The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 20, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-20 | AKC not a supporter of puppy mills

Submitted by Readers

JOHNSTOWN — Ruth Cummings’ assertion in her Readers’ Forum letter of March 15, “Help the animals that have no voice” that “the American Kennel Club encourages the exploitation of dogs because it makes a fortune from these puppy mills” is incorrect.

The AKC does not support puppy mills or irresponsible breeding. In fact, it has done more to improve the breeding conditions for dogs in the U.S. than any other animal welfare organization.

Any person wishing to register a litter with the American Kennel Club must be in good standing with AKC and is subject to inspection by AKC’s compliance department, which upholds and enforces identification and record-keeping requirements as well as our care and condition standards. We have conducted approximately 55,000 inspections since 2000. The AKC is the only purebred registry in the United States with an ongoing routine kennel inspection program.

We encourage anyone looking to add a dog to their family to work with a responsible breeder or credible rescue group.

How can one tell if a breeder is responsible? Good breeders are most concerned with finding loving, secure homes for their puppies, not how much money they will make. Breeders will want to meet any potential buyers and will ask questions about lifestyle so that they can make a good match between one of their puppies and the family. They will be able to provide insight into the pup’s personality so that the most suitable situation will result for both dog and owner.

Dog lovers can learn more at

Lisa Peterson

Director of Communications

American Kennel Club

Digging deeper into privatization

Gov. Tom Corbett wants to privatize liquor sales by getting the state out of the liquor and beer business. Seems like a noble venture. In reality, it is nothing more than pandering to political contributors.

However, beer sales could be made more convenient by package reform. Since prohibition ended, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has been urged to allow distributors to sell six-packs or 12-packs for the convenience of all customers. No dice.

Now, Corbett wants to go whole hog and allow distributors to sell liquor and wine at a cost of $150,000 while the big-box stores only have to pay $25,000 to $35,000.

Sounds like a fair deal to me to invest $150,000 and try to compete with Walmart.

“D” distributors don’t have the space or the capital to do that. Walmart, for instance, does and it would not have to hire one more person. It would just shuffle its staff to cover the “beer/wine area” with people who don’t care or know a thing about beer or wine.

How many jobs are lost when the 1,200 “Ds” are eliminated? How convenient will it be when prices go up because the box stores don’t carry as many brands and all they want to do is sell in smaller quantities (six- and 12-packs) at higher margins than case sales and don’t carry kegs?

Privatization sounds great. Dig a little deeper and it is not so great. All this in the name of our children, who will only see a pittance of a return on the job losses.

Norman Sunday

Bargain Beer N Pop


‘Aladdin Jr.’ a fun, wonderful event

We hear and see so many sad and negative things happening in our schools, but I would like to inform the public of a wonderful, fun event that occurred at the Richland Elementary School.

On March 8 and 9, pupils performed the play “Aladdin Jr.” The fourth-grade, fifth-grade and sixth-grade pupils, their teachers and stage crew put in hours of work and practice to give relatives and friends three fantastic performances.

Thanks to everyone who had a part in making costumes, scenery, music and, wow, even a magic carpet moving across the stage.

Thanks to all who attended to support the Richland Elementary pupils.

Judith L. Weaver


Signs of spring clouded by reality

Behold! Blessed Easter is upon us. Wonderful spring has arrived. The promise of redemption and renewal. Birds are singing and I saw a cute little chipmunk pop up from his hole. Isn’t this inspiring?

Redeeming factors after a cold, miserable winter. Then I made the stupid mistake of opening my front door and facing cold, hard reality:

-- Rosebud Coal Co. operating with complete impunity.

-- Filthy coal trucks, trains idling and running all night and weekends.

-- No street cleaners, although they were promised on a daily basis by Rosebud.

-- No curbs.

-- Your parking options are a filthy area between road and street, covered in mud when wet and coal dust and dirt when dry.

-- No help from Windber Borough Council because I guess you can’t complain when you receive money from Rosebud.

-- No help from Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Surface Mining, PennDOT or state police – after all, it’s just Railroad Street.

Happy Easter and spring to all.

Anna Roy


Pope’s big heart

This is why Pope Francis has only one lung. He has such a big heart that the Lord had to remove one lung to make room for his heart.

Bill Dubyak


Country needs export, internal economies

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s and House Republicans’ budget is the same one that most independent economists and independent government spending agencies have already found to be an economic blow to the recovery of the middle class, working class, and the poor.

While giving more to the very rich, it is also very similar to the Ronald Reagan plan that took us from being a lender nation to a debtor nation.

A jobs plan is what the nation needs to create an internal economy and a strong export economy.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, has to this day supported the Ryan budget. We should all call or write his office and ask if he still supports this race to the bottom for us.

Do not forget to tell him what you really think about this old plan.

His Washington number is 202-225-2431.

Louis Mollica



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