The following is a letter to the editor. It does not represent the views of The Iowa Standard. We do, however, invite and encourage dialogue. You can send your letter to [email protected]

Following is about comparison only. Nothing to do with rightness or wrongness of a practice. Good for the goose, good for the gander. Everyone play in the same sandbox, by the same rules.

I’m speaking about the recent story that has certain peoples shrieking and howling in protest about dog brokers and breeders also being a part of a re-homing entity commonly called a “rescue”, Hobo K9 and Rescue Pet’s Iowa. Something now termed to be a fraudulent practice. For them. Animal Legal Defense Fund is spearheading for Attorney General Tom Miller in filing suit. The very same entity that filed suit against a law that PROTECTS Iowa farmers, and is fighting against a current bill that would protect Iowa farmers and ranchers. Basically, they are demanding the RIGHT to LIE, deceive, seek employment under FALSE pretenses, FALSE promises, and misrepresentations. Some of the VERY things Miller is suing for against Hobo K9 and Rescue Pets Iowa.

The nitty gritty is nothing more than, “Get out of MY sandbox. I don’t care if you’re playing by MY rules. Get out of MY, MY sandbox!!”

Let’s look at a few important facts, including a few that have remained a “well kept secret” from the public and more importantly, the legislators.

A broker and a dog breeder joined forces to form a rescue to be able to sell those pups  that were not totally perfect that stores would not accept for sale.  Minor things such as an over/under bite, small umbilical hernia that would heal on its own and not detrimental to its health,  a grade one knee which poses no threat, minor issues not affecting the overall health of the puppy.  The very same type of dogs some rescues demand that pet stores sell. Get out of MY sandbox!

The rescue industry has been demanding that pet stores sell ONLY THEIR pups or dogs.   Over 200 stores and now several states, with more following suit, are jumping on that band wagon. They don’t feel it’s in the public’s best interest to have a choice at a pet store of the sourcing of their next pet. Commercially bred pets come from licensed inspected facilities, breeding is selective for health and temperament, parentage is known, health and temperaments are known, etc. Many of the re-homer dogs are full of unknowns. I.E. the “rescues” seek to establish a monopoly. Illegal in all aspects. Yet cities refuse to follow that law. Iowa has three guilty towns. An entity is wanting to persuade even more towns to be law breakers by demanding that monopoly business practices be followed. Get out of MY sandbox!

There are rescues in IA and other states that buy dogs, especially puppies and bred females, from auctions and/or breeders for resale. They cherry pick the easily salable and money makers. Some paying multiple thousands of dollars per dog. Some rescues sell more puppies than breeders. Prior to a sale, they beg for donations to “save” these dogs.  While at a sale they will put out another plea claiming they need more money to buy more dogs. A sad tale of woe is cried that they were “rescued” from a life of misery and prevented from going to a life of misery. Dogs that go through auction must come from licensed breeders, have rabies shots, microchipped, puppies a vaccination record, registration papers, and a health certificate. They will be checked again before going into the sale ring. A vet is on hand at the auction. Any imperfection will be called out.  Auction dogs are not allowed to be in ill health, must be clean and groomed.

New Jersey Advanced Media…” The breeder acquired the dogs from (slur term pxxxx mxxx), the state said”. The VERY SAME procurement method other rescues do via auctions or directly from breeders. Get out of MY sandbox!

This practice then insures there is a ready supply for these “rescues” to supply those pet stores. How is that any different than what the broker/breeder partnership is doing? Get out of MY sandbox!

Buying for resale from the very breeders they bash, bully, intimidate, threaten, demand nastier laws against while exempting themselves. Current IA bill HF 738. Get out of MY sandbox!

Chicago Herald Review,  “…obscure the identity of breeders who may have animal welfare violations or other problems.” And rescues acquire from the very same sources, plus UNknown sources, especially the IMPORTS from out of state. Get out of MY sandbox!

Another quote from CHR, “No legitimate charitable rescue associated fees to ‘adopt’ or ‘re-home’ a dog would ever even approach such an extravagant, for profit sum…” the filing states.” ​Screams jealousy. If there was a willing buyer, nothing wrong with capitalism.  Unless is isn’t in your pocket. Get out of MY sandbox!

Perhaps AG Miller should take a look at the fact that there is no such thing as a “rescue” in IA.  Why? Dr. David Schmitt, formerly of IDALS, said since code does not specifically name rescue in its shelter definition, they have to give a dealers license.  Hmmmm, a dealers license to buy and resell is for a FOR profit business. Yet, the state  has been issuing a FOR PROFIT license to NON profits. They get to enjoy all the perks of a NON profit while conducting FOR profit business without paying taxes, solicit funds to buy their product for resale, solicit other goods, volunteer labor, reduced rates for vet services, free publicity, etc. Get out of MY sandbox!

Iowa code DOES provide for a rescue under the shelter definition. IA Code 162.2(3)   3. “Animal shelter” means a facility which is used to house or contain dogs or cats, or both, and which is owned, operated, or maintained by an incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of such animals.    Did you catch that ” ….OR OTHER NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION…..”?

So how is it, AG Miller, that according to the petition, this activity is illegal for Hobo K9 following the very rules that some rescues demanded?  Get out of MY sandbox!

But, not for the other  “rescues” doing that very thing, is it?  Or even participating in the dark underbelly of doing their own breeding through various venues, claiming they are “rescued” or leading to believe they came from some type of undesirable situation?  Get out of MY sandbox!

AG Miller, there is a willing seller and a willing buyer with an agreed upon price. That is called capitalism is it not?  Why is capitalism is so wrong for one entity, but perfectly fine for others doing the same act of buying and reselling from the same type of sourcing?  Would that not constitute preferential treatment?  Would it not constitute prejudice?  Would it not constitute unequal application of the law?

Get out of MY sand box!

Then the excessive fines, of up to $40,000 per offense BOTH jointly and severally,  a most  gross violation of the U.S. Constitution Amendment 8.   Would it be the same for a re-homer business?  So doubtful to the point to render a no answer.   Get out of MY sandbox!

Those astoundingly outlandish fines for EACH defendant is an interesting provision.   Defendants include, pg. 16 of suit: “…agents, employees, independent contractors, salesperson, servants, representatives, officers and directors, principals, partners, members, affiliate, predecessor, successors, assigns, merged or acquired predecessors, parent or controlling entities and ALL other persons, corporations and business entities acting in concert or participating with the defendants.” Hmmmmmm. “…acting in concert”  also means agreement, compact, treaty, grant, consent. Does that not then also include those whom issued licenses and nonprofit status?? Both federal and state?

As admitted in one article, Herald Review, concerning the Chicago stores, NO city law has been violated. So what’s the issue except someone feels it is not in the “spirit of the law”? Get out of MY sand box!

In consideration of all the above, and not exhaustive by any means, is it really nothing more than a jealous pot calling the kettle black temper tantrum? Oh, and the all alluring god – money. Waaaaah! Get out of MY sandbox!

Get out of MY sandbox! I don’t care if you played by my rules. Get out and stay out of MY sandbox.

Hope this has been a bit of an education as to just some of the rest of the story purposely not being told to the public or legislators.

–Betsy Fickel
Garner