J. KARL MILLER: Tasers and breeding laws aren't broken, so no need to try and fix them

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | 12:58 p.m. CDT; updated 5:39 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2010

COLUMBIA — On Nov. 2, we return to the polls to vote for candidates for representing the party of our choice in the August primary along with a number of judges, amendments and propositions that we may vote on. In the debate over voting as a right or a privilege, Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, stated it best: "Voting is a right, but it is also a privilege. Not everyone in the United States may vote. As a general matter, only those who have reached a certain age, are mentally competent, and are American citizens, are allowed to vote."

By any standard, however, voting is a serious responsibility, which demands that the prospective voter understand the issues and candidates alike. While it is axiomatic that one should arm oneself with the readily available information and exercise that obligation to cast an informed vote, those who choose to remain uninformed or who vote purely by emotion would better serve the electorate by staying home.

As in past election campaigns, I do not presume to endorse individual candidates or political parties. That function I leave to the individual (who is best qualified) or to the editors, syndicated columnists, bloggers and other pundits that profess to know what is best for all of us. Nevertheless, there are two issues on this ballot which beg edifying remarks.

The first is the City of Columbia's Proposition 2, the anti-Taser issue placed on the ballot by the People for a Taser-Free Columbia. It is an initiative one might expect to find in the judgment-challenged air of San Francisco or Berkeley, Calif., rather than here in the more lucid confines of flyover country. The notion that the police can be trusted with firearms such as pistols and shotguns but are forbidden to carry the less-than-lethal Taser gives new meaning to absurdity.

Is it not reasonable to assume, given a choice, a police officer can protect the public or himself with less loss of life or permanent injury by employing the Taser instead of the standard sidearm or shotgun? An officer's options must include something other than that of deadly force. Even the most intellectually challenged must agree the police-issued service weapon is far more lethal than the Taser.

It stands to reason that the individual officer's personal safety is enhanced by being so armed. In the course of duty, the officer is subject to attack by an adversary under the influence of drugs or alcohol and armed with a knife or other instrument designed to inflict grievous bodily harm. Only the seriously judgment-impaired could opt to limit officers to nightsticks, pepper spray or the ubiquitous whistle in lieu of the Taser.

Finally, to that perhaps 1 percent of residents to whom the Taser incites fear, here is an unfailing recipe to evade its consequences. Avoid the alcohol-, drug- or insipid-personality-induced idiotic or menacing public behavior that marks you as a danger to good order. If and when you are told to do something by a police officer — do it.

The second is Proposition B, the "Puppy Mill" ballot initiative, or "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act."  This movement is the brainchild of the Humane Society of the United States, supported by extremist animal protection groups. Among the activities raising a red flag over the propriety of this campaign are that a non-Missouri organization (HSUS) paid volunteers to gather signatures and that less than 3 percent, $73,000 of $2.38 million, of the Missourians for the Protection of Dogs campaign's contributions was raised in-state.

When one looks at facts, unclouded by emotion, one finds Missouri among the first states to enact strict dog kennel laws and that the Missouri Department of Agriculture is aggressively focused against unlicensed kennels. Accordingly, the passage of Proposition B could close or materially harm Missouri's properly inspected, licensed and operated kennels, while doing nothing to find and shut down unlawful kennel operations.

These out-of-state bankrolled and unsolicited activists are bent on overregulating Missouri's dog breeding enterprise by appealing to an uninformed and emotional electorate beneath a cloak of puppy-loving righteousness. After all, everyone save the legendary W. C. Fields adores dogs — who would not come to their rescue if a need is established?

HSUS has made no secret of its intent to diminish factory farming and end sport hunting. Its president, Wayne Pacelle, was quoted 14 years ago (before becoming president of the HSUS) as saying: "We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creatures of human selective breeding." Pacelle states that this quote was taken out of context. A yes vote on Proposition B lets this camel's nose under the tent.

Both Missouri Proposition B and Proposition 2 propose fixes for issues that are far from "broke."  A "no" vote on each is recommended.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at

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Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 1:25 p.m.

Based on the wording of both Propositions, voting No is the only intelligent way to go.
Both propositions are poor answers reacting from some very legitimate concerns.
Both propositions have some very serious pitfalls, far worse than the concerns they are trying to address.
In both cases, we need better written Propositions.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 1:51 p.m.

It's fascinating that those who are against Proposition B say we shouldn't make an emotional decision, are typical the same ones who spread fear and doubt about the Proposition in their next breath.

According to Mr. Miller, Proposition B isn't about Missouri, it's about extremist animal organizations with agendas, swooping into our state in order to do their evil deeds. All that's missing to make this complete for Halloween is a canned audio segment of the author going, "Bwahahaha!"

The author focuses on the HSUS, and completely disregards the state specific rescue organizations that are also behind Proposition B. He ignores the large number of veterinarians behind the act, the churches, the business, and the people.

Are they also part of the extremist animal cabal? Huh, I've never been part of an evil cabal before. Do I get a secret decoder ring? Maybe a bumper sticker?

And how dispassionate of Mr. Miller to dredge up a 14 year old quote-out-of-context in order to prove his totally unbiased and well founded concerns. You know a person has dug _hard_ when they have to go back 14 years for a quote.

I would like to be unemotional about this bill...except I just spent time reading 1201 USDA inspection reports of the legitimate commercial dog breeders in this state. It's hard to be unemotional when you read about chihuahuas forced to live in kennels less than 6 inches tall, or starving dogs desperately trying to reach a piece of food just out of reach, or those dogs too sick to even pull themselves to their feet.

All of which were found at commercial breeders still in business, and still licensed.

Of course, we couldn't hope a dispassionate, well-informed gentleman such as Mr. Miller actually spent time reading USDA inspection reports for the commercial breeders who he believes reside on the side of angels.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 2:27 p.m.

So, Shelley P, your answer to all this is to get behind a poorly written Proposition which will create havoc?

Better you should stick to pretty pictures and tech writing then this misguided lefty prog mission you're on.

You'd fit right in with Columbia's Cafe Berlin crowd and the Taser-Free Coaltion. They have good intentions at heart also, but also fail to see the bigger picture and the consequences of their aspirations for legal/political ventures.
Would you vote to ban Tasers from LE and the public?
How do you feel about people's rights to own guns?
How do you feel about supporting the efforts of the likes of Senior United States Senator Mary Landrieu?
Lefty Progs have weakened the Dem Party.
The party should purge the likes of you.
You claim that Missouri deserves this proposition. That's one hell of a way to punish the Department of Agriculture for doing the best they can do.
Advocate for better enforcement of the laws already on the books.
Why destroy Missouri's economy?
Oh. yea. It's about Animal Rights.
What about the Rights of Men and Women and their livelihood.
Maybe we should ban computers too. They make me suffer everyday. And if you don't care about my suffering, my cat hates my keyboard. Do it for my cat. (Although she does seem to like my mouse.)

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 2:44 p.m.

Ray, thanks for the compliment on the photos. I'm still trying to work through the rest of your comment, as you jumped about a bit.

The party should purge the likes of me? That's kind of a silly thing to say, don't you think? Last I heard, this isn't a Democrat/Republican decision, this is a non-partisan bill.

I don't know if the Depart of Agriculture has done a good job or not. I have a request into the department for copies of breeder inspections via the Sunshine laws, but I haven't received any reports. I don't know, for instance, how many of the USDA licensed breeders are also Missouri state licensed breeders.

As for the USDA inspection reports, the inspectors followed the law. Unfortunately, the law is inadequate.

(Report Comment)
Zach Pyrite October 13, 2010 | 2:55 p.m.

Shelly, the Missouri Veterinary Association does not support Prop B. If the organizational body of Vets in MO does not support it does that not say something? In fact, they even do not approve of the HSUS or its methods. Go fig.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 3:08 p.m.

("Shelley Powers said:
I don't know if the Depart of Agriculture has done a good job or not.")

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 3:29 p.m.

("Kara says:
...I would like to know where this mystery fund is the H$U$ has set up for these dogs? Also, the shelters and rescues are all whining that one of the reasons we need Prop B is because they are so full and can't take anymore dogs and they are all dying.... but yet, miraculously, they are going to find the room for 140,000 more dogs? They are just going to sacrifice a little more and somehow make it happen. Never mind the $300-500 dollar adoption fees they charge for purebreds on, that's just to cover costs,ahh right!

I am pretty sure that the breeders in this state, are not going to hand over their dogs to the ones trying to put them out of business, doesn't make sense to line their pockets at the expense of ours.

Maybe the breeders can all start up not-for-profit rescues and adopt out their own dogs? It can't be that hard, every Tom, Dick and Harry are doing it.

Our little article writer, besides being ignorant of the Props wording, also can't read very well. If she could, she would know that the other 140,000 dogs referred to were dis-placed breeders dogs, not the "140,000 non-breeding dogs in the state." that she claims will all still have homes.

And Shelley, I don't know about Communism, but that isn't anymore absurd than comparing dog breeders to slave traders, nazis, drug pushers and pimps.
source and more:

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 3:33 p.m.

Zach, the Missouri Veterinarian Medical Association hides it's Proposition B views behind an innocuous sounding title on its front page. Frankly, I believe this announcement does not have universal agreement among veterinarians of the association. We certainly don't see any indication of agreement from membership.

Speaking of which, 143 and counting veterinarians and clinics have come out in favor of Proposition B, as compared to 20 not in support (when you remove duplicates from the list, and also remove the health care management company).

It's also endorsed by over 100 animal welfare organizations, though Mr. Miller would probably classify all of these as "extremist animal groups".

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 3:47 p.m.

I am a Missouri veterinarian and I specialize in kennel medicine along with my assoc. Dr. Debra Mayes. We work for some of the cleanest and best managed kennels in Missouri. These are family businesses. Husband, wife and children. This is their sole income.They are computerized, have automated feeding and watering systems. They are on a strict veterinary health program with us. We inspect along with fed, state and AKC inspectors. We make weekly kennel visits to check the health of adults and puppies. Our clients spend thousands of dollars to upgrade and maintain their kennels.One family just built a new facility and borrowed the money to do it. Part of the whelping facility was built directly onto their home. PROP B will bankrupt them. None of our kennels can feasibly make the changes. The changes recommended by HSUS are dangerous to dogs and pups. I called HSUS to ask for their data and to see the kennel that they built. No one would talk to me. Prop B does not apply to HSUS, shelters or rescues. Why? I've seen more filthy rescues, shelters than any kennel that I've been in. I worked for a rescue near Columbia and fired them as clients when I learned that they "crated" large breed dogs all day while they went to work which in turn causes chronic lameness in the dogs. HSUS is intentionally targeting our licensed breeders.It does nothing to go after the unlicensed true puppy mill. Dr. Mayes and I have both been involved in shutting down bad kennels. We do it along with USDA inspectors. The 50 dog limit will force kennels to kill their dogs. Several thousand dogs are affected by this. Shelters cannot possibly accomodate PROP B. Next up will be the farmers. Look at HSUS track record in other states. Please stop donating to tv activists groups. Donate supplies, food and your time to the Central Humane Shelter in Columbia or donate your money to The College of Veterinary Medicine. The big powerful activist groups are not sharing their millions with spay/neuter. They have an agenda to stop all animal breeding and to stop meat consumption. Your Missouri Veterinary Medical Assoc. , Farm Bureau and The American Kennel Club have condemned this prop. B. It will kills dogs, ruin families and ultimately they will come after you as an individual. It won't stop here folks. They are egg suckin dogs. You can't break an egg suckin dog.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 3:55 p.m.

("HSUS Agenda on Par with that of PETA
By Patty Khuly, VMD")
("Comments On - HSUS Agenda on Par with that of PETA:
As veterinarians we need to be able to provide safe food for our consumers and provide service that supports the human animal bond. We need to be careful who we support. The HSUS has been put into place to look like a good group, but obviously had another agenda")

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 4:07 p.m.

jim foster, 50 female dogs that can breed twice in 18 months results in a lot of puppies. Exactly how much money does that family need to get by, because if they do a good job, this is more than most people in this state make in a year.

As for your computer driven wonderful facility, seriously how many? Most of the reports I've read the facilities are chicken wire, plastic bowls, and way too many with dogs left outdoors in 20 degree weather without any bedding.

Your a veterinarian and you condone this. Frankly, you really wouldn't want to hear my opinion of you.

And Ray, how many times do I have to say it? This isn't about the HSUS: this is a Missouri bill, voted on by Missourians, and having to do with dogs in Missouri.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 4:10 p.m.

"They are egg suckin dogs. You can't break an egg suckin dog."

Wow, how really profound. And such a good argument against Proposition B, too. Mr. Miller would approve I'm sure. It's so unemotional.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 4:13 p.m.

Last response to jim foster -- there's no reason at all any dog needs to be killed by breeders because of this bill. That you would even say they would says a lot more about these breeders than anything else you've said.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 4:40 p.m.

("...this is a Missouri bill, voted on by Missourians...")
Which Missourians is that?

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 5:25 p.m.

I believe the program is called Kennel Care. Several of the licensed legitimate kennels in Missouri utilize it. We go to our kennels and routinely do dentals either every 6 months or once yearly. You are so used to listening to the lies of the animal rights groups that you have condemned every dog breeder in the state. You don't have the right to tell someone how many they can own. Will you tell our cattle farmers or hog farmers how many they can own? What if an extremist group hated Japan and tried to run a prop through to limit Joe Machens Toyota to selling only 50 Tacoma Trucks? Where is this model kennel that Barbara Schmitz knows is better for the kennel dogs? The data? If we tried this kind of thing we would have to do a study, hire engineers, economists, etc... Allow a pregnant bitch free access? What nut would do that? She walks out and drops a pup in zero degree pen? Solid surface that she urinates on and the pups walk around in it? We suggested tender foot like what we use in our own boarding kennel. This is used by the swine industry. Hard, strong, warm and the urine/feces falls through. Oh no!!!Absolutely not HSUS said. They have created a model to run out all kennels. Why is HSUS, shelters, and rescues included? We know why! Over 30,000 dogs will be displaced. Central Humane just came out and they can't decide because they know exactly what is going to happen. This will drive puppy prices sky high. The real mills that are unlicensed will prosper and expand in this state. No licensed kennels means no fees paid into the state. Result? The inspectors will be let go. They already had to consolidate this year due to short funds. The situation will be a disaster. People will go out of state and outside the U.S. to buy. It is already happening. Bad pups? Diseases? You ain't seen nothin yet.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 5:39 p.m.

Anita Andrews of The Alliance for Truth confronted Barbara Schmitz on air in St. Louis about Prop B.
Barbara evaded the question about why HSUS, shelters, and rescues were not going to be included under Prop B. After the debate, the hosts ripped Ms. Schmitz on her obvious evasion of the question.
For those of you who would like to listen:
click on the date 10-11-10 hr2 when it is done click 10-11-10 hr 3. This should educate everyone on what HSUS is really all about. This is the Show Me State! We had a room full of people when we played it. Some we really undecided until they heard the broadcast.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 6:07 p.m.

I also write a column for our local newspaper The Shelbina Weekly. I have written an article detailing my opposition to Proposition B. If you would like a copy. Send your email address to:
I will gladly forward a copy and I encourage anyone to send it to all your friends and family prior to this election. It is the real story of kennels from a veterinarian point of view and not a radical activist.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 6:30 p.m.

I have a family up here that vowed to not be put in the crappy kennel class. What did they do? They went out and borrowed $150,000 and built a state of the art kennel. The 50 dog rule puts them in bankruptcy. They both work full time in the kennel and hire extra employees from town. Unlike most city folks, we know how to work out here in rural Missouri. Labor and not lay on our cans. These folks live with their dogs.This couple built a whelping center on the back of their home. Prop B is crap! Communist! Unconstitutional!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 7:31 p.m.

Ray, yup, that's about I feel every time I get into a discussion with all of you who think it is perfectly acceptable to condemn dogs to a life of hell. I'd repeat it in these comments if I didn't think it would trigger comment censoring.

jim foster, you are a vet, right? Last I heard, dogs nest when they're about to give birth. In fact, they seek out a safe, secluded space in which to give birth. They also don't urinate in their nesting area. You know, dogs have been doing this for a long time, and most haven't been kept in small wire cages for all of their lives.

As for a good kennel, following is a video of a supposed blue ribbon kennel. Computerized, clean, and absolutely soulless.

The dogs are handled a few times a year, if that. They get water a few drops at a time by licking a round metal ball. They live their lives in these cages, bred as often as possible. They never have a chance to play, to run in the grass, to run at all. No pats on the head, no kind words, no joy.

And you as a vet think this is OK?

"Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence."

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 8:16 p.m.

You evidently have no experience with dogs. Dogs and cats have a habit of wanting to move their young. Sometimes dogs become nervous and disoriented. An open door policy is a prescription for disaster. I am all for tender foot. Wonderful product and I haven't talked to anyone that wouldn't got for it. Solid surface? dog walks around in its own urine and feces? We followed HSUS down the primrose path of equine. Wrecked the industry and now we have starving horses all over the country. Want to know how many dead ones we looked at last winter? Lets look at all the city hoarders. All you city folk that leave your animals either crated or locked up while you are gone all day. All of your dogs doped up on Clomicalm. Your dogs that are fed off the table and are fat tubs of crap. Have I ever had a kennel dog with diabetes? NO! Rotten teeth? Look at the individuals. The kennel dogs here get groomed 3x year. Ask my groomer about the messes with the individual owner dogs that come in every 18 months. When you eliminate the licensed kennel, you will eliminate more inspectors. The licensed kennels pay into the state. Do the math. The illegal mills will spread. I have been in on closing kennels. We know there bad eggs. Please don't ruin it for everyone is all we are asking. There are some really good folks out here doing well by there animals. We estimate 30,000 dogs will be displaced. Our USDA inspector said the majority will be killed.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock October 13, 2010 | 8:20 p.m.

ShellyP if prop b is so Good why is HSUS exempt?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 13, 2010 | 8:50 p.m.

Allan Sharrock

Think for a moment: what organizations take in the dogs rescued from the puppy mills? Who else will take in the dogs?

Because they do, they'll have over 50 dogs. There isn't a shelter in this state that wouldn't love to have less than 50 dogs, but if they don't take the dogs, who else will take them in?

Seriously, who else? Who else takes in the dogs rescued by the backyard breeders, as well as the crappy licensed breeders? Who takes in the owner abandons? Or the lost dogs, or the dogs no one else wants?

Who do you think cleans up the mess these commercial breeders leave? Can't you get it? That's why the organizations in this state support Proposition B? They're tired of cleaning up the mess the commercial breeders leave.

I can't stand the comments in this publication any more. I can't. I'll spend my time writing in my on space, and leave this publication to you all.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 8:53 p.m.

Everyone needs to call 573-263-9226 and ask for Barbara Schmitz
See if anyone will even answer your call at HSUS
I've tried for days.
I want to see the kennel that they based all this on and the medical records and production records from this facility. I find it interesting that the attitude is "all kennels are bad." If I want to change the sizes and standard for nursing home rooms, can I get enough signatures and run a Proposition?

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance October 13, 2010 | 9:16 p.m.

Why is HSUS exempt? Okay, It is sad that I have to spell this out for what I think are educated people. here goes?

1) Commercial Breeders sell puppies for profit
2) HSUS is a non profit organization that shelters lost, unwanted, and abused pets.
There is a difference between profiting off the suffering of animals and trying to manage an overcrowded shelter.

The HSUS is just a straw-man that opponents are using. They won't answer your key points Ms. Powers. Ashame. Anyway I would ignore Ray and his ilk. They are afraid that this will be a wedge issue to get the "libs" out to vote and will use an army of straw-men to distract.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 9:23 p.m.

Shelley Powers relinquishes:
("I can't stand the comments in this publication any more. I can't. I'll spend my time writing in my on space, and leave this publication to you all.")

Well, Shelley, you're more than welcome to come back tomorrow. We'll be here...waiting. Or you can ask Barbara Schmitz to grace us with her presence. Or send over an H$U$ shill, if we're too much for you.
Just remember. From the get-go, you accused me of being a puppy miller. And then you accused me of posting my anti-Proposition B rationale all over Missouri.
I hope you've seen the light.
If you really want to help ease the suffering of dogs, work with real animal care professionals, not just your lefty liberal network friends.
Then, come up with a better Proposition. One that can't be traced to H$U$.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 13, 2010 | 9:30 p.m.

I'm a Democrat. Please don't make it a partisan one sided issue. Did some research. I read where Doris Day, one of my all time favorites, is a Republican and she gave a heap of dough to G.W. Bush. I truly love Doris. Have since I was a kid. I still do. I think she has been taken advantage of in her lonely days. She has a long history of men doing this to her and I suspect the activists have their hooks in her. Heck no one sees her in her reclusiveness. Is she even still living or have the activist kept her corpse in her home to draw on her fame and social security check. Who knows? "Que Sera Sera"

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 13, 2010 | 10:01 p.m.

@jim foster:
I'm a registered Dem as well.
I do think that this Proposition reeks of a big government, lefty progressive anti-business agenda.
You have several other political affiliations on this subject, who are regular posters as well.
One of the first-time posters, a "dog stylist" came on this comment section spouting that politics had nothing to do with this proposition. She too accused me that this Proposition was not political. Anytime there's government legislation being proposed, there's politics in play.
I'll ease up a little though, being that you asked.
Whatever will be, will be.
(She was both pretty AND rich, wasn't she?)

(Report Comment)
Kara Crass October 13, 2010 | 11:04 p.m.

Tim Dance said:
"Why is HSUS exempt? Okay, It is sad that I have to spell this out for what I think are educated people. here goes?

1) Commercial Breeders sell puppies for profit
2) HSUS is a non profit organization that shelters lost, unwanted, and abused pets.
There is a difference between profiting off the suffering of animals and trying to manage an overcrowded shelter."

Oh my Tim, you really don't know much about this do you?

Actually, the HSUS have nothing to do with the actual animals. In fact, less then 1/2 of 1% of all their millions even goes towards helping dogs. I think who you are trying to refer to here, are the local humane societies and shelters.

So what you are saying is that
1. Someone that makes money at their business is bad and should be stopped from making a living?
And 2. That humane societies and shelters don't have to be humane to their animals because they are non-profit?

Makes perfect sense to me, I'm glad you clarified!

Why should shelter dogs not have all the humane treatment of a breeder's dogs, heck maybe more so, since they have had such hard lives? I think it's cruel to not give them all the "basic humane care" that Proposition B promises. Why wouldn't any shelter or rescue, step up to the plate and volunteer to do the right thing. I think it's a shame that you will still be able to go to your local shelter and see all those poor dogs crammed into stack cages with no food or water, but hey, if that's how the HSUS wants it, so be it!

I have seen people write that it's because shelters are "temporary" housing for dogs. So, they don't deserve humane care even 'temporarily'? I hope to goodness the HSUS is never given control of the foster care system for children, Yikes!


(Report Comment)
Tim Dance October 13, 2010 | 11:39 p.m.

No, its bad to profit off the suffering. Again it is a rather pathetic that you are attacking the Humane society. A strawman to beat up.

Folks, these rather misguided people are trying to make you think that a overcrowded shelter who house the very puppies some breeders mistreat to a business that maximizing profit by providing substandard care to the puppies they raise. The HSUS is a red herring. If these pathetic responses doesn't convince you that these businesses need to be regulated, I don't know what will.

(Report Comment)
Kara Crass October 13, 2010 | 11:45 p.m.

Shelley, Shelley, Shelley, you really should take the time to read up and learn the current laws, before you try passing new ones.

First, anyone that has over 3 female dogs is required to be licensed in the state of Missouri. So anyone with a USDA license, has to have a state license first.

Second,and I will quote you here, "It's hard to be unemotional when you read about chihuahuas forced to live in kennels less than 6 inches tall, or starving dogs desperately trying to reach a piece of food just out of reach..."
A Chihuahua in a pen less than 6 inches tall, GIVE ME A BREAK!! I imagine what the breeder got wrote up for was 'less than 6 inches of headroom', not a 6 inch pen! Which means that the dog had less than 6 inches of open space above it's head. It could have been a 15 inch dog for all we know and had 5 inches of space above it's head, which would make it a 20 inch pen.
And the other one is just emotional drival that you have concocted, because I guarantee you no inspector wrote that. I don't know what the write up would have been, but I could probably decifer it correctly for you instead of having you adlib your way through.

This is the problem in a nut shell. And hopefully, this post of yours will open some people's eyes. The backers of Proposition B are desperately trying to play on the emotions of people, by stretching the truth and out right lying. You don't think it's dis-honest, re-writing inspection reports into so much emotional drival?

And here's another fact for you. The current regs state that a dog has to have 6 inches of space above the head of the tallest dog in the pen. Prop B says 12 inches. Do you honestly think a dog is sitting there, looking up and thinking, "Wow, if I only had another 6 inches, what I wouldn't do!"

And Third,another quote from Shelley: "Most of the reports I've read the facilities are chicken wire, plastic bowls..."
The chicken wire thing is old, I'm tired of reading it. NO BREEDER IS ALLOWED TO USE CHICKEN WIRE! It's just not allowed, period! Breeders use either, vinyl coated wire, which is perfectly safe for the dogs paws or tender foot flooring, which is also a wonderful alternative to living on dirt in their own feces. But maybe you think it's ok to raise a litter of puppies in filth and muck. They are happier that way, because they have more than 6 inches above their heads!
And, when in the world,did it become a crime to use a 'plastic bowl'? I guarantee you no one got wrote up for that in those inspections either. Plastic is a perfectly acceptable receptacle and easy to clean. Someone might have gotten wrote up, needing to replace a bowl, but that would just prove the inspector is doing their job, looking at everything.

Use a little common sense when you are trying to discredit people. We, Missourians, may be from the hills, but we are smart enough to spot 'hogwash' when we see it.

(Report Comment)
Kara Crass October 14, 2010 | 12:00 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote: "Seriously, who else? Who else takes in the dogs rescued by the backyard breeders, as well as the crappy licensed breeders? Who takes in the owner abandons? Or the lost dogs, or the dogs no one else wants?

"Who do you think cleans up the mess these commercial breeders leave? Can't you get it? That's why the organizations in this state support Proposition B? They're tired of cleaning up the mess the commercial breeders leave."

I am dually licensed with the state of Missouri and the USDA as a commercial breeder and I am proud of that fact. And let me tell you, NO ONE takes care of my dogs, but ME!! I don't know who you think you are, to lump us all together and make such accusations, but you better start getting your facts straight before you accuse people of anything. NO ONE BUT ME puts a dollar into the care and upkeep of my dogs! Until you have personally been inside every kennel in this state, you have no right to comment on the conditions and what anyone does or does not do.

And, guess what, I know of several rescues that are not in favor of Prop B and plan on voting NO. So again, don't speak for everyone and don't speak on things you know nothing about.

These little tirades are beginning to make you sound a little desperate Shelley. Could it be, you are afraid people are seeing the truth behind PROP B and not just following the HSUS' emotional rhetoric.


(Report Comment)
Kara Crass October 14, 2010 | 12:14 a.m.

Tim Dance wrote:" No, its bad to profit off the suffering. Again it is a rather pathetic that you are attacking the Humane society. A strawman to beat up.

Folks, these rather misguided people are trying to make you think that a overcrowded shelter who house the very puppies some breeders mistreat to a business that maximizing profit by providing substandard care to the puppies they raise. The HSUS is a red herring. If these pathetic responses doesn't convince you that these businesses need to be regulated, I don't know what will."

A StrawMan to beat're kidding right? I mean, seriously, that has got to be a joke! The Humane Society of the United States is the largest and wealthiest lobbying group in the country and you think we "are picking on them?"

Once again, I can't understand the second half of your comment, need to type a little more clearly here, we are just dumb hillbillies after all. But I think I get the gest. You seem to be under the mis-guided impression that we don't already have regulations in place. We do, 23 pages of them. We also have a program, "Bark Alert", in place to find and shut down puppymills. And it is working, they are finding and shutting them down every day. So clarify for me again, why we need more laws?

You said a mouthful when you said, "SOME BREEDERS." So it's ok to punish everyone for the actions of a few? Makes sense, I mean I totally see the logic. So when a pharmacist 'waters down' cancer medicine to make a buck, we should shut down all pharmacies across the state. And when a truck driver kills someone by driving carelessly, we should automatically start hauling our freight by wagon. Or, heaven forbid, a shelter falls down on the job and doesn't doctor any of it's 100+ cats and the state has to come in and have them euthanized,(Southwest Humane Society Springfield, look it up), we should immediately shut down all shelters throughtout the state! Again, I'm all for it, let's go!

(Report Comment)
Kara Crass October 14, 2010 | 12:17 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:"I can't stand the comments in this publication any more. I can't. I'll spend my time writing in my on space, and leave this publication to you all."

Shelley don't go away mad. I think we hurt her feelings guys. You need a hug Shelley, or a big sloppy puppy kiss. Although, I'd hurry on that one, if Prop B passes there will only be puppymills left and I'd hate to get a puppymill kiss, BLAH!!!

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 14, 2010 | 10:20 a.m.

Jim - you would like to see some of the kennels that would be affected by Prop B? Check out the Dirty Dozen report. Every kennel featured holds a Missouri state license.

This is what opponents of Prop B are trying to protect.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 14, 2010 | 10:58 a.m.

Anne, this is who those who are against Proposition B want to protect...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 14, 2010 | 12:07 p.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"It's hard to be unemotional when you read about chihuahuas forced to live in kennels less than 6 inches tall, or starving dogs desperately trying to reach a piece of food just out of reach, or those dogs too sick to even pull themselves to their feet."

So how often did this kind of thing happen? Let's see some statistics, instead of a few examples of poor care designed to tug at heartstrings. Approximately how many dogs were in substandard conditions out of how many inspected?

Nothing's perfect, no matter how hard we try. But you shouldn't try to make people think all breeders have care problems if you don't have the data to back that up.

Are the inspection reports electronic? If so, and you don't mind, I'd like to take a look at them.


(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 14, 2010 | 12:40 p.m.

Thank you, Ray. I can't imagine where the $400 came from...


(Report Comment)
Marq Summers October 14, 2010 | 3:21 p.m.

Someone tauted that 100 vets support it. Can those 100 vets treat all of Missouri?
Prop B passes and I am finished.
I specialized in kennels. My assoc. and I have tackled alot of issues and have brought alot of changes. Now? I feel betrayed. I talked my people into building new facilities to break the stigma. They went out and borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars. They take better care of their dogs than do most of the backyard people that I see. They've built there business based on their reputations as good kennels and now they will face bankruptcy. The 50 limit is the killer for these folks. It will also kill Missouri. $2 billion our of our economy. These kennels pay fees that support the inspectors. Shortage of funds this year cut down on that already. What do you think will happen if B passes. All the while illegal true mills will flourish and no one will be around to stop them. I will be forced to leave my hometown and my family which consists of two aging parents.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 15, 2010 | 4:10 a.m.

Hugn Maine (?) wrote:

"Most, if not all are sick, genetically flawed, and have major problems."

Impossible. An exaggerated, blanket statement without any backing data. People, especially discerning pet owners, don't want sick animals. A breeder that produces poor quality dogs will not be a breeder for long.

"Don't fool yourself, prop B only applies to breeders with 100 or more breeding dogs. That's too many dogs for any kennel, or person to handle."

Actually, it applies to any breeder with more than 10 intact females.

If a breeder is providing proper care, there should be no necessary limit to the number of dogs they can have. Who are you to say a breeder can't hire extra help, and have a large facility on a lot of land?

"Regulating Missouri's dog breeders more rigidly will keep dirty breeders out of the game,"

Of course not. The demand for dogs will be met one way or another. Regulating good breeders out of business will increase the number of unlicensed breeders. These breeders will operate outside of any regulation, including prop B, and this will increase, not decrease, the likelihood of substandard care.


(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 15, 2010 | 6:11 p.m.

Kara Crass, I noticed that you haven't responded to the links I posted.

Tell me something--do you have photos of your operation somewhere online? If you and other breeders are saying that you have no problems, you're all great, this law isn't needed, can we see photos of your breeding operation? The cages. I know you're a large scale dog breeder, and you have buildings specific to your operation, so this doesn't mean your home privacy is violated. Just send us a link to your kennel's web site. Maybe something about how you've helped the breed advance with your breeding program.

Perhaps post your Missouri inspection report online? We've posted a link to your USDA report.

Why is it that the breeders who are saying proposition B isn't needed, aren't showing us evidence of why it's not needed. Photos, info, how many puppies sold, procedure to ensure puppies go to a good home, that sort of thing.

And PS I believe the person meant why is the Humane Society of Missouri exempt -- HSUS does not have a facility in Missouri. Does anyone want to say that the Humane Society of Missouri doesn't do anything for dogs?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 15, 2010 | 6:41 p.m.

Kara Crass, you only need to be licensed with the USDA if you sell wholesale to a broker, pet store, or to a research facility.

Internet sales unfortunately fell through a pretty big loophole.

So you can have people who are licensed by the State of Missouri who are not licensed by the USDA. Now there is a bill in Congress, the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act, that would amend AWA to require those who sell puppies over the Internet or direct to the public, and have less than 50 intact dogs, would also need to be licensed. This was a bi-partisan bill, and hopefully we'll be re-activated during the lame duck session, or next year.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 15, 2010 | 6:58 p.m.

Hugh Maine. Get it? Humane. The Missourian apparently missed another spammer. Maybe local Columbia Missourian readers should take postings from these ProBers with a lot of skepticism.
I know Shelley Powers is a real person with real conviction and passion on this subject. She has just chosen to be blindsided and ignore those who see the bigger picture.
She actually admits that HSUS has given out some bad info.

("@Fyrd On the other hand, HSUS has been in error on some statements. I really want to give people all the facts, so they can mk informed dec
12:16 PM Oct 12th via web in reply to Fyrd

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 15, 2010 | 7:09 p.m.

Ray, actually, I didn't say that HSUS has given out bad info, I said it was in error on some statements. However, I now think the person who represented themselves as HSUS, wasn't.

But when I publish my Proposition B writing, I'll be sure to link in comments or my twitter account, so you can read it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 15, 2010 | 7:22 p.m.

If you're sincere about that, I'll bring a few of my friends over to help you work out a decent proposal.
In the meantime, what's with this one?

("I cannot believe how much pushback Proposition B, against puppy mills, is running into in Missouri--has become cause célèbre of Tea Party
7:35 PM Oct 1st via web

What did you expect from educated people?
Did you actually expect that Missourians were easy pickin's?
And it's not just Tea Party folk who see how disastrous and insidious this Proposal is.
Anyone who researches both sides of the coin will see that heads we win tails you lose.
It's No on Proposition B, thank you very much.

(Report Comment)
Amy Katz October 15, 2010 | 7:54 p.m.

Who cares if some of the money supporting the Prop B campaign is from out of state? We who live out of state have a stake in what happens in this election. The fact is that Missouri is the #1 state for puppy mills in the country. You guys ship sick puppies all over the country, supplying a third of ALL dogs sold by pet stores and other puppy mill outlets in the United States. Your dogs take homes away from dogs in our shelter who need homes. Your dogs cause more dogs to go to our shelters and get euthanized needlessly. Our tax money pays for this unnecessary suffering. Since Missouri can't see fit to regulate its own puppy mills, some of us living out of state have donated to help the Prop B alliance put it on the ballot so Missouri voters can do the job that its irresponsible and corrupt legislature won't. That alliance includes plenty of in state organizations such as the Missouri Humane society, as well as other national groups like the the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society. This is a bill that ANYONE work works with rescuing companion animals supports. And the misinformation about the HSUS is not only old but ridiculous. If the HSUS wants to do away with all animals, why do most of its employees have pets, and why does the HSUS allow them to bring their pets to the office? The HSUS wrote a book on getting your workplace to be dog-friendly, for crying out loud. Yes, the HSUS wants to end intensive confinement of animals on the nation's large industrial farms. So do most consumers. And most residents of Missouri support Prop B, a reasonable reform measure that simply requires breeders to take care of their dogs. Obviously that is not currently being done in Missouri. Vote YES on Prop B!

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 16, 2010 | 7:33 p.m.

Shelley, you have got some stamina trying to argue with these libertarian troglodytes..
But you might as well try and reason with a potato..

These are the folks whose holy book is Humanewatch....that illucid group of DC PR twerps who think that Wayne Pacelle and his band of brothers will be ALLOWED to dismantle the multi-billion dollar multinational food/feed and ag machine, force us all to become vegetarians and launch the world into a depression from which it would never recover.

And that all the governments of the world are just going to stand by and let it happen.

This kind of thinking boggles the mind.

But worse, "Humane' is a dirty word to these folks.

They seem compelled to lash out against anything remotely connected to the concept of human kindness. can only imagine the horrors of a childhood which created this kind of thinking in a person.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 17, 2010 | 4:11 p.m.

I'm voting YES on Prop B!
Simply put... because it is the right thing to do!

(Report Comment)
Gloria Young October 20, 2010 | 8:08 a.m.

Kara Crass
“Shelley don't go away mad. I think we hurt her feelings guys. You need a hug Shelley, or a big sloppy puppy kiss.”

It’s good to see that decent people can still have a civil discussion. Seriously, though, if you feel the need to devolve into snide little attacks, then perhaps adult discussions are not for you.

“So what you are saying is that
1. Someone that makes money at their business is bad and should be stopped from making a living?
And 2. That humane societies and shelters don't have to be humane to their animals because they are non-profit?”

1. No, but dogs deserve a reasonable standard of care, and that entails more than many of them are currently given. People that make money breeding sick puppies that never know human affection SHOULD be stopped.
2. Your argument here is ridiculous. Shelters exist to respond to the homeless pet population a problem exacerbated by irresponsible and careless people many of whom breed dogs intentionally. I do not discredit all breeders, but there are some pretty terrible conditions that these dogs are forced to live in. Not all are bad, but not all are good. So limiting the number of dogs in shelters would lead significantly higher euthanasia and not simply be workable. At the shelter where I volunteer, dogs go through a waiting period before being adopted to ensure their health and temperament. We adopt out more than fifty dogs most weeks.

Ray Shapiro
I’d like to know what being a “lefty” has to do with this. Are you so tied up in partisan rhetoric that you find it necessary to break any issue down into left vs right. It may make your world easier to understand to put it in black and white terms but that isn’t how things really work.

Jim Foster
“If I want to change the sizes and standard for nursing home rooms, can I get enough signatures and run a Proposition?”
Because reforming geriatric care would be bad?
Why, exactly, is Prop B communist? Because you disagree with it? Anyone who presents an opinion differing from your own is ignorant, radical or communist. Name-calling is hardly a valid argument.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 20, 2010 | 8:42 a.m.

Gloria Young! THANK YOU for being a shelter volunteer! We need more people like you who are willing to do more than talk about issues, but actually go out & make a difference. If every person in Missouri volunteered even just 1 hour per week to a non-profit.... wow... what a wonderful world it would be!

(Report Comment)
robin barrows October 20, 2010 | 1:13 p.m.

I've read the bill and can find nothing wrong. If it puts some breeders out of business then their facility or their practices needed correcting.

(Report Comment)
Gloria Young October 20, 2010 | 1:18 p.m.

Marina Shane

Oh, you're welcome. It's actually a lot of fun. You get fresh air, exercise, wagging tails and lots of purrs. How can you go wrong? Obviously it’s not all “sunshine and daffodils” but very often it is.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane November 15, 2010 | 6:25 p.m.

After all the heated Prop B debate, I just had to share this here....

(Report Comment)

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