Vets and breeders discuss impact of Prop B on dogs' health

Monday, October 25, 2010 | 9:33 p.m. CDT; updated 10:35 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 28, 2010

COLUMBIA — Marty Murray never knows the next time an inspector will visit her kennel. She also doesn't know which organization will send the inspector.

Murray, the owner of SacRiver Kennel in Ash Grove, and a licensed breeder with *the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Greene County, said she makes sure her facilities meet American Kennel Club and Greene County standards.


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Murray said that after all the time and money she put into building her facilities and getting them approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture eight years ago, she doesn't want to risk losing her license. But if voters pass Proposition B, a ballot initiative that strengthens regulations on breeding facilities that own 10 or more sexually intact dogs, on Nov. 2, Murray said she'll have to make some expensive changes.

The USDA provides regulations for licensed breeding facilities in the Animal Welfare Act. Professional breeders in Missouri can choose to be licensed with the USDA, the Missouri Department of Agriculture or both. But, regulations for animal enclosures are identical for breeders licensed with the federal and state governments.

Among the biggest differences between Proposition B standards and current regulations are stricter rules on flooring, access to the indoors and outdoors, breaks between breeding cycles, increased space requirements and a limit on the number of sexually intact dogs a breeder may own.

Some veterinarians have commented that the regulations suggested in Proposition B are good for some dogs, but not all of them. Likewise, some licensed breeders, such as Murray, prefer USDA standards because they believe current standards are better for their dogs' health.

Here, veterinarians and licensed breeders weigh in on what standards they think are best and why.

Flooring of indoor enclosures:

What the Animal Welfare Act says: Indoor enclosures do not have to have a solid floor, but mesh or slatted flooring must be constructed so the dogs' feet do not pass through any openings. Breeding facilities may have stacked cages. 

What Proposition B says: Indoor enclosures must have solid flooring, and these enclosures may not be stacked above or below the enclosure of another animal.

What veterinarians say: The impact that flooring has on a dog's joints depends tremendously on the weight and age of the particular dog, said Richard Meadows, a veterinarian who teaches at MU's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Mesh flooring could create pressure points in large dogs, he said.

The type of wire used in mesh enclosures also affects the dogs' health, Meadows said.  He said inadequate wiring can cause pressure sores, and dogs can get their feet caught in it, which could lead to ripped skin or broken bones.

But Meadows said that the right kind of mesh flooring, such as wiring with a plastic coating, can be better for a dog's health than solid floors. Mesh flooring drains the dogs' waste, he said, pointing out that dogs left to stand in their own urine or feces can develop infections and foot problems.

Kenneth Vroman, a veterinarian at Howard County Veterinary Services in Fayette, said the flooring issue doesn't have to be either-or. He said solid flooring can be more comfortable for dogs, but providing some slotted flooring allows a dog to relieve itself without having to remain in an enclosure with its own waste.

Veterinarian Scott Fray of Cooper County Animal Hospital in Boonville said that flooring is not a one-size-fits-all issue. There is no simple answer, he said, because different dogs have different needs.

What breeders say: Murray said she uses tenderfoot wiring, which has small holes and Teflon coating, in her enclosures. She said she installed the flooring after the USDA advised kennel owners that this wiring is the healthiest for dogs. 

Vivian Wilson, co-owner of Flat Creek Kennel in Aurora, said she has solid flooring for some of her dogs but she prefers to keep puppies and their mothers on mesh flooring.

"I honestly think the puppies do much better up on the wire," Wilson said, pointing out that dogs kept on mesh flooring tend to be cleaner because they're not sitting in waste and less likely to be exposed to fleas, worms or diseases. "If they're on the dirt, they'll just pick up everything."

Access to indoor and outdoor enclosures:

What the Animal Welfare Act says: Dogs must have a sanitary, ventilated facility that protects them from extreme weather. Dogs kept in an outdoor enclosure must be protected from the elements and must have access to a shelter.

What Proposition B says: Dogs must have "constant and unfettered access" to both an indoor and outdoor enclosure. Both enclosures must protect dogs from the elements.

What veterinarians say: Meadows called Proposition B's requirement "unnecessarily prescriptive." He said it's good, but not necessary, for dogs to have access to the outdoors.

Vroman said the particular breed also factors into how much exercise and outdoor time a dog needs. He said smaller breeds don't need as much exercise as larger ones and that some breeds are in fact at a higher risk of becoming too hot or too cold if they are kept outside for too long.

Meadows agreed that dogs run the risk of overexposure to the elements when they have unrestricted access to the outdoors. He said dogs don't always instinctively think to come inside when conditions are too hot or too cold.

"Not all dogs are that bright," Meadows said.

Fray said he does not have a problem with dogs' having regular outdoor access, but that he is concerned with owners' not being allowed to shut dogs inside in certain situations, such as when weather is inclement or when a dog that has recently given birth needs to be indoors to care for her puppies.

What breeders say: Murray and Wilson both said their adult dogs have doors that allow them to go inside and outside at will.

However, Murray also has a nursery where she keeps newborn puppies for six to eight weeks. Mother dogs in this nursery do not have the same access to the outdoors as other dogs because Murray wants them to be available to their puppies.

Limits on breeding cycles:

What the Animal Welfare Act says: Neither the Animal Welfare Act nor state laws limit the number of litters a female dog can have over a period of time.

What Proposition B says: Dogs may not be bred to produce more than two litters within an 18-month period.

What veterinarians say: Fray said that it's hard to tell whether making dogs skip a cycle is best because individual dogs have varying physical needs.

Meadows said that dogs have a six-month breeding cycle. If they do not conceive, intact female dogs go through a "false pregnancy," meaning their bodies go through the same hormonal changes regardless of whether they are pregnant. He said that allowing a dog to skip a breeding cycle is not a bad idea, but it is not necessary for its health.

Breeding a dog every cycle is hard on her body, Fray said, but if a dog goes through too many false pregnancies, she can develop a uterine infection called pyometra.

"It's just not that clear-cut," he said.

What breeders say: Murray said she allows her dogs to take breaks between breeding cycles.

"I don't have to have a law to tell me that's not what you should be doing," she said. 

Wilson said her female dogs self-regulate and know to skip a cycle if they need to.

Likewise, Cindy Elliott, a hobby breeder who raises Yorkies in Bosworth, said her female dogs know when they are ready to breed, and they don't allow male dogs near them when they're ready to skip a breeding cycle.

Spacing requirements for enclosures:

What the Animal Welfare Act says: Dogs must have enough space to turn, stand, sit, lie and walk in a comfortable, normal manner in indoor enclosures. Outdoor enclosures must protect dogs from the elements and provide them with shelter.

What Proposition B says: Indoor enclosures must provide 12 square feet for dogs up to 25 inches long, 20 square feet for dogs between 25 and 35 inches long and 30 square feet for dogs 35 inches or longer. Outdoor enclosures must protect dogs from the elements and provide at least twice the square footage required of indoor enclosures.

What veterinarians say: Fray said that he doesn't have problems with the space requirements in either law but that he believes current regulations are reasonable. 

Vroman agreed that dogs don't need more space than what current laws call for in order for them to get proper exercise.

What breeders say: Increasing the amount of space required for each dog in a breeding facility requires breeders to regulate the temperature within a larger space.

"It would be impossible to meet that standard and have a building that we can heat and cool," Wilson said of the proposed spacing requirements. "The heating and cooling bills will be astronomical."

Limit on number of dogs:

What the Animal Welfare Act says: Neither the animal welfare act nor state laws place a limit on the number of dogs one person or facility may own.

What Proposition B says: Breeding facilities may not have more than 50 sexually intact dogs older than six months.

What veterinarians say: Vroman said having a large number of dogs that can be bred does not necessarily mean that a professional licensed breeder is not taking proper care of them.

"There's no reason to think that if you can properly take care of 50, it's not possible to take care of 100," Vroman said.

Fray said that common sense dictates that breeders with the largest number of dogs are also going to have the hardest time taking care of them. But like Vroman, Fray said that it is possible to responsibly take care of a large number of dogs.

"There's nothing inherently impossible about taking care of 51 dogs," Fray said.

What breeders say: Murray said the number of sexually intact dogs she owns varies. She said sometimes she comes close to the limit because she might keep specific puppies to breed, in which case she waits until they are at least two years old. Murray said she also might keep dogs that are retired from breeding.

Murray also said she believes the number of dogs a breeder owns doesn't matter as much as whether the dogs are being properly cared for.

"You can have 10 dogs and not be taking care of them," she said.

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Marina Shane October 25, 2010 | 10:59 p.m.

Wow... I hope this isn't the article the moderators discussed it's so full of mis-information.... and incredibly slanted to the anti-prop b viewpoint.
On Nov 2, 2010
Join me in VOTING YES! on Prop B
Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 25, 2010 | 11:12 p.m.

I think it's a fair and balanced article.
If I thought it was too slanted in your favor, I was going to cancel my subscription to the Missourian and never post again!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 12:19 a.m.

There are some inconsistencies.

For one on the flooring--I doubt the USDA recommended tenderfoot. Tenderfoot is considered a "paw-and-claw" grabber, in addition to not providing stability. Kennel decking can provide a solid footing, and drainage. Tenderfoot is designed for hogs, not dogs.

And I'm especially surprised of the assumption that some dogs are too dumb to know when to come in out of the cold. Animals do have some sense of self preservation.

I'm also surprised that the author didn't think to interview any of the vets in the Yes on Proposition B side. No vet from the Yes on Prop B, none of the vets associated with any of the shelters, such as the Humane Society of Missouri.

And one question was not asked: the upper limit.

No, not balanced. Especially when no vet from a shelter such as the Humane Society of Missouri was interviewed. In fact, no vet associated with either any shelter work, or rescue work, either. Or from the HSUS, or any other animal welfare organization.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 12:33 a.m.

Why wasn't Dr. Chastain interviewed?

I believe there's also an error in the story. You can choose not to get a license with the USDA, but you have to be licensed by Missouri. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The AKC is nothing--it's like the Blue Ribbon campaign, more marketing than caring for the dogs. Haven't read anything on commercial dog breeding requirements for Greene County. They have their own?

And any vet who doesn't think there's a difference between caring for 100 dogs as compared to 50 is not something I'd trust or believe.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 12:34 a.m.

Sorry, not _someone_ I'd trust.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 1:02 a.m.

Doesn't the greatest danger of pyometra come about when you have a dog over five years old that you haven't spayed?

And breeding every cycle has no impact on health? Really?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 1:11 a.m.

Why no interviews with any of the local Humane Societies? None of the rescue groups? It's not like it would be difficult to find people--this is a rather hot topic right now.

Sorry, but I'm with Marina in saying I was expecting something comprehensive, not biased. I would expect a biased article to at least be labeled an oped piece.

(Report Comment)
Leticia Johnson October 26, 2010 | 6:54 a.m.

If this Proposition passes, I'm gonna be on here reminding Ray Shapiro about his comment that two supporters of Prop B on here would be running off with their tails between their legs. Ray, you better hope it fails, because if it doesn't, you'll be eating some humble pie on these message boards thanks to me!!!

(Report Comment)
Leticia Johnson October 26, 2010 | 6:58 a.m.

Opponents of Prop B are always asking for a poll to show that it is truly you go, Ray!

This Proposition enjoys 69 percent approval according to a poll printed in the St. Louis Dispatch.

Humble pie, Ray, humble pie.

(Report Comment)
Leticia Johnson October 26, 2010 | 7:00 a.m.

According to the article I cited above:
"Still, support for the proposition stretches across party lines. Nearly 80 percent of Democrats polled supported the proposition; more than 60 percent of Republicans and independents also were in favor."

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 26, 2010 | 9:01 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

:"And any vet who doesn't think there's a difference between caring for 100 dogs as compared to 50 is not something I'd trust or believe."

The only difference is scale. If a breeder has a lot of space, extra employees, etc. etc. there is no necessary reason why 100 breeding dogs could not be cared for even to the standards of prop B. In fact, this scale may allow the breeder to make a profit where he could not with 50. And it wouldn't matter to the dogs.

"Tenderfoot is designed for hogs, not dogs."

They haved tenderfoot flooring for kennels, also. It's different from the hog flooring. I've linked it several times, but you keep saying that.

"I would expect a biased article to at least be labeled an oped piece."

An oped piece is the writers opinion. This is factual reporting of the statements of those interviewed, and the current regs vs. prop B.

Incomplete? I agree with you. Op-ed? No. Biased? I don't find it terribly biased from a reporting standpoint. As I say, a wider range of opinion would be nice, but I don't think the reporter has done such a bad job.


(Report Comment)
Jessica Stephens October 26, 2010 | 10:19 a.m.

Those of you who have taken the time to comment, thank you for your input and being willing to share your responses to this article. At the Missourian, we value thoughtful input from our readers, and I certainly appreciate knowing people are reading and thinking about something I have written.

To those who raised concerns that this article is biased against Proposition B, I am sorry you feel that way, but the truth is I did try to contact veterinarians who have endorsed Proposition B. Many said they were too busy to speak with me, and one said she would rather not get caught up in the drama surrounding the issue. I would love to have heard from those veterinarians just as much as you, but I just couldn't reach any of them.

Some of you have questioned the accuracy or legitimacy of certain statements that I or other people have made in the article. Again, it was not my intention to give the impression that I am biased toward one side or the other on this issue. I chose to contact veterinarians who practice in more rural areas because I believed they would have more experience dealing with professional breeders. Dr. Richard Meadows, who practices in Columbia, is the one exception, and he, like the other veterinarians cited in this article, has experience dealing with and educating professional breeders. Some of you have commented that you don't agree with certain statements from these veterinarians. My intention in speaking to them was to share their professional opinions about specific standards contained in Proposition B. If you believe they are in error, of course you are entitled to feel that way, but I believe some people misunderstood certain statements, especially regarding the upper limit of owning no more than 50 sexually intact adult dogs. None of the vets I spoke to gave the impression that caring for 100 dogs requires no more effort than caring for 50. Dr. Vroman's statement was that it is not impossible to properly care for more than 50 dogs, not that it is easy to do so.

I agree that there is plenty more to be said on the issue. The truth is the debate surrounding Proposition B is complicated enough to provide material for several articles without exhausting the subject. As I've said before, I never intended to give the impression that I am for or against Proposition B. My intention was to inform voters what veterinarians have to say about specific standards contained in Proposition B. I appreciate the feedback, both negative and positive, and I especially appreciate that the people who took the time to comment are thinking about the issue critically.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 11:16 a.m.

Jessica, I appreciate the response, and apologies for shotgunning so many comments.

I would have appreciated Dr. Meadows comments more if Dr. Chastain was also interviewed, since they both do teach at the same school, I believe. That would have provided an interesting perspective.

And did you contact the local Humane Societies at all to get their views? I have to believe that the Humane Society of Missouri could have helped you connect up with vets who have experience with rescues.

Have you considered that city and town vets are usually the ones who have to deal with the aftermath of puppy mills? They have to treat the dogs? Tell the owners the dogs are dying? Was the purchaser of puppy mill dogs represented, in any way?

You had a point of view--primarily rural, breeder only--when you started researching your article. Your point of view was too narrow. This does happen with journalists. Unfortunately the editors at your publication did an insufficient job of ensuring that your viewpoint was broad enough to ensure a fair representation on the issue.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 11:22 a.m.

PS APHIS shows Marty Murray's USDA license was canceled a couple of years ago. Does she have a new USDA account number?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Stephens October 26, 2010 | 4:32 p.m.

Ms. Powers, you are correct about Marty Murray's USDA license having expired. She told me that she chose to let it expire because she does not engage in practices that would require a USDA license and did not want to pay the additional fee. I have spoken to an editor, and we have changed the article. Thank you for pointing out that mistake.

I did not contact any local humane societies before speaking with vets because my first instinct was to speak with vets who had not endorsed either Proposition B or the Alliance for Truth. Ironically, I did this because I did not want to appear biased to either side. After interviewing the vets cited in this article, I did see that speaking with a vet who had endorsed Proposition B might complement the story, but as I mentioned in the above comment, I just couldn't find one who could speak to me.

I understand why you and others might look at this article and assume I wrote it from the point of view of breeders, but I assure you my purpose — and that of the multiple editors who looked at this story before it was published — was to provide information from the perspective of veterinarians, who are in the best position to say how the standards in Proposition B would affect the health of dogs in breeding facilities if the measure passes, and that of breeders, some of whom have specific reasons for preferring standards different from those in Proposition B. Because I was looking for that insight from breeders, I can see how this article might appear to favor them, but my intention was to give readers an idea of what standard practices are and why breeders follow them.

Again, I appreciate your reading this article critically and making your objections known in a civil manner. At the Missourian, we try to have a discussion with our audience, rather than merely talking at readers and trying to tell them how to think. Thank you for engaging with us and providing your thoughtful insight into the issue.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 26, 2010 | 5:02 p.m.

Thank you for making the correction. Hopefully Ms. Murray will also correct her web site and remove the USDA claim.

I can respect your intent, but I hope you can see that by mainly talking with veterinarians who work with breeders, that they are going to be more sympathetic to breeders, and this can influence their responses. That's why it was important to talk with veterinarians who work with shelters and rescues, or who have to to deal with the families who received a sick puppy.

However, I should have been more sympathetic to the constraints placed on you for this assignment. I imagine you didn't have a whole lot of time, and there is a lot of information floating around about this bill.

And, frankly, after the comments to other articles here at this publication on Proposition B, I can see why few people who favor the proposition would want to be interviewed, and bring down some of the anti-B wrath on themselves. This is not an issue that generates calm discussion.

I did want to say that your article was well written.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 26, 2010 | 5:45 p.m.

Here be the Neanderthal PR Snark-For-The-Day..

Where DO they breed these subhumans.....

From the AVMA website:

147th AVMA Annual Convention Daily News—
Monday, August 2, 2010—Atlanta, GA

'Convention guest speaker Wes Jamison, PhD, an associate professor of communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, said animal protection organizations run successful campaigns by showing consumers the differential attitudes those consumers have toward treatment of animals kept as pets and for food.

Dr. Jamison also indicated that the veterinary profession, by emphasizing the importance of the human-animal bond, enables consumer hypocrisy, which is exploited by animal protection organizations.
He argued that the AVMA should instead advocate for the right of animal owners to use animals as they choose, whether that entails companionship, food, or labor.'

You heard it here, folks.
'The animal bond enables consumer hypocrisy!'

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 27, 2010 | 1:42 a.m.

HSUS is the spawn of PETA:
(""PETA loves to point the finger at others when they should be looking at their own record of killing more than 90 percent of the animals left in their care," according to the ad.

The group cited records from the Virginia state veterinarian and court documents on what it called PETA's "roving death van" that "killed dozens of dogs and cats, tossing them into a trash Dumpster."

By the end of today, PETA had faced off against its critics on "Your World" with Fox's Neil Cavuto.

PETA countered that it upholds its motto: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear or experiment on." They said that the numbers cited in the ad are misleading and that the only way to avoid destroying animals is to spay and neuter pets.

Hidden Agenda
PETA put The Center for Consumer Freedom in its sights, which it says has a hidden agenda.

"This is typical of an organization that is basically opposed to everything that is good for Americans," said Daphna")

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 27, 2010 | 5:44 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Jack Lisette October 27, 2010 | 5:45 a.m.

If you study issues not related to Prop B, you will not notice Ray has an opinion on everything!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 27, 2010 | 6:05 a.m.

@ Ray Shapiro:

I'm totally envious.

I can't even remember when I was 57. I think I was working in Egypt that year.

I can't wait for November 2nd to come, and to be gone!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 27, 2010 | 10:47 a.m.

Keep a bottle of Heinz Ketchup on your kitchen table as a reminder of that magic number.
Variety is the spice of life.

(Report Comment)
QuaShawn Jenkins October 27, 2010 | 11:01 a.m.

I do like a good ketchup blend, but I don't appreciate Ray Shapiro's ugly and mean comments on here

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 27, 2010 | 11:11 a.m.

Ugly and mean?
Sometimes all I'm doing is taking the bull by its tail and facing the situation.
How can you not appreciate that?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 27, 2010 | 2:54 p.m.

Marina, Shelley, Leticia, if you all have a Facebook group, now is the time to post this report:
Be advised, the pics are horrible.

And any crossposting would be great..
Time to stop this nonsense...

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 27, 2010 | 3:16 p.m.

Terry, thank you for sharing this. I had not seen this report yet. If I ever need a reminder as to why I continue to advocate against puppy mills....
(warning GRAPHIC IMAGES in this link, not for children or those with weak stomachs)
Vote Yes! on Prop B
Stop Puppy Mill Cruelty

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 27, 2010 | 3:21 p.m.

In the eyes of a bad breeder... puppies & corn are the same...both are biodegradable. the people responsible in this link should BURN in H*ll.

(warning GRAPHIC IMAGES in this link, not for children or those with weak stomachs)

Now... after opening up that page.... who really wants to defend these lowlife scumbags?
Stop Puppy mill cruelty

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 30, 2010 | 8:19 p.m.

Thank you Jessica for writing this thorough and correct article. I was told early on that veterinarians are the bane of the animal rights activist. I think the comments made here prove that. Dr. Scott Fray is a classmate of mine and he grew up just down the highway from me. He and the other veterinarians in the piece are some of the leading veterinarians in this state. I believe credibility does play a role in this and I have just recently had mine attacked on a St Louis radio station. Why? I think we all know why. The reason that you weren't able to find more vets in favor is that while there may be some there are far more against. I have received emails, calls and facebook notes from our colleagues who have grimmaced at proposition B. We took an oath as veterinarians to provide the best care possible. Proposition B is a disaster in the making. The problem is with our shortage of inspectors. A sour economy has also contributed to more people abandoning their pets. This is not the fault of the breeder. You cannot lump everyone into one category and convict them as bad.

(Report Comment)
Sonya Anderson October 30, 2010 | 10:26 p.m.

I appreciated this article too. I do not support Proposition B and feel it's not in the best interest for the dogs or the people. We already have strict regulations on the books and the problem is lack of funding for more enforcement. These "puppy mills" that you see on TV are already breaking the law. Do people really think that if they pass Prop B these illegal operations are going to think "Oh no! We better get our act together!" They are going to keep doing what they are doing until they are caught while the legitimate breeder goes bankrupt. If you are supporting Prop B I think it would be very wise to do further investigation since the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association does not support this. I know I would rather listen to my veterinarian's opinion over Betty White's.

So yeah. I'm voting No.

(Report Comment)
John Doppler Schiff October 30, 2010 | 10:37 p.m.

If the majority of Missouri vets are against Prop B, they're being pretty quiet about it.

The Yes on Prop B site has over 150 endorsements from Missouri vets and clinics. The anti-Prop B site has 23 (several of which are the same listings repeated multiple times).

It's clear that the majority of opposition to Prop B is based solely on a dislike of HSUS, and that's a prejudiced, irrational point of view that most reputable vets are not willing to stoop to.

"HSUS sucks" is not a compelling argument about the merits of a law or of veterinary care.

We expect better from animal care professionals; indeed, we expect it from any professionals we depend on to make intelligent decisions based on fact and reason.

Ms. Stephens, this was a well-written article, and while it does come down a little heavily on the side of the breeder, the fairness of your approach shines through. My compliments.

(Report Comment)
Jeri Krankel October 30, 2010 | 11:06 p.m.

Puppy mills are already illegal. It is already illegal to abuse and neglect animals. It is still going on. The only people affect by this bill are law abiding kennels that will be put out of business. PLEASE tell me were you people think the 160,000 dogs are going to go that the breeders own and will have to get rid of because of the limits put on these breeders?? I will tell you! More than likely euthanized. Puppy mill people are operating under the law already, and when you people vote to put them out of business, the puppy mills will FLOURISH due to the high demand! OR you can just call yourself a "rescue group" because you are exempt from this law, get some of the purebred dogs that the breeders must get rid of and "rehome" them for $350!! If a breeders has the facilities to take care of these dogs, the government SHOULD NOT be able to tell you how many dogs you can have. This country runs on small businessess, our economy is in the toilet and we are going to pass a law to put a whole lot of good people out of business. GREAT IDEA!! All you people need to realize what the HSUS is all about! They are an anti-hunting, anti-agriculture group, that want's everyone to be vegans!! They donate 1/2 of 1% to animals! They got $34 million in donations for the Hurricane Katrina animals, and NONE of that money went to help the animals. The sate of LA. has a lawsuit against them for fraud. They advertised for donations for the Michael Vick dogs. MILLIONS were donated and they told the ASPCA to put the dogs down, and kept ALL the money! The ASPCA reformed all of the dogs but one, and got NO money from the HSUS! Wayne Pacelle wants NO ONE to own pets! The HSUS is behind this bill. Please research what the HSUS has done in other states! They DESTROYED the hog farmers in Florida with a bill quite a bit like this one. They destroyed the egg farmers in California. Let alone the fact that this bill is open to ruining the agriculture in this state but line #9 including all domestic animals. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE!! We are going to be in BIG trouble if this bill passess. I totally agree that the reason you couldn't get quotes from vets is they KNOW what is going to happen if this bill passess! I was totally for this bill at first. I thought it was to save puppies. That is ALL a lie! I have heard the spokeswoman Barb what's her name that is the representative for the HSUS. When I heard her in 2 different debates and she lies and changes her facts, I thought, hmmm maybe I should research this a little more. I was SHOCKED at the facts I learned! Our laws are already in place that are good. Puppy mills are ALREADY illegal. We just need the inspectors and the money to enforce them better, not put a blanket limit that is going to put some very good, TAX PAYING, EMPLOYERS out of business!! AND help the puppy mills flourish. IT MAKES NO SENSE!! VOTE NO ON PROP B!!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 11:11 p.m.

This article really told a lot more than any of the others! I am not a breeder so I wondered why the tenderfoot was the choice of wire, now I know because the breeder was told by the USDA it was the best! See these breeders do want the best for their dogs! John, no they are not being quiet about it. Google the MVMA and see. I also have a past Board President I am very good friends with and a Graduate of UofM and he is very opposed and his colleagues are also. This stated facts not feelings! Also goes to show that no one knows their pet like their owner. Kind of like no one knows their child like their mother! I am still waiting on a few unanswered questions,I have also asked how Prop B would aid in the care of dogs, how does Prop B keep your examples of matted hair, collars in open wounds, feces, and urine coated dogs?????? How is Prop B better than Bark Alert? The report was compiled using source data from BBB complaints, results from surveys sent to all 50 states, state and federal agencies, and court cases among other sources, so how much more information would be needed to make this report complete?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 11:41 p.m.

Terry, too bad if Prop B had been in effect a year or two ago it still would not have helped any of those dogs in any of those kennels or the way the dogs were disposed of. Under current regs, dogs can be put in a landfill, which Prop B does not address any way! Thanks for trying to use emotions to pursuade as I should have expected!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 11:47 p.m.

Marina, you and Terry seem to be on a role with the emotional propaganda tonight! Too bad even if Prop B was in effect it still would have not prevented or kept anything on that report from happening! As you know you can dipose of a deceased animal in a landfill, which is not covered by Prop B, so as I have been told by you, lets get back to Prop B!

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer October 31, 2010 | 11:56 a.m.

Thank you for a well-written factual informational article on Prop B. So much of what is written today relies totally on emotional, misguided misinformation. I would have liked to have heard from a proponent veterinarian for Prop B: a Missouri-licensed practicing (not just a shelter only practice) veterinarian, IF one indeed exists. Addressing specific points of Prop B such as those in the article is so much better than the ranting of an animal rights HSUS-programmed robot like Barb S. who brushes off a huge lie with: regardless...
Great job, Jessica!
PS. Vote NO on Prop B!!

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer October 31, 2010 | 12:26 p.m.

Marina.. Are you a Vet??? why are you so closed minded to truth???? Me thinks you are just too caught up in winning and would say we lie if we said the sky was blue You are incredible. Sad though but incredible.

Great Article Best I have seen to date. and long over due.
Jessica Stephens you did a very rare and fine job of reporting.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer October 31, 2010 | 12:43 p.m.

To John Doppler Schiff

I must agree with you. Too many leaders within the no on Prop B side use the HSUS sux approach. I do see the HSUS as a problem. But there is no time to educate the public on this. Prop B is not a good law for the dogs. It will kill many dogs and not just because of the unfettered access either. But, what you must understand the no on prop B side does not have millions of dollars in Funding. We have split multiple organizations which are not skilled organizers. Because of the very bad organizing within. Too many were on the sit and wait assuming the other guy was doing it. While HSUS was sending marketing pros causing a one sided view to the public. This is a David and goliath situation. HSUS being goliath of course. Sad thing is. Yes, the vets have been way too quiet. Many do not want to effect their business getting too political. Even though prop B will put many of them out of business.

(Report Comment)
John Doppler Schiff October 31, 2010 | 2:12 p.m.

Yes, Jessica, no-one knows a child like their mother... but nonetheless we still have to protect children from abuse by unfit parents.

We need to protect dogs from those unfit breeders who do not care for them properly. It's tragic that something so fundamentally human should have to be legislated, but the evidence is undeniable. Abuse cannot be tolerated.

Prop B is not an all-encompassing animal welfare solution. It's very tightly focused on breeding abuses; e.g., large-scale puppy mills. That's why it doesn't regulate veterinary clinics, shelters and rescues, and so on -- they're not in the business of farming puppies for profit.

But keep in mind that the provisions of ACFA still apply to those facilities; Prop B's provisions are a supplement to ACFA, not a replacement.

Prop B will allow inspectors to more easily identify and prosecute those abusers who have eluded them in the past.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 31, 2010 | 2:24 p.m.

It boils down to this... This oppostion to Prop B can't come out and say "Hey, we are only interested in money & how much money we can make off dogs in puppy mills... so in order to get people to vote no...let's scare them by saying that HSUS is the big bad wolf at your door and spread a bunch of mis-information & scare the crap out of people so they will vote no & we can keep doing business as usual."
Missourians won't buy it. On Tuesday, Missourians will overwhelmingly support Prop B. Our dogs shouldn't be kept in tiny, filthy stacked cages their entire lives.
See what a puppy mill looks like:
According to the Department of Agriculture, A Blue Ribbon Kennel has exceeded industry standardswhen it comes to the care & welfare of animals. They are held to a higher standard than any other kennel in Missouri.
See what a Blue Ribbon Kennel looks like:
A picture says a thousands words.
More info about Missouri Puppy Mills & Animal welfare Law in Missouri can be found at:
Join the Campaign at:
I honestly believe that anyone who understands the horrific impact PUPPY MILLS have in the state of Missouri can only come to one conclusion . This is why Missouri needs better commercial dog breeding laws. Our weak laws are the reason that Missouri is the puppy mill capitol of the United States.
Please join me in voting YES on Prop B!
November 2, 2010

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 31, 2010 | 2:37 p.m.

Many thanks Marlina and John for your comments.

And a reminder of why we're voting for Proposition B. This bill is as much about hope, as it is about correcting our serious problem with puppy mills.

(Report Comment)
John Doppler Schiff October 31, 2010 | 2:41 p.m.

Joan, it's really not a "David vs. Goliath" situation. Consider that the AKC had nearly $66 million in revenue in 2008. The ag industry in Missouri is massive, and many oppose HSUS for its efforts to eliminate cruelty in factory farms.

That's big business, big influence. Are you telling me they couldn't *individually* have mustered a major ad campaign in Missouri if they thought it necessary?

The more likely explanation is that they have recognized that defending the "rights" of the dog abusers and puppy mills that give all breeders a bad reputation is not in their best political interests.

It's not a matter of public awareness; the No on Prop B crowd has launched print campaigns, word of mouth campaigns, yard signs, robocalls... They've been very vocal. They just haven't been very convincing. The majority of Missourians are in favor of Prop B, according to the polls.

It boils down to the fact that most Missourians oppose puppy mill abuses and want to see it stopped. Prop B presents an effective deterrent to those abuses.

The opposition's hysterical and irrational cries of "HSUS is coming, and they'll take your dogs and make you eat TOFU!" have not persuaded Missouri voters that protecting dogs is a bad thing.

That's why Prop B will pass by a comfortable margin: not through the supposed marketing might of HSUS, but through the failure of Prop B's opponents to persuade voters with wild-eyed conspiracy theories of the coming vegan apocalypse.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 31, 2010 | 2:44 p.m.



(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 31, 2010 | 2:45 p.m.

I want FACTS. So far the only Facts I have seen from supporters, PROP B would have in NO WAY stopped! I am sorry, when we can not afford for our schools to supply the needed amount of text books to each child for each class, then NO, I see NO point in spending any amount!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 31, 2010 | 2:51 p.m.

Marina, be sure to know that after Tuesday this is NOT over! Our voices and facts carry very far over the computer!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 31, 2010 | 2:58 p.m.

See Agriculture in Missouri states "fur domesticated animals." And makes it legal in Missouri to be in the business of farming puppies for profit. But if you lived in Missouri you would know that. So because you all, who do not live in Missouri feel this should not be happening, and have probably never lived on a farm or had to work on a farm and rely on fur animals to provide for you family, how will the law suits against everyone under the Animal Enterprise Terrorist Act be handled?

(Report Comment)
connor davis November 1, 2010 | 12:33 a.m.
go to segment 10/25/10 and learn the facts about the tactics of HSUS. Listen as a veterinarian is defamed on air and how Barbara Schmitz is caught in the act.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane November 1, 2010 | 9:48 a.m.

Jessica B wrote: "Marina, be sure to know that after Tuesday this is NOT over! Our voices and facts carry very far over the computer!"
Oooh... scary pro-puppymill people will keep spreading mis-information, lies & scaretactics online...Like we already didn't know they would.
So Jessica... since you already know that the good people of Missouri will be voting YES on Prop B and that it is going to pass tomorrow.... then you must already realize also, that we are already prepared to keep up the fight come January in the Legislative session. During the 1998 CockFighting Voter Initiative Campaign, we heard the same rhetoric. The Puppy mill Cruelty Prevention Act will have the same results. The voters petitioned for it, the voters will pass it, & we will continue to fight against the opposition to keep it on our books for the next 5-10 years!

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer November 1, 2010 | 10:44 a.m.

We are very opposed to Prop B. We do NOT want to live anywhere else. We like our luxury kennel, clean water, fresh food, comfy beds, our kennel-mates, friends, and our 'mother' who loves us (and other house-keeping staff who keep our kennel clean). We also love raising our puppies, and can’t imagine having to give up our families and go to live in a shelter.
Save us from the humaniacs!! Please Vote NO on Prop B! ……The Dogs

(Report Comment)
connor davis November 1, 2010 | 1:21 p.m.

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Know the Facts on Prop B.

By Dr. Alan Wessler

When you go to the polls Nov. 2, look for a ballot initiative measure called Proposition B: “The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act”. Pushed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), this ballot initiative purports to relieve the suffering of dogs in substandard kennels. The proposition’s wording sounds innocent, but this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The organization: HSUS is a “factory fundraising operation” NOT closely tied to local animal shelters and rescue operations. In fact, these local operations, which do admirable work, receive little to no funding from HSUS. An analysis of its 2008 tax returns shows that HSUS received $86 million dollars of income and paid out $31 million in salaries (more than the White House payroll), $24 million in fundraising expenses, and $20 million in legal expenses (HSUS thrives on stirring up conflict which allows for more fundraising). Only $450,000 went into the actual hands-on care of dogs and cats, or less than ½ of 1% of HSUS’ income. That means for every $19 requested in HSUS emotional TV ads, one thin dime goes to the actual care of animals!

The act: Missouri’s existing Animal Care Facilities Act, a 23-page set of regulations, crafted by 13 Missouri animal health professionals, addresses housing, exercise, food and water needs of dogs in kennels. The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has 12 kennel inspectors who focus on insuring that kennel license requirements are met. In 2009 MDA’s Operation Bark Alert program received 227 hotline tips, resulting in 57 kennel closures and the rescue of 3,500 dogs. We need more funding for hiring more inspectors. HSUS’ Prop B does nothing to address that; HSUS just wants your money.

The impact: An analysis by Dr. Michael Muhlbauer of the Missouri Veterinary Medicine Association’s (MVMA) Animal Welfare Committee shows that Prop B will not enhance the care of dogs and cats in Missouri. It will bring needless added regulations that will drive out of business those good kennel-owning families who play by the rules. Prop B does nothing to affect people who are animal hoarders, those who abuse animals or those who run unlicensed kennels. More regulation is not the answer. More funding for enforcement and prosecution of the offenders is.

(Report Comment)
connor davis November 1, 2010 | 1:24 p.m.

Part II
The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Know the Facts on Prop B.

By Dr. Alan Wessler

Plus, Prop B sets bad precedent that the government can and should limit production of any business. Prop B attempts to establish that operation size equates with quality of care. That’s not the case. Quality of care depends on the character of the operator.

In my former veterinary practice, I had many good kennel owners who knew animals will give you their best when you first provide them with the best in health, nutrition and good animal husbandry practices. Prop B will destroy these good people’s livelihood.

Every major Missouri agricultural commodity group has come out in opposition to this ballot initiative, plus the MVMA and the American Kennel Club, which says the initiative’s language does nothing to improve animal welfare. Search YouTube to discover the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s negative response to HSUS’ actions.

Heard enough? Please vote no on Prop B.

Born and raised on a farm in northwest Missouri, Dr. Alan Wessler received his DVM from the University of Missouri. For more than 10 years, he practiced veterinary medicine in Aurora, Mo., until joining MFA. Today, Dr. Wessler is vice president of feed operations and animal health at MFA Incorporated. MFA Incorporated is a Midwest regional farm supply and grain cooperative.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer November 1, 2010 | 2:16 p.m.


The AKC put us here and many of their breed clubs fed you folks the scenarios you frequently vomit. AKC has many Breed clubs that state well within their ethics that a it is against their ethics if a Breeder were to sell one of their puppies to a Pet Store. Which is rather ironic. Being that Pet Stores were originally supplied by your larger show breeder. Which was healthy for that type of breeding program allowing more diverse genetics. Since Commercial kennels came in place. Competing with the show breeders. They have since stomped their feet like spoiled children. Instead of educating and controlling the situation they started a class war. The AR community soaks up every insult they have ever thrown at the commercial breeder side. Without the AKC breed club snobs.The AR community would not be as advanced as it is today. Granted AKC when they took such a strong stance against commercial breeders. About lost their little club. AKC may be trying very hard to over come these past mistakes. But the breed clubs are still living in the dark ages. AKC is just a non profit and they have no power over the breed clubs.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer November 1, 2010 | 2:22 p.m.

It does not take a genus to realize that if it were not for greed of the breed clubs, greed of the non profits. Something could have been done years ago. Demonizing Pet Stores, and Licensed Commercial breeders is rather idiotic. Both are business entities that pay taxes, pay employees , and are actually a much safer place for john Q public to buy from. Then your self proclaimed experts who have no license. Are not legal businesses. Are not forced to pay taxes or be inspected. Placing more value on buying a puppy out of someone's kitchen? How the hell is that situation ever going to be controlled? Take away the commercial breeder. Prices will sky rocket, and you will then learn what abuse can be. Standards should have been set long ago. instead of this idiotic witch hunt. In standard I do not mean ridiculous laws either. I mean research set standards. I truly believe many of the Animal rights activist are true blue animal lovers. I also believe they are way too narrow minded, and uneducated to do anything good. All I see the ARs do. Is start wars, trying to end this or that. Regardless of collateral damage. Nothing about real education that can cause real healthy change. I am not against change at all. Just the way you folks go about it.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer November 1, 2010 | 2:28 p.m.

In a world where Pet Stores were not demonized. Real Animal Lovers that had the people and the pets best interest at heart. Would dominate the Pet Store industry. A Pet Store of the ultimate ethical type would easily put out of business any Pet Store who practiced unethical business, and purchased puppies from questionable sources. The problem would be ended. Instead ARS being so successful reselling rescue dogs. Many pet stores are jumping on the bandwagon and now selling rescue dogs. Because ARS say it is good. BUT some of these animals are being shipped in from third world countries. One Pet Store rescue store told me they prefer to get their rescue dogs from Taiwan. Because American shelter dogs had too much kennel cough. I am sorry this looks like a worse situation arising.

(Report Comment)
connor davis November 1, 2010 | 10:09 p.m.

this pretty much sums it up

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 2, 2010 | 5:09 a.m.


You are so right.

Go there and look at the inventory of dogs for sale.
More the interview process a dog goes through before they accept. If it is not a good candidate for adoption/sale....well...they will put it down for the person bringing it in. Do those figures even go into the National Kill Rates?

Nobody wants these dogs. Oh a few "politically correct" people adopt/buy one out of guilt or compassion. Compassion is a good a reason but guilt is not. But please think it through even if compassion is the reason.

They don't fit into the lifestyle of most americans today.
Look at Dr. Phils cute fluffy white puppy he adopted and what it grew into...they seldom stay cute and little.

Prop B does nothing for these dogs. It doesn't stop the production of them and it's prevent the abuse of them.

There are no purebreds in this inventory. There was one beagle named Mike last month. I hope he got a home and did not get sent to that final "happy forever home".

Then AR industry tells us that rescue shops take the purebreds when they come into a shelter.

If you try to point out that rescue shops buy their dogs, the AR industry calls you a liar.

Depend on good ole Miss Shelly P, with a stroke of the keyboard she will complain that the Amish drive the prices up at auctions on the rescues. Of course the Resuce shops want to buy their pups at the lowest possible price.

Do the pro Prop B not even hear what they are saying. If you are buying and selling something....that is commerce.

Do the right thing
Vote No on Prop B

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 2, 2010 | 5:18 a.m.

"Purebred pets are at lower risk of surrender to shelters than mixed breeds, and dogs purchased for more than $100 have the lowest risk factors of all."

Of dogs released to shelters "2.5 percent came from pet stores; and 3.9 percent from litters produced in the home.
Nearly 20 percent of the surrendered dogs came from a shelter, and about the same number were acquired as strays."
Nearly 41 percent of the surrendered dogs were obtained free from the previous owner.


When the facts would indicate that a pet purchased from a Pet Store would be the best place to purchase a dog why do people believe the opposite?

I guess the AR people are so tuned out after reading the first line indicating puppies from pet shops that don't even look at the rest.

I posted this on sites with AKC breed club members and gets a response.

Here is the truly sad part, 20 percent of the dogs in shelters originated from shelters.

People need a companion animal that will fit their lifestyle.

Just like the housing requirements in a kennel for a bulldog and beagle although approximately the same length, yet are dramatically different, the lifestyle needs of each american family is that different.

You can pee pad break a tiny toy breed to happily live in a condo or apartment even if you don't have a yard, yet how many dogs in a shelter would fit that niche?

Look at the national kill rates in shelter and factor in the number of dogs in a shelter that originated in a shelter, plus the number of dogs euthanised for the person bringing it in for the screening process....Wow what percentage dogs actually find their way into a home.

I know we hear the glorified stories of the few that actually do make it out...but face reality...they are the exception.

Then Prop B supporters expect kennels to put their dogs into a shelter shop or shop if Prop B passes and they are forced to depopulate their kennels.....

Look at the performance of many shelter shops and rescue shops and their condition the dogs are kept in. Plus they won't be covered in Prop B. Prop B does nothing for the dogs in rescues and shelters.

What would you do with your dogs if you were no longer allowed to keep them?

Do the right thing
Vote NO on Prop B

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 2, 2010 | 8:17 a.m.

A little perspective on the numbers of dogs we might see if our breeders close in proportion to Pennsylvania's:


"Strictest Law in Nation Forcing Scores of Substandard Kennels to Close — Freeing 14,000 Dogs from Bleak Surroundings"

"The number of commercial kennels in Pennsylvania plummeted from 303 at the beginning of 2009 to 111 today"

Let's take 1450 licensed kennels in MO x 111/303 leaves 531 kennels (if the closures the same proportion - PA law does not have a limit on the number of dogs a breeder may breed and that may make our closure rate even higher).

Assuming the mix of small and large breeders to be the same here as in PA, they got 14,000 dogs from 303-111=192 kennel closures. We might have 1450-531=919. 919/192 x 14,000 = 67,700 dogs that might have to be placed over the next year or two by shelters, rescues, and auctions. I'm sorry, but most of them will be put to sleep.


(Report Comment)
Terry Ward November 2, 2010 | 9:54 a.m.

Mark A. Landers, dog-lover extraordinaire!


Name: Landers, Mark
DBA: Promises Kept

ID: 9815
Date Submitted: 12/2/2009
Breed: Maltese
Date Purchased: 9/27/2009
Broker: Unknown
Petshop: Pawsh Puppies
Details: broncopneumonia, severely hypoglycemic, giardia, coccidia, anemia due to chronic illness/debilitation. Required oxygen for 4 days

ID: 4890
Date Submitted: 3/13/2008
Breed: Brussels Griffon
Date Purchased: 2/17/2008
Broker: Unknown
Petshop: Chi-Chi Couture Puppies
Details: Retained baby teeth.

ID: 1359
Date Submitted: 11/10/2006
Breed: Bulldog
Date Purchased: 7/17/2005
Broker: The Hunte Corporation
Petshop: Debby's Pet Land, Quality Pet or New England Pet
Details: Luxating patella; does not appear purebred

ID: 550
Date Submitted: 7/7/2006
Breed: Cocker Spaniel Mix
Date Purchased: 5/22/2002
Broker: The Hunte Corporation
Petshop: Pet City
Details: Neutered at brokers; slipped disc at 2 years of age. X-rays also showed calcium on the heart and bone abnormalities that were indicative of malnourishment. Undergoing testing for possible Cushing's disease. Sold as a "toy spaniel" but grew to be 40 lbs.

ID: 353
Date Submitted: 5/26/2006
Breed: Bulldog
Date Purchased: 12/8/2005
Broker: Unknown
Petshop: Paradise Island Pets
Details: behavioral problems

ID: 89
Date Submitted: 4/6/2006
Breed: English Toy Spaniel
Date Purchased: 2/23/2006
Broker: Unknown
Petshop: Petland #273
Details: congestion, running nose, and sneezing and coughing

ID: -2354
Date Submitted: 1/1/2005
Breed: Bulldog
Date Purchased: 1/1/2005
Broker: The Hunte Corporation
Petshop: Woof & Co.
Details: pneumonia; deaf

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 2, 2010 | 6:43 p.m.


Once I began to understand the "how" and "why" behind the pro Prop B people posting on these sites I've tried to only resond to the ones that I thought were HSUS employees. I have learned so much for everyone's comments. I thank you all.

Terry I did not think you were one of the AR employees. Now that the election is basically over (it's 6:00 pm) I will reply.

We ALL need to consider the ramifications of our actions and try get all the facts not just part of them.

There is a concept known as "magical thinking". Simply when someone knows 1,2,3,9,and 10. Then let their mind fill with out proof fill in 4,5,6,7,and 8 to complete the series. Our minds don't like the gaps in the series and therefore it tries to fill in those gaps with information within the frame of reference of personal histories and experiences. The "magical thinking" is powerful tool when used for the wrong reasons. We are humans and we do the best we can...that is all that any us can do.

I don't think I've proclaimed prefection anywhere on these posts. I am person doing the best I can with abilities and information I have to this date. AS new facts come to light it can and will change my perceptions of reality.

I have posted to others when addressed personally And I often make's kind of a human thing I have going on in my life.

I know how emotionally vested real caring people are in the care of animals. I also now understand how they have been used.

Terry, please look again at of puppies I've sold that had problems from the site you posted.

Please think about the paid advertizements HSUS does to solicit stories of sick puppies purchased from pet shops and breeders.

Please think about the details that are not posted on this site.

It's not a perfect world and these are living biological entities. I do my best to send out healthy puppies. All these puppies were checked by veterinarians before they were sent out to their new homes. It is currently the law to ensure the customer that the puppy is healthy at time of purchase and to protect the breeder from being accused of sending out sick puppies.

Is that told on this site?

We need education and responsible pet ownership not partial stories leaving out details and how situations were resolved.

I understand that you care.


Mark A. Landers

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 2, 2010 | 7:10 p.m.


Again, we need education and responsible pet ownership not partial stories leaving out details and how situations were resolved.

Please reread what you posted now that you are aware of how "magical thinking" works and how the AR industry has utilized this concept.

1 Maltese: How did they care for this puppy? No one can follow a puppy home and live with it for the rest of it's life. Where is the new owner's reponsibliy? Did they let it have "unfetted access to outdoors? Did they feed it on a regular schedule? The list of guestions goes on and on...The answer is...."you do not know" from the information posted.

2. Brussels Griffon. Posting this shows how much more education we need and how little people know about the different needs of the different breeds of dogs. Retained baby teeth are not uncommon in any toy breed. It's not uncommon in people. Ask a human dentist about retained baby teeth in people. At age 55 I still have one retained baby tooth. In my case there was no adult tooth that grew to replace it. My dentist left it to prevent a gap.

3. Bulldog: DNA testing would settle the matter. "Did not appear breed standard to whom and why?" The AKC bulldog standard states "the mature size for mature dogs is about 50 pounds and mature bitches about 40 pounds." Why do people think if they get a 40 pound female (not a big dog)that it isn't "purebred"? We need education.
"Luxating patella" What grade of patellaular luxation? Do some research and become educated.

Genetic variation and the "slippery" nature of the DNA code of the canine species is the reason for the vast variety of dog breeds.

4.English Toy Spaniel: "congestion, running nose, and sneezing and coughing" How many times did this happens to you or your child in your lifetime?


(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 2, 2010 | 7:38 p.m.


"Cocker Spaniel Mix" This is my favorite example of the way the AR industry presents "bad" stories about people. Who is the "bad" person in this story supposed to be?

TWO YEARS after I sell a puppy, the NOW grown dog, "showed calcium on the heart and bone abnormalities that were indicative of malnourishment."

"Mal" means "bad": Malnourishment comes in many forms. Obesity is one of them. When a dog or even a human is obese joints and discs (designed for a normal weight) can not always hold up to the extra weight.

Note the word "possible". "Undergoing testing for possible Cushing's disease". Did it have Cushing's disease? Don't you think if it had Cushing's disease it would be posted on this site.

Am I supposded to be the "bad" person or is the new owner supposed to be the "bad" person? We do not know the whole story.

If the new owner and I both are the bad person, would the AR industry then use this to abolish all animal ownership?


(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 2, 2010 | 7:39 p.m.


This is case building site for AR industry for use possibly two ways.

One is to mislead people (magical thinking) into thinking breeders sell sick puppies, therefore they must be a bad breeder. OR "Just like" all puppies breeders sell are sick.

The second reason is to try and defend themselves from the law suits that are sure to come.

The "just like" comes from the anologies "Anne" is so fond of using leading one to AR's concluion they want to believe rather than any of other possible conclusions.

This puppy actually an English Toy Spaniel that did not meet breed standard. It was sold as a pet already neutered with limited registration.

Yes, Terry not all puppies in a litter turn out the way we want them to look. That is because of genetic variation. We then selct the ones that are closest to the breed standard for the next generation.

I often tell people to look at parents were both attractive people...yet here I am :) That's the way genetics work.

Bulldog with behavioral problems. Take time to watch any episode of the "Dog Whisperer". Enough said

Bulldog: pneumonia; deaf Where are the details of resolution and documentation on this and the other cases on this site.

If this puppy was "deaf" it was covered in our warranty. The puppy was screened and checked by vets before it was sent out. I'm not going to tell you that it was not deaf, Terry. I don't know. Genetic and congenital defects occur in all living entities.

I will be frank with you, to my knowledge there has not been a perfect puppy born. I'll tell you what I used to tell everyone. When someone finds the "perfect" dog, I will stop breeding and we can just clone that "perfect" dog.

Notice I said "used to" say that. With Prop B...I have to stop breeding anyway.

I made references to the site you have posted from in comments section of this site:

Terry, It was a very emotionally reactive day for me.

I just kept typing in the comment section.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts


Mark A Landers

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward November 3, 2010 | 1:05 a.m.

United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service



The dealer stated the following animals were being or had been treated in the past but there is no written documentation to
reflect any current treatment of the animals. The animals need to be evaluated by the attending veterinarian and written
documentation needs to be kept by the dealer of the evaluation and all treatments.
1. The adult female American Spaniel, microchip #057369600, is excessively thin to the point of ribs, hips, and spinal column
protruding and humped.
2. The Adult female Bull dog, #25, has a patch of hair loss approximately two by three inches in size which is red. There was
bedding material, wood shavings, attached to the site and when it was removed there was green goopy matter under it.
3. There is an adult female Bull dog, #83, who currently has seven puppies. The dealer stated the animals were being treated
for Ring Worm and the puppies had been excessively throwing up and coughing. The puppies were still coughing during the
In the outer room adjacent to the whelping building there is an excessive accumulation of rodent droppings and old fiberglass
insulation material that has excessive evidence of being infested by rodents, for example numerous holes, chewed fiber
material, and droppings. The fiberglass material needs to be removed, the area cleaned, and effective measures taken to
prevent living and breeding areas of pests and other vermin to promote the health and well-being of the animals and reduce
contamination by pests in animal areas.
Affects ninety-five adults and thirty-two puppies.

There are no excuses for this.
You say ' With Prop B...I have to stop breeding anyway'
Why not continue to breed with a manageable number of dogs and try to conduct yourself like a human being it the process?
Has this never occurred to you?

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers November 3, 2010 | 1:35 a.m.

Congratulations to all the Prop Pro B

Thank you to opponets of Prop B who worked so hard with few resources to try try protect our citizens rights.

The not knowing has been the hardest part this last year.
Now the decision has been made for me.

Mark A. Landers
formerly Promises Kept Kennels

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward November 3, 2010 | 8:01 a.m.

Congratulations to all of you who worked so hard in getting this bill passed.
To all of the responsible breeders who posted their reluctance, I ( and many others like me) are certain that your worst fears will not come to pass and hope that you will continue to do what you do well.
It is only the fringe who would have you put out of business.

To all of you 'humanewatch' knuckleheads whose ouija board told you that this will mean ' the end of animal agriculture' ...
You might in the future reconsider the wisdom of posting lunatic predictions for all to see. VERY bad for one's credibility in any future debate.

Alas, the real work now begins...

As you can see from Mark Landers' above whiney post, a great 'dog dumping'
is on the horizon.
Many of these animals will be either sold at auction, traded out-of-state, dumped into shelters or simply let loose.
Some will be scuttled across the border to Kentuck-istan..
In the more isolated areas, many will end up back behind Billy-Bob's barn with a bullet (or a brick) to the head.

This mass dumping is one 'prediction' which is unfortunately very true.
My experience is with breed rescue only ... I cannot speak to what will happen when local overcrowded underfunded shelters become overwhelmed.
What I DO know is that breed rescues all over the country have been
hoping for, preparing for and yet dreading this for quite some time.
All of us are stretched already.

EVERYONE who supported this bill has a responsibility to help deal with , in any way you can, it's inevitable aftermath.

EVERYONE who did NOT support this bill because 'it did not go far enough' or it 'would do nothing to help dogs' or 'we need enforcement not more laws' ALSO has a responsibility to help deal with the aftermath..
Otherwise the basis for your argument was a lie.
And you know who you are.

I will post a list of things people can do..however help.
Shelly and Marina are far more qualified to do this than I, and I hope both of you will contribute your suggestions..

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 3, 2010 | 8:29 a.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"'we need enforcement not more laws' ALSO has a responsibility to help deal with the aftermath..
Otherwise the basis for your argument was a lie."

Why would I be responsible for dealing with the aftermath of something I recommended and voted against? This was some of you guys idea (and HSUS). And it's your mess now.

Got Pentobarb?


(Report Comment)
RONA COMER November 3, 2010 | 8:47 a.m.

What will they do with all those extra dogs, dump them on the local humane societies, ( where I send my donations not to hsus). Our local humane society has enough on its plate without this. Also we had laws on the books already to deal with puppy mills. the Sherrifs department was always checking and removing dogs and also taking people to jail and charging with negligence and cruelty. This will change nothing. All it will do is create problems for those who were compliant with the laws and create more burdens for law abiding breeders.You say you are being humane, how about all the dogs that will have to be killed because there is no place for them to go. Good going!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers November 3, 2010 | 9:13 a.m.

Thanks for your support, Terry.

I've read elsewhere that the infrastructure put in place for Proposition B will remain in place in order to help facilitate the transition.

Most dogs won't be killed, but not all dogs will be saved from commercial breeders. Hopefully, though, one other benefit from Proposition B is that other states, especially those around Missouri, will be forced to decide if _they_ want to become to the next "puppy mill capital of the US" and make laws to ensure this doesn't happen.

The news about Proposition B will also, hopefully, serve to remind people not to get their dogs from pet stores, or via the internet without being able to visit the kennel location directly.

What's going to be important is identifying organizations and groups who are effectively helping the dogs, and filtering those who are springing up and taking advantage of this bill. With this kind of identification, we can then direct monetary help and other support to the right folks.

The shelters in Missouri are definitely going to need help, but this transition will impact on groups outside of the Missouri, and we need to concentrate support in order to maximize the benefit.

If people do want a breed dog, now is the time to find one at a shelter or with a legitimate rescue organization. is a good place to start. They need to be wary, though, of rescues who say they'll ship a puppy.

My hope is also that those breeders who do choose to remain in business and meet the new regulations, get support from their farm organizations in order to make necessary upgrades.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers November 3, 2010 | 9:26 a.m.

Another indirect benefit of Proposition B and the noise surrounding the legislation is that hopefully others thinking to get into the "lucrative" puppy market will think again.

The industry is not a growth industry. While legitimate breeders should continue to thrive, large scale dog factory farms will eventually end.

(Report Comment)
Rachel Simpson November 3, 2010 | 9:36 a.m.

Congratulations, Missouri, for taking a big step toward ending the puppy mill problem. We in Ohio have been watching and keeping our fingers crossed for you, and you have come through. Hopefully, we, also, will be able to get new laws passed that will put this awful business to an end.
There are many naysayers, who talk about how there are already anticruelty laws on the books to protect the dogs, and how there are USDA agents who keep tabs on the kennels to make sure they comply with the very weak regulations in place. But I suspect that these naysayers are the ones who are profiting from the animals, and do not want anything to interfere with their income. Even those who were working in our State Government chose to look the other way. They did not collect taxes from these breeders, even though it was estimated that they owed the State at least half a million dollars. The State-apppointed Farm Bureau stated publicly that it was against our grassroots movement to put an end to the dog auction, where breeding dogs from puppy mills are bought and sold, because it "interfered with commerce." So, now that the number one puppy mill State in the Union has passed stronger laws regulating this business, maybe our own newly elected officials will take notice when we talk to them. I certainly hope so! Way to go, MO!!

(Report Comment)
lacinda florez November 3, 2010 | 11:08 a.m.

I want you to open your mind and read your comment, if a breeder is following the law and doing what they are supposed to be doing this will have no impact on them at all. And as far as dogs being taken to the pound, they again will not be affected if the breeder is following the law and if not it's got to be a better situation then the one they are being removed from.
@Mark A Landers
Are you aware that obesity is the opposite of malnourished and it's much more to have them put down than live with rodants and infections, filth, a lack of food, water, and vet care.

(Report Comment)

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