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Columbia Missourian

LETTER: Prop B provides common-sense standards, not extremism

By TIM RICKEY
October 15, 2010 | 1:10 p.m. CDT

Opponents of Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, always rely on the same false claims that it is an unnecessary law backed by so-called extremists ("J. KARL MILLER: Tasers and breeding laws aren't broken, so no need to try and fix them," Oct. 13).

In truth, current laws are not strong enough to prevent abuses at Missouri puppy mills. At the estimated 3,000 puppy mills in our state, dogs are typically crowded into small and filthy cages, denied veterinary care, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and given no exercise or affection. Puppy mill operators and their allies have been trying to obscure the fact that these facilities are cruel and the way these dogs are treated is wrong.

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Prop B provides clear and common-sense standards of care for dogs at puppy mills. Many responsible dog breeders support the measure, along with Missouri veterinarians and vet clinics, the Humane Society of Missouri, businesses and religious leaders.

Prop B would only cover breeding dogs in large-scale, commercial puppy mills — no other kind of animal. It would require these facilities to provide the basics of humane care, such as adequate food, water, space and exercise. It would not affect livestock agriculture.

These modest standards would apply to both licensed and unlicensed puppy mills and provide law enforcement officials with new tools to enforce them. Tens of thousands of dogs are suffering in puppy mills across our state. We can change this for the better this November by voting "YES" on Prop B.

Tim Rickey is the senior director of the field investigations and response team for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.