Dogs in puppy mills live in crammed, filthy cages, with no veterinary care or human interaction. Over the past three years, 15 states have passed laws that require care standards at mass-breeding facilities and/or limit the number of breeding dogs that can be kept at a single facility.
With the passage of Prop B, Missouri – which the ASPCA calls the largest puppy mill state in the U.S. – could be the 16th state to impose restrictions on puppy mills. But that won’t happen if Tea Party members, who support puppy mills, get their way.
“Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, who you may recall from John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, has joined Alliance for Truth, a Missouri-based group that opposes the puppy mill legislation, considering it to be an unwelcome government intrusion.
“While unemployment rates continue to rise, Proposition B will cause more small businesses to go under and put many Missourians out of their jobs,” according to the Alliance for Truth website.
The group claims the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a “radical agenda” and only wants to “raise the cost of breeding dogs, making it ever-more difficult for middle-class American families to be dog-owners.” Wurzelbacher writes on the Alliance for Truth website that HSUS is “cowardly hiding behind animal cruelty, lying to our citizens and taking our constitutional rights away – one state at a time.”
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, called these allegations “laughable and absurd” in an editorial on the Huffington Post.
“Their coalition talks about an end to animal agriculture, even though the only species mentioned in Prop B is the domesticated dog,” Pacelle wrote. He said that many Prop B opponents also fought against a 1998 initiative to ban cockfighting, “and they made the same far-fetched claims then that they are making now.”
On the Los Angeles Times’ L.A. Unleashed blog, Patt Morrison wondered if we’re being punk’d. She wrote, “Humane organizations would love for every middle-class American family to be a dog owner, and there’s a really easy way, a cheap way, to make that happen – without having to pay the hundreds or even thousands of dollars that puppy mills can charge per pet. Millions of American-born dogs are waiting for you – to live with your middle-class American family – in shelters and with rescue groups all across America.”