Local Commercial Breeders Speak Out Against Proposition B

7 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, October 27 2010 Oct 27, 2010 Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:43:35 PM CDT October 27, 2010 in News
FULTON - Proposition B, which would put new regulations on large scale breeding operations, is up for vote next week and as the time gets closer, some commercial breeders are speaking their minds. Local commercial breeder Mark Santo began breeding Yorkshire Terriers seven years ago at his kennel, Santo Hill Kennel, in Fulton. He said he is against Proposition B for various reasons.

"You're going to see dogs go up probably 10 times what they are in price, you're going to see breeders go out of business, you're going to see revenue drop for the state, there's just going to be a huge impact of unemployment, loss of revenue, fewer dogs and I don't think America is ready to pay 10 thousand dollars a puppy," Santo said.

Next week residents across the state will have the chance to vote on Proposition B, also known as the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.

The proposition would limit breeders to fifty breeding dogs, and dogs must have access to indoors and outdoors at all times. Dogs must also have sufficient food, clean water, and veterinary care. Dog cages would not be allowed to have wire cage floors and cages would have a specific requirement size.

Breeders found incompliant with the law could face a Class C Misdemeanor.

"What we want to do is ensure dogs that are housed at large scale dog breeding facilities in Missouri are treated humanely," Missouri head of the Humane Society of the United States Barbara Schmitz said. "We do have laws on the books, they've been on the books for roughly 18 years. Those laws are pretty weak and they're pretty inadequate."

Santo argues the rules and regulations now are strict enough.

"The state has bark alert," Santo said. "If you want to turn in somebody who's not treating their animals well the state will come out at any complaint and go check those."

The HSUS said it wants more boots on the ground.

"Here in Missouri we have 3000 puppy mills and housed at those 3000 puppy mills are 200,000 mom and pop dogs and those dogs are kenneled up their entire lives on a wired floored cage that is about the size of a dishwasher," Schmitz said. "They never get petted, they never get any love or attention."

But Santo and many breeders across the state disagree.

"We all do it because we love raising dogs and it's not because we're forced into it or we don't like it because you're not going to get rich in this business," Santo said.

Santo said his kennel would meet most of the requirements of the proposition, but he still said he believes some of the requirements could endanger the life of his puppies.

"They have the range of temperature from 45 to 85 degrees; newborn puppies won't survive at 85 degrees," Santo said. "They have to be between 90 and 92 degrees. They can't process the milk and the sugars in the milk and they will die."

Schmidz said the proposition would help out dogs all over Missouri, but Santo said he believes the HSUS is a political group just looking for power and money.

Extended Interview With Schmitz and Santo:

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