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« KCMO terminates shelter contract -- opening up new opportunities for KC Animals | Main | Courts force Midwest City, OK to end breed ban »

March 10, 2011

Comments

PAMM - People Against Murderous Men

Any recent or future rescue fee increases can be blamed on H$H$, MAAL and everyone else that threw them under the bus to get at "puppy mills".

I can't believe all the rescue people with 10 dogs and 20 cats over the pet limit support the limit for breeders and do it with a straight face.

I'm glad they removed the exemptions for shelters/rescues on the requirements - seems like no place is a bigger hell hole than the KCMO shelter - LIVE cats in the incenorator. Of course, they're a pound - are they included or excluded?

Shelley

Brent, bunk.

The pet definition was included only because Proposition B only applied to dogs who are bred in order to sell their puppies as "pets".

Even representatives and senators who were against proposition B said the debate about the "pet" definition was silly.

The bill referenced dogs 33 times.

This was just one of the arguments used because the anti Prop B people had no real arguments on their side. Because, after all, their whole intent is to keeps dogs in a miserable existence.

How can you like dogs and support places like the following

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIqWmCmDDQg

This is breeder legal under SB 113 rules. This is what you want, Brent.

kmk

PAMM - the exemption on rescues and shelters was actually part of a different bill but it was going to be removed no matter what, thanks to Prop B. I do agree, however, that the ARs tossed the rescues under the bus to get at the puppy mills.

The exisiting ACFA statute had no criminal penalties - cruelty, abuse, and neglect are covered under other statutes. However, once the ARs added criminal penalties to Prop B and exempted shelters and rescues from the statute, things had to change. Either the criminal penalties had to be removed and shelters/rescues could remain exempt, or the crimal penalties had to apply to everyone covered under the statute, and therefore, the fees had to apply. Criminal penalties must apply to everyone equally.

By definition under ACFA the KCMO shelter is a "pound" or "dog pound". It's not the same as a "shelter" (like Wayside Waifs, which is mostly private). Rescues are defined as shelters per the statute.

I don't think pounds will be covered by the new law, as they are a government entity. They are still exempt from the fee, I think. I realize the KCMO shelter contracts out to a private contractor and honestly, I'm not sure how that works (not a lawyer) but there are plenty of cruelty laws on the books that should apply to the current situation at the KCMO shelter, assuming for the sake of argument and fairness that what's been reported is accurate.

While I agree with Brent that shelters and rescues that are not for profits should probably be treated differently, they painted themselves into a corner. The moral of the story is, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!

kmk

Shelley wrote, "And don't blame the "animal activists" for this bill. Are the senators so petty, so meaningless that they decide issues based on how much a lobbyist sucks up to them?"

No, Shelley. The senators based their decisions on modifications to Proposition B on the law and economics - unlike the animal rights activists that prey on people's emotions.

There are ten kinds of crazy in Prop B, and I'm glad Brent called you on the carpet regarding the definition of a "pet". did you sit through the Senate Ag committee hearings? I did. NONE of the Prop B supporters would give the Senate Ag Committee members a definition of "domesticated animal". Wayne Pacelle testified at a different hearing that a domesticated animal was anything inside a fence. Good to know - I'd like to introduce him to some domesticated animals at the Kansas City zoo!

Brent is correct - courts rule on what is on paper, not what someone intended to write/meant to write/or thought about writing. Barbara Schmitz is a lawyer, but you would never know it by reading Prop B. Did she really think the legislators were so inept they would let this fly?

I guess she did.

But not to worry - plenty of states will jump on the HSUS bandwagon and pass a version of Prop B. Feel free to move to one of them.

And now I'm officially finished with you, unless you need help packing.

spcpo

Directly from SB113:
No person shall operate an animal shelter, pound or dog pound, boarding kennel, commercial kennel, contract kennel, pet shop, or exhibition facility, other than a limited show or exhibit, or act as a dealer or commercial breeder, unless such person has obtained a license for such operations from the director.

As such - pounds are covered also. They are only exempt from having to pay the licensing fee as that is government charging government. Will they be inspected? I would suspect so, but no fines levied as again, it is government charging government.
I would like to see contracted businesses fall under the shelter aspect but they probably fall under the pound exemption which is too bad and this aspect will probably need to be fixed as they need to be held responsible for the treatment of the animals in their care and the conditions under which they are kept.

Shelley will never get it. She has drunk way too much kool-aid and loves to fight now because if she does not and admits she made a mistake, she would not be able personally handle it. So in a way you have to feel sorry for her. She is just very confused about the entire situation and we must have empathy for not being able to admit when you are wrong and join the right side. Maybe some day she will be strong enough to admit she is wrong...until then...we just have to feel sorry for her.

Also, Shelley, I did go to the link. What I saw were dogs in cages and pens. I guess you have a problem with them being kept in such a manner. They were all healthy, happy and in good shape which means they were being treated well and getting exercise at some time even though the videos did not show it.

I will volunteer to help KMK help you pack though...I don't want you around my dogs and am very tired of chasing you around the internet.

kmk

spcpo - Pounds are licensed and inspected - they always have been under ACFA. The question here was in regard to the fee, and I think they're exempt from the fee (for now, anyway). As you stated, it's government paying government. Same for the fines. It's also difficult for the inspectors to shut pounds down if there's a problem. what do you do with the animals if that happens?

The HSUS has been killing pit bulls since 1980. Now they want to kill foo-foo dogs. I never thought I'd see the day. I always joked that I needed commercial breeder freinds because some day I would be forced to own a Shih-Tzu. I guess no breed is safe from the ARs.

And thanks for offering to help me get Shelley packed. I appreciate the offer.

Brent

Shelley, as far as the video goes, the way these dogs were kept is a far cry from all of the house of horror videos usually seen. As Spcpo notes, the dogs seem healthy and are getting outdoors. I've certainly seen my share of city animal shelters that are far worse than what I see in this video.

Do I think this is "ideal"? Probably not -- but this video is far from the worst of our problems.

Shelley

And Brent, HSUS has never hidden the fact that Missourians for the Protection of Dogs is an HSUS organization or that Barb S works for HSUS.

The vet situation does change with how Prop B is worded. With Prop B, the vet is responsible for the health of the dog. With existing laws and SB 113, they can disclaim any responsibility for the health of the dogs.

More importantly, when an inspector sees a hurt or injured dog and asks to see the vet's medical report for the dog, it is a violation with Prop B for the person not to have had the dog treated by a vet--it isn't with SB 113 and existing laws.

In fact, SB 113 is particularly deceptive in its handling of vet examinations.

The definition is just a definition. It means nothing out of context of use. The definition for pet was _used_ in a requirement that states

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may have custody of more than fifty covered dogs for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet."

That's why the definition for pet was included in the bill. But notice that in the actual statute, that the requirement is specific to dogs. This prevents the bill from being used for anything but dogs.

To further restrict the definition, the entire definition section is preceded by

"For purposes of this section, and notwithstanding the provisions of section 273.325, the following terms have the following meanings"

This limits the definitions specifically to this Act, only.

It's no different in the existing laws for ACFA, which among other things defines common terms such as a "dealer". So do we want to say that every dealer in the state of Missouri is a dog dealer?

The senators know this. They know how laws are constructed. This item was totally and completely fabricated, specifically to scare farmers.
The representatives know how included definitions work in Missouri statutes. They know this one is bunk. But it's such an way way to stoke paranoia in the agricultural community.

Brent

Shelley -- it was poorly worded. Regardless of how it may have ended up in a court room, it was poorly worded. Note that the legislators who you are praising for knowing how to word things left that out of SB113.

I have said that SB 113 changes how the veterinary visits are handled. I don't think it is deceptive at all at how it's handled. This is one of those things that maybe could have been kept in the new proposition had the groups that were so intent on keeping Prop B in tact actually come to the negotiating table...instead, they refused to compromise and weren't even at the table.

Karen Miller

SB 113 incorporates by reference the current ACFA regulations on crate size, food, water and exercise. How is that an improvement from what we have now? It IS what we have now! For example: It is next to impossible to tell if a dog on a hot summer day has water a minimum of every 8 hours(ACFA). Are they going to do a stake out? Prop B made that easy to discern by requiring water to be available all the time. Same problem w/ACFA's exercise and temp. requirements. And how is a visual exam better than a hands on exam? One lousy hands on exam a yr. for a dog you're making money off of and selling it's puppies to the public is too much to ask? SB113 is nothing but business as usual for breeders and yes, licensed breeders are part of the puppy mill problem too.

Brent

Karen,

Here's the deal. If you read through the reports I linked to above -- the State Auditor's report and the Better Business Bureau reports - -they make specific recommendations on how to solve some of the state's puppy mill issues.

In those reports, they are very clear that they need to increase enforcement, make it easier to punish repeat offenders, and do a better job at cracking down on unlicensed facilities. I consider these to be fairly unbiased sources...

While you are correct that SB 113 does not make the laws on temperature/vet care/exercise better -- it does address the major factors that the (mostly) unbiased parties say are causing the problems in the first place. I'd call that a win. I'm all about solving the problem, and if these two studies (along with the USDA's own report and the opinion of the Missouri Vet Medical Association) state this as the primary problem -- then I'm all for throwing out other things to solve the actual problems. And changing the laws without solving the enforcement problems isn't going to help anything.

Shelley

Brent, one moment you say that SB 113 doesn't really address temperature, vet care, exercise, etc, and the next you say, but SB 113 _really_ cracks down on what needs to be corrected.

No, it doesn't. For one, the existing laws regarding temperature, vet care, etc are not sufficient -- not unless you think keeping yorkies in outdoor only kennels made out of plastic drums with some straw for warmth is sufficient. Or that sick or injured dogs being treated by the breeder and not a vet is sufficient.

But what about the enforcement provision? If you look at the fiscal note attached to SB 113, the Department of Agriculture states that it needs additional general revenue monies in order to get the number of inspectors necessary to do the job outlined in SB 113.

What was the answer back: you don't need them.

The very people who claimed that all we needed are more inspectors are the ones who denied the Department of Agriculture the funds to get the inspectors the organization needs.

I give up. You obviously think anything HSUS is related to is wrong because you have a bias against the organization. You obviously think the dogs in commercial breeders have a great life, and the only thing they need is a few more inspectors.

There was no consideration of compromise?

What did Forrest Lucas say at meeting with Mike Parson before the election? The anti-B effort was targeted to "bloody HSUS nose". Not because of the dogs, or the breeders, but to put animal welfare people in our place.

They could give a darn about the dogs.

Brent

Shelley,

Don't criticize the legislators for the lack of compromise. When I mentioned the idea of compromising to get the additional enforement resources in this space you called the idea of compromise "foolish". Wayne Pacelle has insisted all along that there should be no compromise because it was "the will of the voters". Same for every correspondence from the ASPCA, Best Friends, and MAAL. How can the legislature compromise when one side has thrown a stake in the ground and said they are unwilling to do so?

Yes, the people who said the Department of Ag needed more inspectors denied them. The state is facing a $500 million shortfall in next year's budget and is looking at a major cut in major items like education. They weren't denied because they didn't need them, they were denied because there is no money.

This is why they increased the fees and fines -- and why this was essential for success. The increase fees will mean $140,000 in revenue for enforcement that doesn't have to come from the General Revenue Fund and in the fiscal notes calls for another $141,452 to come out of the General Fund (which may or may not come, but at least the bill generates half).

This is EXACTLY what the Audits and reports say was necessary for enforcement. They don't call for changes to the law requiring or vet care - they call for better enforcement. This bill specifically addresses that.

But it's been very clear from the beginning when anyone mentioned changing the law that you declared compromise to be foolish. So yes, any change to your precious Prop B would be seen as horrible on your end....even if it does address the key needs as addressed by all neutral parties.

Ironically, you say that Parson's was unwilling to compromise -- but SB 113 is a VERY different law from what was initially introduced. So he did listen, he did make changes. That's more than what many of the most vocal Prop B supporters were willing to do.

kmk

Shelley, Karen, and everyone else that's complaining about the lack of temperature requirements in SB113 - here's the deal. The temperature requirements in Prop B were going to kill puppies. The maxiumum of 85 degrees farenheit was too low for newborn pups. Add to that the "unfettered access to the outdoors" and you had a recipe for drafts, hypothermia, disease introduction, predators,and dead dogs. Have you ever seen a Great Horned Owl pull a chicken through a fence? They'll do the same thing to a Yorkie! Great Horned Owls are predators with no rival. They are large, scary, and you can't kill them because they are federally protected, so in rural areas you're basically forced to watch as they make off with chickens, ducks, small dogs, cats, and whatever else strikes their fancy.

I saw one recently and I'd forgotten what massive birds they are. A freind of mine nearly lost a Samoyed puppy to a Great Horned. Thank goodness she was with the pup and he didn't have "unfettered access to the outdoors".

And just what do you think would happen if a mink or weasel gained access to a kennel with newborn pups? They're mustelids and true carnivores. I've told people if they ever saw a mink at work they'd understand why they all need to be turned into coats.

Most kennels are currently temperature controlled. The commercial kennels I've visited make our public animal shelters look like Auschwitz by comparison. I far prefer SB113 because it provides for more enforcement if the temperatures are extreme and breeders aren't caring properly for their dogs rather than just killing dogs and puppies because people think with their hearts and not their heads. Give our inspectors credit for having common sense.

Or not. Because when it comes right down to it, you don't want clean kennels. you want empty kennels. Why don't you just come clean and admit that's what you're after? Go over to the HSUS blog where you'll be in good company with the rest of the people that want no animal ownership and use.

kmk

Gosh, Shelley, looks like I hit the nail on the head!

you posted on this website, Puppies at Burningbird, and I quote:

"One thing I plan on doing is the day after the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act would have gone into law, I'll start to feature commercial LICENSED breeders who would have been shut down under Proposition B, but are allowed to continue".

http://puppies.burningbird.net/article/if-proposition-b-overturned


Again, you don't want clean kennels, you want empty kennels. You want legal, licensed, good commercial breeders shut down. And you're threatening to put them on your website....why?

Now then, finish up that packing!

Anna Nirva

The temperature restrictions have been eliminated. They only need to be protected from the extremes of weather conditions. Imagine what that means in terms of compliance with legal terminology. The absolute minimum will apply. I wonder what "protection from extremes" means. A tin roof? This provision alone is enough to turn me against SB113.

Now the puppy millers won't need to heat or air condition their buildings. Profits go up!

Brent, is this okay with you?

Brent

Anna, here's where I stand on this.

I think there were certainly elements of Prop B that had to be gotten rid of (primarily the criminal codes and the 50 dog limit). So they had to change it.

All of the data and research indicate that enforcement resources are the number one problem in dealing with Missouri puppy mills.

I'm thrilled to see the enforcement resources accounted for. Regardless of what law was in place, this was much needed to enforce any of it.

I would have liked for a few of the other provisions to remain (I don't understand why they got rid of the clean water piece). I think the temperature requirement in Prop B was also poorly written, but don't like the vagueness of SB 113 either. But that said, I'd rather have a vague law with enforcement than a specific one with woeful enforcement.

None of it's perfect, but at least they addressed the primo # 1 concern which was lack of enforcement. This is better than a gut job or a repeal like everyone is talking about. Still not perfect, but it addresses the primary concern. Addressing secondary concerns without enforcement would not have been effective IMO.

Nancy

@kmk - Senator Dixon represents MORE than the City of Springfield proper.

@kmk & Brent - me thinks thou dost protest and argue too much. You actually make me suspicious that I am missing more than just my concerns about the fees that can be charged to rescue groups, and lack of veterinary annual care.

Geez folks, all pet owners have to take their pets to the vets annually, and we don't just walk in the door and back out again without a physical.

And I totally agree with Shelley that a commercial licensed breeder does not equal a puppy mill. If they do, then there is definitely more in this State to be fixed than what SB113 addresses.

Brent

Actually, I'm not sure that Shelley agrees that all commercial breeders do not equal puppy mills -- I think in her opinion they are the same thing.

And I'm not aware of any law that requires my pets to get an annaul physical exam. I generally do get one because I typically board my pets and they require certain vaccinations to do that...but there is no law in place that requires it and if I didn't board my pets, there would be not mandatory reason to do it.

Nancy

and @Brent - I don't and never have accepted this pet definition argument. It was a scare tactic meant to discourage voters from voting for Prop B. SHOW me one other State where passing legislation like Prop B has resulted in the expansion of the definition that opponents of Prop B boasted.

@all - being conservative is not equal to being A Conservative. Think carefully.

Brent

Nancy,

For the record, I've never opposed this because of the pet definition. I actually can't believe that that was a major talking point for the campaign of the opposition. Although with that said, I can see why some of those opposed because of this were fearful. And no, there is no other state that defined "Pet" as any "domesticated animal" - which is why this hasn't come up in other states. Again, I think it's a small point, because the word "dog" is all over Prop B -- but when you define "pet" as "domesticated animal" -- which is very broad, that's potentially problematic.

Again, this isn't why I was opposed to the law - -I've always opposed it primarily because I think the 50 breeding dog limit is a huge problem and that Prop B never addressed the primary problem which was lack of enforcement. There are other things that I dislike or like more than others, but if it weren't for the 50 dog limit, I probably would never have been opposed to this.

SHELDON OROURKE

HOW DO YOU FIND THE VOTING RECORDS FOR MO REPS AND SENATORS? SB 113 SB161

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