Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

This isn’t the end

I listened to, and recorded, the “debate” on SB 113 in the House today.

First, my thanks for those brave souls who suffered the indignities heaped on them by Representative Loehner, aided and abetted by Tilley. I’ll have the folks’ names as soon as I can decipher who said what from the recording. I’ll also post all of the recordings I have—though be forewarned, you’ll need a strong stomach to listen to them.

This is not the end. We still have the possibility of a Nixon veto. Well, OK, the possibility is slight: after all, the politicians in this state are more afraid of the Missouri Farm Bureau than the voters. Still, we can only be pleasantly surprised—read that “astounded”—at this point. Whether I vote for Nixon again is based on his actions in regards to SB 113. I have no patience for people who trade either dogs or our votes for political gain. It is just that simple.

If Prop B fails, if all our leaders let us down, then we’ll start over with a citizen referendum that overturns SB 113. But next time, we’ll also have the companion initiative that adds a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the state representatives from modifying the bill without a 3/4 majority vote. Such an amendment would have killed SB 113 in the Senate.

We also have two other ballot items we’ll have to fight: HJR 3, which creates a ballot item to create a Constitutional Amendment to protect agriculture from any new laws regarding livestock enacted by the citizens of the state; and HJR 5, which attempts to do the same about hunting and fishing. It’s time that we remind certain folks in Missouri that they have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

We will be heard. One way or another, we will be heard.

Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

Why lax laws need to change

A sad reminder of why the lax laws—at both the federal and state level—need to change: The USDA has taken an Iowa breeder to court for unpaid fines. That’s about all the USDA can do, too—that and revoke the license.

This breeder has been repeatedly cited for filthy conditions and dogs that were desperately in need of care. He’s repeatedly refused to allow an inspection. He won’t pay his fines. He’s a past member of the Iowa dog breeder’s Hall of Shame. According to the article, the breeder said he’d rather kill the dogs that need care than actually give them the care they need. Yet not only is he still operating, but his last inspection shows that all is in compliance.

How do you go from being a repeat and habitual offender to everything sweet and lovely in the space of a couple of months? While being sued by the USDA for failure to pay fines? You don’t, really. The article says a judge rescinded his license, but the USDA records show it’s still active, and his neighbors say he’s still in business. And then there’s that business where the kennel owner would rather kill the dogs than trim their fur…

If the inspection report (pdf) for this Iowa breeder looks bad, I’ve seen ones for Missouri breeders that are much worse. Yet the inspectors, at either the federal or state level, rarely intercede for the dogs—in Iowa or in Missouri. Frankly, after the first surprised and pleased reaction to Governor Nixon’s proposed new budget request yesterday, I’m no longer sanguine that the budget item will pass, or that it will make any difference. More inspectors just writing up more violations that lead to non-existent actions and continued lives of misery for dogs doesn’t get me all that excited. We need laws with teeth and the people willing to use the teeth.

It’s all political smoke and mirrors, and in the meantime, we continue support for legalized cruelty to dogs while we pander to the big agribusiness interests.


I thought the name of the kennel, Black Diamond Kennels, sounded familiar. It is, but not for the same breeder.

Critters Government Legal, Laws, and Regs

Deep analysis


As was pointed out to me tonight, there was a SB 795 passed last year, that removed the exemption for shelters from the fees collected.

So not only is the Missouri Legislature protecting the puppy mill industry, it is deliberately doing everything in its power to add additional financial burden on to animal shelters and rescues—the people actually having to clean up the mess the puppy mills leave.

I’ve never seen such assholes in my life—and you voted them into office, folks.

I’ve also had to file a complaint against the Department of Agriculture with the Attorney General tonight, because of what I perceive to be violation of Sunshine Laws.

I’m writing up a deeper analysis of the impact on existing laws with Prop B as compared to SB 113. I know that the HSUS has done the same with a one page talking points comparison, but I want to take it deeper. I don’t know if it will make a difference in the long run, but I want to record facts: not hyperbole, not politician bullshit speak.

One error I had made in comments here and there is the fact that SB 113 would require license fees from the shelters. I’m assuming that the exemption of licensing fees for shelters/rescues that exists in ACFA would still apply with SB 113.

However, there is no exemption for pet stores and dog boarding companies, so I imagine they’ll be just peachy keen at having to pay more because of the commercial breeders. But then, they’re not farmers, so they don’t count.

Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

House hearing on SB 113

The House Agriculture Committee will hold a public hearing on SB 113 & 95, Tuesday, March 29th, at 12:00pm. The location for the meeting is House Hearing Room 6.

To repeat, this is a public hearing, which means all interested members of the public are invited to attend and testify.

Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

HB 131 heard in the House

I had thought that the representatives were no longer going to follow through on HB 131, but evidently it was taken up for Perfection today. Darn, I wanted to hear the debate.

Luckily, Jason Rosenbaum did catch some audio of the testimony, and has posted an excerpt. In the audio, you’ll hear Representative Riddle spend her time quoting from the 1986 arrest records for Wayne Pacelle from the HSUS. Yes, I would think that a 1986 arrest for an individual would be out of scope for this bill. She also called him a terrorist, and continued her rant until the Representative from St. Louis raised a point of order.

This type of name calling has happened all too frequently: those who testify “for” these bills to gut Proposition B spend all their time trashing HSUS. Hello! Did you happen to forget that over half the people in this state voted for Proposition B!?

Getting tired of the absolute lack of respect these representatives have for the voters in this state.

If I find links to more audio for the testimony, will post.