A Tireless Minority

July 22, 2008 at 1:26 am 5 comments

Hat tip to Sharon who alerted me to the July-August Edition of the Spaniel Journal, that features an article by Loretta Baughn titled “Setting Brush Fires.”  The lead-in is this excellent quote from Samuel Adams:

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

This country was founded by an irate, tireless minority who fought to earn freedom of religion, freedom of speech and to be free from the tyranny of taxation without representation – among other things. 

Regrettably, the tireless minority that fights today is one that seeks to restrict – and even take away – many of our freedoms.  As Ms. Baughan pointed out:

The phenomenon is not exclusive to Wisconsin.  “Brush fires” are being set across the country in states, cities and towns – from sea to shining sea.  The animal rights activists will point to a dog authorities might have confiscated in a raid of a sub-standard breeder with its fur all matted and dirty then scream the state has a “puppy mill” problem.  I hate to see any animal needlessly suffer, but just by virtue that the authorities DID raid and confiscate dogs from a sub-standard breeder raising them in filth is PROOF that current laws work.

There are laws on the books regulating animal cruelty, livestock handling,animals in research, commercial breeding, pet waste, noise, zoning, limit laws – and more.  Many of these laws could be improved, but when arrests occur, the media quick to jump on the animal rights bandwagon publicizing the plight of abused animals – but slow to the point of refusing – to report the fact that arrests can demonstrate that laws are working?

When a person is severly bitten by a dog, the incident spreads through the media like, well – like a brush fire.  But the press never tells us when the dog involved in the incident was (as in most cases) an unlicensed, untrained dog with a previous history of aggression that was allowed, illegally - to run at large.  The reports of most of the dog bite incidents published in local news over the last year noted that the dog had a previous history of aggression but they almost never went on to point out that the dog’s owner was therefore already breaking an existing law by putting the dog into the situation where the bite occured.

According to Minnesota State Law (Statutes 347.50-54) “Dangerous dog” means any dog that has: 
(1) without provocation, inflicted substantial bodily harm on a human being on public or private property;
(2) killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property; or
(3) been found to be potentially dangerous, and after the owner has notice that the dog is potentially dangerous, the dog aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.

Among other requirements, the owner must register a dangerous dog with the state.  He must obtain a $50,000 surety bond or liability insurance payable to any person injured by the dog.  He must keep the dog in a secure enclosure with warning signs.  When the dog is outside the enclosure it must be leashed, muzzled and under the physical restraint of a responsible person.  Enforcing these restrictions would have prevented nearly every severe dog bite incident that occurred in this state in the last few years.

Yet the media (spurred on by a tireless, vocal minority of animal rights activists) continues to call for more laws instead of lobbying for better enforcement of existing laws; and members of the public, who have been conditioned to believe the media without question; agree to give up a little bit of their freedom to save babies from dogs bites and puppies from greedy millers.

Folks, we’re standing at the edge of a steep and terrifyingly slippery slope. 

Vicious dog attacks.  The plight of mill dogs.  Dogs being euthanized or warehoused, in shelters.  Dog poop in parks.  Animal hoarders.  Cruel people who torture dogs and other animals.  Stories about these law breakers are being fed to the media directly from the spoon of the animal rights movement.  The law breakers are portrayed as representing the norm, instead of the exception — and the story sells.  Meanwhile, the thousands millions of stories that could be written about sweet-natured pitbulls, conscientious dog breeders, skilled dog trainers, caring rescue groups and responsible pet owners only rarely make the news.

The AR minority is trying to use lurid charges of animal abuse directed at the minority of farmers, hunters, fishermen, breeders and pet owners who break laws and commit cruel acts to end all use of animals in society.  False and unsubstantiated allegations of animal abuse to raise funds are routinely used by these groups to attract media attention and amass support from naive, uninformed citizens who are led to believe that their donations will be used directly to save abandoned and abused animals.

Their true goal is not to help animals.  HSUS doesn’t operate shelters and PETA kills nearly every animal they take in.  The animal rights movement hurts us – and it hurts our pets.  And it will keep doing so as long as citizens mindlessly swallow the AR media hype they’re fed and continue to contribute financial and tacit support to this cruel, tireless minority.

Entry filed under: animal rights, dogs, minnesota. Tags: , , , .

Street Dogs of South Central And They Weren’t Even Drunk…

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Excellent post, it should be posted on every dog site out there. As responsible dog owners we need to stand together in this “fire” war that is being waged. I think too often these fringe AR groups play on emotions of unknowing pet owners and rally them to their cause. Many naive pet owners fail to realize these groups detest ALL pet ownership, but welcome the support of these unsuspecting pet owners to help fight their battle. Too often we take the, “it won’t affect me” approach to these situations and by the time it “does affect me” it unfortunately will be too late.

  • 2. Fred  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I know a couple of people who actively support PETA and by active I mean, they give money, subscribe to their newsletters, stay on top of whatever campaign PETA is on at the moment, etc. The curious thing about these two is that while they like the idea of animals and animal rights, they don’t actually seem to like animals. Yes, they’re strictly vegan and wouldn’t (intentionally) harm a fly but then on the other hand, they probably wouldn’t help a fly either, at least not in real life. The really funny thing is when they’re around my dogs, they positively squirm. They don’t like the fur that comes off the dogs and they certainly don’t want to be “kissed”. They give my dogs the kind of pat on the head you’d give a child with a hairful of lice.

    I don’t want to generalize their behaviour to all PETA members but sometimes reading the ideological statements from the PETA elite, I can’t help but wonder what emotional confusion is swelling up in their hearts and heads.

    And speaking of confusion, check out their blog written by “many of the people who help PETA run its campaigns, including folks from HR, Corporate Affairs, Research & Investigations, Marketing, and a variety of other departments at PETA”. Under their blogroll, they’ve got links to Perez Hilton (celebrity gossip), Oh No They Didn’t (celebrity gossip), Mister Irrelevant (sports gossip). WTF does any of that have to do with what they’re selling?

  • 3. Jim  |  August 1, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    You guys really need to get your facts straight about PETA and HSUS. (They do not seek to ban pet ownership, and HSUS does operate sanctuaries for animals through Fund for Animals – Black Beauty Ranch, among others.) HSUS is 4-star rated, PETA 3-star rated on Charity Navigator. Hard to see either as a fringe organization, particularly HSUS.

    Yes, there are laws on the books; not enforced. In fact, some states have made it a felony to film inside certain operations with pigs, cattle, etc. They don’t want PETA’s or HSUS’s undercover videos shown because they are so startling. Where are inspectors when all this is going on? If laws are not enforced, they are meaningless. Puppy mills a good example.

    Re minority of hunters involved in cruelty – when will the majority be doing something about it?

  • 4. Loretta Baughan  |  September 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    ‘Jim’ is a prime example of the confused and mis-informed public who we still need to educate. Bravo! on a first-rate blog.

  • 5. SmartDogs  |  September 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Loretta, good to hear from you! We love it when the people we blog about stop in to say “Hi!”

    And — Yes, folks like Jim are part of the reason we’re here – to try to information on animal welfare, health, training and responsible pet ownership out to the public at large.

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