Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Wayne Pacelle: Back from the Brink in Missouri: Prop B to Bring End to Puppy Mill Cruelty

By Huffington Post
November 3, 2010

I feel a deep sense of relief today, with victory on the puppy mill ballot measure in Missouri behind us. As the votes from rural counties were being posted on the state’s official website, Prop B fell behind, and badly so. At one point, we were trailing by 200,000 votes, and we hadn’t even gained the 40 percent mark. The mood in the auditorium at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis was somber. Then some of the suburban and urban counties of Kansas City and St. Louis started to deliver partial returns. Our numbers started to climb, and the mood in the room turned to one of nervous excitement. Vote by vote, we were closing the gap.

The anti-Prop B coalition’s lead shrank to 80,000 votes, and at that point, we thought we just might be able to do it. I felt a grave sense of responsibility to the dogs languishing at the thousands of mills in the state, and I knew how much was at stake. Then the gap narrowed even more. After a few hours, the website refreshed and we were within 21 votes of our opponents with 1.75 million votes counted. We were crunching the numbers, looking at percentages and expected turn-out numbers, and we soon realized that we were on a trajectory to win — and therefore the dogs were on the same trajectory. The “yes” votes passed the “no” votes by a few thousand. Then our lead climbed to 30,000. I then took the podium and told the crowd that our campaign was declaring victory. The room exploded. By the end of the night, our lead was 60,000 as the last precincts trickled in.

Rescued puppy mill dog
Michelle Riley/The HSUS

It was 12 years ago that we used the initiative process to outlaw cockfighting in Missouri, and to start a national wave to outlaw that execrable practice everywhere and to make it a felony offense at the federal level. I had that same feeling of the start of a wave last night — this was the first-ever ballot initiative on this particular form of animal cruelty, and it marked a turning point in the effort to rid the nation of abusive, overcrowded, squalid puppy mills that treat the breeding moms like machines and the puppies like a cash crop.

As the returns came in from Arizona, showing us handily defeating an NRA-backed measure to take away voting rights and block future animal protection initiatives, we learned again that our cause can prevail even in the face of a strong headwind and with determined and well-financed opponents.

In Missouri, there was a rural/urban divide, not seen in many of our other successful ballot measures, including Prop 2 in California two years ago. The Missouri Farm Bureau and other opponents were responsible for this. They told the public a series of untruths — mainly, that Prop B had a hidden provision to end all animal agriculture. Some of the most vociferous of our opponents even said Prop B was a formula for ending pet ownership. Those arguments gained some level of traction, but they were built on a series of false claims.

We will reach out to rural voters in Missouri, and show them that these were false statements and characterizations. We want everyone in Missouri and all the people of the nation to stand with us for animal protection. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, not an urban or rural issue, not an us versus them issue — rather, it is an issue of decency. It’s a cause every good person should associate with and embrace because it is right and proper and upholds the highest standards for human conduct toward other creatures.

We’ll work hard to deliver that message. These political victories are mightily important, but in the end, we want to change all hearts and minds, not just convince a simple majority of citizens in the voting booth.


This post originally appeared on Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation.
From The Huffington Post

4 Responses to Wayne Pacelle: Back from the Brink in Missouri: Prop B to Bring End to Puppy Mill Cruelty

  1. Dr. Rosset

    November 5, 2010 at 11:54 am

    You felt sad about the dogs languishing in their homes. Now you can feel sad when all of these dogs over the 50 limit count get put into shelters to languish there until they are killed. There was no purpose behind the 50 dog limit other than to have them killed. This law does nothing to stop unlicensed breeders and it actually lowered the standard of care. Yes, you people can be proud of the fact that you passed another law that will get thousands of dogs killed in fell swoop. Who is going to pay for this mess that was voted on by overly emotional people who failed to read the bill and compare it to the Missouri guidelines. Are you going to stand at the doors of these kennels to ensure that the puppies don’t freeze to death since you mandated stupid rules like unfettered access to the outdoors no matter what the weather or age of the dog. If the government told you to keep all your doors open so your children could go outside not matter how old or what the weather was and at the same time keep your house between 45 and 85 degrees but your baby will die if the temperature is below 92 degrees then you will have some understanding of how bad this bill is. Clearly the city folk bought into the lies of HSUS which has been slandering Missouri since the 1980s when they made up the term puppy mill and factory farms to slander dog breeders and farmers. Did you know the sow rolls onto her piglets killing them so a farmer without gestation crates loses up to two thirds of the litter from just the sow rolling over. No you didn’t because you know nothing about farming or raising animals. Did you know studies show that free roaming chickens die earlier, have more stress, consume more toxins, and their eggs have more samonella contamination than house raised chickens? NO you didn’t because you are not a farmer. People who know nothing about farming or raising animals should not have the right to dictate to farmers or dog breeders how to raise these animals. You have all slandered these people long enough and blamed them for the dogs in the shelters when it is the public’s fault. You were too lazy to keep your mixed breed dogs home and you were too lazy to care for them so you let them breed indiscriminately and allowed them to roam or just dropped them off. Purebred dog breeders take care of their animals and they do not drop them off at shelters. But you the great knowing public have just mandated that all dog breeders must get rid of all the dogs they have over the 50 count. Just where did you idiots think these dogs would be going. I am ashamed of the city folk in Missouri as they have allowed outsiders to determine the care of the animals in Missouri based upon lies and slander. This bill will not stop the unlicensed breeders nor will it do anything other than harm those who do care about the raising of their dogs. Shame on you. And shame on those of you who pretend to care about the shelter dogs, because you have done nothing but blame the breeders and not the general public who owns and allows these dogs to roam and breed at will. They are responsible not the people who care about their dogs and keep them home. I am sick and tired the animal rights people telling lies and getting away with it because the public is too lazy to read. When you can’t get any meat or eggs or milk blame yourself. Also public note that the animal rights writers in this column tell the farmers to go ahead and stop farming that someone else will take up the plow. That is hogwash as the number of farmers have been dropping for years now. It is tough around the clock work and you have to have knowledge and the city folk just don’t have that knowledge anymore.

    • DJ Johnston

      November 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

      All I can say is “AMEN” to the comment by Dr.Rosset. You really pegged it.

    • M Covault

      November 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

      Very well said, Dr. Rosset. Wake up, sheeple, and stop following the “animal rights” pied pipers (H$U$, ASPC, ,ALDF, AWC, et al) over the cliff of sanity into the morass of insanity.

      Animal Rights = Animal Prohibition

      Animal Rights (“Humaniacs”) = Destroy the Human/Animal Bond: better dead than captive (ANTI-Human, USING Animals to *Punish* Humans)

      Animal Welfare = Encourage the *best* Human/Animal Bond
      (Pro-Human & Pro-Animal)

  2. Mary N

    November 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Dr. Rosset, you are so right about this! And further, the bill will do nothing to stop abuse and neglect in the places it exists because there are not enough inspectors. I feel awful about all the dogs that will need to be dumped/killed to get down to the number 50. The city people should not have been allowed to even vote on this proposition in my opinion. Many of them can’t even properly take care of their own pets.