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Organization calls for investigation into disposal of dead dogs

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | 5:27 p.m. CDT; updated 6:34 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 28, 2010

COLUMBIA — The campaign manager for a group promoting Proposition B has requested that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources investigate the manner in which dead dogs are disposed of at large-scale breeding facilities.

Barbara Schmitz, Missouri state director of the Humane Society of the United States and campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, made the request in a letter sent to the director of the department Wednesday.

Schmitz attached a report detailing specific instances in which commercial breeding facilities and commercial dog brokers did not dispose of dead dogs in accordance with state law. Missourians for the Protection of Dogs conducted the report.

According to Missouri law, owners must dispose of the body of a dead animal within 24 hours of learning the animal has died. The law calls for animal carcasses "to be buried in a sanitary landfill or buried, incinerated, composted, or disposed of in a manner approved by the state veterinarian."

The law also regulates how far animals must be buried from groundwater intake structures and how deep animals must be buried in order to prevent groundwater contamination.

The report from Missourians for the Protection of Dogs lists complaints contained in public records and details from HSUS raids on dog breeding facilities. The incidents listed go back as far as 2003. The report also contains photographs both from the raids and from Missouri Department of Natural Resources investigations.

"Our researchers pored over hundreds of pages of public records," Dale Bartlett, deputy manager of public policy for the Humane Society of the U.S., said at a news conference Wednesday morning at Columbia Public Library.

Bartlett said the report indicates that current standards for dog breeders aren't acceptable, and he suggested that Proposition B would help address the problem by requiring that dogs be humanely euthanized by licensed veterinarians when appropriate.

According to the report, every breeder mentioned was at one time licensed by the state of Missouri, and 10 of them still hold licenses.

"We believe these examples do not represent the exception but rather represent the reality at many of the state's large-scale breeding operations, where dogs are a commodity and a certain amount of mortality is the norm," Schmitz wrote.

Schmitz asked specifically that the department revisit a 2003 complaint regarding a commercial dog broker called the Hunte Corporation. The complaint accused the corporation of containing mass dog graves that polluted two ponds in Goodman. According to the report, the Department of Natural Resources asked the corporation to submit a plan for correcting the violations, but the department never followed up on its initial investigation.

Schmitz also wrote that the natural resources agency should at a minimum investigate the state's largest facilities to determine whether they are complying with the state's carcass disposal laws.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the department had received the letter but declined to comment on it.


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Comments

Sarah Barnett October 27, 2010 | 7:36 p.m.

This is a tragedy and shows yet again how Prop B is so desperately needed. The full report can be found here, though I do want to warn that it contains graphic images of the dead puppies. http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_...
While these puppies certainly didn't have a voice, I hope that voters will speak for them this Tuesday, and vote YES on Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 27, 2010 | 7:46 p.m.

This report shows what truly expendable commodities our most devoted companions are to the puppy mill industry. Not only do they suffer from continual confinement, lack of veterinary and basic care, but when they die, they don't even rate proper disposal. Please help change this and vote Yes on Prop B!

(Report Comment)
Amy Katz October 27, 2010 | 7:57 p.m.

Unbelievable. This report shows that large scale puppy mills in Missouri treat dogs just like livestock. Not that this is right to do to any animal. It is not. But most people do not dispose of their household pets in this way. These are family members we are talking about. And supposedly breeders are creating dogs for us to welcome into our families. Regardless of what they way, these pictures show that these breeders don't consider their breeding dogs family, but just production machines to be tossed out like garbage when they are no longer useful. The full report has much more information, but also contains many photos of dead dogs in the trash. https://hsus.salsalabs.com/o/17003/image...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 27, 2010 | 9:35 p.m.

This is about enforcement of current disposal laws.
Proposition B does not address what to do with dead dogs.
I'm certain that if Barbara Schmitz looked at kill-shelter dumpsters she just might find some less than perfect disposal methods of older, healthier or not quickly adopted dogs at these kill-shelters.
I see this more of a health disposal issue then a bury with dignity issue. But then again, the Pro-Bers will do anything to make all breeders into villians and as I know of no shelters involved in active breeding, I guess they give the shelters a pass from scrutiny. Although even shelters can love their dogs to death...
http://www.animal-abusesite.info/shelter...

(Report Comment)
mark anderson October 28, 2010 | 12:50 a.m.

NEW PATHOGEN HITS MISSOURI!!!!!!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%...

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 28, 2010 | 1:49 a.m.

I thought we were trying to "save the puppies?" With only 0.12% of puppies sold in Missouri are reported with health conditions out of 270,000 dogs sold, so that proves if Proposition B does pass there is only 0.12% of puppies to "save." Are the taxpayers of Missouri funding the investigation? Is DNR not currently understaffed also? So how many puppies go into these mass graves? How many vets are on staff at the Hunte Corp?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 2:13 a.m.

It's not about the puppies:
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 28, 2010 | 2:13 a.m.

Mark, LOL! Factory lieing can be spread pig-to-pig!

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 28, 2010 | 2:30 a.m.

But only 0.12% of puppies sold have "health conditions." From the vote yes website. What health conditions those are reported to be are unknown, along with proof of the 0.12% being from licensed breeders. See the HSUS report never stated if those were from licensed or unlicensed. Too bad Proposition B does nothing to stop burial in mass graves. But at least we will all know this is not the proper way to handle the final dispositon of the thousands of dogs that will have to be euthanized for breeders to come into compliance with Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 28, 2010 | 8:03 a.m.

Hugh Maine (???) wrote:

"a human who care only about money, should become rich."

Show me a rich dog breeder (that got rich breeding puppies - people who have other businesses or inheritances don't count for obvious reasons). Just one.

Animal husbandry is one of the lowest paying jobs in the nation. No one gets rich doing this. Save the "big profits" argument for the pharmaceutical companies.

DK

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 28, 2010 | 11:26 a.m.

Once again I am still waiting on answers to my questions. Hope one of the HSUS posters will be able to answer! But only 0.12% of puppies sold have "health conditions." From the vote yes website. What health conditions those are reported to be are unknown, along with proof of the 0.12% being from licensed breeders. See the HSUS report never stated if those were from licensed or unlicensed. Too bad Proposition B does nothing to stop burial in mass graves. But at least we will all know this is not the proper way to handle the final dispositon of the thousands of dogs that will have to be euthanized for breeders to come into compliance with Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Stephens October 28, 2010 | 12:40 p.m.

Mark Foecking quoted a comment left by another user named "Hugh Maine." I have deleted this person's account because his user name does not adhere to the Columbia Missourian's comment policy. The full policy is available here: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/p/miss...

When a user's name does not appear to be legitimate, someone at the Missourian will e-mail him or her with a reminder of the policy, and we give this person an opportunity to respond with his or her correct name. If the user does so, we restore the comment. However, when I e-mailed "Hugh Maine," I found that he or she did not sign up with a legitimate e-mail address. This is the reason the account has been deleted.

At the Missourian, we appreciate input from our readers, and we pay attention to what our audience has to say. However, we do have basic rules that we expect commenters to adhere to.

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers October 28, 2010 | 1:28 p.m.

There is a tiny minority of less 1500 that is being attacked. They have little in economic resources. By nature, they are a group of introverts that have chosen to relate to animals rather than people. They don't have the political wherewithal nor the money to combat such an attack.

A rich powerful group has come into our state and made name calling, sterotyping, purposful deception, and lieing appear to be acceptable.

http://www.humanesociety.org/about/leade...

Hear this person in action http://humanewatch.org/index.php/site/po...

She is an attorney, does that her immune from accountability?

On that link you can listen to her debate veterinarian on Prop B.

The animal rights industry believes with their power and money they can make Missourian's accept this behavior.

Wayne Pacelle has said, "Missouri's moral compass is off"

I say bullying in any form is never acceptable.

I say Wayne Pacelle's perception of Missouri is off.

Vote NO on Prop B

Mark A Landers

Saturday and Sunday I told my story in the comments section on this article. It's way over 250 words so too long to be news worthy. It's numberous posts during the day and night.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010...

At this point in my life I don't think anything is beneath the animal rights then this paper ran this story

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

Now I not only fear for my dogs that are living, but I fear they may come and dig up my dogs that have passed just to see if I buried them deep enough. Dear God what is happening in America? Why can't people read and verify facts?

Please people wake up and listen to what you are saying and what you are doing.

My partner keeps telling me that it's not me you are attacking personally that you guys don't realize how you have been used by these people to make money for themselves. But it is me that you are attacking.

I posted some pics of my kennel and dogs on facebook last night. I am not computer literate so don't expect a lot. I know its not as good as most of the licensed kennels in Missouri. And it's not as good as I want. But it is what I have.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 1:34 p.m.

This state ballot initiative has been led by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs- a coalition of animal welfare organizations and other concerned citizens.

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.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 2:04 p.m.

Michelle:
Speak to your boss lately?
http://humanewatch.org/index.php/site/po...

(Report Comment)
maria hargrove October 28, 2010 | 3:23 p.m.

People are talking about Frau Schmitz and her little tactic that she attempted on our colleague on The Mark Reardon radio show. Yeah Barb attempted a little nasty and it blew up in her face!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%...

(Report Comment)
Anne Hogan October 28, 2010 | 4:05 p.m.

"Proposition B does not address what to do with dead dogs."

Ray, I'm disappointed. With all your talk about Prop B I would have hoped by now you had actually read it.

From section 5(3) - "where needed, humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian using lawful techniques deemed "Acceptable" by the American Veterinary Medical Association." - that means no illegal dumping.

The full act can be found at http://yesonpropb.com/about/read-act

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 28, 2010 | 4:17 p.m.

Michelle, I admire you, you have a lot more patience than I do.

maria hargrove, you know you don't have to take HumaneWatch's links directly from Facebook. You can access the site that's linked, and then copy that link for here. That way we don't have to keep waiting for a Facebook lookup, and then the actual site to load.

And if you want to link to an interview, link to it directly, not to facebook, and then another site, which then you have to find the link in comments--only to find out it's the old interview where, no, Jim Foster did not do as well as you all think.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 4:18 p.m.

Anne:
I read the Proposition.
It's poorly written. Speak to a few lawyers about how poorly written it is.
Killing animals and disposing their carcasses with public health concerns are two different things, in a court of law.
You guys need a better worded Proposition.
(But then again, it was probably written for an emotional "YES" instead of an educated "No.")

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 28, 2010 | 4:18 p.m.

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

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 28, 2010 | 4:21 p.m.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!

And that's it for me.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 5:04 p.m.

Jessica, you commented:

Once again I am still waiting on answers to my questions. Hope one of the HSUS posters will be able to answer! But only 0.12% of puppies sold have "health conditions."

Here's the answer:
The BBB report only lists the complaints they have received as the result of a consumer financial dispute- i.e., the breeder or pet store would not make restitution for illness or death of a puppy purchased. That is not an indicator of the number of sick puppies sold, but more a number of what consumers made the effort to report to the BBC. It is merely a representation of the problem.
As these reports show, many puppies are not even making it to consumers, but dying in the commercial breeding facilities-
http://yesonpropb.com/media/news/dog-adv...
http://yesonpropb.com/media/press-releas...

Please vote Yes on Prop B and be a part of improving the quality of life for dogs who spend their entire lives breeding!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 5:23 p.m.

("Please vote Yes on Prop B and be a part of improving the quality of life for dogs who spend their entire lives breeding!")
I think you are confusing dogs with rabbits.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 28, 2010 | 7:33 p.m.

Sorry, Ray. I have dogs and rabbits as pets. I'd never confuse them. As a matter of fact, my second rabbit is from a rabbit mill in Mississippi. She came to me in horrible condition- emaciated, hair loss, severe infection- both bacterial and external parasite. The breeder admitted to treating the mites by spraying Raid ant spray in her ears. It's a miracle she survived. But, I know you will be relieved to hear that we just returned from the 7th vet visit today since I got her in July- and she is finally mite free and a decent weight. She's fantastic and my family is really happy that she's so much better.

But, I digress, the issue here is puppies and the sweet dogs that spend their lives producing them. Maybe you will join us and vote yes on Prop B. Maybe you will actually care. I know I do.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 7:59 p.m.

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.
.
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.
.
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)
Jenny Thrasher October 28, 2010 | 11:19 p.m.

As always, those in support of Prop B are completely wrong. Is there any particular reason that none of them bother to look at exsting law before they go off un-cocked? ACFA already covers the methods of euthanasia that are accepted by the AVMA, and requires that they be used by any licensed breeder. The Vote Yes pack is desperately grasping at straws, because the Show Me state is on to the lies being spread by an incredibly UN-credible group of individuals unable to present any valid research.

Barb Schmitz started out this campaign with lies, stating repeatedly that there were NO laws in Mo that regulated kennels, even though as Director of the HSMo, she was licensed under ACFA and has to follow the same regulations as kennels. Then, when she was outed on that, she tried to lie about the number of kennels in Mo, and was outed on that too. She has continually lied about ACFA regs allowing dogs to live in "tiny cramped cages", which current regulations DO NOT allow, etc etc. Lately, she lied about Dr. Foster's supposed wife owning a kennel, which again is untrue- Dr. Foster isn't married, and never has been. The majority of the businesses and churches on the Vote Yes endorsement page are false, as anyone will find out if they call those businesses and places of worship to ask if they actually endorsed Prop B, and all but 20 of the vets on that page are from out of state, not even licensed in MO. The remaining vets that endorse Prop B work for the HSMO and various other shelters that are supporters. To suggest that ALL the shelters in MO support Prop B is an absolute lie. Most DO NOT.

If one were to look at the list of those who OPPOSE Prop B, they would find that the: MVMA, AVMA, nearly all Agriculture Associations, the Missouri Family Network, the League of Women Voters, and the MO Republican Party are just a few of the large organizations that have NOT had the wool pulled over their eyes by Prop B and its proponents.

The latest lie about the lack of regulated methods of euthanasia is so easily researched, that one has to wonder- Just how dumb do they think Missouri voters are?

Show them how smart Missouri really is- VOTE NO on PROP B!!!!

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 11:38 p.m.

The opposition to Prop B can Cry & whine all they want... Missourians know right from wrong. Puppy mills are wrong & horrific for Missouri. This Tuesday I am confident that Prop B will pass overwhelmingly. Missourians are good God fearing people. Some issues are a matter of ethics & morality. Simply Put... Voting Yes on Prop B is the right thing to do.
.
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.
.
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 | 11:59 p.m.

Anyone, except those who are St. Louis and KC yuppies or H$U$ duped suckers will stand up for Missourian business people and Vote No on Proposition B.
Smart people will use our existing Bark Alert program to address problems in the industry and keep these Ag-killers at bay...
http://mda.mo.gov/news/2009/Prosecution_...

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 3:56 a.m.

So where are the requirements for keeping urine and feces out of their cages?

(Report Comment)
Mark A Landers October 29, 2010 | 8:51 a.m.

Miss ShellyP,

"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)
Marina Shane October 29, 2010 | 9:12 a.m.

"The cost of doing business" in America should not include keeping 18" dogs in 2.5x2.5' cages for their whole lives either. "The cost of doing business" should net include cruelty & inhumanity.

As a business owner, my moral compass & ethics, do guide my business practices. Maybe that's why my business is debtfree in this economy and growing each year. Just because someone owns a business, does not give them the right to be cruel.
.
Most Missourians I know are good moral people. I too believe in the American way of life. I believe in free enterprise. But not at the cost of our humanity.
I have faith that there will be army of honest decent people who have registered to vote and will turn out i droves on Tuesday...voting YES on prop B. I have faith they will do the right thing.
.
I too have faith that the American system of justice will prevail. I have faith that our courts will uphold the puppy mill cruelty prevention act when it passes this Novemeber.
.
Prevent Puppy Mill Cruelty
Vote YES! on PRop B

(Report Comment)
Jenny Thrasher October 30, 2010 | 1:38 p.m.

Would the proponents of Prop B please sit down and read the current laws, including all the Revised MO Statutes that define, address, and penalize animal neglect, cruelty, and abuse, AND THEN try to explain how Prop B will somehow magically fix everything wrong with the system? Quick answer- it can't.

There is nothing in it that addresses grooming requirements, ratio of caregivers to dogs, generates more funding for more inspectors, or requires kennel owners and their staff to spend X amount of time daily with each animal, all of which are the real issues the proponents of Prop B keep pointing out as being the problem. It has no section that addresses those who may be operating a kennel without a license, whether to strengthen the penalty for doing this, or to provide more funding for Operation Bark Alert in order to expand the State's ability to find the unlicensed kennels. There is no section where it describes any kind of physical abuse, PREVENTS any kind of physical abuse, or outlaws cruelty (not THEIR definition of cruelty, the LEGAL definition of cruelty). None of this is described at all in Prop B. All that is there is a reduction in feeding times, reduction in watering times ("continuous water" is NOT the same as changing it out and cleaning/sanitizing the bowl every 8 hours, as per current law,) reducing the required "multiple vet checks annually" as per current law to ONCE yearly (really? REALLY???? They are honestly trying to say seeing the vet once per year is BETTER than MULTIPLE TIMES??????)etc etc.

The writer of the original editorial above would have the readers believe that a dog's ovaries can explode from being bred every heat til she's 5. Um, that's just dumb. She obviously didn't ask someone who knew anything about animals before displaying her vast lack of knowledge to the public. Ask any Canine Repro Vet Specialist in the country and they will tell you that breeding every heat is the PREFERRED method of reproduction for dogs. THEY ARE NOT HUMAN. Their reproduction system operates nothing like ours. If their systems aren't able to support both their own body and a pregnancy, they either don't get pregnant or they resorb the fetuses by the halfway point. You cannot breed a dog to death. Did you hear that? Let me say that again- YOU CAN NOT BREED A DOG TO DEATH. Ask a repro specialist when you call them up to ask about the frequency of breeding. While you are at it, ask them how many times you can breed a dog before her ovaries explode. Then hold the phone away from your ear, because the laughter on the other end will be the explosive part.

Missouri voters are not dumb. Vote NO on Prop B.

(Report Comment)

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