Oregon HB 2804 was soundly defeated after hearing testimony from dog enthusiasts and veterinarians in a dogged effort by Patti Strand and the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) to educate the legislators about the harm to people, animals and businesses that would result if the bill became law.
NAIA, founded in 1991, is a national animal welfare organization headquartered in Portland that was “created to provide fact-based answers to complex and controversial issues regarding animals.”
Oral and written testimony submitted by NAIA, the Responsible Dog Breeders Association of Oregon, veterinarians and others provided the legislators with critical information about why the bill should be defeated.
Some of the reasons provided below, are also applicable throughout the country, where, unfortunately, legislators were influenced by activists advancing a false narrative about the care dogs receive by professional dog breeders and pet shops.
As NAIA stated:
Dog overpopulation – a century-long animal welfare problem – has been solved in the Pacific Northwest with the result that there are no longer enough locally-bred dogs to meet demand. As a result, shelters and rescues have created ‘humane relocation’ programs, which import thousands of dogs into their nonprofit organizations, sustain their operations and increase their adoptions. In many cases these shelters and rescues have become de facto pet stores while retaining their former image as charities that care for local pets.
Oregon Humane Society alone imported 3,944 dogs in 2017, (72% of their total intake), which is more dogs than all 8 of Oregon’s pet stores combined sell in a year.
Dogs imported by Oregon shelters and rescues for adoption to Oregon consumers come from as far away China, So. Korea and Mexico, countries where the standards of veterinary medicine are often far below those of the US. Many of these dogs carry diseases and parasites that can hurt our pets and people.
Statistics about the movement of dogs and other animals through shelters and rescues throughout the country have been collected by NAIA in its Shelter Database, available on its website.
NAIA and its founder and chair, Patti Strand, remain a valuable resource to those interested in learning the truth about many animal welfare issues, and helping to educate legislators and the public they serve.