Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Big Bad Bill

Well, I have spent a good chunk of the evening drafting correspondence to WI legislators regarding the proposed "Dog Purchaser Protection Act." After speaking with a legislative aide last month, who had assured me this bill would be amended for the better before being introduced, I was later contacted and informed that, actually, the bill was being introduced as is, with all of its many flaws.

Although I do not currently breed dogs, I know many people who I consider to be quality hobby breeders. The regulations that would be imposed by this bill are singularly unnecessary with respect to these hobby breeders and would impose burdensome requirements on them in the event something goes wrong. For example, under certain circumstances, such a breeder would be required to replace a puppy within 10 days with another dog of "equivalent value." As many of you know, this is completely unworkable for a hobby breeder who does not maintain an "inventory" of puppies for the buyer to choose from. And what does "equivalent value" mean anyway? Does it mean the hobbyist would have to replace a "pet" puppy with this or her pick puppy, if this was the only puppy the breeder still had from the litter?

One of many problems with this bill.

While protecting dogs and consumers from puppy millers is an admirable goal, this law would actually diminish the choices available to Wisconsinites, as reputable breeders, being unable to meet the requirements of the new law, fall away from breeding. Ultimately, it will be a detriment to consumers. I understand that resuce organization have concerns about being caught by this bill as well. Frankly, for those reasons and others, it seems unlikely to benefit the dogs much either.

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