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« How will history perceive you? | Main | Kansas City Animal Welfare Groups head to help those in need in Joplin, MO »

May 23, 2011


H. Houlahan

I wonder, could the agency responsible for auctioning the dogs be lobbied to deny a bidder number to anyone who has inspection violations on his or her record?


I don't know H. I love the idea though...


you're not smirking at all... cause this doesn't prove you and the other opponents of Prop B were right all the time, right?...



Maybe a little. In fairness, most people here in the state were supportive of the revised bill...and admittedly it doesn't break my heart for HSUS to fall on their face on this. But also happy that it is really working to shut down some of the bad actors out there...there's a lot of work to be done here.


Perhaps legislators and a governor know a little more about writing effective laws than people who live in cities and listen to sound bites and sob stories when casting votes.


It's easy to make fun of "people who live in cities and listen to sound bites and sob stories when casting votes" but I'm one of the city dwellers that DID vote for Prop B because I wanted SOMETHING done about the puppy mill industry in our state. I feel the end result compromise bill (Which I agree is BETTER) never would have happened without Prop B passing.

It's sad that people in the rescue community are so rude to folks (with the best intentions) that voted for Prop B...when it was put on the ballot, if you had a better idea why didn't you get it out there? The snotty, know-it-all attitude might be fun, but it's counter-productive to the long term cause (which I hope we ALL can agree on) of better living conditions for dogs in Missouri.



I confess that I didn't vote for Prop B because I thought it was poorly written -- but talked to a fair number of people, who like you, voted for it in hopes that the legislators would come up with something better but that passing it would force their hand a bit.

It turned out, I think, very well.

My frustration is with those who stubbornly held onto Prop B even though the changed legislation was clearly dealing with the enforcement issues that were the biggest issues we were dealing with.

Heck, I would have even given HSUS et al a lot of credit for forcing the better legislation if they weren't such butts about it in the end and stubbornly holding onto THEIR legislation even though it never dealt with the enforcement issues (and in fact, still are with their "protect the voters" ballot initiative) -- which makes me think they were more concerned about passing legislation than actually dealing with the problem.

The reality is, S&S would still be running with Prop B -- and even Pacelle's criticism of the animals going up for auction again after its closing was also never addressed in Prop B...


But if Prop B had not passed, wouldn't S&S would still be open today? I really can't see what became the 'Compromise' happening IF Prop B had failed. I understand the whole HSUS is evil argument, and I'm in no way attached to 'Prop B' I just wanted to force a positive change, which Prop B clearly WAS a stepping stone towards.

I don't care if haters don't want to give the voters 'credit' for voting for a bill that eventually led to the compromise, but it would be nice if they quit being rude to us that did vote for it like we were stupid or uninformed :( I read your blog and weighted your arguments (along with many others) and felt like doing something was better than doing nothing.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, folks!


Alana - you're probably right. If Prop B had not passed, S&S would probably still be open. If Prop had passed, and been left alone and not changed, S&S would still be open.

The new law is way better than Prop B. My fear all along was that Prop B would pass, and not be changed -- in which case I think it would have been worse than doing nothing. But it worked out great (regardless of the few who are claiming otherwise).

And I agree, assuming that all voters who voted for it were ignorant is not fair. It was clear that we had a problem that needed to be addressed. I also think it's equally unfair to cast all 51% who voted for Prop B as being in love with Prop B and wanting to keep it as-is. I think there were certainly some who wanted no compromises, but I suspect, most, like you, wanted to solve the problem and it was the only solution on the table at the time -- but were open to other solutions.

I'm not usually a fan of government in general, but I do think they ended up getting this one right....


Actually, from what my State Senator told me this WOULD have happened without Prop B. Operation Bark was the first step in change...Nixon obviously wanted something done.

OK, Alana - I have NEVER been treated so rudely that by RESCUE people because I did not support Prop B or because I do not support MSN. No one is as snotty and self-righteous as those in rescue that believe in the "better dead that bred" philosophy.

Social Mange

Ummm, if the dogs go up for auction might they wind up in another puppy mill?


SM -- Oh, I'm sure that's the case. That's the bad news in all of this. The good news though is that at least they will have a chance to go to one that doesn't have pages upon pages of cruelty violations.

In all of these laws (including the original Prop B) there has never been any serious discussion about what happens to the dogs when puppy mills close...and providing some safety net for them.

Dorothy Dyer

Whatever it takes, if you have never been to a puppy mill, don't even comment on the subject. They are the most horrible sights, go see some and then help do something. I have a little rescue maltese that was thrown away because he is too large. These cruel people have no hearts!!


Great article, Brent.

First, some of the kennels on the "Dirty Dozen List" did not belong there. Look for lawsuits. There's already been one filed.

Second, I find it interesting that the dogs are going to be auctioned rather than shipped off to Wayside or HSMO. It might have something to do with the new law - I'm not sure. In the past the dogs were taken to private shelters and in my opinion, in some instances the existing dogs in the shelters were euthanized to make room for more valuable "puppy mill dogs" - you know, those unhealthy, unsocialized puppy mill dogs. Furthermore, the rescues and shelters can go to the auction and bid on the dogs like everyone else, provided they have the proper licensing and photo ID as required by law. Rescues are the biggest clients anyway at some of the auction barns. They buy the pregnant bitches and sell the pups for a lot of money.

Third, I realize all you do-gooders think it's criminal to auction the dogs rather than turning them over to a rescue, but one of our former ACFA inspectors in District 8 (St. Louis area) wrote up far more ACFA violations for rescues than commercial kennels. The commerical kennels I've been in are like Shangri-La compared to most city shelters.

One of the problems with ACFA, which is a very good law by and large, was it used to rely on local law enforcement to step in if there were cruelty, abuse, or substandard condition problems. Most of the time that happened, but unfortunately in the case of S&S it did not.

And NO, the dogs can NOT end up in another "puppy mill". I'm a bit confused about this part of the story. I'm pretty sure auction houses and dealers in Missouri can't handle dogs unless the breeder is USDA licensed - surely the state and USDA had pulled S&S's licensing, so what the heck were they doing with the dogs? Clearly I'm going to have to read up on this case.

Anyway, Missouri's AG, Chris Koster, repeatedly said he would support and enforce SB161. Because SB161 had an emergency clause attached it became effective the minute Governor Nixon signed it, which allowed Koster to take action now rather than at the end of August.

Jan Barinsky

Is this really a animal welfare issues blog?
Sounds more like a forum for puppy mill supporters and anti prop B finatics. Until the state of Mo. outlaws puppy mills entirely, a boycott should prevail on all goods and services from the state. Hit them in the pocket book, this is the only thing that legislature listens to. The watered down version of prop b does not address the inhuman conditions that the dogs are forced to live their entire lives in. With 200,000 dogs in the state, it is impossible to effectively provide enforcement of regulations of any kind.


Jan -- you're welcome to read the past 5 years worth of posts on this blog and see where I stand on the issues. I think anyone who has been around for more than 1 second can see that I'm far from a supporter of 'puppy mills' -- and anyone who bothered to click through to the links provided in the past will show that the "watered down" version of Prop B IS helping and that enforcement IS up. You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

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