Let me preface this diary by telling you that I am a Conservative, a precinct delegate, a tea party organizer and participant, and a 912 member. I am more Conservative than Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity. I am also in the "animal rescue" field, trying to find homes for homeless cats and dogs so that they aren't killed in shelters. I don't agree with most of the things that PETA, The American Humane Society or the Humane Society of the United States do. I think some of them are good at helping animals in disasters and a few other things but mostly they take the money of good hearted people and don't help a whole lot of animals with the funds that they have. Animal shelters and rescue groups across the country - the ones who need the money - do not get supported by these big national groups even though they are the ones on the front lines doing the real work.
I commit my free time to helping to save cats and dogs, not cows or chickens or other animals that will end up on my dinner plate. I am not a vegetarian nor do I care about the living quarters of animals that I will eat or the condition of polar bears or whales. I am not a hunter but have no problem with people who are.
Animal rescue is one of the few issues (if not the only issue) in this country that is bi-partisan. In our city, about 80% of the rescue people are Republican. In the next city over, only about 10% of the rescue people are Republican. But we all get along great because we work for the same purpose. We have our priorities. Animals first, politics second.
That said, I was totally disgusted when I saw a story today with the headline "Missouri Tea Partiers, Joe the Plumber Joins Movement Against 'Radical' Anti-Puppy Mill Legislation."
The Tea Party usually operates from a base of knowledge from which to form their opinions but in this case, they have totally lost their minds. I am assuming that there are puppy mill owners in the tea party group and that is what led this this break from reality. The members of the group need to do what they always ask Congress to do - READ THE BILL.
This bill is about COMMERCIAL breeding facilities who are breeding 10 or more dogs. It's a bill that is going to be on the ballot for people to vote on in November and it makes the puppy mills accountable for the animals in their "care". For years, these mills have operated without much accountability of any kind, making the dogs live in deplorable conditions. As the act says, the purpose is to prohibit the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills by requiring large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with basic food and water, adequate shelter from the elements, necessary veterinary care, adequate space to turn around to stretch his or her limbs and regular exercise. OH, THE HORROR. Who would want any breeder to actually have to comply with such repressive rules? You label the HSUS as "radical" for wanting these rules enforced? No, sorry, YOU are radical for not wanting these rules enforced.
So by protesting against this legislation, my dear tea partiers, I am labeling YOU as people who don't care about the lives of cats and dogs. I am labeling YOU as people who don't want these dogs to have food and water, shelter from bad weather, vet care, an adequate space to live in and the ability to leave their crate at least once in their lives. That's the side of morality that YOU have decided to be on concerning this issue. If the Dems want to use that decision against you, so be it. It is what it is. Next time, educate yourself before you open your mouths.
If the puppy mills in Missouri were doing right by the animals, there would be no legislation needed. But they haven't for years. Most people are clueless about what breeding dogs go through in those places. The dogs never leave their cage, they breed constantly, medical conditions go untreated, they live in harsh weather conditions, they stand on crates all day which are stacked on top of each other and pee on each other, not to mention many other horrors that they have to endure. It takes years sometimes for rescue groups who are able to save breeding dogs to turn them into "normal" dogs. These don't know what grass is, stairs, toys or anything else. And they are psychologically damaged from lack of human contact for years and years.
I don't like the government interfering with the rights of citizens either - or telling people how many dogs they can own. But these are COMMERCIAL breeding facilities that don't give a damn about anything but making money on the puppies and when the breeding dogs can no longer make money for them, they are killed unless a rescue group is able to buy them or convince the breeders to hand them over to the rescue group to save on euthanasia fluid.
Don't think this issue is going to do anything positive for the Missouri tea party groups or the rest of the tea party groups across the country. There are plenty of Republicans, Libertarians and Conservatives who own dogs and know that what the puppy mills are doing is disgusting. And the more information that people find out about the puppy mills, the more disgusted they will be.
Sometimes my world of politics and animals collide as it does in this case. And this Missouri Tea Party is doing the WRONG THING for both the animals AND the tea party movement. Idiotic PR move. Just idiotic. You never protest against the welfare of babies and animals.