2021 was still a very tough year for so many of us across the country, but thanks to all of your support we were able to make so much progress for the animals trapped in puppy mills. Join us for our “2021 Year in Review” below and help us celebrate all of the wins for the puppy mill dogs!
We also devoted a special episode of our podcast to this, if you would rather watch or listen to us as we go more in-depth.
Bailing Out Benji is one of the most effective animal welfare organizations in the United States that is devoted solely to ending the cruelty inside of puppy stores, puppy mills, kitten mills and even small animal mills. Our approach to this is unlike any other.
We educate with kindness and compassion instead of using graphic and sad imagery.
We advocate for change using facts and data instead of generalizations.
And we extensively research the puppy mill industry in connection to the pet stores and online websites they sell through. We do this to not only to educate consumers but to provide up-to-date research on the industry to policy makers in order to create lasting change for the animals.
If you are able to send an end-of-the-year gift to our nonprofit, all donations are matched and will be used to help us continue fighting the cruel puppy mill industry.
In 2021 we combed through nearly 100,000 sale records in order to connect 406 pet stores in 35 states to the hundreds of breeding facilities they source from. We also connected the same puppy mills to online websites, brokers and sham rescues. Our website is now home to the largest puppy mill and pet store database in the nation and has educated millions of people about how to avoid buying a puppy mill puppy.
Our research is one-of-a-kind and has been instrumental in educating policy makers who went on to pass ordinances and laws that protect animals in puppy mills.
In 2021, 31 localities have passed humane ordinances on the local or state level in order to curb puppy mill sales in pet stores. These ordinances have a direct effect on the puppy mill industry and will cause the downsizing and closure of many puppy mills across the country. Not only did two states (Illinois and Washington) pass state-wide bills that curb puppy mill sales in retail stores, but localities like Orange County, Florida and Manatee County, Florida passed strict ordinances that will cause numerous pet stores to go humane. Another important thing to note is that both Idaho and Kentucky had their first ordinances pass this year! Colorado also passed a pet store transparency bill and Maryland continues to pass bills that prohibit puppy sales in pet stores and online brokers.
Our research and advocacy efforts have been crucial in many of the ordinances and bills passed this year. When policy makers can look at actual research and documentation regarding their local puppy mill problem, they are able to better combat the arguments from the pet industry.
Below is a list of localities that passed ordinances this year.
- Port St. Lucie, FL
- Lacey, WA
- Oak Forest, IL
- Tumwater, WA
- North Adams, MA
- Columbus, IN
- Springfield, MA
- The State of Washington (House Bill 1424)
- Appleton, WI
- Vail, CO
- Euless, TX
- Cloquet, MN
- Boise, ID
- North Aurora, IL
- Fort Atkinson, WI
- College Station, TX
- Orange County, FL
- Manatee County, FL
- The State of Illinois (House Bill 1711)
- Fauquier County, VA
- Dyer, IN –
- Sherman, TX
- Highland, IN
- Superior, CO
- Riverhead, NY
- Elizabethtown, KY
- Kaysville, UT
- Crown Point, IN
- Horry County, SC (unincorporated areas)
- Opelika, AL
- Bloomington, IN
If you want to see more change happening in your state, please contact us today about becoming a volunteer!
Even though the majority of our in-person events were cancelled this year, our teams still found innovative and effective ways to educate the public about puppy mills. Paired with our website, podcast and our public PSAs, we have educated millions of people about this industry. We also had an amazing author join our team. Becky Monroe, Bark Until Heard, has joined our volunteer team and releases weekly blogs that feature puppy mill survivors and breaks down the puppy mill industry for our readers in a very personal way.
Many of our teams also dusted off their protest signs and began peacefully educating about puppy mills in front of puppy-selling pet stores! No matter what event our volunteers want to do, we make sure they have all of the tools and supplies they need to be successful!
Outside of educational events, our podcast “Truth, Lies and Puppy Mills” has educated more than 30,000 advocates about the puppy mill industry. In 2021 we used our platform to give the public a real-time look at a problematic puppy mill (Daniel Gingerich) and followed the case from complaint to court to rescue. This was the first time in history that the USDA allowed for 500+ dogs to be rescued from a commercial dog breeding facility instead of being auctioned off to other puppy mills. That was in large part due to the public pressure and media presence surrounding this case.
We also interviewed many other industry experts including advocates from CARE, Best Friends Animal Society, the HSUS Midwest Animal Resq and National Mill Dog Rescue.
End of Year Educational PSAs
If you are a longtime supporter of our nonprofit, then you know that we focus heavily on educating with big PSAs during the months of November and December. Our research shows that more puppies are sold during this time of year than any other. This winter we are reaching more than 5 million people with our educational ads and we couldn’t be more thrilled!
On November 27th, 2021 we ran this half-page ad in the New York Times. This was a first time for us, but we educated several million people through print and by sharing on social media afterwards. We also partnered with The Times to run educational ads on their podcast ‘The Daily’ as well as online ads on their articles.
Thanks to a generous donation, we are also running our 30 second PSA on Hulu in Ohio! We targeted specific communities that have a lot of puppy mills or puppy-selling stores.
Very soon we will be announcing additional billboards and ads that we are running.
When we say that we truly could not do this work without you, we mean it. Although you will often see us working alongside some of the nation’s biggest nonprofits, we are doing so with a budget that is a small fraction of theirs. We are blessed to have grant funding that provides us with two devoted staff members, so 100% of every donation raised goes towards our research, education and advocacy efforts.
If you are able to give this month, please consider making us your charity of choice. Our work is referenced in news rooms, classrooms and policy rooms across the country because we are so dependable. When you donate to us, you are investing in a future with no more puppy mills.
Thank you so much for your support. Today and Always.
Mindi Callison (Executive Director), Ashly Dale (Director of Operations) and our volunteers in your state and across the country.