Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Puppyless in Suffolk

Animal Rights Extremist Tool Jon Cooper's Genius Plan
Suffolk County, New York considers ban on retail sales of dogs

Humane puppy-traffickers will be only game in town

So, here's Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper's wicked smart strategy:

First:  Shut down every single legal, licensed, regulated, inspected pet shop selling dogs in Suffolk County.

Second:  Replace them with unlicensed, un-inspected, unregulated "rescues" and "shelters" selling dogs obtained in murky circumstances from "puppy mills" located hundreds and even thousands of miles away.

Third:  What if every voter and taxpayer in Suffolk County doesn't want a shelter dog?  Maybe someone would prefer a registered purebred for some strange reason, or maybe a puppy, and none of the few besieged hobby/residential breeders within a day's drive of their home have one?  Maybe they don't want to wait a few years until the hobby breeder has a litter.

Go with the Marie Antoinette solution.  That one really worked for her.

Fourth:  Get the hell out of Dodge.

When frustrated pet lovers inevitably rebel because they can't find a puppy for the kids and turn to illegal, unlicensed, un-inspected, and potentially substandard and abusive sources--like people selling four week-old puppies out of the trunks of cars in supermarket parking lots--it won't be Cooper's problem.  He can pretend he never heard of consumer demand.

Who will suffer?  Who will benefit?

Want to read the text?  Be my guest.

Who will suffer under Cooper's latest version of IR 1545-2011 is obvious:  dog owners, pet store owners and their employees,  pet-related businesses such as groomers, feed stores, trainers, dog walkers, boarding kennels, and vets.  And the pets themselves.

But who benefits?  That's an interesting question.

Humane puppy-trafficking among the glitterati: 
Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons

Best Friends Animal Society's latest, most bestest friend is ARF of the Hamptons, a facility unable to find enough local dogs to stay in business, but reports assets and cash on hand in excess of $13 million at year-end 2009.   Yes, some dog rescuers are not exactly cash strapped in Suffolk County's East End, where so much of Jon Cooper's support on IR 1545 comes from:

"Every animal the local animal control can’t adopt, ARF takes in. Still, ARF has to import adoptable animals from other parts of the country to keep its shelters from turning into a ghost town.  Many of those animals come from Best Friends’ Pup My Ride, a program that transports dogs from puppy mills in the Midwest to the Northeast. . .

[. . .]We’re never able to get enough of those ["puppy mill"] dogs working locally with our municipal pounds or going into New York,” Michele says. “So when Best Friends approached us about taking in all these small breed dogs, we jumped at the chance.

Once the animals go up for adoption, they go very, very quickly.”

Based on documents submitted to the New York State Charities Bureau, as a 501(c)3, ARF's 22 acre compound located in Wainscott, New York was valued at a little over $5 million in 2009.  The real estate holdings are exempted from property taxes.

ARF's almost $7 million in revenue from donations, investments and other sources in 2009?  Not taxable.

The almost $93,000 ARF grossed on dog sales in 2009?  Not taxable, either.

All in all, in 2009 -- a freaking tough year for most individuals, businesses and charitable organizations in the United States -- ARF's net worth went from $8,658,848 to $13,336,833.

Not bad.  Which brings us to another item in Business Management 101:

Flip that inventory

ARF describes with great pathos the "puppy mill" dogs it obtains under unspecified circumstances at unknown cost.  Whether they were seized from their owners, surrendered, or bought at auction, ARF tells a story of dogs that suffered from lack of proper veterinary care, forced over-breeding, psychological trauma and various physical ailments.    They lived crammed into tiny cages, were never walked, were deprived of human contact and didn't know how to play.

Generally speaking and according to ARF, the dogs they bring into the Hamptons are a wreck. 

Nevertheless, also according to ARF, upon arrival in Wainscott they get a bath and grooming, and promptly undergo surgical sterilization.  Soon thereafter, an "amazing transformation" occurs which renders them immediately ready and available for life as a pet in the homes of Suffolk County families. 

It seems the whole process--from wreck to amazing transformation--usually takes about two weeks. Those small breed "puppymill" dogs just fly off the shelf.

 Nice work if you can get it

 As a private, not-for-profit corporation, ARF and other Suffolk shelters and rescues are not required to comply with the humane standards of care required of pet stores and non-residential breeders.

New York State does not routinely inspect shelters and rescues as it does pet stores.

New Yorkers who purchase a pet from a shelter or rescue have no recourse under the state's "puppy lemon law" which only covers dogs purchased at pet stores and from other licensed "pet dealers."

And then there are all the tax advantages enjoyed by 501(c)3's.

Seems Cooper's not so pro-choice after all

The latest version of his proposal makes it absolutely illegal for lawfully operated Suffolk County pet stores to sell dogs under one year of age, unless the dogs come from a shelter or rescue. 

Shelters and rescues, on the other hand, can continue to sell puppies and dogs without restrictions.

By legislating such a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace to one group of competitors, while denying lawful small business owners the ability to make a living, Suffolk County would be participating in dishonest trade practices. 

And Suffolk residents will find it very difficult to find a puppy in the future.  Will possession of a young dog become yet another act of conspicuous consumption among the wealthy?  Beamer, summer home, havanas, and a puppy, any kind of puppy, to make the picture complete?

Cooper's problem with facts

Cooper's proposal is based on the wildest of  internet rumors and animal extremist propaganda.

He profiled every single Suffolk County pet store owner offering dogs to the public as a profiteer furthering the crime of cruelty to animals.  As a pit bull-owning gay man, Cooper must know a little something about negative stereotypes, but he flings them around with abandon.

In a public hearing in June, Cooper used the fact that pet store owners often obtain their dogs from kennels located in Missouri to "prove" that their dogs are the product of animal abuse.  Although it made national news, he didn't seem to know that Missouri's statutes covering dog breeders are now probably the most stringent in the country.

Crap, he compared the American Kennel Club and its members to "puppy millers."

Is this all too bizarre, or what?

The hand that feeds Jon Cooper

Cooper is a lame duck. After 12 years in the Suffolk County legislature, he is term-limited. He's looking for a new gig.  State Senator Carl Marcellino's job is looking mighty tasty, too.

I will spend whatever it takes to defeat you"  ?  Really?  And whose deep pockets are those bucks going to come from?

What makes me think Cooper's sugar-daddies have no interest in responsible pet ownership?

Keep Suffolk Pet Friendly.