February 2011 Blog Home April 2011

23 posts from March 2011

March 31, 2011

Comprehensive Anti-Cruelty Law Awaits Governor’s Signature in Mississippi

Mississippi is one of only four states in the nation that does not allow felony penalties for the worst abuses of dogs and cats. For years, animal protection advocates have worked to strengthen the state’s law against extreme animal cruelty, only to be stymied by agricultural interests that didn’t want it to happen.

Dog named Wonder rescued from Mississippi hoarding case
Valerie Brehm
Wonder, a dog rescued from Mississippi, in her foster home.

Now, road-blocking has come to a merciful end. Yesterday, the Mississippi House passed a bill that would make egregious animal cruelty a felony on the second offense, following the lead of the Senate. This legislation, SB 2821, is a product of a compromise between animal advocates and agricultural leaders.

Specifically, the new leadership at the Mississippi Farm Bureau was willing to sit down with our Mississippi state director, Lydia Sattler, to hammer out a bill that both sides could agree on. We’re grateful to farm bureau president Randy Knight for his support of this measure, and the leadership he’s provided.

If the bill is signed by Gov. Haley Barbour, aggravated cruelty to dogs and cats will be punishable as a felony on the second offense. It will no longer be legal to leave dogs outside in the hot sun or freezing cold without adequate shelter. And pet rabbits and other animals will be protected from cruelty under the law for the first time in a decade. 

Though the final bill is not as strong as its sponsor, staunch animal protector Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, would have liked, Dearing hopes to upgrade the law to a first-offense felony in the future. We’ll also be supporting efforts to increase protection for dogs kept by inhumane puppy mills and animal hoarders. Even under this bill, those who neglect multiple dogs in a hoarding or puppy mill case could only be charged with one count of animal cruelty, regardless of how many dogs are affected. Still, this measure is a major step, and we welcome it.

Strengthening Mississippi’s animal cruelty law strikes close to home for those of us at HSUS. Last March, we worked with law enforcement and other animal groups to remove more than 160 dogs and cats from awful conditions at a hoarding situation in Preston, Miss. One of the dogs removed from this abject misery was a terrified, blind Australian shepherd mix.

With loving care from the Tampa Bay SPCA and a foster family, this dog has come out of her shell and is ready to find a forever home. You can read an update about “Wonder” on our website.

Once this bill is signed by Gov. Barbour, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota will be the only remaining states in the nation where there is nothing a person can do to an animal, no matter how depraved, that constitutes a felony offense. The HSUS is committed to working with our friends, supporters, and even our traditional adversaries in those states to ensure that communities – including people and animals – are protected from those capable of such gratuitous and senseless violence. 

Editor's note: Gov. Barbour signed the anti-cruelty bill on April 4.

March 30, 2011

A Tiny Dog Makes a Big Splash Against Puppy Mills

Earlier today, I held a tiny, new little life in my hands. And then I made an introduction. I introduced a 9-week-old Yorkshire terrier, named Sebastian, to freshman Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, a former combat marine and FBI agent, who was actively looking for a rescue dog. 

“Right after I got elected, I decided I wanted a dog,” Grimm told me in front of several of his staffers, reporters, and my HSUS colleagues. “I knew I wanted a rescue dog, and a small one who could live out of my office.”

Rep. Grimm with Sebastian, his adopted puppy mill dog, and Wayne Pacelle
Courtesy Rep. Grimm's office
Rep. Grimm with me and Sebastian earlier today

Over the past several months, the HSUS has worked with Columbia Second Chance to care for puppy mill dogs rescued in Missouri and transport them to our placement partners. Columbia Second Chance had rescued Sebastian’s mother and his litter mates from a puppy mill in February–sadly, two other puppies died as a direct result of the lack of care in the puppy mill. Our staff knew Rep. Grimm was looking for a dog, and we worked with Columbia Second Chance to find the right match. After helping more than 120 other dogs from Missouri puppy mills at Columbia Second Chance last week, our staff brought Sebastian to D.C. to meet his new family on Capitol Hill.  

For Rep. Grimm at least, it was love at first sight. There were smiles all around—beaming smiles—especially from the Congressman and his staff. Sebastian is going to use the lawmaker’s fifth floor Capitol Hill office as his playground during the day, and go home with Rep. Grimm when the workday ends—and be his companion whether Grimm’s in Washington or at his home on Staten Island. When the Congressman travels internationally, it appears a fight could break out among the staff to determine who gets to look after the tiny Yorkie. He’s definitely that popular.

The personal is the political in Washington, and we are grateful that Rep. Grimm introduced H.R. 198, legislation enabling shelter dogs to become part of a pilot program for military veteran therapy and rehabilitation. Mr. Grimm is also is co-sponsoring the PUPS Act (Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act) to crack down on puppy mills. That’s a bill HSUS is determined to pass in this Congress, as part of our broader effort to turn around the puppy mill problem in America. Now, Rep. Grimm has a special incentive and case example to help drive that policy reform forward.

This heart-warming union (watch the video below) coincides with an interesting back story in Missouri, where Sebastian was born. There, some state lawmakers are moving decidedly to repeal Prop B, and we are in a major battle to protect what the voters decided just a few months ago. This adorable puppy, who arrived at the rescue group riddled with parasites and lice and exposed to deadly parvovirus which claimed the life of another puppy, would most likely have been sold over the Internet or through a pet store to an unsuspecting buyer, who would never have seen the filthy conditions his mother and other breeding dogs were living in for years.

Instead, he’s got a great life ahead of him. And we expect he’ll be a great ambassador for puppy mill dogs and other pets in need of rescue. 

March 29, 2011

Creating a Sanctuary for Wildlife, One Tree at a Time

Americans connect with wildlife through bird watching, photography, and other wildlife-oriented pursuits. More than 70 million of us enjoy observing our wild neighbors, whether it’s in a national park or from our own backyard or city balcony.

John and Sue Gregoire are not only bird watchers, but field ornithologists who gather important information about avian life through observation and bird banding. When they moved to their home in western New York more than 25 years ago, the property was open and bare—lacking the habitat that is crucial for wildlife to survive.

The Gregoires set about restoring natural habitats that would provide food, water, and shelter for wild animals. They transformed their land into a vibrant sanctuary, planting more than 10,000 trees and creating several ponds and wetlands that have blossomed with native plant life.

After decades of tending to the land, the Gregoires today live on a diverse, forested 60 acres known as the Kestrel Haven Avian Migration Observatory. They’ve sighted more than 200 species of birds there, as well as bears, deer, bats, coyotes, and other animals. They decided to protect their land as perpetual wildlife habitat through a conservation easement with the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

“I want a place where wildlife can flourish, and where wildlife can call sanctuary,” John Gregoire says. To hear him recount the story of how he and Sue created this remarkable haven for wildlife, watch our new slideshow of images and sounds from the property.

Since its founding, our Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has helped protect more than 1.8 million acres of habitat in 38 states and eight other countries. If you’re interested in protecting your property as a permanent wildlife sanctuary, visit the website for more information. Or if you’re interested in welcoming wild visitors to your backyard, you can join our Urban Wildlife Sanctuary Program.

P.S. If you live near a Buffalo Exchange store (see the list here), please help support the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust and Urban Wildlife Sanctuary Program by shopping at the Earth Day Dollar Day sale on April 16.

March 28, 2011

Coming Together to Save Neglected Horses

It was the abuse of the horse that prompted the formation of the humane movement in the middle of the 19th century. Nearly a century and a half later, it’s still a problem, though the form is often different. Our equine cruelty specialist, Stacy Segal, sent an update to me recently about the continuing progress we have made in a case we first responded to last December, when staff from our Animal Rescue Team headed to east Texas to assist law enforcement with a large-scale horse neglect case.

Rescued horses at the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center
Anne Rathbun Favre/ The HSUS
Two formerly neglected horses rescued from east Texas
graze at the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center.

The scene was heart-wrenching: more than 40 quarter horses, ranging in age from 5 months to more than 20 years old without adequate food or water.

Here’s Stacy’s report and an update on the case:

When we first arrived on the scene in December, many of the horses were underweight and suffering from parasite infestations and painfully overgrown hooves. But the most tragic sight was the skeletons scattered across the landscape, giving silent testimony to those who suffered and died before law enforcement could act.

We swung into action to help the remaining horses, working with law enforcement and other rescue groups including the SPCA of East Texas, the Humane Society of North Texas, and Safe Haven Equine Rescue & Retirement Home.

We moved the horses to an emergency shelter nearby, where we spent more than two months providing round-the-clock care and feeding to nurse these animals back to health. Holiday cheer came to our team not in the form of gifts, but in the horses’ happy nickering sounds and bright eyes as we watched our charges begin to thrive physically.

This was just the beginning, though. To give these horses the successful futures they deserve, we knew we had to invest in their emotional and behavioral well-being and recovery as carefully and thoroughly as we were attending to their physical needs.

We put a call out for help to the local horse community, and they came forward in droves. Natural horsemanship trainers throughout the region have agreed to take dozens of horses for training. Five others are being schooled at HSUS’ Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in Texas, and all will be debuted at the grand opening on May 14.

When word got out about the chance to adopt a horse trained by professionals, the adoption applications poured in. Approved adopters showed up at the shelter to watch their horses be loaded up for training and are eagerly following their progress on Facebook.

For us, this rescue represents a new paradigm: one where the horse industry and the animal welfare community work together to give needy horses the leg up they deserve.

I’m happy to report that about half of the Texas horses have now been adopted, and the others are making great progress with their trainers. Be sure to watch for updates on these special horses as we move toward the grand opening of our Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center on May 14. Meanwhile, staff from the HSUS, the ASPCA, and other groups continue to provide care for more than 100 neglected equines in Arkansas who were also rescued in December.

March 25, 2011

Talk Back: Your Adopted Pet Stories

Last week, I invited you to submit your photos and stories about your adopted pets and what they mean to you. You sent an amazing variety of images and anecdotes — from dogs rescued from puppy mills, to cats found in an abandoned building, to an elderly pet rat adopted from a local shelter. But the common thread running through all these stories is how important and rewarding it is to adopt a companion animal.

Many of you wrote about animals who are sometimes overlooked at shelters, such as older pets, rabbits, and other small animals. It’s a great reminder that these animals also need homes, and that they usually end up at shelters through no fault of their own. Here are a few of your photos and comments about your pets.

This is Cody. We adopted him in August of 2007 at PetSmart from a shelter in Washington, Pa. They had found him dirty and hungry, wandering along the highway. He was a joy from day one. We already had two cats and Cody immediately warmed up to them. By the end of the first day he and our cat, Ellie, were sleeping together. He is a really smart dog and listens well. He is sweet and loving and I can't imagine not having him. The best pets come from shelters. They seem to know they are being given a second chance and are now in their forever home. —June

This is my beautiful, sweet girl Elle! I adopted Elle from a rescue when she was 3 months old. She will be 3 years old on Friday. Elle has truly changed my life, and my heart overflows with love for her. She has such a friendly, intuitive personality and is my best friend. Elle loves to play, take walks, and spend time with her family. Seeing the spirit and life in her eyes has opened my heart and eyes to the need of protecting the animals in this world. I hope that we truly become a "Humane Nation" so that all animals are allowed to live happily in their innocence! —Carly

This is Ozzie, adopted from a very crowded Worcester County (Maryland) Humane Society in 2007. There were tons of young kittens and lots of beautiful older cats that turned my head at the shelter. But as soon as these eyes looked back into mine, that was it. This formerly feral 5-year-old kitty with scars and asthma took over my heart and my home starting that day. —Janet

Continue reading "Talk Back: Your Adopted Pet Stories" »

March 24, 2011

Breaking News: Hundreds of Dogs, Cats, and Other Animals Rescued in Arizona

Today, our Animal Rescue Team is on the scene of a 44-acre property in rural Arizona, where The HSUS responded to a call from the Apache County Sheriff’s Department to assist in a large-scale animal hoarding rescue (see photos from the rescue below). HSUS staff members are still working today to remove all the animals from the property, but our director of animal cruelty, Adam Parascandola, took a moment to send this report early this morning.

On this remote property outside Show Low, Arizona, more than 200 dogs, cats, chickens, and other animals have been living in filthy pens, trailers, and broken-down vehicles. There is no running water here, and most of the animals appeared to have no water to drink.

Many of the dogs were suffering from untreated injuries, dehydration, and severe skin conditions that left them with missing fur and scabs on their skin. We found several litters of puppies, some of them very anemic, as well as extremely underweight animals. A veterinarian was on hand to check these animals and provide emergency care as needed.

The cats were living in a trailer where ammonia levels were so high that rescuers had to wear respirators inside. In one pen, we discovered a 700-pound pig with severely overgrown hooves and no food to be seen.

Sadly, we also found the remains of many animals buried in pits or left to decay. The skeletons, fur, and bone fragments of countless dogs and other animals are a tragic testament to the years of neglect they endured. Though we couldn’t save these animals, I’m so glad that local law enforcement contacted The HSUS for help and that hundreds of animals are now on their way to better lives.

The woman who was keeping these animals has a long history of animal hoarding in Colorado, where she had been the subject of a cease-and-desist order, and she apparently fled to this rural part of Arizona. Some of the animals we found on the property are elderly and could have been living in these conditions for years. The Apache County Sheriff’s Department received tips about problems on the property, but did not have the resources to seize and care for so many animals. That’s why they called on us to assist with animal handling, transportation, sheltering, and placement.

Now that the sheriff has seized the animals, The HSUS is removing them from the property and transporting them to a temporary shelter, where they’ll receive water, food, and veterinary attention. United Animal Nations is providing care and sheltering assistance, and PetSmart Charities® has generously donated pet food and other essential supplies, as well as sending staff to the emergency shelter.

We also learned that local law enforcement has arrested the owner on animal cruelty charges. Though animal hoarders sometimes begin with good intentions, there’s no doubt that these animals were suffering. Finally, this long saga of mistreatment and neglect is coming to an end.

P.S. HSUS staff are also in Missouri this week, helping a local group with veterinary care, transportation, and placement of more than 120 puppy mill dogs to HSUS Emergency Services Placement Partners.

March 23, 2011

My New Book, The Bond: How You Can Get Involved

I’d like to enlist your help, and ask you to take a few moments and get involved in the promotion of my new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them to be published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, on April 5. The book is part manifesto, part memoir, but it’s certainly a big-picture look at the major debates about how humans treat animals—delving into the issues of seal hunting, whaling, factory farming, animal fighting, puppy mills, and other major concerns; chronicling the fights of the past years; highlighting the battles ahead; and calling out the people and groups standing in the way. 

In the beginning of the book, I explain my views on the instinctive connection we have with other animals—which I call the bond. In the middle part of the book, I describe how that bond has been broken in so many ways. And at the end, I try to provide a roadmap on how we can restore the bond and find a better way of living with animals and not leaving a trail of animal victims in our wake.

You and thousands of others can also help to promote the book—and the ideas that make up the book—by participating in a photo contest organized by HarperCollins to showcase images that celebrate your own special relationship with an animal in your life. You can enter your photo here before 5 p.m. Eastern on April 4. One grand prize winner of “The Bond Contest” will have their photo featured on humanesociety.org, have $1,000 donated in their name to the HSUS Shelter Partner of their choice, and receive a signed copy of The Bond.

Here are the guidelines for entering the photo contest:

  • The photo should feature you and an animal with whom you share a special bond.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by a caption describing this bond in 70 words or less.
  • Images must be good quality, crisp, and clear.
  • You must be the parent or legal guardian of any child that appears in the photo.
  • You are limited to five contest entries.

To get you in the right frame of mind, please take a look at the latest video about The Bond and see what others are saying about it.

You can also vote two times per day for your favorite entries at www.thebondcontest.com. Judging will be done in two rounds—the first round will be determined by public voting, and the second round will be judged by a panel of HarperCollins employees.

Next month, I’ll be visiting more than a dozen cities to talk about The Bond at local bookstores. Please join me if any of these locations are near you. I’m looking forward to sharing my story with you and reaching even more people about restoring the bond with animals and building a society that exhibits an active concern for other creatures.

P.S. You can find out how to preorder the book here.

P.P.S. By purchasing The Bond, you’ll also support the Humane Society of the United States’ work to celebrate animals and confront cruelty, since The HSUS is receiving a portion of the advances paid by the publisher and possible future royalties.

March 22, 2011

Allegations of Fraud and Waste at World’s Largest Chimpanzee Laboratory

In March 2009, The HSUS released scenes from its undercover investigation into the world’s largest chimpanzee laboratory, the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Louisiana. What we found was deeply disturbing—chimpanzees falling onto cement and steel floors after being sedated with dart guns, animals mutilating themselves, infant chimpanzees who were prematurely removed from their mothers, and infant monkeys having tubes forced down their throats for research.

Now, we have obtained information showing that NIRC’s misuse of taxpayer dollars may have been more sweeping than we originally realized. As a consequence, we filed legal petitions last week urging the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate and to take appropriate action.

Young chimpanzee at New Iberia Research Center
Take action to help chimps at NIRC.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has a long-standing moratorium on breeding of chimpanzees owned or financially supported by the government. When we presented the results of our investigation to NCRR in 2009, the center claimed that the New Iberia facility wasn’t violating the breeding policy. The evidence we presented last week to the federal government casts doubt on that conclusion.

Since 2000, NCRR has given the New Iberia Research Center about $1 million per year to maintain a colony of chimpanzees there. This agreement, signed by NIRC, specifically incorporates the moratorium on breeding activities within the colony, including federally owned chimpanzees. However, according to public records, NIRC has repeatedly bred federally owned chimpanzees to produce 123 infants between 2000 and 2009—despite grant reports from the laboratory claiming that it takes measures to prevent pregnancies.

NIRC also has a contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—another NIH institute—specifically to breed as many as 12 infant chimpanzees per year. This federal entity has paid NIRC more than $6 million since 2002 under this contract, and 50 of the 123 infants were used to fulfill this contract.

One of our most disturbing findings is that an additional 14 infants born at NIRC were killed by adult chimpanzees, likely due to negligent management practices and overcrowding at the laboratory. The documents describing these injuries are very graphic.

Our petition to the Secretary of Health and Human Services requests that, if evidence of wrongdoing is confirmed, these two NIH divisions immediately stop funding NIRC’S chimpanzee research and terminate their contracts with the facility. We also urge the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately remove about 130 government-owned chimpanzees from NIRC and retire them to reputable sanctuaries, with appropriate funding for this retirement, as it is clear that the facility cannot properly care for these animals. 

Our separate petition to the Department of Justice urges the agency to investigate and commence enforcement proceedings for violations of the False Claims Act, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment, which could allow the federal government to recoup more than $30 million for public funds obtained and spent by New Iberia.

The chimpanzees at New Iberia have suffered for too long—this facility should be retiring chimpanzees to sanctuary, not bringing more animals into a dismal life there. It’s time for the federal government to get to the bottom of the abuses occurring at NIRC, to protect chimpanzees, and to stop the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

March 21, 2011

Celebrating Animal Protection and Looking Ahead

I was so pleased to be with so many supporters, nominees, and celebrities at this past Saturday’s Genesis Awards, which celebrated its 25th year of recognizing the news media and the entertainment industry for incorporating animal protection themes into their reporting or creative works. The Colbert Report won in the comedy category for mocking bullfighters. The Oprah Winfrey Show won an award for a series of pieces on animal issues, including one exposing Japan’s dolphin slaughter, while How To Train Your Dragon carried away an award for an inspiring message about tolerance and respect for all living creatures. Here’s a list of the winners and the nominees (watch video highlights below, and tune in to Animal Planet at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday, April 30 to watch, with an encore presentation on Sunday, May 1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT).

I mentioned to the assembled audience that we were gathered in Los Angeles at a time when foreign affairs dominates the front pages of America’s newspapers, and observed that some might think that our concerns about animals are disconnected from these events.

Obviously, the democratic uprising in North Africa and the Middle East that began in Tunisia and spread throughout the region has nothing directly to do with animals. But, as I write in my forthcoming book, The Bond, the movement for the protection of animals could never have happened without the political reforms that began in the United States and the other parts of the west more than 200 years ago. The core components of our western democracies were built from the ground up at that time—an expression of the rights of the individual, free speech, and democratic governing by the people. These principles set the stage for later reform movements to end slavery, to provide for women’s suffrage, to promote civil rights, and in time to promote animal protection.

From its first stirrings in our country in the 19th century, animal protection has always been deeply connected to the broader principles of justice and fairness and the rights of the individual. We could not have a movement for animal protection before the values set forth in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were in place. And the best hope for animal protection across the world rests on the successful spread of these democratic ideals to nations that have long known only autocracy and dictatorship. The progress of a civil society flows from the rule of law and democratic government—the enhancement of women’s rights, the protection of free speech, and the growth of a robust non-profit sector. I personally wish for the success of the people in the streets from Bahrain to Libya, among other reasons, because it will be good for the people and, down the road, it will be good for the plight of animals.

We are also obviously riveted by what’s happening in Japan, which is reeling from a triple catastrophe wrought by nature—the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear incident.

Japan, as those of us immersed in animal welfare know, has not been a nation known for its kindness to animals. It is the world’s leading whaling nation, and it has a shameful record on other wildlife protection issues. But there are many more animal protection groups in the nation now than there were five or 10 or certainly 20 years ago. These groups have established a beachhead, and now is our moment to support them and encourage their work within Japanese society.

Just as Hurricane Katrina was a moment when we saw the evidence of the human-animal bond at work, those same opportunities exist now in Japan, and that’s just one reason why we are providing funding and expertise to animal protection organizations there and sending a planeload of much-needed supplies.

As I also write in The Bond, so many of us in American society have different passions—and that’s a good thing. Some are deeply committed to curing diseases that afflict people, or protecting the environment, or sheltering the homeless or fighting poverty. And so many of us here are deeply concerned about fighting cruelty to animals.

In that pluralism of concerns, we have the matrix of a civil and compassionate society. We are so lucky to have so many people, in their own ways and with their own focus, working to build a more humane society. It is all tied together, driven by the same impulses to be good and decent to the less fortunate.

It is important that none of us be bystanders in the presence of so many problems in society. The prospects for change and social change increase dramatically through collective action of socially aware and active people.

HSUS tries every day to harness the energy of millions of people aware of animal cruelty and determined to do something about it. We remind the nation as a whole and increasingly the people of other nations of the world about our instinctive kinship with other creatures and of our responsibilities to the less powerful. HSUS is committed to taking on the biggest forms of cruelty, whether factory farming, animal fighting, puppy mills, or seal clubbing. And we intend to do our part within a civil society to call for the decent and humane treatment of all beings.

March 18, 2011

Talk Back: Prop B Must Be Upheld

As readers of the blog know, the Missouri Senate voted last week to hollow out Prop B and just leave the shell. The opponents of Prop B in the Senate and House claim they’ve read the voter-approved law and they say it goes too far, but whenever they talk about it, they demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about the actual provisions of Prop B, pre-Prop B standards, and the large-scale commercial dog breeding industry. Their claim that the voters are too stupid to understand what they did—even though these lawmakers can’t keep the provisions of the law straight in their own minds—is an incredible act of arrogance and political opportunism.

A dog in the snow at a licensed Missouri puppy mill
Contact Gov. Jay Nixon here.

This week, the state House of Representatives had a preliminary debate on House Bill 131, similar to the Senate bill, and a majority of lawmakers showed their intent to overturn this vote of the people. Just days later, dozens of Prop B supporters rallied at the Capitol to ask their legislators to uphold the will of the voters. And today, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times sounded off in favor of stronger standards for the care of dogs on puppy mills, citing a county ordinance that’s moving forward and dinging the lawmakers in Missouri for their reckless campaign against Prop B.

It is important for everyone to contact Gov. Jay Nixon to ask him to veto any legislation that weakens Prop B, and if you live in Missouri, to ask your representative to oppose SB 113. You can also help stop puppy mills in your community using our online action guide.

Your impassioned comments have poured in on this subject, and I wanted to devote today’s blog entry to your thoughts.

I am really embarrassed to live in the state of Missouri. I was born and raised here, but now maybe rethinking where I want to live. I am really tired of our Missouri politicians that vote against of the will of the people. The same votes that put them in office were respected so why are the votes for Prop B any different. I guess that they just do what suits them and their pocketbooks. Shame on you Missouri Senate!! —Cindy

As owners of a puppy mill dog who came from the humane society 5 years ago, we cannot believe that anyone would vote to overturn this Proposition, THAT THE VOTERS APPROVED! If the Senators would have to live the lives of these animals for just one week, there might be a different outcome. Our dog has permanent kidney damage and is now having seizures. We have spent a small fortune on her but we would not trade her for all the money in the world. She is the most wonderful pet we have ever owned and we love her dearly. It pains us greatly to think there are so many other dogs and animals out there that are having to go through the same horrendous conditions as she did in her puppy mill. —Charlene and Denver

News like this makes me embarrassed to be from Missouri. I have personally visited a commercial canine breeding 'facility' in Bowling Green and the way these animals are treated in most of these farms is absolutely appalling. The animals I saw had open wounds, were living in feces in tiny cages with wire floors and huge piles of feces under them, and were exposed to the weather. This particular 'breeder' kept puppies in rabbit hutch type cages with a blue tarp over the top and the rest of the dogs were kept in over the road type trailers. These animals are in terrible health. I don't understand how any decent human being could possibly condone the abuse of canines or any other animal... —Rob

It is a sad day for the dogs, and enough to make me cry. What was the purpose of us voting? —Judy

Continue reading "Talk Back: Prop B Must Be Upheld" »