LETTER: Vote yes on Proposition B

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | 3:36 p.m. CDT; updated 7:16 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 27, 2010

COLUMBIA — Missouri has the dubious reputation for being the puppy mill capital of America. We now have the opportunity to improve lives of thousands of abused dogs by passing Prop. B. This bill outlines simple reforms for large scale dog breeding operations in order to meet the basic needs of dogs.  Other animal operations are NOT included in this bill. 

Opponents, consisting of special interest groups such as puppy mill owners, say sufficient regulations are on the books to protect dogs. If this is the case, then why are they spending large amounts of money to defeat this bill? Why should they care? 

The Humane Society, which comes in contact with puppy mill abuses daily, supports this bill. That is good enough for me. Vote yes on Prop. B. 

Marion Mace Dickerson lives in Columbia.

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Jack Lisette October 26, 2010 | 8:01 p.m.

This proposition enjoys 69 percent approval in an article in the Saint Louis Dispatch. Read it for yourself. Over 60 percent of Republican like it and over 80 percent of Democrats support it!

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 26, 2010 | 8:11 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)
Jessica Bryand October 26, 2010 | 8:48 p.m.

I will not be voting yes the following link will show in the last year issues have been addressed and improvements have been made. HSUS is a fraud and have contributed to economic decline in other states. Why cause more unemployment to the people that contribute to the revenue of our state? I am a Republican also and was shocked to learn that Gov. Nixon is opposed. We should be thanking a few like U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer for taking a stand and trying to protect Missouri and our Agriculture from frauds like HSUS!

(Report Comment)
Sarah Barnett October 26, 2010 | 8:50 p.m.

Thank you Marion! It is good to see your support on this important issue, and to help spread the word. Prop B is desperately needed in Missouri, and the recently released Dirty Dozen report, lawsuit of an alleged puppy miller, and responsible breeders coming out and supporting Prop B are just more reasons to vote YES on Prop B! I encourage everyone to visit the YES on Prop B website, and help spread the word.
Also, I recommend taking an advil as the opposition is likely to immediately jump on this and spout their usual doomsday propaganda once their google alerts catch this. You can read more about them here:

(Report Comment)
Sarah Barnett October 26, 2010 | 8:59 p.m.

Jack - thank you for your support - animal welfare is a bi-partisan issue, and it is great to see people on both sides recognizing that!!!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 26, 2010 | 9:13 p.m.

All that matters is who comes out to vote and how many realize that the wording of Proposition B is not as innocent as it might appear and that there is a much larger insidious agenda behind the biggest money supporter, H$U$, the spawn of PETA.
Vote No on Proposition B.
Save Missouri's economy.
Dogs have feeling? Dogs have Rights? What about the Rights of Business People? What about the Rights of Man?

(Report Comment)
John Doppler Schiff October 26, 2010 | 9:18 p.m.

The puppy mill owners and apologists are trying to rally all the support they can to defeat Prop B, but the bulk of the arguments they've been able to manufacture are the same tired myths and misinformation and outright lies about the Humane Society of the US.

Prop B is NOT about HSUS.

It's about ensuring that dogs receive basic, minimal standards of care -- standards that are more easily verified and enforced by Missouri's understaffed, underfunded inspectors.

Thank you Marion, for helping to spread the word!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 26, 2010 | 9:20 p.m.

Hey Lisette:
Is it Jack or John?

("We searched Jack Lisette and found 0 records nationwide
We searched John Lisette and found 1 records nationwide")

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 26, 2010 | 9:33 p.m.

("Proposition B well-intentioned, but not in state's best interests
Puppy mill proposal fails to address real problems")

(Report Comment)
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)
Sarah Barnett October 26, 2010 | 9:51 p.m.

There are facilities with dozens of federal and state animal welfare violations that remain licensed in Missouri to this day, and clearly the current laws have not done enough to stop puppy mill abuses.

Local law enforcement is already permitted to bring prosecutions for violations of criminal Animal Care Facilities Act statutes which provide for criminal penalties. However, Prop B increases the likelihood that local law enforcement will actually act without waiting for the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s blessing, for it provides new, clear cut criminal prohibitions, like the limit on total breeding dogs, the cage size requirements, and the requirement that there be constant access to outdoor space, that a local officer can readily identify without the need to consult an expert.

(Report Comment)
Liz Bergstrom October 26, 2010 | 10:48 p.m.

@Jessica, those photos from the "Sick Puppies" link are from this year, and most if not all of those facilities are currently licensed.

The clear wording of Prop B is posted online at It's supported by the Humane Society of Missouri and other animal protection groups, by former Republican U.S. Senator Jack Danforth and other elected officials, and by many Missouri businesses, responsible dog breeders and veterinarians.

Prop B isn't about politics-- It's about setting clearer, humane standards for dogs in commercial dog breeding facilities.

I love dogs and know that many others do too, which is why I hope readers will vote YES for these basic protections for dogs. I work with the Humane Society of the United States, one of the groups supporting Prop B -- and even if I didn't, I'd be posting about this because I think Prop B is so important to improve the lives of puppy mill dogs.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 26, 2010 | 11:18 p.m.

Thanks for clearing up that HSUS is apolitical and that Proposition B will have no economical impact on the state of Missouri and that it will be good for the dogs which will be dumped on already strapped nonprofit shelters where many healthy animals will be killed.
You go girl!
("But the scary thing is that Pacelle's group already is one of the most powerful forces in politics. Aside from his recent call for "friends" to pressure the President-elect, Pacelle's group spent over $5.2 million just on the 2008 election cycle. That's more than the Teamsters Union, the American Bankers Association, or just about any other company, union, or political action committee (PAC) we could think of.")

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 26, 2010 | 11:27 p.m.

To take from innocent hard working legal breeders and leave them with out a source of income for their families and to further the economic decline of Missouri for a 0.12% compliant rate is absurd. For me, that shows there is another agenda behind the millions spent from HSUS and I will be voting NO.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 27, 2010 | 5:43 a.m.

@ Anonymous Legion:

Without satisfactory enforcement no "tightening" of existing law or regulations will be effective. That's not just for this issue, but any issue.

BTW, that's an outstanding name you have. Is that of Scandinavian or Slavic origin? Were you named for Saint Anonymous?

Doesn't appear that the Missourian watchdogs are doing a good job of enforcing their own rules.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 27, 2010 | 8:07 a.m.

Sarah Barnett wrote;

"clearly the current laws have not done enough to stop puppy mill abuses."

No. Clearly current enforcement has not done enough to stop puppy mill abusers. Without enforccement, prop B is useless.

All of these violations are being documented either by inspections or law enforcement. They're already against the rules. In this case, we don't need more rules, we need to enforce the present rules better.

The 50 dog limit has been advanced supposedly to give breeding dogs more "face time" with their owners. However, it also reduces the amount of revenue a breeder can bring in, which may mean the breeder has to get an outside job. He ot she may then have even less time with the dogs then per animal.

Plus, nothing in prop B specifies any type of enrichment (look it up), attention, human contact, or socialization. Prop B proponents simply assume that's what will happen with fewer dogs and more space. Especially if an outside job takes a breeder away from his kennels, the dogs can still sit in their runs all day with minimal human contact.

Prop B is being promoted deceptively. It is being promoted by people who simply want to shut down most legal breeding activity, as they have done in Pennsylvania and Arizona. It will remove a significant part of Missouri's rural economy at a very bad time.

More dogs will be helped, more quickly, by stepping up enforcement of existing law, than by passing this, and shutting down (if Pennsylvania is any indication) about 1000 legal breeders and having to rescue (or more likely euthanize) tens of thousands (35,000 would be the proportional number to PA) of dogs. Vote NO.


(Report Comment)
Amy Katz October 27, 2010 | 8:13 a.m.

Prop B will not affect legitimate family breeders who treat their dogs humanely and have high standards of care. It WILL affect people like the Dirty Dozen, all licensed breeders in Missouri, all guilty of numerous sustained violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Missouri is a magnet for such people because obviously current laws are not working. Prop B sets clear, simple standards that include providing food, water, exercise, and veterinary care for your breeding dogs. It's just common sense. As the election gets closer and closer, the other side gets more and more irrational with the scare tactics and fear mongering. The only people who will go out of business due to Prop B are the people who SHOULD go out of business because of how badly they treat their dogs. If you have ever seen a dog that came from one of these places, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. Rescue groups all over the country see these dogs because Missouri puppy mills supply one-third of puppies sold across the United States. What happens with Prop B in Missouri is truly a national issue. Missourians should vote YES on Proposition B!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 27, 2010 | 8:52 a.m.

Amy Katz wrote:

"Prop B will not affect legitimate family breeders who treat their dogs humanely and have high standards of care."

Depends on how many dogs they have. And what does "family" have to do with any of this? Why does a "good" breeder have to be a family breeder? More irrelevant emotional soundbites.

"It WILL affect people like the Dirty Dozen"

They are now being affected by current law. Four have closed and the remaining 8 are cleaning up their act.

"Prop B sets clear, simple standards that include providing food, water, exercise, and veterinary care for your breeding dogs."

So does current law. The "vagueness" of current regs is actually flexibility for individdual breeders to do what is best for their breeds and situation. As a lot of vets have said, breeding is not a one-size-fits-all operation.

"The only people who will go out of business due to Prop B are the people who SHOULD go out of business because of how badly they treat their dogs."

That is simply wrong. People who treat their dogs badly already can be fined and charged with animal cruelty. We simply need more enforcement to make that happen, not more laws. Prop B will shut down a wide spectrum of breeders, including some that spend a lot on their facilities and dogs, by making it impossible, due to increased cost and decreased revenue, to stay in business.

"If you have ever seen a dog that came from one of these places, you would know exactly what I'm talking about."

And no one has ever shown that these dogs are in any way typical of dogs from licensed breeders, even those with more than 50 breeding females. This is simply a smear tactic, a slander, of the type we saw during a recent city council race. Since most of the proBers here aren't even from Columbia (are any?), you might not know about that. That's a horrible and dishonest way to promote a piece of questionable legislation, and it's unworthy of people who supposedly promote this from their hearts.


(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 27, 2010 | 9:48 a.m.

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.

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 27, 2010 | 10:20 a.m.

Mark, I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers, but the vast majority of breeding facilities in Missouri are already below or close to this limit, and will not be affected by the new law. The Missouri Department of Agriculture estimates that 36% of licensed breeders have more than 50 breeding dogs, while independent review of the inventory figures provided by licensed breeders found that only 18% had more than 50 adult dogs. So somewhere between two-thirds and four-fifths of all licensed breeders in the state already have fewer than 50 breeding dogs and will not need to make any changes in the number of dogs they have.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 27, 2010 | 10:58 a.m.

@ Anne Hogan:


"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"

Unfortunately I made a mistake in my above calculation. I remembered 393 as the number of kennels operating before the PA law. So lets 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 two years by shelters, rescues, and auctions. I'm sorry, but most of them will be put to sleep.

Anne Hogan wrote:

"So somewhere between two-thirds and four-fifths of all licensed breeders in the state already have fewer than 50 breeding dogs and will not need to make any changes in the number of dogs they have."

OK, but how many of them can afford to make the kennel and care changes required by prop B? I'd think pretty darn few, being that it's already an expensive proposition to breed dogs, especially well. I'd expect most of these breeders to close also.


(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 27, 2010 | 11:04 a.m.

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.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 27, 2010 | 11:24 a.m.

Michelle Cascio wrote:

"Prop B does not require breeders to upgrade their kennels if they provide basic standards of care outlined by the Act."

A vague and misleading statement. The Act specifies certain space requirements based on the length of the dog. Prop B more than doubles them, and requires an outside run of twice the area. A breeder who was fully compliant, even exceeding, the current regs may well have to remodel, add buildings, or perform other expensive upgrades to comply.

Plus, there are reasons breeders may not want to use inside-outside runs for breeding dogs in some cases or at some times. The law takes away their discretion, and their discretion may have nothing to do with not wanting to give proper care. For example, breeders want to make sure their new puppies have good access to their mother for nutrition and warmth, and some puppies are more temperature sensitive than others.

"Adequate care of dogs still allows breeders operating under Prop B’s minimal humane standards to make a big profit."

After remodeling, adding space, renegotiating vet contracts, and mayber having to downsize, few of them will be left around to make a profit. This is, of course, what this is all about. A few extra million for HSUS doesn't hurt either.


(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 27, 2010 | 11:31 a.m.

A MO veterinarian's view of Proposition B

The fact is that the amount of space that a breeder can legally keep dogs confined in is atrocious. Under current law a two foot long dog can be legally kept in a 6.25 sq. ft. cage. That's not 6ft x 6ft, that is 2.5ft long by 2.5 ft wide. Draw that on your kitchen floor and see how much space it is. That space would be torture if it was used in proportion to human confinement. It is not any better for larger dogs. No wonder many of these dogs have socialization problems. I do not care if this is legal under the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture guidelines. We are not talking about chickens, pigs, or livestock. We are talking about animals that we take in to our homes, care and love for their entire life, and even treat, in some cases, as well as our children. It is also legal to stack the these cages on top of each other.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 27, 2010 | 11:34 a.m.

Prop B does require that dogs have more space so they will no longer be crammed into small and filthy cages, 24 hours a day, for their entire lives.

Wow. So some breeders may have to actually build a normal kennel and provide routine care instead of stacking wire cages the size of dishwashers on top of each other.

(Report Comment)
Liz Bergstrom October 27, 2010 | 11:44 a.m.

I also wanted to add a note about the Dirty Dozen - According to the most recent records available, all 20 of the puppy mills on this list are still licensed as of 2010:

If these facilities were "cleaning up their act," then why do nearly all of them have violations in 2010--such as emaciated dogs, dogs with bloody and untreated wounds, and dogs in outdoor enclosures without proper protection from freezing weather?

And unfortunately these are only a few examples of Missouri puppy mills with cruel conditions. There are many other facilities with problems such as dogs suffering with untreated injuries and illnesses or dogs kept continuously in cramped cages. Prop B would address these problems and protect dogs.

(Report Comment)
lacinda florez October 27, 2010 | 12:15 p.m.

@Ray Shapiro
Hey Lisette:
Is it Jack or John?

Hay you need to watch what you put on here about someones name unless you know it to be a fact or you may open a can of worms you can't close! Not cool man, not cool at all!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 27, 2010 | 1:32 p.m.

Liz Bergstrom wrote:

"all 20 of the puppy mills on this list are still licensed as of 2010"

I can look at this in more detail later, but it seems that 4 of the "Dirty Dozen" have had their USDA licenses cancelled. I'm still believing Karen Highland's posts (which is where I got this information from)

(last two posts)

It is also obvious that none of the posters that have responded here have any experience or knowledge of animal welfare violations or institutional animal care. To some of you people, a violation is a violation, whether it is a chewed bowl or an animal in real distress. And such observations must be viewed in the context of the facility (size, age, history) of which a lot of information is lacking in the USDA reports.

Some dogs are not pets. Prop B would not make them pets. They could still sit around all day and look sad.

BTW, stacked cages are routinely used for rabbits in research facilities I've worked in. It is illegal to use them without catch trays underneath them, like these:

The argument that stacked animals poop on each other is just another red herring to mislead the uninformed. Proper cleaning can be performed as well with stacked cages as with anyy other.

Vote NO. Tell them you don't appreciate being tricked and lied to.


(Report Comment)
Sarah Barnett October 27, 2010 | 2:21 p.m.

Mark you bring up a very important point: Many facilities have lost their federal licenses for improper care of dogs, but CONTINUE to operate under state licenses. Dogs are crammed into small and filthy cages, denied veterinary care, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and not given exercise or human affection. Prop B will set clear and understandable dog welfare standards across the board. Responsible breeders who are providing adequate shelter, food, water, and veterinary care will feel no effects from the passage of Prop B, nor will small-scale hobby breeders be affected.

Read the report of the dead dog investigation released today:

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 27, 2010 | 2:57 p.m.

Ray Shapiro is absolutely wrong. Oprah has blown the lid off the puppy mill scandal. Ray needs to watch some Oprah and shut up!

(Report Comment)
Jack Lisette October 27, 2010 | 2:59 p.m.

69 percent is a very hard number to beat.......... That's the approval percentage in a St. Louis Dispatch poll of support for Prop B. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents each had above 60 percent approval numbers.

(Report Comment)
Cody Hobbs October 27, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.

Jack who did they ask? The people there in St. Louis...if so then of course they are going to have a huge approval rating. Come out here to rural Missouri and ask I doubt you get the same ratings!!!

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward October 27, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.

PLEASE PLEASE Please crosspost this report...Especially to your Facebook group.

Enough is enough.

No more excuses, no more lame arguments..

Be warned..the pics are beyond distressing.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock October 27, 2010 | 7:09 p.m.

Look everyone agrees that animal abusers are bad but this bill will not prevent a single case of animal abuse. The bill is poorly written and only affects the licensed breeders.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 27, 2010 | 8:36 p.m.

Prop B will apply to all large-scale puppy mills, including both licensed and unlicensed facilities, and will establish common-sense standards for the proper care of dogs across the state. Prop B makes it a crime to house dogs in horrible conditions whether the owner is licensed or not, and ensures that dogs in such large-scale breeding facilities receive basic humane care. With approximately 3,000 puppy mills in Missouri—half of them licensed and half of them unlicensed—as many as 200,000 dogs are confined for life in small wire cages and produce an estimated one million puppies a year. This is a serious problem in the state, and needs to be addressed.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 27, 2010 | 9:55 p.m.

Michelle says:
"With approximately 3,000 puppy mills in Missouri..."
Please define what you mean by puppy mill, it sort of sounds like calling tea party members teabaggers.
And any state with 1,200+ kennels, run by law-abiding, hardworking, cash flowing, within veterinarian-approved procedures can't be all bad. Afterall, they are providing a service and we already have Bark Alert...

(Report Comment)
Cody Hobbs October 27, 2010 | 9:56 p.m.

Michelle are u NUTTY? Please explain to me how this is going to effect unlicensed breeders? The current laws do not apply to them so why would new ones be any different? They are unlicensed for a they do not have to follow the laws! The unlicensed facilities are the ones causing the problem not the licensed ones... Think about stuff before you say it!!! That made no sense what so ever!!!

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 28, 2010 | 9:44 a.m.

Cody, if you read Prop B you'll see that it's very clear that it applies to licensed AND unlicensed breeders. To quote:

"any person having custody or ownership of more than ten female covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet shall provide each covered dog"

No where in Prop B does it specify licensed vs. unlicensed breeders.

(Report Comment)
Cody Hobbs October 28, 2010 | 10:32 a.m.

Anne that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life...HOW IN THE WORLD IS ANY LAW GOING TO APPLY TO ANYONE WHO IS OPERATING ILLEGALLY AND UNLICENSED???? Please explain that to me!!! I have read Prop B but, illegally operated puppy mills have been illegal for years and will continue to run illegal after Prop B. It will not stop or pertain to the unlicensed breeders in Missouri. Prop B is not the way to fix the problem it just isn't...VOTE NO ON PROP B

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 28, 2010 | 11:09 a.m.

Alright Cody, one more time. The law applies to "any person" breeding dogs. This means that if someone is operating an illegal puppy mill, local law enforcement can come in and shut them down for violating the standards set forth in Prop B. It really could not be more clear.

(Report Comment)
Cody Hobbs October 28, 2010 | 12:40 p.m.

You are really wasting my time here Anne but, let me explain to you one more time!!! The unlicensed breeders are not following the laws now so why would that change if there are any new laws added??? IT WON'T!!! The unlicensed kennels will not be affected!!! You are a perfect example of you can lead a mule to water but, you can't make them drink!!!

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 28, 2010 | 12:47 p.m.

Cody, I am not going to argue with you any longer. You are getting hysterical, and you do not seem to understand the function of our legal system. Yes, there will always be people who continue to operate outside of the law. However, by empowering law enforcement to take action against these people, it is much more likely that they will be shut down.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 12:58 p.m.

Missourians are already empowered.
We need to work with what we have.
Proposition B is bad for Missouri's economy.
Even Shelley Powers is stating that destroying Missouri's dog service industry will take inventory from Missouri and spread dogs across the country into the nonprofit shelter enviornments. Dogs will die...Cash flow leaves Missouri as cash flow moves out of this state, and is spread into other states.
Vote No on Proposition B.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 1:28 p.m.

Let me help you with this, Cody. Imagine what happens to unlicensed drivers when they have accidents or commit traffic violations. Do the laws apply to them- yes- and they are guilty of other infractions such as driving without a license. Do people drive without a license- unfortunately, yes, but when they are caught they are in big trouble. Same thing applies to unlicensed breeders. Got it?

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 1:40 p.m.

Ray, as I mentioned before, there is a network of animal shelters and rescue groups prepared to remove and re-home dogs, from the small number of large-scale puppy mills that have more than 50 breeding dogs, should mill owners request assistance with placement. Since puppy mills have one year to comply with the new law before it takes effect, transports and adoptions can be managed over a long period of time; animal shelters or rescue groups won’t be flooded simultaneously.

Dogs have already been dying in Missouri puppy mills-

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 1:54 p.m.

You are paid by a national nonprofit lobbying group.
Your bias and employment hinges on your stock answers as to why Proposition B is needed in Missouri and why other states have been picked off by H$U$.
I hope your national Animal Rights machine has met its match in this great state of hardworking, legal, decent service industry people.
H$U$, the spawn of PETA, is no longer needed in America.
You've done enough damage by holding up sad looking dogs to dupe people out of their charitable dollars.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 2:56 p.m.

Hi Ray,

Well, you are a little off- I am employed by a national non-profit, a leader in confronting cruelty and celebrating animals. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My mother's family were farmers in central PA, my grandfather was the butcher for his small town there, I have a beautiful family with includes a teenager, I have 2 dogs (one is a pit bull- the other is a lab who was born in a puppy mill), 3 cats and 2 rabbits for pets. I worked in local shelters for 7 years and my daughter's grandmother is a hobby breeder who shows. I am a mainstream American who believes in our mission.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 3:08 p.m.

There are people with families all over the world. You're not that special.
HSUS "Corporate" Lingo:
HSUS Defense PR Posture:
HSUS Exposed:
("...Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko said: "It's shocking but true. The Humane Society of the United States is not the mainstream animal-protection group it pretends to be. Consorting with the violent underbelly of the animal rights movement is a clear sign that this group has lost its way. America's dog and cat shelters could benefit from a genuine national Humane Society. But HSUS is just a PETA knock-off with more money and the same warped agenda.")

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 3:12 p.m.

Aw, Ray, that's not what my mom says when we talk about my work!

Let's bring this back to helping breeding dogs in MO by voting Yes on Prop B!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 3:18 p.m.

Let's bring this back to using Missouri's Bark Alert to enforce the 20+ laws already on the books and keep Missouri's economy sound.
(Say Hi to Mom for me. Is she making Tofurkey again for Thanksgiving?)

(Report Comment)
Cody Hobbs October 28, 2010 | 5:01 p.m.

Michelle, you totally proved my point!!! Thank You!!! If the illegal breeders get caught than yes it will effect them but, so would the regulations we have now!!! Adding new ones are not going to change that or do anything to help catch them!!! So Thank you Michelle for clearing that up for everybody!!!

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 5:20 p.m.

Well, Cody, have you not read the Missouri's Dirty Dozen report? It features licensed breeders that continued to operate with multiple violations.

Prop B does, however, increase the likelihood that local law enforcement will actually act without waiting for the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s blessing, for it provides new, clear cut criminal prohibitions, like the limit on total breeding dogs, the cage size requirements, and the requirement that there be constant access to outdoor space, that a local officer can readily identify without the need to consult an expert.

Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B is not against stronger enforcement of existing law. Both strong enforcement and the provisions of Prop B will, in combination, have the biggest impact on the lives of dogs in Missouri’s puppy mills. The two are not mutually exclusive.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 5:42 p.m.

("Michelle Cascio has been with The HSUS since 2007, initially in the role of outreach assistant for Animal Sheltering Issues, and then as a shelter services coordinator within the Companion Animals department. During this time, she provided guidance and resources to animal shelters that desired to improve their operations or programs. In fall 2009, she accepted a position as casework coordinator for the newly formed Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force, part of The HSUS Puppy Mills campaign. The task force investigates puppy mills and works with law enforcement, animal shelters, and other agencies to stop abuse and provides expert guidance to local, state and federal agencies. She started her career in animal welfare almost 20 years ago as the shelter manager for the Washington Humane Society in Washington, D.C. While there she managed shelter operations and programs and also assisted humane law enforcement officers with cruelty cases. She is a certified DART responder and has deployed for large scale raids.
Kit Darling MS, CIC, M, MT(ASCP) is the Infection Control Coordinator for Texas A&M University, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station, Texas. Darling has over 25 years working in microbiology/medical laboratories, 15 years in Infectious Diseases/Infection Prevention and Control, experience in human and animal infection prevention, and her Certification in Infection Control (CIC). She also teaches infection prevention and clinical safety to veterinary students at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.")

Why'd you sell out to H$U$?
Animals have Rights? At what expense to human rights?
Are they paying you by the letter posted here, or by the word?
Texas Animal Activists come to Columbia Missouri. Well, there goes the neighborhood...
(Tell mom I won't be home for Thanksgiving.)

(Report Comment)
Cody Hobbs October 28, 2010 | 5:56 p.m.

First of all, all the dirty dozen has proven to me that of out of the approx. 1300 licensed dog breeders in the state of Missouri, all you could do was find 12 bad ones and that makes it okay to go ahead and punish all of the other breeders out there that do it the right way!!!

Secondly, I still do not understand and you have yet to answer my questions on how PROP B is going to apply to unlicensed dog breeders. And the fact that you are limiting the amount of dogs one person can own is unbelievable. If the HSUS is "animal welfare group" than the number of dogs one person owns should totally be irrelevant. It should be about the care the dogs are given no matter what the number. However the HSUS is an "ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP" and will make anyone who breeds any kind of animal look bad no matter how humanely they do their jobs!!!

As for the size requirements, it is absurd to think that a dog 25 inches or less long needs a condo to be happy!!! Which is basically what PROP B is asking. The total size you are giving a dog of that size is 12 square feet inside and 24 square feet outside. That totals 36 square feet which is bigger than my bedroom!!! Why does a dog need that big of space to be happy? The fact of the matter is the size requirements are so huge that it will put a lot of good breeders out of business.

I am totally fine with the unfettered access to out doors up to the point that it comes a mother and her babies. I am tired of hear the dumb argument that it would not apply to puppies but, to their mother. Now if a dog with new born puppies has to have 24 hour access to the outdoors would there not be just as good of chance that those puppies could go outdoors. Now if a puppy gets out side in the summer and gets to hot and dies or if a puppy goes outside in the winter and freezes to death that is okay by what PROP B is saying!!! It does not sound very humane to me!!!

The current laws are sufficient enough without adding PROP B to them!!! They just need to be enforced. Please do your homework before voting on the 2nd!!! I ask you to please vote NO on Prop B

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 6:05 p.m.

Be sure to check out:

Number 16. in the "Fliers and Hand Outs" section,
Why Vote NO!

It has just been added to the list of hand outs.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 6:56 p.m.

I'll start with Ray-

Wow, way to go, (however you may need some help with copy and paste...) you found the professional profile I supplied for the Texas Unites conference last April. I was invited by the ASPCA to speak to local animal sheltering and control agencies regarding emergency animal sheltering and developing their own placement partner networks. I'm quite proud of that and of my background. You must have quite a bit of time on your hands or, maybe, you are a little too interested.

Ray, I'm not a sell-out, I'm a local shelter girl who now proudly works towards a phenomenal mission. I fundamentally believe that all animals deserve to be treated humanely- even those used for food. However, this issue is about how our companions are treated as a cash crop and how Americans don't want to support this. They don't want dogs with medical and behavioral issues.

BTW- my lab, Stella says, Hi. She's laying on my feet as I type. We still wonder how her mom is fairing in the OK puppy mill she's from.

We really need to circle back to the issue and stop clouding it. Vote Yes on Prop B and help improve the quality of life for breeding dogs in Missouri!

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 7:13 p.m.

Well, Cody, all I can say is that the Dirty Dozen is the worst of the those breeder whose records were FIOA'd, but it certainly isn't all of them.

As far as the unfettered access to the outdoors, most of the reputable breeders that I know, like my daugher's grandmother, they keep a hawk's eye on the moms with new litters. Most use a welping box- something new puppies can't get out of that allows the mother freedom from them at times. It also prevents the wee ones from being suffocated by their moms. I imagine, if you combine a whelping box with occasional monitoring all will turn out well and the mom can have the luxury of relieving herself outside.

As far as the proposed size guidelines-
Prop B does require that dogs have more space so they will no longer be crammed into small and filthy cages, 24 hours a day, for their entire lives. It also requires them to have access to both an indoor and outdoor area, but even the largest outdoor enclosure required by Prop B is still smaller than a parking space at your local grocery store. The space requirements under Prop B are determined by the size of the dog. For example, a small dog would require indoor space the size of a sleeping bag and outdoor space that measures about half the size of the bed of a Ford pickup truck. A medium sized dog would require indoor space the size of a twin bed mattress and outdoor space the size of a pool table. And a large dog would require indoor space the size of a standard elevator floor and outdoor space the size of a compact car. Giving dogs enough space to turn around, stretch their limbs, and exercise is just common sense.

Apparently, it would end stacked cages the size of dishwashers and require something like a real kennel- like the ones pet owners board their dogs in when they have to travel.

(Report Comment)
susan shockley October 28, 2010 | 7:23 p.m.

I am voting yes on Prop B. I, for one, want to see tougher laws in Missouri for animal owners. I believe that breeding dogs should be to better the breed, not mass-produced. My family bred dogs for years, never more than a litter every 2-3 years, always champion quality dogs, that were socialized, cared for, and in better conditions than are called for in this bill. For you people that think this will not be enforced, contact the appropriate people. And hopefully this will eventually filter down to farm animals-I for one am tired of seeing horses with no shelters, no hay, no pasture, etc. I take care of my animals-others should take care of theirs!

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 7:50 p.m.

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.
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.
Vote YES! Prop B
Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 10:16 p.m.

It is disingenuous of H$U$ not to mention that the number of kennels in Missouri grew as a result of their Animal Rights lobbying in other states which forced entrepreneurs out of business but did not change the demand for the product.
Now, after encouraging growing businesses in Missouri, they advocate to destroy a state's industry, which they too played a part in breeding.
Missouri seems to be the last stronghold.
This will be the last stand.
After this, I am certain that H$U$ will target other private businesses in animal husbandry and agriculture in this state.
No small surprise that there's pushback from those who depend on their land, crops and animals for their livelihood and way of life.
Animal Rights Activists have little regard for Human Rights, putting a dog's life before human life.
I commend the pro-business Republicans, Blue Dog Conservatives, Libertarians, Independent Thinkers and the agencies and organizations representing the interests of Missourians who can see beyond the photographs of sad dogs.
You people are the Sally Struthers of puppyville.
I am ashamed of those who support a Proposition which prevents business people from merging and consolidating their resources, manpower and acerage to expand their ventures and provide better care and success.
Obviously this is a ploy to exert Animal Population Control and has little to do with what will become of this service industry.
(Unless shelters plan to start breeding purebreds for their own cash flow purposes.)

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 11:24 p.m.

Really, Ray... You really think Missouri "Grew the puppy mill business on purpose?" Really? that's gotta be the dumbest remark todate.
The reason why Missouri is known as the "puppy mill capitol" of the United States 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.
I am ashamed of those people in Missouri who will not support Prop B. I'm ashamed that money means more to them than compassion toward our companion dogs. I'm ashamed that Missouri is best known around the country for Meth Labs & Puppy Mills!
Missourians are BETTER than this.
More info about Missouri Puppy Mills & Animal welfare Law in Missouri can be found at:
Join the Campaign at:
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.
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)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 11:44 p.m.

Read, Marina, read.
I never said anything about thinking Missouri "Grew the puppy mill business on purpose?"
Animal Rights activists, aka H$U$, successful in hurting the kennel businesses in the states they've already picked off caused growth in other states.
Do you have some more states in mind for future invasion?
If you wait too long, some Missourians might be heading their operations to those more business-friendly states, until you ruin it for them.
Missouri loses.
Dogs still die.
Lose-Lose for all.
And as for laws and enforcement, what's wrong with Bark Alert?

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 7:32 a.m.

Actually, Ray, some other states have become so concerned about the bad players in Missouri's puppy mills that they are already in action about improving their laws. Just this year, Oklahoma, one of the top three states with the largest number of commercial breeding facilities passed new regulations that will require registration and have care standards. Any why? Because they don't want to be the number one state for puppy mills once Prop B passes. Guess you all will be moving to Arkansas if they don't start considering the consequences of unlicensed unregulated large scale breeding facilities.

And, Ray, there is no magic wand involved here. Fifteen states have passed new or improved regulations and laws that govern puppy mills in the last three years. Why- because the majority of the public cares about dogs and puppies and how they live and are raised.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 29, 2010 | 8:50 a.m.

Thank you, Michelle Cascio! I couln't have said it better!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 8:51 a.m.

In my opinion, there's not a breeder who will close up shop in order to move to another state.

Several of the better will adjust. After all, with the Santo Hill Kennel, we've seen how a breeder can meet the Proposition B requirements, and be successful.

The bad ones will close. Why? Because there's a reason they're bad kennels, they really don't care about the dogs. Dogs were a way of making a quick buck. Now, with Proposition B, they'll actually have to use sound practices, and even good animal husbandry, and they won't want to.

That they'll somehow go underground? Well, considering that Missouri and USDA inspectors know where their operations are, I find it unlikely they'll be able to "hide" dozens, even hundreds of dogs.

The dogs aren't a meth lab that they can easily move about. Dogs do take up room, produce waste, and they make a lot of noise.

Come to that, we'll be able to spot the illegal breeders more easily, too. If you drive by a place that raises puppies for sale, you can easily see if they have over 50 dogs, or no outdoor or indoor access and know they're illegal. Now, it's not as easy to differentiate between "legal" and "illegal" breeders--not on sight.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 10:27 a.m.

Shelley, you are exactly right. Once Prop B becomes law and the oversized and substandard breeders start to shut down, the Dept of Ag inspectors will be far less overwhelmed and overburdened and will be better able to do their jobs.

(Report Comment)

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