Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shut Down Puppy Mills .....

SHUT DOWN PUPPY MILLS! NEVER purchase a puppy from a Pet Store, a Newspaper Ad, or the Internet! The parents of those puppies are languishing in breeder facilities, enduring Cruelty and Abuse. Please do not support that industry. Visit your local shelter, and rescue a dog. Save a life! We fight puppy mill cruelty. We volunteer, donate to rescues, shelters, transport, auctions and fight for the freedom from cruelty done to all dogs. We are the Dog Warriors!
I am outraged by what was done to the majority vote on Prop. B. The suffering in the puppy mills will continue, it will be business as usual for the 1 billion dollar industry procured from misery and suffering. I am ashamed of all who participated in the brokering of the so called "compromise". There is no such thing as compromising on cruelty.

It is all but many Animal Welfare persons, Missouri has now been "dubbed" Ground Zero for problems with Animal Welfare issues. At a rally in Jefferson City.....Melanie Kahn with the Humane Society of the U.S. made comment on strengthening their position here in Missouri (see link). Melanie Kahn of the Humane Society of the U.S.

“The exploitation and abuse of animals has become an epidemic. These defenseless creatures are at our mercy and man has taken his dominance and left out the most important element in that equation; that being our “humanity” if we look up that word we find kindness, charity and compassion these being the qualities that our creator has bestowed on us, and yet we look at his other creations and we determine that we can play his role”

Harry Charalambous

Friday, April 29, 2011

ASPCA Speaks Out Against Compromise......

Missouri Legislature Passes Governor-Backed Puppy Mill Compromise

We’ve been updating News Alert readers since last summer about our efforts to pass common-sense, humane reforms for large-scale, commercial dog breeders in Missouri, the Puppy Mill Capital of America. On Election Day 2010, the state’s citizens approved Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act—and animal lovers around the country rejoiced!

Unfortunately, Prop B’s victory was just the beginning of what has become a long, drawn-out saga of might against right. In a startling development last Monday, April 18, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, representatives from the dog breeding industry, and a few agriculture special-interest groups and local animal welfare groups announced a so-called “compromise” agreement on puppy mill reform. Legislators tacked the language onto an unrelated agriculture tax bill as a last-minute amendment, and both chambers passed it on Wednesday, April 27. Governor Nixon, who played a part in arranging the compromise agreement, is expected to sign it into law.

“The ASPCA was not part of the negotiations and does not support the agreement,” says Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “The language crafted by the participating groups is far from an actual compromise—instead, it guts many of the core provisions to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities passed by voters last November.”

The agreement, which will nullify Prop B, allows the stacking of cages, leaves temperature, exercise and veterinary care requirements unenforceable, allows female dogs to be bred at every heat cycle with no rest between litters, and places no limit on the number of dogs a breeder may keep. Most significantly, it does not set specific standards, but defers to those set by the Missouri Department of Agriculture—which is free to change or lower these standards at will.

The ASPCA is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the will of the voters is honored; to that end, we are poring over new language to determine our next steps. We are far from defeated, and the movement to protect thousands of dogs in Missouri’s puppy mills is not over! You can help by continuing to spread the word—please share this article via Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fabulous Video To Check Out .....

Emergency! Missouri voters causing trouble
Barb Shelly

Besides the fact that it tramples over the wishes of the voters who approved Proposition B, the most disturbing aspect of the “compromise” brokered by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is the inclusion of an emergency clause (which by the way was passed!).
Passage of a clause would mean the bill would take place immediately(which it does) after the governor signs it into law, which he presumably would do in short order. That would prevent groups who favor the more stringent restrictions called for in Proposition B from embarking on the process set out in the Missouri Constitution to enable a public referendum on the legislature’s vote(which it did squelch our intent).
In other words, without an emergency clause, there is at least a chance that voters could go to the polls and either affirm or reject the legislature’s new statute governing the dog-breeding industry. If the bill contains an emergency clause, that possibility no longer exists. Opponents would have to start at Square One with a new initiative petition proposing yet another version of a statute regulating dog breeders. That would be a tall hill to climb.(which we are willing to do and will do)
Put yet another way, what Nixon and the legislature would do with the insertion of an emergency clause is to overturn the wishes of voters, while at the same time cutting off voters’ recourse to overturn what the legislature is doing. (remember that in the next upcoming election - democrates need to look for another guy to put in Nixon's place. He is better known as a Republicat!
That’s called adding insult to injury.
Fortunately — since the “compromise” appears to be sufficiently greased to slide through both chambers — an emergency clause requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate.(which they got) Surely, at least a third of the people in each chamber will recognize a bridge too far. But then again, maybe not.
In any case, it should be interesting to see how leaders of this travesty try to explain how the need to get their lightweight bill into effect rises to the level of an emergency.

Read more:
Now I think with all the publicity and all the celebrities coming out against
Puppy mills its got to have an impact on the sale of puppy mill dogs. The man
from the Humane Society at Jeff. City said they are preparing to have a national
campaign about buying puppy mill dogs. The time is right to educate the public.
Take away the sales and profit the number of mills go down that means the number
of dogs being bred goes down. A few letters to the editor wouldn't hurt either.

Don't Move To Missouri Unless You Don't Care if Your Vote Doesn't Matter

VOTE MO Gov Jay Nixon OUT OF OFFICE for breaking his promise to SHUT DOWN PUPPY MILLS.
An Open Letter to the Missouri Farm Bureau
Last week, Missouri voters approved Proposition B, requiring that large-scale commercial breeders provide in a year’s time sufficient space for dogs, an annual veterinary examination, humane methods of euthanasia, and a limit on the number of reproductively intact animals used for breeding, among a limited number of other humane care standards for dogs. In campaigning against the measure, the Missouri Farm Bureau leveled an array of false charges against Prop B and also against The Humane Society of the United States, which worked to pass Prop B. I write to address these charges and to set the record straight.


False Claim: The Missouri Farm Bureau argued that Prop B was not just about dogs, but about ending animal agriculture.
Fact: The Missouri Secretary of State concluded, in fact, that the measure deals only with one species: canis lupus familiaris, or the domesticated dog. There is no reasonable interpretation that it would apply to cattle, pigs, chickens, or any other domesticated or wild species. If there were an attempt by some organization to promote humane treatment of other species, that type of reform would have to go to the Legislature or to the people in the form of a separate ballot measure. Missouri voters would probably reject any measure that went too far. We are not aware of any such effort, and Prop B has no bearing on any future reform efforts.

False claim: The Missouri Farm Bureau argued that existing regulations governing dog breeding are sufficient and that they simply need to be enforced.
Fact: Under Prop B, Missouri’s enormous puppy mill problem will be scaled down to a level that is easier for the state to oversee, manage and enforce. It is the backers of Prop B, not the Farm Bureau or the commercial dog breeding industry, that have advocated for robust enforcement through the years; this is the first we’ve heard of the Farm Bureau calling for more rigorous enforcement, but we welcome the encouragement. The puppy mill problem has gotten worse year by year, and the Farm Bureau has stood by as more reckless breeders have flocked to Missouri and humane organizations have had to deal with thousands of dogs relinquished by mills or seized after terrible problems came to light. It costs humane groups millions of dollars to clean up the mess made by these large-scale puppy mills.

Under current rules, it is legal to keep a breeding dog in a wire cage six inches longer than her body, to keep her confined in that cage for her entire life, to allow her to be outside during the extremes of winter, to allow animals in cages stacked above to defecate on the animals below, to never call on a veterinarian to examine an animal, and to abandon or kill dogs once they are no longer wanted. I am amazed that the Farm Bureau somehow thinks such standards for dogs are adequate.

False claim: The HSUS wants to eliminate pet ownership.
Fact: The HSUS celebrates pet ownership, and has done so for all 56 years of its existence. While we certainly urge would-be dog owners to look to the pool of homeless dogs kept by shelters and rescue groups, we have instructions on our website and in our publications that encourage would-be dog owners to follow simple guidelines when they shop for a dog from a breeder. Your invoking of fabricated quotes or quotes taken out of context to misrepresent our positions is dishonest and defamatory. Every day at The HSUS, our staff bring their dogs to work—the action of committed and caring pet owners who celebrate their relationship with their animals. Indeed, The HSUS published the 2008 book, “Dogs at Work,” to guide companies in instituting this valuable opportunity to more employees. Our daily work is to celebrate the bond we have with pets, to help people find pets appropriate for their household, to help people keep their pets, or to find ways to reunite people with their pets.

False claim: The HSUS isn’t interested in improving farm animal welfare, but only in ending animal agriculture.
Fact: We work with animal producers throughout the country, and included among our members are ranchers and others involved in the business of agriculture. We have been a financial supporter of Humane Farm Animal Care, which certifies high welfare production, and The HSUS also provides major support to the Global Animal Partnership, which also promotes high welfare standards in agriculture. In developing countries, our work has ensured that farm animals are stunned before being slaughtered, and we have a raft of other programs working with farmers. We have long supported more humane treatment of animals in agriculture, and in terms of political activity, we have promoted improvements to slaughter and transport systems, and, on the farm, giving the animals enough room to “stand up, lie down, turn around, and freely extend their limbs.” If the Missouri Farm Bureau believes that allowing farm animals to turn around equates to an end to all animal use, then that is an unfortunate statement about its own lack of ethical standards in the conduct of its business.

False claim: The HSUS has destroyed the egg industry in California.
Fact: The HSUS did work to pass Proposition 2 in 2008, but that measure simply stipulates that egg production be cage-free—a modest animal welfare and food safety policy that enjoys the support of numerous retailers and two-thirds of Calilfornia voters. Already companies like Burger King, Hellmann’s, and scores of others are using cage-free eggs. It does not prevent the raising of chickens for egg production. What’s more, it does not go into effect until 2015, so it’s hard to imagine that a measure that has not gone into effect has resulted in the destruction of the industry. One study even found that the Prop 2 campaign in California increased demand for cage-free eggs while reducing demand for eggs from caged hens, sending a strong signal to the industry about what consumers expect of it.

False claim: The HSUS “spends less than one percent of its funds on the actual care of pets.”
Fact: The HSUS spends millions of dollars on companion animal care, and spends more than $20 million a year on our programs that support local animal shelters and provide direct care for domestic animals and wildlife. The HSUS actually provides direct care to more animals than any other group in the nation, and maintains five animal care centers, a national veterinary services program, and a national emergency response unit that rescues animals from all over the nation. We also spend millions preventing cruelty, and it’s that work that the Missouri Farm Bureau and other animal-use groups apparently do not like.

It was 12 years ago that The HSUS helped to qualify and pass an anti-cockfighting ballot initiative in Missouri—the only other initiative petition on animal welfare in Missouri history. The Missouri Farm Bureau opposed that ballot measure, too, arguing that a ban on that barbaric practice would lead to an end to all hunting, fishing, rodeo and animal agriculture. As with Prop B, voters approved that measure, and there’s been no attempt to outlaw hunting or animal agriculture in any way in the 12 years since. The Farm Bureau deceived some voters then with that argument, just as it did this year with Prop B, but it was the right decision for Missouri. Staged fights between animals are morally wrong, just as lifelong confinement of dogs in small cages at puppy mills is wrong, too.

The Missouri Constitution allows for citizen lawmaking, and the principle underlying it is majority rule. The will of the people should be respected—even if the Farm Bureau and some lawmakers disagree with the decision. Both the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star have within the last few days urged elected officials to honor the vote of the people. The fact is, a majority of the people of Missouri voted in favor of Prop B. The measure was approved by a majority of voters in a majority of state House and Senate districts. That counts in a democracy.

If you care about animal welfare, leave the dogs alone. If you care about democracy, let the law take effect and do not work to subvert it.
Missouri Deal Would Leave Dogs Out in the Cold
With some fanfare, a “compromise” in Missouri was announced between some traditional political adversaries on Prop B yesterday. Since the November election, the coalition of animal protection organizations that pushed for the passage of this anti-puppy mill measure wanted to see the will of the people respected. But knowing the composition of the state legislature, and the hostility of the Republican leadership in both chambers to Prop B, we knew that we’d have to entertain compromise on some elements of the agreement, in order to protect the measure for the long term and to obviate the need for a second public vote on the issue.

The opponents of Prop B didn’t want to compromise on its core elements, and they charged ahead with a bill to repeal it (SB 113, which passed both chambers).

Dogs in wire cages at a Missouri puppy mill in 2010
Yesterday the situation turned fairly dramatically, with an announcement that two respected Missouri animal welfare groups had reached an accord with the trade associations for the puppy mill industry and the agriculture industry. The HSUS, the ASPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society don’t believe that the arrangement reached yesterday adequately protects Prop B.

A compromise, in this context, would have entailed some movement from both sides but ensured that Prop B remains largely intact. But this deal does fundamental damage to Prop B:

Prop B established a limit on the number of breeding dogs at 50, and that provision is gone. There’s not even a requirement that if you have 500 or 1,000 dogs you have to have enough staff on hand to care for the dogs.
Prop B called for breeding females to have a rest every third heat cycle. The new measure allows dogs to be bred every heat cycle for their entire lives.
Prop B required an outdoor exercise area at least twice the size of a dog's indoor enclosure, so that dogs would not spend their whole life crammed in cages. This new measure requires an "outdoor run" but does not mandate any particular size, and allows the state Department of Agriculture to waive this vague mandate in regulations.
Prop B required veterinary care for illness or injury, but the new measure allows such care to be withheld anytime a breeder decides on his or her own that a condition is not "serious."
Prop B called for no stacking of cages, but the new measure allows it, as long as there is an impervious barrier between the cages. Cage stacking is a recipe for the type of overcrowding that defines the worst puppy mills.
Prop B stipulated no wire flooring, but the new provision allows for wire flooring as long as it’s encased. Coated wire flooring still harms dogs' paws and is unacceptable.
The new language weakens the space requirements in Prop B, and it’s extremely vague and unclear. What’s more, breeders will have five years to come into compliance with it, and that’s inordinately long in this context.

We strongly support more robust funding for enforcement of commercial dog breeding operations, as the governor proposed last week. But there’s no reason to calve off large portions of Prop B in order to have adequate enforcement. It’s a false choice, and it smacks of political extortion: agree to these changes, or we’ll defund enforcement.

HSUS believes that compromise is an important part of the political process. All along, we’ve been open to real compromise. But we insist on getting something meaningful in the process for animals, and we also believe in respecting the free and fair election on this subject that occurred less than six months ago. Missouri voters heard from both sides, read the clear ballot language about the provisions of Prop B, and made their judgment. In this case, this compromise falls far short of Prop B in protecting breeding dogs from unnecessary suffering, and it’s not worthy of support.

Wayne's Thoughts ....

Missouri Governor Signs Bill to Undo Prop B, amid Big Ag’s Efforts to Deter Animal Protection
Earlier this afternoon, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed SB 113 to repeal Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act approved by voters in November 2010. The governor made a deal with the Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and some non-government parties, to support a separate bill (SB 161) to partially restore a few provisions of Prop B. He’s terming the enactment of both bills to be a compromise, and says he’s going to put more money into enforcement of the law.

Dogs at a licensed puppy mill in Missouri, one of the
"Dirty Dozen" facilities compiled by The HSUS.
In a blog last week, I examined this compromise and showed how it dramatically weakens Prop B. But more broadly, the attack in the state legislature on Prop B has been a shameful example of politics at its worst, with a narrow majority of lawmakers and now the governor subverting a vote of the people that occurred just a few months ago. Politicians refused for decades to deal with the puppy mill problem, and now after voters decided they had enough with the state’s inaction and passed a ballot initiative, the politicians in the state have decided they know better than the people.

Of course, Missouri’s puppy mill industry has always advocated for de facto de-regulation. But that bunch didn’t have the power to subvert a vote of the people. It was Missouri’s agriculture industry that provided the muscle to overturn Prop B–the same agriculture lobby that some years ago worked to pass state legislation to establish criminal penalties for documenting what occurs on factory farms.

That idea has now spread, as I’ve written recently about efforts by lawmakers in Iowa, Minnesota, and Florida to push sweeping measures to make it a crime to take pictures of farm animals and dogs on puppy mills. It’s aimed at HSUS and other animal protection groups that have done groundbreaking investigations that exposed cruelty, both legal and illegal.

Today, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman has a devastating column calling out agribusiness, in the wake of a deeply disturbing Mercy for Animals investigation in Texas that showed farm workers trying to kill cows with pick-axes and hammers. It’s a must-read.

The editorial board of the Times also opined against these bills, as have newspapers throughout the country and in Iowa, Minnesota, and Florida. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say.

Ida Speaks Her Mind ......

From Ida McCarthy: "Welcome to Missouri where votes don't count, dogs are being abused, tortured and killed, and the millers are in bed with the politicians......what a sorry day for our country."
Welcome to Missouri, Puppy Mill Capital of the US
Come for the Sick Puppies, Stay for the Meth

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cesar Millan: Help Me Stop Puppy Mills
By Cesar Millan
Published April 25, 2011
Puppy mills have been back in the news over the past couple of weeks as Missouri lawmakers look to soften legislation that would crack down on some of the country’s most notorious.

In November of last year, voters approved the measures proposed to place tougher regulatory standards on breeders and agricultural industries. Now some elected officials are attempting to make the proposed laws less strict. Through my work with my non-profit organization, The Millan Foundation, I meet people all the time who are either unaware of what a puppy mill is, feel helpless to improve the situation, or just don’t understand why it matters.

A puppy mill is a breeding facility with the sole purpose of churning out the most dogs for the least money - and to make the most profit. I have seen, first hand, the devastating conditions of puppy mills, witnessing the horrible state of these dogs, being confined and restricted to cages, raised to produce litter after litter after litter. Most of them were unable to live out their true potential as fulfilled and balanced dogs.

By supporting puppy mills, knowingly or unknowingly, people are allowing these practices to continue, which leads to substandard breeding conditions and inbreeding that can then lead to health and behavioral problems. It is also a major factor in the pet overpopulation crisis we have in this country with 4 to 6 million pets euthanized every year.

Substandard breeding conditions and inbreeding can lead to health and behavioral problems in the puppies bred there. Since the 1980s, the Humane Society of the United States has been fighting to shut down these facilities. You can do your part by making sure to research before you adopt and by keeping yourself informed! Here are some tips to avoid adopting from a puppy mill:

When Spanish and English collide, the results can be hilarious. A few examples, mostly from Buenos Aires.

Six startling products from the Mexico Security Expo

Avoid pet stores, newspaper or journal ads, and great deals on the internet! Many puppy mills supply local pet stores, and ads in newspapers or on websites can easily falsify information. In season two of my show Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan I worked with a dog named Bandit. Bandit’s website said that he was from a licensed breeder, but he turned out to be the product of a puppy mill, costing his new family thousands of dollars in vet bills and heartache over his life-threatening health and behavioral problems.

If you are looking to get a dog from a breeder, be sure to do some thorough research. You want to avoid any potential problems and make sure you are using a reputable one. Visit the breeder and ask questions! Ask to see the entire facility where the dogs are bred and kept. Is it clean? Spacious enough? Ask to see the parent dogs as well. Does the breeder show hesitation to let you see the facility or to let you meet the other dogs who are being kept there? Or is the breeder willing to just sell one of his puppies to anyone who walks in off the street, sight unseen? Reputable breeders will want to make sure their puppies are going to good homes. Beware of all these red flags.

Adopt from a shelter or rescue instead! This is the simplest solution. Rescues and shelters most often have the best interest of the animal at heart, and many of them are last chance adoptions. Remember that dogs live in the present - your feeling sorry for the dog and showering him with affection right off the bat can cause behavioral problems later on. Adopt a dog compatible with your energy level and lifestyle.

The puppy mill situation saddens me deeply, as it’s been my lifelong dream to see humans and dogs living together in harmonious relationships. It is my hope that we can one day eliminate all puppy mills and find good homes for the millions of homeless pets that live in shelters right now.

CESAR MILLAN is a best-selling author and star of the hit TV show “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,” airing on Nat Geo WILD in the U.S. and over 100 countries internationally. He is President of The Millan Foundation, a non-profit organization that is credited with re-homing and rehabilitating thousands of dogs across the world.

Learn more about Cesar and read his latest news and tips by visiting .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ellen Lends Her Voice To Help Animals

Ellen DeGeneres is much more than a great talk show host and a comedian. She’s a socially aware person, and she’s an advocate for animals. Today, I was pleased to be a guest on her show about my new book, The Bond. She’s one of my favorite people, and she is helping to make such a difference. The Ellen DeGeneres Show We spoke about the landmark Prop 2 campaign in California, and she had a mighty role in it, helping raise awareness and funds for the campaign to phase out the extreme confinement of certain farm animals. On the show, we also discussed the outrageous effort in Missouri by state lawmakers to undo Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. Both she and I implored her viewers to contact Gov. Jay Nixon (573-751-3222) to urge him to veto SB 113. Last night, we had another standing-room only crowd in New Canaan, Conn., for my book tour. Tonight, I’m in Portland, Maine, at the University of Maine. And tomorrow, I’m in Cambridge, Mass., on the Harvard campus. I head to the Philadelphia Public Library on Wednesday night, and then to the flagship Barnes & Noble at Union Square in Manhattan on Thursday. You can read about future tour dates by going to P.S. If you can’t didn’t catch Ellen today, you can watch the video here or listen to a few other interviews I’ve conducted on my tour: with NPR’s Scott Simon, KQED’s Michael Krasny, and KCRW’s Warren Olney.

Lawmakers Go Against The WIll Of Their Voters In Missouri

BY VIRGINIA YOUNG • > 573-635-6178

April 18, 2011 JEFFERSON CITY • Rarely do legislators know what their constituents think of a particular bill. While emails and town halls offer insights, they're imprecise yardsticks. But last week, when the Missouri House voted to rewrite the state's dog-breeding rules, all 163 lawmakers had a clear window into whether their constituents backed or opposed the rules. State voters had approved them just five months earlier, with urban and suburban areas providing the winning margin. Most legislators abided by their districts' opinions. But 13 House members — including seven from the St. Louis region — voted to roll back the new dog-breeding requirements even though voters in their districts had approved them. Legislators interviewed about their votes said they agonized about overturning the will of the voters but decided that the bill was better than Proposition B, the law approved by a 51.6 percent majority last November. "It's caused me a lot of heartache," said freshman Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific. "I've never had an ulcer, but this is probably the closest I've come." Republican leaders did some arm-twisting, telling suburban legislators they should help their rural colleagues revamp Proposition B in return for rural assistance later on their bills, such as one expanding charter schools. "I don't think it was like a swap thing," said Rep. Scott Dieckhaus, R-Washington. He said he helped Majority Whip Jason Smith, R-Salem, gather support among suburban legislators. The House voted 85-71 to send the new dog-breeding measure to Gov. Jay Nixon. He has not said whether he will sign it. The Senate passed it earlier on a 20-14 vote. In the Senate, Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, was the only St. Louis-area member who voted contrary to his district's position. In the House, Curtman was one of six area Republicans who bucked their districts. The others were Reps. Kurt Bahr of O'Fallon, Doug Funderburk of St. Peters, John Diehl of Town and Country, John McCaherty of High Ridge and Paul Wieland of Imperial. One Democrat — Rep. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis — voted against her district's position. Proposition B wasn't even close in her district, passing by nearly 81 percent. Wasn't that a mandate? "Being that we weren't repealing the bill, it's always good to find some type of common-ground compromise," Nasheed said. "I think modifying the bill was that compromise." Groups that pushed Proposition B adamantly disagree. They say the Legislature's bill is no compromise. "The House decided to defy the will of the voters and dismantle Proposition B piece by piece," said Barbara Schmitz, Missouri state director for the Humane Society of the United States. The bill wipes out key provisions of Proposition B, such as requirements for larger, ground-level cages with outdoor exercise runs. Under the Legislature's bill, dogs could be confined in small stacked cages with wire floors, so long as they had a solid surface to lie on. The issue is one of the most polarizing ones in the Legislature, with both sides contending their version protects dogs. Legislators who voted to roll back Proposition B bristle at talk that they repealed it. "What we did was fix the language in Proposition B that needs to be fixed, so you can actually protect puppies," Bahr said. The arguments center on: • Whether kennels should be capped at 50 breeding dogs. The Legislature's bill would get rid of the cap, which is part of Proposition B. Curtman said the provision jeopardizes the livelihoods of licensed breeders and violates their "personal freedom." Bahr contends the provision is unconstitutional, saying, "I was bound by my oath to uphold the Constitution." Schmitz, the Humane Society official, counters that Missouri would be the fifth state to impose a limit on the number of dogs. The others are Virginia, Oregon, Louisiana and Washington. "There are limits on what business can do in many settings," she said. "We feel comfortable that Proposition B would survive a court challenge." • Which version would improve enforcement. The legislators' version would assess a $25 fee to help pay for a hotline to report unlicensed breeders. Fees also would be raised so that the largest operations — those selling more than 400 puppies a year — would pay more. The fees would help support hiring two additional inspectors. The bill would authorize civil fines of up to $1,000 for uncorrected violations, and would authorize the Missouri Department of Agriculture to refer cases to the attorney general. It would create the misdemeanor crime of "canine cruelty" for repeatedly endangering the health and welfare of dogs. "Proposition B had no funding mechanism by which to actually pay for enforcement," Bahr said. Proposition B backers applaud increased fees for more inspectors, which they have sought for years. But the Humane Society says the Legislature's enforcement scheme is confusing because penalties would depend on "repeat" violations without defining that term, leaving no immediate remedy for suffering dogs. • Whether other forms of animal agriculture would be targeted. Farm groups fear Proposition B would lead to restrictions on cows, chickens, pigs and horses. The Humane Society has said it was only interested in dealing with dogs. Legislators said they put that question to rest by narrowing the definition of "pet" to cover only dogs instead of "any domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household." The Humane Society has not objected to that clarification. In the end, the bill squeaked by in the House with just three more votes than the 82-vote constitutional majority needed to pass a bill. Five House members were absent. St. Louis-area legislators who missed the vote were: Chuck Gatschenberger, R-Lake Saint Louis; Dwight Scharnhorst, R-St. Louis County; and Steve Webb, D-Florissant. One member — Rep. Linda Black, D-Bonne Terre — voted "present." She is married to the dog-breeding law's chief enforcer, Nixon's agriculture director, Jon Hagler. If Nixon signs the bill, voters could get another chance to weigh in. Proposition B supporters plan to circulate petitions to put the Legislature's version to a public vote in 2012. The Humane Society's Schmitz saw little room for compromise: "So far, they've said, 'We're willing to give an inch and we want you to give us a couple yards,' and that's not realistic." The bill is SB113.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Puppy Mills Top Discussion at State Rep. John Diehl's Town Hall Meeting Despite new districts just being drawn in the St. Louis area, puppy mills dominated the dialogue as State Rep. John Diehl talked to constituents Thursday night. By Ryan Krull

April 8, 2011 Missouri State Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, held a town hall meeting at the Brentwood Recreation Center Thursday night. The Republican represents Missouri’s 87th district in the State House of Representatives. The district includes Town and Country, Brentwood, Frontenac, Ladue, Rock Hill, Crystal Lake Park and Webster Groves, among other municipalities. With all of the changes to St. Louis area congressional districts taking place, one might think that redistricting would dominate the meeting. However, the subject matter of the town hall was largely decided by his constituents and they wanted to discuss puppy mills. The meeting lasted about one hour and 20 minutes. Roughly half that time was dedicated to a back and forth between Diehl and supporters of Proposition B and dog-breeding reform. In November, voters narrowly passed the Puppy Mill Cruelty Act, otherwise known as Prop B. It sought to toughen regulations on dog breeders, whose operations are often referred to as puppy mills, in Missouri. Since November, however, representatives from rural parts of the state have backed Special Bill 113, a bill that would change the Prop B legislation and, according to some, water it down. Diehl was largely in agreement with those in attendance, and said he supported more regulation of dog-breeding operations. However, Diehl said that SB 113 “is going to pass,” and he wasn’t sure if Governor Jay Nixon would veto it. Ladue resident Nancy Grove said Diehl should vote against SB 113 outright. However, Diehl stated that he felt he could do more by negotiating and finding some middle ground between Prop B and SB 113. Others in the crowd also voiced their disdain for SB 113, not so much out of a love for animals, but out of a distaste for seeing the government in Jefferson City not abiding by something that was voted on by the people and passed. One Brentwood resident, who wished to not be named, said he felt SB 113 was like a dictator overruling the will of the people. “That’s what it feels like to me,” he said. “It’s very offensive.” “Why bother to carry these petitions? Why bother to vote?” Margot Martin, Frontenac resident, asked. Many in crowd wore buttons that read, “Defend Prop B For Dog’s Sake.” Others wore T-shirts saying things like “Stop puppy mills.” “I now have my second puppy mill rescue dog,” Crystal Lake Park resident Helena Servis said. “I’m here to tell you it’s a travesty how we procure our animals.” Servis said she is not usually politically active, but Prop B is different. Though Prop B and SB 113 dominated the meeting, other issues were addressed.

Can You Guess Who The Alpha Dog Is ???

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Success Story

Nicki ( the dog on the left or top) had spent her entire life in a horrible puppy mill. She had never felt grass under her paws or felt the love of humans as she was a breeding machine for a puppy mill that had years of terrible violations to these breeding animals. This Puppy Mill owner had been in business for years and operated a pet store out of St. Peters, Missouri. Sadly despite the facts that 90% of dogs sold in Pet stores are coming from PUPPY MILLS and 40% of dogs sold anywhere in the United States are coming from MISSOURI PUPPY MILLS people are still buying puppies from pet stores. What they are not understanding is for every puppy you see in these pet stores there is a mother and father dog in total miserable conditions suffering everyday of their life. Nicki finally got the love and freedom she deserved but not without a price. She had to have 25 teeth pulled and was in horrible shape. We fostered her and she was so broken she was petrified of humans. It took us weeks to teach her to walk on non carpeted floors. She was only use to walking on wired bottomed cages so her feet were super wide and she was scared to death to walk on floors not carpeted. We would have to lie on the floor gently calling her with treats in our hands to get her to walk on marble, tile or wood floors. When her current parents offered to adopt her our hearts were overjoyed as we knew they had the experience and profound love to give her. She is part of a loving pack and is living out her life in pure bliss. We love you Nicki and A HUGE shout out of gratitude to Ted & Jan !!!!