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Can Mo. Shed Image as “Puppy Mill Capitol”?

Megan Lynch
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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon today details new enforcement tools that will help continue the crackdown on substandard commercial dog breeders in Missouri, during a press conference in St. Louis on June 14, 2011.(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon today details new enforcement tools that will help continue the crackdown on substandard commercial dog breeders in Missouri, during a press conference in St. Louis on June 14, 2011.(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – A group that’s rescued thousands of dogs from Missouri puppy mills is applauding new efforts to crack down on bad breeders.

Two years after state officials started going after unlicensed and substandard dog breeders, 5,000 animals have been seized or surrendered and 500 kennels shuttered.

Kathy Warnick, President, Humane Society of Missouri tells KMOX, the announcement that state inspections of dog breeders will now receive more funding should help the Department of Agriculture keep tabs on the industry.  “In 2008 only 66-percent of breeding facilities in Missouri were inspected, in 2010, 90-percent were inspected,” and Warnick says with an extra $1.1 million in the budget,  the state should now be able to visit all kennels once a year, plus make multiple visits to problem facilities.

Governor Jay Nixon and Missouri Attorney General joined Warnick at the Humane Society’s headquarters in St. Louis Tuesday morning to outline changes in law impacting Missouri’s massive dog breeding industry.    The AG’s office also announced formation of a “Canine Cruelty Prevention Unit.”  A full-time prosecutor assigned to the unit has new authority under state law to go after the worst kennels.

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