Voting for K-9 Rights

Tea Party against the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act
By JoAnna Lou, October 2010

The Tea Party has been all over the news lately for all sorts of political reasons. But now the infamous party is organizing an opposition to the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act in Missouri.

Earlier this year, Lisa Wogan wrote about the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, or Prop B, which will be on the Missouri state ballot next month. The legislation requires large-scale dog breeders to provide sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, housing that protects dogs from the elements, enough space to turn around, stretch, and lie down, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will also limit the number of breeding dogs to 50 per facility. 

Yes Prop B will cut down on breeder profit, but it isn’t exactly asking for anything that they shouldn’t already be providing. Although the bill seems so basic, many groups oppose the legislation. Lisa talked about the argument that Prop B will make it more difficult for middle-class American families to have dogs. I hope she’s right that higher priced puppies may encourage more families to choose adoption. Also considering how many health problems puppy mill pups often have, I think that regulating breeding conditions may actually help make pet care costs go down.

Most recently, Prop B critics have gained the support of the Missouri Tea Party, which is holding a “Vote NO on Proposition B” meeting tomorrow. Tea Party advocate, Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher believes that the government should not limit the number of dogs a breeder can own, like the government would not limit the number of cattle a rancher can raise.

I wouldn’t exactly compare dogs to cattle, though I believe that all animals, whether bred as pets or as food, should be treated with humanity. Considering that these breeders have the dogs to thank for generating an income, the least they can do is meet the basic needs of these animals.  

Any reputable breeder knows that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to make a decent living off of breeding dogs in a truly responsible manner. Dogs deserve more than just their basic needs met, but puppy mill dogs don't even get that. Unfortunately, I don’t think that puppy mills will ever be shut down (though I would love to be wrong!), but hopefully Prop B will at least improve conditions for dogs across Missouri.

Visit the Missouri Secretary of State website to read the exact Prop B proposed statute.


JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Sponsored Content