Columns: No Margins, No Limits, No Kidding!
PUPPY MILL POWER
Part 1 of THE REINWALD REPORT
MISSOURI KNOWN FOR PUPPY MILLS & HUNTE CORP.
Missouri millers make law as Reinwald tracks state and federal funding to Hunte Corporation - but being careful not to get caught photographing!
Deanna Reinwald, Field Reporter
This whole puppy mill thing has expanded way past Missouri. The Indianapolis Star reports that Dr. Kenton Beard reviewed complaints from customers who bought sick puppies from Pass Pets and then he said that their complaints were unfounded. Interestingly enough, Dr. Kenton Beard is the veterinarian for Hunte Corporation, the largest puppy-miller in the United States. Now that's power!
Some states are known for sunshine; others for oranges. Missouri is known for its puppy mills. Let the elected officials be warned that the residents of Missouri are tired of this derogatory label and we are going to do whatever it takes to get rid of not just Hunte Corporation, but the rest of the puppy millers as well.
I will continue to work on this puppy mill from several sides: physically finding puppy mill locations and insisting that they are shut down; economic sanctions - boycotting pet stores who sell puppy mill dogs; pressuring our representatives to get these mills shut down - if they support the millers, they won't be re-elected.
Right now, we are battling HB 1794--a Missouri bill that made it through the first and second readings and is now in the Perfection Committee of the House. At second reading, they added an addendum making it a (are you ready for this?) felony to photograph or videotape a commercial dog breeding facility. I fired off a pretty poignant email to the 5 sponsors of the bill. I suggested that a bill such as this very likely had financial backing from someone like the Hunte Corporation. Only one responded, with a one-line email that said "I could care less what you think."
Unfortunately for the legislators, one of my daughters is taking a college government class with a teacher who is very involved in the state legislature, spending every Tuesday in Jeff City, going to hearings.
My daughter Erin took the bill to her teacher and it has now become their project. She will be going to Jeff City to discuss the situation with legislators and we are involved in a letter writing campaign to each and every House Representative and Senator.
The ONLY reason to add a clause forbidding documentation of a "puppy mill" is to protect the puppy millers. If they don't have anything to hide, then it shouldn't be against the law to photograph them.
Hoping to shut down the puppy mills is probably an idealistic goal because in Missouri dog breeding is BIG business. However, more realistically, we can push for legislation (and enforcement of that legislation) to require breeders to give the animals more medical care, socialization, and better living conditions. We can also hold the puppy millers more financially responsible for some of the medical problems that the puppies have. If instead of allowing them to just supply an equally sick replacement puppy, they should be given a stiff fine. That will improve conditions, breeding practices and overall health of both breeding animals and puppies.
Our state just gave financial backing to The Hunte Corporation (I know I didn't vote for THAT!) and the sheer economic power that The Hunte Corporation has on its geographic area and the state government is amazing.
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