Missouri GOP Hates Puppies (And Schoolchildren. And the Elderly). No, Really, They Do

On what was essentially a party line vote (one Democrat and one Republican each crossed the aisle), the Republicans in the Missouri Senate voted to strip out most of the legislation passed in a referendum that would have regulated Missouri's dog breeding facilities. Missouri has been known as the 'puppy mill capitol' because of its lack of regulation regarding dog breeding: thirty percent of puppies raised in puppy mills hail from Missouri.

So what is the Missouri GOP removing from the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, in the service of liberty and freedom? Well:

Apparently determined to preserve Missouri's status as the nation's "puppy mill capital," the state Senate has passed legislation dismantling the humane protections approved by voters in November.

The bill gives breeders permission to continue business as usual -- stacking dogs in wire cages, subjecting them to extreme heat and cold, and depriving them of clean water.

Breeders who repeatedly violate the law would be subject to misdemeanor charges, not felony charges as called for in the voter-approved Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. Operators also could no longer be limited to 50 breeding dogs at one time.

This is my favorite repealed bit:

As an example of a rule that he said went too far, Parson noted that Prop B would allow owners to be charged with a misdemeanor if dogs were not kept in temperatures ranging from 45 degrees to 85 degrees.

And why wouldn't you want to keep puppies between 45 - 85 degrees? The Honorable Sen. Parsons explains:

"We don't do that for our senior citizen facilities, we don't do that for our schools, we don't do that for the state Capitol," Parson said.

That sound you just heard is my jaw hitting the floor. In Missouri, it's legal to house the elderly or children in facilities that aren't at least 45 degrees? Because that's pretty damn cold. I realize the founders froze their asses off at Valley Forge, so who are we to complain about 45 degrees, but, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

You don't house puppies or people at 45 degrees. If it's not illegal, make it illegal.


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Pennsylvania used to be known as the puppy mill capital until we recently passed laws similar to what was shot down in Missouri. I guess we know where all the bad actors went after Pennsylvania fixed that gaping hole in our regulations.

By greatbear (not verified) on 14 Mar 2011 #permalink

In Missouri, it's legal to house the elderly or children in facilities that aren't at least 45 degrees?

Here in the commie pinko socialist paradise of New Hampshire, the law requires landlords to maintain their property well enough to keep average indoor temperatures at not less than 65F (and heat it to that level if the lease specifies that the landlord pays for the heat) during the heating season (typically October to April). Failure to do so is grounds for rent withholding by the tenant. 45 degrees is barely enough to keep the pipes from freezing, to say nothing of the risk of hypothermia. Missouri, being in the Midwest, gets winters at least as cold as ours.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Mar 2011 #permalink

The elderly should have the CHOICE to choose a cold nursing home! Are you saying that just because they are old doesn't mean they shouldn't have the freedom to choose the temperature of the place they want to live?
If elderly people don't like the temperature of their nursing home, they'll vote with their feet and go somewhere else. The free market will sort things out and the cold nursing homes will go out of business.*

*This was sarcastic.

By tamakazura (not verified) on 14 Mar 2011 #permalink

I guess next time I'm in Jefferson City, I'll drop by the state capitol building and turn down all the thermostats as far as they'll go. Since, you know, it's apparently legal to do that to the legislature. And they'll deserve it.

Dogs are not humans. They are livestock. There is nothing wrong with allowing dogs to be outside during the winter or during the summer. 45 and 85 degrees are not extreme temperatures. Those regulations are extreme.

Aaaaand - Mike seems to be simply a jerk who doesn't know, or care to know, why regulations were needed in the first place.

I'm on board with the dogs are animals bit. Too many people treat their dog like their kid and expect me to treat their damn dog like a human, too. That being said, do old people cound as livestock too?

By tamakazura (not verified) on 14 Mar 2011 #permalink

I suggest we stake Mike outside in 45 degree weather overnight.

By Sideshow Bill (not verified) on 14 Mar 2011 #permalink

This posting is in scienceblogs, not emotionblogs. Do you have any scientific evidence that a human in 45 degree weather physiologically is the same as as dog in 45 degree weather?

Excellent post! As a Missourian who is horribly embarrassed by our #1 ranking in puppy mills I want to see the truth get out about this torturous money maker. What the puppy mill advocates don't tell you is that we are also #2 in meth labs which, by the way, are in the same counties as the puppy mills.

As for who should live in 45 degree temps, how cruel can you get? No one, humans or dogs, should be forced to live in 45 degree weather. We're not talking about Huskies here. We're talking about chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, dachshunds, spaniels, beagles. In other words these are NOT bred to handle extreme temps. These dogs are meant to live inside with humans.

So for those of you defending puppy mills, at least those of you not being paid to defend them since so many paid defenders are flocking into Missouri, I'd like to see you live a little while like a puppy mill dog. Here's how it works --
You live in a cage barely large enough to move around in with wire so your feet never touch anything solid and they hurt constantly. You are constantly covered in feces and bugs of all sorts. You are only touched by a human to be put in with another dog for breeding. You can never bond with other dogs because you are kept apart except for breeding. The smell of urine, feces and blood from suffering dogs fills your nose constantly. If you're afemale you are quickly pulled down by the incessant breeding. After a few years you could suffer from all sorts of problems such as having your uterus fall out your vagina because of constant breeding and birthing. You go hungry because no one feeds you or the food is crawling with insects. You go thirsty because no one gives you water or the water is frozen and your teeth have fallen out so you can't even bite off chunks of ice.

Now, who wants to sign up for this life?

"Dogs are not humans. They are livestock. There is nothing wrong with allowing dogs to be outside during the winter or during the summer. 45 and 85 degrees are not extreme temperatures. Those regulations are extreme."

Did you work to miss the point this badly? The bill would prohibit letting dogs stay outside in temperatures below 45 or above 85. Moron.

"...if dogs were not kept in temperatures ranging from 45 degrees to 85 degrees."

My kid's preschool has a gym which seems to have pretty marginal heating; they have the kids wear sweaters or jackets to go there. I expect the school to keep my kid in a comfortable environment, but I'd be peeved if they legislated an arbitrary number there.

That really does seem like a tight temperature range, for dogs, in any case; I don't have central AC (in MA) so my pet dog gets hotter living conditions than that, because she doesn't seem to appreciate being confined to a bedroom. It sounds more productive to legislate veterinary care, and record keeping, and enforce stiff penalties for injured or missing animals.