Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation


Protect. Advocate. Legislate.

​​Q: What is the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation?

A: The Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization promoting the humane  treatment of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife through legislation, advocacy and education. We work to enact and enforce bills that protect animals, and we fight to defeat bills that harm them. Click here to learn about our Legislative Victories and Accomplishments.

Q: What does it mean that the Alliance is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit?

A: 501(c)(4) status means that we are able to serve as the (political) voice for animals in Missouri. It means that we are able to lobby full time at the state capitol on behalf of animal welfare, and we return to Jefferson City every year to attend the Legislative Sessions from January through May.  As a 501(c)(4), we do not disclose our donors, and because we are a lobbying organization, contributions are not tax-deductible.

QWhat does the Alliance do?

A: Our primary focus is on lobbying for animal protection at the state capitol through the annual Legislative Sessions. Additionally, we lobby at both the date and federal levels to improve regulations protecting animals and to ensure the effective enforcement of animal protection laws. We are also active in education outreach and advocacy, participating in numerous animal-related events to raise awareness about animal welfare and specific issues as they pertain to Missouri.

​Q: How is the Alliance different from a rescue organization or shelter?

A: Rescue organizations and shelters are service providers whose primary purpose is to save, assist and ultimately adopt out or provide sanctuary to, animals who have been abused, hoarded, neglected or otherwise subjected to inhumane treatment. The Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation and rescue/shelter organizations share the same goals inasmuch as we want to reduce and eliminate the suffering of animals in the state of Missouri. However, the Alliance is unique in that we are able to act as the POLITICAL VOICE for animals in the state of Missouri. We are the only organization lobbying full time on behalf of animal welfare issues at the state capitol. We are working to effect CHANGE at the root cause, which will ultimately help reduce the need for rescue operations and shelters and the continuous need to sweep up the tragic results of our existing structure of animal welfare.

Q: What is a commercial breeder?

A: Anyone  in the state of Missouri who has more than 3 adult female dogs or cats and is engaged in the sale of dogs/cats, must be licensed by the state as a commercial breeder. There are currently 825 state-licensed commercial breeders in Missouri.

Q: What is a puppy mill?

​A: A puppy mill is a facility that breeds a large number of puppies for resale in pet stores or directly to consumers via the Internet. This term was used interchangeably in the 1970s with the term "puppy farms" and was applied to anyone who mass produced puppies in large quantities. The term is often used today to indicate a substandard breeder. This derived from the fact that the majority of puppy mills for many years raised their dogs in horrendous conditions. 

The single most distinguishing characteristic of most puppy mill operators is their desire to produce puppies at minimum costs with minimum effort, regardless of what is best for the animals. Breeding animals are often viewed merely as puppy producing machines. It is not the disposition or conformation or health or pedigree of the dog that is valued by the puppy mill breeder but rather the ability to produce large numbers of puppies regularly and often. Conditions commonly seen at puppy mills are poor sanitation, inadequate housing and shelter, overcrowding and lack of living space, and little or no veterinary care. 

This has changed to a considerable extent, due to the passage of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act which mandates much improved standards of care including veterinary care.

​Q: How do I report a puppy mill and animal cruelty?

A: To report a suspected puppy mill or if you have info about unlicensed dog breeders, contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture via Operation Bark Alert. To report substandard dog breeders or pet stores (and/or the sale of sick dogs from dog breeders or pet stores), you can file a complaint and follow up with the Missouri Attorney General's office (thanks to the efforts of the Alliance, the Attorney General created a special Canine Cruelty Prevention Unit) as well as with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. To file a report with the Missouri Attorney General's office, click here. Contact person is Shawna Bligh at 573-751-8847 or via email at Shawna.bligh@ago.mo.gov. To file a report with the Missouri Department of Agriculture's office, click here. Contact person is Matt Rold at 573-751-3076 or via email at Matt.Rold@mda.mo.gov.

Q: What are the existing animal welfare laws in Missouri?

A: For questions regarding Missouri Laws and Regulations for Animals, click here

​Q: How can I find/contact my legislators?

A: To find/contact your state legislators, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions