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Letters: Should kennels and trainers be licensed?

Johnson City Press • Jun 2, 2019 at 6:00 AM

We asked our readers with Monday’s Question of the Week if animal kennels and trainers should be licensed in Tennessee. Here are some of the responses we received.

Use good owners as example

I do believe both dog trainers and kennel owners should be licensed and their premises inspected at random twice or three times a year if not more. Just because one holds a license doesn't necessary mean that a trainer/kennel owner will abide by the rules as set forth in the license.

I have been training dogs for over 20 years, but they are my own dogs. It saddens me to see people who get a dog and don't have time, can't train or won't train their own dogs.

There is so much research out there on good positive training methods that a "dog trainer" should never be the first option. Why get a dog if you know nothing about training or are unwilling to do your research?

It is also necessary to prohibit dog trainers from using prong collars, choke collars and e-collars to teach a dog. If your dog trainer uses pain to teach, then that is a big red flag.

Kennel owners too should have strict rules on how to operate a kennel that is animal friendly. Always tour the facility, and get a recommendation. Does the owner live at the facility? Use of CCTV is always a plus.

To get ideas on what the trainer/kennel owner must do in order to obtain a license, talk to successfully run kennels to base the rules of the license upon. Perhaps if people who want a dog would do more research, it would make owning a dog a joy. Sending your dog off to be trained by someone unlicensed or otherwise is so sad. I would think dog owners would want to be hands-on with their dog and a good trainer would want that too.

CYNTHIA HARRY
Greeneville

Pets should be protected

I was astounded Tennessee does not have state regulations to protect all animals and pets from many abusive conditions and situations.

It is believed that our current state laws are sufficient to protect them. With all due respect, if that were true, we would not be reading an hearing again about such fiendish mayhem.

Any time a business opens that is for any animal or pet services, that business needs to be regulated without being injudicious. All animal and pet businesses should have rigid state requirements and valid certified verification that qualifies the people involved to have legitimate and credible credentials necessary to provide such services.

What type of certified, legitimate and credible credentials would allow such gruesome horror to happen in our city to beloved pets and unsuspecting owners?

When making laws for our animals and pets in Tennessee nothing should be taken for granted. We either protect them or we don’t. This time we truly failed miserably.

Prevention is the key word. Make it work with stricter state laws for animal abusers with a state registry. All businesses associated with animals in any capacity should be licensed, regulated and inspected with scrutiny and without notice.

Premeditation to commit malicious torture and murder for money of our beloved pets should get all Tennesseans’ attention. The legal term “with malice and forethought” should get the Tennessee General Assembly’s attention.

Band together Tennessee. It begins with us. We need tougher state laws without loopholes for our beloved furry friends and all animals of Tennessee. We must not let these animals that were brutally murdered die in vain. We must be their voice.

JAN WHITEHEAD
Johnson City

Research your trainer

Licensing of kennels? Yes, they need to have standards and inspections to make sure the animals are getting proper care.

Licensing of trainers? No. Because owners should be involved in the training process and should be responsible for choosing a trainer and checking their background.

Trainers who take control of the dog for extended periods, that would be boarding. That would be a kennel and would fall under the kennel license.

Same thing with doggie daycares. They should fall under a kennel license.

There is no point in regulating trainers, because as soon as you start doing that you are now taking all responsibility away from the owners and the owners are ultimately the ones who need to make informed choices for their dogs.

PK LICHTENBERGER
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

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