The American Kennel Club has learned of an initiative petition effort underway in Missouri that, if...
The American Kennel Club has learned of an initiative petition effort underway in Missouri that, if successful, would allow Missouri citizens the opportunity to create law that will unreasonably restrict the operations of responsible dog breeders. Similar legislation has failed to garner support in the Missouri Legislature. Missouri law requires proponents of this initiative to collect a required number of voters' signatures prior to it being placed on the November 2010 ballot. The American Kennel Club does not support this petition effort.
The American Kennel Club strongly believes that ALL dogs-not just those who are part of a breeding program-deserve:
- Sufficient food and clean water
- Necessary veterinary care
- Sufficient housing, including protection from the elements
- Sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down and extend his or her limbs;
- Regular exercise; and
- Adequate rest between breeding cycles.
However, the way in which some of these terms are defined in the proposed Missouri ballot measure do absolutely nothing to improve the wellbeing of animals; instead, it would add excessive expenses to responsible breeders who strive to produce well-bred family pets.
The proposal also seeks to limit the number of dogs an individual may own. This confuses the real issue of animal welfare, which focuses on the quality of care given to animals, not the number of animals an individual owns. Responsible breeders are not defined by the number of dogs kept, or whether they make a profit in selling dogs. Rather, responsible breeders are characterized by the quality of care and conditions that they provide their dogs and the quality (including health, temperament and breed type) of the puppies they produce.
Cruelty and negligence can occur regardless of the number of dogs a person has.
The AKC does not support this petition, and is working with the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners to address it.