Today a few of us got together and had an informational table at Treats Unleased in Chesterfield about Proposition B. We took only dogs with us that came from Missouri's puppy mills. We had leaflets we were giving out and so many people said "I don't need one, I'm voting yes!" The dogs we had with us were either our own dogs or dogs in foster from puppy mills and they were all dressed up for Halloween! These dogs are most definitely the lucky ones. If they haven't already found their forever home, then they are at least spending their time in a home with people who love them and will give them food so they're not hungry, water that they're not thirsty, and a warm bed to sleep in.
Victoria the Pumpkin
It was a really nice morning and it felt good. It felt like we're doing our part for these dogs. Honestly, in my mind I can not comprehend why anyone would be against Proposition B here in Missouri if they truly UNDERSTAND the measure. Every argument I've heard against is just plain not true. People are saying it's the first step in making eating meat illegal or not allowing hunting, or they completely exaggerate the proposition like there'll need to be the same amount of room for two chihuahuas as there is for 50 dobermans, etc. In truth, this is only about dogs and the dumb argument about the chihuahuas is absolutely a lie. First of all, the measure doesn't affect anyone with less than 10 breeding adult animals. Secondly, the cage measurements required are based on the SIZE of the dog. If an intelligent person reads Proposition B, they will see clearly that it's about treating dogs humanely. It's not asking for crazy out of this world measures. Just simple things like enough food, clean water, rest between breeding cycles and veterinary care. One of the favorite arguments against Prop B is that sufficient laws are already on the books here in Missouri. That's really not the case, unfortunately, because these current regulations can not be acted upon by law enforcement - only the department of agriculture. And these "amazing laws" are staying - they're not going anywhere. They will just be easier to enforce and the consequences will be more than a few bucks to pay in a fine. If these laws were really so strong and strict, do you think the majority of puppy millers in our nation would randomly choose Missouri as their home? Do you think it might be our magnificent ocean views or mountain ranges that are attracting them? No it's because it's easy to make a buck in Missouri by treating dogs horribly for a profit, and easier to get away with it. Did you know currently the Department of Agriculture requires a vet visit to each breeder once a year. BUT ... he or she (THE VET!!) isn't even required to examine one dog? What's the point?
Radar the Pumpkin and Heather the Ski Bunny
Yesterday and today were part of a HUGE puppy mill auction sell out in Mexico, MO by a very notorious family here in Missouri. An expose was done on them on Fox 2 News (See the Story From July, 2010) that showed the puppy store they owned was stocked by a puppy mill that was often non compliant with Missouri laws ... but still in operation with over 1000 dogs! When this came out, their landlord actually wouldn't renew their lease for the puppy store and they've chosen to go out of business. Because of their notoriety, rescues (and breeders) from across the nation converged on Mexico, MO the past couple of days with their sights on these dogs. Here's the coverage from Fox 2 last night.
Unfortunately, the Amish were in full force and was outbidding rescues by hundreds of dollars. The Amish are one of the worst puppy milling cultures in the United States. In fact, one of my friends in our group Becky constantly gets emails from various Amish millers saying "Come pick up this dog by tomorrow or I'm shooting it." I'm sad to say they had very deep pockets this weekend and went home with a lot of dogs. Maybe in a couple of years Becky will get one of those emails and we'll be able to help them out at that time.
For now, let's concentrate on one of the brand new lucky ones. I personally picked up this beautiful "red wild boar" smooth coat male dachshund from Becky last night. He is very sweet and mellow and spent almost the entire night last night playing with Burton. They kept me up like crazy! I understand why people get so caught up in bloodlines of certain breeds when I see a dog like this. He is just plain majestic. I was trying to incorporate Prop B into his name and I was going to name him B-Ber. But JTK the law abiding tween male that he is, is incapable of having anything that might remind him of Justin Bieber IN OUR HOUSE. So, I had the brilliant idea to go with Bonham because it's part of the name of Tim Burton's wife. Hence, a little bit Halloweenish and it starts with B. Plus, I just like saying "Bonham and Burton" together. :) Bonham is 5 years old and has the teeth of a 15 year old. He's probably considered a "tweenie" because he feels VERY solid. I don't think he weighs less than 11 lbs which is the cutoff to be considered a minature dachshund.
No longer known as "S24"
Now if you ever have any question that a dog from a puppy mill is anything but a commodity - more akin to a piece of lumber or a bale of hay than a sentient being, here's a photo of the tattoo on Bonham's inner ear marking him for life as a serial number. As of today, Bonham has a real name and he will most assuredly live the rest of his years out in dachshund deserved luxury.