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A plea for Prop B: save the puppies

November 2, 2010

While no one on the Current Instincts payroll is from Missouri, we all believe that Proposition B — also known as  the Puppy Mill Initiative — should pass.  The bill isn’t really all that extreme — similar regulatory measures have been passed in 15 other states according to a recent article in the New York Times — it simply ensures that breeders are treating their pups humanely and providing them with basic necessities like clean water, plenty of exercise and space, and enough food.

Photo by Paul L/ Creative Commons

A puppy.

Missouri has more licensed commercial dog breeders than any other state — a total of 1,431 — and the Humane Society estimates that at least 30 percent of the pups sold in pet stores nationwide come from Missouri. While there are plenty of good breeders in the state, there are also a ton of bad that severely mistreat man’s best friend.

On KansasCity.com, Cynthia Smith, president of Wayside Waif, an animal rescue shelter in Kansas City, wrote:

“Missouri is the undisputed puppy mill capital of the world … Over the last five years, Wayside Waifs has opened its doors to 366 dogs rescued from Missouri puppy mills, including 10 animals just last month.”

You may be wondering why anyone would be against this initiative? After all, who doesn’t love puppies.

Opponents of Prob B argue that for the most part, licensed breeders treat their dogs humanely and that this initiative will put them out of business since it would decrease the number of dogs that they could have at one time.

“If this passes, the ones that will continue to flourish are the illegal breeders,” Mindy Patterson, campaign manager of the Alliance for Truth, told KansasCity.com.

That’s a valid, rational point, Patterson –- no one wants people to lose their jobs, especially in this economy. It’s just too bad the crazies are on your side.

Husky puppy photo by Scott Kinmartin/Creative Commons.

More puppies.

You see the more — shall we say — radical opponents of Prop B argue that this is just another one of the Humane Society’s conspiracies to “to end pet ownership, ban hunting and institute vegetarianism throughout the United States.” This sentiment was voiced by non-Missourian Joe the Plumber (yes, THE Joe the Plumber) on the Alliance for Truth website. Mr. Plumber wrote:

“This bill is just a stepping stone. [Humane Society of the United States] eventually wants to extend this law to ALL animals. Their idea of utopia is a United States with NO animal ownership; NO meat to eat; NO pets; NO hunting; NO fishing; NO service animals.” (From KansasCity.com)

Can someone say, “drama queen”? We here at Current Instincts think that that’s just a bunch of baloney. Why? Well, for starters, the lead quote on the dog section of the Humane Society’s website states:

“Dogs give us a lifetime of unconditional love and loyalty—what more could we ask for? We’ve got all you need to know about dogs, from adoption info, care tips, and how to train your mutt.”

It’s just a hunch of ours that a group who wants to eliminate pet ownership would not be providing resources to help people adopt pets — everything from cats and dogs to mice and rats.

Prop B isn’t arguing eliminate breeding in the state — that’s not even close to true. The exact words that Missourians will read on today’s ballot are:

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;
  • prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and
  • create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?

Supporters of Prop B just want to improve the quality of  life for dogs, not egregiously limit breeding.  So if you’re voting today in Missouri — do right by puppies everywhere and vote yes on Prop B. And for you non-Missourians, do your part and don’t buy pups from pet stores — adopt!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack Weiland permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:58 am

    I cannot believe 933 thousand Missourians voted AGAINST Prop B. Wow.

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