This new podcast and Youtube show allows our team to go in-depth on the various facets of the puppy mill industry, the issues that advocates across the country face, as well as interviews with industry experts as we all work together to create lasting change for the animals trapped in commercial breeding facilities.
Your Podcast Hosts are: Ashly Dale from our Washington Team, Nicole Galvan from our Arizona Team and Mindi Callison, Bailing Out Benji’s Founder and Executive Director.
A very special thanks to Webber Designs for creating the logo for our podcast!
Sign up below to receive alerts when there is a new episode and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel or wherever you consume your podcasts.
Our most recent episode:
Episode 35: USDA Audit 2021
The USDA’s Dog Breeder Inspection program was audited (again) and we have a lot to say about it! In this week’s episode we describe the Office of the Inspector General’s audit of the USDA’s Dog Breeder inspection program. Tune in as we react to the atrocious lack of oversight and learn about the inconsistencies involved in the inspection and reporting process.
Learn more about how our tiny organization is able to do so much more than a well-funded and staffed government agency.
View the USDA audit here.
All available episodes are listed below
Episode 34: Going Humane Before it was Cool
This episode we are joined by Greg Gordon of Dog Patch Pet and Feed pet store in Naperville, IL. Greg’s pet store successfully switched to a humane rescue model over a decade ago and he has been speaking out and encouraging other pet stores to do the same ever since.
Tune in to learn how your local puppy selling store can go humane and simply “do right by the dogs.”
Episode 33: Citizen Advocacy
Join members of Bailing Out Benji’s Illinois Team as they detail exactly how they were able to get a statewide pet store puppy mill ban passed through their state legislature.
Their fight is not over as they await the governor’s signature, but the collaboration, testimony, protests, and hard work that got them this far are surely going to take their bill through the finish line.
Citizen advocacy is powerful when everyone’s hearts are in it for the dogs!
Episode 32: V for Victoria #VictoriasLaw
Tune in to our interview with Grace Kelly Herbert of Finding Shelter Animal Rescue and mother of Victoria, the inspiration behind Pennsylvania’s Victoria’s Law!
Victoria was rescued by Finding Shelter in 2017 from a Lancaster County, PA puppy mill. She was 10 years old, born at the farm, and lived there for 10 years as a breeding dog. Right after her rescue, she received the terminal diagnosis of Degenerative Myelopathy and was placed on hospice care for the remainder of her life which was expected to be six months to a year. Victoria exceeded all expectations and lived for 16 months as a part of a family in a loving home, the first time she had been in a house for her entire life. Victoria passed away on February 26, 2019 in the arms of her mom and dad who loved her dearly.
Victoria was a brave, wonderful, beautiful and forgiving dog and her legacy will live on through Victoria’s Law, the Pet Retail Sales Bill named in her memory. Victoria’s Law would require that pet stores in Pennsylvania discontinue the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits and require online transparency for puppy sales.
Pennsylvania residents, please contact your state senators and representatives to ask them to support SB 44 Victoria’s Law so she can leave her mark on this world after saying farewell to the happy life she finally found after so many long and difficult years.
Episode 31: How Sick is that Puppy in the Window?
We often talk about the parent dogs who are trapped in puppy mills and how awful their situations are. These mother and father dogs are living in the worst conditions and exist solely to produce puppies for pet stores and online websites. It is truly a nightmare. Sadly, this industry has many victims: including the puppies who are born into the system and the families who purchase them. It is very easy for those of us who know about puppy mills to cast blame on those who buy, but that doesn’t help the dogs. In fact, Bailing Out Benji was born only after our founder bought a Petland puppy and learned the truth. Kindness and compassion will be what changes the world for these animals.
On today’s episode of “Truth, Lies and Puppy Mills” you will hear from two families who bought puppies from stores. Within days they had to deal with the heartache of having a sick puppy and the frustrations of dealing with the pet stores over veterinary bills. These women used their experiences to fight hard for local change and share their stories with the world in order to warn others against buying animals without seeing where they were born and raised.
Episode 30: The Road to Freedom with Theresa Strader of National Mill Dog Rescue
On this week’s episode, we sat down with Theresa Strader the Founder of National Mill Dog Rescue!
Theresa started National Mill Dog Rescue after rescuing 13 dogs from a puppy mill auction in Missouri where a breeder was going out of business. After becoming shocked at the conditions the dogs were forced to endure, Theresa vowed to do everything she could to start saving breeding dogs and giving them a chance to have the loving homes they always deserved to have.
Episode 29: From Complaint to Court: Shutting Down a Puppy Mill
If we know where the puppy mills are, why can’t we just shut them down?
Tune in as we sit down with Shalimar Oliver, the Animal Crimes Manager for the Humane Society of the United States, and discuss what it takes to actually shut down a puppy mill. We discuss the importance of having trained local law enforcement and prosecutors, collecting evidence, and having witnesses come forward. So many things must go right in order to save dogs from the worst conditions imaginable.
While this process is long and arduous, we must continue to fight to strengthen the laws so that law enforcement has the tools to shut down more puppy mills.
If you’ve ever wondered why we can’t just shut down puppy mills, even after they’ve been caught breaking the law, we hope this eye-opening episode encourages you to email your Congress Members to ask them to co-sponsor the Puppy Protection Act.
Click here to contact your Federal lawmakers.
Episode 28: The 2021 Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill List
Join us as we take a deep dive into the Humane Society of the United States’ Horrible Hundred worst puppy mills in the country for 2021. Learn just how bad legal puppy mills can get while they remain almost entirely unchecked by an inadequate USDA and ill-equipped state inspection programs.
View the Horrible Hundred List here.
To take action by telling your Congress member to support the Puppy Protection Act, click here.
And to join our volunteer team to help us expose and report unlicensed and unregulated online breeders, click here.
Episode 27: Celebrating 10,000 Listeners (& 10 Years of Bailing Out Benji)
Join us as we celebrate hitting 10,000 listeners on our podcast! We take a look back at many of the episodes we’ve done so far and discuss the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.
Help us celebrate by becoming a Bailing Out Benji volunteer.
And/Or make a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit to help us continue our mission to #EndPuppyMills by going here.
For the month of May, all donations up to $25,000 will be matched by a generous donor!
Episode 26: Inclusion = Lifesaving with CARE
CARE is focused on transforming the animal welfare industry with evidence- based inclusion training, inspiring narratives and compassion.
CARE believes in the inherent goodness and dignity of all people. Ex-offenders, People without Homes, Seniors, Renters, Families with Small Children, and Yes, People of Color. To that end, CARE’s mission is to bring diverse voices to the Animal Welfare industry while also advocating for a more inclusive path to pet adoption. CARE is using evidence-based tools and narratives to inspire organizations to be more inclusive and less biased. All in an effort to save more companion animal lives and elevate the value of all human life.
Episode 25: Interview with Erin Morse from MARQ
To round out our discussion on dog auctions, we interviewed Erin Morse, founding Director of Midwest Animal ResQ. Erin gives a first-hand account of what it’s like to rescue dogs from the puppy mill industry at dog auctions and offers some learned advice on how to approach it as ethically as possible.
Tune in to find out what needs to happen so that rescues can stay true to their mission of rescuing animals while still supporting our shared goal of ending puppy mills. MARQ can be found here.
Episode 24: Bark Until Heard! Interview with Author Becky Monroe
Join us as we take another deep dive into the cruel world of dog auctions. This time we are joined by journalist and author, Becky Monroe, who learned about the devastating level of cruelty in puppy mills after attending her first dog auction in 2009. Becky went on to write the book Bark Until Heard, inspired by her first puppy mill survivor, Thorp, aka Number 177, who she rescued at her first auction. Tune in as Becky eloquently describes why we must look beyond the smaller disagreements in the rescue community and continue to speak out against the much larger issue of puppy mills.
To purchase a copy of the book Bark Until Heard, click here.
Episode 23: Dog Auctions- A Journalist’s Perspective.
On this week’s episode we sit down with Des Moines Register Columnist, Courtney Crowder, a journalist who attended an Iowa dog auction in 2019 and inadvertently witnessed the state’s largest brucellosis outbreak.
Courtney’s article about this event laid bare the inadequate laws and the difficulty in contacting-tracing these zoonotic diseases, which result from the conditions inside puppy mills. Courtney’s viral article can be found here.
Episode 22: Protesting Pet Stores
Do you have a pet store that sells puppies from puppy mills in your city or town? Tune in to this week’s episode to find out how you can start protesting the pet stores that keep puppy mills in business.
Learn how to stay safe, remain peaceful, and find out how you can be responsible for educating thousands of people about the truth behind the puppies in the window. You are guaranteed to meet other compassionate people who may become your new best friends! Click here to see our research on where your local pet store gets their puppies from.
Episode 21: Intro to Dog Auctions
Dog auctions used to be places where puppy mill breeders sold dogs for pennies. Rescues who have attended these auctions for years often save dogs from a lifetime of suffering and give them proper vet care, socialization, and the kind of home they deserve for the first time in their lives. But now, puppy mill auctioneers have caught on to the rescue world’s desire to save lives at any cost, and the prices at dog auctions have skyrocketed. Should rescues still rescue dogs at auctions? How much is too much to pay to save a life? Should they not pay anything at all? What if they can save lives without paying enough to incentivize the breeders? Unfortunately, there are no clear answers that everyone in the animal welfare community can agree on. And the puppy mill industry uses these disagreements against us time and time again to deflect from their wrongdoings and to confuse lawmakers and the public. That’s why we need to keep having these discussions.
Join us as we have an open and honest discussion on this very contentious topic.
Episode 20: Interview with the First Gentleman of Colorado, Marlon Reis
First Gentleman Marlon Reis joins us for a very special 20th episode of “Truth, Lies and Puppy Mills” . Marlon is always on the side of the animals and he has been leading the way in Colorado as we work together to go after the cruel puppy mill industry. Tune in to learn about the challenges in passing humane legislation, and receive helpful tips from this seasoned advocate and powerful voice for the dogs trapped in puppy mills
Episode 19: Legislative Updates
2021 has been the busiest legislative season ever!
Tune in to this week’s episode to find out if there are any new laws getting introduced to #EndPuppyMills in YOUR city or state and what you can do to help pass those laws!
Learn how you can be a more effective voice for puppy mill dogs by hearing about all the legislative work being done across the country!
For a complete list of active ordinances and bills that need help passing, click here.
To become a Bailing Out Benji volunteer, click here.
Episode 18: Compassion Fatigue
This week we sat down with Hilary Hager of the Humane Society of the United States and got real about compassion fatigue!
Compassion fatigue effects all of us at some time or another. After all, there is only so much we can endure, especially when we take on the suffering of others time and time again. Eventually, we all need a break to recharge in order to be more effective for the animals who “would never ask us to suffer on their behalf.” Tune in to learn more about compassion fatigue and how you can avoid it and be your best self for the animals who need you most!
Episode 17: Pet Store Preemption Laws
Episode 16: Puppy Laundering and Sham Rescues
With “humane ordinances” passing in cities and states across the country, the puppy mill industry has learned to exploit all the loopholes in order to continue operating in places where puppy mill puppy sales are banned. Find out exactly how YOU can avoid giving your money to the puppy mill industry through sham rescue scams. Tune in to learn the difference between real animal rescues and puppy laundering schemes.
Episode 15: Small Animal Mills
Join us this week to learn how small animals are adversely affected by being raised in large-scale commercial breeding facilities and then sold as pet in pet stores just like puppy mill dogs. We often talk about companion animals in puppy and kitten mills, but other domesticated animals are exploited by the commercial breeding industry and sold to unsuspecting and naive customers as well. Our special guest, Lorianne Kloss of Red Door Animal Shelter, teaches us all about rabbit rescue. Did you know rabbits are the 3rd most surrendered animal in shelters across the country? Tune in to learn more!
Episode 14: Humane Ordinances
Marc Ayers, HSUS Illinois State Director, is our special guest this week and he happens to be one of the most successful advocates in the country when it comes to passing Humane Ordinances.
Learn how to start the process of banning the sale of puppy mill dogs in your town and become inspired to create lasting change for the dogs trapped in puppy mills!
Episode 13: Advocating for Change- Lobbying 101
Why are politics sometimes a brick wall for puppy mill dogs?
Tune in to this week’s episode to learn how to #EndPuppyMills by breaking through that brick wall and lobbying for humane laws in your city, county, state, or even the U.S. Capitol!
This week we sit down with Amy Jesse, the Puppy Mills Policy Director at the Humane Society of the United States.
Find out how YOU can change the laws to help the dogs trapped in puppy mills.
Go here to join Bailing Out Benji’s action alerts and be ready for when we need you to talk to your local, state, or federal lawmakers:
Episode 12: The Internet: A Puppy Mill’s Best Friend
Tune in to this week’s episode to learn how puppy mills hide behind websites with cute puppy pictures and videos of dogs frolicking through grassy fields while hundreds of their breeding dogs suffer site-unseen. We list the red flags to watch out for on the major puppy-selling websites and educate about how to avoid getting fooled by puppy mills online.
Episode 11: Interview with Rory Kress, Author of ‘The Doggie in the Window’
If someone wanted to become an expert on puppy mills overnight there is one book we would recommend, and that book is The Doggie in the Window by Rory Kress! Every animal advocate should tune in to this incredible interview as Rory discusses how she learned about puppy mills after buying a puppy from a pet store. Discover how her dog, Izzie, ended up changing the direction of her life and made her into one of the most thought-provoking and investigative advocates against the puppy mill industry. From investigative journalist to animal advocate to future attorney for the animals! Rory Kress is one of the most knowledgeable educators on the topic of puppy mills, commercial breeding dog behavior, the USDA, and the Animal Welfare Act.
Episode 10: Ask Benji!
You asked and we answered! This week’s episode invited our listeners to ask their own questions about the puppy mill industry and we answered them. Tune in to learn who Benji is! Also, listen to us discuss puppy mill law enforcement, dog auctions, social media, other animal mills, and what YOU can do to help us #EndPuppyMills!
Episode 9: The Puppy Mill Express
In this episode we take a deep-dive into the transport companies who make big money off of transporting sick puppies from puppy mills to pet stores across the country.
Episode 8: Don’t Doodle with puppy mills
Do reputable breeders exist? How do you find a reputable breeder? What are the red flags that you’re dealing with a puppy mill? Can I get a Doodle breed from a reputable breeder?
Episode 7: Show Me The Mommy
Christmas is puppy buying season! Every year around this time our inbox is full of messages from people who bought sick puppies from puppy mills via pet stores or online websites. Tune in to learn the red flags BEFORE you buy!
Episode 6: A License for Cruelty
Puppy mills are legal and many of them are licensed by the USDA. Tune in to learn how the USDA fails to be effective in regulating puppy mills and how YOU can help us change that!
Episode 5: A Warehouse of Dogs
In this episode we talk about how lucrative the puppy mill industry can be to the dealers who act as middlemen between pet stores and puppy mills. This big business dog broker industry is rarely discussed, yet comes with its own dose of cruelty and opportunity for spreading disease to puppies and the public at large.
Episode 4: Pet Store Employees Tell All
Join us as we interview 3 former pet store employees who worked at 3 different pet stores in 3 different states selling puppy mill puppies. Learn the truth about how these stores exploit the animals in their care.
Episode 3: The Pet Store/Puppy Mill Connection
We don’t just say pet store puppies come from puppy mills, we prove it! Listen and learn how we connect pet stores across the country to the puppy mills they use.
You can learn more about our CVI data on our website here.
Episode 2: Puppy Mills 101
Join Nicole and Mindi as you learn how puppy mills operate and, more importantly, how to avoid them! To learn more about puppy mills, click here.
Episode 1: Introduction to “Truth, Lies and Puppy Mills”
Welcome to Bailing Out Benji’s first Podcast! Learn how we got started on our journeys to become leaders and advocates for dogs trapped in puppy mills.
Tune in to learn how you can join us in the fight to #EndPuppyMills!