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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
The HSUS
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

How can this happen? The voters were very clear on what they wanted…an end to being the Puppy Mill Capital of the U.S. and the protection of the mistreated animals who have no voice. The Missouri Senate has made it very clear that the people who voted have no more of a voice than the dogs they are trying to protect. Is this the will of the people? This has made a mockery of our rights to vote and decide what happens in our state. What has become of the greatest nation in the world? I am ashamed this is allowed to happen. —Terri

I cannot understand this kind of behavior. The Missouri legislators obviously hate dogs, but do they also hate the voters? What else could justify destroying a voter-approved initiative, and then taking steps to hog-tie the voters so they can never have another opportunity to address the horrible conditions and intense suffering of these unfortunate dogs? This isn't just an attack on people who care about animals; it's also an attack on the very basis of our democracy. For that, these legislators should be condemned for their behavior and as quickly as possible, voted out of office. They lack the required compassion, intelligence, and respect for the people that is needed to be effective leaders in the United States of America. They do not seem to understand that we do not work for them, but rather that they work for us. And they aren't doing a very good job! –Victoria

They don't care what's right, just what will get them re-elected. Shameful. —Liz

This news left my mouth open in disbelief and a great sadness in my heart. What was so bad about improving conditions for Missouri dogs in puppy mills that the state government is moving to put a stop to it?? I can't believe it! The majority of Missourians only wanted the right and decent thing: for dogs in puppy mills to not spend their lives in utter neglect and misery, as they now do. What possible defense can these politicians have for sabotaging the will of their own constituents? I'm not from Missouri, but if I were, I'd have to go to Jefferson City and demand an explanation, from my state senators and representative, and give them a piece of my mind! —Dave

For the life of me I can't understand the way humans are to other people and animals. It shows how truly cruel and evil people can be to turn a blind eye to suffering. They don't have a pet? Can they imagine their pet being born into this pain and suffering? It angers me and makes me so sad that anyone can do this. —Erin

I don't see how it is possible for anyone who has studied the issue to promote puppy mills when MILLIONS of unwanted dogs are being euthanized every year. Or does it always come down to money and profit rather than making the more difficult moral choices? —Judith

This sickens me. We vote for people to represent us and in hope that they will use common sense and good judgment when voting on our behalf. Making it easier for these people to abuse animals to make a quick buck IS WRONG. We need to remember this when it's time to vote and PLEASE stop buying puppies from pet stores/mills!!! —Amy

It is always sad when politicians elected "to do the right thing" support human greed at the expense of humanity and respect for other living creatures. And when it does not bother the voters in their constituencies. We are grateful for the Humane Society's efforts—please keep up the good work, any small change made is worth it. —Shalini

I don't understand how this can happen?? The people have spoken, period!!! Does this mean anything we vote on can be repealed? I hope those people who vote against Prop B can sleep at night... —Elaine

Un-American. A big spit in the face of Missouri voters. A repudiation of democracy. And a heartless and gutless attack on helpless dogs. Words cannot express just how angry I am. —Hal

I am absolutely appalled by what is transpiring in Missouri. Let us pray the governor does the right thing… —June

Yes, I am just as outraged as you Wayne! This is just ridiculous. The people voted and it should stay that way. Have any of these lawmakers actually gone to the puppy mills to see firsthand how sickening it is for these poor animals? Maybe they should to get the full extent of what goes on! Anyone that has any kind of compassion will do the right thing. If not, then it shows us what kind of people these so called lawmakers are! Just makes me angry! I know you will keep fighting for these animals and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! —Karen

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