When Missouri voted to pass proposition B to improve the conditions for dogs in puppy mills, the lobbyists went to work. Within weeks, the state Legislature in Missouri voted to overrule the vote.

The proposition simply stated, “…adopting new rules for dog-breeders, including capping the number of dogs that were used for breeding purposes, requiring resting periods between breeding and establishing other requirements.” The measure required that dog-breeders only have 50 breeding dogs and required them to feed those animals daily and regularly.

According to a 2005 investigation conducted on pet shops and puppy mills in California, (as reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics) 44% of the locations visited had sick and neglected animals, 32% of the animals were confined in unhealthy, cramped, or crowded conditions, and 25% of the animals didn’t even have adequate food or water.

Investigators have found that many puppy mills across America have similar conditions. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization.

Puppy mill dogs do not receive treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs. It is not unusual for cages to be stacked up in columns. Breeder dogs at mills might spend their entire lives outdoors, exposed to the elements, or kept inside indoor cages all their lives.

The choice is simple.

Bruce Malter
Burbank