Every now and again it is my duty to shine God’s flashlight down on a situation. Today is one of those days. Friday I received the following email on one of the listservs that I belong to.
Animal Control was at the 1.25 acre parcel next door on Sunday investigating a bark complaint. AC saw my litter of 6 approximately 10 wk old puppies out in their play area. The animal control officer insisted that I let her on the property or she was going to get a search warrant. Initially, I refused and she called another police officer to the property. The officer’s first complaint was that the puppies were not kept on cement. What they were on was pea gravel/dirt and cement pavers. At the time they were eating and had a fresh bucket of bottled water. Puppies were up in cups, 6 days post crop. She told be that cropping was cruel and unnecessary. I told her that I show Dobermans. She said that Dobermans can be shown with their ears intact. I did not argue. She wanted to know why the puppies were not wearing Elizabethan collars to prevent them from getting dirty and scratching themselves. Cups were dingy but no one was scratching and they were not experiencing any discomfort. Although she was standing approximately 6 feet away from the puppies, she said their ears were infected. The officer told me I was nothing but a puppy mill and a back yard breeder.
She proceeded to tell me that she was confiscating the puppies and began walking toward the play area with the police officer in tow. I asked (begged) what I could to to prevent that action? She said I would be required to take the puppies to the vet of her choice to have the sutures removed ASAP and to verify the condition of the puppies. The officer said she would most likely meet me at the vets office. Furthermore the officer said that all of the puppies would be placed in homes with the help of a rescue. I explained that 4 of the puppies were already spoken for. She said it did not matter and that I had to do it her way or she would take the puppies immediately. I agreed to her terms. (The next morning, while it was still dark, I loaded all of the puppies in my van and drove around until my appointment at 1 pm. A technician at the vet’s office removed the sutures and the vet examined the puppies and wrote a letter saying they were happy, healthy, normal puppies in good weight with no abnormalities. My invoice shows 6 suture removals and no prescribed antibiotics.)
Next, the officer wanted to see the other dogs. I agreed and allowed her inside. My house was less than perfect. I work full time, care for my 83 year old father, train dogs and devote myself to Doberman related activities; an immaculate home is not on my list of priorities. She was extremely critical. To make things worse, I delivered a rescue 130 miles away the day before. When I returned home the kitchen was flooded from a broken pipe so the kitchen looked like it exploded as I had to remove everything from a long bank of cupboards and place the items on the kitchen counter.
She told me I should not be breeding Dobermans as they have health and temperament problems. I assured her that both the sire and dam of the litter earned their WAC and that both were extensively health tested. She responded by saying that none of that matters-there are too many dogs in the world.
Here is her list of complaints in regards to the adult dogs:
1) Crates too small. The gals have the typical crate that we see Dobermans in at shows. They can get up, turn around, stretch and lie down fully. My male is in a Great Dane crate. She told me that all the crates needed to be about that size.
2) Some crates are covered. She feels this is inhumane as the dog is in the dark. (Remember, these are sheets covering the crates-not heavy blankets.
3) Dogs not wearing tags/collars. I explained why we don’t have collars on dogs at all times. She didn’t care.
4) We have too many dogs. A new ordinance was recently adopted (I had no notice or idea that this was the case) and I AM out of compliance. We have (or had) six adults, including a rescue Malamute and our CH males sister, who through no fault of her breeder suffered a traumatic brain injury as a young puppy. She examined this dog who is treated for seizures and bouts of valley fever. I admitted that she was indeed losing her quality of life. She strongly suggested immediate euthanasia. I told her I would take care of it on my own. The officer said she wanted to have proof that I did so humanely. I tried to take her to a vet the next day but he was booked. So, I took my happy and special girl to animal control on Tuesday to be PTS (prematurely in my opinion and certainly NOT on my terms). The young man that performed the procedure was less than experienced but he was very kind. He saw to it that she was warm, clean and kept her dignity. He allowed me to hold her as she passed, although she did not cross willingly or easily. I took her body to the animal mortuary. She will come home in a little box in a few days. (The Malamute I took to a no-kill shelter. I feel she went from being the best friend and truly gentle playmate of our delayed girl Dobe to a statistic. I am heartbroken and so ashamed, I have never turned an animal into a shelter.)
5) She looked at the dam of my litter and asked me how many litters I would force her to have. I explained that this would be her only litter as I felt I had two very nice show puppies and that breeding the bitch again would be unnecessary. She told me to have the bitch spayed ASAP.
6) She looked at my AKC Champion male. She said she wouldn’t know a show dog from any other dog. I showed her his Doberman Digest ads, photos, awards, etc. She got on her hands and knees (in his face) and petted him and agreed that he was beautiful and very sweet. She told me that she’s sure I breed him often. I told her that he is 3.5 years old, this is his first litter and that I am extremely conservative in reference to breeding him or any other dog. She insisted that I breed him often as “he is a beautiful stud” and I probably get a lot of money for studding him. I told her those types of things can be checked on via the AKC website and DobeQuest. She said I probably breed him to unregistered bitches and that I need to have him neutered immediately.
That night I took my male to a friend for safe keeping. I miss him dearly and feel like a part of me is missing. This dog is not just a champion, he is my service dog and I have all of the necessary documentation. I have never abused the privilege. I am petrified that they would confiscate him and turn him over to a rescue. Animal Control will be here on Sunday again to see that the puppies are gone and that I have only three dogs on the premises. Do I let her in? Another dear person gave me great dane crates. Several other people have helped in ways I can’t even describe.
I spoke with the officer on Monday. I told her that the puppies are gone (they aren’t here because of incredibly wonderful dog people) She said I must tell her where they are. I refused and she said she would have to site me for selling puppies without a business license. I told her the dogs were personal property and that she would need to prove that I sold them.
On Tuesday I provided her with the following:
The letter from my veterinarian
My males Dobequest pages showing no progeny.
The DPCA code of ethics.
The completed interactive form on litter costs from the DPCA website.
Several pages from the DPCA public ed. site.
A copy of my 7 page puppy questionnaire.
I’m in trouble. I need help. The dogs I love so dearly need help. To top it off, the rescue I placed is not going to work out. The woman loves the 4 y/o red, natural eared girl but the adopter found out today that she must have a total hip replacement very soon. She will not be able to care for her dogs for several months. Her other dog will go back to her responsible breeder for awhile. I cannot bring the dog back here. Under the current regime, I can no longer rescue even one dog a time-which is what I have been doing for years.
Please help me. I’m scared and very angry and I have lost so much in the past few days. I can’t think straight, can’t sleep and am very sick to my stomach. My first priority is the rescue girl and keeping my dogs safe from this person. My home and property will be listed with a realtor on Saturday. I can’t get out of here fast enough but have no other place to go until this place is sold.
Initially the owner’s name was withheld. I later found out it was my friend Thea Charrette in Arizona. We’ve exchanged emails over the years and met in Denver at the DPCA Nationals two years ago. She is a cool lady who loves her dogs like I do. The puppies she’s talking about are from this planned litter.
And here are their little puppy paws.
Since Friday, she has had to remove Ch. Marienburg’s Magic Man and that litter of puppies from her home to keep them safe from the Apache Junction Animal Control. She has listed her home with a realtor, posted no trespassing on her property and added huge chains to protect her home and pets. This rogue Animal Control officer has over stepped her authority. She obviously has an agenda.Â I urge PBE readers to fire off a fax, phone or email to them to let them know that this is wrong.
- 725 E. Baseline Road (Between Idaho and Tomahawk)
- Phone: (480) 983-4405
- After Hours: (480) 982-8260
- Fax: (480) 474-8535
This is what happens when we’re not watching the HSUS and PETA. Currently PETA is trying to lobby to get our health insurance surcharged if we happen to eat meat. These non-profits are out of control and they spawn the likes of this AC officer. And the AssKlowns at the SFSPCA who tried to get Loki taken away from The Brother.
I have a client who I was having coffee with the other day. He was talking about how we are losing our freedoms in this country. He was using airports as an example. He is from New Delhi and he was telling me about how their freedoms were eroded away in India after a political assassination. He said it was like boiling a frog. Boiling a frog? Yes, if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out immediately. If you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly bring up the temperature, by the time the water is hot enough, the frog has lost the energy to fight. First you have to go through a metal detector, then you can’t come behind the metal detector unless you have a ticket. Then you can’t go past the metal detector unless you allow your bags to be searched and remove your shoes. Then you can’t take more than 3oz of fluid. And now we’re all a bunch of thirsty shoe less sheep standing in enormous lines.
This is one woman in Apache Junction, Arizona. We have a chance to collectively jump out of the pot before it starts to boil. Please support Thea. She’s a good lady and doesn’t deserve this.