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The vested and powerful interests in Jeff City could very well invalidate the 190,027 signatures gathered by volunteers for Missourians to Protect Dogs.  This is the puppy mill petition that would force the Dept. of Ag to do what it’s supposed to do – regulate those god-awful puppy mills.  We would rather see them eliminated altogether, but we know that’s impossible right now.  HJR 86 is on the “informal calendar” and can be voted on at any moment.  We have to let these bastards know they can’t just make our right of initiative petition disappear.  Call, fax, email and keep it up until 6 p.m. Friday.   Here is the suggested message, but you might have your own choice words for these creeps.

As your constituent, I urge you to oppose H.J.R. 86 and legislation with similar wording, which attempt to interfere with Missouri citizens’ right to petition the government on abusive practices, such as the puppy mill ballot initiative now circulating. These bills are unfair and undemocratic, and are so broad they could even protect animal abusers.  

There are efforts underway now to amend H.J.R. 86 and one of the measures in the House to require a super-majority vote on ballot measures relating to animal protection.  Please do not fall for this last minute change, which does not improve the fundamentally bad public policy that these bills represent.

This legislation is a cynical and underhanded attempt to take away the rights of Missouri citizens. Voters overwhelmingly banned cockfighting in 1998, and are now circulating a petition to prevent cruelty at large-scale puppy mills. The right of citizens to petition for new laws is guaranteed by the Missouri Constitution, and lawmakers should not try to interfere with a ballot measure already in progress.

H.J.R. 86, H.B. 1747, S.B. 848, and S.B. 795 would also invest more power in the courts and subject the state to expensive lawsuits from animal abusers who want to overturn anti-cruelty laws. We shouldn’t waste our tax dollars and take away the rights of Missouri voters just to protect puppy mills and animal abusers.

Please oppose these bills and any other bill with similar language.