Defending the Freedom to Own Pets


The Future of Dogs in an Animal Rights America

by Walt Hutchens


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What to do #5: Look everywhere for allies

Breeders, hunters, cat fanciers, possibly farmers on some issues, commercial breeders (lose the phrase 'puppy mills'), pet stores vet associations -- anyone who is going your way on this bill should be a contact and a potential ally.

Dog fanciers are the least clued of the whole lot -- probably because we haven't been targeted much in the past. You'll generally find hunters, commercial breeders, and pet stores the most bad-law aware and all three can be very muscular allies.

Cat fanciers are next -- their numbers are few but the CFA has a small-but-serious legislative department and many 'dog and cat' laws hurt them worse than they do dogs. Don't overlook birds, rabbits, exotic and small pets -- you can pick up some extremely able people from these small groups of fanciers. Vet associations will sometimes be playing on the other side but they ought to hear the words anyhow ... "No pets = no vet clients."

Some of your players won't like working with this group or that. They need to get over it. If you don't work with everyone who hates this bill as much as you do, then one small group at a time will be killed.

Anti-hunting bill? Breeders and rescuers better help. Breeder licensing? Rescuers, you better pick up your keyboards and join the fight -- you'll be next. Laws against commercial breeding? Hey show breeders ... how long do you think before you're included?

You don't have to like all the people you're working with but "work with them at the city council or statehouse, then take away their customers with education" if that's how you feel.

In most state fights, this issue -- unwillingness to work with people we don't 100% approve of -- is the biggest weakness on our side.

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