Puppy Mill Dogs Are Losing Big in Missouri
On November 2, Missourians cast their votes and passed Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, a citizen initiative brought to voters to stand up for dogs languishing in puppy mills in their state.
Over 190,000 signatures were delivered to the Secretary of State in Missouri to get Prop B on November’s ballot in the country’s worst state for puppy mills. With an estimated 3000 puppy mills licensed by the USDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, it’s been called the puppy mill capital of America.
Prop B didn’t pass by a landslide, but it did pass. Now legislators are convinced that the good people of Missouri who voted to pass a law protecting dogs were somehow duped into doing so and must not have had their wits about them at the time. Almost 200,000 people duped!
They’ve taken it upon themselves, with the support of breeders and farmers, to kill Prop B with the passage of SB 113, the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.
Prop B didn’t make insane demands on breeders. It called for providing food and constant access to clean water, vet care, protection from the elements, exercise, “constant and unfettered access” to the outdoors, room to move around and stretch and rest between breeding cycles. It would apply to breeders with more than 10 dogs and limit the number of breeding dogs to 50 per facility. Violations would result in up to 15 days in jail and a fine of $300.
SB 113, on the other hand, removes the limit on the amount of breeding dogs per facility, removes mandatory annual vet exams, substituting a bi-annual “visual” exam, removes restrictions on how often dogs can be bred and removes unfettered access to the outdoors.
It also removes a provision stating that dogs should have access to water at all times that is free of “debris, feces, algae and other contaminants” and requires breeders to give water every eight hours instead, which can apparently be clean or dirty. It also removes added space to move, which would have done away with stacked cages.
“We’re overturning the voice of the people; it disenfranchises them,” said Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, D-St. Louis. “We need to live with what our people say. That’s the process and we’re turning it around.”
On Wednesday, the Humane Society and Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, filed a petition with the governor asking him to keep Prop B in tact.
The House is expected to pass the bill, according to Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, but they are hopeful that Gov. Jay Nixon will veto it if it does pass, and if he doesn’t, they will make efforts to bring the issue back to voters as soon as they can.
According to the ASPCA, Missouri supplies over 40 percent of the puppies you can find in pet stores across the country, which makes this a national issue.
Sign the petition asking Missouri legislators to uphold the will of the people and keep Prop B.
Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brettmcbain/