A sad story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this morning tells how one of the area’s animal shelters was raided and 195 dogs and cats were rescued for the second time in their miserable lives. In today’s economy, donations are down at shelters and more pets are being abandoned and dropped off, creating a bad situation for people who want to help animals.
But at the same time here in Missouri, Proposition B, the so-called “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,” which passed by a narrow margin in last year’s election, is under review by a state legislature anxious to take a fresh look and lawmakers are being attacked in the local media. While animal rights activists are calling foul, they are ignoring a simple fact most voters were unaware of … shelters like the one raided are exempt from the new law.
If Proposition B was just simple language all about the welfare of dogs, why did those forces pushing for it last year exempt themselves? If the Missouri legislature cannot dilute or delete Proposition B, perhaps lawmakers should take the opposite approach — try to remove the exemptions and force the shelters to explain why they should not be held to the same scrutiny they impose on others.
Thanks to this morning’s paper, I can think of 195 silent witnesses for the prosecution.