If you live in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District you have a candidate with a really big blood stain on his record running in the June 8th election. Jason Smith, currently the Majority whip in the Missouri House of Representatives and running for Congress in the upcoming election, is closely connected to one of Missouri’s worst puppy mills. According to the March 2011 report from the Humane Society of the United States, “Update Report: Missouri’s Dirty Dozen Most of the worst puppy mills in Missouri are still licensed”, Smith Kennels of Salem, Missouri is one of the worst. And it’s no coincidence that the name of the kennel and the candidate are both “Smith.” Jason Smith is the son of Mary Ann Smith, the owner of Smith Kennels.
According to the HSUS report,” Smith’s Kennel has 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.”
Jason Smith is not innocent here. He has been actively involved with the kennel in the recent past and has used his influence as a member of the party currently in control of the Missouri legislature to protect his mother’s business. “Mary Ann Smith’s son, now Republican Majority Whip Representative Jason Smith, was once listed in state records as a co-owner of her kennel and has been an outspoken opponent of Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act (passed by the voters in 2010 but negated by pro-puppy mill forces within Missouri government) and other animal welfare bills.”
So for everyone across North America who wondered how the puppy mills were able to do an “end run” around Missouri Proposition B which would have cured some of the worst abuses against dogs in puppy mills the answer is that the puppy mills have people like Jason Smith on the inside working against the will of Missourians to rein in the mills.