The Humane Society of the United States, which is not the Humane Society you think of that shelters pets, is pushing Prop B with millions of dollars in financing from out-of-state interests.
What do they think they are buying with this money?
It's not dog welfare. Here are some things to think about.
1) 86,000 dogs will have to be put down, many of them healthy, happy and loved.
The HSUS says there are over 200,000 dogs in Missouri that are kept by breeders. There are some 1200 licensed breeders. If you limit the number of dogs you can keep to 50, you have 60,000 dogs. What is going to happen to the other 140,000 dogs? There are some 350 shelters in Missouri. To accomodate the overflow, 400 dogs per shelter would have to be offloaded before the year is out. The vast majority of those dogs are currently healthy and cared for by dog-lovers. What will happen to them?
Some will be put up for adoption. Those who are not rescued, will be killed, released into the wild, or moved into illegal puppy mills hidden away from the state.
The problem with broad regulation is it affects everyone. It's not hard to say that 86,000 dogs will be killed if this measure passes. 64% of dogs that go into a shelter don't come out. But the HSUS and Prop B say nothing about this problem.
2) There will be less dogs and less dog breeders
Pet ownership will decline because costs will go up. The arbitrary limit of 50 will turn breeders in hobbyists unless they drastically increase the costs of each puppy. Ultimately, only the wealthy will be able to afford dogs from breeders. The HSUS considers this a good thing. Their view, and that of many animal rights activists, is that dog breeding is offensive by its very nature.
So those dogs you loved as a child? The Westies? The Golden Retrievers? Good luck finding one. You'll be able to go to the pound and get a dog, but only what is available, which means choosing a dog for temperament or that fits your lifestyle won't be as easy.
3) Less people will buy dogs
Families with children will buy less dogs. While adopting strays can be a loving strategy, it can also bring danger. Pound dogs and rescue dogs are great when you know how to treat them. Anyone with experience with pets knows that people with a history of pet ownership are more likely to understand how to handle animals. especially ones with a history of being in
4) The wild dog population will increase
Dogs are beasts. Noble, but beasts. Like all animal populations, they will increase when left on their own, and in the backwoods of Missouri, when you let hundreds or thousands of dogs go free, you're going to see an explosion of their population in a way that is not at all controlled. Domesticating animals isn't something we solely do for joy. Your solutions are pretty narrow. The shelters will fill up, and you can let the dogs go, turn them over to be killed or kill them yourself.
5) The Humane Society of the United States will still go after licensed breeders.
The HSUS has a very bad track record of abusing the courts and targeting good people to scare breeders into leaving the business:
"HSUS has now become the self-appointed law enforcement of the animal world. In some states, HSUS employees are running around with guns and police-like badges breaking down doors, confiscating animals and business papers, and obtaining warrants with false information. Lawsuits are cropping up against HSUS, sheriffs and governments for blatant violations of the most basic of constitutional rights."
Search "Denisa Malott" and "Dan Christensen" on Google to get a sense of that HSUS does when it has the power of the proposition.
This is a pdf of the court documents for a $5 million lawsuit against HSUS for taking almost 300 dogs in a "raid" that left his dogs dead, diseased, and given away, in addition to ruining his reputation as a licensed dog sellter.
6) Laws still won't be enforced by law enforcement officials
While you see a series of high-profile raids of unlicensed puppy mills on the news, what you don't see is enough criminal enforcement of the laws already on the books, the laws written by your Missouri legislature. Rather than working to increase enforcement, or lobbying Governor Jay Nixon to find money in the budget to enforce laws on the books, the HSUS is trying to create a complementary law with no enforcement.
The HSUS just released a report of licensed breeders they claim are currently in violation of their licenses. Rather than using their vast wealth and power to do anything about it, they are instead targeting the entire breeding industry. They are not interested in fixing the problems they have identified. They instead want to add vague regulation that by the statements of veterinarians is actually worse for the dogs, and applies to all breeds equally.
HSUS instead contracts with Rescue Operations to stage raids against dog breeder. With no money for enforcement, local officials are all too happy to pass over authority.
7) Little dogs will die under breeder's care
To show you how poorly thought out Prop B is, think of the Chihuahua. They're little, hairless dogs that won't do well in snow. But new regulations require access to the outdoors. The rules allow little dogs to go out into the cold and die, whereas a dog like a Siberian Huskie would do fine. The proposition doesn't allow any breeder to take note of the difference. All dogs are equal, under Prop B. No matter their personal needs. Of course, this means breeders won't raise many dogs. The danger of being prosecuted in a criminal manner is too high.
8) Most licensed breeders will shut down because of costs
Breeders won't be able to comply with the arbitrary regulations, and will shut down. In addition to tens of thousands of dollars in structural upgrades that could be do for many breeders, the danger of having a water bowl get dirty is enough to put you in criminal risk.
They're dogs. Dogs get water bowls dirty when they drink. They lick themselves for goodness sake. What do you think is going to happen?
And yet now. Food, or debris, or dog slobber in a water bowl now makes you a criminal.
9) New laws and lawsuits will be brought
An affirmative public vote for this travesty of a bill will be used to push future regulations and used in court cases to force more animal regulation on Missouri and other states.
Study and think. Why would an organization spend 3,000,000 to go after Missouri dog breeders, rather than working with existing laws and legislatures to improve enforcement?
What is HSUS after?