Friday, January 30, 2009

Dog Breeder Says Home "Raided," Must Pay Almost $900 In Fees

An East Brainerd chihuahua breeder said her home was "raided" by officers from the McKamey Animal Trust and she was required to pay almost $900 in fees.

Terry Boydston appeared before members of the City Council along with McKamey official Steve Mayo on Tuesday.

Ms. Boydston she keeps 13 chihuahuas inside her home on Skyline Drive, including eight that are "breeders."

She said on a Sunday morning "three trucks pulled up with six men. I was scared to death. The neighbors were all looking. They thought I was being raided."

Ms. Boydston said she treats her dogs well and keeps meticulous records. She said she grooms the dogs for show appearances.

She said she only sold one puppy last year, but will have to pay extra fees because that put her in the category of a dog dealer. She said she was also classified as a dog breeder and as a multiple pet owner.

She said she had to pay the almost $900 and that will be an annual expense. She said she may have to sell more puppies in order to be able to pay the fee.

Ms. Boydston said she maintains a website that is mainly devoted to telling others how to properly care for their pets.

Mr. Mayo said McKamey officials are concerned about "puppy mills," though he said Ms. Boydston turned out to be "an exception as far as the care of her animals. Her dogs are in great shape."

He said there were 78 ads in that day's newspaper by dog dealers.

Mr. Mayo said some dog dealers are cruel to their animals and his agency is trying to be "pro-active" to find such cases.

Council members asked McKamey officials to consider whether there may be some duplication in fees and whether they should be so high on Ms. Boydston.

Councilwoman Carol Berz said, "There is a difference between a puppy mill and a dog breeder, and I think that our law does not differentiate enough."

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