“Proposition B” Repealed: Suffering Falls Victim to the Economy

George Buchanan

        Less than two years ago Missouri passed Proposition B, the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.” However, in April of 2011 Proposition B was repealed.

The United States Humane Society estimates that there are roughly 4,000 puppy mills in the U.S. alone, and that 2-4 million of these dogs are sold each year. All of these dogs will suffer some form of physical or psychological issues due to the horrible conditions they are raised in, and a good portion will wind-up being euthanized when they are not sold. Proposition B required wire flooring for cages eliminated by November 2011; Maximum allowable breeding females per business = 50; Cage height = taller than any dog standing erect; Maximum number of times a female may be bred within 18 months time = 2; Larger enclosures by November 2011. Although these requirements are not exactly ideal for a dog’s well being, they would be an up- grade over the previous conditions the dogs were forced to endure.

Proposition B would be short-lived unfortunately. Due to local political pressure, lawmakers repealed the act in April of 2011. All was not lost however, in April of 2011 Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed a compromise labeled the “Missouri Solution” which allows for no wire flooring for new enclosures in 2016, existing wire flooring permitted to remain indefinitely; No limit on number of breeding females; No restriction on cage height; No restrictions on how often females are impregnated; Larger enclosures in 2016. This is hardly a victory for animal rights activists, but perhaps if the economy turns around by 2016 some of these dogs may at least get bigger cages.

29 Responses

  1. Puppy mills are a disgrace and are proof of humans’ true nature!

  2. How can anyone live with themselves making money on the misery of innocent animals. Karma is very real and believe me they who commit evil will receive evil twice fold. I wish there was something i can do for those sweet kind dogs… I hope and pray these people reconsider what they are doing… I am disgusted with human beings who have no compassion or ethics when it comes to allowing animals, living breathing creatures to be used, exploited and abused solely for monetary gains…

  3. Proposition B was never meant to change true ‘puppymills’, the squalid kennels that operate illegally (such as the one pictured). HSUS aimed directly and ONLY at the already regulated, licensed breeders operating legally in Missouri. Creating unrealistic and overly-rigid demands would have forced the legal dog breeders who, for the most part, operate clean, well-kept, humane facilities out of business, and would not have affected the ‘puppymills’ AT ALL.

    The legislators and the governor acted to protect legal businesses from unreasonable financial hardships, but did make some changes to appease the animal rights and the city voters who were duped into passing Prop B.

    Your facts are somewhat faulty. Existing wire flooring will be eliminated in 2016, giving the breeders time to modify their facilities. Any new pens built now, must comply with 2016 rules.

    There was already a restriction in cage height of 6 inches above the tallest dog, which remains in effect. HSUS and Prop B wanted to change that to 12 inches, which would mean expensive remodeling and effectively eliminate some acceptable kennel styles.

    The number of times a dog can be bred is to be determined by the kennel veterinarian, who is the expert in that field. HSUS tried to be the breeding police without any true expertise or knowledge in that field.

    The Missouri Solution also called for DOUBLING the current kennel sizes by January 2012, and TRIPLING the size by 2016. This is creating a hardship for many breeders that must either remodel or rebuild their facilities or get rid of some dogs.

    Also added with the Solution was unfettered (continual) access to outside, continuous unfrozen water, hands-on veterinarian care for every breeding dog every year, and higher fees.

    I think the animal rights community should be very happy with the Solution. They got most everything they wanted except for the absolutely ridiculous unconstitutional demands.

  4. Simone
    Are you mentally defective or are you someone who is lazy & unwilling to search out the truth & will believe anything they read with out checking the facts ? As my daddy always told me ” B.S. IN = B.S. OUT !
    Please check the facts & do some research before you disparage someone who is performing a service in a safe & humane way. someone who ALWAYS looks out for the Dog or Puppy first ! I have been in this busines for more than 30 years & in that time I have met no group of people who care more about their dogs than these people !
    HAVE YOU NO SHAME for talking about something you obviously know nothing about ?

  5. You know, Simone. You must talking about the Humane Society of the United States in your little rant. After all, they are the ones making money off the misery of dogs. Check out their commercials. They constantly show misery and abuse of cats and dogs while begging money, which they then use mostly for more fundraising, expensive lobbyists and lawyers, fat salaries for their many executives, bloated pension plans, and their end goal of removing all animals from our lives and homes. Yes, you most definitiely must be talking about HSUS!! Oh, I guess I really should mention the paltry one percent of their millions of donated dollars that is actually used for the animals that languish in shelters while HSUS squanders the millions intended for those poor abused dogs and cats. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Simone says: “I am disgusted with human beings who have no compassion or ethics when it comes to allowing animals, living breathing creatures to be used, exploited and abused solely for monetary gains”.

    Yes, I, too am disgusted with people who continue to donate to organizations like HSUS who use and exploit the abuse of animals for their own monetary gain.

  6. Ruth K and Ken Yarrow, it’s not necessary to insult Simone for her post. This blog gets comments from people of differing views, that’s a *good* thing. So much insulting goes on in the blogosphere, it gets old. Simone’s comment, while vehement, didn’t target anyone in particular.

    Second, I agree wholeheartedly with Ruth’s post about the HSUS, and for many of the same reasons. Big animal advocacy groups are about making money, and HSUS has abandoned any moral compass it ever had long ago. Didn’t quite get the “end goal of removing all animals from our lives and homes”, comment though. I think humans are doing a good enough job of that by themselves: see endangered species list, see any city ordinance on “nuisance” wildlife, see anti-TNR propaganda, yadda yadda. No need for HSUS. You must be referring to “pets” who appear to be the only animals anyone can countenance protecting.

    Third, I’m no puppy mill expert, as Ruth and Ken appear to be. However, I will say this: *of course* a law targets “legal” operations, “illegal” operations are, ipso facto, outside the law. Decrying this set of regulations because they target legal operations is like decrying OSHA because it doesn’t target illegal sweatshop operations. So I don’t get the problem with that. I also don’t understand the “ridiculous unconstitutional demands.” I looked at the law very briefly, and didn’t find anything glaringly, on its face, unconstitutional. So I’d need some clarification there.

    The problem, at base, that you have with the regulations is that they potentially bite into (sorry, no pun intended) profit, is that correct? That breeders satisfy a demand for specific breeds and should be allowed to continue to do so, and make their profit? That’s fine then. Of course humans should be able to profit from sentient animals, they’ve done so for millenia. It’s only natural. Just take a look at the meat industry. What little regulation that industry allows to pass does not mess with the bottom line. If it does, it doesn’t get passed, or gets passed with some ridiculous phase-in time period, then repealed. Human profit trumps animal’s interest in living, *always.*

    Trouble is, I don’t buy that (sorry, just can’t stop). Even if done in a “humane” way (stupid word), breeding animals for human use is part of larger problem: the way we see nonhumans as nothing but resource for our use, without any intrinsic value other than what we pay for them on the market. I’d wager that basic mindset does a lot more towards “removing animals from our lives and homes” than anything HSUS can ever do. Thus I think breeding itself is part of the problem, “illegal” puppy mills are only a particularly nasty symptom.

    So before you start trashing me, just think for a minute about sentient beings and profit, and question some of your basic assumptions. I know I’ve done that. I come from a hunting/fishing/rodeo family. Can’t get much more exploitative than that. Or don’t question, just scream away at me, whatever. Think it was Gandhi who said, “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and you win”.

  7. Lorien, you might want to investigate just WHO is behind those endangered species lists, city ordinances, breed bans, etc. It is the HSUS’ legislative lobbying efforts behind nearly ALL restrictive animal legislation. HSUS takes credit for thousands of animal laws, including the ending of horse slaughter (which has created a nightmare), the egg fiasco in California, elimination of hog-raising in Florida, etc. Check HSUS website….you give ‘humans’ too much credit for destroying the animal world.

    Prop B was drafted by a radical organization (HSUS) that has zero experience raising dogs, has zero interest in the continuation of breeding dogs at all (no matter how ‘humane’), had zero input from legitimate veterinarians who understand animal husbandry in breeding kennels, and had NO CONCERN for the kennel dogs displaced by the regulations.
    The problem with the regulations targeting legal breeders is this: when Prop B was being pushed by HSUS, it was marketed as a tool that would shut down the horrible ‘puppymills’ and would not harm good dog breeders. This was a LIE told to trick the voters into believing something that WAS NOT TRUE in order to pass Prop B. People thought they were voting to shut down the illegal problem ‘puppymills’. In reality, Prop B would have forced even the best licensed breeders out of business. NOT ONE legal breeder could comply with Prop B without very significant changes, making their businesses not viable. And NOT ONE illegal breeder would be shut down by Prop B. It was ALL a LIE.

    Our legislators stepped in to prevent widespread disaster for 1400 small businesses in rural Missouri. Prop B would have caused hundreds of bankruptcies, foreclosures, massive unemployment, and literally tens of thousands of kennel dogs displaced and homeless or killed. Those illegal substandard ‘puppymills’ would thrive while the legitimate kennels went under. That is NOT what MOST voters intended to happen.

    The problem I have with the regulations is that they are not based on good veterinary science nor add any benefit to the dogs’ lives. It is ‘feel good’ legislation that does not work well in the real world. Forced unfettered access to outside extreme weather, elimination of surfaces that are best for the dogs’ health and kennel sanitation, and hands-on vet care for every dog every year are examples. Most kennel veterinarians think hands-on (taking and recording temperatures, respirations, heart-rates) is ridiculous, especially since they see every dog every year already and health check every puppy. This rule is unnecessary and time-consuming to vets and expensive to breeders, and of NO benefit to the dogs.

    The added costs are certainly a concern in this depressed economy. I think the dog breeding industry is very much misunderstood by most people. The idea of huge profits for minimal work is just ridiculous. Dog breeding is very labor intensive, demanding, expensive, sometimes heartbreaking, and takes a very caring, dedicated person. The ‘evil dog breeder’ is a myth created by the animal rights extremists.

  8. How can you separate puppies from their mother and force her to be continuously pregnant for your own profit and call that a caring job? Why don’t you pump out children and give them away, see how you’d feel then.

  9. Continually pregnant? Are you kidding? Do you know anything at all about canine reproduction? Dogs are not people. A female dog is pregnant for 2 months and nurtures her puppies for another 6 weeks, more or less. Then she enjoys a 3 month to a year vacation before she cycles and can be bred again. That hardly qualifies for being ‘continually pregnant’. Nope, can’t force her to breed before Mother Nature and her hormones decide she is ready.

    Contrary to popular animal rights’ belief, most female dogs are naturally excellent mothers and love raising their puppies. In fact, it is quite natural for a healthy female dog to breed, whelp, and raise puppies. We supervise and support this very natural process.

    I guess you are upset that we charge money for the puppies? It is expensive to house, feed, groom, clean up after, vaccinate, microchip, and otherwise care for the breeding dogs and their puppies, not to mention licensing fees, vet bills, registration fees, etc. Why should we not recoup some of our expenses? Even the ‘rescues’ and shelters charge money for the dogs and puppies they sell.

  10. Recoup expenses or make money for yourselves at the expense of an animal that is forced to give up her young? Are you sure she’s enjoying three months to a year of vacation or is she recovering from having her young taken away and her basic mothering and nurturing instincts unnecessarily assaulted for your financial gain. As for shelters charging money, they’re paying their employees who are helping save lives. You, on the other hand, are contributing to pet overpopulation just so you can have money in your pocket. I hope it feels good to know that every dog you sell for your profit is another dog that is euthanized. Sounds like an awesome rewarding career to me.

  11. I guess you have never experienced raising a litter of puppies: Even the most nurturing mother dog is anxious to part with her puppies soon after weaning. It is a very natural, normal canine process.. In fact, if forced to share accomodations much past weaning with their puppies, they tend to develop an antagonistic relationship with them.
    SJC, you are projecting human emotions and feelings unto dogs, who have no such capabilities. Dogs do not process thoughts in the same way as humans do. They certainly do not bond for life with their mates or their young. Again, dogs are NOT humans in fur coats. We love them, provide for them, and share our lives with them. But we are the caretakers; they are our pets.

  12. Dogs are pack animals, so yes, they do bond with each other and yes the offspring stay with the pack. Research suggests that dogs do have emotions, but if you choose to ignore this to make yourself feel better about breeding, then I guess there isn’t much more to discuss. You’ll justify breeding regardless of scientific evidence, so this argument is pointless.

  13. You seem to have a hoarder mentality…..keeping all dogs in one big pack; if they have babies, keep them, too.
    Packing is certainly seen in wild dogs, but today’s domesticated dogs are bred to be companions to humans, and they look to humans to provide for them. As long as their human is providing food, protection, comfort, and companionship, they have no need or desire to build an extensive pack with other dogs.
    Your argument is a little confusing. You begin one sentence with ‘research suggests’ and turn it into ‘scientific evidence’ in the next sentence. One thing is definitely scientific: If dog breeding was stopped today, and no more dogs were born (as Wayne Pacelle, HSUS, wants), in a few short years, canine companionship would be a distant memory.

  14. I don’t have a hoarding mentality, I’m not the one purposefully breeding these animals. If anyone is hoarding, its the breeders who instead of neutering the animals, continuously promote and support and encourage the animals to breed just to earn a profit at the expense of the animals involved. Your argument is confusing because if the dogs don’t have a desire to build an extensive pack then why are you allowing them to breed in the first place? Oh that’s right, so you can profit from them and contribute to overpopulation. Research is science, not sure if you were aware of that. Finally, i breeding was stopped millions of animals wouldn’t need to be unnecessarily euthanized because people would adopt from shelters. Every dog you breed is killing another. Fantastic on you. Way to help the situation.

  15. OMG, if all breeding was stopped, just where do you think that the shelters will get the dogs for people to adopt? Clone them? In a few years when shelters are empty and everyone’s dogs get old and die (dogs don’t live forever)……then what? Where will the next generation of dogs come from? THEY WILL BE EXTINCT! I guess then you and your fellow animal rights radicals will finally be satisfied. No more pets! The ideal world of HSUS, ASPCA, PETA, etc.
    Think I will go hug my puppies now………

  16. You’re exaggeration is a bit dramatic. Roughly 5-7 million animals enter shelters nation wide That’s far from extinction. I’m not radical, I’m just rational. Try it out sometime. Have fun hugging your money….errr I mean puppies.

  17. I should clarify in case you can’t follow. That’s 5-7 million animals per year (3-4 million of them are euthanized) So if you were to do the math, (not sure if you can based on your extinction claim) it will take a long, long time for animals to become extinct if we stop breeding, even considering the amount we’re forced to euthanize. Hope this helps you understand how you’re contributing to the problem.

  18. I guess YOU don’t understand that dogs have a LIMITED LIFESPAN. No matter how many millions are in shelters now, they will ALL age and die in a matter of years. If you are very young (around 15 years old?), maybe you think 12 to 18 years is a “long, long time”. I don’t. I think it would be a tragedy if my grandkids have to grow up. in a world without dogs.

  19. You’re extrapolation skills are fantastic. Take some math classes and get back to me.

  20. Correction *Your* extrapolation skills are fantastic. Take some math classes and get back to me.

  21. What math? This is incredibly simple. The ONLY math to faction in is the lifespan of a dog, because if no more dogs are produced, the ONLY result possible is extinction in 12 to 18 years when the last dog dies. Very simple and has nothing to do with how many dogs are in shelters. I guess you are even younger than I thought.

  22. That’s assuming that every dog is neutered today which I’m sure you can understand is impossible. Here’s a stat for you “In 6 years, one female dog and her offspring can be the source of 67,000 puppies.” That’s the math I’m asking you to do. There are strays that will continue to reproduce, and irresponsible pet owners that will continue to allow their animals to breed. What I’m saying is that by purposely allowing the animals to breed you’re contributing to over population. By encouraging your pets to produce offspring you’re adding more animals to the already overly saturated population. Do you understand yet?

  23. Lol, so “if all dog-breeding were stopped today and no more dogs were born” to you means only stopping the regulated, legal, responsible breeding for the pet and show industry? Oh, the devious minds of the animal rights radicals! Stop the purposeful breeding of quality dogs for pet homes, but not the source of shelter dogs. LOL I guess shelters/rescues want to be the only sellers of puppies and dogs. Don’t like the competition?
    So you would welcome the indiscriminate breeding of strays and irresponsible pet owners’ dogs to continue so the shelters could still sell dogs from those ‘irresponosible’ breedings (just like they do now)? Maybe the shelters would have to start breeding those dogs, too. There would be a drastic shortage of dogs within a year, even in your warped scenario.

  24. This argument is pointless. You’re missing my point entirely and I don’t have the energy or patience to dumb it down for you to understand. I hope you’re using more education with your puppy making business than you’re demonstrating here. Best of luck to your money making machines (ie dogs)

  25. SJC, you are so focused on your ‘point’ and your agenda that you cannot see any other reality. I live and operate in the real world where dog breeding is a viable, needed and appreciated business, as voiced by many customers over the years. My customers and their canine companions (provided by me!) are what makes it worthwhile to dedicate the long hours and endless work it takes to produce these healthy, happy puppies that they love!

  26. “Healthy happy puppies”.That’s funny, wasnt it you who was claiming just a few posts ago that animals aren’t capable of having emotions and feelings? Last I heard happiness was an emotion. In any case, for every “healthy happy puppy ” you “produce” another one has to be euthanized. Yes, your story truly is heartwarming.

  27. I was pointing out that dogs are not people and do not have the same human emotions and thoughts. You keep confusing humans and canines. You also are unusually fixated on death. Quit killing dogs when I have puppies. You must love to kill them, but It is not necessary. My customers do not shop at shelters, so your dead dog was not deprived of a home because of my puppy. Get over it. That is just another ridiculous myth created by the AR industry to further their agenda. Makes a catchy phrase, but it is a lie.

  28. You’re absurd. Good luck.

  29. ken yarow: I see I struck a nerve, I guess you are those people who harm animals and then say they don’t… I see you’re only in it for the money and don’t care one bit about the well fair of any animals. Don’t you see anything wrong with the picture above. You’re sad! You have no idea what you are talking about. Stop breeding animals for profit that is all we are saying. How would you like to be placed in a cage for most of your life, being made to breed babies one after the other and once you can’t produce babies you are either euthanized or discarded as waste. YOU ARE SO SAD!!!!

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