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Old 09-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation MO - Dog Advocates Ask State Officials to Investigate Potential Tax Fraud

Media-Newswire.com - Press Release Distribution - PR Agency

Dog Advocates Ask State Officials to Investigate Potential Tax Fraud by
Missouri Puppy Mills

A coalition of dog protection advocates has presented the Missouri
Department of Revenue with evidence of potential tax fraud in Missouri's
puppy mill industry, and requested an industry-wide investigation into a
possible tax-evasion scheme that could be costing the people of Missouri
several million dollars a year in lost revenue.

A coalition of dog protection advocates has presented the Missouri
Department of Revenue with evidence of potential tax fraud in Missouri’s
puppy mill industry, and requested an industry-wide investigation into a
possible tax-evasion scheme that could be costing the people of Missouri
several million dollars a year in lost revenue.

An investigation of Missouri puppy mills revealed that many of the
facilities – some of which have more than 100 adult dogs on site – were
not collecting sales tax on retail dog purchases, a clear violation of
the Missouri tax code. The 11 large-scale puppy mills identified in the
investigation may owe the state Department of Revenue more than $70,000
between them in sales tax annually. When this level of non-compliance is
multiplied by the number of sales made by the 1,568 state-licensed
commercial breeders and dealers in the state, it appears the state could
be losing several million dollars a year to unscrupulous puppy dealers.

Proposition B, on Missouri’s statewide ballot for the November election,
will stop puppy mill abuses by establishing common-sense standards for
the care of dogs in Missouri.

“The puppy mill industry has repeatedly shown a shocking level of
disregard for the laws of this state,” said Barbara Schmitz, manager of
the YES! on Prop B campaign. “It seems animals are not the only victims
of this industry’s greed – Missouri taxpayers are being fleeced as well.
It’s time to pass Prop B to hold the large-scale puppy mills accountable.”

All 11 of the commercial puppy mills sampled also have long histories of
violating current animal welfare standards, as documented in both
federal and state inspection reports. Several of these facilities have
been cited for allowing their dogs to live in their own waste without
access to clean food and water, as well as for egregious veterinary care
violations. Thus, not only are they depriving the animals in their care
of the humane treatment they deserve, but these commercial breeders are
also depriving the citizens of Missouri of much-needed funds during this
tough economy.

The problem of tax evasion by puppy mills is not unique to Missouri.
Last year, an investigation by the Indiana attorney general’s revenue
division resulted in law enforcement raids on two puppy mills, and the
seizure of hundreds of dogs. The operators of these puppy mills have
since pleaded guilty to various tax charges, and face civil tax suits
for thousands of dollars in back taxes.

At puppy mills in Missouri, dogs are crammed into small and filthy
cages, denied veterinary care, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, and
given no exercise or human affection. These puppy mills are cruel and
the way these dogs are treated is wrong. Prop B will stop puppy mill
abuses by establishing common sense standards for the proper care of dogs.

Prop B is supported by Missouri veterinarians and veterinary clinics;
animal welfare charities and organizations, including the Humane Society
of Missouri, the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, Central
Missouri Humane Society, Humane Society of Southwest Missouri, Wayside
Waifs, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (
ASPCA ), the Animal Rescue Foundation ( ARF ), Best Friends Animal
Society, and The Humane Society of the United States; prominent Missouri
citizens such as Tony La Russa and Linda Bond; as well as responsible
dog breeders, elected officials, religious leaders, and Missouri businesses.

Paid for by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B, Judy
Peil, Treasurer
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