Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster sell out Missouri jobs to appease special interests.

The old adage of “its not what you say, but what you do that counts” has never been more poignant than in the last four years of Governor Nixon’s administration.  There have been many examples of Nixon selling out Missouri families and Missouri businesses in favor of powerful special interest groups, or trying to curry favor with President Obama.  Let’s not forget Governor Nixon trying last year to sneak in the Obamacare exchanges under the nose of Missourians.  However, none of the Governor’s actions have been more vicious and transparent as pretending to broker a compromise between radical animal rights groups and Missouri Dog Breeders and animal agriculture groups and then selling law abiding Missourians down the river.

After a bitter battle over the slimly won 2010 Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act Ballot Initiative where the Humane Society of the United States spent $4.8 million dollars on propaganda in Missouri to create a “crisis” where one didn’t exist, the Missouri Legislature courageously stepped in to protect law abiding Missouri businesses from an un-constitutional effort to destroy a viable industry.  Missouri already had extensive animal welfare laws in place, and this new Measure did nothing to deal with the small percentage breaking the law, nor the State’s failure to enforce the law.   However this battle was really about wiping out the already heavily regulated, successful, Missouri dog breeding industry.  An industry which has produced quality purebred dogs for families all over the United States and beyond.  Ironically, the Humane Society of Missouri will sell you a mutt with behavioral problems for $300 if you are interested.  The conflict of interest is obvious.

 As the Missouri legislature crafted a fix for this job killing Measure, Governor Nixon, stepped in to broker what is now known as the Missouri Solution.  He caps that by meeting with both sides and declaring victory.  The Governor’s failure to actually determine with empirical data that there is a problem is swept under the rug.  Instead the Governor falls in line with the massive propaganda campaign put forth by out of state special interests, specifically HSUS.   Nobody questions or takes into account the fact that HSUS has gone state by state claiming them as the ‘puppy mill capital of the US” and subsequently destroying their dog breeding industries.

According to Missouri Law what was supposed to happen next is that a 12 person committee made up of diverse agricultural interests works with the Department of Agriculture to write the rules and regulations so as to accurately and fairly implement the law.  Unfortunately, Governor Nixon had disbanded this committee in 2009. So who wrote the rules and regulations?  We have information that Director of Agriculture, Dr. Jon Hagler was involved, as was a gentleman named Bob Baker who is the director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation (MAAL), animal rights advocates masquerading as animal welfare proponents and a direct conduit to the radicals at HSUS.   Otherwise we are not sure who else was involved.  In that smoky back room, most of the unconstitutional aspects removed from the Measure made it back into the rules coupled with numerous onerous and business crushing new rules that had no foundation in the law itself.  These rules went into affect on July 11, 2011.

According to Matt Rold, Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the result was that in the period from July 2011 to July 2012 approximately 50% of the 1,500 licensed Missouri dog breeders went out of business as they were financially incapable of complying with the new onerous rules requiring thousands of dollars of unneeded kennel modifications.  The impact to Missouri is tens of thousands of lost jobs and over $500 million plus in lost positive economic impact to Missouri.  So while the economy is struggling all over Missouri, Governor Nixon decides to crush thousands of Missouri families and their jobs to appease out of state radical animal rights activists.  Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster even decided that it would make a good campaign ad.

Taking a cue from President Obama, Nixon then doubled down on this strategy moving  $1.1 million dollars from other important Missouri programs to the Department of Agriculture’s 2011-2012 budgets to enforce these new rules and implement an aggressive new enforcement campaign rather than to go after the unlicensed law breakers that were the target of this Measure.  This effort ramped up this summer and the immediate results were hundreds of questionable violations against even Missouri’s top Blue Ribbon breeders.  New interpretations of the old rules and vigorous enforcement of new rules that were unsupported by the actual law put everyone in a state of confusion including the Department of Agriculture’s Inspectors who were told to call Dr. Hagler for interpretation of the new rules with Dr. Hagler acting as the Department of Agriculture’s judge, jury and executioner.  Worried that the Missouri Department of Agriculture could wipe out the Missouri dog breeding industry by the end of 2012, The Cavalry Group filed suit in early September 2012 challenging the constitutionality of many of the provisions in the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act including the “new” rules and regulations, and making a claim for a regulatory taking of private property.   The Cavalry Group is in the midst of this legal action and will pursue all remedies to protect Missouri jobs and ultimately Missouri families.  Hopefully we can help save a Missouri industry made up of real Missouri families with a great history and heritage.

 Missouri voters have a clear choice on November 6th.  Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster have made that choice easier by attacking and destroying the livelihoods of those who they are supposed to protect: the law abiding citizens of Missouri.  When you vote on November 6th, I hope that you will remember those law abiding, hard working Missouri families that Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster forgot.  Vote for Dave Spence for Missouri Governor, and Ed Martin for Missouri Attorney General.

Mark Patterson is CEO of The Cavalry Group, America’s advocate for animal owners, outdoor sportsmen, and animal related businesses -- defending them on legal, legislative, and cultural fronts.


  1. Mark Patterson is just another Missouri breeder. Of course he wants to protect his interest. there is a reason that Missouri is home to th most Puppy is because we have laws with loopholes and animal welfare activists will not stop till these people have to get a REAL JOB and pay taxes! No matter how many names of organizations you guys make are all the same people...and your getting less and less.

    1. I completely agree with the other Anonymous. Here is some information about the "responsible breeders" involved:
      The hearing was quite telling about the commercial dog breeding industry in Missouri. One breeder testified that when she was told she had to provide her dogs with access to the outdoors, she chose to kill them rather than comply with the new rule. She had her veterinarian euthanize 72 of them and proudly presented a photo of 25 dead dogs to the judge as evidence of how her business has been hurt since passage of the new law. Another breeder in the courtroom audience stated that she also destroyed her dogs rather than comply with new rules and bragged that she only had to pay her vet $7 per dog to have them euthanized.

      While some of the testimony was a tragic exposure of how dogs are exploited in the commercial dog breeding industry, some of the testimony proved farcical as the breeders and their representatives argued that they did not know what "constant" and "unfettered" access to the outdoors meant. They claimed that since the regulations did not define the terms, the breeders were left in the dark. One witness under cross examination by the attorney general's office was asked to read the definition of "constant" and "unfettered" from the dictionary. After reading the definition, the witness claimed that nowhere in the regulations did it say to refer to the dictionary for meaning of the words. He claimed not to know to use a dictionary for words he did not understand. He argued that "even words with defined meaning need further clarification from the Department of Agriculture."

      Another breeder testified that her dogs cannot be outside as they are too excitable and the excitement of being outside could kill them. She said she could not risk them being outside as a car might backfire or children might walk by her yard. Any excitement could cause them to die. This, of course, raises the question as to whether she informs her customers that the puppies she is selling are restricted to indoor use only for their entire life and can never go outside even to relieve themselves. This breeder testified that "outside air causes loss of ventilation" for dogs. She alleged that six dogs died of heatstroke and excitability when she tried an outdoor exercise plan.
      The breeders argued that dogs do not need access to sunlight and even expressed objection to providing extra bedding to dogs housed outside in winter weather claiming they did not know what "extra bedding" meant. The breeders also argued against the requirement for heavy duty tarps for windbreaks for dogs housed outside.

  2. First question: Why are AnnonyMice allowed to type? If they don't even know their names, they certainly are oblivious to the FACT that Mark & Mindy Patterson are not, nor have ever been, dog breeders. This fact alone pretty much discredits anything else the Mice choose to type. Cheri Cason

    1. And that is a fact. Mark and Mindy are not dog breeders.

  3. Anonymous and Anonymous, I was in the courtroom that day. I am a professional pet breeder. First of all, Mark Patterson is NOT or has ever been a professional pet breeder. Second of all, the licensed and inspected professionals DO PAY TAXES, and we have REAL JOBS! Our jobs are 24 hrs. a day 7 days a week. We rarely take vacations of have "days off" like most. We are caring people. We do the VERY BEST to make sure our animals are well taken care of. This is OUR CHOICE!! As far as your interpretation of the testimonies: The breeder that had to put down her dogs (you forgot to mention) had to do this because the "State" wanted her to take sides out of a Morton building so her dogs could have fresh air and sunshine, you also didn't mention the fact that in this Morton Building, she testified she had large doors on each end (fresh air) and windows ALL around the sides of this building.(sunshine). She was NOT proud of what she had to do, but when trying to comply by a certain date, this was her ONLY option. You see, the public doesn't want adult dogs, THEY WANT PUPPIES!! The other breeder (you failed to mention) was speaking of French Bulldogs. They are a breed that can not take the heat very well. This breeders building is set up with "proper ventilation" as required by law. The changing of her building would destroy that. As for the tarps, WE NEED the tarps for windbreaks, the STATE Dir. of Ag doesn't want us to use them!! As far as extra bedding, we all use bedding if the dogs are housed outside, what one inspector may see as extra bedding, another may not see enough bedding. How are we supposed to determine what to do correctly to comply to these rules. You see, our rules and regulations are being interpreted by a Dir. of Ag who has a degree in Political Science. Who doesn't own a dog, and in a hearing in front of our Representatives, didn't even know there was a vaccine for Parvo!! I do believe you, as many others do not understand our jobs!! If you understood what we do, and with the care we do it, you would understand a little better what went on that day!

  4. I hate Meeces to pieces.
    The Mo Dept of Ag inspectors define the *rules* as they individually see fit. Keep in mind I typed *rules* and not *laws*. Got it so far?
    Barney #1's interpretation of the rules could be quite different from the Barney #2; it all rests in their individual definitions. R U Meeces still with me? Good.
    Many of these breeder's animals are acclimated to a certain *way of life* Do U know what acclimated means? Remember google is UR friend.
    Bedding= now let us define *bedding* If you are a Husky dog (insert any arctic type dog ie St. Bernard) they will not appreciate bedding. As a
    matter of fact these types of animals prefer to lay outside in the snow as they r bred to do. Given their own free will they will choose a
    snowbank over a heated doghouse any day of the winter. Are U catching on now? Try to keep up!!! Now of course a shorthaired little dog is not acclimated (oh
    there's that word again) to snowbanks and will surely freeze like a popsicle if it has no *bedding* All boils down to common sense What is the answer? Replace the Director of Agriculture with an agriculture
    background kinda guy/gal. Drive the activists out of our state with whips.. tar & feathers come to mind as well. Maybe a big oak tree on the
    courthouse lawn would be helpful..... before it's too late for Missouri Agriculture
    The Nebraska governor knows the cards. Take lessons from him.
    Good to see you again, Terry Ward.

  5. This a a very complex problem. as an American citizen we all have rights guaranteed to us by the Constituition. We have property Rights and the right to Pursue Happiness. Just to name a couple. We have the freedom of speach and most importantly we not only have the right to speak and publish we have the rsponsibility to stand, to write and deliver our message to expose those who would harm and or destroy thoise very rights assured to us by God and the Constitution of the United States.

    Let's not get lost in calling names let us stay focused on the protection of everyone's rights and freedoms.

  6. I too was present at the hearing proceedings on January 11, 2013. The confusion that MS anonymous refers to with her 2nd edition Webster definations is simple to explain, sure anyone can look up the two words: unfettered and access. Still simple-- until Jon Hagler decides that roofs over outside kennel runs, and windbreaks properly installed to protect the dogs from wind, rain, snow, etc. physically change the outside magically into the inside. Confused yet? So were Missouri Breeders! In a 20 minute long tirade, the state's attorney repeatedly asked state officals from the Department of Ag, if Shade would hurt a dog? excuse me? of course not. How did the state's obscure line of questioning get twisted into a statement that breeders were against sunshine for their animals? (it should be noted at this point that there is NO scientific study that has ever been preformed that dictates that sunshine is necessary for a dog to continue to have good health.)It is also important to remember that the LAW, the statute calls for a diurnal light cycle of EITHER natural of artifical light. That said, the director has bastardized the statute by demanding direct sunlight enter into the actual kennel pens, thus forcing facility owners to remove roofs, windbreaks and the like, which especially in North Missouri winters constitutes cruelty to the animals affected! Furthermore, in reference to the breeder that was forced to euthanize 72 animals-- a bit of background, violations of the CCPA (canine cruelty prevention act) carry criminal charges, and Attorney Gen. Koster is only too happy to prosecute! So, the breeder in question applied for an exemption to the statute, which provision was written into the statute, but Jon Hagler denied it. A time limit by which the facility owner was required to be in compliance- or face criminal charges-- was set, and the breeder began advertising dogs for sale or placement. There was VERY little interest. AS the time limit set by the state drew nearer, the facility owner made a very emotional, and difficult decision to euthanize her dogs. Hmmm, So the state under the threat of non-compliance and criminal charges in effect forced her to "get rid " of those animals, when she was unable to place the animals, the state under Jon Hagler's direction dictated that they be removed from the facility as it was. Interesting to say the least... Another misnomer, in regards to the excitability of the bulldogs in question, of course a puppy placed into a home would not have to be inside at all times! What part of acclimated to a situation is difficult to understand. The animals in question at the breeding facility had their homes inside-- they were not used to the outside stimuli that they recieved outside, whether it be children running and playing, or a car back-firing etc. The crux of the matter centers on what experiences the adult dogs had had previously, how they were protected from external influences, not that the dogs themselves or the breed of dog is faulted in any way! The rules regarding lack ofwindbreaks (heck we farmers put windbreaks and three sided sheds in our pastures for our cattle! but wait, in Jon Hagler's view we have just moved those cattle inside!???) and only partial roofs above kennel runs, as Hagler is insisting on are detrimental to the health and well being of many dogs in the state of Missouri. I too feel strongly that the Director should have been open to input from both vets, and the professionals in the field, and at least consulted with , well, ANY animal husbandry expert when implementing these rules that in no way improve the living conditions of dogs in Missouri. Better yet, the LAW should have been followed and the 12 party committee along with input from the director should have compiled the rules. Karen Highland

  7. I have to wonder,being at the hearing myself that day,which lawyer minion of Bob Baker(really baby girl you should have learned in law school not to badger your own witness)- is commenting on a case in process? Or is it the great Bob himself(who was continually passing notes to the state counsel during the court proceedings-very professional Bobby),or his washout play mate?? You can always say one thing about the Animal Rights Fanatics,they stay right on track with all their posts. Twisting and stretching the truth to the breaking point. Makes me wonder if they are outright liars or are just maybe a little simple.
    Mark Patterson is not and never has been a dog breeder.Where did you dream that up? The only thing proven by their writings here is that they actually have no practical knowledge concerning canine(or most likely any animals)care or welfare. What they do prove is their continuing ignorance and fanatical devotion to a cause,driven not by compassion but by ignorance,hatred,and most importantly money and politics.
    It is sad that the posters of these comments are not willing to stand behind their rantings or their cause and choose to cower behind the name"Anonymous".It sure is easy to be a big shot if you are Mr.and Ms. Anonymous. Not surprising at all. If you notice all breeders DO have fortitude,courage and belief in their industry to say -Yeah-I said that- Kathie Blomberg

    1. Yeah.. I said that! Nice post, Kathie. Cheri Cason

  8. Thank you ladies for speaking out.

    Texas Jack