01 November 2010

Humane group calls for investigation into illegal puppy mill dumping

The organization Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B has released a series of harrowing photos showing dead dogs and puppies believed to have been dumped by the numerous puppy mill facilities in the state. The photographs and the accompanying records, taken from public files, have been detailed in a report claiming that the large scale breeders are killing and abandoning sick and dying dogs, and failing to dispose of the bodies in accordance to the law. The group hopes that the report will spur authorities into investigating the claims.

"The illegal dumping of large numbers of dead dogs and puppies is a sickening and little-known byproduct of the puppy mill industry in Missouri," said Barbara Schmits, campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/Yes! on Prop B. "Proposition B would help address this problem by requiring individual veterinary care for sick dogs, and, where appropriate, humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian."

The report details many instances of abuse, including:
  • At one facility of the Hunter Corporation (a commercial dog 'middleman'), 220 pounds of dead puppies were dumped per month. That could be as many as 1000 puppies a year, dying en route to pet stores.
  • 40 dogs found dumped in a mass grave near Lebanon, Mo. No charges were ever filed, despite evidence pointing toward a local puppy mill.
  • Puppies found dead outside building, possibly having died from the cold.
  • Dogs being dumped on a pile of trash.
  • A puppy found dead in a frying pan used as a food bowl.
  • A female basset hound found unresposive with her head caught 'between the shelter and the wire of the enclosure."
  • A 'wheelbarrow full of green water [with] dogs skeletal remains in the water.'
  • A breeder admitting to being aware of the shooting of animals in the head using a rifle, and bodies being burnt and other removed to an undisclosed location.
All of the breeders mentioned in the report at one time held licenses from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and ten of them still do.

Sickness and death are sadly a common occurrence at puppy mills, with dogs living their lives in small and dirty cages, denied human affection and exercise, exposed to the weather, and rarely if ever being seen by a veterinarian. When dogs are deemed to be of no use to the breeders due to age or sickness, they will be deliberately killed.

Prop B aims to change the miserable lives of dogs in large scale breeding operations in Missouri, by creating a minimum requirement for the care of these dogs. Supporters of the initiative want to ensure that all the animals receive clean water, adequate and consistent food, exercise and regular veterinary care. Those breeders who already have these standards will not be affected by the measures.

The full report can be read here.
For more details of the YES! on Prop B campaign, please go here.

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: Yes On Prop B