The hotly contested Proposition B passed. The new law will take effect in a year, and dog breeders will be required to meet humane standards of care. The new regulations include:
- Breeders will be restricted to no more than 50 breeding dogs at a time.
- Veterinary examinations will be required at least once a year.
- Dogs will be permitted constant and untethered access to indoors and outdoors.
- Enclosures are to be big enough to accommodate the size of the dog.
- Dogs shall have from 12 square feet to 30 square feet enclosures depending on their sizes.
- Wire flooring shall be discontinued and replaced by cement flooring.
- Dog pens will be cleaned once a day.
The measure also applies to operators with less than ten breeding dogs, and the law will require owners to feed the dogs daily and not to breed the dogs more than two times every 18 months.
“That hardly seems unreasonable for any breeder to do for their dogs that make them so much money,” states Monica Peters, Jupiter, Florida. “These aren’t unreasonable demands, and I can’t understand why anyone who advertises they breed great puppies and sells them would object to any animal not having humane care.”
Opponents of the bill argued there was a hidden agenda behind the initiative that could lead to greater government regulations of farm animals, however the only wording in the legislation applied to dogs and their welfare.
The legislation was supported by the Humane Society of Missouri, Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Society and many more humane organizations. These same organizations urge people to adopt from shelters and animal rescue organizations rather than pet stores who are often supplied puppies from “puppy mills.”
The Missourians for the Protection of Dogs compiled list of “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen” described the crowded cages filled with feces and urine, lack of clean water, no food, untreated infections, inadequate weather protection, and continued with pages and pages of egregious violatons of inhumane living conditions for dogs in these so called “puppy mills.” Missouri has been named “Puppy Mill Capital of the United States.”
Violations of the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will be classified as a misdemeanor and punishable by 15 days in jail or a $300 fine.
This year similar legislation was passed in Washington and Oregon. It is hoped that New York and Ohio will follow since that is where puppy mills are apt to move.