We recently received a “robo call” from a group that is opposing Proposition B. I was completely shocked by this because Proposition B solidifies the standards of care for breeding dogs that should now be commonplace.

Most people I know will be very glad when the upcoming election is over. Campaign ads that bombard TV viewers with mixed messages can be very disconcerting.

We recently received a “robo call” from a group that is opposing Proposition B. I was completely shocked by this because Proposition B solidifies the standards of care for breeding dogs that should now be commonplace.

People who do not understand what details Proposition B holds may vote against it. This is why those of us who want to see improvement of breeding facilities in Missouri need to spread the truth about Proposition B.

Proposition B will not raise taxes nor will it limit hunting or the ability to breed, raise, or sell hunting dogs. It will not take jobs from Missourians and it will not hurt reputable breeders.

Proposition B will require that: Breeders have no more than 50 breeding dogs at one time; dogs have to have access to sufficient food and clean water; dogs will receive necessary veterinary care; sufficient housing will be provided to protect dogs from the elements; dogs will have sufficient space to turn and stretch freely, lie down, and fully extend his or her limbs; dogs will receive regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles; and to ensure that dogs do not produce more than two litters in any 18 month period.

Not only does Proposition B require certain standards of care for breeding dogs, but it also makes the crime of puppy mill cruelty a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by imprisonment or a fine not to exceed $500, or both.

Repeat offenders will be charged with a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by imprisonment exceeding six months in jail. If the offense meets the definition of animal abuse the defendant may be charged and penalized under that section.

Some people may think that these penalties are too harsh; others will think they aren’t harsh enough. All this depends on how one views animals.

Philosopher Renee Descartes believed that animals have no feelings, that the cries they made were from a “reflex,” and that they felt no pain.

But British philosopher John Locke argued that animals do indeed have feelings and that unnecessary cruelty toward them is morally wrong. Locke also said it was important to prevent children from tormenting animals.

He said, “For the custom of tormenting and killing of beasts will, by degrees, harden their minds even towards men.” This was written in 1693.

Now in the 21st century the link between cruelty to animals and the physical abuse of children and adults has been acknowledged by law enforcement. There are many areas of the country where animal control officers and police work together to help victims of abuse.

My favorite saint, Saint Francis of Assisi, believed that it is the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves.

The following is one quote from Saint Francis that deserves contemplation. “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

With this in mind, think about the thousands of dogs confined to puppy mills all over Missouri forced to live in wire cages enduring the elements and denied medical care, exercise, and the love they need to live a happy life. Then think about how you can make a difference in the lives of these animals by voting yes on Proposition B.