Missouri Appeals Court Rules Against Floating Horse Teeth

Almost 18 months ago, I shared the news:   Floating Horse Teeth Goes on Trial in Missouri.  Admittedly one of the strangest headlines I’ve ever written, the story had to do with Brooke Gray’s desire to continue practicing her profession of caring for horse teeth (i.e., “floating horse teeth”) in the state of Missouri.  Yesterday, I learned from the folks at the Freedom Center of Missouri that Gray appears to have lost her right to practice her profession in the Show-Me State.

In early January 2012, the Clinton County Circuit Court in Plattsburg, Mo., ruled that it can and will enforce a state law that forbids any non-veterinarian to accept payment for providing basic animal husbandry services.  The judgment allowed Gray, a young woman with eight years’ training and experience at removing sharp enamel points from horses’ teeth, to continue assisting Missouri’s animal owners—but if she gets paid for her efforts, she will be fined and possibly sent to jail.  The Freedom Center of Missouri, which represents Gray, had argued that the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions protect a citizen’s right to earn a living providing basic animal husbandry services.

Now, fast forward to present.  According to the Center‘s Dave Roland, the Missouri’s Western District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the state can make it a criminal offense for non-veterinarians to provide basic animal husbandry services to Missouri’s livestock owners.

Noting that the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board had threatened criminal prosecution against a wide range of animal husbandry workers, including those engaged in such common, basic tasks as castrating or dehorning cattle, Roland explained, the court ruled the government may impose criminal penalties if these non-veterinarian workers are paid for their labor, despite long-recognized constitutional rights to earn a living in a common occupation and to enjoy the gains of one’s industry.

The decision came despite the fact that non-veterinarians have performed this task for hundreds of years in order to improve horses’ comfort and ability to perform for their owners.

“The court’s ruling effectively strips the right to enjoy the gains of your own industry clean out of the Missouri Constitution,” Roland said.  “What good is a constitutional right if the government can simply declare that it no longer applies?”

Gray was baffled by the court’s decision.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” she said.  “I’m helping horses and horse owners, not hurting them.  The court seemed to confirm that literally anyone is lawfully permitted to do this kind of work and that it is the sort of ‘industry’ addressed in the Missouri Constitution.  So why is it a criminal offense if a grateful horse owner pays me for doing that work?  It just doesn’t make sense.”

The appellate opinion also stated that while the work itself might be legal, it would be illegal for Gray to tell anyone else about her skills – despite the fact that this issue was not raised as part of the appeal.  The trial court had concluded that the government was not seeking to prevent Gray from sharing any information about her knowledge and ability, and the trial court expressly declined to include any such prohibition in its injunction.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the government has no power to prevent citizens from sharing truthful information,” Roland explained.  “Brooke is very good at what she does and she has every right to tell other people about it, especially when the work that she’s talking about is perfectly legal.”

The Freedom Center of Missouri intends to seek further judicial review of Gray’s case.

“Missouri is home to thousands of workers who have for decades safely and affordably helped farmers and ranchers manage their livestock,” Roland said.  “Their services are essential to this state’s animal agriculture industry and both our state and federal constitutions guarantee these folks the right to get paid for their work.  We’re going to keep fighting to make sure that those constitutional guarantees have real meaning.”

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Floating Horse Teeth Goes on Trial in Missouri

Brooke Gray has never had a client complain about her work, and several licensed veterinarians in Missouri have been so impressed with her abilities that they refer clients to her and they even entrust their own horses to Gray’s care.  Still, because one licensed veterinarian wanted to eliminate competition from people like Gray, the government is now attempting to make Gray the first non-veterinarian animal husbandry worker in Missouri to be stripped of her right to earn a living.

At 9 a.m. Central Monday, Gray will be represented by attorney Dave Roland of the Freedom Center of Missouri as she fights for the right to practice her profession in a courtroom inside the Clinton County (Mo.) Courthouse in Plattsburg.

What does Gray do that makes her such a threat to veterinarians?  She floats horse teeth.   If you’re not familiar with that specialty, watch the video below, and I think you’ll understand.

Throughout Missouri history, farmers and ranchers who needed help with branding cattle, castrating hogs or shoeing horses, they could call upon a neighbor or a skilled temporary worker, according to a Freedom Center news release.  Even after the state of Missouri began regulating the practice of veterinary medicine in the early 1900s, no one ever thought the law would prevent non-veterinarians from providing this state’s animal owners with basic animal husbandry services.  Today, things have changed.

Missouri’s livestock industry currently depends on as many as 10,000 non-veterinarian workers who help service this state’s 3.9 million cattle, 2.9 million hogs, 81,000 sheep and 281,000 horses – to say nothing of chickens, turkeys, and goats, according to Roland, but the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board has decided that animal owners should no longer be permitted to have neighbors or skilled non-veterinarians assist with their herds.

This case is expected to be decided Tuesday.  Stay tuned for details of how it turns out.

UPDATE 9/28/11 at 9:50 p.m. Central:  Hurry up and wait.

UPDATE 1/05/12 at 4:45 p.m. Central:  Below is the text of some not-so-good news in the form of a news release issued today by the folks at the Freedom Center of Missouri:

Court: Missouri Farmers Must Hire Vets for Basic Animal Care

Hired Hands May Be Prosecuted, If Paid

The Clinton County Circuit Court in Plattsburg, Missouri, has ruled that it can and will enforce a state law that forbids any non-veterinarian to accept payment for providing basic animal husbandry services.  The judgment allows Brooke Gray, a young woman with eight years’ training and experience at removing sharp enamel points from horses’ teeth, to continue assisting Missouri’s animal owners—but if she gets paid for her efforts, she will be fined and possibly sent to jail.  The Freedom Center of Missouri, which represents Gray, had argued that the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions protect a citizen’s right to earn a living providing basic animal husbandry services.

“I just hope that people understand that this case is not just about me,” Gray explained.  “The law makes it a criminal offense for a non-veterinarian to get paid for any act that changes an animal’s physical or mental condition. The Board has already determined that this applies to animal massage, castration and routine vaccinations, and the Board’s executive director even testified that the law could eventually be applied to pet grooming!”

“Missouri is home to thousands of workers who have for decades safely and affordably helped farmers and ranchers manage their livestock,” said Dave Roland, director of litigation for the Freedom Center.  “Their services are essential to this state’s animal agriculture industry.  But in the past few years the state Veterinary Medical Board has been threatening to prosecute these workers simply because animal owners are paying them.  I’m afraid that Brooke’s case is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Gray has never injured an animal and received high praise from the very animal owners the government relied upon to make its case against her, yet the Veterinary Medical Board filed suit against Gray in September 2010, in response to a complaint submitted by a veterinarian in nearby Clay County who sometimes works on horses’ teeth.  That same veterinarian, who has filed similar complaints against several other animal husbandry workers, admitted at trial that he has injured more than one horse in his own efforts to work on their teeth. Two other veterinarians testified in support of Gray, stating that they have been so impressed with her skill that they do not hesitate to recommend her to their own clients; one of those veterinarians has even entrusted Gray with assisting the vet’s own horse.  Several witnesses also testified that due to the very limited numbers of large animal veterinarians, requiring animal owners to hire veterinarians for simple tasks, such as branding or castrating cattle or shoeing horses, would greatly increase the costs of animal ownership and could actually reduce the level of care that animals receive.

Roland said that Gray and the Freedom Center intend to appeal the court’s ruling.

“The Missouri Constitution guarantees a citizen’s right to enjoy the gains of their own industry,” Roland said.  “Exactly one hundred years ago the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that this means that the government cannot deny someone the right to be paid for performing work that would otherwise be perfectly legal.  Especially when so many Missourians are already struggling to find jobs, we believe that this common-sense principle still applies and that the higher courts will uphold Brooke’s constitutional right to earn a living.”

UPDATE 2/20/2013 at 8:03 a.m. Central:  Brooke Gray lost her first appeal.

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Follow me on Twitter @BobMcCarty. Thanks in advance for your support!

Denver Media Outlets Fail to Cover Multitude of Juicy Stories Behind Recent Rabbit Farm Raid

Since breaking news about a July 21 raid on a farm 12 miles north of Denver that resulted in local law enforcement officials seizing 193 rabbits from a nationally-recognized rabbit expert, I’ve learned more disturbing details about the case.  Perhaps least shocking was my discovery that members of the Denver-area news media appear to have swallowed everything thrown at them by the Jefferson County (Colo.) Sheriff’s Office.

Before pressing on, I’ll recap the lowlights of what transpired after someone placed an anonymous call — the first ever, according to officials with the Sheriff’s Office — to a new statewide Crime Stoppers hotline that had been set up in June, specifically to take reports from citizens of suspected animal abuse:

1.  Without a warrant, officials with the Sheriff’s Office descended upon Debe Bell’s Six Bells Farm Candle Factory and Rabbitry at approximately 10:30 a.m., accompanied by three veterinarians and several volunteers from the local branch of the House Rabbit Society — a nationwide group comprised of people who, according to Bell, think rabbits need to be raised like small children.

2.  During the next three hours, according to Bell, the throng of law enforcement officers, veterinarians and volunteers opened the doors of her 600-square-foot barn, turned off the water to the swamp cooler (an air conditioning system for the barn) and caused the temperature in the barn to rise to 84 degrees.

3.  Some six hours after they arrived, Sheriff’s Office officials produced a warrant which spokesperson Mark Techmeyer said was obtained after they convinced a judge that they had seen “what they believed to be some issues” at Six Bells Farm.

4.  During the next four hours, according to Bell, the same throng loaded her rabbits in cardboard boxes, put them in a horse trailer and hauled them off to the county fairgrounds.  There, the rabbits were placed in dog and cat crates with solid-bottom floors, meaning, “The minute they urinate, they’re standing in their own urine.”

5.  For several days after their arrival at the fairgrounds, Bell said, the crated rabbits were kept in a non-air conditioned concrete-stalls horse barn until officials with the Foothills Animal Shelter — a group tasked by the Sheriff’s Office with caring for the animals — decided that wasn’t working out and obtained a swamp cooler.

As of today, neither the Denver Post nor CBS Denver has seen fit to report on the raid more than one time despite the fact that it contains a plethora of “low-hanging fruit” story angles any investigative reporter worth his salt would die for.  For instance:

A.  Bell is known statewide and nationally as a top rabbit expert, and she’s relied upon by families involved in at the county, state and national level as the go-to person for children and families in need of help with and knowledge of rabbits.  Surely, it would be newsworthy if a woman like her all of the sudden “went bad” like the star of the AMC television series, “Breaking Bad.”

B.  According to Berthoud, Colo., attorney Elizabeth Kearney, there was only one dead rabbit in her client’s barn, and all of the other dead rabbits were in her freezer.  Why?  Because Bell provides rabbit meat to the local zoo and to several raptor rescue groups.  That has to be newsworthy, right?

C.  Twelve of the seized rabbits belong to 4-H kids who were planning to show them at upcoming fairs — two at the Jefferson County Fair that started Thursday and the remaining 10 at the Colorado State Fair which runs from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 in Pueblo.  I guarantee Barbara Walters could get those kids to cry and send the ratings through the roof!

D.  On the Constitutional rights front, one has to wonder why no one in the Denver news media has explored the subjects of whether it’s lawful for law enforcement agents to (1) step foot on someone’s property without a warrant and (2) seize someone’s private property (livestock) based solely upon an anonymous phone call to a hotline that pays up to $2,000 for tips.  Lawyers, please form a line.

E.  With animal rights activism forever on the increase, one has to wonder why no one in the Denver news media has explored the possibility that animal rights activists — who would love to see people like Bell put out of business — made the anonymous hotline call.  Perhaps the media outlets are afraid of blowback from the animal rights wackos?

F.  The shortage of participants at this year’s Small Animals Show at the Colorado State Fair is so severe that officials extended the deadline for entry and, in order to prevent animal rights activists from collecting the names of rabbit owners, officials are planning to not display the names of rabbit owners alongside their rabbits.  Why?  Because rabbit raisers in Colorado are scared they might suffer the same fate as Six Bells Farm and are not going to show their animals at the Colorado State Fair, Bell said.  That has to be news, doesn’t it?

G.  Finally, one has to wonder why no one in the Denver news media has reported on Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey‘s role in this case.  One year ago last month, Storey charged an 82-year-old man with attempted first-degree murder after that man fired two shots at thieves who he said had tried to run him over with their truck while stealing his flatbed trailer.  In short, as reported by Denver’s CW2 channel in the video below, the district attorney seems to have a propensity toward overcharging people.  Is he too powerful to expose?

Yes, instead of pursuing this story with so many rich story angles available, two of Colorado’s largest media outlets took passes.

Instead of investigating the news, Shaun Boyd of CBS Denver and Liz Navratil of the Denver Post merely passed along to their audiences what they were fed by Sheriff’s Office spokespersons Jacki Kelley and Mark Techmeyer.

CLOSING THOUGHT: Since publishing my first report, the story has appeared at Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com and garnered quite a bit of attention throughout cyberspace.  I’ve even seen suggestions that all loyal, freedom-loving Americans should begin raising rabbits. That in mind, shall we form a “B Party”?

More to come.

UPDATE 8/12/11 at 9:31 p.m. Central:  Cross-posted at Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com.

UPDATE 8/13/11 at 8:40 a.m. Central: I added this update to my previous post, but forgot to do it here.  A legal defense fund has been established to help Debe Bell. You can make a donation on PayPal (Rabbitdefense@gmail.com) or you can send a check to the address below:

Responsible Animal Owners Defense Trust
c/o Joyce Holliday
PO Box 1287
Berthoud, CO 80513

UPDATE 8/13/11 at 7:01 p.m. Central:  Denver Post Coverage of Rabbit Raiser Takes 180.

UPDATE 8/14/11 at 8:12 a.m. Central:  Cross-posted at Andrew Breitbart’s BigJournalism.com.

UPDATE 8/14 11 at 8:31 a.m. Central:  Foothills Animal Shelter will soon start adopting out Debe Bell’s rabbits, according to this announcement.

UPDATE 8/18/11 at 8 p.m. Central: The Denver Post reported this afternoon that the Foothills Animal Shelter has halted adoptions of nearly 200 rabbits seized from an Arvada home last month after the rabbits’ owner filed an emergency motion in court.

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Follow me on Twitter @BloggingMachine. Thanks in advance for your support!

Missouri Farmers Sue Army Corps of Engineers (Update)

One day after I published photos showing the impact of floodwaters in southern Missouri, I share more flood-related news affecting people in the Show-Me State.  This time, however, the news centers on a class-action lawsuit stemming from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to blast a levee along the Mississippi River in an effort to save the town of Cairo, Ill., from flooding.

Below is the news release from the farmers’ attorneys.

Farmers Sue Army Corps of Engineers After Land Destroyed By Levee Explosion

Complaint charges action violated 5th Amendment “takings clause” causing untold damages

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Attorneys today filed a class action complaint on behalf of farmers whose land was flooded when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exploded a levee on the Mississippi River, sending a torrent of water onto 130,000 acres of prime Missouri farmland.

The complaint filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contends that the property rights of the farmers and landowners under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution were violated when a 15 foot high wall of water was released and flooded their property. The government exploded the Birds Point levee Monday night in an attempt to protect the small southern Illinois town of Cairo from rising flood waters.

“In the process of breaching the levee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also destroyed, or is in the process of destroying, 90 households and more than 100,000 acres of the country’s richest farmland,” said attorney J. Michael Ponder of Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. “This occurred despite the fact that the Corps lacked the easement over the affected property in the floodway. What these property owners and farmers are seeking is just compensation for the land and livelihood they have lost — possibly forever or for decades.”

The complaint charges that the action violated the “takings clause” of the 5th Amendment which bars the government from taking private property without due process of law. The complaint asserts that the Corps did not have easements over property in the floodway that are required before the Corps could be allowed to breach the levee at Birds Point. As a result, property owners are due compensation for the illegal taking of their property and violation of their constitutional rights.

Large tracts of land in Mississippi and New Madrid Counties in Missouri were inundated with water flowing at a rate of 550 feet per second, utterly destroying everything in its wake, including acres of farmland for corn, wheat and soybeans, said co-counsel Benjamin D. Brown of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll. “The river was allowed to scour away large sections of land, which will leave huge holes, silt and deposits of sand and gravel on formerly productive cropland,” he said. “This land may never recover from this destruction.”

At the time the levee was breached, acreage in the affected area was selling for between $4,000 and $6,000 an acre. Corn prices were about $6.75 a bushel and the land was producing about 200 bushels an acre. Wheat was selling for between $8 and $9 a bushel and the land was producing about 75 bushels an acre. Soybeans were selling for between $12 and $14 a bushel and the land was producing about 70 to 75 bushels an acre.

The Corps of Engineers’ own estimates place damage to the property at Birds Point at more than $300 million. The plaintiffs have not yet determined whether they will accept that estimate, attorneys said.

The complaint names 14 farming operations and their owners as plaintiffs but seeks certification as a class action on behalf of all individuals and entities affected by the government’s intentional flooding of their property.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., because lawsuits for damages against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must be filed in a federal claims court.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs are J. Michael Ponder, Phillip J. Barkett, Jr., and Kathleen A. Wolz of the law firm of Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Co-counsel is Benjamin D. Brown of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When I receive a copy of the farmers’ complaint, I’ll share more details.

UPDATE 5/4/11 at 3:09 p.m. Central: Here is a copy of the complaint filed against the U.S. Government in the United States Court of Federal Claims by a group of farmers and farming corporations in Mississippi County, Mo.

If you enjoy this blog and want to keep reading stories like the one above, show your support by using the “Support Bob” tool at right. Thanks in advance for your support!

Schilling Named to Ag, Armed Services Committees

Pizzeria owner-turned politician Bobby Schilling learned this week he will serve on the House Agriculture and Armed Services Committees after he takes the oath of office to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in the 112th Congress.

In the photo above, Congressman-Elect Schilling (left) shakes hands with veteran Bill Allbracht. During a recent gathering, Allbracht presented Schilling with a framed copy of a letter in which Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. John F. Baker Jr., a Moline, Ill., native, endorsed Schilling three months before his landslide victory over incumbent Democrat Phil Hare Nov. 3.

To read previous BMW posts about Illinois’ 17th CD, click here.

Americans Dying to Get Hands on Federal Funds

First thing this morning, I shared news about Dead People Voting in Missouri; now, thanks to a great U.S. senator from the state of my birth, I bring news about ONE-BILLION TAX DOLLARS SPENT ON DEAD PEOPLE!

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) today released an oversight report, “Federal Programs To Die For – American tax dollars sent six feet under, that exposes more than $1 billion that has been sent to the deceased in the past decade. Washington paid for dead people’s prescriptions and wheelchairs, subsidized their farms, helped pay their rent, and even chipped in for their heating and air conditioning bills.

“Nothing represents the stupidity of wasteful Washington spending more than directing a billion taxpayer dollars to the deceased. This practice is disgraceful and, in many cases, robs the living of promised benefits,” Dr. Coburn said. “Congress itself created this mess by allowing poorly designed programs to continue unchecked. As a result, $1 billion of taxpayer funds has gone to 250,000 deceased individuals since 2000. If Congress is ready to get serious about spending restraint, ending subsidies for deceased people is a sensible place to start.”

The report shows that since 2000 the known cost of payments to more than 250,000 deceased individuals has topped $1 billion, according to a review of government audits and reports by the Government Accountability Office, inspectors general, and Congress itself. This is likely only a small picture of a much larger problem. Among the agencies making payments to the deceased:

• The Social Security Administration sent $18 million in stimulus funds to 71,688 dead people and $40.3 million in questionable benefit payments to 1,760 dead people.

• The Department of Health and Human Services sent 11,000 dead people $3.9 million in assistance to pay heating and cooling costs.

• The Department of Agriculture sent $1.1 billion in farming subsidies to deceased farmers.

• The Department of Housing and Urban Development overseeing local agencies knowingly distributed $15.2 million in housing subsidies to 3,995 households with at least one deceased person.

• Medicaid paid over $700,000 in claims for prescriptions for controlled substances written for over 1,800 deceased patients and prescriptions for controlled substances written by 1,200 deceased doctors.

• Medicare paid as much as $92 million in claims for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for dead patients.

• Congress has established HIV/AIDS funding distribution based on historic numbers of deceased HIV/AIDS patients, while many individuals living with AIDS desperately wait for medical care.

Unless you’re “dying” to collect some federal funds, please VOTE RESPONSIBLY.

Misinformation Dominates ‘Puppy Mill’ Issue

If only they can get past the emotional messages generated by the Humane Society of the United States, Missourians who generally line up against excessive government regulation, taxation, spending and other government interference in their lives, will vote against Proposition B when they go to the polls Nov. 2.

On the “Yes on Prop B” web site operated by HSUS, the radical animal rights advocacy organization describes the so-called “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act” as “a citizen-sponsored, state ballot initiative to save tens of thousands of dogs from suffering in cruel conditions in puppy mills, the high-volume dog breeding facilities where dogs are inhumanely bred under harsh conditions with inadequate shelter and care.”  No one could be against that, right?  Wrong.

Though nearly 2,700 individuals are licensed and registered to practice veterinary medicine in Missouri, according to the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, only 143 — or barely 5 percent — have endorsed Prop B, according to the Yes on Prop B web siteSo where do the non-endorsing veterinarians stand on Prop B?  Many are against it!

Dr. Jim Foster, a partner with Dr. Debra Mayes in a 19-year-old veterinary practice that focuses on serving kennels in northeast Missouri, is one of them.

Foster cites several flaws as reasons to strongly oppose Prop B.  Among them is one that requires each dog to have a large room inside and a large pen on the outside with what they call “unfettered access” that allows the dog to come and go freely.

“The size requirement would require nearly every kennel in this state to either gut or rebuild,” wrote Dr. Foster in a widely-circulated e-mail he shared with me recently.  “The unfettered access would allow a pregnant female to walk outside on a winter night and have her pups in zero weather.  Pupsicles!”

Another requirement — that dogs have a “solid surface” — means that a dog could urinate on itself and also walk in its own stool, he explained, and a female could also contaminate a nursing pup with fecal material.

There are several other stipulations in the measure.  Incredibly, however, there are few differences between existing law (a.k.a., the “Missouri “Animal Care Facilities Act”) and the proposed new law.

A document offered by the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association provides a helpful comparison, section by section, of the text of Prop B with current Missouri laws and regulations.  Plus, existing programs — Operation Bark Alert and Blue Ribbon Kennels — are already making great strides toward reducing animal abuse and ensuring high standards are achieved and maintained.

So, if few differences exist, what might the underlying motive be for passage of Prop B, aside from the fact that HSUS shelters, clinics and other facilities will be exempt from its mandates if it passes?  Let’s turn to an expert for answers!

Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, was quoted in the January 2010 issue of Missouri Farm Bureau’s Show-Me Magazine, as saying the following:

“We understand that the stated goals of the HSUS are to end livestock production and consumption, which threatens the livelihood of farmers across the country.”

If that’s not enough, the video below offers more disturbing details:

For more information, visit the following web sites:  Alliance for Truth, Humane Watch, Missouri Farm Bureau and Missourians for Animal Care.

Check back daily until election day for new posts on this issue.  For other posts on Proposition B, click here.