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Laws for Paws e-Newslett er
October 2017   



Editor's Note: This article first appeared last week in our Fall Newsletter. USDA immediately responded with the following statement, "We will closely monitor auctions and will keep an eye out for the concerns that the Alliance noted in its Newsletter."

Although there are federal and state laws to protect dogs in puppy mills from abuse, little is being done to stop the marketing and trading of sick and infirm animals at dog auctions. This year alone, dozens of sick dogs have been auctioned off at Missouri's two dog auction sites. This includes dogs with Parvo, Giardia, debilitating dental disease and severe ear infections as well as a host of other illnesses. Many of the dogs with severe dental disease require multiple extractions; one dog that was sold at a recent Missouri auction had to have 18 teeth extracted. In addition, this poor animal had a urinary tract infection and was positive for Giardia. 

This past March, numerous dogs were sold at  Southwest Auction Service in Wheaton, Missouri with Parvovirus, ear infections, and serious dental disease. One dog was being auctioned off while she was still in active labor. The Parvovirus is of grave concern because it is so contagious, and all of the other dogs at the auction were exposed to the Parvo-positive dogs. On the same day, a standard poodle was transported to the auction in the trunk of a car.

Read Full Article  here  

 Recent Federal Court Rulings May Spell the End of Ag-Gag Laws

Farm Animals Win Day in Court

The corporate agriculture industry has for many years attempted to silence its critics and to cover up the many abuses associated with the raising of animals in industrialized livestock operations, which are also known as factory farms.

Multi-national agricultural interests have been successful in gaining the passage of laws that effectively prohibit the public from seeing and learning what goes on inside factory farms. Commonly referred to as "Ag-Gag Laws", these laws often make it a criminal and/or civil offense to make video recordings at factory farms, and even at puppy mills, for the purpose of exposing animal maltreatment, neglect, and abuse. 

Recently, federal judges have declared that Ag-Gag laws in Idaho and Utah were unconstitutional. In the Idaho case, U.S. Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that this law wrongly criminalized free speech for the sole purpose of protecting powerful agricultural groups. The judge ruled that "whistleblowers are of public importance regarding the safety of food, the safety of agricultural workers, and the treatment and health of farm animals."

Judge Winmill pointed out that "the remedy for speech we do not like, is more speech, not enforced silence."

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah's Ag-Gag law in July of this year, stating that it violated the First Amendment's free-speech protections. A supporter of the ban had said he and other farmers "don't want some jack wagon coming in taking a picture of them." Judge Shelby, however, ruled that Utah has a variety of constitutionally permissible tools at its disposal to protect the agriculture industry but "suppressing broad swaths of protected speech without justification, however, is not one of them." Judge Shelby noted that the sole intent of the law was to "prevent undercover investigations from exposing abuses at agricultural facilities."

Judge Winmill concurred noting in his ruling that Ag-Gag laws would have criminalized the undercover journalism that Upton Sinclair had performed in order to write The Jungle, his shocking 1906 book about the meatpacking industry, the result of which led to massive reforms in the industry.

Buoyed by the recent successful legal challenges to Ag-Gag laws in Idaho and Utah, a lawsuit was filed on Tuesday of this week to challenge the constitutionality of Iowa's Ag-Gag law.



In a related legal case, a Missouri dog breeder sought to gag critics of puppy mills in 2011, by filing a defamation lawsuit against the Missourians for Protection of Dogs (MPD). The Alliance was a coalition member of MPD which was formed in 2010 for the purpose of reforming the dog breeding industry. Earlier this year, the Missouri Supreme Court in a unanimous decision threw out the lawsuit against MPD.

While the breeder alleged that MPD defamed her, the Supreme Court ruled that the breeder did not dispute the violations at her kennel which had been reported by MPD, and that the description of the "severity" of the kennel's violations were "not provable as false."

In accord with the rulings by federal judges in reference to Ag-Gag laws, the Missouri Supreme Court similarly ruled that if animal operators did not like an opinion expressed by animal advocates such as MPD, any such disagreement should "depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries but on the competition of other ideas."

It is heartening to learn that several federal Courts as well as the Missouri Supreme Court have taken a vigorous stand against the agriculture industry and puppy mill operators in their efforts to intimidate animal advocates.

Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming Events!


Saturday, October 14: 12 - 3 pm / DuSable Dog Park 
For more info, visit:  

St. Louis Pet Expo
Saturday, October 28: 10 am - 5 pm / St. Charles Convention Center
Sunday, October 29:  11 am - 4 pm / St. Charles Convention Center
For more info, visit:   St. Louis Pet Expo
To volunteer, email:
Sat, Oct 28:  2 - 5 pm
Sun, Oct 29: 1 - 4 pm


Great KC Pet Expo
Saturday, December 2: 10 am - 6 pm / KCI Expo Center
Sunday, December 3:  10 am - 4 pm / KCI Expo Center
For more info, visit:  
To volunteer, email:



Did you know that you can purchase an "I'm Pet Friendly" license plate online, and that your purchase helps funds spay and neuter programs in Missouri? 

 The "I'm Pet Friendly" license plate program was established through legislation to provide funds for spay neuter programs throughout Missouri, and The Missouri State Humane Association (MoSHA) was founded to administer this program. Organizations and agencies performing spay neuter services in their communities apply for grants provided by the funds collected from the "I'm Pet Friendly" license plate fees.

Since its founding, MoSHA has contributed approximately $200,000 to spay/neuter programs in Missouri. A significant portion of these funds has been allocated to programs in rural areas with pet overpopulation problems and limited funding for spay and neuter services.

Animal abuse comes in all shapes and sizes, but one of the best ways to address the homeless animals and pet-overpopulation issue is to DO something about it.  

To learn more about MoSHA and the "I'm Pet Friendly" license plate, click on the image below:


Designed by Vivian Brill

The message of  Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Creatures  is something we animal welfare advocates carry deep within our souls. Graphic designer Vivian Brill has created a unique card for the Alliance and our supporters - a beautiful interpretation of this very sentiment especially for the holiday season (on the inside the card reads "Good Will to All Creatures").

We have a limited number of cards available and are offering them to our supporters now.  We've made it easy to order them online, packaged as 10 greeting cards for $12, or 20 cards for $22.

Get a jump start on the holiday season while supporting the Alliance - and the animals!

To order your set(s), click here 

We Love Your SMILE!


Now when you shop at, Amazon donates!  What a fun and easy way to help support the Alliance every time you shop!

Click on the image (or the link) to start now!

Help the Alliance continue to  
fight for the animals. 
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