Missouri Breeders Howl Over Puppy Mill Ban

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There will be no more trenches of dead canines* in Missouri, the nation's No. 1 puppy assembly line, after the state's voters passed a ballot initiative outlawing raising hundreds of pups in tiny wire cages without good sanitation, clean water, and medical care.

Dog-lovers are thrilled that Proposition B passed, even if by a razor-thin margin. Among them is campaign guru Joe Trippi, who worked on getting the initiative passed and offered his congrats: "You might ask, who can say no to puppies?  But it was a tough fight, and one that we thankfully won in the end."

But not everyone is so pleased with the new measure, especially not the breeders. A Facebook page dedicated to fighting Prop B is now raging with angsty comments about voters' lack of "education" and "understanding" of the issue. (Sound familiar?)

  • Going Under the Radar "Is someone going to start a page 'What do we do now'?" one breeder commented. "I'm going to try to find out how to get around this.. but it looks like dropping our licenses and flying under the radar is the only option."
"It sucks. Most heard no more about the bill but the title and a sound bite about saving puppies, they never looked at the fine print. Then they were as quick to believe all dog breeders run puppy mills as they were to think that letting a person discuss end-of-life plans with their doctor would lead to a Nazi holocaust. A pox on people who vote without fact-checking," another replied.

"That's what I told my daughter yesterday- IF YOU DON'T COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND any issue, do NOT mark a box! Maybe as assasination is still possible. ;)" the first poster said, and quickly followed up with a tweak of a typo, but not her call for assassination.
  • Cursed City Slickers rants an urbanite-hater. " Once again....most urban people live in a fantasy world of their own and ruin everything for us rural folk....reason No. 5642 my kids will not be raised in a city...people should educate themselves better on political issues before just punching a ballot blind"
  • Humane Society Overreach, one protests. "Yep thats Missouri!! I had 2 go 2 court cuz they said I was abusing my horses all i was doing was throwing a tarp over and under them Making them walk across the tarp I hung plastic bags all around the round pen on a windy day just 2 get em use 2 stuff flapping around And I set off firecrackers around them Cuz I do a lot of road riding and u never know when a truck will backfire.."
  • Take Your Puppy Loving Elsewhere, One woman simply posted, "HOORAY for prop b passing!!!" It was a brave move. Dissent is not appreciated when nerves are so raw. The pro-pup poster was assaulted with a barrage of angry comments.
"You.... ugh you are prolly the most ignorant person to come here and say that... let me guess, you think that beef, pork, turkey, chicken, corn, greenbeans, lettace, and just bout everything else comes from the grocery store magicly... dang i wish all stupid treehuggin fairy's would go to California to join their own kind"

"if you do own dogs, HUSU's goal is to one day rid of all pets what so ever. If you own any pure bred dogs, the price of them is going to go through the roof. ALL ASIDE WHO ARE WE TO SAY HOW MANY DOGS A PERSON CAN OWN, THIS IS THE UNITED STATES IF WE CAN PROVIDE FOOD AND WATER FOR 1000 DOGS WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO OWN THEM."

"you have some kind of nerve supporting a bill that will kill thousands of well cared for dog, and then coming and rubbing it in. I am not a dog breeder, but how dare you vote to put thousands of hard working americans our of buisness. Get ready for a tax increase you idiot"

"You are a waste of human flesh and you deserve to be ground up into dog food"

*This is not anti-puppy mill hyperbole. On August 16, 2006, The Boston Globe published a (subscription-only) report that Missouri had investigated one large-scale breeder in 2003 and actually found "trenches of dead canines" to be "marginally compliant." The puppy mill was teetering on the edge of violating laws regulating the disposal of dead animals--only 1,000lbs of dead animals can be buried per acre.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.