some points.

The astonishing thing to me is that there seems to be NO understanding that
the “problem” can be helped in many non-coercive ways. The  only approach
Levine and his supporters (like the shelter workers who commented) can think
of is to make punitive laws and fines.

One thing I think we need to know is how many spay-castrate clinics and
mobile vans there actually are. The distortions in the numbers that Levine
has used in other areas to support his arguments, render his vague
generalities regarding the availability of low cost spay & neuter to be
questionable at best.

One shelter person asked why vouchers aren’t being
used…well, is that because people want their dogs to be “macho” or
because it’s difficult to get to a veterinarian or clinic ….

As I said, this is very telling and certainly merits your time to watch it.”

Without the efforts of the American Kennel Club,the National Animal Interest Alliance, the California Dog Owners Association, PetPAC, and other groups, plus many, many show breeders, 1634 would not have been pulled in committee.  We cannot let our guard down, but now we know what we are facing as we fight the anti breeding movement. In Ohio, hearings on SB 173 will begin in September and we must be ready.

postheadericon June 26, 2007

I attended the first hearing of the Senate Committee for Ohio Senate Bill 173 (the Puppy Mill Bill) today. This hearing was for proponent testimony only; the Legislature is going on summer break next week, so opponent testimony will be scheduled once the Legislature resumes in the fall. Three proponents of the bill testified vividly against puppy mills. Two senators, Mumper and Cates (the Senate sponsor of the Bill), both have dogs from puppy mills and are committed to passing 173. As the Bill stands, it regulates breeders who have more than eight breeding dogs, stud dogs or brood bitches, who have each produced a litter in the previous year; those breeders then fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture requiring breeders to be fingerprinted, have background checks, pay licensing fees, and procure a vendor’s license. For example, in 2006 there must be eight different dogs who produced a litter; if a dog has not produced a litter in the previous year, that dog does not count toward the number of eight. If I have three stud dogs and each of those dogs are bred to a bitch owned by someone else, then those stud dogs count toward the count of eight. Breeders of toy dogs may have several litters a year due the small size of the litter. Sporting dogs, herding dogs, hounds, and working dogs produce usually large litters giving the breeder several puppies from which to chose for the show ring. Toy breeders do not always have that luxury of choice in a litter.

While the Bill is not all bad, it does allow the state of Ohio real control and leaves it usually to dog wardens, operating as agents under the department of Agriculture to enforce the Bill. Dog wardens are seldom trained in animal husbandry and breeding practices; moreover, some dog wardens may not be reasonable in enforcing the Bill. This Bill gives dog wardens also the power to seize the kennel’s dogs in there are infringements of the bill; under the Ohio Revised Code, only local humane society humane agents can seize a dog because of neglect or abuse.

This Bill gives the director of Agriculture’s authorized representative the power to enter a kennel facility without prior notification to “inspect and investigate and to examine and copy records.” If the breeder refuses to allow the representative to inspect premises and/or records, the breeder then will be required to pay the inspector’s salary for the number of days that the representative is not allowed to do his or her job of inspection. The legitimate breeders will easily be found; I do not think that all the puppy mills, especially the Amish some of whom keep their dogs in dark barns with no visible evidence that the barns house dogs ,will be so easy to find and inspect. Many show breeders’ dogs live in the house. There must be a way to develop criteria to distinguish legitimate show breeders from the commercial breeders and puppy mills who sell to pet shops; meanwhile, we show breeders must find a way to work with the Legislature to change the language in the Bill or if necessary totally defeat the Bill. As previously stated, the Bill has merit for Ohio has many, many horrific puppy mills that desperately need to be shut down. While there were only a few breeders at the hearing, not counting an Amish contingent, the hearing was called with no lead time to arrange to be there. We will be better organized next time I hope. I reiterate, in my opinion this Bill as written gives too much power to the state. I do hope that the Senate and then the House allows us to work with them to change the bill. Meanwhile we are working to defeat the bill as it is written. Big Brother will certainly be watching if this bill as written passes.