Another error-filled editorial on Missouri’s Prop B

I can’t help it, my Pack e-mail news wire keeps sending me articles and editorials about Prop B in Missouri, the upcoming anti-puppy mill ballot measure. And I keep feeling compelled to respond to the misinformation being spread from the other side.

This time, its a column posted on the Quincy Herald Whig website. The only indication, however, that this is a column is in the web address window of my browser. The site doesn’t indicate anywhere that it is column and doesn’t show the columnist’s name on screen.

Note to all newspaper websites – Your web manager needs to make sure the author of an article, column or editorial is displayed on the page, along with some indication for an editorial, letter to the editor, staff columnist or guest column. I too often see totally unlabeled pieces such as this on newspaper websites. I don’t get it.

But that’s not the main point.

The column contains so much misinformation, I don’t know where to start.

A – “Otherwise, a lot of folks will suffer from unnecessary laws that will do nothing more than harm their way of life,” Rep. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown was quoted as saying.

Me (Can’t believe I need to keep doing this) – So setting minimum standards of care, housing and exercise time – covering the basic needs of any pet – will “harm” the “way of life” for “a lot of folks?” How? That’s just a throw-away line with no basis in fact. And what about the harm to the dogs and cats housed in mills, who live 24/7 in tiny and filthy cages.

B – “” The new, small-scale operations are the ones that tend to operate below the radar. That’s also where many of the horror stories about malnourished and abused animals originate. “”

Me – For one thing, the writer just slammed the small-scale breeders as being a big part of the problem. I thought those opposing anti-puppy mill legislation – and this columnist included – don’t like breeders pigeon-holed into being puppy mill operators? He slipped up big with that statement.

Plus – many of the raids I seen reported on have been at large-scale breeding operations.

C – “” Elevated cage floors give dogs a chance to relieve themselves in areas where the wastes go through the flooring. This keeps dogs from having to walk or lie in the wastes. “”

Me – How about taking the dogs out regularly for bathroom breaks so they are not sitting in their waste? And by the way, the cage floors don’t allow for the larger pieces of solid waste to drop through. That’s why even during raids on the puppy mill kennels with wire flooring, dogs are found with feces-matted fur. And the cage bottoms with wider grating would be harder on the dogs’ feet.

D – “” Missouri law already prescribes penalties for people who abuse dogs. On another level, there are scores of inspectors who go through dog breeders’ facilities and check on animals. “”

Me – Really? Scores of inspectors go through dog breeders’ facilities and check on animals? If that is the case then the system really is broken because not enough is being done to shut down the mills. This quote from the columnist only proves Missouri needs stronger legislation, so that these inspectors can either start removing dogs or will be forced to act when they find inhumane conditions.

And finally, E – “” Proposition B will not eliminate those who set out to operate illegally. It will only hurt those who play by the rules. “”

Me – The other side keeps tossing this out – and again, it has no basis in reality. Nearly all of our criminal laws in this country were developed as a result of activity we deem, as a society, to be wrong.

These laws include bank robbery, child abuse, assault, DUI, kidnapping, rape, and on and on … including anti-animal cruelty legislation such as Prop B in Missouri. The standards in the text are reasonable at best and are actually compromises to set minimum standards.

No one can reasonably say these standards will hurt “those who play by the rules” – no more than they could in suggesting people that those who play by rules are hurt by laws against these other crimes. People who play by the rules are doing the right thing. Prop B is designed to stop those who are not caring for their dogs and who are not playing by the rules.

Why is this so hard for the other side? Oh yeah – they’ve got nothing else to argue with.


3 responses to this post.

  1. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I’ve read on Proposition b. The only thing I can figure is most of these people think Missourians are really stupid.

    Thanks for trying to set the record straight.


  2. Posted by Jessica on October 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    So I guess you have read the current 23 page law to the ONE page proposition and compaired the two???? HSUS failed to get it through the Missouri legislature, so they used an emotionally manipulative proposition campaign of PUPPY MILL CRUELTY. This bill doesnt even address cruel or inhumane treatment of dogs, no, it address the right of americans to have a business in breeding domestic animals. I would suggest you read the current 23 page law to the 1 page proposition. How do you go from 23 pages of regulations and guidelines to ONE page and it be a positive change for the care of animals????$File/Prop%20B%20vs%20%20ACFA.docx


    • Posted by Tom Grady on October 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      It is my understanding that Prob B would add to existing law and not replace it. Many of the provisions of Missouri’s Animal Care Facilities Act do not relate specifically to breeding, so Prop B is NOT eliminating the entire statute down to one page.
      The reason some people oppose Prop B is because it adds some provisions that are not covered in the existing state statutes.
      The reason some people support Prop B is because it adds some provisions that are not covered in the existing state statutes.
      Prop B does address the cruel treatment of dogs – as it relates to facilities that do not provide proper care and exercise. The point of the proposals is to address these areas of cruelty.
      Providing specific regulations on larger cage sizes, better flooring, exercise, proper vet care and clean food and water is positive change for the better.
      Dogs should not live caged to be nothing more than breeding machines. We’d never cage the pets in our families 24/7 and not provide regular veterinary care. Why should breeding dogs live this way?


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