This week when I took the Best Friends quiz on the internet on my knowledge of Puppy Mills, "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?" came to mind. I suspect that a goodly number of readers weren't even born when Bob Merrill wrote it in 1952. Patti Page recorded the best-known version on December 18, 1952 and I found that the flip side of her record was "My Jealous Eyes" - one of my all time favorites which I would love to hear at least occasionally. However, no one seems to ever play any of these beautiful "golden oldies" any more. What a pity. Shouldn't there be a place for them?
But recalling the Doggie song was not a pleasant experience because it reminded me of just how ignorant we were then and many of us probably still are re the origin of these puppies sold from pet shops. They were so cute and cuddly that we never could imagine that many were the products
of Puppy Mills and that their parents suffered then and many are still suffering in these horrible places. We in animal rights knew about them for years and years, and yet nothing was ever done to stop them. Thankfully, we are ALL being slowly educated with TV exposure like Oprah's re this terrible means of yet another way in which we harm our animals in the name of free enterprise. And, of course, animal rights organizations keep on sending the message of animal cruelty to whomever will listen to it. (See video at http://pupcast.org/?p=84.)
So, I took the small quiz Best Friends sent us re The Animal Welfare Act (for the full text of the federal Animal Welfare Regulations, click here) and how it "protects" dogs in Puppy Mills. The Animal Welfare Act was passed in 1966 and amended in 1970, 1976, 1985, and 1990. Like so many of these Acts - you need to have a lawyer explain the ramifications of the Act and the amendments, but sadly the small quiz re Puppy Mills made me realize that Congress generally is not looking out for the welfare of the animals - in this case - the dogs which are made to breed ad infinatum in puppy mills in small cages - many for their whole lives. Of course, you can judge for yourself about these regulations.
This is my abbreviated version of the Best Friends Puppy Mill Quiz - ten questions-- see how well you do. Answers at the end. If I have inadvertently changed the questions or answers in any way, please go to Best Friends on the internet to check any questions you may have in this regard.
1. The Animal Welfare Act is a federal law that is supposed to protect the breeding dogs used in puppy mills. Which president signed the original bill?
a. Franklin Roosevelt
b. Lyndon Johnson
c. Richard Nixon
d. William Clinton
2. One dog's story impacted America and Congress to act and pass the Animal Welfare Act. Who was this dog?
a. Pepper, a Dalmation
b. Tramp, a Cocker Spaniel
c. Feathers, an English Sheepdog
d. Old Red, a mixed breed hound
3. Under the Act- if an inspector finds a dog suffering from an untreated injury in a USDA licensed kennel, what can the inspector do to the breeder?
a. Prosecute the breeder for animal abuse
b. Fine the breeder
c. Give the breeder a written violation
d. Make the breeder get medical help for the dog
4. Which US state has more USDA licensed dog breeders than any other state?
5. Can a person who has been covicted of animal abuse or cruelty keep their USDA license?
a. No, they must go through a background check every year
b. No, if they are convicted they must voluntarily surrender their license....
c. Yes, the AWA doesn't address acts of cruelty under state laws
d. Yes, someone can not obtain a new license within a year of a conviction,
but once they have a license, it doesn't matter what cruelty charges they
are convicted of under a state law
6. What is the limit of adult dogs that a kennel can have?
a. 10 dogs for each full time employee
b. 100 dogs per acre
c. There is no limit
c. No more than 1,000 dogs per kennel
7. Minimum cage size. The USDA formula to determine the minimum cage size. How far can a dog go in his cage from front to back?