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Lawsuit filed against Missouri's "puppy mill" initiative

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February 23, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: Karen Strange of the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Robin Carnahan that challenges the approved ballot language of the proposed Missouri Dog Breeding Regulation Initiative. The term "puppy mills" is at the center of the challenge. "The Humane Society intentionally uses the term 'puppy mill' because they know it infuriates people," she said. However, Strange also questions whether the ballot language details the actual legislation being proposed. Chuck Hatfield, who represents Strange, argues that the language does not explain what the initiative might do to legitimate dog breeding facilities, for example. Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, who supports the measure, said, "I think the average person understands what a puppy mill is. What we're trying to do is reduce the suffering. What we're trying to do is address the basic, humane care for these dogs." In addition to the lawsuit against the secretary of state, Strange has sued Auditor Susan Montee because she argues that the cost estimate for implementing the measure, should it be approved by voters, is understated.[1][2]

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