Despite an opposition that was heavily funded by Missouri's robust and often inhumane animal breeding industry, Show-Me State voters narrowly passed Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act last year. Today the Missouri State Senate voted to repeal the proposition. Proposition B limits kennels to no more than fifty breeding dogs, requires annual hands-on veterinary exams, and larger, ground-level cages with access to the outdoors, rather than the stacked rows of cages where dogs literally live on top of each other, and can get pelted with other dogs' waste.
For the uninitiated, Missouri is ground zero for the nation's puppy mills. It is home to, among others, the Hunte Corporation, which is the largest puppy dealer in the world, with sales in thirty states, throughout the Americas, as well as Europe and Japan. As of 2007, the company bought and sold 90,000 puppies each year--I suspect the number is higher now.
In 2004, the Companion Animal Protection Society did undercover filming of what occurs inside the walls of the Hunte Corporation. The results were not pretty. Now, despite the will of Missouri voters, they will be able to continue their inhumanity.
Missouri Humane Society president Kathy Warnick can't help but feel outraged by watching the Proposition (the Humane Society wrote) get overturned.
"A total miscarriage of justice has occured," Warnick said, "simply because Missouri's citizens voted for Proposition B. The measure passed, and we feel the Senators should have respected the will of the people of Missouri to provide better care and conditions for the animals in Missouri's breeding facilities. We feel very strongly that the Senators have absolutely gutted proposition B, and that they have stripped away the protection Missouri's animals so richly deserve."
According to news reports, the Missouri House of Representatives is expected to follow the Senate's lead and pass this repeal bill. The one hope animal lovers have is Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D). Mr. Nixon has not stated whether he will sign or veto the repeal bill, and with re-election facing him next year, he needs to hear from voters that they support Proposition B, as passed by the voters, and that he should veto the repeal bill.
Missouri Kossacks, if you have the time, I strongly recommend contacting Gov. Nixon's office and politely explaining why he ought to veto this legislation. My dog Kita is a puppy mill rescue, and after almost two years with us, she still suffers some of the effects of her abuse at the puppy mill. Let's not allow this to happen to another defenseless animal.