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Breeders fearful of tighter rules under Prop B

Thursday, October 28, 2010 | 6:42 p.m. CDT; updated 10:18 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tenderheart Kennels employee Lynda Bridwell fills the food bowl as the excited recipient looks on during early morning on Wednesday. Bridwell comes over every day around 7 a.m. and spends about 4 to 6 hours cleaning and feeding all of the dogs in the kennel.

COLUMBIA – Peaches rolls in the grass by the feet of his breeder, Hubert Lavy. The French bulldog casually sniffs Lavy’s shoes and jeans, finding the scent of the other dogs at the kennel.

“If you ever want a pet, this is what you get,” he said. “They are the most loving, comical pets.”

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Lavy and his wife, Sharon Lavy, own Tenderheart Kennel in Silex, which is in Lincoln County. They have been breeding dogs to sell as pets for the past 10 years.

“We sell love, we sell friendship, but we also sell a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” Hubert Lavy said.

Tenderheart Kennel is one of many large-scale dog breeding operations in Missouri that would be affected if voters statewide approve Proposition B on Tuesday.

Proposition B would add new regulations to current laws governing dog breeders in Missouri. The regulations are limited to dog breeders with 10 or more breeding females. Tenderheart Kennel has 37 breeding females, but only breeds about 20 of them; the rest are too young or too old.

The Lavys oppose Proposition B because they fear it would be cost-prohibitive to meet all of the proposed standards.

“It’s the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life,” Hubert Lavy said. “It’s my hobby, it’s what I love to do and, dammit, they are going to take it away from me.”

Hubert Lavy estimated renovations to meet the standards in Proposition B would cost $50,000. He put his yearly earnings at $15,000 to $20,000.

Dog breeding issues in Missouri

Proposition B would create a difficult transition for breeders, but proponents of the initiative say it is necessary.

In 2009, the Missouri Department of Agriculture launched Operation Bark. According to an e-mail from Misti Preston, director of strategic communications for the department, the program was started to address substandard breeders in Missouri. The operation sends inspectors to facilities when it gets tips submitted through an online system.

Since it started, the program has rescued more than 3,700 dogs in Missouri and seen nearly 350 commercial breeders go out of business, according to the agriculture department.

The Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/Yes! on Prop B website estimates there are 3,000 "puppy mills" in Missouri. Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, said that estimate is based on 1,400 to 1,500 licensed breeders with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, 1,100 to 1,400 licensed breeders with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and 500 to 600 estimated unlicensed breeders. 

"A puppy mill would be a large-scale dog breeding facility that takes substandard care of the dogs," Schmitz said. 

She said her organization considers any large-scale dog breeding facilities that are not meeting the proposed requirements in Proposition B as providing substandard care.

"The laws here in Missouri are unclear and inadequate. Looking at the folks who are licensed doesn't reassure you that they are taking care of their dogs," Schmitz said.

She said the existing laws governing dog breeders attempt to curb some of the worst offenses, but they are "vague and riddled with loopholes."

A kennel in Mexico, Mo., was cited by the Humane Society of the United States on its list of some of the worst breeders in Missouri.

The kennel, Teacher's Pets, was owned and operated by Herman and Bonnie Schindler. They recently decided to close their business, citing personal health issues.

The Schindlers will have a joint auction with Lori Conrad of Conrad's Cuddly Canines to sell their dogs on Friday and Saturday. The auction bill lists 694 dogs; 611 are from the Schindlers.

The humane society's list said Teacher's Pets had 36 pages of U.S. Department of Agriculture violations since November 2007 and 133 state kennel violations in recent years.

Sharon Owens, an Auxvasse breeder on the humane society's list, lost her license on Oct. 7.

According to her Animal Care Facilities Act License Revocation document,Owens, whose facility was called Poodles Plus, lost her license "on the grounds of multiple repeat violations of the Animal Care Facilities Act."

The document specifically cited violations in January, March and October of 2010 and said they "exhibit a blatant disregard for adequate standards of animal care."

Inspection reports from breeders in Boone County show varying numbers and categories of violations. Of the most recent inspection reports from the five licensed breeders in Boone County, two had no violations.

Hargis' Sunshine Kennel in Hallsville had four violations from a May 2010 inspection, Triple L Farm in Hartsburg had two violations from a May 2010 inspection and Natacha's Kennel in Harrisburg had two violations from an April 2010 inspection.

Housing 47 dogs 

The Lavys have 47 dogs and breed Labrador retrievers, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese, and French bulldogs.

Their Tenderheart Kennel received one violation during its most recent inspection in December for "an accumulation of dirt and cobwebs" in one of its buildings. They were given two months to correct the issue, which is standard procedure.

The kennel has Labs running around in pens outside with limestone that neutralizes ammonia from the dogs' urine covering the ground. The dogs also have constant access to shelter. Their area in the shelter has a water bottle device that comes down from a pipe with continuously flowing cold water. The Labs at Tenderheart Kennel are always outside, Hubert Lavy said, because the breed loves the outdoors.

Dogster.com is a website that specializes in dog breeds. The description of Labrador retrievers on the website says they love being outside and have a water-resistant outer coat with a downy undercoat keeping them warm.

Hubert Lavy said he only has one Lab that sleeps inside, and that dog was raised indoors. The rest sleep outside in their doghouses.

New regulations in Proposition B state that each dog must have an indoor enclosure of 12 to 30 square feet per dog, depending on the size of the dog. This would require breeders who don't have a similar enclosure, or breeders who mostly keep their dogs outside, like the Lavys, to build a new structure to house their dogs.

Under Proposition B, Lavy said, Tenderheart Kennel would have to build an 18 by 125-foot structure to house 50 labs. The building would need heating and air conditioning. 

These regulations don’t resonate with Hubert Lavy.

“If it made sense, then I wouldn’t be opposed to it,” he said. “Common sense and compassion should rule the kennel, not a lawyer.”

All of the pens and cages are cleaned every day by Lynda Bridwell, an employee of Tenderheart Kennels. Daily kennel cleaning is a stipulation in Proposition B.

“If you don’t clean them every day you get behind, and if you get behind you never catch up,” Hubert Lavy said.

Bridwell said she plays with the dogs every day. Hubert Lavy joked that she gets to Tenderheart Kennel at 7 a.m., but doesn’t start until 8 a.m. because she greets all of the dogs and gives them a biscuit first.

The other adult dogs are kept in the pens outside, like the Labs, but they have space heaters for cold nights and during the winters to keep them warm.

The Lavys raise all of their puppies on their 127 acres in a different building called the whelping house, which is meant for pregnant females and young puppies. The puppies are kept in cages with a wire flooring called Kennel Ease. It is made of a special plastic that is soft on the puppies' paws and has little holes so waste falls through. This prevents their puppies from sitting in their own fecal matter. Sharon Lavy said that it doesn't hurt their paws.

New regulations in Proposition B would not allow any wire flooring for dogs.

“I don’t do anything to hurt my animals, but I’m a cruel S.O.B. if I put them on wire,” Hubert Lavy said. “Whoever wrote this doesn’t take care of dogs.”

Lavy raised his first litter of puppies when he was 16. He has been raising dogs for 51 years.

“You kind of figure out what’s right and what’s wrong,” he said. “This setup here is as right as I’ve ever been.”

Nuances of Prop B

Proposition B requires constant and unfettered access indoors and outdoors at all times for dogs.

The Lavys are unsure about having unfettered access indoors and outdoors for their females who are still nursing puppies. They keep the mother and puppies in the same cage, which has access outside through a door that can be closed.

“If the temperature was too hot or too cold, (the mother’s) door would be blocked,” Sharon Lavy said.

Tenderheart Kennel would then be in violation of Proposition B by blocking the door. If the mother’s puppies got outside, they could die from the temperature, Sharon Lavy said. This violation would be labeled a class C misdemeanor, which has a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.

“There is not one paintbrush that covers all,” Hubert Lavy said.

Tenderheart Kennel has an incubator, a device that gives puppies extra warmth and oxygen when they are born. The Lavys said they typically have to use it for small breeds, like Yorkies. They said the incubator saves puppies, and they're unsure whether it would be considered "necessary veterinary care" under Proposition B.

According to the law, necessary veterinary care is, at minimum, yearly examinations for the dogs, treatment of illness or injury and humane euthanasia — all by a licensed veterinarian.

The bottom line

Dog breeders with 10 or more intact females in Missouri have three choices if Proposition B passes: comply with the new standards in Proposition B, reduce the number of dogs they breed or drop out of the business entirely.

About 600 dog breeders are a part of the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, an organization that supports the campaign against Proposition B. The association's president, Barbara York, said that Proposition B would eliminate most of the licensed breeders in Missouri. 

"The regulations they want to put into effect are so cost-prohibitive that no one will be able to come into compliance," York said. "The costs would be absolutely phenomenal for breeders."

Sharon and Hubert Lavy said they might have to euthanize some of the dogs or send them to a shelter to get under the limit of 10 intact females and not qualify for the rules in Proposition B.

"Prop B will put me out of business," Hubert Lavy said.

Another breeder, Debbie Bruce of Bruce Farm Pets at Centralia, said she would have to construct a new building if Proposition B passes. Otherwise, she would give some of her dogs to a shelter to have less than 10 breeding females.

"It will make big changes that are difficult for breeders," Bruce said.


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Comments

Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 7:43 p.m.

I wish the Columbia Missourian could learn to write some fair & balanced articles. This is so one slanted toward the opposition to Prop B.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Vote YES! Prop B
Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty!

(Report Comment)
Sarah Barnett October 28, 2010 | 8:17 p.m.

It is unfortunate that this article doesn't mention several very important factors. While Prop B does require unfettered access to the outside, it requires it only for dogs older than 6 months of age. So the idea of this causing problems for newborns just doesn't make sense.

Additionally, Prop B does not require breeders to upgrade their kennels if they provide basic standards of care outlined by the Act. The average person assumes, and expects, that anyone caring for a live animal will provide decent and reasonable care. Adequate care of dogs still allows breeders operating under Prop B’s minimal humane standards to make a big profit. Under Prop B, a commercial breeder who has 40 females and 10 males can produce approximately 200 to 400 puppies a year (breeding each female twice in each 18 month period). With these sales, a commercial breeder can earn more than $100,000 a year, well over twice the median income of the average Missouri family.

These breeders make a good income from their dogs and if they are not providing sufficient humane housing and care, they can, and should, make any needed improvements for the wellbeing of their animals and the overall success of their businesses. Other industries are expected to re-invest in their businesses from time to time. The commercial breeding industry should be no exception. If clear, humane standards are in place, consumers will have more confidence in Missouri’s dog breeders and it will help their long-term business outlook.

I encourage readers to read the complete language of Prop B at www.yesonpropb.com/about/read-act and see why the Humane Society of Missouri and many Missouri vets are voting YES on Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 8:32 p.m.

Is it just me...or...doesn't that brown dog on the left (in the top photo) look like it just want's to push that woman over in the picture? (or bite her in the butt!)
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VOTE YES! PROP B
PREVENT PUPPY MILL CRUELTY!

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen October 28, 2010 | 8:50 p.m.

Who would have thought puppies could be as politically polarizing as health care reform and the Patriot Act?

(Report Comment)
Shelia Short October 28, 2010 | 9:14 p.m.

The supporters of Prop B demonize all proffesional dog producers and can not stand it when an article presents a breeder that takes care of their animals. Seeing clean well kept dogs and facilities and hard working people losing their businesses are not what these people want the general public to think about. As for 400 puppies/year being produced from 40 females, that is 10 puppies per litter and is extremely unlikely to happen. But that is just another of the lies that that the supporters try to sell.
What about the cost of maintaining these animals and the facilities and meeting the payroll of employees. Why is not alright for Mr. Levy to make a good living from the work that he does? Would the Prop B supporters be kinder to Mr. Levy if he were below the provery line? Hurray for free enterprise!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 9:16 p.m.

Maybe that's because each have elements of government INTRUSION in Human Rights to property and person.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 9:35 p.m.

Sheila:
They hate breeders. Plain and simple. They are doing their best to destroy an industry. Spay and Neuter blinds them to the big picture.
It's about Animal Population Control Activism.
Dogs have rights? Why not just leave them intact? That's how nature brought them into the world.
Can't castrate every dog so they look to castrate an entire industry.
Shame on them all.
We have 20+ rules and regs already in place.
They're out of state, national groups putting pressure on Missourians and then dupe voters with photos of sad pups.
Use what we have, for Christ's Sake.
http://mda.mo.gov/news/2009/Prosecution_...

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 28, 2010 | 9:50 p.m.

I've been trying to put together a spreadsheet of USDA inspection reports with notes from all active breeders in Missouri. You can see my work in progress at

http://burningbird.net/propositionb/test...

What slowed me down so much was the fact that so many breeders have so many violations. Sometimes they're minor, frequently, though, I'm left to wonder how can this breeder still continue.

I hope to finish by Monday evening. I figured a spreadsheet is worth a thousand words.

The USDA report I have Tenderheart doesn't even show the recent minor violation. However, to me, 49 dogs is not a hobby, it's a business. The Lavy kennel isn't large by any means, but it isn't a hobby breeder.

An indoor shelter provides respite from the elements, and an outdoor run provides an outlet to explore, play, and interact.

If a dog loves the cold, they'll be miserable in our summers. If they like warm weather, they'll suffer in our cold winter nights. One way or another, the dogs aren't going to do well at some time of the year. I would hazard a guess that few would do well with _never_ having access to an indoor shelter at least some time of the day.

And you know something? I have a hard time believing folks who say they love their dogs one moment, and then talk about euthanizing them to get under a certain number, in the next.

There are shelters and rescues who will help with businesses who need to downsize.

As for the comment about the incubator for the puppies, and "they're unsure whether it would be considered "necessary veterinary care" under Proposition B."

Proposition B is not an HMO, which will or will not deny coverage based on treatment and cost. The only provision about veterinarian care is the following:

"Necessary veterinary care” means, at minimum, examination at least once yearly by a licensed veterinarian; prompt treatment of any illness or injury by a licensed veterinarian; and, where needed, humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian using lawful techniques deemed “Acceptable” by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

I only wish our health care policies were so simple.

Whether they use an incubator or not is between them and their veterinarian.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 28, 2010 | 9:56 p.m.

So, when can we expect an in-depth interview with a rescue organization, or shelter?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 10:00 p.m.

Imagine how many restaurants the health departments would be closing down across our country if they were as over zealous as Shelley Powers?
In the America I know, we give businesses the chance to succeed.
Good government and enforcement agencies work WITH legal businesses, not against them...Unless your ideology is that of a Prog.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 10:08 p.m.

Shelley:
("COLUMBIA - Election Day is coming soon and that means Mid-Missouri groups are picking sides on tough issues like Proposition B or the Puppy Mill Cruelty Act. The Central Missouri Humane Society board met Tuesday night to discuss which side it should be on.

The Central Missouri Humane Society supports the "Spirit and Intent of the Legislation," but say it has questions it wants answered before it fully backs the ballot measure.

Proposition B proposes several changes to existing dog breeder regulations including decreasing mandatory feedings to every 24 hours, instead of every 12 hours, and limiting breeders to 50 dogs. This has board members worried they will be inundated with rescued dogs, and extra costs.

"I've had someone from the HSUS tell us they are sticking money away to help take care of the animals that come to us after this," says Allen Allert, Executive Director.

Allert says the HSUS, or Humane Society of the US did not tell him how much money will be set back, nor where the money is coming from. With these questions still unanswered, the board decided to keep its original stance on the issue.")
http://www.komu.com/KOMU/d7e2017e-80ce-1...
Do you have any kill-shelters in St. Louis you care to share with us?

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 11:13 p.m.

More info about Missouri Puppy Mills & Animal welfare Law in Missouri can be found at: http://www.maal.org/Puppy-Mills.asp
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Join the Campaign at: www.yesonpropb.com
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See what a puppy mill looks like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60LiJE-Cm...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhbp7Jz0l...
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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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdI2U6dgA...
A picture says a thousands words.
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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
YOU CAN HELP STOP THE CRUELTY!
VOTE YES on PROP B!

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers October 29, 2010 | 8:55 a.m.

Miss ShelleyP,

"Mark Landers, no one is attacking you. You're a businessman, this is the cost of doing business."

Please reread your posts. I posted to you specifically in the first person narrative and you addressed me in the first person.

"The cost of doing business" in America should not include the necessity of defending oneself from unfounded and untrue attacks of any nature.

If this is your moral compass then so be it.

Just because an organization's assets and income are closing in on the one half billion dollar mark, does not immune them accountability.

I live in rural southern Missouri. I know that this is not the moral compass of the people here.

Never interperet good manners, common courtesy, politensess, or honesty as sign of weakness or stupidity.

I think Merel Haggard say's it best.

"They love our milk an' honey,
But they preach about some other way of livin'
Let this song I'm singin' be a warnin'.
If you're runnin' down my country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHAFmFsb9...

I believe in the American way of life. I believe in free enterprise.

The big money may be quickly approaching the half billion figure, it's just money.

However, because of that big money and the perponderance of the purposeful deception and lies that you and the others on the pro Prop B have so kindly brought into public record, I have faith that there will be army of honest decent people with attorneys that will do the right thing.

I have faith that the American system of justice will prevail. I have faith that those deceptively obtained gains will be returned to the good caring people from which they were taken.

I thank God this morning that I hear my grandmother's voice in my head saying, "money is a sorry way to keep score. Always remember that it is the simple things...the little things...that together make life grand".

Thank you for voting NO on Prop B
Mark A. Landers

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers October 29, 2010 | 8:58 a.m.

Thank you to everyone for their your kind words.
Thank you for posting and reposting the truth.

Mark A Landers
Vote NO Prop B

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 29, 2010 | 9:15 a.m.

See what a puppy mill looks like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60LiJE-Cm......
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhbp7Jz0l......
.
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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdI2U6dgA......
A picture says a thousands words.
.
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
YOU CAN HELP STOP THE CRUELTY!
VOTE YES on PROP B!

(Report Comment)
Karen Strange October 29, 2010 | 9:50 a.m.

The true intent of Prop B is to eliminate caring breeders such as the Lavy's as has been stated numerous times by Prop B supporters. No laws will ever be enough until all breeders are eliminated, the true goal of animal rights groups. I find it quite interesting that if Prop B were truly about eliminating cruelty to animals, why did the writers specifically exempt themselves in the proposal? Why must breeders adhere to certain space requirements or face Misdemeanor crimes when humane societies, shelters, pounds, rescues, veterinarians and the chosen elite may continue to keep animals in the same size enclosures now used by breeders? Why must breeders seek licensed veterinary care for ANY illness or injury when all those exempted may treat their own animals for minor discomforts? Why are breeders restricted to only 50 animals? Who died and left animal rights extremists in charge of deciding how many animals we can have? If animal care is the untmost concern of animal rights proponents of this initiative, why are those who collect animals in large numbers but cannot care for them properly not addressed? If this is a citizen's initiative, why were out-of-state paid petitioners brought in to gather the needed signatures? If Missouri is in such an uproar, why is nearly 95% of the money to fund the massive media campaign coming from out-of-state animal rights extremists such as HSUS?
I think all our questions have been answered sufficiently. Prop B is an agenda funded by animal rights extremists who use propaganda and emotion to sway the public into swallowing their created tragedy in order to solicit money to eliminate that industry and then use the profits to move on to the next industry-killing target. Prop B is nothing more than a carefully calculated propaganda campaign to destroy an industry and the economy of our state while padding the pockets if wealthy animal rights groups.
Prop B. more aptly titled "Proposition Bogus" is bad for animals, bad for Missouri,and bad for our economy.Say no to an invasion into our state by animal rights extremists who want to eliminate agriculture along with the enjoyment of animals in our lives. Please Vote No on Prop B for Bogus!

(Report Comment)
terry callahan October 29, 2010 | 10:11 a.m.

If it weren't so EXPENSIVE for Missouri to pay for this type of extremist foolishness, it would be funny. However, these attempts by ANIMAL LIBERATION EXTREMISTS to END any type of FOOD and FOOD PRODUCTION in America is the end result here. RADICAL VEGAN and ANIMAL RIGHTS loons are behind these PROP B SCAMS all across the country, and they always start out with a few new regulations to some part of agriculture, with the same lying claims of...(YOUR STATE HERE)...is the worst abuser in the country, and a hefty price tag to go with it. The end results are ALWAYS the same, SHUT DOWN ALL TYPES OF FOOD PRODUCING FARMS IN AMERICA. This is AMERICA's future with these VEGANS who want to make all Americans just like themselves...vegan, socialists, anti-capitalists who will not be allowed to breed, raise, or own any kind of animal. Do not be fooled by the touchy feely "puppy mill" rhetoric, do not be a sucker. Be an AMERICAN, learn the truth before you waste your vote on this left wing lunacy. NO on PROP B...HELL NO.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 10:20 a.m.

Karen Strange, please don't generate misinformation about the intent of Proposition B. If it were to eliminate all breeders, it would say so, it wouldn't provide requirements for breeders.

And shelters do meet many of the standards already in the proposition. The exemption is primarily two-fold: one, shelters don't sell dogs for a profit; two, many shelters have to take any and all dogs, which will push them beyond the 50. They don't want to, they would like not to have to, but they do.

As for the limit, if you look at the spreadsheet I'm trying to put together on breeders in this state, based on USDA inspection reports, among those I could find a dog count for, most of the larger breeders also rack up most of the violations.

http://burningbird.net/propositionb/test...

There isn't a perfect correlation between number of dogs and violations, but it is definitely a trend. Enough so to justify smaller numbers of dogs. With smaller numbers of dogs, the dogs have a better chance for better care.

There's a reason why good breeders should encourage this bill: their own reputation is at stake.

I bet there's not a dog breeder in this state--commercial, show, or hobby--that doesn't have to explain that, no, they aren't a puppy mill. Proposition B can go a long ways in working towards eliminating this dubious title, which is going to have benefits for the breeders.

Proposition B is not going to destroy the economy of our state. Frankly, statements like this are a crock. Padding the pockets? I've had to put off paying work this week, so I could spend time trying to refute the lies, innuendos, and other misinformation groups like HumaneWatch have been spreading around at sites like this, and others.

I don't work for an animal rights organization. I'm doing this because I really like dogs, and I don't want to see any of them living lives of misery.

Proposition B is about the dogs, nothing more, nothing less.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 10:23 a.m.

Yes, Terry, Proposition B supporters want to shut down all food production in the country, because we want to starve to death.

Say hi to the HumaneWatch folks for us.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 11:32 a.m.

HSUS supports good breeders-
If you've decided you're ready for a dog, follow The HSUS' top five puppy buying tips and you'll be far more likely to secure a healthy, well-socialized dog who doesn't drain your emotions or your pocketbook. One, in other words, who doesn't come from a puppy mill.
http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pupp...

People don't want sick puppies from puppy mills. People don't want to support an industry that confines the parents of those dogs to a life of neglect and cruelty.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 11:35 a.m.

Prop B is not about limiting how many pets a person, even if they happen to be a breeder, can have.
Prop B limits only the number of sexually intact adult dogs used for breeding, and imposes absolutely no limit on the total number of dogs a person can own. A breeder can keep as many dogs as they want over the limit of 50, as long as those excess dogs are pets and not used for breeding.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 3:53 p.m.

Oh geez, one of the rescue people attending the auction of the Schindlers dogs reported that the auction company brought in armed guards, primarily to keep the media out. They think.

Have to keep their dirty little secrets.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 3:56 p.m.

And the ASPCA is on the ground right now, facilitating the rescue of 34 dogs from a puppy mill

http://www.aspca.org/news/national/10-29...

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 29, 2010 | 5:09 p.m.

Ooooh Shelley & Michele

I found something you will enjoy!
Regarding Richard Berman, the nefarious PR twit behind those phony websites consumerfreedom and humanewatch spreading all the ridiculous blather that Prop B is mighty Wayne Pacelle's tool for bringing down the global food industry.
Karen Strange, aptly named, is, I believe, a bit-player in Berman's evil empire..
http://htmlgiant.com/author-spotlight/da...
It's also quite sad...makes me wish I could hug my father...

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers October 29, 2010 | 5:44 p.m.

Miss ShellpP,

Shouldn't you be able to contact HSUS's Missouri State Director, overseeing the organization's lobbying and other legislative activity in Missouri state for the statical anaysis of numbers and serverity of violations. I think she is an attorney also.

Surely, the animal rights industry had all these statistics together before making any sweeping generalizations.

I need to thank you once again. Going through the Federal and State inspection sheets of 1,458 kennels so quickly and accurately. Cross referencing them and posting them accurately is a monumental task for you to undertake by yourself.

To help you out you will able to find the number of dog per kennel on their USDA inspection reports. So that should help you fill in those numbers.

One of the many aspects of your "spreadsheet" that I am most interested in seeing is the number of "number tmes not available for inspection" in regards to numbers of dogs in the inventories.

Other than those retired individuals with other income and those not currently a regular off the farm job, I've often wondered how they were ever available for inspections.

I noticed that HSUS's Missouri State Director, in one of the interviews I watched referenced the amount of time per dog a kennel operator spent with each individual. I've worried that by limiting the number of dogs and forcing kennel operators to become employed full time away form the kennel it would create a situation where the dogs were unspervised most of the time.

Who would be there to attend the mother's when they give birth? How long could someone maintain a day job while being up all night with new mother and her puppies.

Knowing how many of the kennel operators are currently employed full time at their kennels and what is the actual number of dogs that allows them to be with them 24/7, would be vital information before making these type of analogies.

After all those of us who really care for the dogs need to have verifiable useful facts.

Who is going to correlate the statistics for you?

Mark A. Landers

Vote NO on Prop B
con't

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 6:08 p.m.

Thanks for the link, Terry.

A very intelligent article, complex and intriguing. I look forward to the documentary.

MoFed does have a HumaneWatch feel to it, but I have a feeling its purely homegrown.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 6:33 p.m.

Mark Landers,

I don't work for HSUS, I'm doing this because I like to work with data, and I like to see what trends you can find from data. I've taken graduate level classes in statistics, and have a degree in computer science. I feel comfortable doing any analysis on my own.

I imagine that HSUS has all this data, and state data, but I don't want to take their time during this critical election. I didn't even ask them for data.

Unfortunately, no the APHIS records I have access to don't always list the number of dogs. Some do, some don't.

A requirement for a USDA license, and a Missouri Department of Agriculture license is the people have to be available during business hours. If not them, someone else who is an adult.

Commercial dog breeders are not hobby breeders. This is a professional undertaking with professional rules.

I have the utmost confidence that very capable commercial dog breeders will be able to make a living with 50 or fewer adult dogs.

(Report Comment)
Julie Levy October 29, 2010 | 6:47 p.m.

The last comments are revealing. The Levys say they may choose to euthanize or abandon at shelters some of their dogs if they are required to meet humane housing guidelines. It makes one wonder what they usually do with dogs they can't breed any more.

Surely if the Levys loved their dogs, they would adopt them into loving homes instead of killing them or dumping them on the taxpayers to dispose of. There are plenty of families that enjoy purebred dogs and would appreciate getting one without paying pet store prices.

This Proposition is needed because the dog breeding industry has repeatedly shown it is not capable of regulating itself.

The animal shelters and breed rescue groups know they will be inundated with abandoned dogs if Proposition B passes. They still support the bill because they know it is the right thing for the dogs in the long term. Bravo!

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 29, 2010 | 7:38 p.m.

What the Levys will likely do with their 'inconvenient' or used-up dogs is sell them at auction.
There is always someone to come along and buy a used-up dog in order to squeeze out a little more 'use'.
Why do you think auctions are such a big biz?
Sometimes, as is the case with my rescue group, a sort of don't ask don't tell relationship is developed with the some of the millers..give us your used-up (and often special-needs as a result of idiotic breeding) dogs and we will ignore you. This is not optimum, of course, but to report these neanderthals means they will simply move someplace else and we will no longer have access to their unwanted dogs.
And back behind Billy-Bob's barn they go, with a bullet in the head.
My breed is somewhat unpopular, thanks God..I cannot imagine what Yorkie rescue is facing...although they are extremely well-organized.
ALL breed rescues are preparing for an avalanche of dumped dogs which will only add to the overwhelming number of dumped dogs WE ALREADY HAVE,
At this particular time, I must admit that my sheer loathing of of the anti-Prop-truthers has gotten the best of me.
This will pass..fortunately I have learned to develop some sympathy for people lacking compassion for anything other than themselves, as these people inevitable get what they give.
And this is tragic.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 8:41 p.m.

Terry, I do not take lightly your opinion of anti-prop b people! I have several animals and we raise and show horses. I feel animals teach my kids responsibility, compassion, patients, how to put others first, forgiveness, and how to love something other than yourself. So I love our animals. But after seeing children die do to lack of DFS funding and having children slipping through the cracks because the state had cut funding and couldnt budget to hire any more social workers I wonder where your moral compus is????? So as a tax payer, seeing education funding cut, (and how many schools were closed last year? Didn't KC close almost half?). If HSUS really cared about the dogs they show in their commercials, they would have given the money for more enforcement, instead they use rhetoric manipulative propoganda tacticks to fund a Humane Society Legislative Fund that then contributes to their ulterior motive dirty political agenda of a reign to power over each state in the United States controlling and governing each human from the property they own to the choices of food I put in my mouth! What about our Vets and those who lost their lives and loved ones defending those very rights that HSUS sees as inhumane? HSUS claims abusers start with abusing animals, let me tell you where the abuse starts, When you Vote Yes on Nov. 2nd, I would like for you to know that you are not supporting putting an end to animal cruelty, but desecrating the economy and future of our state. You are voting for more budget cuts to our Missouri children that hinder their advancement in society. I dont feel animals should be afforded consideration before children. Maybe if I exploited children through propaganda, by showing crack babies in crack houses, paid for by rich backers, maybe I could be a millionaire! Oh wait! No, thats HITLER AND WAYNE PACELLE! When we as a society are not able to give them normal conditions of living, and we focus on incidental inequalities, and focus on treating unequals equally, we are committing a social injustice to the future of our children and our world by promoting actions caused by lack of kindness and compassion resulting with inHUMANe behavior!!!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 8:56 p.m.

Shelley, I do believe that your report is misleading. Not quite for sure because I do not raise or breed dogs, but when a state or gov. agency comes to inspect, they come unannounced, so many times, the owner or appointed party (which you can find regestered with the state) is simply not there. I believe it is a law inspectors are not allowed to just roam freely on ones property with out one of the two named above. And it is a waist of time for the inspector with out one of the two. So when you put in your report "unavailable" you might want to put when they came back or the reason they were unavailable. What if the owner had a death in the family and had to leave the state? What if the inspector never came back? Is that the kennel owners fault?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 9:24 p.m.

Jessica, they are unavailable. That's it, nothing else.

It is a violation of USDA rules for the person not to be available or have a responsible knowledgeable person unavailable.

I am recording the violations, I found in the reports. I summarize all of the violations into the one column.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 29, 2010 | 9:47 p.m.

Jessica you are illucid.

Next you will be saying Wayne Pacelle kills unborn babies.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 29, 2010 | 10:04 p.m.

FURTHERMORE JESSICA, if you and your pals REALLY cared about children you would be in the streets protesting Missouri's nasty crime rate and it's status as Meth capitol of the world and the low minimum wage and you would be demanding health care for all and better paid teachers and more cops on the street and banning assault rifles instead of spending HOURS and HOURS yantering on and on about something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILDREN!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 10:32 p.m.

Did I hit a nerve Terry? How do you know I haven't done anything to help children?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 29, 2010 | 10:37 p.m.

Yes, Jessica, you did. Thank you.
You reminded me how much I love my dogs.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 30, 2010 | 10:33 a.m.

There are many social issues that need to be addressed in our country and there are many national organizations that exist to support the social change that we need.

HSUS's mission is to confront cruelty and celebrate animals. It's a mission that 11 million members support because they care about animals.

Jessica- everyday I'm thankful for the freedom of choice and expression we have in this country. You are free to support any non-profit you want.

Now, let's stop clouding the issue by making this about neglected children, under-resourced animal shelters, and random acts of general animal cruelty (oh- btw- we have a team at HSUS that addresses animal cruelty- so please give us a call at 202-452-1100 if you know of any and we'll do whatever we can to help) and let's get back to the issue- Prop B- sick puppies and cruelty in puppy mills.

(Report Comment)
skippy grey October 30, 2010 | 4:25 p.m.

The dog breeders and voters need to find out about the way HSUS operates. Go to www.humanewatch.org. You will learn about the arrests for HSUS sending there workers into farms paying them to hurt and kill animals on film.

My message to dog breeders is this: If the bill passes dont hire anyone you don't know. If film ends up with law enforcement of animal cruelity hire a film expert to find out when and where the film was shot.

CALL THE FBI for violations of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

(Report Comment)
michelle johnson October 30, 2010 | 7:08 p.m.

http://kmox.cbslocal.com/shows/mark-rear... go to segment 10/25/10 and hear how lucid Barbara Schmitz is in her little tactic gone so totally wrong! All of Missouri is talking about this one. Christian moral organization? Missouri has a defective moral compass according to Wayne Pacelle. He better worry about his own flock. HSUS has just been exposed.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 31, 2010 | 10:54 a.m.

Prop B has broad and mainstream support. Prop B is supported by more than 100 Missouri veterinarians and veterinary clinics; more than 100 animal welfare charities and organizations, including the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, Central Missouri Humane Society, Humane Society of Southwest Missouri, Wayside Waifs, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS); prominent Missouri citizens such as Tony LaRussa and Linda Bond; as well as responsible dog breeders, religious leaders, and Missouri businesses. Polling shows that 89% of MO voters support the protections outlined in Prop B.

(Report Comment)
carla thomas November 2, 2010 | 1:16 a.m.

GO TO FACEBOOK AND SEE THE MANY THOUSANDS OF DOGS THAT WILL BE KILLED OR EUTHED IF RESCUE OR ADOPTION DOES NOT COME FOR THEM,IT IS A RESULT OF PUPPY MILL BREEDERS AND ALSO PEOPLE SURRENDERING THEIR DOGS! IN SOME OF THE LOWER 48 STATES LIKE ARKANSAS,LOUISIANA,MISSISSIPPI,GEORGIA,ALABAMA,FLORIDA,PENNSYLVANIA,TENNESSEE,NORTH CAROLINA,AND YES RIGHT HERE IN SOME COUNTIES DOGS ARE GASSED TO DEATH,IT IS A VERY HORRIBLE DEATH,IN SOME COUNTIES IN MISSOURI THEY DO WHAT IS KNOWN AS HEARTSTICKING,WHICH MEANS THEY TAKE A NEEDLE WITH FATAL PLUS AND JAB IT INTO THE HEART THEN THE DOG DROPS LIMP!MANY OF THE DOGS FROM THE RECENT PUPPY MILL AUCTION HAD TO GO TO HUMANE SOCIETIES BECAUSE SOME OF THE RESCUES AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE FULL AND CAN NOLONGER TAKE ANYMORE DOGS AND CATS.THE PUPPY MILLS AND PET STORES ARE THE PROBLEM,MANY OF THE DOGS AT PET STORES ARE SICK WITH PARVO AND KENNEL COUGH! MANY ARE SO BAD THAT MANY OF THE PET STORE PUPPIES AND DOGS WILL HAVE TO BE EUTHED!ANIMAL CONTROLS ARE FULL AROUND THE COUNTRY,DUE TO THE ECONOMY GOING BAD AND PEOPLE SURRENDERING THEIR DOGS.WATCH THE VIDEOS I POSTED ON HERE!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT MOST OF ALL GO TO FACEBOOK HOMEPAGE AND SEE THE MANY THOUSANDS OF DOGS WHO NEED RESCUE AND MAY NOT GET IT BECAUSE THE RESCUES SIMPLY CAN,T HANDLE ANYMORE DOGS!!!!!!!!!!! I,VE CRIED ALOT OF TEARS DURING MY NETWORKING OF THE MANY DOGS,MANY NIGHTS I,VE NOT SLEPT!!!!!!!!!!! TRYING TO SAVE THESE DOGS! HERE IS MY NETWORKING PAGE ON FACEBOOK!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz November 2, 2010 | 3:05 a.m.

Carla, promise to remove the Caps Lock key from your keyboard and I'll think about it.

(Report Comment)

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