Puppy Mill Initiative (Missouri’s Prop B) draws unlikely opponents

As the November voting day draws closer, debate over Missouri’s Prop B — the Puppy Mill initiative – continues to make national headlines. And the arguments are becoming more political with each endorsement and attack.

Like other laws aimed at preventing cruelty, Prop B wouldn’t affect anyone who is treating animals with adequate care and kindness. One needs only to look at this blog — and cases like Lucky or Sarge — to know that the enactment of such laws are necessary. Or take a look at HSUS’s latest report on Missouri puppy mills to see that, unfortunately, our government is needed to tell some folks that fighting dogs, neglecting them, and confining them to tiny feces-ridden cages is wrong.

Still, a few feel that since companion animals can’t vote, no one need advocate on their behalf. In fact, a Missouri Tea Party group is so enraged by the thought of regulated animal care that they are planning to focus their first meeting on October 12 “to figuring out how they can fight Prop. B.”

The vast majority of animal welfare organizations (including Best Friends Animal Society, HSUS, and the ASPCA) strongly support the proposed legislation that mandates exercise , clean water, and access to the outdoors for breeding dogs and their puppies. Opponents, however, say there are enough protections in place.

Instead of talking about adequate care for animals, opponents even go so far as to claim that Prop B supporters and are trying to make it too difficult and too expensive for Americans to acquire dogs. Of course, groups like the ASPCA and HSUS devote huge amounts of time and resources to putting dogs and cats in American homes — and at a cost far less than buying from puppy millers: They encourage adopting from shelters.

Voters, please don’t let compassion for animals become a political matter. The issue should divide right from wrong, not right from left.