Puppy Mills | St. Louis Public Radio

Puppy Mills

John Goodwin (at left) is with the Humane Society, and Sarah Javier leads the Animal Protective Association of Missouri.
John Goodwin & Sarah Javier

Missouri is home to 22 of the 100 puppy mills on the Humane Society of the United States’ most recent list of known problem dealers, topping the list for the seventh year in a row. Released last week, the “Horrible Hundred” report highlights animal-welfare issues including high puppy death rates, underweight dogs, neglected health needs and other problems.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Sharon Stevens discussed the topic with Sarah Javier, president and executive director of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, and John Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ Stop Puppy Mills Campaign.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

A couple of Saturdays a month, Buck Newman gets in his SUV in St. Louis and gives homeless dogs and cats a lift.

On a recent trip, Annie, a shaggy dachshund mix, got to ride up front in her crate, while Goliath, 175 pounds of mostly mastiff, filled up the back. Annie’s tail was already wagging at top speed, as Newman started the engine.

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House and Senate have passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee farmers and ranchers the right to farm and ranch.

(Photo by: Hamed Saber, Flickr Creative Commons)

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has finalized the first set of new rules for dog breeders in Missouri, which go into effect January first.

They're the result of a compromise reached earlier this year between Governor Jay Nixon (D) and Republican lawmakers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 15, 2011 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster teamed up Tuesday morning to promote their plans to enforce the new state regulations on dog-breeders, dubbed "Prosecution Bark Alert."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 15, 2011 - As the battle over Missouri's Prop B shows, being top dog at the Humane Society of the United States can lead you to become a political animal.

Not to mention forming an unlikely alliance with notorious dogfighter Michael Vick.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Missouri’s budget for next fiscal year includes $1.1 million more for oversight of dog breeders.

Governor Jay Nixon highlighted the funding at a press conference Tuesday at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis.

The move comes after the governor helped craft a compromise bill this spring that toughened state oversight of dog breeders but scaled back some provisions of the voter-approved initiative Prop B.

Humane Society of Missouri president Kathy Warnick says the group has no regrets about the compromise.  

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri House leaders believe Governor Jay Nixon may be on the verge of signing a controversial bill that reverses Proposition B. 

The voter-approved initiative limits dog breeders to 50 per operation and requires larger cages, more outdoor access and annual veterinary exams. 

Nixon is also proposing a compromise that would remove the 50-dog-per-breeder cap while leaving some of the other restrictions in place.  House Speaker Steven Tilley says they’ll take up the governor’s compromise after he signs the rollback bill into law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 21, 2011 - Just two days after offering a compromise aimed at bridging opposing sides, Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, was once again on the hot seat about Proposition B, a ballot measure narrowly approved by Missouri voters last fall to regulate dog breeding operations -- and once again declined to state where he stands.

After the GOP-dominated legislature sent Nixon a bill to weaken numerous provisions of the initiative, the governor attempted to re-frame the issue Monday by offering an alternative that received support from some animal welfare groups, agriculture organizations and Republican legislators.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

As Governor Jay Nixon (D) weighs his options on a bill to roll back voter-approved dog breeding regulations, supporters and opponents of Proposition B staged dueling rallies a few blocks from each other in Jefferson City.

Several hundred people gathered outside the State Capitol to urge the governor to sign a bill passed by the Missouri House and Senate that would remove the 50-dog per breeder limit and relax provisions for living space and veterinary exams.

(Photo by: Hamed Saber, Flickr Creative Commons)

A compromise has been announced between supporters and opponents of Proposition B on a new proposal to overhaul dog-breeding regulations passed by Missouri voters last year.

The agreement would remove the 50-dog limit, allowing breeders to have as many dogs as they want.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 13, 2011 - The Missouri House narrowly approved legislation Wednesday weakening various provisions of a voter-approved law regulating dog breeding, sending the contentious issue to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 17, 2011 - The outcome of legislation weakening voter-approved regulations on dog breeding could come down to how members of the Missouri House define "the will of the people."

If lawmakers gravitate toward the local definition of democracy put forth by state Rep. Ed Schieffer, then House members could send state Sen. Mike Parson's legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon. Proposition B measure failed overwhelmingly in the Troy Democrat's district, prompting the three-term lawmaker to support Parson's measure.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has passed controversial legislation that would reverse portions of Proposition B

Voters narrowly approved the ballot measure last November, which limits dog breeders to 50 dogs per operation and requires adequate food, water and outdoor access.

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a bill that would reverse portions of Proposition B, a ballot measure narrowly approved by voters last year to regulate dog breeders.

The bill would do away with Proposition B’s limit of 50 dogs per breeder, and changes the name of the law from “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” to “Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.”

Missouri puppy mills face new restrictions

Feb 4, 2011
(Photo by: Hamed Saber, Flickr Creative Commons)

Missouri voters passed a ballot measure in November for tougher rules on dog breeders. Now the Missouri legislature is attempting to overturn the vote.

Check out the story from our own Adam Allington featured on Marketplace this morning.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 4, 2010 - Voters have spoken on Proposition B, but both sides involved in the dogged efforts for stronger regulation of puppy mills in Missouri vow to keep on going.

"We're on the watch for anything that would alter Proposition B," said Barbara Schmitz of the Humane Society of Missouri. "The proposition has been available for public view since last November. It's been debated and reviewed by all sorts of individuals across the state, and now the voters have had their say. We are moving forward and making sure that the implementation of new regulations is smooth."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 8, 2010 - When the Missouri Legislature reconvenes in January, Rep. Ed Schieffer of Troy has a list of changes he would like to see made to Proposition B, the so-called puppy mill measure narrowly approved by voters last week.

Schieffer, a Democrat who sits on the House Agriculture Policy committee, says he knows that Prop B passed with 51.6 percent. But, he notes, it lost in his 11th District, as it did in most of the state, carrying a majority only because it won big in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 14, 2010 - Only a handful of opponents of Proposition B, the Nov. 2 ballot measure to regulate dog breeding in Missouri, showed up Tuesday night for a protest outside the Humane Society offices on Macklind Avenue in St. Louis.

Inside, supporters of the measure -- Proposition B -- heard from national and state leaders of animal-rights groups, who said passage of the ballot measure would have national repercussions. Jill Buckley of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals noted Missouri's reputation as "the puppy mill capital of the United States."