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August 3, 2010

Missouri Puppy Mill Initiative Certified for November Ballot

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A citizens' initiative to promote more humane treatment  of dogs  in Missouri's large-scale commercial puppy mills has been certified by the Missouri Secretary of State's office. The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will appear on the November ballot.

"Thanks to the massive outpouring of support from all across the Show Me State, the voters of Missouri will finally have a chance to speak up for the humane treatment of dogs," said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs. "The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of dogs and will help turn around Missouri's reputation as the puppy mill capital of America."

More than 190,000 signatures were submitted last May to the Secretary of State's office to qualify the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act for the statewide ballot. Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, the group spearheading the citizen-backed initiative, thanked the hundreds of grassroots volunteers across the state who propelled the campaign to success in signature gathering, and the tens of thousands of Missouri voters who responded to the positive message of the humane treatment of dogs.

The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations—known as puppy mills—to provide each dog under their care with such basics as sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing and space, as well as access to regular exercise. Lawmakers in Iowa and Oklahoma enacted puppy mill legislation in those states earlier this year, and after Missouri, they are the next largest dog breeding states in the nation. Last year, 10 states approved legislation to address puppy mill problems.

Missourians for the Protection of Dogs is a coalition comprised of the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and The Humane Society of the United States, and backed by veterinarians, businesses, animal welfare organizations and thousands of individuals. Details on the ballot initiative are available at missourifordogs.com.

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Paid for by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs / YES! on Prop B, Judy Peil, Treasurer

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