Even more on Missouri’s Prop B anti-puppy mill ballot measure

The opposition in Missouri to the Prop B ballot measure is reportedly turning to the nasty use of “robocalls” to spread misinformation about the intent of the proposed regulations.

A press release posted on Media-Newswire.com slams the use of robocalls in the state, but also includes the following list of groups and people who are supporting Prop B. –

“” Prop B is supported by Missouri veterinarians and veterinary clinics; animal welfare charities and organizations, including the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, Central Missouri Humane Society, Humane Society of Southwest Missouri, Wayside Waifs, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( ASPCA ), the Animal Rescue Foundation ( ARF ), Best Friends Animal Society and The Humane Society of the United States; prominent Missouri figures such as Tony La Russa and Linda Bond; as well as responsible dog breeders, elected officials, religious leaders and Missouri businesses. “”

I think the organizations and individuals on that list offer a great, collective endorsement for Prop B.

On Thursday, the Missourian ran two pieces about the ballot measure –

One compares current state and federal regulations and those proposed.

The other reviews more of the back-and-forth between supporters and those opposed. One individual is quoted as saying – “Because this law does a really terrible job of defining a puppy mill, it has the potential to impact every breeder.”

Again, this is simply wrong. The regulations set standards for exercise, vet care, food and water. Breeding operations that don’t meet the minimum standards can correct the deficiencies or close down. The standards are not at all excessive.

People who don’t want better regulations on puppy mills are tossing out everything they can in a desperate hope that something will stick to the wall so that just enough people will be swayed into voting no.

A group billing itself as “The Alliance for Truth” is leading the way in spreading opposition to the new regulations. The real truth is – dogs should not be forced to live their lives caged and as nothing more than breeding machines.

If the people in Missouri considering a no vote in November could just read the text of the measure and consider what the opposition is saying –

— Regular exercise for the dogs – No, the opposition is fighting against that.

— Regular vet care – No, the opposition is fighting against that.

— Clean food and water – No, the opposition is fighting against that.

This is it. I question anyone who could say this is excessive regulation. As far as the 50-dog limit, it is included in my view because I think the crafters of the proposals understand dogs need companionship, play and exercise. And in facilities where dogs are housed like warehouse inventory, these basic needs are not being met.

There are many, many great breeders across the country who meet or exceed the standards set forth in Prop B and offer great care for their dogs. These great breeders will continue to operate in Missouri and in other states where new laws have been passed or are being considered.

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23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cory on October 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    “– Regular exercise for the dogs – No, the opposition is fighting against that.

    – Regular vet care – No, the opposition is fighting against that.

    – Clean food and water – No, the opposition is fighting against that.”

    No, breeders are NOT fighting against that—how can they fight against that when IT’S ALREADY A LAW!!!!!!!!???? This is ridiculous! They are opposing Prop. B due to many reasons. Lowering the temperatures required for newborn puppies is one reason. Unfettered access to the outdoors is another reason—what’s going to happen to the newborn puppies if they’re born outside in 0 degree weather?! They will freeze to death! This “bill” is just another gimmick of the H$U$! There are 23 pages of animal welfare laws already for breeders to follow—-yet, there are STILL puppymills! This Prop. will do nothing anyway. The animal welfare agencies are doing a great job in shutting down the illegal, unlicensed breeders. If you REALLY care about animals—vote NO on Prop. B!

    Reply

    • Posted by Cory on October 18, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      Was going to mention—newborn puppies have to be kept at 90 degrees for the first 2 weeks of life—they (prop. B) want breeders to LOWER the temperatures to 85 or below. Current state laws require feedings at least once every 12 hours—-they (prop. b) are going to LOWER feedings to once every 24 hours!!! How is this good?!! Prop. B will do NOTHING for puppymills. VOTE NO!!!

      Reply

    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 18, 2010 at 11:39 pm

      You are stretching there. For example, no one would suggest the regulations mean puppies will be born outside in subfreezing conditions.
      More thought should have put into the wording in cases such as this, so that everyone could understand the basics and intent of the regulations. I think the intent is – and should be – that the dogs are allowed time outside each day to play.
      Again, I have stated it on a number of occasions – the best breeders do not cage their dogs in warehouse settings where they have little to no human contact outside the cages and never or rarely get to play.
      What the animal welfare folks understand is that dogs are self-aware and need time to be dogs, not merely breeding machines.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ruth K. on October 19, 2010 at 8:45 am

        Tom, why would we need such a poorly written, by your own admission, change to the constitution of Missouri? The ‘unfettered access’ had NO exemption for pregnant or nursing mothers, which means that MANY puppies will DIE. NO exemption for higher temperatures for newborn puppies, which means that MANY puppies will DIE. Breeders will be required to downsize and rebuild facilities to suit HSUS. It will drive the good breeders out of business.
        You really should have educated yourself on what a professional breeder’s kennel really is, before you slander legitimate breeding kennels. Of course HSUS would like the public to believe that all breeders are animal abusers. In fact, they are counting on it to pass this legislation. Vote NO on Prop B.

      • Posted by Tom Grady on October 19, 2010 at 9:11 am

        Ruth,
        I have always noted there are good breeders across the country who take proper care of their dogs. No where have I spoken out against these good breeders.
        And really, this slippery slope to puppy deaths from being born outside in freezing conditions is really nothing more than playing the fear card.
        It is here where the existing laws will certainly come into play. Prop B adds to the existing state and federal regulations. Because Prop B passes, it doesn’t mean other laws regarding cruelty are tossed out the window.
        And yes, I would have used another word other than “unfettered,” because people are “misunderstanding” what it means. But this can easily be cleared up.
        But while we’re discussing word usage, thousands over thousands of dogs are living horrible, caged lives of neglect and torture in puppy mills.
        If we read what is actually in the measure, we see the standards are reasonable – especially when we consider these animals have self-awareness and needs standards to meet their physical and mental well-being.

  2. Posted by Ruth K. on October 19, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Prop B supporters, mainly HSUS and other animal rights organizations, seem to be the ones getting a little desparate to write such an article so full of outright lies and lies by ommission. Seems HSUS thought it would be a cakewalk to pass Prop B with its intentionally inflammatory, deceitful, slanderous title ‘Puppymill Abuse Protection Act’. This initiative is overwhelmingly supported financially by out-of-state organizations and rich people who have no ties to Missouri. Why? Missouri doesn’t want a law that would cost this state two billion plus dollars in lost revenues, taxes, more unemployment, etc. when our state is already in a precarious economic situation.
    Prop B is a poorly written law, crafted by HSUS lawyers who do not understand animal husbandry. In fact, it was not intended to better the lives of dogs, but to destroy the legitimate dog breeding industry in Missouri, while doing NOTHING to affect the illegal, unlicensed breeders, who will continue to thrive. Bark Alert is already shutting down the illegal kennels when they are discovered. Vote NO on Prop B.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 19, 2010 at 8:53 am

      The basics are typically included in all of the proposed anti-puppy mill regulations in various states – Minimum standards for veterinary care, food and water, exercise, flooring, cage sizes and time outside.
      I wouldn’t want to be on the side opposing these very minimum standards. It’s an odd position to argue from.
      The good breeders across the nation already meet these standards – and I’ve even read comments from those opposing the measure suggesting just that. “Why do this because good breeders are already doing the right thing.”
      And Prop B will apply to licensed and unlicensed breeders who are not meeting these standards.
      But as important is the understanding of self-awareness and state of consciousness in animals such as dogs. We should have standards that address the most recent research findings in these areas.
      If we found a family not meeting these standards and keeping their dog caged 24/7, we’d be talking about how cruel that family is. Why should breeding dogs face cruelty and neglect when we would never want that in family pets?
      Again, a breeder could never get away with suggesting to a customer that they house their new puppy in same conditions Prob B addresses as less-than-standard.
      Dogs and cats need love and companionship. To isolate them as nothing more than breeding machines is wrong.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ruth K. on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm

        Quoted from Tom: And really, this slippery slope to puppy deaths from being born outside in freezing conditions is really nothing more than playing the fear card.
        It is here where the existing laws will certainly come into play. Prop B adds to the existing state and federal regulations. Because Prop B passes, it doesn’t mean other laws regarding cruelty are tossed out the window.
        And yes, I would have used another word other than “unfettered,” because people are “misunderstanding” what it means. But this can easily be cleared up.

        How is ‘unfettered’ being misunderstood? It is pretty clear that dogs will be required to have constant, unrestricted access to outside. There is nothing in the current law to override this access. NOTHING. Breeders know how to raise dogs and know that NO PREGNANT OR NURSING DOG ever needs unsupervised access to outside!!! That is just one of the flaws in Prop B. HSUS is not interested in keeping puppies alive. Remember Wayne Pacelle said that he doesn’t want to see another dog or cat born.
        It is funny you said that ” it doesn’t mean that other laws regarding cruelty are thrown out”. Our current laws are about animal husbandry and the proper way to maintain a kennel, not about cruelty. HSUS talks about ‘cruelty’ to get attention from JQ Public who is suseptible to buzz-words like that. Animal welfare (like breeders and vets) will talk about providing dogs with proper care; animal rights (like HSUS and PETA) will talk about puppymills and cruelty. Hmmmm. It’s pretty clear who really cares about the dogs and who is trying to control and destroy the animal industries. Vote NO on Prop B!

      • Posted by Ruth K. on October 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm

        The basics of animal care are already law. Why are the redundant rules even included in Prop B? Oh, yeah. It will fool people into thinking that breeders are not regulated at all! Typical HSUS tactics. Deception. If the bill only stated to take away the rights of a dog breeder to his own property (limit to 50 dogs), demanded he rebuild a kennel to suit HSUS, interfered in the breeder-vet relationship by making medical decisions (breeding limits, mandatory checkups every year, etc), and criminalized dog breeders, there is NO way it would ever pass, even with the provocative title! Think about it and vote NO on Prop B. It is too badly written and problematic, not to mention the economic destruction it will cause.

      • Posted by Ruth K. on October 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm

        Quote from Tom: “And Prop B will apply to licensed and unlicensed breeders who are not meeting these standards.”

        Do you really think that unlicensed breeders will obey Prop B?? Please, they are required to be licensed by Missouri Department of Agriculture and are evading the law now. Why on earth would they submit themselves to another law? It is just plain ignorant to believe that.

        And the licensed breeders who are not meeting the current standards are being dealt with by current law. The vast majority of breeders are compliant with current regulations and are raising dogs competently and properly. Why punish those breeders by saddling them with unreasonable, unwarranted restrictive regulations that will bankrupt them? We cannot afford to lose 1000 small businesses in Missouri. Vote NO on Prop B.

      • Posted by Tom Grady on October 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

        Ruth –
        Your quote – “”Why punish those breeders by saddling them with unreasonable, unwarranted restrictive regulations that will bankrupt them?””

        What is unreasonable or unwarranted about clean food and water, regular exercise, time outside and regular veterinary care?
        Again, I’ve read comments from people complaining Prop B is unnecessary because good breeders already take great care of their dogs. Great care includes regular time for play and exercise, regular veterinary care (especially for breeding dogs) and good food and water.
        Good breeders meet these standards. We need to shut down those that do not.

  3. Posted by Suzie on October 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    First of all I am a breeder of the wonderful Australian Shepherd and the awesome English Bulldog and my dogs are part of my family. For years we(breeders) have fought the unlicensed bad breeders- this law is not going to get rid of them- as they now hide in the woods and break the law. There are better ways to fix things than to impose a new law to this affect. All I hear is how HSUS loves animals and cares for them–if this is so, please tell me WHY in 2008 HSUS raised $82 MILLION dollars and less than $500,000 went to the welfare of animals across the USA- the rest was in SALARIES, EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION, LOBBYING, ADVERTISING!!!! If they truly wanted to help the problem- then lets work together..WHY doesn’t the HSUS pass a law that affects ALL people involved then-EVEN THE SHELTERS AND RESCUES- should have to also do this for size of cages…WHY- doesn’t the HSUS donate money to the ANIMALS so that EVERY animal that comes into a shelter is SPAYED/NEUTURED- BEFORE they leave. Do you realize that those dogs let out of there go to families whom can not afford a puppy from a Professional Breeder- so how can they afford a spay/neuter??? THEY CAN’T- so therefore they take them home without any fencing and they roam and get bred- then what happens- we have more unwanted animals in the shelters…HOW MANY FULL BREED DOGS AND CATS that are paid good money for are found in the shelter, I myself as a breeder microchip every puppy before it leaves my home- so I know if it ends up somewhere it shouldn’t and in 20 years of raising my puppies I have had only 2 calls – one was because the hired maid had accidentally left the back gate of the lawn open, but within 1 hour of the shelter calling me- we had the dog back with the family. Any responsible breeder does this. WHY doesn’t the HSUS get with some breeders and let them help with solving this problem- DON’T BLAME ALL OF US…I put all of my money back into the care of my canines- since HSUS has almost destroyed and GOOD BREEDERS in Missouri- we can’t hardly afford to do anything. I spent over $100,000 building a new facility 5 years ago and since then if I mention I am from Missouri- they hang up- even though I had referals –PLEASE TELL ME HOW THE PROP B IS GOING TO HELP- it is not. They talk bad about us and that we do not care for our animals- WE ARE THE HARDEST WORKING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD- who else would clean dog doodoo 24 hours a day/7 days a week- they do not know agriculture- my husband and his family work 24 hrs a day/7 days a week caring for their animals, we have had 100’s of baby calves in our bathrooms during those freezing nights in the winters-when it is below 0 degrees- you yourself still have to take care of them- THE ANIMALS RELY ON US-we don’t drive $75,000 dollar vehicles, we don’t live in $350,000 dollar homes, we don’t get paid vacations or bonuses, we don’t even get vacations. I am tierd of hearing how bad we are when people don’t know the truth– I would bet any of HSUS would not last a week working with my family. All I see is a bunch of very wealthy people pointing fingers- when they do not know the truth…. I am a concerned breeder about our industry- I see people getting in and out all the time and see people not taking care of their animals- and I turn them in. There are many grey areas in this Prop B and we need NO grey areas….I am anxious to see if you will post what I have written and answer my questions about WHY HSUS does not give money to the needy animals and if they want to take care of all the unwanted pets in shelters then step up to the plate and add that all shelters and rescues HAVE TO SPAY/NEUTER or will this get into the money donations if we get it under control??????

    Reply

    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

      First – I support good breeders who are caring for their dogs with an understanding that they need care that addresses physical and emotional well-being.
      Secondly – I can’ speak for the Humane Society if the United States and its finances. But I do know one of its key missions is to change laws for the better to protect animals. I fully support that mission.
      Some organizations work locally on the front lines to rescue and adopt out homeless pets. Others work on a national scale to change laws and promote compassion for animals. We need both.
      In addition, I’m focused more on what is best for the dogs, in this case. And we must have better protections in place for dogs housed in puppy-mill conditions.
      Current laws in most states are not working. True – better enforcement is needed. But proposals like Prob B establish standards existing laws have not covered – improved flooring, exercise requirements, etc.
      As it stands now, conditions have to be extreme before inspectors or law enforcement can act. And the offenders are getting light slaps on the wrist.
      Why not cover the shelters and rescues? We do need to make sure rescue shelters are treating the animals well. But often, the shelters are battling overcrowding and other problems BECAUSE entities such as puppy mills and greyhound racing are producing so many dogs that end up in homeless shelters.
      Shut down the puppy mills and greyhound racing and better promote spay/neuter – and then the local shelters will see improved conditions.
      And the shelters are desperately trying to get the dogs out and into new homes. Puppy mill dogs are trapped until somehow they are rescued or die.
      We need to shut down the bad players and leave dog breeding to the good, quality, regularly-inspected breeders. It’s a matter of compassion and understanding the physical AND emotional needs of animals.
      Again, the more recent research on self-awareness in dogs means we better-understand how much they suffer when caged 24/7 to be nothing more than breeding machines.
      And I agree that spay/neuter should be a requirement. But it is a complex issue and some rescues, as I understand it, are having adopters sign a spay/neuter contract – in cases where the dogs might be too young or the funding isn’t there for the proceedure.
      We need to find a way to get low-cost spay-neuter clnics in all areas of the country for homeless pets – if it means local vets chip in or a funding source is set up for this.
      All I’m saying is this – breeding dogs should get to live in humane conditions with good, clean water, veterinary care when they need it and human contact and time to play and exercise.
      Breeders who can’t supply this for their dogs don’t need to be breeding dogs – period. We would never want our pets to live without these basic needs.
      I’ve visited breeding operations where the dogs are being allowed time outside and are living happy lives. I’ve walked through, petting dogs with wagging tails.
      It can be done and is being done and this is the standard for breeding. It is a standard set – on a minimum level – by Prop B.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Ruth K. on October 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Quoted from Tom: What is unreasonable or unwarranted about clean food and water, regular exercise, time outside and regular veterinary care?
    Again, I’ve read comments from people complaining Prop B is unnecessary because good breeders already take great care of their dogs. Great care includes regular time for play and exercise, regular veterinary care (especially for breeding dogs) and good food and water.

    Legal licensed breeders do the things you mention above. You know perfectly well what is unreasonable & unwarranted. Hint: it has to do with unfettered access to outside for PG and nursing mothers, space for 3 Chihuahuas the size of a bedroom, having to rebuild entire kennels, dangerous temperature requirements for newborns, and other ill-advised nonsense.

    What is ambiguous about the unfettered access that makes it misunderstood? Sounds clear (and potentially fatal to many young puppies) to me.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ruth K. on October 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      Oops, forgot to add the limit of 50 dogs. Of course, there is no accompanying studies that prove that having 49 dogs is fine; 51 is too many to care for. No reasoning for the limit except to shut down legal licensed breeders, who won’t be able to continue with fewer dogs and prohibitively expensive rebuilding of entire kennels. Heating and air conditioning costs would probably triple at least.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm

      I think we all know the intent of the proposed regulation is NOT to allow pregnant dogs outside in subfreezing conditions to give birth. Many shelters have runs with indoor/outdoor sections for each dog, with a door in between.

      The intent of the regulation is to allow dogs access to the outside, so that they are not caged 24/7. What we need to do is contact someone from the organizations that are backing Prop B or those who wrote the ballot measure so that we can clear this up for you.

      We’re talking about animal lovers here and a measure that has the support of several well-respected animal-welfare organizations.

      As far as the 50-dog limit, people would be opposed to any limit. If it was 200, some would be speaking out against it. I’m sure this was a compromise.
      But really, 50 dogs would require a staff large enough care for them that I would venture to guess most kennels above that size do not have. The dogs need play time and the loving hand of compassion.
      My wife and I have a handful of rescues living with us and it’s a full-time job caring for their needs. Sure, it would much easier to cage them 24/7 and not offer them much human contact at all, but we would never do that.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Richard on November 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I am just waiting for the violence to start as it surely will if these organizations that know absolutely nothing about agriculture continually try to sterilize and nuetralize all of agriculture. ALL animals deserve to be well cared for but for organizations to keep shoving laws down our throats is intolerable. This is where this country is headed if individuals and organizations don’t come together and build a better America by cooperating and making things better not only for agriculture but for all segments of business in our country. Destroying whole segments of the economy and in particular agriculture will be a DISASTER! We will then be at the mercy of other countries to feed us AND supply us our pets! HSUS cannot touch Venezuela! That is an absolute travesty and suicidal. We are already dependent on energy and look where it gets us. We are fools to think that we will survive without a strong agricultural base. This includes all aspects including pets. We are so singularly focused on issues we are missing the bigger picture. We can pass a million laws—and have—- so what makes you think that someone who breaks a million laws will pay attention to 1 more? Pay attention to what our legislators are doing! Pay attention to what people who may not be in your line of thinking but are citizens and human beings with as much of a right to their life and opinion as you. When you try to take that away there WILL be a boil over point when people can’t take it anymore and as a country we are VERY near that point.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Eileen Young on December 11, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I believe that all puppy mills should be illegal. There are too many dogs around now. The humane societies have their hands full and work so hard to get these precious animals adopted, but there is only so much they can do. I have two rescue dogs myself, and I know that there are so many more that need good homes. Why in God’s name are more and more dogs allowed to be bred in the mills when there is already an abundance of animals needing good homes. This is just unbelievable to me that the decision makers are such fools as to allow this to happen. What has happened to common sense? So what if Joe Blog down the road does not like the bill, so he will have to get a legitimate job to earn money. Poor thing, fancy having to get a real job. My God, America is MAD. Just do the right thing and protect these animals. Hold your head up high, because you have helped stop this atrocious abuse. All this is insanity. We have to stop all this stupidness.

    Reply

    • Posted by Ruth K on December 12, 2010 at 9:23 am

      One generation and out? If you demand an end to dog breeding (making ‘puppy mills’ illegal), in a very few years you will not be able to legally find a pet or afford the illegally-bred or imported dogs. Is that the future you want for your children and grandchildren?

      Reply

      • Posted by Tom Grady on December 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

        Making puppy mills illegal will in no way end the breeding of dogs. Let’s leave the breeding to the great breeders.
        The great breeders have proven breeding can be done in a humane fashion. What we don’t want are these mass-production puppy mills.
        And above all, we need to push the people who care all about profit and very little about compassion out of the business.
        And of course, with such a terrible problem of homelessness and millions of homeless pets losing their lives each year, we need to promote adoption as the first, best option.
        The future we want for our children is one where compassion is held in the highest regard.

  7. Posted by Ruth K on December 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    In Missouri, if you have over 10 breeding females, you are designated a puppy mill. Most great breeders have more than 10 dogs. Should these great breeders be shut down? After all, they are puppy mills now.
    Very few dog breeders are motivated solely by profit. (If they only care about money, they won’t be in this business long). They hope to make a profit (what sensible business doesn’t?), but raising dogs is not easy money. Work days are seldom, if ever 8 hours. You are always ‘on call’ for your dogs. Many nights are spent attending the birth of new babies or getting up at 2am to care for a tiny one who needs extra attention. Hours are spent educating new puppy buyers, marketing the puppies, overseeing health care, socializing the puppies, filling out endless paperwork, shopping for dog food, vaccines, wormers, collars, and other supplies, taking puppies to vet for health checks, being available for inspections by USDA, MODA, AKC, or any other entity who knocks on your door, writing checks for kennel help, repairs, supplies, advertising, etc., grooming dogs and bathing puppies, taking puppy photos for advertising, and then trying to find time to post on blogs and newspaper articles defending what you do and why you do it! And then, of course, the daily cleaning & scrubbing (hourly for litters of puppies), feeding, watering, making repairs, answering phones, overseeing and recording matings, studying pedigrees for future breedings, and trying to find a moment to tend to your human family, too! You really have to have a deep love and commitment to your dogs to stay in such a demanding business.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tom Grady on December 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      Ruth,
      It is NOT accurate to state having over 10 breeding females means you are a puppy mill in Missouri. The established minimum level in Missouri merely means the breeder falls under the regulations.
      The breeders who meet the standards set forth in the legislation will have no worries. And clearly, the standards are minimums at best.
      Anyone who can’t provide regular exercise, clean food and water, regular vet care and proper housing should not be breeding animals – period. We would not want families housing dogs in conditions less than those established by the Missouri rules. Why should breeders get a pass?

      Reply

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