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A record number of bills are in process in nearly every state in the US with one reported goal, the elimination of irresponsible and unethical breeding of pets, and they have one key element in common.

They are all going to fail.

Its a lesson that we seem to have to keep learning, eliminating undesirable behavior in a minority by stripping rights from the majority is doomed to failure.  We have seen this through Prohibition & Drug Policy, now we are seeing the same techniques applied to pet breeding and ownership.  We aren’t going to drive out the undesirable, we are simply going to criminalize more people.  Current existing laws and proposed laws penalize the responsible and ethical because they are the ones who will try to abide by the laws.   So what can we do differently?  Here’s a thought, tax breaks for responsible, ethical and educated breeders. 

Let’s focus on dogs since its the area I’m the most familiar with, though much of it could also be applied to cats.

 Tax breaks for responsible, ethical and educated dog breeders.  Its social policy and an economic stimulus in one, cumulative tax breaks and here’s the proposal, $20.00 per criteria fulfilled:

  • Member in good standing with your breed club, which binds you to a code of ethics?  Tax break
  • Parent stock health tested as per breed club recommendations?  1 tax break per parent. Mixed breed? Parent stock health tested as per breed recommendations for each parent breed.
  • Parent stock is registered with the AKC, UKC or other recognized registry with enforced code of ethics? Tax break
  • Pup is registered with the AKC, UKC or other recognized registry with enforced code of ethics? Tax break
  • Permanent identification allowing breeder identification for take-back?  Tax break
  • Health testing of pups as per breed club reccomendations? Tax break
  • Proof of vet check prior to sale? Tax break
  • Proof of vet check after sale? Tax break
  • Proof of ongoing Breeder Education? Tax break each participating year
  • Sale contract with lifetime take-back clause provided to end-buyer? Tax break
  • Sale contract including rebate on proof of training class attendance? Tax break
  • Rebate to buyer on proof of spay/neuter? Tax break
  • Rebate to buyer on proof of training class attendance? Tax break
  • Participate in performance or conformation evaluation with parent stock? Tax break each participating year
  • Provide puppy buyers with training on basic care & grooming? Tax break
  • Documented support of buyers? Tax break each year proof provided
  • Rehoming fees on dogs taken back? Tax break on dogs under 1 year, 4X tax break on dogs 1-5 years, 10X tax break on dogs 5+ years old

 So, that’s a tax break of $340 per dog in direct tax deductions not including the rehoming fee incentive. 

The financially motivated breeder will want the tax breaks, the responsible breeder is doing most of this already. 

 The breeder in compliance can undercut the purchase price of the uncompliant without suffering for it.  The unethical, irresponsible and uneducated breeder suffers a serious economic disadvantage.

The corporations like Hunte ask for better quality dogs and end-buyer support.  Businesses and individuals look for every tax break they can get. 

Pet shops buying from  even partially compliant breeder automatically have a price and marketing advantage. 

The economic spin-off benefits include more income for breed clubs and workshops, increased revenue for veterinarians & decreased turn-in rates at shelters.

The education level of dog breeders raises overall

Dogs benefit, owners benefit, responsible and ethical breeders benefit & shelters cost less taxpayer money while the irresponsible and unethical are the ones at the disadvantage and legislators can take a position that they are being tough on unethical breeders while assisting in stimulating the economy.

What is there for a person who loves dogs not to like?

Copyright 2009 by Erica Saunders
All rights reserved

2 Responses to “Worth a 2nd Look: Legislation and the Unethical Breeder. A short and long term solution”

  1. Robin Geppert says:

    Question. Tax break on what? We are a small hobby breeder and we don’t make a profit on our breeding, so we don’t pay taxes on our income from puppy sales. With this, we would have to report our expenses and income on our dog activity which we do not do. I do like the concept, and already do everything you have listed, but don’t understand how this will reward responsible breeders. If someone is not a responsible breeder, they should not be NOT getting a tax break, they should not be allowed to breed dogs. That is how responsible dog breeders should be rewarded, by being left alone and allowed to continue supplying great, healthy happy puppies to the public.

  2. maggie b says:

    If the real goal was the one stated by animal rights individuals driving the legislation, this would be a good solution, but we both know the real goal is the elimination of domestic animals – no more dogs, cats, horses, pigs, ponies, cows, etc.

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