Puppy mill stories out of Missouri, Oklahoma and Oregon

I found three stories today relating to puppy mills and new legislation, out of Missouri, Oregon and Oklahoma.

First – from the Palm Beach Post, noting Missouri’s status as the puppy-mill capital state.

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This year, high-powered animal activists, including the Humane Societies of the United States and Missouri, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Missouri Alliance, got behind Proposition B, a ballot initiative replete with strict provisions on breeding practices.

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“Replete with strict provisions?” – No, not in reality. The regulations offer minimum standards for basic care of breeding dogs. So the story goes somewhat off track there.

Dr. Scott Fray, the chairman of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association board is quoted in the article in referencing the provision that allows breeding dogs access to the outdoors.

“The law says constant and unfettered access. Well, does that mean on a day when it’s 20 below I can’t shut the door on a greyhound mother with new puppies?”

Dr. Fray, you cannot be serious. You either don’t get it to a level unseen in the veterinary medical profession or you’re playing the readers for fools. I’ll answer your question. No – unfettered access does not mean inspectors or the people who crafted the legislation want mothers and newborn puppies outside when it’s 20 below.

And this is a leader of the MVA who is trying to sway people away from supporting the new regulations? This is the sort of arguments they’re using to get the legislation overturned? People with a minimal level of understanding of logic won’t have any trouble understanding how stupid that argument is.

Then we have the story posted on OregonLive.com. The state’s Puppy Protection Act went into effect earlier this year and in some cases, dogs are being dropped off by breeders at local shelters.

In reporting on one case, the article reports –

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Humane Society volunteers will spend the next three days grooming, spaying and neutering the dogs, and caring for those with medical issues.
Some of the dogs have severe tooth decay from the unclean conditions in the pens. Others have foot tumors from standing on wire grates. Some female dogs have abdominal tumors from years of repeated pregnancies.

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The new law is working and we see an example here of the kind of breeders the regulations are designed to close down.

But I’m troubled by the following –

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Linda Fielder, the Humane Society’s investigations manager, said the breeder won’t face criminal charges, because she cooperated with authorities and an inspection of her property revealed no illegal activity.
“None of these dogs were in criminal shape, but you probably would notice these things in your own dog,” Fielder said.

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Excuse me? Severe tooth decay from the unclean conditions in the pens, foot tumors from standing on wire grates and abdominal tumors from years of repeated pregnancies is not criminal? I’d say all that is pretty criminal. Wouldn’t you?

And then we go back to Oklahoma, where NewsOK.com reports on another breeder turning over dogs in the wake of new regulations going into effect next year.

The article quotes a veterinarian caring for one puppy mill dog –

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“Every time you touch him, he just jumps. He’s just never been loved on.”

Bryar, a 5-year-old Yorkie, was one of about 120 puppy mill dogs recently turned over to state rescue groups.

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Again, the new regulations at work. Those who can’t meet these minimal regulations will hopefully get out of the “business.”
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