Compassion should be ranked above profit

Let’s start with the following in discussing yet again the ant-puppy mill ballot measure (Prop B) in Missouri. – There are great breeders all across the country who treat their dogs with compassion and allow the breeding dogs time outside in play yards – and who offer them regularly veterinary care and quality food and clean water.

I’ve visited facilities where this is happening. If these breeders can do it, others can too and these standards are the ultimate mission of anti-puppy mill legislation in Missouri and in other states.

The good breeders are no less concerned with making a living off their chosen profession. But they place compassion above profit margins. And guess what? – it works. When we read through the regulations being proposed in various states (and hopefully more will join in), we see that the good breeders are already there or beyond.

The people screaming opposition to the new regulations must have a problem. They are speaking for breeding operations that do not meet these VERY reasonable new regulations. Most people would steer clear of a restaurant where the owner publicly expressed opposition to having restaurant grades and inspections.

And some breeders have been arguing against new laws by noting they are inspected by the AKC. I’ll go back to the restaurant example. Would we feel safer under a system where eateries were inspected by independent local board of health inspectors or by inspectors from an association that the restaurant belong to?

I’ll take the inspections by an agency with no connections or financial exchange with the restaurant. The AKC has a vested interest in making sure the kennels keep producing puppies on a regular basis.

In a story posted on, we see the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association opposes Proposition B in Missouri.

The piece includes this quote from MVMA – “” “The ballot being proposed for this November would completely outlaw our state’s well-run and licensed facilities that have over 50 breeding dogs. This is unfair and misguided. These are operated properly under the guidance of extensive current regulations in order to provide families with pets to love and cherish. Cases of neglect and bad conditions have come mainly from unlicensed breeders who are not overseen by state inspection. “”

For one thing, Prop B would go after any breeder meeting the guideline numbers – licensed or unlicensed. In addition, I’ve questioned in the past opposition such as this from veterinary associations. Maybe I’m being too harsh but I’ve felt in some cases it’s been more about wanting more “customers” than it is about the dogs. And when I read a quote that includes support for mass-production facilities, so that more puppies can be provided to families, I can’t help reading between the lines.

And I think the recent USDA report on violations at commercial breeding operations proves the MVMA wrong on the last point. Check this report from, where “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen” puppy mills all carried either a USDA or state license or both.

Some of the comments under the BolivarMoNews story are classics as well. Like the vet who says the new regulations to allow exercise and regular vet care will “endanger the lives of adult dogs and their puppies.” Got news for you – saving dogs from cruelty and eventually from being killed or discarded because they are no longer ‘valuable’ to the mills will certainly save lives, most notably in the long-term.

This is the same crappy and warped argument used by the greyhound racing industry. – “Let us keep killing dogs by the thousands each year because if you ban greyhound racing we say dogs will die because we won’t take responsiblity for finding them homes.”

On other side – the side of compassion for animals – thank goodness we have great people like Deanna Tolliver, DVM who are terrific representatives of the veterinary field. Tolliver submitted a write-up for a post on

Tolliver listed some of the entities supporting Prob B –

“” Prop B has garnered mainstream support from the Humane Society of Missouri, Central Missouri Humane Society, Southwest Missouri Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society and The Humane Society of the United States. In addition, a number of veterinarians and veterinary clinics, responsible dog breeders, religious leaders and many Missouri businesses have endorsed Prop B in order to ensure more humane treatment of commercially kenneled dogs. “”

That’s an impressive list in support of this measure.

She also noted Prop B in Missouri will ban the use of wire kennel flooring and stacked cages. This would be another great move to make life better for breeding dogs.

And then there is the letter to the editor of the Columbia Missourian, submitted by C.B. Chastine, Ph.d., a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and a professor at MU.


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