GUEST COMMENTARY: Rational approach needed to fix Prop B

Monday, December 27, 2010 | 3:34 p.m. CST

Proposition B passed in the November 2010 election with a 51.6 percent vote.  It amended Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The amendment further prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets. The amendment also creates a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations.


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As with many legislative issues, one can speak passionately and rationally on either side of this issue, but in truth the best solution lies somewhere between two polar positions.

The rationale for Prop B is reasonable. It is beyond question that Missouri has a real and serious problem with some irresponsible dog breeders. Further, the General Assembly failed to deal with it, leaving the citizens in a position to either accept the situation or take matters into their own hands. They did — in the form of an initiative petition in the last election.

As with virtually all voter petitions, Prop B, being written by only those on one side of the issue, is unbalanced and fatally flawed. Among its several problems, the most glaring is the lack of a funding mechanism. In today's economic climate no reasonable legislator can justify funding new animal protection over state services like education. Yet this is what we would have to do to actually activate Prop B.

The most radical view articulated by the opposition is that Prop B is a sinister plot against animal agriculture and therefore the will of the people might be ignored with impunity. The problem with this theory is that it ignores the twin realities — that there is actually a puppy mill problem and there is actually a citizen mandate to fix it.

Both sides have a stake in working this out. Prop B supporters want a workable law and they must be aware that in the last analysis there are the votes in the General Assembly for total repeal of the initiative.

Anti-Prop B folks must also be concerned. They acknowledge that there is a real puppy mill problem. They also realize that the voters, who in the last election were certainly less favorable to Prop B than those who will vote in 2012, will not take kindly to a total repeal or to any kind of sham law enacted in its place.

There is room for reasonable compromise. It will require that we get past the name calling, each respect the other side and be willing to accept middle ground even when we do not agree completely. Both sides have reason to get it right. A more reasonable law can help ensure that our many ethical breeders do not suffer from Missouri’s reputation as the puppy-mill state. It can also alleviate the legitimate animal cruelty concerns of the proponents.

To get it right, all interested parties must be willing, able and available to contribute to a reasonable solution.

Rep. Chris Kelly serves Boone County in the 24th Legislative District.

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Jessica Bryand December 27, 2010 | 4:46 p.m.

Let's look at those who headed Vote Yes, Bob Baker, Director, has ties with the ALF, which is on the FBI terror watch list, Judy Peil, who was the treasurer for Vote Yes, she serves as Member of the Board of Directors of the HSUS.
As reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission that the HSUS has contributed, as of October 29, 2010, $2,112,421 to the Ballot Initiative Campaign in Missouri; that the Fund for Animals has contributed $110,000 to the Ballot Initiative Campaign in Missouri; that the Doris Day Animal League has contributed $80,000 to the Ballot Initiative Campaign in Missouri; that the Humane Society Legislative Fund has contributed $50,000 to the Ballot Initiative in Missouri; that Ms Patrick, who serves on the HSUS Board of Directors, contributed $36,500; that Ms. Coupe, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the HSUS, contributed $5,000; and that Ms. Probst, who serves on the Boards of Directors of the HSUS, Fund for Animals and the Doris Day Animal League, contributed $1,000. Thus, the combined contributions of those affiliated with the HSUS, as well as the “family” of HSUS Affiliated Organizations, cumulatively total $2,397,921 as of October 29, 2010. Instead of using over $100,000 to care for homeless, starving, hungry and sick animals, the Humane Society of Missouri has used this amount for legislation and billboards, that by the way, do not meet the Missouri Ethics Commission Campaign Material Identification Requirements since they terminated on 12-2-10 and are still yet asking for donations to their campaign on their website! But since Schmitz is employed by the HSUS I am sure The Humane Society of Missouri will find itself with an endless supply of money to care for these poor animals since HSUS gives so much to local animal shelters. Last there is Wayne Pacelle, the "animal lover" who does not own a pet he "fights" for, the President and CEO of the HSUS contributed $2,000 (wow only $2,000?); stated he thought Vick would make a good dog owner one day. The number of complaints, provided by HSUS during the election, shows Missouri has 0.12% rate of complaints. The fact is Missouri has the BEST kennels in the WORLD or Missouri would not be the #1 producer of perfect puppies! HSUS is attacking animal agriculture in every state. They need to be stopped before they attack our agriculture!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 5:35 p.m.

It doesn't work that way.

This was a bill that was voted on by the people of this state. The state legislature had its chance to enact stricter laws anytime in the last decade, and chose, deliberately not to.

Now that the people have spoken, we're supposed to accept somehow that the state reps have seen the light?

No, they haven't seen the light, they've seen the campaign contributions and are allowing special interests to override the will of the people.

For the first time, Missouri is on track to lose its dubious distinction of being the puppy mill capital of the country. The heck if we're going to let some representatives override the will of the people to support what is a non-growth industry.

I'm astonished that a state rep who knows how these bills work would state something so grossly inaccurate as to question a "lack of funding"--Proposition B is an amendment to existing laws--as he knows--and the existing laws include how funding is managed. As he knows.

Here's something else Representative Kelly should know:

Of the Missouri House of Representative districts, 86 voted for Proposition B, 74 voted against, with 4 borderline.

Of the Missouri Senate districts, 19 voted for, 14 against, 1 is borderline.

Not only have the people spoken, I find it unlikely that representatives from districts that voted for Proposition B are going to want to go back to their people and say, "Oh, well, you all really didn't mean what you want. And they're just dogs, anyway."

Stop ignoring the people in order to placate special interests.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 27, 2010 | 5:58 p.m.

Shelly, you can go to the website and see many of the legislators were not aware there was a problem with "puppy mills" until HSUS brought it to everyones attention. How many times in the last 5 years have you written your legislator asking for changes to animal welfare? How many letters from across the state in the last 5 years were written to legislators demanding changes in "puppy mills?" Barbara stated they were going to hire 7 more full time inspectors, where is the money going to come from for their salary, offices, and vehicles to get them to and from during inspections? Why can we not hire 7 more social workers for family services in Missouri then? Why is Bark Alert not effective enough? And I do not think you want to talk about special interests groups, because I have shown the Vote Yes special interest groups above and the amount each funded. Can you please show me the oppositions special interests groups and the funding backing them? Do you ever look at the Missouri Ethics Commission Web site? You can follow the money trail there! Shelly, have you read the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act yet?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 27, 2010 | 5:59 p.m.

Mr. Kelly talks nice but thinks we are stupid.

A 'revised ' Prop B bill would moulder in Mepublican outboxes till Pluto becomes a shopping mall.

Resist the Dogpatch mentality!
KEEP Prop B as is!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 6:16 p.m.

Jessica Bryand, it was the Department of Agriculture that needed to hire seven more people, and guess what: they've needed 7 more people for years. They've asked to raise fees to hire more people but guess what: our state representatives said no.

However, with Proposition B, inspectors should have fewer breeders to inspect and the operations should also be smaller--they should be able to do their job better with Proposition B, than without.

And if you want to say that people who care about dogs, and the welfare of dogs, are "special interests" then you had better include the majority of people in this state in that category, because the majority of people in this state voted Yes.

Let me repeat that: the majority of people in this state voted for Proposition B.

Let me repeat that again: the _majority_ of people in this state voted for Proposition B.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 27, 2010 | 6:18 p.m.

Terry, how is PETA these days? Since you do not live in Missouri, why do you care? Keep up the good work at undermining our Missouri Legislators knowledge of laws in Missouri!!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.

Jessica Bryand, I live in Missouri and I don't work for any animal welfare organization.

Do you have anything specific and factual to say? Or are you just going to quote misinformation?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 27, 2010 | 7:01 p.m.

Jessika :
This PETA drivel is SO LAME.
Who cares.
Only you it seems.

And what POSSIBLY does THIS mean?:....
'undermining our Missouri Legislators knowledge of laws in Missouri',

That is simply illucid.

And what POSSIBLY leads you to believe that Missouri's dog-mills are a problem exclusive to Missouri?
Maybe you'd be interested in taking a look at our vet bills?
Better yet, maybe send us a check to cover some of them?

If the GOOD people of Missouri had any notion of just how many of us all over the country are mopping up Missouri's messes, they might be less inclined to fall for your mean-spirited anti-humane rhetoric.

As an aside, anyone who cut&pastes their 'information' from Rick Berman's Poodle David Martosko is seriously deficient in credibility.
And other bits not necessary to mention.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 7:05 p.m.

Let's check out Jessica's little statements.

She's accused Bob Barker of being tied to ALF. This is deliberate misinformation. No, I'll call it what it is: a lie. There's laws against making such statements, Jessica, even in weblog comments.

Then Jessica has gone on to say that a bunch of organizations devoted to animal welfare have donated to a campaign in support of...wait for it...animal welfare!

The rest of Jessica's statements are a mishmash of disjointed sentences, most incomplete, and most without any credibility, or without links to anything that even remotely substantiates anything she writes.

So Jessica, do you have anything specific and factual to say? Or should we just assume you're going to regurgitate HumaneWatch talking points, and just not bother paying attention?

The only thing that matters: the majority of people in Missouri have tired of the title "Puppy mill capital of the US". They're tired of the stories of this dog rescue and that, and the awful pictures from these terrible places. We read what both sides said and we made a choice.

Not is it up to the state representatives to not undermine the will of the people in order to support special interests. It is up to the state representatives to focus their time on the many other problems facing Missouri right now, and let Proposition B stand. As is.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 7:24 p.m.

The following is a story and video taken in 2007 of a commercial breeder in Missouri:

I just read the November USDA inspection for this person. The problems _still exist_. He's still in business.

Look at that video. Look at it Representative Kelly, and then tell us how we need to compromise.

Look at it.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 27, 2010 | 7:42 p.m.

Jessika, to her credit, has mastered the art of 'offensive denial'.

Whatever you say... 'you're wrong'.
Whatever your experience... 'didn't happen'
Fact is 'fact'...whether it is or is not.
The Offensive Denier will deny that your mother has cancer if it serves their purpose.
So what can you say..'Yes, she does have cancer'?
'No, she doesn't'.
A fool's game.
Discourse and intelligent debate is impossible with these folks unless you agree with every word they say.
Insults they thrive upon like bees do honey.
Insults make them stronger, and who really wants to stoop to insults anyway?
Jessika is best ignored.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 27, 2010 | 8:19 p.m.

Wow! Some are on the defense! I just asked simple questions and apparently I have once again hit a nerve and you are all unable to answer my questions. Why be so rude? I think Rep. Kelly is simply stating that making more budgets cuts in education to Missouri's Children to protect those that are already protected under the law, is simply ridiculous. Do either of you have school age children enrolled in public school? If you did you would know that schools are lacking funding for the simple things that you and I once had, like books for students. Shelly, apparently it is ok for you to spread lies and misinformation about people on the web, so when you stop, I will stop, maybe you should really practice what you preach! You want links to what Shelly? The Missouri Ethics Commission website to look up where the money really came from to pass Prop B to support my statements? Well, here you go! And Terry my name is spelled with a "c" not a "k."

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 8:24 p.m.

Representative Kelly, I took a closer look at your district in my spread sheet. Boone county had a 45% vote rate for Proposition B. Based on vote percentages in other counties with larger towns, such as Columbia, I'd say that a good, strong percentage of people in your district voted for Proposition B. I have your district down as a "No", but a pretty qualified No.

What you're basically saying is you want to override the will of a significant number of people who voted for you. And you want to do so in favor of something like puppy mills.

This is not going to be a win/win for you, Representative Kelly. Your best bet would have been not to have jumped on to this wagon, at all.

You all have a lot of other things you need to be focused on.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 27, 2010 | 8:48 p.m.

To correct misinformation before it gets legs:

Proposition B is an amendment of an existing law, the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA), which you can access at:

This act contains a section on funding for inspections, based on license fees. Proposition B does not modify that act, but adds an additional requirement specific to commercial dog breeders. Existing funding remains the same--well, unless the legislature wants to raise the fees. After all, the fees were established in 1993. Costs have increased a bit since then.

But whatever funding is in place for ACFA remains in place for ACFA with the Proposition B amendment. There is no money being pulled from education to pay for this, and people making this claim are doing so to spread misinformation.

Representative Kelly should be aware of how funding works with ACFA, and the fact that Proposition B is an amendment. I'm giving him the benefit of a doubt that he's not on an agricultural committee and isn't that familiar with ACFA. Perhaps he needs to some self-education before sessions start next week.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 6:19 a.m.


The 'K' is intentional.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 7:02 a.m.

Jessika would gleefully assert that 'she has hit a nerve'.

Jessika finds much joy in 'hitting nerves' and would use the expression everywhere .....

Is Jessicka a dental technician?

Posted by Jessica Bryand on 11/02 at 03:08 AM
"We still need to keep spreading the TRUTH!!! Only a few more days!
I currently hold the "Spam Queen Crown" so lets see if someone can top me and steel it away!!!!"

Jessica Bryand on 11/02 at 12:57 AM
"I hope that everyone takes the time to read the Missourian. HSUS has really showed who they are on that siteYou will see where they got no “common sense”

Jessica Bryand
Yesterday at 2:02am
Hitler/Wayne Daily Blog Post
"And arose Hitler, "I then took the podium and told the crowd that our campaign was declaring victory."

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 8:33 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"What you're basically saying is you want to override the will of a significant number of people who voted for you. And you want to do so in favor of something like puppy mills."

I doubt he's terribly worried about it, and I doubt he would take any more than incidental heat from modifying it.

People that promoted this had a far greater personal and financial stake in this than your average voter. If you asked the average voter what their legislative priorities are, I doubt that shutting down "puppy mills" would take precedence over the economy, jobs, crime, education, and other things that affect their lives far more.

And before you say that "then he shouldn't do anything", it's an amendment to an existing law, and he's obviously been asked by either citizens groups or other legislators to look at the law again. That's what they are there for - to make sure laws that hit the books are effective, constitutional, and enforceable. We elect them as professionals, to do a better job of writing laws than citizens can. It works better, in many cases, than a direct democracy.

Citizen initiatives, as Kelly said, often have the problem of being poorly written, or having unintended consequences, both of which I think Prop B has in spades, and obviously I'm not alone.

Plus it might keep several tens of thousands of dogs away from the end of a needle. I find it interesting that neither you or Terry has answered my repeated question about the percentage of displaced dogs in PA that had to be euthanized after their law passed. I'd imagine that if a high percentage had been placed in homes/rescues, that someone would have brought it up.

We're going to have a LOT more dogs than PA did. You can't tell me that any groups other than the high volume kill shelters can handle anywhere near this level of rescue dogs.


(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 9:02 a.m.

There are clever-clogs among us who would demand answers to questions in order to refute the answers!

These clever-clogs know full well that such questions cannot be answered with certainty and precision because there is no Command Central For The Reportage Of Numbers of Dogs Rescued From Pennsylvania's PuppyKiller-Millers.

Clever-clogs does much speculating from his own perch yet expects exactness from us.

We will not fall for this snarky silliness!

Keep their blood-spattered hands OFF PROP B!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 9:22 a.m.

Well, Terry, than give me an approximate percentage. You should be in a good position to know, being involved in PA dog rescue. Did half of them have to be put down? A quarter? 90%?

I know the only shelter/rescue in Boone County that could take more than a few dogs a week is our Central Missouri Humane Society. They can't afford to keep dogs that are not prime candidates for adoption for more than a week or so. Most municipal kill shelters are in a similar situation.

I'm not expecting precision. But there must be some knowledge within the PA rescue community, and I suspect it's something they are not particularly happy about.

Do you know any contacts or organizations in PA that might have a better feel for this (not that I think you'll tell me, but I will honestly pass on any information I receive)?


(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 9:31 a.m.

Mark Foeking, Proposition B was probably the most contested and discussed piece of legislation in Missouri, and even beat out most of the discussions related to most of the state races. I don't expect the state to suddenly lose interest and not watch what's happening with this bill.

Representative Kelly will do what he wills for special interests, but the majority of state representatives in this state come from districts that support Proposition B. The people they represent have spoken. For any vote in the Missouri House of Representatives or Senate to override or change this bill, representatives from these districts would not only have to be seen as coming out in favor of puppy mills, but doing so counter to the wishes of the people that voted for them.

Even people who voted No on Proposition B have been unhappy at the state representatives desire to override the citizen initiative-all in favor of a non-growth industry and special agribusiness interests.

As for Pennsylvania, there's been little news about mass killings of dogs, especially since doing so is illegal. The last time someone tried this ended up in the news and the breeder ended up being fined (he gassed several dogs to death). But then, he did this action before the law was passed. You see there are bad commercial breeders who destroy dogs now. Too many, and too many dogs.

And in fact, everything you say just supports Proposition B: if these commercial breeders are so cold and callous that they would happily kill the dogs they have based on this law, then so much for the image of good, caring breeders, eh?

The main problems with the shelters in Pennsylvania are the same with shelters in all states: too many dogs. There are just too many dogs, period.

In the past two months, over a hundred commercial breeders have canceled their USDA license. Already dog rescue organizations from other states have come to Missouri and taken breeder surrendered dogs. The HSUS helped arrange a couple of these, by connecting the breeders with organizations that would take the dogs.

But all of this is beside the point. Proposition B did pass, it is on its way to be law in 2011. We should not have to fight the same fights again and again--not because a few hundred folks have more sway in Jefferson City than the many who voted.

People now get more dogs from shelters and rescue organizations than buy dogs in pet stores or online. The writing is on the wall: large scale commercial dog factory farming is a non-growth industry. It is a dying industry. Our legislature shouldn't be spending its time, and our tax dollars, defending it.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 10:08 a.m.

Shelly, please give us these "special interest groups" you keep speaking of. I have given links for my information. You accuse me of spatting misinformation and lies, so I would like for you to do the same and tell us of these "special interest groups" you speak of.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 10:14 a.m.

I would think if I am trying to win over the agriculture communities and dog kennel owners in Missouri I would not want my name on this website! Actually I would not want my name on it at all, with this group being on the FBI Terror watch list!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 28, 2010 | 10:23 a.m.

Terry and Shelley, your attempts to impugn Rep. Kelly's reputation by tieing him to unspecified "special interests" is ludicrous. I've known Chris for several years and while I don't agree with him on some issues, he's a known consensus-builder in the state legislature. That you two have obviously missed his point about the two camps of polar opposites not getting everything they want is, sadly, not surprising.

As a side note, Missouri voters also voted to ban gay marriage in the state constitution and repudiate Obama's healthcare "reform" bill. Sometimes the majority is not right.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock December 28, 2010 | 10:41 a.m.

Shelly the vast majority of the counties did not vote in favor of Prob B. I would say that the state will repeal the amount of dogs and the living conditions clause. The rest will likely stay but I could be wrong.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 10:55 a.m.

I have posted the question to Mainline in Philly.
The problem, as I said above, is that such numbers are extremely difficult to corroborate.
NO rescue group of any substance wises to report that which cannot be corroborated.
If any answer is forthcoming, I will pass it on, not that it will mean anything to a group of people who categorically deny the experience of rescuers.
What I can say is that 'agriculture' in the beautiful farming state of Pa. is going strong, despite any anti-mill legislation.
Furthermore, I have friends and acquaintances here in Pa. who are RESPONSIBLE show & hobby breeders.
I have asked them repeatedly if they know of--or have heard of-any of their RESPONSIBLE fellow breeders who were 'put out of business' as a direct result of the legislation.
FYI, responsible show breeders are an extremely passionate insular and cohesive group and know just about everything there is to know regarding their community.
So far, none have been able to point to a responsible breeder forced out of business.
A sluggish economy will take it's toll on any small business.
But two years later the mill legislation as not been the bugaboo as was predicted.
Was the legislation perfect?
Are there still abusive breeders?
But I promise you that the dogs who HAVE been saved from a life of misery and abuse are very grateful.
Fortunately we have a populace and a legislature that would likely have never
allowed the 'terrorist' stupidity to fly.
Pennsylvania suffered unspeakably at the hands of REAL terrorists.

And one can only imagine what a highly educated no-nonsense Gov. Rendell
would have to say about the mind numbingly illucid 'elimination of all agriculture' canard.

THAT embarrassment would have been a flying pig in these parts.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 11:04 a.m.

John Schultz, there is a difference between business regulations and civil rights. Both the healthcare law and the gay marriage bill will face their day in court, and most likely the Supreme Court.

A new business regulation such as Proposition B, won't. Why? Because the Constitution gives both federal and state government the right to impose new business regulations.

If the dog breeders feel they're Constitutional rights have been adversely impacted, they can take Proposition B to court. HOWEVER, to the best of my knowledge, no other commercial dog breeding law enacted in other states has been challenged in court.

As for special interests, I stand by this one. This legislative action is coming about because of special interests. The majority of voters in Missouri have spoken. If the state reps move to override our vote, they are doing so because of a agricultural interests, and that is equivalent to supporting special interests.

All Representative Kelly has done is insult the people of this state by implying we don't know what we're doing, we don't know what we want. But we do. People in this state have fought for years to better the lives of dogs in commercial breeders and the state reps have ignored all such efforts or actively fought against them. We finally went the citizen initiative route because this was the only recourse.

State reps had their chance to do the right thing for years, and didn't. And now they want to continue animal cruelty in defiance of the public will. Shameful.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 11:11 a.m.

Allan Sharrock, as Representative Kelly would say, a county vote means absolutely nothing when it comes to state legislation.

This bill won the popular vote. This bill also won in the majority of Missouri House of Representative districts, and in the majority of Missouri Senate districts. This is what counts when it comes to state legislation.

A county with a few thousand people does not weigh equally with a county of hundreds of thousands of people.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 11:16 a.m.

Well Terry this article states differently.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 11:23 a.m.

Shelly Powers wrote:

"And in fact, everything you say just supports Proposition B: if these commercial breeders are so cold and callous that they would happily kill the dogs they have based on this law, then so much for the image of good, caring breeders, eh?"

I never said the breeders would put their dogs down. It's that the capacity of shelters and rescues would be strained with all the dogs they'd have to deal with, and most of the dogs would have to go to kill shelters (like CMHS) to be put down.

Since many of these animals are not pets, they may be poor candidates for quick adoption. It actually might be less stressful for the animals if they were euthanized in their quarters rather than have to travel to a shelter and deal with all the unfamiliar surroundings.

Or we could just let them be, while enforcing the perfectly adequate standards for care in the current AFCA. Given an informed choice, I know what I would rather do if I was a breeding dog.


(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 11:32 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"And now they want to continue animal cruelty in defiance of the public will."

Actually, "animal cruelty" was already against the law before Prop B. Prop B adds very little to those laws. Being against Prop B does not mean one is for animal cruelty, and it's a complete non-sequitur to say that one is.


(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 11:36 a.m.

Jessika would learn to read?
"responsible breeders" was point.

'Most of the businesses affected by the changes are those listed as "class C," or commercial kennels -- those that keep dogs for years solely to breed them and sell them to dealers or pet stores, or sell more than 60 a year. The new laws set minimum standards for cage size, makes provisions for exercise areas, bans wire-cage flooring and limits the stacking of cages.

Last year, McClarran's kennel was listed as housing up to 500 dogs,
(And passed 'inspection' before new law"

Agriculture Department spokesman Justin Fleming said the intent of the law was "to eliminate commercial breeding kennels that put profits before the welfare of the dog."

"Our goal wasn't to put people out of business," he said. "We wanted to raise the bar. We didn't want to put good kennels out of business."

Fleming said the law focused on large kennels because most of the problems involved them.

Derbe Eckhart ALSO passes 'inspection' before new legislation

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 12:36 p.m.

Terry well I guess I can't read! You will have to give me a break, I am born and raised in rural Missouri! I took the article as the law was putting the good kennels out of business. But once again that is my opinion and others can read it for themselves, I just posted a link to show that the law did in fact hurt good licensed kennels, as I believe there is maybe one or two in Missouri that can meet the requirements Prop B sets in place for the good kennels in Missouri and still yet does nothing for the unlicensed breeders that breed regardless of care or wellbeing of the animal. Not for sure what Pennsylvania's laws were compared to Missouri, since in fact HSUS sets different "standards" in each state. For example, Missouri has a limit in the law and other states like Oklahoma do not? You would think the USDA would be getting a head ache trying to keep up with all of HSUS pushed legislation instead of trying to make it the same across the board. Why are some dogs more important than others?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 12:56 p.m.

The amount of idiocy and nonsense and uninformed 'opinion' lurking herein boggles the mind.
(Thank you GOD for Shelley Powers)...

1. Breeders, good and bad, breed 'purebreds' and 'Designer dogs'

2 Young 'purebreds' are 'desirable' and leave shelters like a shot...

3. Shelters charge more for these 'desirables' in order to pay for the care of the 'undesirables'...old, abused, abandoned, large, black 'ugly' special-needs 'mutts' who are there, in most cases, because of the humanoid scrounge who 'dump' them. These are the animals most likely to be 'eliminated'.

4.. "Breed rescues take the old, the worn-out. the sick and, as in my case, the 'unadoptable' purebreds- as many as we can handle,-into our homes, usually for the duration of the dog's life.

5. The expense of this is astronomical, and in most instances, is paid for PERSONALLY by the adopter.
My own vet expenses for the last 5 years are approaching $9000.

6. The rescuer's mantra ? "we cannot save them all we cannot save them all we cannot save them all'.

So while the anti-humane Trogs are yapping about non-sensical bull-poo, I am trying to comfort one of my mill rescues who is, after two years, still terrified of the kitchen floor.

Maintaining any civility whatsoever when interacting with humans beings who exhibit the consciousness of scorpions takes a mighty will.
There is civility in my words.
There is NONE in my heart.

And, as I am comparatively new to this 'comments' folderol, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that any attempt to reason with selfish thoughtless and illucid is, on my part, really stupid.

As a die-hard old-school humanist lefty, it has always been in my blood to give my fellow humans the 'benefit of the doubt' and to try to expect the best of everyone.

This, it seems, is also proving to a be really stupid.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 1:01 p.m.

And Jessika?
Don't even bother.
You don't matter.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 1:18 p.m.

Now how much more vet care is Prop B really going to provide compared to what is already required? I see socialization is already in the vet plan of care. requirements.

But since I can not read, I must just be seeing things. I really don't see Prop B doing anything but limiting licensed facilities and closing those facilities, which I believe is the goal of HSUS. Barbara Schmitz was quoted yesterday in the KC Star, "But Schmitz said animal-rights groups who contributed millions to the Prop B campaign were prepared to defend the voter-approved measure." Sorry folks, animal rights groups don't just care about dogs, or cats, they want all animals to have "rights." Just like those pushing for Puppy Birth Certificates to be filed with the Department of Health in NY. Birth Certificates are vital records that give one rights in the US. And after you read this article and you can honestly tell me HSUS has no agenda to come back to Missouri to push legislation on Missouri Animal Agriculture, your nuts!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 28, 2010 | 1:45 p.m.

"Sorry folks, animal rights groups don't just care about dogs, or cats, they want all animals to have "rights."

Possibly I am reading this out of context. However I consider the author stupider than those who she is proclaiming should not have rights. I consider that animals should enjoy more rights than her.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 28, 2010 | 1:48 p.m.

Oh, and that was "jesSICa who said that.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 2:09 p.m.

Mark Foeking

I want to point you to another video, showing dogs that have been rescued from commercial breeders:

Caring people have stepped forward in the past, and will continue to do so now, and in the future. They'll do so, until every dog in hell now has a chance for life.

Proposition B is about hope. Hope for the dogs now, and hope for the dogs in the future who will not have to go through this misery.

I will not allow any state representative to crush that hope.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 2:13 p.m.

Wow you people are really rude, can't imagine what you treat animals like! And you all are really representing the supporters of Prop B well by making rude statements and comments and as usual not answering any of my questions or countering my statements with any facts! I guess that is your goal, to run off anyone that might have facts and statements in opposition to Prop B! Job well done!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 2:19 p.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"Young 'purebreds' are 'desirable' and leave shelters like a shot"

"Shelters charge more for these 'desirables' in order to pay for the care of the 'undesirables'"

Sure. Young purebreds the ones with the best chance of being placed, and yes, shelters can make back some of their expenses by charging more for them. That's been a controversy at CMHS in the past.

In the inventories of breeders I've seen in reports and online, they'll typically have 4-8 adult breeders for every puppy. The puppies aren't the problem here, it's the older, less desirable dogs that have to be placed somehow.

"we cannot save them all"

So what happens to them? Just what I've been telling you all along, and you know it. And if this becomes law, there will be a hell of a lot more that you can't save. That doesn't have to be.

"My own vet expenses for the last 5 years are approaching $9000."

Might I suggest that is a little, um, extreme? Hopefully your other needs (housing, food, medical care, family expenses) are adequately taken care of. If not, you might consider counselling, financial or otherwise.

"I am trying to comfort one of my mill rescues who is, after two years, still terrified of the kitchen floor."

Hm. I admire your perseverance, but have you ever thought that s/he might be more comfortable in a corner or crate? Go pay attention to him where he wants to be, not where you want him to be. Don't expect him to act like a well-socialized pet. From his standpoint, he'll be happier. This isn't all about you, and your feelings, or at least it shouldn't be.

"I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that any attempt to reason with selfish thoughtless and illucid is, on my part, really stupid."

If I saw much "reason" in your posts, I might agree with you on some of this. All I see is attack, insult, and vitriol from an angry, perhaps misadjusted lady with a houseful of poorly socialized dogs that are costing her a lot of money.

Illucid? Selfish? Thoughtless?



(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall December 28, 2010 | 2:29 p.m.

In all this inane bickering back and forth and point-scoring by saying nasty things about others there is a very important truth lost.

Proposition B does not benefit dogs. Proposition B will not eliminate the so-called puppy mills. Some of Proposition B's mandates can significantly harm or even kill dogs directly, and other parts of the mandates will have the secondary effect of causing the death of perhaps 10s of thousands of dogs as kennels are forced to liquidate. There are no provisions in the law and no forthcoming help from HSUS or the other animal rights organizations for us to deal with this fallout.

Missouri is a puppy mill state. Proposition B, though it is fatally flawed and should be repealed, has helped tremendously to bring legislator attention to an area long-neglected. It does give us a chance to review our policies here in Missouri and work to formulate strategies to eliminate bad breeders without penalizing those who follow the current law.

Mr Kelly, thank you for your commentary. You are absolutely right, it is time for compromise and to move forward toward something that will actually work. I will be contacting your office shortly.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 2:48 p.m.

Robin Nuttall, there are several errors and factual misrepresentations in your comment.

First, Proposition B will benefit the dogs. In fact if it didn't, there wouldn't have been such monstrous push-back. As an example of just one benefit, current law allows dogs to be kept in cages barely 6 inches longer than they are. Proposition B dictates enough room for the dogs to be able to lie down, turn around easily, and even stretch out. And that's just one of the benefits.

More importantly, Proposition B provides law enforcement the tools it needs to effectively go after breeders who violate the minimum standards provided in Proposition B. Now, USDA will note a violation and possibly pull the certificate after three repeats, but rarely will close the breeder down. The Missouri DeptAg is little better. Neither organization has done a stellar job, which is why both have received scathing criticism from State auditors, the BBB, and even a federal audit.

There is not one item in Proposition B that will harm or kill a dog, and saying so is deliberate misinformation, with the intention of deceiving the reader. I believe that even Representative Kelly recognizes these statements to be, well, hog wash.

And you thank Representative Kelly for "compromise", but let's face it: the compromise you all want is to gut all the important parts of the bill, and leave a few innocuous items in, so that you can pretend that you've "compromised".

Commercial breeders can succeed and meet the requirements of Proposition B. I know of at least one, Santo Hill, which meets the Prop B requirements and is a blue ribbon kennel.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 3:02 p.m.

Shelly Powers wrote:

"Proposition B is about hope. Hope for the dogs now, and hope for the dogs in the future who will not have to go through this misery."

Unfortunately hope is only what it's about. Roughly half of the dogs in your video came from unlicensed operations (which are already illegal), and a few others from facilities that had been closed (presumably for violation of animal care standards). Prop B will not stop either cause of animal suffering.

Columbia is perceived to be experiencing a crime wave. We could cut crime in half by randomly moving half of our population to St. Louis or KC. Fewer people, less crime.

That's how Prop B attacks "puppy mill" violations - nonspecifically. It can do nothing about unlicensed breeders (because they're under the radar), and will make it expensive enough that a lot of both good and bad breeders will hang it up.

You've mentioned that in the past - that the state will not need more inspectors because we'll have a lot fewer breeders. Unfortunately, many of the ones that will go away are the ones that really try to follow the rules. Ones that don't try as hard will have an advantage (until they get caught).

You've mentioned also that you think breeding is an industry that should go away - its time has passed. I'd suggest you let the market decide that all by itself. Because if you don't, the incentive to breed illegally increases. More abused animals.

It will be possible to make this video next year, or 10, or 100 years from now, Prop B or no Prop B. It shows nothing except there are some inconsiderate and uncaring dog owners and breeders out there.


(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 3:43 p.m.

Mark Foeking

Proposition B works with all breeders, licensed or not. There are just additional repercussions if the breeder is unlicensed.

You keep saying it won't work, but what we have is what doesn't work. I keep pointing people to the USDA APHIS database to look at inspection reports so you can see the violations that occur and yet the breeders are still in business.

A couple of inspections noted dead dogs in pens with the living, and the breeder wasn't even aware there were any dead dogs. One inspection had a dead calf between kennels.

Many place dogs in cages barely larger than they are, with wire floors that hurt their feet. Several dogs have lost eyes on wires that have come loose from poorly maintained cages and the wires poke inward into the cages. Other dogs have had leg injuries from legs falling through wire openings.

Many dogs are kept in outdoor kennels, and we're not a state that can support this. We can get miserably hot in the summer, and extremely code in the winter. In one inspection report I just read, the inspector noted that all of the dogs she observed were shivering uncontrollably--and this was in the daytime. Do you know how cold it was last night? This is how these dogs live _all the time_.

Too many breeders do their own "vet" work. Do you know how breeders de-bark dogs? They shove metal pipes down the dogs throat. They use horse medicine on dogs, or medicines that have expired. One even did his own c-section on dogs, and he had no training.

Many times, the dogs just don't get treated. One inspector noted that one poor dog was so hurt and sick, it couldn't even stand straight, but kept falling against the cage wall. When was the dog last seen? "Oh, about 6 months or so ago."

One breeder just closed down recently, and auctioned off all its dogs. Rescue organizations were able to save about 300. One little corgi was so sick, that they couldn't save her--she died just a month later, from neglect, as much as anything else. And this breeder closed down _voluntarily_.

The existing laws do not work. They do not work. Even if we add more inspectors, the existing laws have no teeth to them--nothing that can actually be used to close down a bad breeder, once and for all.

As for good breeders, I can't imagine a breeder being good that doesn't already meet Proposition B requirements. They're nothing more than a minimal breeder, meeting minimal standards, at a time when those standards are anything but "good".

No for once, we have something we can use to go after the bad breeders, whether they're licensed or not.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane December 28, 2010 | 4:18 p.m.

To Rep. Chris Kelly:
Uphold the will of the people. Do NOT repeal the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. The voters of Missouri have voted on this issue. Over One million people in Missouri voted YES on Prop B. Disregarding their votes only shows the lack of respect our legislators have toward their constituents. I may not agree with every law passed in Missouri, but if legislation goes before the voters, and is passed, then it should be upheld.
Marina Shane-Lewis

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 28, 2010 | 4:23 p.m.

We all know what the violations are, Shelley. What no one has ever shown throughout all this is whether these problems are common in the industry. And the good ones are going to get it right along with the bad (if this takes effect).

The existing laws have teeth in them. Licensees can lose their USDA and MDA licenses for violations - many have - and then if they continue, they're illegal and can be raided and penalized like any other unlicensed breeder. They can also be charged with animal cruelty under a separate set of laws if necessary.

You do understand that this won't be a law enforcement priority? Policemen are not animal handlers, and are not trained to assess violations. For example, Prop B specifies three different cage sizes depending on the length of the dog. I doubt any police officer is going to go around measuring dogs - they'll simply log the incident or complaint, notify MDA, and MDA will come down and handle it. It won't be all that much different from what it is now.

Inspectors are not likely to turn in breeders for minor violations, or even a series of them. One reason you have trained inspectors is they have knowledge of the realities of institutional animal care. They know that even very well run facilities have violations sometimes, and will not resort to bringing charges against a breeder for dirty feeders or chewed bowls.

For some of the more egregious violations, then yes, bring criminal charges. That's the only part of Prop B that has any merit in my book. The rest of it is just feel-good, with a lot of unintended consequences.

We have plenty now to go after bad breeders if we simply use it more aggressively, and that can be a simple matter of MDA policy. And I can imagine a breeder being good, even under our current regulations, because they are a lot more flexible than Prop B is. They allow conditions and breeding to be tailored to the particular operation at hand, by the breeder and his vet. Prop B takes away a lot of that flexibility and imposes unnecessary costs. It's an inappropriate answer to the problem of substandard care.


(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 28, 2010 | 4:31 p.m.

We are now laughing very hard!

The Homoscorpionus would lurk and believe we are not looking,,,and stab!

The Homoscorpionus who would joyfully vivisect living creatures as a career path wishes to instruct US on the care of our own creatures!

We find this an uproarious joke!
We cannot be angry when we are laughing so hard!

Homoscorpious is but an insignificant insect to us as are the other lowly insects with whom it would form unholy alliances!

We would arm ourselves with Raid and Roach Motels and great swooping swatters and giant crushing boots!

Debark the animal abusers!
Keep their bloodied claws off Proposition B!
Save Missouri's companion animals from the Puppy-Millers!


(The preceding is a paid political announcement from HSUS:
H. elp
S. hut
U. p
S. tupid)

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall December 28, 2010 | 5:22 p.m.

Ways in which Proposition B directly and indirectly harms dogs.

Proposition B requires that breeders allow all dogs free access to the outdoors at all times. That means that even when the heat index goes to 115, dogs must be allowed outside. Even when the temperatures are -15, dogs must be allowed unfettered access. The real danger here is to new mothers or bitches in the midst of whelping. They sometimes get upset/confused and try to move their babies. Or they may go outdoors and have a puppy in the snow then come back in. This does happen, even with responsible caring breeders. Puppies die.

Proposition B requires all dogs to have unlimited access to water 24/7. Unfortunately polydipsia is not uncommon in dogs. I have been lucky enough not to own a polydipsic dog, but can name several just among my own acquaintance. A polydipsic dog will drink water excessively, and can actually get extremely ill and die. Yet Proposition B will mandate that these dogs get water at all times.

Proposition B limits the number of intact bitches. For kennels that have more than 20, something will have to happen to those dogs. The HSUS has already made it clear that they will not help Missouri deal with these excess dogs. So that leaves breeders with a choice of a) dumping the dogs on a local shelter or b) killing the dogs. Where does the HSUS think these dogs will go? It's an unfortunate myth to think they will all somehow find great homes instantly. Instead they will die or overburden our shelters, which the HSUS also refuses to help.

These are three ways in which Proposition B hurts dogs directly. Proposition B hurts dogs indirectly by driving the industry underground. It will not actually stop bad breeders, it will just either force them back farther into the weeds or force them to move. The further they are in the weeds, the less oversight and the more likely dogs are to suffer. Even if we got rid of every single commercial breeder in the entire United States, it would not help dogs as a whole. In fact it would make things worse for dogs already being bred in mills in 3rd world countries. Not only do we have absolutely no oversight there, those dogs are shipped much longer distances and are more likely to suffer and sicken in transport.

The fact is that the law of supply and demand means that dogs will continue to be bred for sale. If not in Missouri, somewhere else. The HSUS cannot wish or fairy tale that away.

Proposition B is unrealistic and does not help our issues. We do need to address the issue of unethical breeders in Missouri. Proposition B is not the way and I applaud its almost certain repeal. I strongly believe that it would not have passed if the HSUS hadn't used deceptive advertising and sensationalistic wording.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 5:30 p.m.

Mark Foeking, if current breeders do the minimal according to USDA and Missouri laws, then no, they aren't good breeders. They are minimal breeders. The existing laws are not sufficient. Why would we need Proposition B, if the existing laws are sufficient?

Existing laws: cage size can be barely 6 inches longer than the dog.

Existing laws: animals can be kept totally in an indoor cage, or totally in an outdoor cage, and don't have a way to get a break from the temperature. Some bedding in the winter, and a wind break; a shade in the summer. That's all that's required by law.

Existing laws: breeders have to have an "exercise plan" with their veterinarians, but they don't have to actually follow it. Seriously, if you have 200 dogs and one or two people to care for them, will any of the dogs be exercised?

Existing laws: dogs can be kept in the same cage, indoors, day in and day out without any chance to exercise.

Existing laws: dogs can be in wire cages including wire floors. Again, all of their lives.

Existing laws: veterinarians have to visit the kennel once a year, but aren't required to actually inspect each dog.

And you consider these all "feel good"?

I could go on--even breeders who have never had a violation (and a significant number have) are not "good" breeders if all they've ever done is the absolutely minimal required under existing laws. Existing laws are weak, difficult to enforce, too easy to scam. They are inadequate for the care of the dogs.

The truly good breeders will feel little or no impact under proposition B.

Missouri tried another approach five years ago to try and improve the condition of commercial breeding operations. They started the Blue Ribbon kennel program. How successful was it? There have been only 11 Blue Ribbon kennels in five years.

There's a reason very few kennels will allow reporters or photographers to visit--the kennel owners know that the conditions for the dogs are suboptimal. Yet they'll put up their little web sites with pictures of cute puppies and give an implication that all is well and these dogs are raised in the family living room, lovingly and individually cared for.

Then there's the problems with the dogs' health. Even the best of these large scale breeders do not know how to breed the dogs successfully. Too many end up with genetic problems, or getting seriously ill when transported (by semi) to pet stores. Hunte ships 90,000 puppies a year, and as long as they don't end up with more than 1,000 pounds of dead puppies, they feel they're ahead of the game.

And you see all of this as "feel good"?

No, I'm not going to debate Proposition B more with you. Proposition B won. It won. You don't like it? Well, that's what happens in life: sometimes you win, sometimes you don't.

Now it's time, and past, for the state representatives to let the will of the people alone. Seriously, don't the state representatives have other tasks needing their time?

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall December 28, 2010 | 5:33 p.m.

For those of you who are trying to rewrite history and point to some kind of overwhelming statewide support of this bill, let me remind you that the vote was this:

Yes: 997,870 votes for 51.6%
No: 936,190 votes for 48.4%

The yes margin was 3.2%. Of all Missouri counties, only 12 and the city of St. Louis voted in favor. 102 counties, the huge majority, voted no. Boone county was one of the counties that voted no. In fact, outside of Kansas City and St. Louis, only two counties, Pemiscot and Dunklin down in the bootheel, passed the measure.

To see a map of the county by county vote, go to

Proposition B did pass. It is my strong belief that it passed in urban areas simply because most of the urban voters did not understand the bill or really think about the implications. They simply read the words "puppy mill" and checked the "yes" box. It is especially telling and gratifying to me that the voters of Boone County, though we are an urban and liberal group, did educate themselves and do the right thing to try to defeat the bill.

So please let's stop waving around "the will of the people." Geographically, the huge majority of Missourians said no. And though it did pass, it was hardly a mandate.

I applaud Mr. Kelly's clear thinking on this issue and hope that we can come up with something that actually will help eliminate the bad breeders in our state without punishing the ones who abide by the good existing law.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 5:39 p.m.

Robin Nuttall,

Your comment is deliberate misrepresentation.

Dogs have unfettered access, which means when it is too hot or cold outside, they can come inside. No, contrary to what you all have tried to imply in the past dogs really aren't that stupid.

Dogs find the safest, most protected place to "nest", and have their puppies there. Again, dogs have been managing to have puppies safely a long time before commercial breeding.

Underground industry? Do you seriously think that a commercial dog breeder is going to cancel its license and somehow "disappear" from view?

And all we can do is control what happens in our back yard. We can't legislate what happens in other states. We can't legislate what happens in other countries. But we sure as heck can do more than throw our hands up and say its hopeless, just let the misery continue.

And it's 50 dogs, how can you argue against something, when you don't even know all the particulars?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 28, 2010 | 5:45 p.m.

Robin Nuttall

To repeat, and I will continue to repeat:

Some of the elected officials in this state won with less than 50% of the vote. Do we throw out their elections?

The majority of people voted for this bill. Doesn't matter if it was 80% for or 52% for, it won. End of story.

And the counties _do not matter.

Of the Missouri House of Representative districts
86 voted for Proposition B
74 against
4 borderline

Of the Missouri senate districts
19 voted for Proposition B
14 voted against
1 borderline

A county with a few thousand people is not equal to a county with several hundred. That's why we don't appoint state representatives and senators based on county but based on population.

And the population voted for Proposition B.

Unless you all want to throw out our State Constitution because of this vote you have to learn to live with what happened.

Law makers, support the law.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane December 28, 2010 | 6:08 p.m.

To Robin: Yes...Proposition B did pass. By Majority Vote of the people of Missouri. If we were to use your logic that because 51.6% is not a strong enought majority for a law to be passed, then we should repeal all the elected officials that passed with 51.6% of the vote!
Here's the real issue.... votes above 50% are MAJORITY and in our state above 50% wins the vote. You are implying that 51.6% of voters in Missouri are just stupid. So I take it using your logic that the 48.4% that voted against Prop B fully understood the law and are superior in intellect? What a load of BS.
Using YOUR logic, you could also say that the rural people of Missouri only voted no on Prop B because they simply read the words "puppy mill" and checked the "no" box thinking that the law meant "No Puppy Mills"...So really they meant to vote yes but were too stupid to read the ballot correctly!

This is about the "the will of the people." The Puppy mill Cruelty Prevention Act was fiercely debated before the election. The huge majority of Missourians said YES.
Mr. Kelly needs to understand there is a reason our voting system is set up the way it is. The People of Missouri voted. This SHOULD NOT EVEN BE AN ISSUE! The Vote by the people was YES. Our legislators should be mandated to uphold the will of the people!

FYI: Here is the wording that was shown on the ballot last Nov 2, 2010:
Official Ballot Title: Shall Missouri law be amended to: require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles; prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?
A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The amendment also prohibits any breeder from using more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets and creates the misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations.
A “no” vote will not change the Missouri law relating to dog breeders.
Fiscal impact: It is estimated that state entities will incur costs of approximately $650,000 for enforcement. Some local government entities may experience costs related to enforcement of the law as well as possible savings from reduced animal care activities.
This proposition was placed on the ballot by Missouri’s initiative petition process.

(Report Comment)
Jessica Bryand December 28, 2010 | 6:50 p.m.

More information about Pennsylvania. As you can see HSUS likes to get legislation passed and then leave the mess for the State to clean up along with the taxpayers!

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 29, 2010 | 7:14 a.m.

We would laugh at Succubi Ruralus Insectus & Homoscorpius Vivisectus who would advise as to the care and welfare of companion animals!

We will arm ourselves with Roach Motels and cans of Raid in our battle to
protect Proposition B from useless bugs who eviscerate living creatures and eat their young!

Puppy-mills are not only Missouri's problem!
The entire country should mop up Missouri's mess?
Support Proposition B!
Debark the puppy-millers!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 29, 2010 | 8:09 a.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"We would laugh at Succubi Ruralus Insectus & Homoscorpius Vivisectus who would advise as to the care and welfare of companion animals"

Get help.

Actually, I've had a lot of companion animals. None of them have been dogs, however, I'm pretty good with them. I've taken care of them in a research setting in the early 80's. Gave them a lot of attention, too.

I suspect I know quite a bit more about animal behavior than you might, especially since many of the papers I co-authored in the '80s depended on calm, satisfied, happy animals. I either worked with them myself or helped teach someone to do it.

Based on some of your posts, I'd question whether you have the emotional stability to get a rat to sleep in a plastic tube while you take his blood pressure.

Bye Terry. It's been fun.


(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall December 29, 2010 | 8:57 a.m.

Unfortunately, Shelly has a very poor understanding of Missouri ACFA regulations. I understand her passion but do need to correct some of her statements.

Particularly, Shelly states that dogs can be kept in cages barely 6" longer than they are, can be kept completely outdoors in wire bottom cages,

Let's look at the actual laws. Housing for dogs must (some provisions cut for length, see link at bottom of page for full listing):

Be structurally sound and kept in good repair with no sharp edges;

Protect the animals from injury, enable them to remain dry and clean;

Provide shade, shelter, and protection from extreme temperatures and weather conditions that may be uncomfortable or hazardous;

Have floors that are constructed in a manner that protects the animals’ feet and legs from injury, strong enough not to sag, and contain solid resting surface(s) large enough to comfortably hold all occupants of the enclosure

Be sufficiently heated and cooled to protect the animals at all times from temperature extremes and to provide for their health and well-being (temperature cannot fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for animals not acclimated to colder temperatures, or rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit);

Have surfaces that are impervious to moisture;

Have sufficient lighting and provide a regular diurnal lighting cycle and protect the animals from excessive light;

Cited regulations: 2 CSR 30-9.030 2E, 2003 Section 273.344 and 273.346 RSMO 1994

Shelly states that dogs can be housed in structures "only 6" longer than they are." This is incorrect. Here is the formula for space in the existing law:

Each dog must be provided a minimum amount of floor space (calculated by squaring the sum of the length of the dog in inches (from tip of nose to base of tail) plus six (6) and dividing by 144). Example: 24” dog + 6” = 30” 30 squared = 900”, 900/144 = 6.25 sq ft.

Interior height must be at least six inches (6) higher than the head of the tallest dog when it is
standing normally.

Please do not be misled by the misinformation and falsehoods being dispersed by some on this board. For a comprehensive summary of current Missouri regulations, go to Educate yourself on the actual facts behind Proposition B and why many of us feel it was the wrong law and should be repealed. Hopefully with Rep. Kelly's help, we can craft something that will actually work. Proposition B is not it.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 29, 2010 | 9:35 a.m.

Mark Foecking, we have NO clue as to what you are going on about...

"Rats in plastic tubes"?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 29, 2010 | 9:52 a.m.

Words of wisdom from Comrade Robin Nuttall
"Heh. As you know, part of the problem is that there are too few hunters, > Naah…there’s more than enough hunters. There’s just too many commie-pinko bunnie-hugging AR whackadoos. And one day I hope they all drown in goose s--t and deer turds.

I’ll defer to you on this one, I thought that Missouri Conservationist had said overall hunter numbers were down, but I don’t hunt myself (though I strongly support it!) so I wouldn’t know.
At least here in Missouri the AR whackos can’t follow hunters around, and we beat them in court when they tried to get otter trapping outlawed (note for those not from this state, MO introduced Otters back into the state several years ago, and their reintroduction has been wildly successful–so much so that they need to be thinned out because they’re hurting fish populations in some areas. Missouri instituted a trapping season, and promptly got sued by AR whackos. The whackos lost"

Puppy-Mill Huggers HATE ANIMALS!
Support Proposition B
Debark the animal abusers!

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 29, 2010 | 10:31 a.m.

Robin Nuttall

Sorry, but there's nothing in what you've cited that disagrees with what I wrote. That's one of the problems with existing laws--they're vague and open to interpretation.

The floor must be supportive. Well, who is to say if a wire floor is supportive or not? You may say it is, I say it isn't.

Provide shade or shelter--most of the outdoor kennels in Missouri have these little plastic igloo things that the dogs can go into. They are shelter. The only problem is, especially when they're on wire floors, is they don't provide what's necessary for the dog to stay warm.

So then the rules say sufficient bedding must be provided. Well tell me something: what is 'sufficient bedding'? To me, sufficient bedding would be enough to ensure the dog's comfort. Evidently to many breeders in Missouri, it's a thin blanket.

Most of the items are open to interpretation.

And that 6.25 square feet of roomy space for that 24 inch long dog? That breaks down to about 30 inches by 30 inches--which is about 6 inches longer than the dog.

Don't take my word for it, do the math!

The existing laws are full of inadequate requirements and subjective interpretations like those I just mentioned. And every single one has been taken advantage of by too many licensed breeders.

Proposition B wasn't a trivial undertaking. This bill was the result of a massive effort on the part of many Missourians.

The requirements in it were carefully determined and specified so as to plug the gaps in both the Missouri and the federal breeder laws.

It is like a house made of cards: you pull one card out, the whole thing collapses. Modifying any one aspect of Proposition B is, in effect, a repeal of the whole thing. Rather than be carelessly created, Proposition B was meticulously crafted.

The only people who think Proposition B was carelessly worded are those too uninformed to know what they're talking about, or those with an agenda seeking to undermine a better environment for the dogs.

Proposition B was about ensuring a better life for these dogs. Not the best life, by any means, but a better one. Why are we even debating the feasibility of implementing this bill?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 29, 2010 | 11:35 a.m.

Here's another way of looking at the requirements for these dogs.

You take your kids to the zoo this weekend. You see a tiger. It's in a wire cage that is just big enough for it to turn around in.

The tiger would not have a chance to roam about, or get any exercise. It would given a plastic shelter in the winter, and a tarp in the summer.

The water would be a dish that is grimy. The food comes from a feeder that is dusty and dirty.

The tiger is kept constantly pregnant, shortening its life because too much of its nutritional requirements are going for pregnancy and nursing puppies.

It's rarely checked over by the zoo veterinarian.

Now tell me: is this a good zoo? If not, why not?

Is it because the animal is not well taken care of? That it isn't given sufficient space and exercise? Because the food isn't served from container kept clean, and wholesome? It is never properly cared for by a vet? It is over-bred?

If you would be appalled to see such treatment of an animal at the zoo, why on earth would you accept this treatment of an animal that has been raised for 15,000 years to be our companions, or help, and our friends?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 29, 2010 | 11:47 a.m.

Robin Nutt-all has EVERY right to avow his/her American Freedoms by claiming we are a 'Communist' and by fervently wishing we would 'drown'.

And to celebrate the use of steel-toothed leg traps on small mammals is ALSO well within his/her hard earned American Rights.
LBD FULLY supports the Constitution giving ANY American citizen the right to be a knucklehead and to wish we were dead.
But we WOULD question Robin Nutt-all's competence as advisor/educator on the humane treatment of animals.
Missouri Trapper Shoots Dogs Caught in Leg-hold Traps
"Marcela Egea found her two English Mastiffs dead by a creek near her house, located near Highway 71.
The dogs were stuck in traps set up by a man working to catch beavers and otters.
The Belton, Missouri trapper Michael Kartman said he found the family pets agitated and, in his opinion, acting aggressively. He shot the dogs several times each.
The trapper told KMBC he shot the dogs as a business decision, saying he doesn't have time to notify people every time a pet gets caught in his steel trap"
Maintain Proposition B!
DeBark the animal abusers!

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward December 29, 2010 | 12:38 p.m.

John Schultz would report us for unusual use of language?

John Schultz calls us 'an idiot'?

We do not report those who call us maladjusted idiots or nutbags and those who question our emotional stability and claim we are in PETA's pocket.

John Schultz would report us because we DISAGREE with him!

We WOULD say that JS reminds us of first grade tattletales, and pray that this does not offend the terms of service.
If so, we apologize!

Debark the puppy-millers!
Keep Proposition B intact!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 29, 2010 | 10:10 p.m.

Yo Missourian staffers, it's not OK for me to tell Terry to be courteous in her remarks and that her coarse nature isn't helping draw people to her side, but it's OK to leave up her "Robin Nutt-all" line?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 10:35 p.m.

Hey John,

I'll imagine that probably did not seem fair to you, as you are a really diplomatic poster.

But all and all the Missourian does do a pretty good job of reasonably moderating their board. Sometimes I too wonder why they delete some posts, but they really are NOT "moderation nazis" like the Tribune people are. They seem to be reasonable enough to deserve a few "breaks". Lets give them a break on this one? I saw your post and I did not see anything wrong with it, but maybe the moderators here did not think it was bad, instead perhaps they thought Terry could not handle it because she seems a tad bit "radical"?

Tom Warhover is actually pretty cool about moderating.

I'd request that we just let this slide, if you'd consider that?

I don't want to see you get a "Chuck Dudley" image on the Missourian; you certainly don't deserve that (just being humorous with that last comment). ;o).

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 30, 2010 | 12:26 a.m.

Dude, you so owe me a dinner for the Dudley comment!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 30, 2010 | 1:31 a.m.

It was kinda harsh. LOL. Wherever you want to eat.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Jenny Thrasher December 30, 2010 | 3:17 a.m.

To Shelley Powers:

It's amazing that you can find the location of ACFA on the web, yet can't read it. You stated somewhere above that it was misinformation that Prop B will hurt and or kill dogs directly. It is not misinformation. It is truth, and you can check it with any vet. The way it will kill is quite simple, yet is a horrible death for newborn pups. You see, those who have no experience ot knowledge about whelping don't know that newborns can't regulate their own body temperatures for the first 2 weeks of life. They must be maintained at an ambient temperature of 92 F or above in order to prevent hypothermia- which in a newborn puppy causes them to stop digesting food, causing starvation, and will result in death within 48 hours. One can only warm up a puppy so many times, and unless their body is at the optimal temperature of 101 F, they cannot recieve any nourishment from food, even if it is tube-fed. Without the possibility of a vet exemption (as provided in the ACFA law, bt NOT provided in Prop B) all newborn pups born in kennels under the regulation of Prop B will die really awful deaths, since Prop B allows for an ambient temperature in the kennel or whelping area no higher than 85 F. Mother dogs cannot provide that level of body heat to an entire litter, nor can this be provided for winter litters when Prop B would REQUIRE that unfettered access to the outdoors be granted to the mother dogs. The cold air blowing over the pps would kill them in no time. A heating pad under the pups is dangerous, heat lamps raise the ambient temp also. Mother dogs in whelp sometimes become confused and deliver pups in places that are unsafe, especially first time mothers. Birth does not always happen at a convenient time. People who know nothing about animals or the details of their care should have nothing to do with writing laws about caring for animals. The people who voted FOR Prop B were lied to about a great many things, including the above whelping information, and including the fact that Law Enforcement has been ennabled to deal with animal cruelty issues independently of the Ag Dept or the USDA for years. Perhaps you should check out RSMo 578.030, that details the responsibility of ALL branches of law enforcement in MO to enforce animal cruelty laws.

BTW- kennels are NOT the only facilities that inspectors, both USDA and ACFA must inspect- shelters, groomers, transport companies, dealers, auctions, vet offices, boarding facilities are all animal enterprises in MO that are to be licensed and inspected. Adding many more smaller kennels-which is a possible backlash of Prop B- will only ADD to the inspection burden.

Shelley Powers and other supporters are so sure they are in the right that they are incapable of hearing the truth about Prop B. Our legislators are not blind or stupid. They will fix this dreadful document so that it no longer has the power to kill dogs.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 30, 2010 | 8:39 a.m.

Jenny Thrasher

Again, the same old misinformation that we had to go through when voting on Proposition B that we shouldn't have to be covering again.

Tell me something: is it always 92 degrees or above wherever puppies are born? They're not that dissimilar from wolves--is it always 92 degrees where wolves are born? Or wild dogs in Africa and Australia? I know these places get warm, but is it always over 92 degrees when the puppies are born.

How about those hobby and show breeders--they keep it 92 degrees in their homes where their puppies are born? The must walk around in swim suits all the time.

My goodness golly, dogs must be incredibly rare, if they can only survive with persistent surrounding temperatures that are difficult if not deadly to many creatures, including humans.

Or, could it possibly be that puppies actually get their warmth from their mother?

*slaps forehead*

Why didn't I think of that? Puppies actually get warmth from their mother. Isn't it amazing how nature works these things through?

And by golly, what's that I've seen in numerous photos from breeders? Why, people use heat lamps and special heating pads to give extra warmth when needed for puppies.

*slaps forehead*

Why didn't I think of that? Puppies can actually get a little help from devices, without having to bake the room to 92 degrees and above...which will kill the mother, eventually, you do realize.

I apologize. My answer is sarcastic. If I'm being sarcastic, though, it's because your comment is, in my opinion, deliberate misinformation. The same misinformation we've had to fight again and again. The same misinformation that perhaps Representative Kelly has heard, which led him to think that Proposition B has "problems" (though the only one he mentioned is lack of funding, and I clarified this one, right from the very beginning--amendment to existing law, which contains the funding provision).

A reasonable person should at this point ask themselves a question: if those who are against Proposition B continuously use misinformation as a tactic, then perhaps, just perhaps, there really is no solid case against Proposition B.

And there is none. No, the only "case" against Proposition B is that there are some people who make money off the cruelty of dogs.

The voters have spoken against the continued making of money off the cruelty of dogs. I can't believe that Missouri state representatives would want to override the voters specifically to continue to allow people to make money off the cruelty of dogs.

I guess we will see in the next few months what each individual state representative feels in this regard. I know I will be watching very carefully.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 30, 2010 | 10:05 a.m.

Jenny Thrasher

As to the rest of your comment, no the USDA does not license shelters. Only Missouri licenses shelters, groomers, and boarders. The USDA is only involved with breeders that meet certain conditions, such as breeding dogs for sale to pet stores.

There are no criminal laws associated with the USDA regulations, and the only associated with the Missouri regulations is people selling puppies without a license. There is nothing associated with breaking regulations or general mistreatment of the dogs. The only risk here is the people losing their license.

There are cruelty laws, but these are remarkably difficult to enforce, especially when it comes to commercial breeders. Why? Because so much of the enforcement is given over to the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Breeders have been gaming the system for years. They pile up violation after violation, and to ensure they don't get a repeat which could endanger their licenses, they just don't answer the door the next time the inspector shows up. Sure, this is also a violation, but it gives them enough time to clean things up before the inspectors can come back.

You see this time and again in the inspection reports--its a discernible pattern. And it works because our systems are broken.

Three Missouri audits have said our systems are broken. A federal audit said the same thing about the USDA. Even the BBB came out with a scathing report.

It wasn't hard to do these reports, either. The number of violations racked up by Missouri state breeders is astronomical. And the types of violations are horrid:

A yorkie with a collar so tight, it had embedded itself into the yorkie's neck, leaving raw, open wounds.

Too many inspector reports of dogs shivering from the cold because of lack of bedding, shelter, and the ability to get out of the cold.

Dead puppies among the living.

Dogs crammed into cages that give them no room to even turn around.

Filthy water dishes with algae growing in them. Algae!

Filth piled up so high, that the inspectors' eyes were burning. Can you imagine being a dog and living in this 24 hours a day?

Hungry dogs, desperately thirsty dogs, dogs with matted fur so bad it created open wounds, and prevented the dogs from walking.

Dogs with damaged eyes because they were stabbed by loose rusted wired.

Dogs that couldn't walk because of the pain caused by living constantly on wire, or hunched over in a age.

All from currently licensed breeders.

Every time I try to do a survey of inspection reports, I have to stop because I'm overwhelmed by the story they tell.

This is what some people in this state, and some of the state representatives want to continue? What does this say about the people of Missouri?

Nothing good. Nothing good at all.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 30, 2010 | 12:50 p.m.

I just read a Letter to the Editor from Representative Kelly in the St. Louis Today. He stated there's enough votes to repeal Proposition B.

Either he's optimistic, or he's stretching the truth a bit.

For there to be enough votes, this would mean representatives would have to go against the wishes of those they represent, because the majority of districts in this state voted for Proposition B. I would be astonished that a representative would be willing to go on record as not only being against the wishes of the people they represent, but to do so for a non-growth industry comprised of people who basically make a living from cruelty to dogs.

Not when there are so many videos and photos of the horror that is commercial dog breeding in this state. What representative really wants to be tied to this?

If they feel the voters would forget between now and the next election, not a chance.

Not a chance.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 31, 2010 | 6:01 a.m.

Anyway, I think people are tired of reading all this, but I do hope that if compromises are made, that the 50 dog limit is either raised or removed completely, and they look again at some of the space requirements, especially the specification of a particular type of kennel.

We should not be telling someone that is otherwise following the rules how many dogs they can have.

The indoor outdoor kennel is not preferred for whelping because sometimes mothers can drag a particularly well-attached puppy outside and leave it.

Also, the AVMA feels that enrichment of the dogs environment is more important than the absolute amount of space they have. The space requirements in Prop B are rather useless if there is nothing happening that would make the dogs want to use it. It is better if the dogs are given a chance to exercise in a large area, with other dogs, and where they have enough room to run. By specifying the type of kennel, and calling it "regular exercise" you've guaranteed that the dogs will just lie around like they do now.

Prop B needs to be fixed. Most of our districts are predominantly agricultural, and they elect representatives that understand agriculture and watch out for their interests. I'd rather see it fixed to where most breeders can stay in business than repealed completely, and I certainly don't think that voters in their districts will hold that against them.


(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 31, 2010 | 6:57 a.m.

Mark Foeking

Tired of reading about this? Fine, then tell the state representatives to not mess with the bill, and to respect the will of the voters. Then you all wouldn't have to read about Proposition B again. Then we'd all be happy.

There are limits placed on any number of businesses, and dog breeding shouldn't be exempt. The number is specifically to ensure quality of life for the dogs, and should also ensure better breeding practices resulting in healthier puppies.

Other breeders have shown that you can be a successful breeder with less than 50 dogs, so having a higher is not a criteria. If some breeders need bulk numbers of dogs because they're incompetent, then they should get out of the business.

As for "most of the districts being agricultural", that's not true. The majority of legislative districts are actually urban. Remember that it is the people that count when it comes to the law, not the land.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 31, 2010 | 7:16 a.m.

According to a news story related to a meeting on Proposition B in Bolivar last night:

'There's also concern about a term Prop B used when referring to dogs: "pet."

What's a pet? Is that a dog, cat, fish, or even livestock?
Supporters say the wording is crystal clear but opponents say it hurts agricultural communities.

Republican State Senator-Elect Mike Parsons says, "Now all of a sudden you're talking livestock can be pets, and that's proven in the state statutes. So if we are talking about dogs, let's talk about dogs.'

Representative Kelly, so much for being on the side of angels, eh?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 31, 2010 | 8:26 a.m.

Shelley, do you have any factual data that a breeder can't handle 50 dogs, but can safely raise 49? There are probably some breeders that can't be trusted with a litter and some that can be trusted with well over 50 dogs, right?

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 31, 2010 | 9:35 a.m.

John Schultz

The number is based on the typical breeder, and amounts to about 20 minutes a dog a day for an 8 hour day. That includes feeding, cleaning, exercise, and ensuring the health of the dog.

Right now, dogs don't even get that 20 minutes. You typically have one person for every 100 dogs for many of the larger breeders. Sometimes you have one person for every 150-200 dogs.

Now tell me: how can a person feed, water, exercise, and verify the health of a hundred dogs a day?

I personally think 50 dogs is too many, but it was a compromise. I believe this higher limit was set so that a commercial dog breeder could make a satisfactory living. And since many of the breeders in this state have fewer than 50 dogs (if memory serves, the majority of breeders have fewer than 50) then the data would tend to support this value.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson December 31, 2010 | 12:36 p.m.

Maybe this is a crazy notion, but when I cast my "no" vote in November, I decided that the judgment of my vet (and his professional association) weighed heavier in matters of animal welfare than, oh, say, the judgment of a professional baseball manager, or a former Golden Girl.

HSUS flexed its muscles, and was able to win a ballot issue on the uninformed emotions of those in MO's suburbia/urbia. We are, however, a republic, not a democracy. Thus, the process continues, as it should.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers December 31, 2010 | 11:01 p.m.

Tony Robertson

The veterinarian association decision came about from the Executive Committee, not as a vote of the general membership. And there were over 150 veterinarians that supported Proposition B, as compared to about 20 who came out specifically against Proposition B.

If HSUS flexed anything, I hope it was our conscience. We, this state, our legislature, have enabled cruelty in commercial dog breeding. We have seen the pictures, we have heard the stories, but the state reps just couldn't be bothered to do what was needed to rectify our shameful neglect.

Not only have we enabled cruelty, but we've also enabled heart break, as hundreds, thousands of people fall in love with puppies in pet stores, only to watch them fall ill or die when they get them home because of so many health problems related to the breeding, handing, and transportation of the puppies.

All the ASPCA and HSUS and other animal welfare organizations have done is remind us what it means to be a decent human being.

And now, state reps want to take that from us?

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 1, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.

20, huh? Hyperbole, much, Shelley?

I could drive you to five, within an hour of my house. Dog lovers, all. Hell, it appears I've hunted (behind dogs) with ten percent of the "20 who came out specifically against Prop B."

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 2, 2011 | 12:21 p.m.

Tony Robertson, that was all that was listed in The Alliance for Truth web site--which unfortunately was yanked the week after the election, otherwise I would link to the endorsement page.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers January 2, 2011 | 12:28 p.m.

Actually, I believe the Alliance for Truth web site went down after The Daily Show did a show on the Proposition B vote

(Report Comment)

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