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LETTER: Let's give Prop B a chance to work

Sunday, March 6, 2011 | 4:08 p.m. CST; updated 7:49 p.m. CST, Sunday, March 6, 2011

Proposition B, the puppy mill bill to prevent neglect and cruelty to puppies and breeding dogs in Missouri, is under attack in the state legislature, where bills to weaken or nullify it are pending. This attack is fueled by special-interest dog breeders, some of whom have been charged with cruelty to or neglect of dogs.

This bill was passed by a majority of voters following an initiative referendum because the state legislature failed to deal with this long-standing problem, which involves thousands of puppies and breeding dogs.

Current regulations for dog breeders are confusing and full of loopholes, making them very difficult for law officials to enforce. This is the reason for Prop. B. It builds on existing laws and penalties by providing clear legal standards for meeting the most basic needs of dog raised by both licensed and unlicensed commercial breeders. It deals only with dogs and has nothing to do with livestock. The majority of reputable breeders are already in compliance with Prop. B because they are meeting the basic care needs of their animals. Prop. B is supported by many veterinarians, veterinary clinics and animal welfare organizations. See missourifordogs.com/facts for details.

Let's give this bill a chance to work. It was passed by the majority of Missourians. What we have now obviously does not work. Please contact our governor, your state representative and your state senator and tell them you support Prop. B and do not want it weakened or nullified by special interests. These dogs need our help. Let's not let them down. It's time to get rid of the neglect and cruelty in the puppy mills in this state.

Marion Mace Dickerson lives in Columbia.


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Comments

Ruth Keezer March 6, 2011 | 5:31 p.m.

Marion Dickerson said: "The majority of reputable breeders are already in compliance with Prop B."
Where on earth did you get that misinformation?
The head of Missouri Department of Agriculture states that NOT ONE licensed breeder can currently comply with Prop B. Are you saying that you have better information or know more than than MODA?
Every single licensed breeder will have to put thousands of dollars into renovations to enlarge their kennels and in many cases, build entirely new kennels because their current industry-approved dog kennel is outlawed by Prop B. In addition, they will have to part with all but 50 dogs.
Do you really think that Prop B should be enacted, economically forcing most ALL good breeders out of business, just to find out next year that it was unconstitutional? The legitimate dog breeding industry will already be dead, as will tens of thousands of good breeding dogs. Of course, that is exactly what HSUS intended when they drafted Prop B.

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 6, 2011 | 5:36 p.m.

Please contact our governor,your state rep.and state senator and tell them you DO NOT support Prop. B. Tell them it will NOT help the 'poor puppies' The ILLEGAL puppy mills will thrive even more.. Prop. B won't touch them. Ask them to support the CURRENT laws. The bonafide breeders don't like puppy mills either!
Prop B is a VIOLATION of our constitutional rights!
GUT PROP B!!! Run the LOBBYISTS OUT OF MISSOURI!

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer March 6, 2011 | 6:01 p.m.

Just how does Prop B "prevent neglect and cruelty to puppies and breeding dogs in Missouri"?
It only affects licensed breeders who already have 23 pages of regulations, and who are doing a good job taking care of their dogs.
It does NOT affect the unlicensed, illegal dog breeders who are raising their dogs unregulated and in questionable conditions.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer March 6, 2011 | 6:12 p.m.

Proposition B is supported by a few veterinarians who work for HSMO and other shelters. The vast majority of this state's veterinarians DO NOT support Prop B. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association and Missouri Veterinary Medical Association strongly OPPOSE Prop B.
The veterinarians know that Prop B does NOT help dogs in any way, but is, in fact, DEADLY to newborn puppies and harmful to dogs.
Prop B was simply a tool the HSUS created and promoted to eliminate the legal dog breeding industry in Missouri.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 6, 2011 | 6:51 p.m.

Ruth Keezer, the Department of Agriculture has not stated what you've said. Do you have a link to your resource?

I know that Santo Hill was close to or at Prop B requirements. Unless you have something to corroborate your statements, we'll have to chalk them up to your opinion, rather than fact.

And it's not unusual for businesses to have to make modifications for new business rules. Why are breeders exempt from new regulations?

If the breeders are so sure it's unconstitutional, why haven't they filed a lawsuit? Nothing is stopping them. When the legislature passed extremely restrictive and economically damaging new business regulations regarding the adult entertainment industry, the industry files suit, almost immediately.

Why are breeders exempt from following this course?

Cheri Cason, I've heard that a paperbag will help when you're hyperventilating.

Licensed breeders doing a good job? Not hardly, if they're not willing to ensure dogs enough space to be comfortable, warm in the winter, with sufficient food and water, and vet care when sick or ill.

Over 150 vets came out in support of Prop B. Only about 20 came out against. It was the MVMA's executive council that came out against Prop B, not the rank and file members. As for the AVMA, well, I think this organization is facing a little rebellion in its ranks right about now. Something about an emphasis on animal welfare in its new oath.

And enough with the fabrications about "harmful" to dogs and puppies.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 6, 2011 | 6:54 p.m.

Marion, thanks for the post. Well said.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer March 6, 2011 | 7:25 p.m.

Shelley, I heard the first-hand testimony given at the agriculture committee hearings. So are you going to tell me again that he didn't say it? Look up the transcripts or the articles about the meeting yourself. It was very plainly stated. I don't have to prove anything to you.
Santo Hill nor any other Blue Ribbon kennel can currently comply. Why do you suppose someone would demand such unrealistic requirements so that all 1390 licensed kennels would have to make expensive changes that will NOT better the life of any dog? Oh yeah. Because HSUS wants to eliminate the legal dog breeding industry.

(Report Comment)
Ruth Keezer March 6, 2011 | 7:42 p.m.

Yep, the 150 vets about cover the shelters and rescues and maybe a few radical vets in the big cities. The other 2000 veterinarians were against the radical conditions demanded in Prop B. The national and Missouri veterinary organizations spoke for their members.
You know Shelley, the more you talk, the less you are able to convince anyone of anything.
Shelley says:
"Licensed breeders doing a good job? Not hardly, if they're not willing to ensure dogs enough space to be comfortable, warm in the winter, with sufficient food and water, and vet care when sick or ill."
What are you talking about?? Our kennel dogs are comfortable, warm, fed, and healthy. They see a vet as needed. They are fed and watered properly. They have plenty of room to play, and our kennels have heat in winter, air conditioning in summer. Quit lying about legal dog breeder kennels!! YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE!!
You are just totally clueless about legitimate kennels. You would like to believe that they are what you parrot from HSUS. HSUS LIES!!! Dogs are not kept in filthy wire cages with poop raining down on them. IT IS A LIE!!! Always has been, always will be. IT'S A LIE!!

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 6, 2011 | 8:23 p.m.

@Shelley Powers: 20 vets? Seriously? I find that really, really hard to believe. I personally know three right here who had No on B signs on their properties. Jim Foster would be a fourth. That right there, off the top of my head, is 20% of the 20 vets. Just in two towns.

(Report Comment)
Randy Burgs March 6, 2011 | 8:56 p.m.

Shelly, be careful not to trip over your nose. The nose grows as you lie, and currently it should about be touching the floor.
What a deceitful notion, give prop B a chance to work. Is that sort of like cutting off your hand to see if you can get along without it?
If you let prop B stand , how can you go back and restore the damage done, if it doesn't work? How about giving all licensed breeders exemptions, grandfather them in, as part of the ex post facto doctrine guaranteed by the US constitution?
All you have to do is recall history. The prohibition era of the 1930s did not reduce alcohol consumption, as will the elimination of licensed breeders not reduce puppymills. They will just go under ground. Think about it!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 6, 2011 | 9:17 p.m.

Randy,

Why should Shelley Powers think about anything, when she can senselessly babble like she has been for the past 6 months?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Angie Noland March 7, 2011 | 1:38 a.m.

I hear you Ricky about Shelley :-)

@ Shelley-You can call the Missouri State Kennel Inspector for yourself Shelley she will tell you there is no kennel in Missouri that will pass right now the way the law is wrote.

@Tony- you better add 4 more vets here in my area to that one they voted prop B down also..

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 7, 2011 | 6:32 a.m.

This letter and some of the arguments being made over this matter ignore the patently obvious: no law and/or set of regulations can be effective unless there is a significant force to enforce it.

And severity of punishment (in a law) is not necessarily a deterrent. I've previously used a real illustration from pre-revolutionary France: laws were present making stealing bread a capital offense, but people continued to steal bread.

Trying to enforce a new law with the present number of inspectors cannot be more than partially sucessful - if that.

The situation is one routinely seen with governments at all levels. How many Congressional hearings have been held where some agency - on the carpet over some disaster - pleads that they failed because they need more enforcement personnel and could do a better job if they only had more agents?

Whether it's murder, financial malfeasance, rape, child molestation, or cruelty to dogs and cats, if just having laws prohibiting those situations were sufficient then the situations would not exist. Put obviously bad actors out of business and leave the others alone!

If you think about it, most laws are designed to confront and hopefully corral only a minor portion of the population. The rest of the population doesn't need them.

PS: If the State of Missouri had a dollar for every word that's been posted on this subject in this newspaper they could AFFORD to hire more enforcement agents.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 7, 2011 | 9:04 a.m.

Ms Dickerson states, "This attack is fueled by special-interest dog breeders, some of whom have been charged with cruelty to or neglect of dogs."

This statement is at least disingenuous, and at worst a flat out lie. Many of us who strongly oppose Proposition B are NOT actually directly affected by the law. The American Kennel Club, the Show Me Agility Club and the Columbia MO Kennel Club all opposed Proposition B. And while some of our local club members are breeders, few if any own 50 or more intact female dogs (I don't know of any, but hesitate to make a blanket statement). The majority of members in those clubs breed from never to rarely. For instance I have bred precisely two litters of puppies in 25 years.

It is actually quite an odd feeling for most of us who very carefully breed only a few litters to be allied with commercial breeders on this issue. It is happening not because we necessarily support large scale breeding practices; most of us do not. It is because Proposition B not only will NOT work to eliminate substandard breeders in Missouri, some of us see it as a first step toward an animal rights goal of eliminating all purpose breeding of dogs (and then cats, then cattle, then sheep...). The overarching goal of the HSUS is quite clear, and any logical thinking person should be wary of their multi-million dollar ad campaign, assignment of people specifically to monitor articles like the above, etc. I think the HSUS sees Missouri as a first step toward an eventual draconian goal. If they are successful here, they will eventually control then shut down all breeding in the U.S.

Shelly's statements about veterinarians are also disingenuous at best. There may have been 150 veterinarians who signed the petition. However, I know for a fact (because I spoke to some) that at least some of them had no real idea what they were signing, and later came out in opposition of the bill. I have no idea where Shelly came up with a figure of only 20 veterinarians in opposition, but I suspect it's as real as most of her numbers; not real at all, and designed to obfuscate the truth. I know five local veterinarians who are in opposition to B, so it's pretty hard to think that vets I personally know constitute 25% of the total number of veterinarians in MO who are in opposition.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 7, 2011 | 12:22 p.m.

Thank you, Marion Dickerson for a well written letter. And once again, thank you Shelly for tirelessly being a voice of reason in the commentary sections here at the CM.
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There is so much mis-information spread here in the commentary. If you would like more accurate information about animal welfare law in Missouri, please visit Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation's website at www.MAAL.org
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DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeals. NO Admendments!
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 7, 2011 | 1:36 p.m.

Does anyone actually think this issue is going to go away if Prop B is gutted?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 7, 2011 | 2:17 p.m.

Not if you and Shelley can help it..... LMAO!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 7, 2011 | 2:30 p.m.

Yep. :) Away it goes!

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 7, 2011 | 3:11 p.m.

For anyone who really believes the issue will just go away.... I have a bridge available for sale.....
.
DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Admendments.
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 7, 2011 | 3:59 p.m.

My personal belief is that Proposition B should never have passed, and would never have passed if it had not been for a carefully crafted misinformation campaign by the HSUS and animal rights activists. Dramatic scenes and descriptions of cruelty which exist in a very few kennels were used to sway the public and distract from the truth that Proposition B will do nothing to actually help those animals who desperately need assistance. As an example, most of the kennels highlighted were unlicensed kennels, but the advertising and promotion strongly hinted that all large scale breeders foster and perpetuate extreme cruelty toward dogs. And that is patently untrue.

I strongly believe that our legislature would never have passed anything like Proposition B, not because they believe in abusing dogs in the name of dollars, but because it is an unworkable, unenforceable law. It is, in a word, bad legislation.

Our legislators are trying their best to fix it. My own view is that it should be dumped all together. Trying to mend it is like trying to carry water in a sack full of holes; a lot of work for almost no gain. Nevertheless, our legislators are now in a rather bad position; repeal it and be accused of ignoring the voters' "will", or spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to make it actually workable.

At best this is a cautionary tale on how petition-based lawmaking often does not work very well. Vague, good-sounding phrases do not good law make.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 7, 2011 | 4:40 p.m.

In reference to the "Facts" presented by Missourians for the protection of dogs http://missourifordogs.com/index.php?q=f...

Either they have never read the rules that must be applied for breeders or they are deliberately trying to mislead the information, here is a twenty three page document of rules that are required for breeders in the state of Missouri known as the Animal Care Facilities Act http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/curren...

Therefore anyone who takes the time to read the regulations that are already in effect will know that a lot of what they are saying is absolute lies. The problem is not the current laws but the lack of enforcement of those laws. So in my opinion the state does need more enforcement agents, and the unlicensed breeders that aren't inspected need to be put out of business or come up to code. But to add new law without adding additional inspectors won't help at all, especially with such a badly written law as Prop. B

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 7, 2011 | 4:56 p.m.

Terry, many of the links you are providing are coming straight from animal rights organizations. And seriously? Using a Cafepress store to support a point?

@Stanley, exactly. None of us wants to see dogs abused. Unfortunately Proposition B does nothing to address our issues and merely adds draconian legislation that will force all dog breeders out of business, regardless of how they care for their animals.

One of the odder pieces of Proposition B is that it somehow holds all shelters and rescues as inherently "better" than breeders (in that they are not covered at all). Having been in rescue for a number of years, I know of several cases where a rescue has been found to have animals in absolutely horrific conditions. However, according to the animal rights proponents of Proposition B, they are better than all breeders simply because breeders produce puppies. No other reason.

You will also find many references by the animal rights folks to the number of dogs euthanized in shelters, trying to say that it's commercial breeders who cause this. The fact is that the huge majority of dogs in shelters are NOT purebred dogs. Purebred breeders have very little to do with the problem of dogs ending up in shelters.

One reason why dogs end up in shelters is because people got a very poor fit for their family. Purebreds, with known size, coat, temperament type and energy level, can be a much better fit than an unknown mix. Don't get me wrong; I love mixed breed dogs and have met some seriously cool ones. But their traits are harder to predict. And when that family picks out that fluffy ball of fur that ends up being 100 pounds and knocking over the toddler every day, or digging up the yard, or killing the cat...well...they tend to get dumped.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 7, 2011 | 5:26 p.m.

In response to Mr Stoner:
Actually, the PMCPA does not replace the ACFA, rather it adds to it & clarifies the ACFA. Section 7 of the PMCPA reads as follows:
"The provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other state and federal laws protecting animal welfare."
.
And yes, we do need more inspectors. I think both sides can agree to that point! But if the laws on the books are not clarified enough for our inspectors to enforce to begin with, it will not matter how many we inspectors we have on payroll in the state of Missouri.
.
.
DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Admendments.
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 7, 2011 | 5:59 p.m.

Possibly Robin can provide hundreds of links supporting Missouri breeders from places other than breeder or anti-humane corporate websites?

Whatcha going to say..."We are NOT puppymills?"
Try and prove it.

You all show nitwit pictures of Poms on pink pillows and the world is looking at thousands of images of suffering neglected animals.

You blather on about your 'babies' and the world is listening to thousands of horror stories from people who are caring for the neglected over-used terrified damaged animals that came out of missouri kennels.

You resist Prop B and refuse to allow the world to see what's going on inside your little hidyholes and you bash every single piece of humane legislation and you spout the insane 'end of agriculture' lunacy and you think all that's going to fly?

How's that workin for you?

You are being tried in the court of public opinion and whomever tells you you can win against it is selling you downriver bigtime.

Like children you point the blame finger everywhere but where it should be pointed.

You did this to yourselves.

There will always be people to buy your 'products', but we don't suggest planning any trips to Tahiti in the future.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 7, 2011 | 6:23 p.m.

In response to Marina Shane I know that it is in addition to current laws but as such it does change some of what is already current law (cage size, unfettered outside access,stacked cages,50 dog limit (for breeding)solid floor, among some of the changes) and also adds some things, as currently worded a piece of dog food in the water bowl could be cause for violation and considered cruelty to the animal and subject to a class c misdemeanor the first time and a class a misdemeanor after that (if found guilty), (I have a dog that takes her food from the food dish and puts it in her water because she prefers it that way),unfettered 24/7 outdoor access, even if you ignore nursing mothers and their puppies what about the hairless or short hair breeds in the dead of winter, say 30 or 40 dogs going in and out those dog doors letting all that cold draft flow through the kennel not to mention dogs that will stay out in 10 below zero weather. If this bill is truly about the welfare of the dogs it needs some work. To make a law that says a person would be guilty of animal cruelty by penning that animal up (inside in the heated kennel) when it is so cold outside (for its own good) is crazy and certainly not about the welfare of that animal.

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 7, 2011 | 6:34 p.m.

What's missing is this: The USDA and state licensed kennels are in agreement with the leftwingers. I have sent many letters to OUR MISSOURI legislators asking them to shut down the 'Puppy Mills' The licensed breeders (the greater majority of them) do NOT wish to be affiliated with those. So you see, there is ONE agreement point.
And .. if you're not in MISSOURI, get out of the arguement. Wacko Pacelle has registered as a lobbyist in OUR state- OUR STATE. GET OUT.

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 7, 2011 | 6:42 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Terry Ward March 7, 2011 | 7:14 p.m.

Lord save us, the discussion has moved to assassination?

Very questionable.

This seems a wise time for the CM to step in.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 7, 2011 | 7:32 p.m.

Terry,

It looks like you and Shelley and a few of the other **"activists"** are "being tried in the court of public opinion". And the "court" seems pretty disgusted with you, if you ask me.....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 7, 2011 | 7:34 p.m.

@Terry your sensationalistic hysterical wailing does not a factual argument make.

Histrionics are rarely effective, and in this case you fall far short of the truth.

Other than a wholesale condemnation of the entire state of Missouri, I don't see where you are getting the word "you" to describe me or my post. Unless, of course, it is your position that every person who has ever bred a dog in Missouri is a puppy miller and cruelly mistreats their dogs. That's the only thing I can conclude from your hysterical "you" this and "you" that.

I purchased my first purebred dogs 29 years ago. Since that time I have shown and trained dogs in conformation, obedience, agility, rally, tracking, schutzhund, flyball, dock dog, lure coursing and earthdog. I have instructed hundreds of dogs in classes, starting with a 4H class in the mid 1980s and currently as a competition rally and agility instructor. I think it is fair to say that I have a pretty good knowledge of dogs, the situation of dogs in Missouri, animal welfare, and what works as well as what does not.

No one, least of all me, wants to see dogs suffer in Missouri. If I felt Proposition B would fix the problem breeders I'd be all for it. It will not. Thankfully, our legislators as a group aren't much intimidated by the hand-waving dramatics you seem to love to indulge in.

As for me, I am proud to live in Missouri, proud of my dogs, and proud to voice my opposition to this bill. I am not at all concerned by what a bunch of animal rights activists think of me. I am far more concerned with helping our state work toward supporting good breeders and getting rid of the few bad ones.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 7, 2011 | 7:51 p.m.

@Robin Nuttall: Game, set, and match. Good job. Granted, you are no Tony LaRussa or Betty White.

I bet folks like Terry Ward and Shelley Powers hate, hate, hate it when better-informed folk dare debate them.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 7, 2011 | 9:01 p.m.

We would very much love for Robin to produce evidence that we have ever said or implied that "every person who has ever bred a dog in Missouri is a puppy miller".

Raving accusations are so yesterday.

Do you actually believe that repeating a lie ad nauseam will eventually cause it to be true?

Difficult as it may be to believe, no one CARES
about responsible breeders.

They do their thing, and that is that.

It's Nobody's business what a responsible breeder does.

It is everybody's business what a bad breeder does.
Prop B, however flawed, is about bad breeders.

We did not make Prop B about good breeders,
they took it upon themselves to do that.

Are there idiots who protest ALL dog breeding?
Yes.
And at the end of the day, they will still be idiots and the responsible breeder will still be breeding dogs.

But if it makes you feel better about yourself to believe we are something we are not, go for it.
We are all for people feeling better about themselves.

Sometimes it makes them nicer.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 7, 2011 | 9:41 p.m.

Terry, then please explain why responsible breeders are not allowed 50 dogs, intact females, or whatever the bloody hell Prop B outlaws indiscriminately?

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 7, 2011 | 9:44 p.m.

Terry who is "we?"

Unfortunately your reading comprehension skills seem to be a bit lacking. Either that, or you are deliberately slanting my words. What a surprise.

Proposition B does nothing to control or eliminate bad breeders. Therefore it cannot be about bad breeders. It does quite a bit to punish breeders already in compliance with our stringent laws however, since they are the only ones likely to pay attention to it. Apparently some people feel that punishing good breeders is acceptable, even if it doesn't actually work to punish bad ones.

The reason why many dog people with extensive experience feel this bill is deeply flawed and unworkable is because it IS deeply flawed and unworkable.

One thing you learn when you work, train, and show dogs is that there is always more to learn. Another is that dogs force you to strip away pretension and myth and see them as they really are. I think that fosters realistic views of the world around them as well. And that realistic view says that someone who is already abusing dogs and already not in compliance with the law is not going to be affected at all by Prop B's passage. If it does anything, it simply forces them further underground.

What needs to happen is to start working with marginal breeders, slam the door on the dregs, and help the others come into compliance not through draconian unworkable laws but through education. It is simple logic that condemnation and alienation is not an effective teacher.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 7, 2011 | 9:54 p.m.

One other small comment on the implication that this legislation does not have a thing to do with responsible breeders.

While the number of 50 intact bitches has been waved around, let's not forget that is the maximum number of bitches allowed under Prop B. However, the legislation itself affects any and all breeders who own more than 10 intact bitches. Ten. And not only that, but the bill has labeled itself the "puppy mill cruelty prevention act."

So by the very definition of Prop B, any and every breeder who has more than 10 intact bitches is a puppy mill.

Now let's say I'm a show breeder. I have three or four older retired girls I haven't yet spayed, and maybe three I'm actively showing. And I had a litter last summer and kept two, plus have co-ownership of two more that spend time at my house.

Whoops. Guess what. I'm a puppy mill!

This is about ALL breeders of dogs. It is simply untrue to state that this bill has nothing to do with responsible breeders. ANY breeder who happens to have 10 intact females, regardless if they only breed once a year or even once every couple of years, is affected by this bill. You bet it concerns me. It should concern any responsible, caring, committed dog owner or breeder.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 7, 2011 | 10:03 p.m.

To Terry Ward I can't say that you personally have said (produce evidence that we have ever said or implied that "every person who has ever bred a dog in Missouri is a puppy miller") But if you read Prop.B it is basically saying that every person that has more than 10 dogs for the purpose of breeding and selling those puppies is a puppy mill even if they meet all the requirements of Prop. B they are considered a puppy mill so if by using the word "we" in your statement you mean the people then yes you are saying just that if the word means just you than perhaps you haven't stated that.

273.345. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the ”Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.”

2. The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills by requiring large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with basic food and water, adequate shelter from the elements, necessary veterinary care, adequate space to turn around and stretch his or her limbs, and regular exercise.

3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person having custody or ownership of more than ten female covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet shall provide each covered dog:

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 7, 2011 | 10:06 p.m.

Your choice.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 7, 2011 | 10:28 p.m.

Nuttall

"Thankfully, our legislators as a group aren't much intimidated by the hand-waving dramatics you seem to love to indulge in."

And some of the representatives don't seem to be impressed with the voters of this state, for the disrespect shown us.

Terry, Marion, the Missourian is a lost cause.

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 8, 2011 | 4:17 a.m.

Merely an observance ;)

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 8, 2011 | 4:26 a.m.

Robin said :
"Proposition B does nothing to control or eliminate bad breeders"

This is an OPINION'.... SPECULATION.

You do not know this.
You CANNOT know the outcome of something that has not yet happened.

This defies the most basic rules of logic.

Then again. if logic were to be applied to any of the antipropppers arguments, there would be no arguments.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 8, 2011 | 4:58 a.m.

"...the Missourian is a lost cause."

Seems a bit harsh. The Missourian is far from perfect, but so are the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun Times, Atlanta Constitution, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, etc.

I'd be more concerned over the continued presence of print journalism than the degree of perfection of any particular newspaper. Print journalism does not appear to be a growth industry.

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 8, 2011 | 5:18 a.m.

Robin said :
"Proposition B does nothing to control or eliminate bad breeders"
This is right on the money.
Out it goes! :) :)

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 8, 2011 | 6:53 a.m.

Ellis Smith is misinterpreting Shelley's comment.

The CM is a beacon of intelligence and balance (and grammar, thanks God) flickering over a mostly inexplicable parallel universe.

Shelley is fully appreciative of this, as is anyone else whose brains have not fallen out.

Shelley was referring to the abysmal state of some of the CM comments, not the CM.

We are fully aware that the CM has no great love for us, but as to Shelley, NO ONE has any reason to criticize.

Disagree, fine.
Criticize, not.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 8, 2011 | 6:57 a.m.

From those radical lefties at Fox News:

http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-rescued-...

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 8, 2011 | 7:24 a.m.

I think you all had me at the "150 vets to 20" claim. That was logic I just could not counter. I only wish I were as logical and enlightened as the pro's.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 8, 2011 | 8:00 a.m.

The Missourian is a fine publication. I appreciate the openness, the paper's willingness to give others a forum, and the fact that it covers and eclectic mix of info.

But the few supporters for Prop B that do show here are universally trashed, not just for what we say, but personally. Commenting on stories on Prop B is a lost cause--especially since, some of the people who comment here are most likely using fake names.

Tony Robertson, the 150 vets endorsing Prop B can be seen at the missourifordogs.com web site. The vets who came out by name on the other side were listed at the now defunct "Alliance for truth" web site. However, this site was taken down immediately after the election, and I can't find any trace of the people who came out against Prop B.

So, whatever, you'll have to believe what you believe.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 8, 2011 | 8:09 a.m.

It's SO easy to disparage Shelley, isn't it Tony?
And fun, yes?

Humanity and compassion must scare the bejesus out of you.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 8, 2011 | 8:13 a.m.

Terry Ward wrote:

"From those radical lefties at Fox News:

http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-rescued-...

Why is this relevant to Prop B? This occured without Prop B, and will continue to occur whether Prop B takes effect or not.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 8, 2011 | 8:22 a.m.

Shelley Powers wrote:

"But the few supporters for Prop B that do show here are universally trashed, not just for what we say, but personally."

Well, Terry hasn't exactly been "dispersonal" either.

You have been, and don't deserve to be personally attacked. But such is not the case with some others.

DK

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 8, 2011 | 8:28 a.m.

@Terry Ward: Show me where I have attacked Shelley (or you) personally. Show us all.

This is my real name. I did have a CB handle, growing up, though.

I prefer to believe what my eyes, ears, and ability to reason, tell me. Rather than what I am spoon-fed from out-of-state animal rights groups, endorsing celebrities, or holier-than-thou types on comment boards.

My humanity and compassion wish you and yours a wonderful day, Terry.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 8, 2011 | 8:56 a.m.

Shelley is a far more reasonable balanced and respectful person than we will ever be.

We share with Shelley nothing but a mutual support of Proposition B.

To imply anything else is ignoble snark.
And stupid.

We ourselves consider personal attacks from li-bore-tarians and Mad-Hatters and Palinophiles and anti-humane Neanderthals and wrong-wingers to be complimentary.

It is not a club to which we wish to be a member.

Nor one which we expect to be invited to anytime soon.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 8, 2011 | 8:58 a.m.

Here is why Proposition B will not help with the breeders in this state who are treating their dogs cruelly.

The people who cruelly abuse dogs in Missouri were already breaking the law. They did not care. Proposition B will not magically make these people care about what they do. Really. Waving a new piece of paper at them is going to do something magical? No. It will not. Especially a piece of paper with no funding behind it.

Percentage wise, the abusers are a very small part of the overall breeder community in this state. The great majority of breeders in Missouri, both small and large scale, comply with the law and take care of their animals. Why? Because, to put a somewhat ugly truth to it, if you abuse your dogs it's going to be harder to make a living. Filthy, cold, starved bitches have small, unthrifty litters. Emaciated worm infested males have low sperm counts. This is basic animal husbandry. Healthy happy animals produce better.

The few abusers are the lowest of the low. They calculate anything is better than nothing, so they put as little in as they can and operate on the low prices they get. But they are the minority. Their number should be zero. Proposition B will not affect them at all. What we need is funding for more inspectors. Unfortunately our state is facing something like a 600 million dollar shortfall. And we are a balanced budget state. We cannot go into the red to fund programs, even good ones. So what should go so we can get more inspectors out there? School lunches for underprivileged kids? Repair to dangerous bridges? What?

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 8, 2011 | 9:35 a.m.

Yet another indisputably responsible animal lover turning cartwheels to to justify the decimation of Proposition B.

An undeniably intelligent person basing an entire argument on supposition and expecting Prop B to be perfect when no other law on the planet approaches perfection.

Inexplicable.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 8, 2011 | 9:45 a.m.

Mark and Terry, thanks for kind words. I must admit to getting pretty abrupt with one of the commenters a couple of times.

Robin Nuttall, here's the PDF for a breeder that is currently legally operating in Missouri

http://puppies.burningbird.net/FOIA_Requ...

The reason they're still operating is that the existing laws have too many gaps and loopholes that existing breeders take advantage of. Proposition B closes these gaps, and hopefully sets up an environment where the dogs have a chance for a decent life.

This breeder has more than just what shows in these reports.

In 1989, when they were raising hogs, a barn fire killed 8 sows and an unknown number of piglets. In 1996, after moving over to raising dogs, a kennel fire killed over 100 adult dogs. And in 2008, yet another fire killed 15 puppies.

These came about because the breeder is sloppy, indifferent to the welfare of the dogs, and careless. They are the worst of breeders, but unfortunately many of the violations you see in their report are also found in too many other currently licensed breeder reports.

Even if you have people who meet the existing requirements, what are they?

Dogs in wire cages 6 inches longer than they are; dogs give water only every 8 hours; dogs that are sick and injured and not treated by a vet; dogs overbred until they get mammalian tumors, or die an early death--dogs shivering in the cold in the winter, stuck 24x7 in outdoor kennels with some straw for bedding material.

I don't know how anyone who cares for dogs could find this acceptable.

I don't.

(Report Comment)
Shelley Powers March 8, 2011 | 9:47 a.m.

I also wanted to give folks a heads up:

The House is debating HB 131 on the House floor this morning, sometime after 10.

The senate is convening a special session to debate SB 113 this afternoon at 3.

You can listen to the audio for both by accessing the General Assembly web site at http://www.moga.mo.gov/

Look for the audio icons for the House and Senate debates.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 8, 2011 | 9:50 a.m.

I'm still wondering who Terry's "we" is. Who is "we" Terry? Are you officially representing the HSUS and therefore speaking as "we" to show that your words are supported in total by the HSUS?

Who is "we?" I honestly want to know. I'm confused by it.

I also find it interesting that Terry devolves so easily into personal attacks on others. There is an old saying from the NetNews days on the internet. "When all else fails, attack the enemy." In other words, moving the conversation into personal attacks on others was, and still is, often used as a last ditch diversion from a weak argument or position.

I'm not a "we," I am a "me." A 30+ year resident of the State of Missouri. A very occasional (2 litters in 29 years) breeder. A member of dog clubs, a passionate advocate for dogs, a lifelong Democrat, a liberal. Proud of my state. A critical thinker. Which is why I am completely convinced that Proposition B was, and is, the wrong way to go.

(Report Comment)
Robin Nuttall March 8, 2011 | 9:55 a.m.

@Shelly, I have never said that there were not problem individual breeders in Missouri. There are problem individual breeders in every state and Missouri definitely has more than we should.

However, pointing to a single dramatic story does not make Proposition B a workable solution. I could post all kinds of links to children in slavery across the world. I could even champion a piece of paper saying it was bad and needed to stop. But it's unlikely in the extreme that the people enslaving and abusing those children will pay a bit of attention to my piece of paper. Just like it's extremely unlikely that Proposition B will affect the bad breeders here.

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 8, 2011 | 10:28 a.m.

In Response to Mr Stoner:
Yes, the PMCPA expands cage size over the old regulation of 6" larger than the dog. Yes, the PMCPA allows for unfettered outside access as a way to measure the dogs have a minimal amount of space for exercize. Yes, the PMCPA eliminates the practice of stacked cages. Yes the PMCPA puts a cap at 50 breeding dogs. And Yes, the PMCPA adds solid flooring as a requirement.
.
I doubt an inspector would really cite someone for a piece of kibble in the water bowl (I, too have a dog that takes his food from the food dish to eat & often drops it in the water... not cause he likes it like that, but because he's a big goofy dog:). The actual wording from the PMCPA in section 2 is: ”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, and is free of debris, feces, algae, and other contaminants." Kibble is not debris, feces, algae or a contaminant. (Contaminant is defined as "something that contaminates." and contaminates is defined as:
1. to make impure or unsuitable by contact or mixture with something unclean, bad, etc.: to contaminate a lake with sewage.
2. to render harmful or unusable by adding radioactive material to: to contaminate a laboratory.
.
Neither of the above definitions is relevent to a piece of kibble in the water bowl. Kibble in the water bowl would not harm the dog unless it is allowed to sit in the bowl for days on end and in that case would develop bacterial growth, which means the breeding facility is not changing the water on a daily basis as specified in the lower layer of the law in the ACFA.
.
The unfettered outdoor access does not apply during recuperation. So, nursing mothers and their puppies can be moved to an area without unfettered access during that time. As reads in Section 7: "This section shall not apply to a dog during examination, testing, operation, recuperation, or other individual treatment for veterinary purposes; during lawful scientific research; during transportation; during cleaning of a dog’s enclosure; during supervised outdoor exercise; or during any emergency that places a dog’s life in imminent danger."
.
DEFEND the PMCPA. NO Repeals. NO Admendments.
.
MSL

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 8, 2011 | 11:03 a.m.

Terry, I'm still waiting for you to answer my question from 9:41 p.m. last night.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 8, 2011 | 12:37 p.m.

Terry Ward says:

"We ourselves consider personal attacks from li-bore-tarians and Mad-Hatters and Palinophiles and anti-humane Neanderthals and wrong-wingers to be complimentary."

That's good. I am satisfied, then, that I have not added to the compliments, either by personal attacks or by being among one of such groups. Cheers.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 8, 2011 | 1:11 p.m.

To Marina Shane - Thank you for your response to some of my concerns, you say you doubt that an inspector would cite someone for a piece of food in the water bowl, but as the bill is written you can not say that for a certainty (while someone would like to assume that it would be absurd, it still could be possible under current wording) Why not then include a definition of contaminate in the bill?, instead of waiting for someone to be cited and have to go thru the court system for a definition of contaminate as it applies to the bill.
You say that a nursing mother can be considered as recuperating, then put that definition in the bill also so as to avoid confusion and loopholes, you stated that Prop. B clarifies the laws I'm sorry I don't see it that way.The writers of the bill choose to define the word "pet" then they should be willing to define some of the other wording issues, just like the use of the term "any illness or injury" without definition of that term, that could mean if the dog has a flea or a small scratch on the nose that animal must be seen by the vet, instead of being able to be treated by the owner. I know that sounds extreme but under current wording it is very possible. Then if somebody is cited it has to go through the court system for a ruling and precedent to be set all at the extra expense where it could be easily worked out by wording the bill it such a way to actually clarify it before hand.
Laws can be either used sensibly or they can be abused, lets try and get it right from the start instead of letting it open to somebody's interpretation. But I guess that since those who wrote the bill are not willing to even consider these simple facts, knew exactly what they were writing, and as such wanted the loopholes for their benefit.

Would you drink a glass of water that had a piece of food in it? Maybe you would maybe you wouldn't, but some people would not and consider it a contaminate.

For the recuperation period how long of a time for a mother and pups to be housed differently ?(if it truly means that)Please try and understand that these and other things about this bill are legitimate concerns that Prop. B isn't willing to have any compromise or explanation on.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 8, 2011 | 1:22 p.m.

For the recuperation period how long of a time for a mother and pups to be housed differently ?(if it truly means that)Please try and understand that these and other things about this bill are legitimate concerns that Prop. B isn't willing to have any compromise or explanation on.

The above comment should have said,
For the recuperation period how long of a time for a mother and pups to be housed differently ?(if it truly means that)Please try and understand that these and other things about this bill are legitimate concerns that Prop. B isn't willing to have any compromise or legally defined explanation on.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 8, 2011 | 1:55 p.m.

"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it will do and the harms it would do if improperly administered"
Lyndon B. Johnson

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane March 8, 2011 | 8:57 p.m.

In response to Mr Stoner - Than you for your polite response. I appreciate your civility & desire for true debate.
.
Yes, I do think that an inspector who cites for a piece of kibble in the water bowl is taking the legislation to the extreme. In any legislation there are definitions that can be taken to the extreme. An inspector that cites for a piece of kibble in the water bowl, IMO should probably be removed.
Does this bring cause for re-writing the legislation? In my opinion, no. But it sounds to me, like in your opnion it is worth it. . Maybe this is an area where we should agree to disagree. Personally, I don't feel that the time it takes to amend a bill to define the word contaminants is worth the effort or taxpayer money when any sane judge would throw that case out.
.
Regarding the term "Recuperation" not being specifically defined: The writers of the bill choose to define many words in the act. "Pet" along with "Covered Dog" were specifically defined to ease the concerns of those who were afraid the legislation would include other animals. Other words, with common meanings were not specifically defined. Personally, I don't feel that the time it takes to amend a bill to define the word recuperation is worth the effort or taxpayer money.
.
I fully agree that "Laws can be either used sensibly or they can be abused, lets try and get it right from the start instead of letting it open to somebody's interpretation". Terms defined such as "Pet" & "Covered dog" were defined to actually close the loopholes.
.
You asked if I "Would you drink a glass of water that had a piece of food in it?" probably not. Would my big, clunky, goofball of a dog that I love dearly care if he dropped a Purina kibble in the water bowl and then took a drink.... Not in the slightest. Would I be changing the water soon after before it grew bacteria? Yes. (I also wouldn't sniff a lot of places he seems to like either:)!
.
IMO, If the lawmakers currently sponsoring legislation revising/repealing the PMCPA were really interested in only adding definitions for recuperation or defining contaminate, I would not be fighting it so hard. But unfortunately, instead they who are trying to gut the entire act. With the proposals currently on the table I stand by my opinions of no repeal & no amendments to the PMCPA.
.
Again, though I know we stand on different sides of the issue, I truly appreciate your polite response!

.
Defend the PMCPA. NO Repeal. NO Admendments.
.
MSL
.

(Report Comment)
Stanley Stoner March 8, 2011 | 9:39 p.m.

To Marina Shane- I also commend you for your polite response, but as you say we will have to agree to disagree about some of these issues, because in my opinion it would be better to change things now and get it right from the beginning, rather than have the damage done and have to go through the court system time after time for every issue that arises out of failure to define simple things such as the true meanings to such words or phrases. So thank you for being civil, but the things I brought up are my opinions and I also must stand by them.

"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it will do and the harms it would do if improperly administered"
Lyndon B. Johnson

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 9, 2011 | 2:57 a.m.

Shellacked. :)

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 9, 2011 | 6:54 a.m.

The Johnson quote was supportive of his enactment of his Great Society .. laws which upheld civil rights, Public Broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, the War on Poverty, the expansion of welfare and the Bilingual Education Act

Cason is a closet rad/lib.
'Shellacked' is a boomerang.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 9, 2011 | 7:08 a.m.

LBJ would have been skewered by the HSUS, for those photos of him picking up his hounds by the ears, scruff of the neck, etc. He also may have had enough hounds down on the Perdanales to have been considered a "puppy mill".

(Report Comment)
Cheri Cason March 9, 2011 | 7:23 a.m.

That word belongs to your President.. I pray daily for him to become less stupid.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 9, 2011 | 7:51 a.m.

Prayer is good.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 9, 2011 | 7:57 a.m.

" In 1966, Life Magazine published an article documenting the housing conditions at animal dealer (dog farms) facilities.

The article titled “Concentration Camp for Dogs” featured pictures of skeletal dogs and described the neglectful conditions which the investigative journalists and Maryland State Police found at a Maryland dog dealer’s farm.
As a result of these articles, the public lobbied Congress to pass a Federal law that would institute animal housing and care standards.

It is interesting to note that this one article on conditions in the dog dealing business, stimulated more letters to Life than any of the Vietnam or civil rights stories.

Congress was spurred into action and on August 24, 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill into law "

http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/AWA200...

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 9, 2011 | 8:17 a.m.

Thoughtful, informed, reasoned deliberation and enactment of humane legislation, by a body of representatives elected by the people (and signed by the executive, of course). I say we give that a try.

Thanks for providing an example of workable legislation, Terry.

(Report Comment)
Terry Ward March 9, 2011 | 10:19 a.m.

Cheri Cason toots her mighty horn and waves her mighty fist in hatred of 'animal rights'.

Perhaps Ms. Cason can provide her version of animal rights?

We often read that "Giving animals rights means animals will have the same rights as humans"

Ms Cason fears a chihuahua will be given precedence over Ms. Cason in a job interview?

Does Ms. Cason dreads the day when turkeys will demand equal education?

Perhaps Ms.Cason foresees female orangoutangs demanding their equal right to hold office.

Or that disabled donkeys will be granted appropriate seating on public transportation?

Does Ms. Cason fear that pigs will protest voting discrimination based upon the color of their skin?

Or that brown bears will be given equal access to housing loans?

Does Ms. Cason rage at the day when a female black labrador retriever would become President?

We do not believe there is much chance in these things happening.

Perhaps Ms. Cason does.

Perhaps Ms. Cason fears the loss of her Human Rights were she prevented from shooting a giant beaver because he has been appointed to the Supreme Court..
By a black female labrador retriever President.

(Report Comment)
mary ann mcgregor March 14, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

Dear Editor,

I want to thank you, and this newspaper, for providing regular, everyday people, a place to state facts and opinions on subjects that are important to all of us. Thank you very much!!! :o)
Last week in Jefferson City, our state senators approved SB 113. This Senate Bill (SB), provides Missouri with what the voters believe they voted for last fall concerning the Prop B issue.
SB 113 defines the items (food, water, shelter, vet care and exercise), and makes them enforceable. This bill has penalties for non-compliance and funding for inspections and Operation Bark Alert, as well as the legal means to enforce the elimination of sub-standard and unlicensed facilities.
Prop B did not have any funding, it is vague in some areas, and parts of it are totally unconstitutional. It was actually out to hurt the licensed breeders and did nothing at all to the substandard kennels – like people thought they were voting for.
SB 113 is NOT a repeal of Prop B like you may be hearing from Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS and/or other animal rights’ activist groups. Instead, SB 113 insures that all dogs and puppies receive the utmost in humane care, and high quality care here in MO.
If Prop B was really about the welfare of our animals here in Missouri, then the people who voted yes on Prop B will love SB 113. They are getting what they wanted, only better. SB 113 provides the funding to make the laws enforceable.
If you are reading or hearing news that says our MO senators and representatives are ignoring the votes of the people, please do not be fooled. They are very interested in what is best for our animals and for our agriculture. We have a group of hardworking individuals at our state capitol – they want the best for the citizens and overall quality of life here in Missouri.
If the HSUS and other A.R. people are not happy, it is because animal welfare is truly NOT their main concern.
In case you don’t know – 95% of the counties of Missouri voted against Prop B.
Mary Ann McGregor
Mountain Grove, MO

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 14, 2011 | 11:25 a.m.

Mary Ann McGregor,

Thank you for being the voice of reason on this issue. A voice far more reasonable than those of the Animal Rights Activists; and even their "smooth talking" advocates Marina Shane and Terry Ward.

It is always refreshing to see someone that understands the value of the "happy medium" in these issues; and can explain it.

The B.S. Propaganda that was put out by these Animal Rights Activists that intentionally mislead the voters only worked for a little while. We are starting to get back to being reasonable here. Thank God for that. Now it is time to understand who these Animal Rights Activists are, to what extremes they are willing to go to get their way, and to never let them mislead us again with lies, disinformation, and false propaganda. Give them no more credibility and be suspicious of everything they say and/or write!

Ricky Gurley,

(Report Comment)

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