The Humane Society released a report about "Missouri's Dirty Dozen," the worst licensed puppy mills in the state. These are exactly the kinds of operations that would be forced to get their act together or go out of business if Proposition B passes in November. The report is not pretty, but worth reading if you care about animal welfare. Among the findings at the facilities:
• Thin-coated breeds shivering in the cold in temperatures as low as 9 degrees; others found trying to lick frozen water in their bowls or break it with their paws
• Animals “lethargic and reluctant to rise”
• Dogs with open, oozing or bleeding wounds who had not been treated by a vet
• Sick or dying puppies who had not been treated by a vet
• Filthy conditions, such as stacked cages that allow feces and urine to rain down on the dogs in lower tiers.
And remember how the tea partiers claimed that all the existing laws take care of this problem? Well, the report also found that many of the mills already had over 50 state or federal welfare violations over the last few years yet were still liscensed. In fact, one kennel, S & & Family Puppies, had "more than 500 pages of Animal Welfare Act violations and enforcement records on file with the USDA."
The report also contains an important summary of how Proposition B will help:
Approximately 200,000 dogs are confined for life in small wire cages in puppy mills in Missouri, many of them in conditions like those described above. This is simply unacceptable.
Under Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, conditions leading to distress and suffering in dogs, such as painful wire flooring, lack of proper vet care, overcrowded cages, and scant protection from the elements will be more clearly addressed under the law.
Proposition B’s requirements are extremely modest and, unlike the current regulatory scheme which is complex and difficult to understand, will provide clear and consistent guidance to inspectors. The measure requires access to nutritious food daily and continuous access to drinkable water, veterinary care for illness or injury, and adequate space and exercise.
Proposition B will increase enforcement in general, and specifically increase and facilitate local law enforcement as compared to the existing vague and highly technical puppy mill regulations.
The measure not only provides new, easily understandable criminal penalties for mistreatment, it does so without wiping out or eliminating the existing laws and penalties.
Proposition B will apply to all large-scale commercial dog dealers whether the owner is licensed or not, and ensures that dogs in such large-scale breeding facilities receive basic humane care.
Dogs in Missouri deserve no less than these basic protections.
You can also watch the KSDK story on the report here (note the brilliant response of the breeder front group was to "question the timing of the report"):
Remember: Vote Yes on Prop B!