Breeders Pressuring Missouri Dept of Agriculture into weakening "The Solution"

updated

This is an alert that was put out by the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation (MAAL) and the Humane Society of Missouri. We'll get into "I told you so"s at some later time. Right now, we all have to pull together to prevent this abominable action.

One of the regulations agreed to with the "Missouri Solution" was that each dog at a breeder must be physically examined annually by a veterinarian. The Proposition B rules that would have required that injuries and illnesses be treated by a veterinarian were removed, but at least this one minimal requirement was left.

The dog breeders agreed to this. Their representatives signed on to this.

No, I don't want to buy that puppy

A poem has been appearing on several puppy rescue and shelter sites and Facebook pages. According to one site, the poem was a "letter to a roadside vendor by Harriet Rankin".

No, I don't want to buy that puppy.
I am a rescuer.
I'll see him later.

After the fool you sold him to realizes how much work a puppy is.

After he digs out of the boring backyard he was banished to, for the heinous crime of being untrained.

After he roams blistering hot streets, hungry and lonely and confused.

After he picks up parasites and loses weight from throwing up garbage that he eats.

After he gets bitten for wandering into the wrong dog's territory (and it gets infected).

After a car clips him and breaks his leg, adding pain to the thirst, hunger and loneliness.

Then I'll find him.

Rabbit Ridge: Recent Missouri Department of Agriculture Inspections

I just received the recent inspections for Rabbit Ridge from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. This joins with the recent USDA inspections.

As you can see, the MDA has had to do three inspections since April. The MDA also found problems at Rabbit Ridge—some very significant, such as dog with mats, hair loss, and wounds on his feet.

I still don't have the August 2nd inspection from the USDA. In fact, the USDA pulled the August 15/16 inspections from the APHIS database, though I have a copy linked in my Sept 3 Rabbit Ridge writing.

One thing I like about the MDA reports: they provide the count of adult dogs and puppies. According to the inspection in June, Schrage has 204 adult dogs, 72 puppies, for a total of 276 dogs.

Rabbit Ridge: Same Old Bad Tricks

Updated

It's been some time since we checked into our first Kennel Campaign kennel, Rabbit Ridge. Too long, it seems.

An August 4th inspection in the USDA APHIS database provides the following rather alarming information (complete inspection report):

There is a hutch style enclosure on the east side of the facility that did not have sufficient shade provided during the day light hours. The location of the enclosure is such that during the late afternoon and early evening hours there is no shade provided for the dog. Dogs that do not have sufficient shade could suffer from heat stress. Dogs must be provided with sufficient shade during the daylight hours for their health and well being at all times.
Licensee fixed at time of inspection.
This is a repeat non compliant item.

And the Missouri Smoke and Mirrors Continue

Attorney General Koster has come out with a look how much we care about the doggies site, which is basically a load of bilge water.

Two breeders have been closed down. Two. And both breeders were allowed to hold on to their dogs until resolution of their cases, and one is even allowed to breed dogs again in six years.

I don't really care about the political party of all the people involved, because both Democrats and Republicans have tried to help the dogs, and both Democrats and Republicans have done a lot of damage to the cause of animal welfare in this state. What I do care about is truth, which is sometimes hard to see when politicians use so much smoke, and so many mirrors.

Putting Lies into Context: Debe Bell and the Six Bell's Rabbitry

updated

Several Tea Party pundits have jumped on the media bandwagon for Debe Bell and the Six Bells Rabbits.

"There was no warrant", they claim, based solely on what they were told by Bell (never bothering to fact check).

"The rabbits were in great shape!", they shouted, again based on what they were told by Bell (assuming that Bell was telling the truth, while a dozen or so veterinarians, animal care personnel, and sheriff's department personnel were all lying).

Well, nothing like a few facts to show how foolish these people are.

In the sidebar to the story is a link to both the warrant and a slideshow of the conditions on Bell's farm. You better have a strong stomach before clicking the link to the slideshow.

The sad thing is, many puppy (and bunny) mills in Missouri share similar conditions, but they're not being closed down.

update

Bunnies again, but this time Six Bells Farms

updated

I seem to be getting links to cruelty cases related to bunnies. The most recent was a link about a bunny mill that was raided in Colorado, and the owner charged with cruelty. The mill is named Six Bells Farm, and the owner is Debe Bell. More on the story in The Denver Post.

Bell states to publications that she sold rabbits as meat, not pets, but her own web site proves this isn't true. Sheriff's deputies and animal control found 25 dead bunnies on the property, and Bell stated that she was holding the dead bunnies to donate to a zoo. However, no reputable zoo would take meat from rabbits that died from unknown causes, and she's not identified the zoo.

When is a Rescue not a Rescue? When it's Rescue a French Bulldog

Folks involved with the puppy mill effort in Missouri have long been familiar with Wendy Laymon, and her so-called "Rescue a French Bulldog".

Wendy Laymon has a shameful history of animal neglect as a commercial breeder, including being fined by the USDA and losing her USDA license. Chat in the community has it that she started up the Rescue a French Bulldog, not to save poor homeless french bull dogs but to muddy the water for genuine rescues—not to mention siphoning off donations from the less informed, as well as being a way to get rid of frenchies that haven't sold through her commercial breeding operation.

No Justice for Dogs

I received the disposition records sent to the Missouri Department of Agriculture as part of the consent decree for the closure of S & S Family Puppies. I've linked the PDF of the records, but note it is a rather large document.

The disposition records were from the auction of the dogs. All but a few of the dogs went to other breeders. Among the violations for some of the breeders are the following:

Betty and John Wagler (USDA 48-A-2108)
Oswego, Kansas

The Benefits of Publicly Accessible Inspection Records

It is not difficult to make a digital copy of an inspection report. Most modern printers that make copies now have the ability to scan the copies into a PDF just as quickly as you can make the paper copy.

There is no reason for any agency, Missourian or otherwise, to not have digital copies of all their records. Not only does having digital copies of inspection reports decrease the need for paper, but it also ensures reasonable access of the records, as well as backup in case of fire, flood, and other disaster.

I have no idea what kind of information system the Department of Agriculture in Missouri has in place. I do know that, considering the interest people have in inspection records, the organization could more effectively deal with requests if it just provided the information via a simple to use online system. The USDA caught on to the advantages of such a system a few years back, which is why we can access so much USDA information online.

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