LETTER: Unlicensed breeders unlikely to follow new law

Thursday, October 28, 2010 | 2:34 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Rose Nolen’s commentary “Respecting animals, nature important to previous Missouri farmers” states if a farmer opposes Proposition B they have lower standards of care. This is absurd. If a farmer chooses to oppose Prop. B it doesn't mean he or she has lower standards of care. While the barns in which we raise our animals may look different from those of our ancestors, the values we hold today and our ethics of animal care are just as strong as those of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. In fact, because of advances in animal care, I believe we are doing a better job than those who came before us.

As a fifth-generation farmer, I am outraged to hear about any animal being abused. On our farm, animal care is our top priority. Our animals are fed every morning before we have our own breakfast. On Christmas morning our children don’t get to open gifts until every animal on the farm has been cared for. We have missed many of our children's school events because an animal on our farm needed our attention.

I don't condone the actions of bad actors; I don’t know a farmer who does.

The vast majority of pet breeders in Missouri are doing things the right way. And for those who aren’t, we have strict laws in place, and the book should be thrown at them.

But, if there is an unlicensed breeder operating in Missouri today who doesn't follow current laws, they will unlikely follow any new laws after Nov. 2.  What is needed to correct the problem of unlicensed breeders in Missouri is more funding to enforce existing laws. 

I oppose Prop. B. It won’t root out bad actors who need to be punished, it only punishes the good actors who really care about their animals.

We can all agree we want to see an end to dogs being abused or neglected. Let’s focus on a way to make zero tolerance for animal abuse a reality without putting reputable, caring breeders out of business. Let’s find a way to fully fund more full-time inspectors in the State of Missouri, and let’s advertise Operation Bark Alert, which allows people to report bad actors anonymously. Since its implementation in January 2009, Operation Bark Alert has put 356 commercial breeders out of business, and 3,700 dogs have been surrendered or confiscated. Operation Bark Alert works; Proposition B will not.

Chris Chinn is a farmer who lives near Clarence.

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Cody Hobbs October 28, 2010 | 4:54 p.m.

Thank You for this letter... It is great to hear someone thinking clearly!!!

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 8:08 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 | 9:10 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 cash flow.)

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 28, 2010 | 9:39 p.m.

Dear Rose,
Come visit us in Shelby County or any of our counties up here in Northeast Missouri and we will take you back home.
We aren't a bunch of suits ridin around in Lear jets. Our order in life is God, family, friends,Country, community and yes all of God's creatures...
We live a simple life of hard work with our hands and yes we do subscribe to using new technology. Take off some weekend and bring several busloads of your friends and we will show you how us backward rednecks work. When we are done we will feed you the best of our home cooking and we will visit and share stories. There are a variety of Churches here that all welcome whoever enter. There is also a new performing arts theater that shows $4 dollar first run movies on the weekends with concessions that are dirt cheap. It is nice and quiet out here until someone declares war on the ones that we love. We have people out here who stand to lose everything because of an unfair proposition.Try putting on the shoes of someone who just borrowed several thousand dollars to build a new kennel. Your payments are based on 100 dogs. This is your only income in a sour economy. You pay your own health insurance and make a difference in your community. Put on these shoes and then be the judge of this situation before making the kind of statement that you made. The door is always open up here as it is in many a small community. Yes Rose you can go home. We are still here. Where did you go?

(Report Comment)
Minnie Bray October 28, 2010 | 11:29 p.m.

As shelters prepare to take on dogs as a result of Prop B, let us remember they are exempt from the very regulations they want to impose on breeders. They won't have the same space requirements or requirements for access to the outdoors for the animals. So an animal could be taken from a breeder, the breeder charged with puppy mill cruelty and the dog sent to a shelter with worse conditions than its original home. Would we take a child from a parent, charge them with abuse/neglect, and then send them to a foster home with worse conditions?
I keep hearing supporters of Prop B say we should all just get dogs from shelters. End purebred breeding. Is it not my right to get a puppy of the breed that fits my family's lifestyle? There are kids in foster care needing homes, should the government be able to limit the number of kids you have and demand you adopt instead? There is one VERY important industry that doesn't seem to be addressed but depends on purebred dogs....service dogs. Service dogs help people with disabilities live with more independence. Canine units work along side police officers to help keep us safe and bring loved ones home. Service dogs don't come from shelters or small breeders. They come from large breeders and are the best of the best.
Prop B gives more restrictions to breeders than parents have raising children. The $600,000+ the ballot says Prop B will cost the state of MO could go toward salaries of social workers looking out for children being abused/neglected. HSUS could spend their $3 million on enforcement of current laws instead of pushing their agenda on MO.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane October 28, 2010 | 11:40 p.m.

For the upteenth hundred time... shelters are TEMPORARY homes for dogs. Puppy Mills are PERMANANT prisons for dogs. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 28, 2010 | 11:52 p.m.

Everything is temporarily permanent.
Some high-rate Kill Shelters hold their dogs for 5 days and then destroy the animal.
Why not just admit that you love shelters because they advocate spay and neuter and don't breed animals,,,for--god forbid...profit.
But they are in the killing business...for MONEY.
You put shelters on such a pedestal as you look down on kennel people. Typical Animal Rights Activist, who doesn't see the hypocrisy.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 12:17 p.m.

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.

Last year, a puppy mill survivor had to be cut out of the stacked wire cage he had lived in his entire life because he had matted to the cage. After we shaved off his extensively matted coat- we discovered he was a shih tzu- you couldn't tell what breed he was he was so matted. How does that happen? A dog has such little room to move and stretch that his matted coat starts to wrap around the wire? Are you trying to compare that misery to the care the dogs receive after they are rescued?

Are you trying to imply that housing rescued dogs in clean crates with pee pads and consistant proper animal care until they are adopted into loving homes is a fate worse than living in filth churning out puppies for profit and quantity?

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.
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)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 12:22 p.m.

Marina is correct. Shelters are there to respond to the needs of homeless animals in their communities. They do not profit from the exploitation of pets, but rather, are doing the best they can with what they have. I know I was a local shelter manager for 7 years.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 12:37 p.m.

But Marina, I thought puppy millers only kept dogs until they were unable to breed anymore? So what is your definition of Temporary?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 12:54 p.m.

Michelle in every post you have proven you should receive HSUS Employee of the year! HSUS really should pay attention to factory lieing, it can be spread pig-to-pig you know!!!!

(Report Comment)
Sarah Barnett October 29, 2010 | 1:35 p.m.

"kennel people" sounds a bit condescending, I think of people who responsibly breed dogs as being responsible breeders, not just kennel people.

Regardless, 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.

Additionally - it is interesting to complain about a ballot saying it will somehow effect how farmers treat their animals, and then complain about it not being broader and including shelters. Prop B is specifically targeted against puppy mill cruelty - that is not to say that there is no other animal cruelty in Missouri, it's just to say that this bill focuses on one type of animal cruelty.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 1:37 p.m.

Actually, if you look at the spreadsheet I'm trying to put together (when I'm not commenting on the seemingly endless supply of Proposition B stories here at the Missourian), you'll see that the majority of licensed breeders in this state haven't been doing as well as they should:

I hope to have all active breeders in the spreadsheet by Monday, but I'm having problems accessing APHIS.

Ray Shapiro, "high kill" shelters are almost always municipal pounds, that are operating under laws that require that they deal with animals quickly. They are undersupported, under staffed, and have few facilities to manage the animals.

Most of the rescues and shelters in this state, and others, that will be handling the dogs from breeders are non-profits, and are either no-kill, fostering systems, "low kill" (typically dogs with tragic illnesses and injuries or behavior problems), or a combination.

And not one of these organizations I know, and respect, are in this for the money. And I resent on their behalf your mendacious slur against them.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 1:44 p.m.

As for this not doing anything for the unlicensed breeders, that's not true.

The rules apply whether you're a licensed breeder or not. However, where the power comes in is the fact that now, even layman such as myself, can see at a glance if a breeder selling puppies is breaking the law.

It's not difficult to determine that there's over 50 adult dogs. It's also simple to see if kennels have unfettered access between the indoors and out, or if the dogs have enough space.

You can also see, easily, if the dogs have access to clean, unfrozen water.

I have no doubts that many of the Proposition B opponents are unlicensed breeders. They know they're going to stand out like a splotch of red against a white background when the licensed, legal breeders begin to convert their operations to the new regulations.

I have no doubts, none at all, that the worst of the unlicensed and licensed breeders days are numbered in this state. Thanks to Proposition B.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 1:46 p.m.

Thanks Shelley! This information will be passed along to breeders so they know who is putting their names all over the internet for Animal Rights Groups to target!

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 29, 2010 | 2:08 p.m.

Well, Jessica, be sure to let them know at the same time that 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.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 2:24 p.m.

So, Jessica, you know a lot of unlicensed dog breeders in the state?

As for publishing information about the existing licensed dog breeders, this information is readily available at APHIS:

And I'm pushing for the state of Missouri to put its dog breeder inspections online, too.

If you're a commercial breeder in this state, your inspections are a matter of public record. They know this.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 2:25 p.m.

Oh, and so there's no confusion,

I do not work for HSUS. What I do regarding Proposition B, I do on my own.

(Report Comment)
maria hargrove October 29, 2010 | 3:11 p.m.

The real truth!!!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 3:50 p.m.

Uh, maria hargrove, you have to have a Facebook account to see your amazing story with the REAL TRUTH.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 29, 2010 | 5:49 p.m.

Shelly, I followed that link that Maria posted. The story is about what happened to me in that last debate with Barbara Schmitz/HSUS. It didn't go well for me. Barbara did the unthinkable. I am now the object of laughter in our County of Shelby and beyond. I now have to live with the anguish of a tarnished image thanks to Barbara Schmitz. In my debate with CEO Wayne Pacelle, I asked Wayne if this was the same Christian-morals that his organization stood for?
I however did forget to ask Wayne how well the HSUS is insured? Shelly if you and your friends missed out, here is the link for everyone to follow. Listen to the show on 10/25/10 and hear what happened to me live in St. Louis.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 5:54 p.m.

I hate that Dr. Foster's name has been dragged through the mud when all he was trying to do was state the facts! This could effect his business in a small community! Slander? Yes. He deserves a public appology!

(Report Comment)
Scott Crause October 29, 2010 | 6:06 p.m.

Received a call from a veterinary classmate in St. Louis. They will no longer support Prop B. They heard what Schmitz did to Dr. Foster when she could not effectively defend this proposition. She said that they are putting up No On Prop B signs at their clinic and making signs for their own home yards. We also heard Dr. Foster debate Wayne Pacelle.
Once again the HSUS couldn't defend themselves.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 6:58 p.m.

Scott Crause,

If people are going to support an issue like Proposition B, or not, because of a single interview, well, all I can say is now I understand why people like Christine O'Donnell win primary elections.

"I am not a witch"

jim foster, thanks for providing a link. However, I couldn't find the specific interview. Perhaps you can provide a direct link.

Note, though: Wayne Pacelle and Barb Schmitz could speak absolute and utter gibberish, and it won't make a difference. This bill isn't about HSUS--it is about the dogs in Missouri. I'm not voting for HSUS, I'm not voting for Wayne or Barb for office...I'm voting for the dogs.

So anyway, if you want to dig up a direct link, I'll give it a listen.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer October 29, 2010 | 7:34 p.m.

You have got to be kidding me

(((Last year, a puppy mill survivor had to be cut out of the stacked wire cage he had lived in his entire life because he had matted to the cage. After we shaved off his extensively matted coat- we discovered he was a shih tzu))))

Maybe to a layman they would stand back in shock and believe you. BUT!!!! this is not a happening thing. Especially in a licensed kennel. How was the dog able to move and eat and drink??? because against your half truths and lies. Dogs don't live very long without food and water. And they defiantly do not produce puppies. As for dogs living temp at shelters and rescues. ANOTHER CROC!!! some shelters if they have dogs on a cruelty case. Shelters will be forced to house them for years until the trial is over. That is unless they deem them ill and kill them . Something they are good at. And you are right they are temp situations but too many dogs are forced to live years on end in deplorable temp situations in Shelters. Even worse at the hundreds of thousands of mom and pop profitable non profit rescues all over the country. The case in Stover where 11 dogs were shot and 22 were starved and sick and completly unadoptable unlike kennel raids where dogs are adoptable within days. The facility that shot the 11 dogs was a rescue they were a rescue foster . Rescues should not be exempt. They tend to be worse then any breeder even a unlicensed breeder. Because they can still sell their crop if it looks bad and they don't need to sell puppies. I use the word sell. Because I believe one can only adopt a human child. When money changes hands it is a sell. If it were a donation there would be no set price.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer October 29, 2010 | 7:34 p.m.

As for this one (((((Regardless, 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.)))

You must live in dream land. We have a recession and you failed to understand over head. Cost of food, vaccines which has sky rocketed, vet care, the huge 100k kennel and with all the unlicensed breeders able to sell so well after prop B passes. Prices still will not rise. Your numbers have dogs going for between 250 dollars if they have super ovulators and 500 if they are a little less super ovulators. Females come in heat between every 6 to 12 months. When you are forced to skip heats you will be loosing females because of pyometra, and many of the rest will develop lesions on their uterious. They will either have reduced fertility or become sterol. The numbers in reality would have to be viewed in a 2 year period due to the 18 months restrictions which again are unhealthy for the dogs.
To make 100k a year gross. 40 females will be bred 2 times in a 2 year period. to gross 500 a pup you will need 400 pups out of 40 female dogs that is 5 puppies a litter. That is unfeasible. in many breeds. In some larger breeds this may be doable. But this is not a real reachable number. And kennels for larger breeds will be much more expensive. Along with the care. To accomplish this in a regular basis is fantasy. Many times breeders are raising up young females and not breeding them. A kennel does not consist of all mature breeding dogs. Forcing lower numbers will also force more bad choices too.

You AR guys may sound believable to yourselves. But your education is lacking a bit because your views are so one sided.

It is a shame. I see a much better future for dogs if rescue and breeder could get along. I feel more could be accomplished. Too bad you Ars cannot open your minds. It is a shame you will do to the canine industry what you did to the poor pit bull such a shame.

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer October 29, 2010 | 7:41 p.m.

Marina poor Marina You are so sadly mistaken

(((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.)))

We have had the toughest laws in the united states. All these ridiculous laws started in other states since your lord Obamanation came into office. They have been going state by state calling each state the puppy mill capital of the united states LOL.

I am sure you love animals. But I promise you. Good licensed Missouri breeders are not responsible for those sad pictures that has gotten you all riled up. Nor the animals you see in rescues. If a Missouri Licensed Kennel gets out of hand. Which can happen. Breeders get sick. Have family emergencies. Grow old. And may get behind. BUT!! that is why inspectors go out write them up and tell them comply or loose your licenses. Just like any other licensed business.

Marina if you love dogs you will vote no On prop B
I know you love them. Do the right thing vote no on Prop B

(Report Comment)
Joan Archer October 29, 2010 | 7:47 p.m.

Shelley Dear Shelley

(((((It's not difficult to determine that there's over 50 adult dogs. It's also simple to see if kennels have unfettered access between the indoors and out, or if the dogs have enough space.)))

I am sorry this will kill puppies. As soon as Puppies start crawling. You would be shocked at the trouble they can get into.Unfetters access to the out doors for a mom dog with a litter WILL!!! Kill many puppies. Those puppies will find a way to the snow and will not be able to come back in. They will be dead by the morning while the breeder sleeps.

You say you care for the dogs above all correct. If you do you will vote no on Prop B

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 7:53 p.m.

The facebook investigation by Mary was priceless! Can you believe that! Like no one would find out????

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 8:11 p.m.

Michelle, HSUS supports good breeders? Breeders as in kennels that use dogs for the only purpose of having puppies? I thought Missouri had 3,000 puppy mills? If there is only 1,400 licensed breeders, and we have 3,000 puppy mills, then you mean HSUS supports breeders, just not the ones in Missouri?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers October 29, 2010 | 8:14 p.m.

Joan Archer

Interestingly enough, there are commercial dog breeders who have less than 50 dogs who seem to do just fine. Santo Hill comes to mind. And from the USDA records, there are quite a few others that have less than 50.

As for the rest...tosh.

Dogs with litters have dog doors today and our lawns aren't littered with the remains of poor frozen little puppies.

Here we go again...

Dog doors hare installed so the bottom of the door comes to the mother dog's shoulder. Now, you tell me how a much smaller, much weaker dog is going to push that open?

More importantly, a lot of people have a whelping pen in their kitchens, where the mother can get out of the pen and go for a stretch. Unless you think these super puppies can scale these walls with a single bound?

Good licensed breeder?

Let's that the breeder who allows the collars on some of her yorkies to get so tight that one collar embedded itself into one of the dog's neck?

Or the breeder that had a dead calf between kennel buildings?

Maybe the breeder that shoved four full grown bull mastiffs into an aluminum crate, divided into to to make two sides 2 ft by 4ft, and 24 inches high?

Maybe the breeder that didn't bother to check that there was a dead chihuahua among the other dogs.

Or the one that let their dogs fur get so matted, they couldn't move their legs.

Or the breeders with dogs with untreated sores and wounds, underfed, no water, left out in cages that had no shelter or bedding in 28 degree weather, living in filthy conditions where the dog wastes aren't shoveled for weeks, and the scent of ammonia burns the inspector's eyes?

Those currently licensed breeders?

Any sane, reasonable, and compassionate human being has to vote for Proposition B.

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 29, 2010 | 8:47 p.m.

Three debates. Each with a HSUS rep. Not about HSUS? Get real. This is the direct link. Go to segment 10/25/10 and hear for yourself. They want all these fines and criminal charges against dog breeders. What about telling an untruth about someone on live radio? Christian? moral compass?
We now know!

(Report Comment)
jim foster October 29, 2010 | 9:57 p.m.

How many sane people would only clean a solid floor with a dog and puppies once daily? Have an open door policy in the winter? Require a room the size of 12ft x 16 ft for 5 teacup sized yorkies? We know the real agenda. VOTE NO ON PREPOSTEROUS B

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 29, 2010 | 10:18 p.m.

Shelley, were those you are posting in violation cited? License pulled? Should have been, how is Prop B going to keep others from doing the same thing? Just because you put these "common sense" regs into place it says nothing about collars or matted fur! Where these licensed facilities? Did USDA cite them like they should have? Hmmm... everything you state to me looks like the issue is with enforcement. So you think limiting the number of dogs is going to keep someone from not letting a dog get matted fur?

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 30, 2010 | 9:58 a.m.

Yes, Jessica HSUS supports good breeders. We support the breeders that your average American wants to buy a puppy from. The public doesn't support breeders who sell sick puppies whose parents spend their lives in a cage. Have you noticed?
I monitor the Puppy Mills tip line- I'm sure you can imagine the calls I get from people who were tricked by pretty websites and small talk over the phone about how the parents of the puppies supposedly live. Then the potential buyers drive, sometimes hours, excited to get their new puppy and meet their parents- only to find out that it is acutally a puppy mill- were the breeding dogs are not running free on the farm being handle by children all day like in website photos. Instead, they are caged and frequently in poor condition from constant breeding and lack of care.
Oh- but there is the other scenerio- when the potential buyers arrive at the "farm" and they are not allowed to see the parents as they were promised. They are only allowed at the end of the drive-way and 2 or 3 sick, filthy puppies are brought out for them to chose from- sometimes not even the breed or color of the puppy they choose online. They see a fence guarding most of the property and a lot of dogs barking. They ask to see the parents and they are told no. Sometimes they leave without a puppy because they don't want to support puppy mills- sometimes they buy the puppy because they feel like they have to save him from living there.

And, lastly, there are the consumers that purchase a puppy online and the puppy is flown to them. Sometimes, it's only after a costly vet visit and their vet tells them, well, from the paper work and the conditions of the puppy, we think he's from a puppy mill. I haven't spoken with many people who have received sick puppies from MO- puppies with severe intestinal parasite infections- hook, whipp, rounds, giardia, coccidea. They call the breeder- who tells them- that must be from the stress of the trip. No- it's not from the stress of the trip- it's from living in filthy conditions with dogs that don't receive proper veterinary care.

These are all typical scenerios I have personlly handled via tip line calls. Yes, Jessica, we support good breeder, we just don't support puppy mills.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 30, 2010 | 10:46 a.m.

I need to correct a typo before it becomes an issue- in the second to last paragraph I meant to communicate that I have spoken with people who have purchased sick puppies shipped from Missouri. I should do a better job of proof reading. I have emailed one of them, asking her to share her story, hopefully, she will get my email and respond.

(Report Comment)
maria hargrove October 30, 2010 | 11:07 a.m.

I deal with alot of kennels. I check those puppies that go out. You cannot keep putting all the blame on breeders. These puppies go to pet stores that are not always the best and they are pooled together like kindergarten children. How many times do puppies go to homes where the new owner has no idea what to do with it? I had a call from New York. "I just got this puppy and it will not do anything." I asked her what is it supposed to do? "It just sits here and looks at me" I told her to pet it and snuggle with it. She said she had never had a pet before and had no clue how to take care of it. The list goes on of cases where the new owners feed the new puppies off the table and make them sick. The Christmas pup that came back from Mass. with a horrible genetic disorder of chronic throwing up. What did we find? A small red rubber ball in its stomach that the expensive vets on the other end missed! I do kennels and it has been several years since I've seen a case of parvo in any kennel. Why? because they purchase the best vaccines from me and follow a routine program that we came up with. They have grooming ladies that come into their kennels to groom and we do routine dentals/exams etc.... The misconceptions being advertised are beyond fraudulent. Prop B will do zero to any illegal breeder and it will wipe out the good folks. Get ready to pay thousands for those holiday/birthday puppies. It would be interesting to see what would happen if we applied HSUS theory and method to the human population. They want the perfect puppy. Would they want the perfect child? Would they go after people who produce children that aren't within the idea of HSUS perfection?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 12:17 p.m.

Maria do you follow the zero population growth movement orginazation also as HSUS?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 12:22 p.m.

Maria, "The public doesn't support breeders who sell sick puppies whose parents spend their lives in a cage. Have you noticed?"

Wow other states have a higher rate of puppy sells? HSUS reported in the last 3 years, 90,000 puppies sold, 352 complaints, = 0.012%. Does another state have a lower rate? Can HSUS posters on here please give links to other BBB Reports in other states that HSUS has done?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 12:31 p.m.

Maria and Michelle, "I haven't spoken with many people who have received sick puppies from MO," So Missouri is not the state with the most complaints? Really? So out of 270,000 puppies sold with only a 0.12% reported to have health conditions, I would say you have other states you receive more calls on?

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 30, 2010 | 1:20 p.m.

Jessica- we cleared this up in another commentary. The BBB complaints- the .12% that you keep flaunting is not indicative of the total number of sick puppies sold by Missouri breeders, but it is the number of consumers who filed a complaint for lack of restitution for sick puppies. Many of Missouri's sick puppies never make it as far as the pet store or the consumer. Did you look at the dead dog dumping report?

Please stop misrepresenting the BBB figure as being the indicator of sick puppies sold from Missouri. It is inaccurate.

Have you seen the recent lawsuits filed by sick puppy purchasers? Have you seen the Petland lawsuits for selling sick puppies and lying to consumers? Petland acquires many of their puppies from Hunte- and from MO puppy mills. Why? Because reputable breeders don't sell their puppies to Hunte to be sold to pet shops. They want to meet the families their puppies will live with- and they want to be there to help with advice and support. That's hard to do when you are basically a USDA license number on a registration. People don't want man's best friend to be treated like a cash crop.

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 30, 2010 | 1:34 p.m.

Maria, my sick puppy example was not a pet shop purchase. Of course we realize that when sick puppies comingle in a pet shop- healthy puppies may get sick. That's why we advocate that people visit a good breeder, check out the way the dogs are living and avoid pet shops all together. Reputable breeders don't sell to pet shops. But, back to my example- this purchase was an internet purchase. The puppy was put into a carrier at the breeder's facility, driven to the airport, flown to Florida, where he was picked up by the new owner. This puppy did not comingle with other sick puppies- except- we can theorize at the breeders's facility. This puppy was at the vet within 48 hours very sick with a heavy intestinal parasite infestation. One so bad that he was severely anemic and almost died. The new owner had no other animals at the time. How do you explain that? This puppy was issued a health certificate by a state licensed MO vet in this condition?

You can buy the best vaccines possible- but they don't prevent or treat hook, whipp, round worm, giardia or coccidea.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 2:39 p.m.

Michelle, I do believe it is the HSUS that came out with the big "look how horrible Missouri Puppy Mills are" BBB Report. HSUS has flaunted this report all over. This is the only facts that HSUS has shown. I have repeated question after question and the only answer I get is "have you seen a puppy mill? Look at a puppy mill, save the puppies!" I also posted a link that shows reported animal abuse/neglect puppy mill cases in Missouri which ads up to maybe 7 in the last 3 years. If HSUS has a puppy mill hotline, then I would like to see number of reported calls by state? On the dumping issue, once again I asked several questions and the only answer I got was "have you seen a puppy mill, look at a puppy mill, save the puppies!" I. Stated the law and asked how the business you accused was dumping illegally? I also asked how Prop B would avoid illegal dumping? Anne stated it would! I have also asked how Prop B would aid in the care of dogs, how does Prop B keep your examples of matted hair, collars in open wounds, feces, and urine coated dogs??????

(Report Comment)
Michelle Cascio October 30, 2010 | 3:57 p.m.

Jessica- you are using the BBB report to quantify the percentage of sick puppies sold from Missouri breeders. Our representation of the information was to inform the public that this is also a consumer issue- in that sick MO puppies were sold and no restitution was provided to over 300 puppy purchasers. This is indicative of the attitude of those large scale breeders that don't care about selling sick puppies. It's about profit and quantity- not quality- and they don't stand behind their "product" by providing restitution. Oh- and we didn't publish the report- the BBB did.

The Dumping Dead Dogs report was released by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/Yes on Prop B folks because Prop B would require veterinary care. Otherwise, it is a DNR issue. But, it does demonstrate how disposable this "product" is to some breeders.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 7:43 p.m.

Is veterinary care not already required? Did the company not have licensed DVM's on site?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 9:45 p.m.

I have also asked how Prop B would aid in the care of dogs, how does Prop B keep your examples of matted hair, collars in open wounds, feces, and urine coated dogs?????? How is Prop B better than Bark Alert?

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand October 30, 2010 | 10:32 p.m.

The report was compiled using source data from BBB complaints, results from surveys sent to all 50 states, state and federal agencies, and court cases among other sources, so how much more information would be needed to make this report complete?

(Report Comment)
Dana Schikora October 31, 2010 | 9:27 a.m.

Hello from Florida. I hope the military man from Virginia is also reading these posts since he recently received 2 dead puppies from Missouri. I purchased a puppy online (learned a very expensive lesson) from Tanner's Puppies in Cassville, Missouri in January of this year. I took this puppy to my vet within 36 hours of his arrival. My vet found that he was full of roundworms. After his treatment, he started vomiting (larva and the biggest roundworms I
have ever seen). He also had diarreah that Oincuded these worms. Let's just say that these worms had been eating him alive for sometime. He ended up in our emergency vet hospital for 4 days. Each day we were told that he might not make it. After spending $3000.00 to save him and a month of healing him from phenomia, he pulled through. During and after this process, I contacted (on numerous occasions) The breeder/broker who shipped out 128 dogs in 2009 (they didn't care and would not refund or assist with any vet bills. They violated their contract and they know that I will have to travel to Missouri to sue them) the vet (who stated the dog did not travel well, image how much he gets paid off of this one breeder/broker for the use of his rubber stamp. Come on fecals on puppies in Missouri is not routine! Your law states, he has to visit the facility each year-he never did. I filled a formal complaint with the

(Report Comment)
Dana Schikora October 31, 2010 | 10:00 a.m.


I filed a complaint with the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board. I asked to be conferenced in during their meeting on this case and no such luck. I just received a very simple letter that they did not find anything wrong and have a nice day. The board's executive director would NOT let me speak to any of them.), The Missouri Department of Agriculture (after several attempts to get this property inspected, I get another nice letter that states they had several violations but all in all the letter sounded as if they had coffee and the inspector/broker are now best friends). I've contacted the United States Humane Society (all I can say is "thank you Michelle Casio for listening and caring for these animals and the new owners.", I've contacted Senator Joan Bray (no comment from her), I've contacted the AKC (no comment from them), I've contacted American Airlines (no comment from them), I've contacted the Missouri Better Business Bureau (the broker/breeder could not fight my complaint and the BBB allowed the post), I posted my story on several sites and found the man in Virginia who had one of his puppies sent to him from Tanner's. The puppy died within 24 hours of receipt of Parvo. My list goes on and on. The bottom line is that I have 6 vets in my area that said this puppy was very sick before I even got him. Take a look at their site Notice how she states she "is not a puppy mill". Your state truely needs help in stoping this puppy mill situation. If I had bought a car from Missouri and it was a lemon, I suspect there would be more protection??
The good breeders is your state should be worried. It is like anything else in this world, one bad apple can ruin it for everyone.
This month my puppy has turned one year old. He has been a joy and I am thankful in the end that I bought him because I know that I saved his life and have given him a great home! I also have learned a great deal about puppy mills and can only hope that it stops!
Thank you for reading my story and again sorry about the IPAD. I'll get it figured out sooner or later.
Have a good day.

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