|MO Rep Jason Smith|
Late last year, researchers at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) spent weeks poring over state and federal inspection reports, investigators’ photographs, and enforcement records to compile a list of some of the worst puppy mills in Missouri, known as “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen.” The report included direct quotes detailing horrific care violations documented in the facilities’ federal and/or state kennel inspection reports The violations included thin-coated breeds like Italian greyhounds found shivering in the cold in temperatures as low as 9 degrees, dogs with open, oozing or bleeding sores, underweight dogs with their entire skeletal structures showing, and sick or dying puppies who had not been treated by a vet.
March 9, 2011, the HSUS released an update to this report. The majority of the Missouri Dirty Dozen kennels are still state licensed and in operation. On the same day, the Missouri Senate voted 20 - 14 to repeal Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. The Missouri House will vote on this issue soon.
If there is any doubt in your mind that MO Prop B, as written and passed by voters last November, is needed and provides essential protection for dogs, please read below for details from the Dirty Dozen update.
Smith's Kennel, Mary Ann Smith, Salem, MO
Smith's Kennel remains both USDA and MDA licensed despite ongoing repeat violations. In fact, they have a history of repeat USDA violations stretching back more than a decade, including citations for unsanitary conditions; dogs exposed to below-freezing temperatures or excessive heat without adequate shelter from the weather; dogs without enough cage space to turn and move around freely; pest and rodent infestations; injured and bleeding dogs, dogs with loose, bloody stools who had not been treated by a vet, and much more.
Mary Ann Smith's son, now Republican Majority Whip Representative Jason Smith, was once listed in Missouri state records as a co-owner of her kennel and has been an outspoken opponent of Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act and other animal welfare bills.
A reporter for Fox2 news recently dubbed the link a "potential conflict of interest." When Fox 2 requested permission to visit Smith's Kennel in February 2011, the reporter was denied access.
The HSUS has received complaints about sick puppies sold by Smith's Kennel, including a Bulldog who was sold through a Petland store in 2008 and still suffers from congenital health problems that require daily care.
The kennel's most recent USDA inspection was in June 2010, when the owner was cited for a repeat violation for two dogs that had untreated veterinary problems, a repeat violation for housing in disrepair, and sanitation problems. According to news reports, Smith's most recent Missouri state inspection also lists some recent violations. HSUS researchers were not able to obtain a copy in time for this Missouri Dirty Dozen update..