The Humane Society of the United States has launched an attack on Illinois breeders under the pretense of regulating puppy mills. HB 198 will make it almost impossible for conscientious and responsible breeders to remain in business. The requirements of HB 198 are so onerous, complicated and costly that it can best be compared to the legal requirements for licensing a nursing home.

My husband, Bill, attended the hearing in Springfield, on February 10, 2009, only to find that the hearing had been cancelled. We had called and e-mailed all of the representatives on the Committee and were very encouraged by the amount of public opposition to the bill; according to one Representative, they had not received a single phone call in support of the bill.

HB 198 is scheduled for public hearing again on February 19, 2009 at 2:00 in Room C-1 Stratton Building at the Captiaol in Springfield. Bill and I will both be heading there this time to voice our opposition. Please go to and sign the online petition against HB 198. If you are not an Illinois resident you can sign at

We are grateful to the American Sporting Dog Alliance for bringing this to our attention before it simply became Law of the Land without our even knowing about it.

Here is a link to the actual legislation:

We love our dogs and cannot imagine what passage of this bill would do to us. To my knowledge, NO ONE involved in drafting this legislation EVER contacted or visited any legitimate breeders to see what we do and how we do it. If they contacted us, they would find that we feed a premium dog food and have probably financed college educations for all three of our veterinarian's children. We treat every puppy that we breed as if it were our own pet until it leaves to become a part of a new family.

We work hard to breed Labs that are healthy, sound in temperament and can do the work they were intended to do. We believe they are the best and most versatile dogs in the world and we want that to continue through the efforts of responsible breeders, not only in Illinois but in every state. HSUS's attacks on dog owners/breeders will not end in Illinois. There are similar posts today from people in Oklahoma and Plano, TX.

This is still America, isn't it?

Bill and Marcia Butikas
Blindfaith Retrievers
The beginning is often scary, the end is usually sad, but fortunately, it's the middle that counts the most.