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Animal Shelters Face Devastating New Tax in Missouri

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Shelters will have to pay new fees for each pet they adopt out if a regulatory change goes through in Missouri.
A fat new fee increase proposed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture would cripple non-profit animal shelters, animal welfare groups say.

The new proposal would treat shelters exactly the same as for-profit breeders, requiring them to pay annual licensing fees as well as a surcharge on each animal they place for adoption, says Cori Menkin, Senior Director of ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. In some cases, that could cost a shelter as much as $2,500 more each year.

"It's hugely problematic," Menkin says. "These places are already struggling because, with the bad economy, they're taking in more pets as well as receiving fewer donations. A lot of shelters in Missouri were hit with high electric bills because it was such a hot summer. And now on top of that they're going to be hit with these exorbitant fees."

And unlike for-profit breeders, the shelters can't just pass the charges on to adoptive pet parents. There's a limit to what their customers will pay.

Adds Menkin, "The biggest problem I see -- other than the part about putting shelters out of business -- is that it provides a perverse disincentive not to do adoptions. That goes against every public policy I've ever heard of."

So what's the state thinking? Blame the so-called Missouri Compromise, or S.B. 161. Governor Jay Nixon signed this bill after legislators threatened to gut the voter-approved "Anti-Puppy Mill Law," also known as Prop B. The compromises in S.B. 161 watered down the bill so badly that Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, came out blasting it.

As part of the new law, the Agriculture Department is required to put together a proposed regulatory package -- basically the nuts-and-bolts details that flesh out how a piece of legislation becomes reality.

Previously, regulations on large-scale pet facilities specifically exempted animal shelters. But, probably because it was heavily influenced by dog breeders and their rural legislative defenders, who argued that shelters should be held to the same standards as for-profit entities, S.B. 161 made no such distinction. Agriculture's regulatory package appears to follow suit.

The department is required by law to consider any comments they receive in response to its regulatory proposals, and a coalition of animal-welfare groups filed a comment in late September, urging the state to once again exempt shelters and also tighten up some of its regulations on dog breeders. The groups are now waiting to hear what happens next.

But a little political pressure, they're thinking, could help push Agriculture to take their concerns seriously. (Click here for more info on that.)

"It's anybody's guess right now which way they're going to go on this issue," says Menkin. "I'm sure they're also hearing from breeders." But it's not a hopeless situation, not yet: "If they get 10,000 emails from people saying this is a bad idea, that will have an impact."


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184 comments
Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

Are all 'animal rights' believers 'vegan'?

Still waiting for an answer.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

Perhaps TomKi is speaking to us from inside some secure protective institution, as he has, on other forums, said some VERY strange things.

 "Best Friends Animal Society  is a Satanic church""A puppy mill is  always a better deal for the dogs than the humane societies."" Breeding  animals is far more important than doing anything about  puppy mills"

These  online comments  TomKi has made  seem to be the sad  ravings of a lunatic.

Maybe we should cut TomKi some slack.

Furparent
Furparent

Can we say...."Stupid people in Government"~?    What is their idea, just drive around and shooth strays from cars!   Shelters and rescues don't have extra money, they are the ones helping the animals that the breers that cause the problems.     Can't believe they are than dumb....

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

Now-more than ever - is the time to get your social media mojo goin'.

Tell everybody you can  possibly contact  about Missouri's puppy-milling thugs.Because the world will listen to YOU, not them.What are they going to say?"We aren't puppymillers?"" Dogs are livestock ?""Only vegans hate puppymills?"Like that will fly....NOBODY is listening to them, except their fellow abusers  and  the inexplicable breeders who are NOT millers...go figure that one out..THEY CANNOT DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE.And yes, this is Terry Ward, and yes, I  am a proud supporter of animal rights/welfare... so don't even go there.

Lemur_luver2365
Lemur_luver2365

I don't agree with the fee's, yes some shelters make money--some maybe too much money but not ALL shleters fit into the "too much money" category. There needs to be some regulation on dog breeders some restictition that keeps them from keeping 20+ adult dogs unless they have a full time staff to support that amount of care. There's no easy answer here since MO is big in breeding dogs. If breeders are better regulated maybe less dogs will end up in the shelter system. I am not from MO and I know that there are several shleters in my area that would be closed down with this kind of fee

bayleigh
bayleigh

The media needs to actually do some research on their own instead of taking and printing prepared statements from the H$U$.  This is a FEE, not a TAX.  We all have to pay it.  Get over it.  Shelters, humane societies, rescues and DOG POUNDS, need to adhere to the regulations as the breeders do.  They make more money that we do, as they don't have all the overhead.  I have seen some of these places and they are vial.  I would never allow any of my animals to be in one of those shit holes!!!!!

TomKi
TomKi

I think that they're too screwed up in the head to adhere to anything consistent.  Mostly they are into racial suicide and self-loathing.  The "vegan" thing is just another weapon that they throw at people. 

TomKi
TomKi

 One thing that is more vile than what you just said to me, Nina, and that's the attempts to put a reasonable face on a program that is animal rights terrorism.

Best Friends used to be the Process Church of the Final Judgment and they are fairly open about it.  It is a fact that you can find in several places on the net including Wikipedia. 

Spcpo1
Spcpo1

Best Friends and the Process Churchhttp://petdefense.wordpress.co...http://www.bestfriendsinfo.com...

Now, I will not agree that puppy mill is always a better deal for the dogs than the humane societies.  But then that depends on your description and idea of a puppy mill.  A puppy mill is a substandard kennel/breeding facility that needs to be shut down.  They do not care about the animals and need to be stopped.  Most the time they are illegally being ran and under the radar from investigation and inspections.A commercial breeding facility (or for that fact any other type of breeder) does care about the animals.  They are taken care of in accordance to the law of the land and the law of humanity.  They are clean (many times as clean as any hospital and certainly many human habitats) and kept up on repairs.The problem with dogs in shelters is that many times they end up dead.  Much more than is reported as the shelters don't want this black egg all over their face painting them as a sadistic monster.  But proof is in the result and why Nathan Winograd fights so hard against the kill-model and promotes a no-kill model that has proven time and again to work until some AR kook comes in and twists it around.  Try San Francisco, Los Angles and others listed in his book Redemption.In fact if you want to find the real history of the AR fanatics and their cult to rid the animal world of the human pestilence they see us all as, read the book Redemption.  It is wonderful and a true history of HSUS, ASPCA and others.

I will also not agree that breeding animals is more important than doing anything about puppy mills.  Again - in my book puppy mills need to be closed down.  But this is the problem with the entire AR philosophy: Any breeder of any amount is a puppy mill.  Thus in their corrupted minds we all need to be closed down.I breed once every couple of years for my own reasons.  My dogs are very seldom sold because I can't stand working with the AR comments that come my way because I live in Missouri.  Also, the general ignorance of how a dog should be treated is appalling even when discussing the subject with ARs who think they know everything.  YET I have been called a dog murderer, a puppy mill, a dog rapist (because I force the dogs to breed and have puppies - which is a laugh - nature is in control here...I just make a few controlled choices), etc.  These same people on this list would be at my door, knocking it down, taking my dogs, because I dare to speak for others that do choose to have commercial kennels and follow the law.  These same people would poison my dogs and kill them if given half a chance at places that I visit if they knew who I was.  These same people would threaten me and mine with destruction.This is the mindset of the AR.  They are a radical group that hate themselves and thus the human race.  Who many see animals off better dead than being used as slaves for pets or human consumption.

This is many of the people who have written to this list when you stop reading words and listen to the hatred of those words.

What a sad state we have all come to because one person thinks they need to control the lives and production and work of another to coincide with their beliefs.

TomKi
TomKi

They let the shelters have their way for far too long and now that you're whining about having to give them a piece of the action, I hope they come down on you with hobnailed boots.  Your shelters have been robbing people at gunpoint, taking animals just because they can take them, violating everyone's rights and breaking all kinds of laws.  They've been killing and abusing all kinds of animals that were better off left with their loving owners.  This is more corrupt than the mortgage scandal.

They are thieves.  They are animal murderers and abusers.  They have seriously damaged democracy.  Those who help them are just as bad as they are. 

TomKi
TomKi

 Animal rights people are responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent animals and that includes you, Terry Ward.

bayleigh
bayleigh

Our dogs don't end up in those nasty shelters.  It's unconstitutional to put a ceiling on what one owns.  Go ahead and open that can of worms because we will make sure that goes for every business.  Hey car dealer, I'm sorry but you can only sell 5 cars this month.  Sounds real stupid, doesn't it?  If you don't live here, STFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

Bayleigh, maybe send 'The Media' over to humanewatch for some 'research'..

Oh wait...they tried that....they been tryin that for like two years now.

Doesn't seem to be working all that great.

Like in 'nobody's listening'.Duh.

Rousha Hafbad
Rousha Hafbad

Wow, I like that term "fee".  It's the Republican code word for "higher tax" without being a tax!

Since Republicans have been controlling Missouraaaawww with an iron thumb, "taxes" haven't increased, so they say.  Oh, but LOTS AND LOTS of FEES and NEW FEES have been added, ALL to the little guy and the worker.  The wealthy and the big property owner in Missouir haven't paid an extra penny - of COURSE not! - but everyone else pays more for everything, while the wealthy property owner gets welfare handouts.

This bill is yet another example.  The good people saving dogs get screwed, working people get screwed, while those who got their huge welfare handout from Pa in inherited land get yet another welfare handout by not having to pay as much as they should for their inspections and law enforcement.

But it's just a "fee", remember?  Just talk to your House rep next time yer in the VFW hall gettin' drunk and talkin' about scum on welfare in the cities, and ask him to remove the fee for commercial breeders and REALLY stick it to us!  It'll probably be done before you can load yer shotguns in yer Ram pickup!

TomKi
TomKi

Spcpo1, as long as you believe in the puppy mill label, they have one giant hook in you.  Why would you even have to call it a "mill"?  Why accept  labeling applied by such people, who have threatened you with death and who have threatened to torture and kill your animals?  The label "puppy mill" gets people to lend the terrorists far too much strength.

The primary motive of their program is to terrorize people.  Nina and Shelley are trying to make the terror looked justified.  They are trying to put a reasonable face on it.  Half of their power comes from using a term that is no better than calling a black person something that rimes with "bigger" and means "target" or "slave." 

The people who threatened you use the term "puppy mill" the way the way that they would yell "faggot" before punching you in the head, and nothing that you can ever do will stop them from using that term against you.  You can't stop Winograd from using it against you, either. 

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

We patiently await your definition of 'animal rights' and your estimation of the number of it's adherents, Springfield.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

As far as I know, no person in this thread advocated doing away with all dog breeders. So why do you paint people who are against puppy mills in such a way?

You obfuscate the discussion by implying we're saying something we're not.

A reputable breeder is one that has a small number of dogs, cares greatly for the dogs, cares for the breed, and primarily breeds show dogs or dogs as a hobby -- rather than mass produce puppies for sale as pets. I'm supportive of reputable breeders.

I'm not supportive of people who cage row after row of dogs in order to mass produce puppies for sale in a pet store or online.

It's not difficult to understand the difference, is it?

As for Nathan Winograd--Nathan Winograd is for Nathan Winograd.

BK
BK

Well said.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

robbing people at gunpoint!violating  rights !breaking  laws!killing and abusing !corruption! thieves! murderers!

Lord have mercy, Tomki  thinks US law enforcement is asleep .Or maybe TomKi is commenting from Uganda.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

TomKi should perhaps make  better use of the medical profession, as there are  many effective treatments available for delusional disorder.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

Just because you say it's so doesn't make it so. And most folks reading these comments would recognize immediately how preposterous your statement is.  

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

My dogs ain't poor no more..since they are  no longer anywhere near you and your rathouse puppymills.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

It's "unconstitutional to put a ceiling on what one owns" bayleigh.??????

Like your house?

Well THAT explains a lot......

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

Unless you're part of the Riverfront Times staff, you have no right to tell anyone to shut up. The Riverfront Times welcomes comments from all people--not just people that agree with you.

The shelters in Missouri are some of the best there are. However, the puppy millers have to disparage the shelters in an attempt to distract people from how bad too many of the large commercial dog breeders are.

As for your comment about the Constitution, I would have welcomed the dog breeders challenging Proposition B in court. I know it would have won. But we didn't get a chance because powerful rural organizations like the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Cattlemen's Association sided with the puppy millers to basically buy the legislature's and governor's override of Proposition B.

And as we can see from the press release the Department of Agriculture put out yesterday, the governor let us down yet again--condoning high fees for non-profit shelters and rescues while promising "financial help" for puppy mills.

We are, in effect, the worst state in the union when it comes to puppy mills--and evidently proud of it, if we go by what the Department of Agriculture implies.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

Scratch a Mepublican and you find a dog breeder.

Or a hunter of giant beavers.

TomKi
TomKi

Homeland Insecurity seems to be sucking up to the terrorists.  They should.  They depend on terrorism for their jobs.

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

"DEATH THREATS!"TERRORISM!!!!

Dear Lord, where is Homeland Security now that we need them??????

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

'The SAME legal rights as humans" Springfield?

like the right to vote?like the right to equal education?like the right to drive an automobile ?

'same' means 'same'.Period.

And you wonder why we think you folks left your brains at the door with your hats.

Spcpo1
Spcpo1

Let's see...the last meeting I infiltrated of ARs in Springfield there were about 50 attendees.  Overall, my contact with them I would say in the surrounding area of Springfield maybe 250 that have lied their way into the political world.  And that is okay...we always say a small minority can make a difference.

The problem is that the majority is now being heard and we will continue to be heard.

As far as a definition to AR - how about all of your hatred filled writings that are trying to reduce others to something smaller than you are.  Most ARs hate themselves so much they can only ridicule others.

Now - as far as what animal rights is: It is a movement to give animals the same legal protection as human beings, and specifically those of a small child.  They want the term 'guardianship' applied instead of ownership.  They believe that in many cases animals are servants of humans and are abused no matter how well taken care of they may be.  Surprisingly these people are not above breaking laws to make sure their viewpoints are heard.  They manipulate laws and politics to suit their needs but when it comes back to bite them in the butt, they cry Foul!  The most prime example being what is happening here.  Most ARs have never had an animal or animals in quantities because they would not give up their creature comforts for another.  They are not giving people.  They are selfish to a letter and very introverted when it comes to relationships because they can't understand not being self-centered and unselfish.What can I say?  Read the comments of all the ARs here and you will read the hatred they have for anyone who does not adhere to their beliefs.  In other words - non-tolerance.

BK
BK

Would you stand outside of your house and yell burglars my house is unlocked and I have lots of valuables. Why would anyone who loves dogs open themselves to being attacked by corrupt animal control and groups that would take their dogs? Reminds me of McCarthyism, falsely accuse, lie, condemn, damage an innocent persons life under the color of law. People will wake up and animal rights corruption will end, too. I just hope it is before most breeds are lost.

TomKi
TomKi

That's a lame way to lie, Shelley Powers.  The whole thrust of the thing is to do away with dog breeders.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

All we have is your word of what you've said. But since you won't even provide your name, I think we can be excused for being skeptical of anything you say.

And since you're unwilling to say who you are, I think I've given you enough time.

BK
BK

You think most people that own dogs are people that take care of them by themselves? Not the people I know. So, please, tell me what a small number is to you. Do you think anything over that small number is a lot?

Spcpo1
Spcpo1

So you hire employees.  This is how you take care of larger numbers of animals.

Spcpo1
Spcpo1

Then why have I been threatened?  I fit your definition of a reputable breeder to the T.  But I have been called a murderer and a rapist by the very type of person writing on here.  I have been repeatedly painted as a puppy mill.  I have so few litters of dogs that they are not worth counting, but I fight for the rights of people who you paint as a puppy miller when they are not.  They are licensed commercial breeders.  They follow the law.  And you want to put them out of business because you don't agree with what they do.

So WHY am I called all of this?  Because I call for the freedom of business while doing it legally.  You want everything to be by your definition.  Because of this, you will never acknowledge that there are reputable breeders that have large quantities of dogs.  Which there are...several in fact across the Nation.  But I will no more name them than fly to the moon because they would then become sacrificial lambs for your movement.  You, who are on a witch hunt for the sake of your beliefs that no one should have any freedoms.

Sorry, Shelley...we will never see eye-to-eye.  And Nathan may be for Nathan, but he is not for killing dogs like the shelters do or taking money under false pretenses like so many AR groups do. 

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

Numbers do matter when it comes to the care of dogs. One human can only provide so much care and individual attention in a day.

BK
BK

And what is a small number of dogs? What is a lot to one may be a small number for another. Numbers have nothing to do with how well dogs are kept. Just because someone can't see taking care of X numbers of dogs doesn't mean it isn't done. This is the problem with deciding someone is a business based on the number of dogs or is a substandard kennel based on the number of dogs.

BK
BK

Most folks reading these comments will see that it is you who make ignorant unfounded statements and when called on them will resort to personal bashing. I agree with Spcpol1 when he said to stop reading words and listen to the hatred of those words....your words

Nina Schipperke
Nina Schipperke

TomKi has 'seen Shelley in action' yet claims she is 'eleven' ?

Does TomKi also see the future in his tea leaves?Does TomKi see aliens in his cereal box?Or perhaps, like bayleigh below, Tomki 'sees into  souls'.

Or maybe Madame Zuzu of the psychic hotline has more clients than we thought.

TomKi
TomKi

What are you, about eleven years old?  I've seen you in action.  I wouldn't doubt it.

BK
BK

You have not offered one thing of importance or substance to this conversation. Your comments are very small minded, a sign of ignorance and not having anything to support your ideas....as in animal rights ....... BORING

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

Wow, such a profound response. It takes a lot of skill to reply to a person with "shut up". You must have studied years at University for this skill. How proud your family must be, how awed your friends and peers.

Be careful waving that intellect around--someone might get hurt.

TomKi
TomKi

Shut up, Shelley.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

Why should the state subsidize this business? A business most other states deplore having? One that has a bad reputation, and adds to the burden of local shelters and rescues?

It's beyond insane. 

This was buying rural votes, nothing more.

fearnot
fearnot

Shelly I would think you would welcome some more money for large scale breeders.. they can use the money to improve their business and thereby the care of their dogs.  You have BARK ALERT to complain about substandard care at facilities.. so far it has worked.. haven't some substandard breeders been shuttered since BARK ALERT was put into place?

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