Thursday, March 19, 2009

Guest Blog: Who cares about THOSE dogs? by Jackie Marshall

For a year and a half, I have been dreading the inevitable: the criminalization of dog ownership.

At first, I approached the members of my German shepherd training club and asked them to support my pit bull friends by opposing SB 861. They would have no part of it. "It's just THOSE dogs; it'll never happen to our breed." No matter what I wrote or said, such as "I guarantee that our dogs are next," nobody would support me in my anti-BSL campaigning because nobody would bother with a bill that didn't affect them personally.

Then, all of a sudden, the powers that be wanted to criminalize dog breeding in Sacramento County (with Sac City close behind), but this time it isn't breed specific; it's dogs of any breed. I spent quite a bit of time opposing that, too, but I couldn't get any of my German shepherd buddies to support those efforts either. This time they said, "That law will never pass." And of course it's no surprise that it did. None of the dog people at those meetings would support each other; they just bickered in a "Well, why would I support poodle/spaniel/mutt breeders? Those dogs are useless anyway." In other words, who cares about THOSE dogs, and who cares about the people who love them?

So now California wants mandatory spay and neuter laws statewide, which everybody says will never pass. It does not make exception for ranch dogs, unless they are registered AKC, which pretty much guarantees that they won't work. All the people who swear by mutts will be out of luck forever. Breeders will have to pay fees. Breeders will have to get permits. Dogs will have to have paperwork about their shots, breeding, and residence addresses formally registered with the State. All of a sudden, again, no surprise, the German shepherd people are up in arms! Please, everyone, take action! They are going to make laws about breeding OUR dogs! Please help immediately! Fight this new bill!

But I for one do not care to participate any more. I have no sympathy for dog owners who don't care a damn about other dog owners. Maybe the "Nazi" in German shepherd lineage has finally kicked in...well sure, make those dogs illegal, they are just show dogs or family pet mutts! Uh huh. Not the important kinds of dogs: OURS.

The ranchers with long lines of working dogs find them important, and so do people like me who have had a blessed experience with a mutt, and all the people who swear that their best dogs have been of indecipherable lineage and they'll always adopt mutts from the shelter. It's my opinion that MY dogs are important, as they are police K9 candidates (which may not matter to you if you're a criminal). But it sure as heck is also my opinion that the State shouldn't be determining what kinds of dogs THEY will let US find important. Who cares? It won't be happening to MY dogs, because everybody wants my dogs. In fact, it just drives my puppy prices up, as they will be in demand when only Germans can breed them.

So the rest of the GSD people are out of luck, as far as finding support here. They let too many pit bulls go under the needle, so I no longer care about their rights to hobby breed. As far as I'm concerned, they're on their own, like pit bull people have been for a long time. And I've learned a valuable lesson in modern self-centeredness.

Author: Jackie Marshall

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