The act amends Missouri law to require large-scale dog-breeding operations to provide each dog in their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise; and adequate rest between breeding cycles.
The measure creates a misdemeanor crime, “puppy mill cruelty,” for any violations. It also prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets. Breeders with more than 50 dogs have until November 2011 to reduce their populations.
“We very much want to work with breeders who are downsizing to make sure all the dogs get good care,” Barbara Schmitz, campaign director for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, tells Petfinder. More than 200 Missouri rescue groups have volunteered to take in and rehome surrendered breeding dogs.
Why is the passage of this state law significant? Missouri is home to an estimated 3,000 puppy mills and has the dubious distinction of being the puppy mill capital of America. In fact, 30% of U.S. puppy mills are located in Missouri.
Congratulations go to the nearly 1 million Missourians who voted to pass Prop B and to protect those who cannot speak for themselves.
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