Many times in homes where there is violence, pets become pawns of the abusers. 71% of pet owners entering domestic violence shelters report that their batterer had threatened, injured, or killed family pets. These acts of cruelty are carried out by the abuser to keep the human victim under their control. Thankfully, now Missourians seeking protection from violence can have their pets included on orders of protection. This will save countless human and animal lives.
Prior to the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, the standards for care for dogs in commercial breeding facilities were largely unregulated. The Alliance played a critical role in the passage of the Canine Cruelty Act, which dramatically improved standards of care for dogs in commercial breeding facilities, and enhanced enforcement efforts by the Department of Agriculture and Attorney General's Office - which led to the closure of over 1,200 puppy mills in Missouri. According to statistics from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, there are now 50,000 fewer breeding dogs confined to a lifetime of misery in a puppy mill, and over 300,000 fewer puppies being churned out every year in Missouri mills.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Alliance, two individuals in the USDA were ousted in 2016: Dr. Chester Gipson, former Deputy Administrator for Animal Care under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Julian Prager, Dr. Gipson's hired "Canine Advisor." The removal of both these individuals dramatically increased USDA enforcement efforts of both the federal Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.
Through its lobbying efforts, the Alliance helped establish the Large Carnivore Act which requires the humane treatment of large cats such as lions and tigers, and even bears. It also provides protection for the public and creates a comprehensive set of standards for owning large carnivores. This legislation was in response to Missouri's status as home to the largest auction of exotic animals in the country.
The Alliance helped establish a Missouri pet-friendly license plate in which the proceeds are used by the Missouri State Humane Association for spaying and neutering dogs and cats when adopted from statewide animal shelters and animal control facilities.
The Alliance lobbied to amend animal abuse laws to include ALL animals, not just mammals. This restored protection to chickens and other birds that were previously excluded from the statutes protecting animals.
The Alliance supported passage of a law that makes it a felony to kill police or search-and-rescue dogs. (1999)
The Alliance played a leading role in a successful ballot initiative campaign for the passage of Proposition A which banned cockfighting, bear baiting, and other fighting/baiting ventures in Missouri. This legislation also provided for the enactment of felony penalties for dog fighting.
The Alliance lobbied to strengthen provisions and definitions within existing laws in reference to animal neglect and suffering.
The Alliance lobbied to increase the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony for certain animal abuse violations. The result was an amendment to the existing law, supporting this.
The Alliance played a leading role in the passage of the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA), which requires the licensing, inspection, and promulgation of standards of care for dogs and cats housed in commercial pet breeding facilities, pet stores, kennels, and animal shelters. (1992)