Laws for Paws e-Newsletter
JANUARY 2019
MISSOURI LEGISLATURE BACK IN SESSION
ANIMALS WILL NEED YOUR HELP ONCE AGAIN!
On Wednesday, January 9, the state legislature convened its One-Hundredth General Assembly.  Legislators have been busy filing bills, however, since December 1, in anticipation of the 2019 Session.  While there have been several bills filed to advance the welfare of animals, there has also been legislation introduced that is intended to weaken our existing animal welfare laws. 
 
The most egregious of these bills are Senate Bill 115 and HB 204. These bills seek to eliminate the disposition process for abused and neglected animals. Our current disposition process has been very successful in removing animals from cruel puppy mills and abusive situations and thus has caused great angst among the Missouri Pet Breeders Association, the Missouri Cattlemens Association and other agricultural trade groups.  Unfortunately, these groups represent the interests of the worst dog breeders, farmers, and ranchers in their respective industries.  Instead of working to rid itself of the bad actors, the associations strive to protect the worst of the worst in animal production and seek to protect those that abuse and neglect their animals from the consequences of their actions. 
 
We will need your support and assistance, once again, as we work to defeat these harmful bills. We will also be calling on you to support those bills aimed at increasing penalties for animal abuse and for protecting animals via domestic protection orders. 
 
As issues arise where we need your help,  we will be sending out Action Alerts  asking you to contact your state legislators.     
 
The Alliance, with your help, will continue to be a forceful voice on behalf of the animals and  you can be assured that we will be aggressively fighting for the animals at our state Capitol.           
 
We look forward to your support once again as we strive to make 2018 a Happy and Humane New Year for the Animals!

To view a description of all pending 2019 animal legislation click here
ALLIANCE MEETS WITH USDA OFFICIALS
Confronts USDA Over Lax Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act
This past month, Alliance's Executive Director, Bob Baker, and the Alliance's federal lobbyist, Chris Heyde, met with high-ranking USDA officials in Washington D.C. to discuss the Alliance's concerns about USDA's malfeasance in covering up abuses at puppy mills. USDA Aiding and Abetting Cruel Puppy Mills

We emphasized with these officials that USDA was neglecting its Congressional mandate to enforce the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) especially as regards enforcing standards of care on commercial dog breeding facilities. Instead of defending its new policies that encourage inspectors to ignore violations of the AWA, USDA officials reluctantly admitted that they are kowtowing to a few rural Congressmen. USDA confirmed that the Agency was being pressured by Congressional representatives from puppy mill states, including Missouri. These federal legislators successfully sought USDA's cooperation in protecting the image of the industry. As a result of this pressure, USDA has engaged in a cover-up of conditions at puppy mills in order to present a false narrative to the public about the dog breeding industry.

As a result of this pressure, the USDA has been refusing to release copies of inspection reports in order to keep the public in the dark about the cruelty of puppy mills. Realizing that its denial of inspection reports, as requested under the Freedom of Information Act, is illegal and that the courts would eventually force them to release such reports, USDA concurrently instructed its inspectors to ignore numerous violations of the AWA and not to cite such violations on the inspection reports. Regrettably, items to be ignored include requirements for providing veterinary care to the breeding dogs. Undermining the Animal Welfare Act
USDA hiding abuses at Puppy Mills
At the conclusion of our meeting with USDA, the Alliance proceeded to Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress to pressure USDA to change its ways and to induce the Agency to vigorously enforce the AWA. The Alliance is not only seeking an Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation into USDA's malfeasance, but is also seeking Oversight Hearings by Congress in an effort to expose USDA's failings and to mandate that USDA initiate action against substandard puppy mills. OIG has indicated to Congress that it has placed the Alliance's request for an investigative audit of USDA on its priority list for 2019.

We will keep you advised of our efforts going forward. Please be watchful for future Action Alerts on this matter as we await Committee assignments to determine whom best to reach out to on this issue.
OPEN YOUR HEART GALA CELEBRATES " WOOFSTOCK "!!!

Did you know that OPEN YOUR HEART represents a significant source of funding for our legislative work every year?

This coming OPEN YOUR HEART GALA gives a nostalgic nod to the iconic Woodstock Festival celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. Things may have been "far out" back then but at the Alliance we are ever mindful of the present day challenges facing the animals. 

The evening is open to all animal lovers where you can enjoy hors d'oeuvres, spirits, buffet dinner, our "signature" mashed potato bar and gourmet desserts. This year we're excited to offer a number of fun activities for guests including tarot card readings, pet sketching, and our silent and live auctions. We promise you an evening worth your time filled with mostly lighthearted banter, fellowship, catching up with and catching up on, music and good eats and drinks. 

Formal AND groovy attire are BOTH cool!

Complimentary Valet Parking

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If you are unable to attend but want to support our fundraiser, please consider donating a gift item for our silent auction - we've made it easy by creating an Amazon Wish List !


HELPING ANIMALS!

If you find yourself in a situation where you question the treatment of an animal, or the conditions, or maybe you're wondering about helping wildlife or assisting in a rescue, or you have witnessed something that needs to be reported - go to our website because chances are you will find a number and/or a link that can help address it.

A Great Way to Support the Alliance
With so many people shopping online these days, you can now support the Alliance each time you make a purchase on Amazon. Click here or on the icon. Once you've identified "Missouri Alliance for Animals" as your charitable organization of choice, a portion of your purchase will be donated by Amazon to the Alliance each time you shop on Amazon! What a great way to contribute!
Schnucks eScrip Card

Another great way to support
the Alliance!
Did you know that every time you shop at Schnucks, they'll donate a percentage of your purchase to the Alliance? It's an awesome way to support the Alliance's mission and it doesn't cost you a thing! We'll even register your eScrip card for you so you don't have to!

Simply email us at admin@maal.org with "Schnucks eScrip" in the Subject line, no message required - and we'll send your registered Schnucks eScrip card to you within 7 days.

Once you receive it, you can start using it (we've already registered it for you!) - put it on your key fob to remind the cashier to scan it at check-out!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!