Today is Election Day, and one of the most important propositions on the ballot in Missouri will not be voted for by the constituents it affects the most. Why not? Because they are dogs.
A vote in favor of Proposition B would stop abuses at large-scale puppy mills, the dog-version of factory farms in which the animals are kept in small, filthy cages piled high without adequate food, water, warmth, exercise, human affection, or veterinary care.
The proposition would amend Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog with sufficient food, clean water, housing, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The measure would also prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets and create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations.
Proposition B is supported by Missouri veterinarians and veterinary clinics from across the state, as well as a number of animal welfare organizations, notably the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Best Friends Animal Society, and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The proposition also has an ally in cartoonist Patrick McDonnell, who has featured a dog rescued from a Missouri puppy mill in a weeklong series of MUTTS™ cartoon strips, urging readers to take action to save puppy mill dogs. MUTTS is featured in more than 700 newspapers across the country, including several in Missouri.
“Missouri is famously known as the ‘Show-Me’ state,” said McDonnell. “By voting YES! on Prop B, and encouraging their friends and family to do the same, my Missouri readers can show the world that the way we treat our animals matters. This expression of kindness will go a long way to making the cruel puppy mill industry a thing of the past.”
“Patrick McDonnell has delighted millions of readers worldwide with the simple messages of common-sense wisdom, compassion and understanding that Earl and Mooch share with each other and with the other characters that inhabit the world of MUTTS,” said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/ YES! on Prop B. “[We are] delighted that McDonnell is reminding his Missouri audience that they can show that same kind of compassion through the ballot box.”
Since the strip’s launch in 1994, McDonnell has devoted several MUTTS strips each year to animal welfare issues, especially the adoption of pets from animal shelters. An avid advocate for all animals, McDonnell also serves as a board member of The Humane Society of the United States and in his strip has addressed the issues of seal slaughter in Canada, whale hunting, and saving endangered tigers.
To see one of McDonnell’s strips on Proposition B, click here.
Photo credit: Patrick McDonnell / HSUS