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Posted in Newsletter on May 10, 2017   |  by Gary Burger

Protecting Puppies

I referenced “irony” about state legislators in my last email. With politicians, it seems there's an endless supply. Here's more.

Mary Ann Smith, the owner of a puppy mill in Salem, Missouri, filed a defamation lawsuit in 2011 against the Humane Society. She was included in a list of Missouri’s “dirty dozen”- where the Humane Society identifies our state’s most egregious puppy mills. The list can be viewed here.

Her son, Jason Smith, is a U.S. Representative of Missouri’s 8th congressional district and has fought against protecting dogs from abusive puppy mills. Jason Smith was a lead proponent for gutting the Missouri Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act which became law in early 2011. The conflict of interest was well set out in this article in Pitch.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled on April 25, 2017, that Mary Ann Smith had not alleged sufficient facts to make a case for defamation and her case was consequently tossed. The HSUS successfully argued that Smith had merely stated opinions which were protected by free speech. The opinion can be viewed here.