Puppy Mill Repeal: Senate Bill 113 Allows Feces-Filled Water

Categories: Animals, Politics
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Jennifer Silverberg
A Senate bill would bring major changes to the Humane Society-backed initiative approved by voters in November.

Missouri Senate Bill 113, the effort to undo the voter-approved crackdown on dog breeders, Prop B, is widely expected to pass the Senate today. (It was approved by voice vote yesterday.) So what exactly does that mean?

Mostly, it means we need to wait and see what happens in the House. But here are the key components of SB 113 -- and how they differ from what voters approved in November.

The name is different. SB 113 pointedly refuses to call the state's dog breeding businesses "puppy mills," a term they find pejorative. (Last year, the breeders even filed a lawsuit trying to kick Prop B off the ballot, saying the bill's title, "The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act," was prejudicial.) The new legislation is called The Canine Cruelty Prevention Act; in the text of the bill, the pups are referred to as "dogs bred in large operations" as opposed to "dog in puppy mills."

SB 113 would remove Prop B's 50-dog limit. The initiative approved by voters strictly limited dog breeders to 50 dogs or fewer. The Senate bill places no limit on how many dogs a breeder can possess.

SB 113 would remove restrictions on how often a dog could breed.
Prop B limited all dogs -- male and female -- to breeding no more than twice in an 18-month period. (We're assuming the inclusion of males had been a mistake, since breeding doesn't take nearly the toll on males as it does on bitches. Sigh.) SB 113 removes all restrictions on male dogs and leaves a female's breeding frequency up to "what is recommended by a licensed veterinarian as appropriate for the species, age, and health of the dog."

SB 113 would increase the fees paid by breeders. Instead of $500 a year, breeders would pay $2,500 per year, plus $25 to fund Operation Bark Alert, the program that cracks down on their unlicensed counterparts.

SB 113 would take away the requirement that each dog be examined by a veterinarian annually.
Instead, it mandates that dogs get a "visual inspection" twice per year -- which we presume means that a vet could visit and quickly survey a breeder's dogs instead of examining each one.

SB 113 would remove the requirement that dogs get "unfettered access" an exercise area outdoors. Instead, the dog would get "the type and amount of exercise sufficient to comply with an exercise plan that has been approved by a licensed veterinarian...and where such plan affords the dog maximum opportunity for outdoor exercise as weather permits."

SB 113 would strip the requirement that dogs get continual water. Instead, breeders would be required to give the dog water every eight hours. Also, while Prop B mandated that the water be "free of debris, feces, algae, and other contaminants," the Senate bill removes that provision entirely. (Bring on the feces!)

SB 113 removes the requirement that the dog's living space be cleaned of waste at least once a day. Again, bring on the feces.

SB 113 removes the requirement that dogs have enough space to lie down and fully extend their limbs, plus a foot of headroom on top. The Senate bill also removes the requirement that each dog be given at least twelve square feet of space. It stipulates only that dogs must be given "appropriate space depending on the species of the animal, as specified in regulations by the Missouri department of agriculture, as revised."

SB 113 removes the threat of a class C misdemeanor for any breeder in violation of the requirements. Instead, breeders would face criminal charges only if they're found in repeated violation -- or in violation of an "agreed-to" remedial order. It would also add fines of up to $1,000.

SB 113 adds a provision requiring "an impervious barrier" between stacked cages.
By requiring that dogs be given twelve square feet, however, with a solid floor, Prop B would have essentially outlawed stacked cages entirely.



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192 comments
Mep491955
Mep491955

The facts, only the facts....We euthanize over THREE million adoptable dogs annually..Who is their right mind would want to bring more dogs into the world, when we cannot take care of the ones already here??It all comes down to greed and money..if breeders did not make money , they certainly would not be breeding dogs...It actually is pathetic that these people can only make money by having dogs mate.Don't they have ANY other skills than to put a male and a female dog together?Isn't there any other way that these people can bring in money????

Librarylady
Librarylady

As a new person to the page reading comments I do wonder at the lack of politeness and fairness and especially, facts. "Daisy" seems to have a pottymouth, calling anyone who doesn't agree with her names, rather than adressing their arguments with facts. I wonder what she will call me?Those who do not believe the conditions at these facilities should go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... and http://crasstalk.com/2011/03/w... and other sites. Most are not posted by the HSUS. It should also be noted that there are clear and constant horror stories about puppies bought from pet shops dying, diseased and with genetic problems. http://crasstalk.com/2011/04/p...It is also clear that legislators were paid for their votes to overturn Prop B or didn't even read the Bill see this sitehttp://www.stltoday.com/suburb... A lot of mis-information is being spread about what each bills actually says, with most people not reading either.It also seems a shame that most are forgetting the link between abuse of animals and abuse of other weak creatures, children and women. Being able to treat animals like that seems to mandate treatment of children in the same way.

“Animal abuse is one of the four indicators that the F.B.I. profilers use to asses future violent behavior, so I don’t see why we should not use it too,” said Diana S. Urban, a Democratic state representative in Connecticut who sponsored a bill mandating that animal control workers and child welfare workers cross-report suspected animal, child or domestic abuse. Frank R. Ascione, a professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work who has extensively studied the topic, said, “The research is pretty clear that there are connections between animal abuse and domestic violence and child abuse.” One study found that in 88 percent of homes where children were physically abused, pets were mistreated too. A 2007 study found that women abused by their intimate partner were 10 times more likely to report that their partner had hurt or killed one or more of their pets than women who were not abused. Professor Ascione, who also advises law enforcement officials in abuse cases, said that cross-reporting requirements helped foster early intervention. In several recent cases, he said, children hinted at animal abuse to teachers who alerted animal protection agencies. Those workers spotted warning signs of other types of abuse, and child welfare workers intervened only to find that the children themselves were being abused. “Often children are not willing to talk about what is happening to them, but they will talk about their concerns about what they are seeing done to their pets,” Professor Ascione said. source http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03...

With some many dogs waiting for good homes in animal shelters, some of them pet store dogs bought on a whim and later abandoned because they are no longer fashionable, I do wonder why some many dogs need to be bred. I forget the exact figure I think about 500,000 dogs are killed at shelters every year.

Money and politics seem to overide commonsense and humanity.

erin
erin

Have I stumbled over to the comments on the Post-Dispatch by accident? One person, going through and misusing caps and liking their own comments, and a hundred people feeding the troll.

Seriously, though, who can argue for puppy mills? Really.

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

Rooster1732 now has SHELTERS in his crosshairs.

This is how LOW the puppymillers have sunk?

Attacking shelters and rescues?

Slime slime slime.

Rooster1732
Rooster1732

You spoke of the "will of the people". this issue failed in over 100 counties in Missouri. This issue passed by less than 1% of the vote. I hardly call that the will of the people. It was more like the will of St louis. As for me, I'm tired of city people trying to force thier will on me and my family. If you think that kennel raised dogs are bad don't buy them. While you are at it don't buy "farm raised" or "rescue " dogs. The rescue game is the biggest fraud out there. The rescue people purchase thier dogs from breeders. They really dont rescue them. They are just a discount seller for surplus animals. They make more money than the legitimate pet shops do, with none of the overhead. Only in America could you seperate suckers like you from your money and make you beg for them to take it. The real problem here is that urban people are so far removed from rural America that they are unable to understand the realities of how any thing is produced. I guess they think that puppies come from somewhere like a Disney Movie. No it's not like Lady and the Tramp. If it was you would not have a pet. That dog would cost $10,000.00 because market pressures would dictate it. A recent poll of urban dwellers found that when asked, many of them believed that beef came from the"supermarket". Maybe it's time that those of us in rural America made city dwellers learn where the food they eat, the clothes they wear, and yes, the family pet comes from. I have mentioned to dog breeder friends of mine that they should band together and never sell another dog in St louis, St Charles Or Jackson County again. Hey, after all it is what you voted for.

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

The Mo Senate has insured their collective political future by stomping on the backs of dogs. And filled their political coffers with puppy Blood-Money. And consorted with anti-humane corporate lobbyists.

Daisy likes this.

Animal Advocate
Animal Advocate

Wow. It seems that people are more concerned about attacking each other than the well being of dogs/puppies. Can't fathom that but it's pretty obvious here. The laws that we have now are "not sufficient".

If you haven't seen a Puppy Mill first hand, please go visit - oh wait, they're normally tucked away so no one can hear the cries of the dogs/puppies while they're being mistreated and left without food/water and being crapped on from the many dogs in the wire stacked cages above. C'mon folks - reality check is needed. Seems like some of you don't give a dang about their suffering and that really makes me lose faith in humanity.

Animal Advocate
Animal Advocate

What SB113 does in reality is say "Screw You Voters",. You are obviously stupid and incompetent and YOUR Senator does not respect your right to vote or that would have upheld Prop B since the Majority Voted FOR Prop B. The House is expected to do the same. I'm FURIOUS. I knew what I voted for and would do it again. I read every single word in the actual Proposition and it had Nothing to do with livestock. It will be up to Governor Nixon to UPHOLD THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. If this is not done, I will vote him out. I will also start a Boycott of Missouri Agriculture and Farmers.

Mep491955
Mep491955

It is unbelievable that these legislators are trying to tear down what the voters built up...To the voters of Missouri, remember who these legislators are and VOTE them out !!!!!

Daisy
Daisy

SB 113 removes the requirement that the dog's living space be cleaned of waste at least once a day. Again, bring on the feces.I think THIS is the line the Article is talking on.... ok. A lot of folks in ST Louis keep dogs in pens and outside runs, how many times, BY LAW, do THEY have to clean those pens?? What LOCAL laws have YOU passed to protect THOSE dogs?? NONE? Then shut up already!

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

shadowlane,we did NOT identify the kennel on our post.Dork much?

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

A we said before Mark, we did NOT put your name on our post.

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

CDavis, what % of the population believes that 'animals should have equal rights to humans'?

AmyH
AmyH

Honestly, I think it doesn't matter what laws we pass since the gov't is not given enough money to fund adequate inspections to shut down repeat violators. I'd like to think that people would do what is right for animals, but anyone who thinks they can breed dogs to make a living is not doing right by their animals. Proper breeding and housing of pedigree dogs is expensive and is done with love and care for the breed and the animals; not for the cash.

Also, I want to know what law firm Cdavis works for so that I never hire a lawyer with such a poor grasp of correct grammar and spelling.

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

Nice try Cdavis...Are you here to 'defend' the demented and deranged congressmen who prophesized 'The elimination of agriculture' after consulting, no doubt, the psychic hotline?

That will fly with the puppymillers...Don't even THINK of trying it on us,

Cdavis
Cdavis

OK I am here to defend the congressman and law enforcement that supported the change in this bill. It is easy to pass a law that sounds good and with good intentions. But none of you have to fight for this in a court of law. Prop B as originally written, as a criminal statute, simply would not hold up under the scrutiny of a court of law. Your legislators did their homework. They spoke with Sheriffs, Chiefs, Prosecutors, Judges and Attorneys. Many Missouri Sheriff's poled their criminal complaints for the past 5 years and found nearly 90% of dog related complaints were with private individuals, hoarders and so called private rescues/shelters. Many of your legislators who voted against SB 113 voted based on their constituents as they should have. But Privately only two Senators truly opposed SB 113. The same situation exists on the other side of the congress. Keep in mind Prop B is too specific, weaker, and limits what I can do as a Law Officer. Current Statute 578.012 is broad and covers everything.

Anyways, to my point. -"Prop B's 50-dog limit" = Unconstitutional. Enforcement would violate the civil rights of citizens.

-"Restrictions on how often a dog could breed" = There are studies that say this is unhealthy and would be used as an absolute defense in a court of law. Burden of proof is on the State. Not unlike the worthless leash law, Eventual case law would have added the requirement for the dog to suffer "loss of health or injury". Prosecutors don’t like making bad case law; they simply would not have enforced this to prevent bad case law. Law Enforcement agreed and said they would not enforce it.

-"would increase the fees paid by breeders" = that is great. MoAg needs more money.

-"examined by a veterinarian annually" = I haven’t heard any discussion about this in LEO circles. And I don’t have any comment about it other than by itself it should not be a criminal offense. It is more regulatory and should be left that way. Exception would be failure to seek medical care when the dog is suffering a health issue, but I could use 578.012 to cover this anyways.

-"dogs get "unfettered access" an exercise area outdoors". = Again, Eventual case law would have added the requirement for the dog to suffer "loss of health or injury". There are non criminal regulations already that cover exercise for dogs. And if I find an issue where exercise damages the health of a dog I can charge under 578.012.

-"dogs get continual water" = Again, Eventual case law would have added the requirement for the dog to suffer "loss of health or injury". There are already laws and regulations that cover this. I have charged people for lack of water, excess feces in pens and water before using 578.012. Definitely one of the things that anger me when I see it and it was being enforced long before Prop B.

-"dog's living space be cleaned of waste at least once a day"- Again, Eventual case law would have added the requirement for the dog to suffer "loss of health or injury". There are already laws and regulations that cover this. I have charged for excessive feces in a pin using 578.012.

-"requirement that dogs have enough space to lie down and fully extend their limbs, plus a foot of headroom on top". = Again, Eventual case law would have added the requirement for the dog to suffer "loss of health or injury". There are criminal and non criminal regulations that already that cover this. Again I have charged a person before using 578.012 when pen size caused disfigurement in a dog.

-"class C misdemeanor for any breeder in violation of the requirements" = Prop B is actually weaker. Existing law starts at Class A Misdemeanor and Graduates to a Felony. We already have strong criminal laws. We sure don’t need weaker ones that limit us. Class C is like getting a traffic ticket. Pay your fine and go on after a slap on the wrist.

-"an impervious barrier" between stacked cages. Absolutely great addition to the law, but not criminally enforceable for the same reasons as stated before.

Keep in mind that Prop B, as a criminal statute, cannot be sustained by Law Enforcement or the courts due to funding and resource limitations. Crimes against Humans will always take priority. Consider that, with the poor wording, and potential court battles. It simply is best to keep it as a non-criminal statute and keep it out of the courts where more of it’s clauses can be enforced and keep the “spirit” of the original law as passed by the citizens.

Terry Ward
Terry Ward

Silly-Shellley wouldn't recognize a 'radical' if she found one in her outhouse.

Terry
Terry

The puppymillers and their co-conspirators are further proof of the futility in reasoning with stupid.

DLS
DLS

I am a licensed rescue. My inspector is the same one that inspects breeders. We, rescues and shelters and breeders, are expected to provide clean unfrozen water, clean kennels, pens, and buildings. Clean bedding, adequate bedding, heated and air conditioned buildings, wind breaks on any dog houses and pens, outdoor pens are only allowed between certain tempatures and that span is shorter for small dogs and puppies. We have to provide adequate food, just so many dogs per pen, shade and vet care. My inspector notices everything. If one of the dogs is limping I better have something from a vet saying when the dog was there and what was wrong, how it is being treated and did the vet say it was ok to house with other dogs. If we fail any part of an inspection he will be back as often as it takes to make sure the problem is fixed. The puppymill bill is being rewritten because most of these points are already covered in the current regs. Many parts are redundant, some are unenforceable, some are unrealistic. Whoever wrote this bill really didnt have a very good grasp of regs currently in place or of the real problems and the real culprits.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

SB 113 also removes the provisions that dogs have access to an indoor shelter. With the modifications, breeders can keep dogs in outdoor shelters, 24x7 with only a plastic "dogloo" and a little straw for warmth.

SB 113 also removes the provision that dogs be given continuous access to clean, potable, non-frozen water.

SB 113 makes is almost impossible now to close a bad breeder. It's actually MORE difficult to close a bad breeder with SB 113, then with current laws.

SB 113 removed the provision that a vet has to euthanize the dog--yeah, that should you the cold shivers.

SB 113 removed the provision that a vet _has_ to treat an ill or injured dog.

SB 113 gutted Proposition B--but without being honest about it. They accused HSUS and others of being deceptive, when the proponents of SB 113 are the biggest deceivers of all.

Four senators voted against the wishes of their district. They are:

SchaafDixonCallahanRupp

Senator Callahan is particularly confusing--his district supported Prop by by 67.7%. And he's the only Democrat that voted for SB 113.

Tell these senators who despise your vote, and the welfare of dogs, thanks...for nothing.

And remember this in the next election.

Virginia C
Virginia C

What a load... H$U$ got Prop B passed on emotion and misleading statements (talk about feces!) about the state of licensed breeding facilities in MO. MO already had one of the best regulations in the country for commercial breeders. Prop B was nothing more than a number limit bill disguised as a "care" bill. It was vague and unworkable. Once passed the animal rights folks would come back and ratchet that number limit down again and again. I have seen it done before. Numbers alone do not indicate the quality, or lack thereof of the care received.

ST
ST

Maybe the author of this article should read the current rules and and regulations that licensed breeders are already required to follow. They are already required by law to provide dogs with clean water and clean kennels daily among other things.

Sbarnett
Sbarnett

It is unbelievable that 20 Senators voted to ignore the will of the people, the same people who voted for them in the first place. Then to attack rescues and shelters with unafforable license fees is appalling. Prop B was targeted to commercial breeding facilities, where dogs live their lives churning out puppies in misery, and to go after the rescues and shelters that have been dealing with the industry's problems that legislators have been sweeping under the rug for years is despicable.

Betty
Betty

The actions of Missouri legislators is disgusting and appalling in addition to thwarting the will of the voters of the state to prevent the cruel and inhumane treatment suffered by many dogs in puppy mills. One would have thought that the legislators would care more for the reputation of the state even if they didn't care about the abuse of innocent animals.

anonymous
anonymous

gee, with all this shit spelled out in the article specifically, it will be harder for the puppy mill enthusiasts to skew the issue with their inane alarmism.i'm sure they'll be along to try though!

Anon
Anon

Republicans continuing to legitimize political abuse and animal abuse and ignore the populace for monetary gain. They call it "Thursday"

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