Missouri agency not referring many new dog breeders to state

Missouri agency not referring many new dog breeders to state
"Our phone rings off the hook for people wanting small dogs, it's the big dogs we're having trouble with," said St. Lawrence.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Some animal advocates are concerned that the Missouri Department of Agriculture hasn't referred many dog breeders to the state's chief law enforcement office.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri voters enacted new rules to crack down on so-called puppy mills eight years ago. Legislators rewrote the law and state inspectors gained the authority to ask the attorney general's office to sue kennels.

The Department of Agriculture has only referred one case to the attorney general's office since Nov. 23, 2015.

Bob Baker is the president of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. He says it's "very disconcerting" that department hasn't referred many cases.

Department spokeswoman Sami Jo Freeman says the state's procedures focus on getting breeders to comply instead of funneling them to the attorney general's office.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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