Thursday, March 10, 2011

Missouri should be ashamed of itself

    I wish I could say I was surprised, but it looks likely that the dog-breeding law that voters passed last fall is going to be repealed before it even goes into effect this November. It passed the Senate and is moving on to the House. Apparently some of our lawmakers see no reason to cap the number of breeding dogs per breeder at 50 DOGS. And breeders will now have 180 days to correct violations to the dogs' living conditions. HALF A YEAR to correct a violation such as failing to provide clean water. It also removes the possibility of criminal penalties except for repeat violators. The voters spoke: 52% voted for these regulations. Read more here.
   Here's the thing: this bill was not going to adversely affect good, reputable breeders who already limit the number of dogs under their care and provide good conditions for their animals, which they consider more as pets than commodities. It was going to impact Missouri's puppy mills, the so-called "breeders" who supply the nation's pet stores with overbred dogs, keeping them in inhumane conditions to maximize their profits. The bottom line is, there is no canine shortage, and millions of great dogs are euthanized annually because there are no homes for them. WE DON'T NEED PUPPY MILLS!
    I've just spent the last week fostering 4 puppies that came from a St. Louis puppy mill, and at least 3 of them have a genetic defect in 1 or both knees requiring over $3000 in surgery. A real breeder would not allow this in their dogs' bloodlines and would stop breeding the dogs—because the soundness of their confirmation is of their utmost concern.
   Don't believe me? Think this is hype? Spend some time volunteering for a local breed rescue organization of your choice and see for yourself how many unwanted dogs come from puppy mills.