The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes and shares concerns about substandard kennels. AKC’s mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. We support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.
The AKC 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 Missouri Proposition B do absolutely nothing to improve the well-being 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.
Furthermore, the AKC finds the term “puppy mill cruelty” used in Proposition B to be offensive to responsible breeders. Local responsible breeders should be viewed as assets to their communities. These breeders make serious commitments to their animals by raising healthy, well cared-for dogs and by working to ensure that puppies are placed with responsible owners. They are in a unique position to support new pet owners and exemplify responsible animal ownership.
Responsible dog breeders and owners are models for their communities and should not be penalized by being forced to comply with burdensome, unenforceable, expensive, and arbitrary regulations.
The American Kennel Club opposes Proposition B.
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The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes and shares concerns about substandard kennels. AKCs…