Stop Puppy Mill Suffering in Missouri

61,571 signatures toward our 75,000 Goal

82.09% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Help us save thousands of dogs from the grim fate they face by living in Missouri's infamous puppy mills.


In 2020, for the eighth year in a row, Missouri had the most documented puppy mills of any other state in the U.S.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released its 2020 'Horrible Hundred' list1, and Missouri made top billing with 30 dealers — triple the number of puppy mills for any other state. Ohio, the runner up, had nine puppy mills on the list; Illinois had two2.

In an undercover investigation, the HSUS recorded video of distressed dogs circling cramped, barren cages and others pacing in pens at numerous dog breeding facilities licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Missouri3.

Despite the visibly cramped and poor conditions, only a few of the operations were cited for cleaning violations or failure to give access to inspectors. They met USDA's minimal and insufficient standards, under which hundreds of dogs languish for their entire lives in dismal, yet legal, puppy mills.

Until 2021, it was legal in Missouri to put a full-grown dog in a cage the size of a dishwasher, and leave it there for life. Voters there approved a ballot measure in 2020 aimed at eliminating puppy mill cruelty, but Gov. Jay Nixon soon repealed the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. In its stead the Missouri legislature approved new standards the governor says will protect dogs in a way that won't put responsible breeders out of business4.

The new standards increase fees for obtaining a license to operate a puppy mill, require breeders to provide dogs three times the space previously required, require 24/7 access to an outdoor exercise run; and ban wire cage flooring from being used in new enclosures.

It's a step in the right direction, and some breeders have complied with the new rules, but those that cannot, or will not, have abandoned their dogs or sent them to auction.

Missouri law allows breeders who are shut down to sell their dogs to other breeders at auctions — even while facing multiple lawsuits — and make tens of thousands of dollars, pushing animals into yet another cycle of breeding and abuse at a different puppy mill5.

Clearly, the state's recent legislation is not enough. Missouri has to take its puppy mill problem seriously! Sign the petition asking Missouri's Governor to lend his support to stopping puppy mills in Missouri once and for all. 

More on this issue:

  1. The Humane Society of the United States (2020), "The Horrible Hundred."
  2. : Kelsi Anderson, KSDK (12 May 2020), "Missouri leads Humane Society's 'Horrible Hundred' puppy mill report for 8th year in a row."
  3. The Humane Society of the United States (17 November 2020), "New undercover footage reveals bleak existence for dogs at USDA-licensed puppy mills that supply puppies to popular pet stores."
  4. Elizabeth Daigneau, Governing (24 May 2011), "Missouri's Puppy Mill Politics."
  5. The Humane Society of the United States (21 May 2020), "Missouri moves to shut down Horrible Hundred puppy mill for keeping dogs in filthy conditions."
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The Petition:

Dear Governor,

As a concerned animal advocate, I am appalled to hear about the continued allowance of puppy mills in Missouri. The dogs in these facilities are often neglected, abused, and suffering fro serious illnesses when they are sold.

Despite the passage of legislation that promised solutions to the problem, Missouri continues to be the nation's worst state for puppy mills. Breeders that have not been able to meet the new standards have simply auctioned their animals off to the highest bidder, making a profit while the animals are forced back into a cycle of suffering.

This cannot continue!

Puppy mill dogs don't live healthy lives, and it's our job to advocate on their behalf. Please join the fight for the welfare of these innocent creatures and ban puppy mills in the state of Missouri.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: