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Missouri House committee supports changes in Proposition B

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | 4:48 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House of Representatives committee has advanced a bill stripping away much of a dog-breeding law approved by voters in November.

The House Agriculture Policy Committee gave the bill unanimous endorsement Tuesday, sending it to the full House.

The bill would remove limits on how many dogs a breeder can own and delete requirements that dogs have a certain amount of space, clean water and time between breeding cycles. It would also rename the law from the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act to the Dog Breeders Cruelty Prevention Act.

A Senate committee also endorsed a bill last month modifying the voter-backed law.

Proposition B passed in November with 51.6 percent of the statewide vote.


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Comments

Allan Sharrock February 15, 2011 | 5:18 p.m.

I am surprised this story hasn't generated at least 100 blog comments already.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Snowberry February 15, 2011 | 5:38 p.m.

I guess the only solution that 'our' lawmakers would accept is having each puppy pay a $75 fee for protection from MO'cruelty. Also, since that would add up to MO'revenue than the mill owners contribute, I'm certain these lawmakers would thereafter be kissing a lot of dog-butt. A big improvement over what they just did to these dogs. In fact, I think even MO has laws against it.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 15, 2011 | 5:39 p.m.

I appreciate the representatives' efforts in preserving the future of the LEGITIMATE dog breeding industry in Missouri. Also, for removing the inflamatory, hateful, and derogatory language in the title.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Snowberry February 15, 2011 | 6:07 p.m.

Here's the true poop. I've had 3 dogs from 3 different MO'mills. Each came with a host of MO'mill qualities. Including:

* rotting teeth,
* rotting jaw bones,
* botched c-sections,
* mold toxin oozing out of its skin,
* nearly all of both ears missing - a result of frostbite
* swollen eyes from untreated infections
* tapeworm and/or hookworm
* mange
* severe organ damage

Oh ya, almost forgot the best quality - each of these dogs was deathly afraid of humans.

Right on MO lawmakers - these dogs are definitely getting adequate care and treatment in your puppy mills.

---- to the general public:
DO NOT BUY MO'DOGS !!!

This is the only sure way to fix the puppy mill problems in this state.

(Report Comment)
David Karr February 15, 2011 | 6:42 p.m.

One day, humans of the future will look back on the way we treated our fellow creatures in the 20C, and they will shudder with disgust and remorse.

What a shameful action by the House.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer February 15, 2011 | 6:42 p.m.

If you shop at a legal, licensed kennel, you wouldn't have dogs with those type of problems. When you shop at unlicensed, illegal puppymills, or shelters/rescues you never know what you get. Support Bark Alert and turn in those type of places.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock February 15, 2011 | 8:45 p.m.

kathy what I don't understand is why you and others think that all these dog breeders have dogs that are similar to your rescue dogs? Those dogs were already neglected and the owner was already breaking the law. So I really don't know why you think that another law would have helped.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner February 15, 2011 | 8:58 p.m.

This article leads me to guess as to which bill the author is talking about, but I guess it is House Bill 131 since it the only bill in the house regarding this issue that I can find, that has moved forward. http://house.mo.gov/billsummary.aspx?bil...

Although I do not agree with everything they are trying to remove from the bill, I believe the author of this article is trying to lead the public into a false perception of what the proposed revised bill says, It is true that the revised bill removes space requirements from the bill but there are laws that already govern the space required for each dog,and this bill is just an addition to current law,even though it is not the same amount as prob. b wanted, It is also true that it removes the limit on the amount of dogs a person may have for breeding,which I personally don't see a problem with as long as there is enough personnel to care for the animals correctly.

The author makes it sound like the breeders do not have to provide clean water to the dogs and that is not what the revised bill says, This is what the proposed revised bill says "(1) Sufficient food and clean water;" "(5) "Sufficient food and clean water" means access to appropriate nutritious food at least once a day sufficient to maintain good health, and continuous access to potable water that is not frozen"

This proposed revised bill also keeps dog cruelty as a class c misdemeanor crime, If it goes through as written, which is what Prop. B called for. However as far as I can determine this is not a perfected bill,so I believe it is still subject to change, of the two bills moving forward so far I believe SB113 http://www.senate.mo.gov/11info/BTS_Web/... to be much better written as of now, (which I also think is not a perfected bill) while I do like that this proposed bill removes the derogatory language of puppy mill (because such language in my opinion implies all breeders as bad) I believe it lacks in it's wording and as such doesn't show that there are laws already in place to cover much of what is being removed by this proposed bill.

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 15, 2011 | 9:03 p.m.

Kathy Snowberry - "I've had 3 dogs from 3 different MO'mills." What does this statement mean? Are you a vet that has treated three dogs, or did you buy three dogs in this condition? If the latter,have you taken any other action, or have you just slow burned until you could write Missourian in support of a bad law that needs change, if not repeal?

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner February 15, 2011 | 10:04 p.m.

Please remember that 273.345 (puppy mill cruelty prevention act) is an addition to current law Animal Care Facilities Act http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusm... and don't forget anyone that is required to be licensed through USDA also have additional regulations to follow in addition to these http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare...
So if you research these you will find that there are many laws already on the books that have been formulated and legal breeders are required to follow. Are these the absolute best, that can be done for our animals, probably not but they are the minimum requirements.The AVMA has a proposed Model Bill for commercial breeders and an explanation of why and how they came up with it that makes perfect sense. Here is a group of professional vets that have made animal husbandry their lives work and passion and yet many do not choose to take their advice. http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issue... and http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issue...

(Report Comment)
Kathy Snowberry February 15, 2011 | 10:20 p.m.

Allan - excellent points made, and I will try to answer.

I did not think that legitimate / legal MO dog breeders have dogs similar to ones like mine - which were, as you surmised, rescued from puppy mills. My original issue was with puppy mills, and not with legitimte/legal breeders.

But IMO, a lot of those "legal dog breeders" chose to align themselves with the mills when they asked for repeal of requirements for water free of feces, rests between breeding, prudent vet care and so on. Perhaps this alignment is fictitious, but it is how MO lawmakers portray much of the force behind repealing these reqirements. Until the legitimate / legal dog breeders say otherwise, it will be guilt by association.

Frankly, I do not think that any new law would have helped because the state of MO is not enforcing what laws it already has. I was hoping, however, that all the local and national outrage would have forced MO into taking some type of effective action. Foolish me.

Speaking of action by MO lawmakers... I wonder how the licensed dog breeders in MO are respondig to the new proposal that they each pay an additional $25 a year fee - to defray the costs of MO going after the illegal and law-breaking breeders / puppy mills?

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner February 15, 2011 | 10:33 p.m.

--Kathy Snowberry "Speaking of action by MO lawmakers... I wonder how the licensed dog breeders in MO are responding to the new proposal that they each pay an additional $25 a year fee - to defray the costs of MO going after the illegal and law-breaking breeders / puppy mills?"
I am not a breeder but I do know some breeders, myself I think that is an excellent idea, and I believe many breeders would support that since getting rid of illegal and bad breeders would help their own business, by helping to remove the tarnish from the industry, plus removing some of the competition especially since many of them produce an inferior pet.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner February 16, 2011 | 12:52 a.m.

-- Kathy Snowberry "But IMO, a lot of those "legal dog breeders" chose to align themselves with the mills when they asked for repeal of requirements for water free of feces, rests between breeding, prudent vet care and so on. Perhaps this alignment is fictitious, but it is how MO lawmakers portray much of the force behind repealing these reqirements. Until the legitimate / legal dog breeders say otherwise, it will be guilt by association."

You make some interesting comments let me give my opinions on these, I don't believe many or any legitimate breeders would walk by a water bowl that had feces in it and not clean it out, and clean the bowl (but the fact is feces does sometimes get in a bowl)so if an inspector comes and inspects at that moment, that person could be charged with a class c misdemeanor crime. I believe the biggest complaint with that part of the law is the fact that even a piece of food dropped in the bowl would be cause for a violation that could be charged with a class c misdemeanor, or even a class a misdemeanor,if it happened more than once. I had a dog that would take her food and put it in her water bowl, she liked it that way. If there is algae in the bowl, that IMO is just neglect and they should be charged.

As for rest between breeding, if the vet believes a dog is not healthy enough to be bred than that dog should have a break in breeding. A healthy dog will produce better and bigger liters so it is in the breeders best interest to make sure the animal is healthy enough.

As for prudent vet care what is prudent, Prop. B states "prompt treatment of any illness or injury by a licensed veterinarian, so a simple scratch on the nose, that could be treated on site by applying some antibiotic cream now has to be taken to the vet to be applied,if the dog gets a flea on it you have to take the dog to a vet,you see that word "any" injury or illness isn't practical.

You didn't mention unfettered access to an outside run, but for some of today's (domesticated dog) that just isn't practical, some of these animals are not bred to be in the extremes of heat and cold, wild dogs acclimate to there surroundings some of these dogs can't, not to mention the puppies being caught outside in the extremes and dying because of a law that is not thought out well.There are things in the bill that just are not prudent, or practical.If the bill is about the welfare of the dogs then make it sensible so that it truly benefits the welfare of the dogs, not putting the dogs in harms way. I could go on but I believe anyone with just common sense can see that some of these things are not in the best interest of the dogs.

(Report Comment)
Kathy Snowberry February 16, 2011 | 1:25 a.m.

- frank christian February 15, 2011 | 9:03 p.m.
Kathy Snowberry - "I've had 3 dogs from 3 different MO'mills." What does this statement mean? Are you a vet that has treated three dogs, or did you buy three dogs in this condition? If the latter,have you taken any other action, or have you just slow burned until you could write Missourian...."

I chose to adopt damaged goods, and the damages were quite apparent. SO, no after-shock and no 'slow burn'. The rescues I’ve dealt with claimed to know the names of these mills, but would not give out that information. Hopefully the rescues reported them, but doubtful. As for what I did… I paid the vets to treat whatever problems could be treated, and spent years after dealing with housebreaking and socializing these dogs. No shock and no ‘slow burn’ over that either. I’ve written the lawmakers, and I’ve written the governor. Exactly what other action do you think I could/should have taken?

I post here to state my opinion - same as you, just less frequently.

Dogs I've seen at rescues, taken or surrendered from MO PUPPY MILLS, have problems same/similar to my dogs. My issues, on this topic, are with PUPPY MILLS - not with reputable and legitimate breeders in MO. However, I am surprised that reputable breeders are not disgusted with the MO lawmakers. It is MO’s continued failure to clamp down on the mills that has led to MO Puppy Mills becoming a nation-wide topic; which, in turn, destroys the reputation of MO dog breeders generally. There’s even a link to this topic on Obama’s web page!

Admittedly I am only guessing, but don’t you think the reputable dog breeders here are the ones most likely to know the names and locations of the mills and mill owners? Why don’t they turn them in?

(Report Comment)
Kathy Snowberry February 16, 2011 | 2:26 a.m.

Re:Stanley Stoner February 16, 2011 | 12:52 a.m.

Stanley, if you and other's with your insights (e.g. reputable dog breeders from MO)had been included in the writing of Prop B we would of had a Prop B far better written, and better undersood by all voters. I have to believe that reputable dog breeders and us non-breeder dog lovers have more in common than not.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers February 16, 2011 | 8:04 a.m.
(Report Comment)

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