More than 170,000 Missouri Voters Sign Petition to Place Puppy Mill Initiative on November Ballot

May 3, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (May 2, 2010) — More than 170,000 signatures were submitted Sunday to the Secretary of State's office in an attempt to qualify the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act for the November 2010 ballot. Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, the group spearheading the citizen-backed initiative, exceeded the number of signatures required by more than 70 percent.

"This can only be considered a massive outpouring of public support for the idea of puppy mill reform," said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs. "We ran into few people who were unaware of the problem, and so many of them are themselves enthused about voting to halt this cruelty in the November election."

The Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with such basics as sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing, and adequate space and exercise. Lawmakers in Iowa enacted puppy mill legislation in that state earlier this year, and a similar bill  in Oklahoma now awaits the governor's signature. After Missouri, they are the next largest dog breeding states in the nation. Last year, 10 states approved legislation to address puppy mill problems.

Missourians for the Protection of Dogs is comprised of numerous individuals, veterinarians, and animal welfare organizations, including the Humane Society of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and The Humane Society of the United States. Details on the ballot initiative are available at