Posted on February 27, 2012
A Response From Gorham, New York
Many of you have been following the recent approval allowing a husband and wife puppy mill team to open a new 500-dog breeding kennel within the town of Gorham, New York. Mr. Doug Negley, a councilman for the Town of Gorham read my blog post and reached out to me for some candid conversation. During our talk it became clear to me that Mr. Negley is a true dog lover and that he was surprised by the rapid action taken by his town’s planning commission. Mr. Negley told me that he remains unclear whether or not the decision to approve the puppy mill can be reversed.
Prior to this Gorham chaos (town leaders have been inundated with phone calls and emails), Mr. Negley admits that he was unfamiliar with the horrors of puppy mills. You can trust that I provided him with a solid education during the course of our telephone call. I asked Mr. Negley to provide me with his point of view in writing, something I could share with you, my readers. Here are his thoughts:
Dr. Nancy Kay,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your blog of February 9, 2012 “Shame on you Gorham NY.”
Your perception of “commercial kennels/puppy mills” is right on — this is a national if not international problem. In the last paragraph you mentioned learn what’s going on where you live. Educate others on “commercial kennels/puppy mills.” I would like to add instead of buying a new pup consider rescuing a dog.
On your comment “I suspect that the Gorham town board members have their eyes focused on the prize. Can you imagine the tax revenue stream from the sale of thousands and thousands of purebred puppies?” New York State law currently exempts USDA Class A “commercial kennels/puppy mills” from local dog licensing. Yes, that’s right Gorham receives nothing for this type of operation. And these breeders do not contribute to the state spay and neuter program to help low income people spay and neuter their pets, even though, each year they are contributing to the numbers of unwanted dogs.
As for this town board member’s eyes, they are focused on:
1) The best for residents of the town of Gorham.
2) Using education because it is the best weapon against puppy mills.
3) Build a case supported by facts against puppy mills.
4) Then take action at both state & federal level.
There is no reason why, over time as a society, we can’t get rid of such operations. I would like to help in their eradication. Like many topics the public is ignorant of this practice, me included.
I have thought about and continue to research the concept of “commercial kennels / puppy mills.” I do not like the idea of having a facility in our town. However, if Gorham is going to be saddled with this business I want a golden pig with lipstick, not just another pig.
Thanks again, to be continued.
Doug Negley, Councilman for the Town of Gorham
Mr. Negley told me that he would be happy to respond to your comments. Let’s keep it civilized!
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.