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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dog Breeders Speak Out for Missouri’s Prop B

Meet Lucky. Lucky was rescued from a Missouri puppy mill last year. Ellen Lucas, a dog breeder and breed rescue coordinator who bought Lucky from a Missouri dog auction for a token amount of money, says, "When I got him he smelled, was covered in mats, could not eat from a bowl, did not know what a biscuit was, had never seen a toy, had never been on a leash, and had lived in a two-by-two-foot cage his entire one-and-a-half years. He is adorable now and Velcroed to my hip."

Lucky with vet (after) 2 Under all the filth and matts, Lucky was, allegedly, a dog of known bloodlines. According to Lucas, he came with registration papers stating he was a purebred AKC Norwich Terrier. But Lucas says DNA testing proved Lucky is actually a mixed breed dog.

Lucky was not the only dog Lucas rescued from Missouri puppy mills who had false papers. As she wrote in an email to the YES! on Prop B campaign, “I have rescued Clint (sold as a Norwich but actually a brindle Cairn), Lucky (sold as a Norwich but DNA tested as over 50% Norwich and over 20% Yorkie) and then most recently, three Norwich—two five-year-old adults and their three-year-old daughter ALL with AKC registrations. The male, Gambler, DNA'd as a Norwich but the older female came back 50% Cairn/50% Norwich. Their daughter is obviously 75/25%.”

“Again all three have AKC registrations. The AKC does nothing about these puppy mills and in fact is encouraging the puppy mill breeders to register their dogs through FREE registration and a special administrative registration program.”

Ellen Lucas, a breeder of Norwich Terriers since 1998, is concerned about the false papers she received with Lucky and the other dogs—papers that prove puppy mills may be distorting the bloodlines and legitimacy of generations of purebred dogs. “If this is happening to me, how many other dogs living in these bad conditions are being sold as purebred but are actually mixes concocted by the commercial breeders? The AKC says they are looking out after the small breeder’s interests, but legislation against a kennel with [a large number of] breeding bitches is certainly not a threat to me as a small breeder and owner.”

Lucas and breeders like her are fed up with the way puppy mills are distorting the bloodlines of generations of dogs, misleading the public, and, perhaps worst of all, confining breeding dogs to small, filthy cages for years on end, without adequate exercise, attention or veterinary care, solely to churn out puppies of questionable health and quality for the pet trade.

That’s why three Missouri dog breeders—Cecily Barker, who has been breeding Irish Setters for 40 years and is an AKC hunt test judge, Bev Stobart, who has been breeding Irish Wolfhounds for 30 years and is a veterinary technician, and Dr. Melanie Mercer, a breeder of Salukis and Irish Wolfhounds and a graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine—are appearing in new TV ads launched today urging Missouri citizens to vote YES! on Prop B. I hope you’ll watch these ads, and if you live in Missouri, join the responsible dog breeders, veterinarians, humane societies and others working to stop the cruelty at large-scale puppy mills and establish common-sense standards for the care of dogs.

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

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