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GUEST COMMENTARY: Prop B would improve lives of dogs

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | 11:43 a.m. CDT

Coco the boxer was purchased by Sue Campbell of Palatine, Ill., from an Illinois pet store in 2009 when she was 12 weeks old. After several months of treatment for numerous conditions, including severe pneumonia and a high fever, she passed away.

Buddy the golden retriever was purchased from a Maryland pet store in April 2008 by Steve Abramson of Potomac, Md. Buddy was later diagnosed with what the veterinarian called "the worst case of hip dysplasia I have ever seen."

Sadie, a King Charles cavalier spaniel, was purchased from a pet store in North Carolina. Her new mom, Nicole Zarella of Charlotte, N.C., said "I bonded with Sadie right away, and took her home with me. I had to have that cute little dog in the window. I felt like she needed a good home. What I didn't know is that she would end up being sick and dying at the age of 13 months."

Coco, Buddy, and Sadie all had one thing in common: They came from Missouri's puppy mills. All of these dogs, and countless others with equally tragic stories, were bred in the type of massive puppy-production facilities that have earned our state the disgraceful reputation as the puppy mill capital of America.

Proposition B on the November statewide ballot, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, would improve the lives of dogs and help turn around this reputation. Prop B would require all large-scale breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with such basics as sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing, and adequate space and exercise.

Missouri is home to an estimated 3,000 puppy mills, breeding hundreds of thousands of puppies — far more than any other state in the country. Dogs in puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in filthy conditions with no exercise, socialization, or human interaction, and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life. They spend their entire lives churning out litter after litter of puppies, which are then sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers without regard for the puppies' health, genetic history or future welfare.

While the puppies are shipped across the country, the mother and father dogs are left behind, often warehoused in tiny, stacked cages all their lives, sometimes without even enough room to stretch their limbs, exercise or engage in meaningful socialization. Dogs living at puppy mills almost never know the pleasure of a treat, a toy, a bed or even the feeling of grass under their feet.

Current state laws are plainly insufficient to prevent puppy mill abuses. In fact, many Missouri puppy mills have had their federal breeding licenses revoked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, yet continue to operate under a Missouri state-issued license that allows them to sell their puppies directly to the public, typically over the Internet. The Better Business Bureaus of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield recently issued a joint report on the problems consumers face when they purchase dogs from Missouri's puppy mills.

A vote of yes on Prop B is a vote to ensure that dogs in Missouri's mass breeding facilities are treated more humanely. It will prohibit the harmful practices of using stacked cages, which encourages overcrowding, and of using wire flooring, which causes discomfort and often injures the dogs' feet. It will also limit a commercial breeder to 50 adult breeding dogs, eliminating the risk of a breeding facility becoming overcrowded and spiraling out of control. A review of federal and state inspection reports reveals that the biggest facilities are typically the worst offenders.

It's just common sense that dogs should be treated like family pets, not like a cash crop. This November, join Missouri voters who are saying YES! on Prop B to enact a common-sense law that will protect dogs from puppy mill cruelty. For more information, visit YesOnPropB.com.

Barbara Schmitz is the campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B and the Missouri state director for the Humane Society of the United States.


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Comments

FormerAgTeacher September 7, 2010 | 3:02 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
FormerAgTeacher September 7, 2010 | 3:51 p.m.
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John Schultz September 7, 2010 | 10:29 p.m.

And the proof that these three dogs all died because they came from "puppy mills" is documented where exactly?

(Report Comment)
DUANE REYNOLDS September 17, 2010 | 11:21 p.m.

hsus is telling people lies.the dogs they show on tv are from unlicensed kennels but they don't tell you that part!i have always loved dogs and that it why i raise dogs so i can place loving puppies in families homes and i am inspected by state ,usda ,akc and vet through the year and if they tell me i am running a good and clean operation why should the hsus be able to tell me i am wrong ?they need to focus on the unlicensed kennels and let us care for our loving pets instead of worrying about a prop. B that is totally unfair.i spend more time with my dogs then people cause they are getting misled by the HSUS if the people that support them would do some back ground checking they would find they are filling their pockets with the donations and not much goes to the animals,you can see this with all the lawyers they pay for.vote NO on prob. B TO STRENGTHEN MISSOURI!

(Report Comment)
DUANE REYNOLDS September 18, 2010 | 5:54 p.m.

you don't know what you are talking about.i take better care of my dogs then some people take care of their kids. all my pups have two vet checks by the time they are 12 weeks old and if any have any problem i let people know everything about that puppy.i have only had 5 pups in the last 20 years that i had to replace and i think that is darn good! and as far as pneumonia that could be on your end for not caring for the puppy like they need.i tell people to treat a puppy like a new born baby cause they need that much attention.maybe you need to check the place you buy your puppy first and check their references i have some listed on my web site,but you may be from the HSUS if not you need to do a check on them you will find that most of their money they receive goes in their pockets not for the dogs they rescue.why don't people get this concerned for the millions of babies that are killed every year in the U.S.A. from abortions !!!!!

(Report Comment)
Jennifer Peterson September 24, 2010 | 11:28 a.m.

I love seeing how desperate these puppy mill breeders are. After all, they are in the business of animal trafficking and just like pimps, they will say or do anything to protect their only source of income. Tell lies, create fake websites that tout how much they love their animals... ugh... and then they crate their sick pups up and send them cross country, many times not even making it to their destination. Anyone against Prop B does not love animals. They see animals as merchandise, dollar signs, and I have news for all of you people, there is a special place in hell reserved for you so get your bags packed!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 25, 2010 | 3:34 a.m.

Wow Jennifer.
Two whole comments on the subject of Prop B and one assuming that anyone against the HSUS and PETA's effort to infiltrate Missouri through this first attempted legislation and you damn us all to our own special level of Dante's Inferno. All dogs may go to heaven, but I'm certain that I'll be seeing you in one of those circles down below as well...

("Jennifer Peterson's Profile

Comments:
“I love seeing how desperate these puppy mill breeders are. After all, they are in the business of animal trafficking ...”
“About 20% of all dogs in shelters right now are purebred so your argument is pretty weak. Where will people ...”)
http://www.mofed.org/

(Report Comment)
DUANE REYNOLDS September 25, 2010 | 1:14 p.m.

I HAVE HAD DOGS APART OF MY LIFE SINCE I WAS A BABY AND THIS IS WHY I RAISE DOGS.WHO BETTER TO RAISE DOGS THEN SOMEONE WHO LOVES THEM.I HAVE TALKED TO MANY VETS AND THEY ALL SAY THE DOGS ARE IN BETTER SHAPE IF THEY ARE OFF THE GROUND CAUSE THE GROUND HAS ALL THE BUGS AND OTHER PROBLEMS.I HAVE ALL MY DOGS MICRO-CHIPPED AND THEY ARE ALL HAVE A PLACE TO SLEEP AND RUN IN A BUILDING THAT NEVER GETS ABOVE 78 .AND PUPS BORN MUST HAVE A HEAT SOURCE OF 90 TO 95 TO KEEP FROM GETTING CHILLED AND DIE.THIS PROP.B WOULD NOT LET ME DO THIS.IT IS SO MISLEADING BUT SOME PEOPLE DON'T CARE OR CHECK HSUS OUT TO FIND THEY ONLY GIVE ABOUT 1% OF ALL MONEY DONATED FROM PEOPLE GOES TO DOGS THE REST GOES IN THEIR POCKET AND ON LAWYERS TO CAUSE HARM TO ME AND OTHER GOOD BREEDERS TO SHUT US DOWN AND IF WE ARE SHUT DOWN WHO DO YOU THINK WILL RAISE GOOD PUPPIES?YOU WILL BE BUYING PUPPIES FROM THOSE THAT ARE UNLICENSED AND NOT REGULATED BY USDA and AKC OR VETS .IF MY INSPECTIONS ARE GOOD WITH THOSE THEN WHAT GIVES YOU AND HSUS THE RIGHT TO TELL ME I AM NOT A GOOD BREEDER.WHAT IS NEXT HSUS WILL TELL USE WE CAN NO LONGER HAVE FARMS OR RAISE CHICKENS TO PROVIDE FOOD TO THE PUBLIC.GO GET SOME FACTS AND FIND OUT THE TRUTH,BUT SOME JUST PREFER TO BELIEVE A LIE.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 25, 2010 | 2:53 p.m.

@DUANE REYNOLDS:
Thanks for reminding me that good watchdogs can never bark loudly enough.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 15, 2010 | 4:04 p.m.

Jennifer has it right on! You go girl!
You others... so sorry you have bought a load of BS form the so called "Alliance for truth" . If you really are buying into the LIES on the so called "Alliance for Truth" site which really should be called "Alliance for LIES"... then you really need to do some more research!
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I'LL TAKE MY FACTS FROM:
www.maal.org
www.hsmo.org
www.bbb.org (Even the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAUS SAYS WE NEED REFORM)

I'm a conservative,female, business owner & I run an ETHICAL business...I could CARE LESS if puppy mills shut down! I don't want that kind of money in Missouri & if you are so desperate for money that your willing to torture dogs for it.... then there is a special place in the afterlife waiting for you where it is REALLY HOT & NASTY! (You got it right, Jennifer!:)
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MISSOURIANS.... WE LIVE IN THE SHOW ME STATE.... HOW ABOUT SHOWING SOME COMPASSION!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
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STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 15, 2010 | 8:29 p.m.

Shane: Read this and tell me what you think:
http://saova.org/MissouriBallot.html

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 16, 2010 | 3:05 p.m.

Ray.... I will give you a blow by blow of what I think about your link tommorrow. I'm at work right now & can't type that much that fast! But i have a rebuttal for each & every point. Actually, I might post it online on as a static page so i can send a link for it!
_____________________________
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The opposition here to Prop B is just spouting off a bunch of SCARE TACTICS from people with vested money interests in skimping as much as possible to make a buck.
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Prop B calls for the following:
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Shall Missouri law be amended to:
•require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;

•prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and

•create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?
_____________________________

GOOD breeders shouldn't have any issue with Prop B. It's just the ones that don't want to treat their dogs well & skimp on them that do. I'm sorry, but as a breeder if you can't do these simple things, then IMO You are a puppy miller! And i could Care Less what you think!

MISSOURIANS.... WE LIVE IN THE SHOW ME STATE....
HOW ABOUT SHOWING SOME COMPASSION!
.
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!

STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!
.
STOP PUPPY MILL CRUELTY
VOTE YES ON PROP B!

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 17, 2010 | 2:55 p.m.

HEY.... RAY! You asked for it... here it is!
(I created a BLOG just to post this rebuttal online for you!:)
It's over 11,000 characters, so I can't copy & paste it in one post!
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Here's the link to my rebuttal:
http://marinashanelewis.wordpress.com/i-...
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VOTE YES! PROP B
Stop Puppy Mill Cruelty!

(Report Comment)

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