LETTER: Proposition B provides clear guidance to inspectors

Monday, October 25, 2010 | 5:23 p.m. CDT

Proposition B's requirements for large-scale, commercial dog breeding facilities are modest and straightforward. Unlike current regulations that are complex and vague, it will provide clear and consistent guidance to inspectors. Prop B requires access to nutritious food daily, continuous access to drinkable water, veterinary care for illness or injury, adequate space and exercise.

The humane standards in Prop B provide a clear road map for Missouri Department of Agriculture professionals to apply. Like any law, enforcement officials have discretion on when a violation is severe enough to warrant action, and will prioritize the most extreme cases of puppy mill cruelty.

Prop B doesn't change existing enforcement structure. The Missouri Department of Agriculture would still be able to impose administrative penalties for any violation of its regulations but not initiate criminal prosecutions itself (though it may refer violations to local law enforcement for prosecution).

Local law enforcement is already permitted to bring prosecutions for violations of criminal Animal Care Facilities Act statutes that provide for criminal penalties. However, Prop B increases the likelihood that local law enforcement will act because it provides new, clear criminal prohibitions, such as the limit on total breeding dogs and the cage size requirements, that a local officer can readily identify without the need to consult an expert.

Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B also supports stronger enforcement of regulations. Both strong enforcement and the provisions of Prop B will have the biggest impact on improving the lives of dogs in Missouri's puppy mills. Voting "YES" on Prop B will help protect these dogs.

Bob Baker is the executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.

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Cody Hobbs October 25, 2010 | 5:38 p.m.

Mr. Barker it is apparent you have not read the current regulations. There is noting vague about them!!! Prop B being vague, however, is an understatement... In the current regulations that you apparently have not read already give us guidelines for food, water, veterinary care and exercise.

You are making all of these comments about the Missouri Department of Ag and yet after personally talking to them they are saying just the opposite of what you are!!!

WE already have 23 pages of laws. These laws need to be enforced not have more added to them!!! So Bob after reading this little article it is evident you have no clue what you are talking about!!!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 25, 2010 | 6:06 p.m.

Cody Hobbs:
Bob is a Baker, not a Barker, although he is definitely barking up the wrong tree in Missouri.
Only an anti-private business activist would seek to close down those larger, successful, legal dog service leaders of their industry and remove cash flow from our financially strapped state.
Limiting personal property of any kind and putting limits on how much a person can earn via humane methods is a violation of human rights disguised under his and HSUS, the spawn of PETA's ultimate goal to destroy an entire private industry.
Save Missouri. Vote No on Proposition B.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 25, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.

ctually, Bob Baker has a lifetime of experience in dealing with substandard breeding facilities.
Bob Baker is well known nationally in the animal welfare community for his advocacy work. He has over 30 years experience in state and federal legislative efforts to improve animal welfare laws and to protect animals from abuse and neglect. Bob began investigating puppy mills in Missouri as far back as 1980 and brought a national spotlight on abuses in the commercial dog breeding industry in Missouri throughout the 80's & 90's. His efforts contributed significantly to the successful passage of the Missouri Animal Care Facilities Act in 1992.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 25, 2010 | 7:24 p.m.

Baker is an overrated zealot who is adored by many Dems as seen on this site.
He even admits that he has a problem with businesses that barely pass existing laws.
(As that's not enough to HIS liking.)
Definitely an anti-private business/pro-nonprofit interference kind of guy.
Dogs have rights? What about businessmen's rights?

Democratic Underground:

(Report Comment)
Sarah Barnett October 25, 2010 | 9:11 p.m.

As much as people like Ray and Cody want to make this issue a partisan issue about everything under the sun, the fact is that it is about puppy mills. Nothing more, nothing less. Fifteen states recently passed strong laws cracking down on abusive puppy mills, including major agricultural states, giving dogs basic humane standards of care such as food, water, veterinary care, exercise and shelter.
It is a sad reality, but Missouri is the largest puppy mill state, and is lagging behind on dog protection—that’s why Prop B is needed. It’s absurd to think that these new policies have any effect on policies related to livestock. In fact, our opponents made the same arguments in 1998 during the debate over the ballot initiative to ban cockfighting in Missouri, and 12 years later, there has been no attempt to impact livestock agriculture or sport hunting in the state through the Legislature or through the initiative process. Their claims dating back 12 years proved false, and the invoking of these same scare tactics are equally false today.
Read the act for yourself at where you will also be able to find answers to common questions, and vote YES on Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 25, 2010 | 10:00 p.m.

("Are you supporting Obama and the HSUS?
How many animal people are leaning toward Obama? and Do you know that he is the only candidate that openly endorses and is openly endorsed by the HSUS?")

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 25, 2010 | 10:11 p.m.

Not that it is any of your business, Ray... but I voted for McCain in 2008.Actually, I've voted Republican most of my life. But, this last year of hate speech (from both sides) has left me disliking both parties now.

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 26, 2010 | 9:02 a.m.

Once again, Ray, I cannot stress enough that this is not a partisan issue. Prop B is about puppy mill cruelty, and I would wager that neither Republicans nor Democrats are in favor of the horrific abuses at Missouri's puppy mills.

I would encourage everyone to read the exact language of the act at and also view the Dirty Dozen report at to see what conditions are like in Missouri puppy mills.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 26, 2010 | 9:03 a.m.

Missouri is a magnet for bad operators because the current laws are too weak and/or too vague or complicated to be effectively enforced. Facilities with dozens of federal and state violations remain licensed in Missouri to this day. Clearly, the current laws have not done enough to stop puppy mill abuses. Prop B will establish a new set of clear standards for the proper care of dogs which can be more effectively enforced. The way dogs are treated in today's Missouri puppy mills is wrong.

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 26, 2010 | 8:04 p.m.

This proposition enjoys 69 percent approval in an article in the Saint Louis Dispatch.

According to the article, "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"

And also says, "Proposition B, which would impose new regulations on dog breeders, displayed even more backing, with 69 percent of respondents saying they would vote for it.

The poll, of 625 registered Missouri voters, has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

The results show that the millions of dollars spent by proponents of both ballot questions have succeeded in making them a virtual lock - not that eliminating taxes and protecting puppies are an especially hard sell."

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 26, 2010 | 8:06 p.m.

If it is a partisan issue, why do Republican approve of it 60 percent in the recent St. Louis Dispatch poll?

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 26, 2010 | 8:09 p.m.

I am a party-line Republican and have never voted for a Democratic presidential, Senatorial, or House of Representatives candidate. But I am in full support of Proposition B. Just because I am a die-hard Republican doesn't mean I can tolerate the suffering of dogs and puppies. Because I am a Republican, I will vote Yes. Because I am a GOP lifelong follower, I am compassionate, and will vote yes on prop B.

(Report Comment)
John Doppler Schiff October 26, 2010 | 9:29 p.m.

Ray, why do you participate in these discussions if your sole contribution is to malign everyone who doesn't hold your same extremist views?

I've given up on your displaying any sort of courtesy, but I would think you could at least muster the self restraint to come up with ONE fact that supports your opinions.

I have yet to see it, and it seems I will have to abandon that hope as well.

As others quickly pointed out, this is not a partisan issue. This is not about paranoid fantasies about the end of agriculture. This is not about HSUS.

Prop B is about protecting animals from abuse by the large-scale breeders who value profit over their humanity.

Vote YES on Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 26, 2010 | 9:39 p.m.

("Jessica Bryand October 26, 2010 | 9:34 p.m.
John Doppler Schiff is webmaster for Humanewatch.Info (supporter of HSUS) and Sarah is employed with HSUS, so of course they would be posting their support. I just wonder how we are "spouting my usual doomsday propaganda" Ray by posting facts? Also I went to the above site Sarah posted, maybe you can answer this for me since you work for HSUS, what year where those pictures taken? I am not a breeder but a taxpayer and well from this link, it looks like Gov. Nixon and Dr. John Hagler are addressing the issues and making significant improvements in the last year. Are you saying they are not?")

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 26, 2010 | 11:25 p.m.

Christian organization? Moral compass? Are you kidding?
Listen to the truth about HSUS. Assasinate the character of a colleague on talk radio? Someone in HSUS got themselves and HSUS in a big bad mess yesterday. Someone got caught in a major lie. Listen and learn the facts folks. Do Mr. Baker's comments about the law apply to someone who tells lies on air about someone? HSUS carries a mighty sword to go after innocent folks.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 26, 2010 | 11:33 p.m.

("While the text and title of the Proposition sound good to the average reader, further investigation proves that the Amendment is truly nefarious and is being advanced by a radical group bent on ending Pet Ownership and Hunting. AND, NOTHING in the Amendment will truly do anything to address the puppy mill problem in Missouri.")

(Report Comment)
QuaShawn Jenkins October 27, 2010 | 11:05 a.m.

Ray Shapiro will be running with his tail between his legs.............this is sure to pass and he knows it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 27, 2010 | 11:18 a.m.

All depends on how many voters do their homework.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 27, 2010 | 7:35 p.m.


it is obvious that HSUS will do anything to win even making up a huge lie to discredit a Missouri licensed veterinarian.
The public now knows that she has no moral compass.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 27, 2010 | 7:36 p.m.


(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 8:12 p.m.

I honestly believe that anyone who understands the horrific impact PUPPY MILLS have in the state of Missouri can only come to one conclusion . Please join me in voting YES on Prop B this November.
As a Missourian, I'm sick of living in the "Puppy Mill Capital of the US". Missouri needs to add to & clear up our current legislation regarding dog breeding. Proposition B will help do that. It will add to the current ACFA (Animal Care Facilities Act) & make the current laws clearer & easier to enforce.
Why would every Humane organization in Missouri endorse & support Prop B? Because they are the ones who have to deal with the aftermath of sick, matted dogs that have lived their lives in filth. The Commercial Dog breeding industry has 1 year to comply & come up to standards with Prop B. Shelters & rescues are already preparing to accomodate the influx of dogs they will receive when Prop B passes. Looking to the future, the passage of Prop B will mean less rescues, less cruelty, less euthanazia from overbreeding & abandoned breeding dogs from puppy mills.
There is a reason why Missouri is known as the "puppy mill capitol" of the United States. It is because our laws are the WEAKEST in the nation! We have 3 times more licensed commercial dog breeders than any other state. With weak laws we attract the cess pool of the dog breeders.

Vote Yes! Prop B
Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty!

(Report Comment)

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