Bailing Out Benji’s podcast and Youtube show allows our team to go in-depth into the various facets of the puppy mill industry and the issues that advocates across the country face. Our hosts also interview industry experts as we all work together to create lasting change for the animals trapped in commercial breeding facilities.
Our most recent episode:
Episode 79: Our Reaction to Puppy Kingpin
For over 2 years, Bailing Out Benji has been involved in an in-depth true crime production with Sony Productions and Neon Hum Media for the podcast Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin.
On June 16, 2022, Puppy Kingpin was finally released! Listen to our reaction to the podcast and hear why it’s a great idea for you to listen to it as well, if you haven’t already!
All available episodes are listed below. You can stream on your preferred podcast app or watch on Youtube by clicking on the thumbnails below.
Episode 78: Fostering Saves Lives
With shelters and rescues across the country overflowing with pets needing homes, foster families are needed now more than ever!
If you ever thought about fostering before but were afraid of getting too attached or were apprehensive about how your other animals might react, then listen to this episode! Most people who foster for rescues have had those exact same thoughts and feelings before getting involved. Listen to our own stories and experiences as we explore the many different ways most anyone can get involved to directly help animals in need.
Become a part of the solution, save lives, and get tons of snuggles along the way! Fostering saves lives and the animals need YOU to be their hero!
Episode 77: Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin
We are so excited to announce that we are a part of a new podcast from Sony Productions! “Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin” is an investigative podcast that peels back the layers of the sham rescue world and exposes the multi-million dollar USDA broker that is profiting.
Podcast Description: Americans are used to being on the lookout for a scam, but authorities are warning of a new kind of fraud. Puppy Kingpin shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies much like drug money. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing us the pets we love. From Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment. Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin is available June 16th.
Episode 76: Arizona’s Puppy Mill Pipeline
Arizona has all the the hallmarks of a typical puppy mill pipeline state: one large puppy mill peddler with big money to fight humane laws, lots of smaller dealers trucking in puppy mill puppies under the radar, lack of enforcement, and a community in need of educational efforts. There’s a lot of work to be done in Arizona, but we’re never going to stop fighting and we need YOUR help!
Tune in this week to learn all about Arizona’s puppy mill pipeline and find out what you can do to stop it!
Episode 75: The 2022 Horrible Hundred Report – And the Pet Stores They Sell To
Our good friends at The Humane Society of the United States just released their 2022 Horrible Hundred Report, listing violations from some of the worst puppy mills in the country. After going through their report we swiftly scoured our own database and released a companion report connecting those Horrible Hundred puppy mills to pet stores across the country who sell their puppies.
To view the HSUS 2022 Horrible Hundred Report, go here.
To view our Horrible Hundred/Pet Store Connection companion report, go here.
To view current active legislation across the country, go here.
Episode 74: Humane Spotlight: The Green Spot
This week we are joined by Jessica and Whitney, owners of The Green Spot, a humane pet store in Omaha, Nebraska. Listen in as Jessica and Whitney describe their success in developing an ethical and humane business model that focuses on giving back to the community and providing education to help customers have healthier, happier relationships with their pets.
You can find The Green Spot online, here.
Episode 73: How Does Your State Rank in Protecting Animals?
Our good friends at Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released their annual report, ranking states based on their animal protection laws, so this week we are discussing their latest report and how it pertains to the work we do in fighting against puppy mills. Listen in, as we also give a minor update on the Daniel Gingerich case, which emphasizes the need for stronger and more enforceable animal protection laws!
Let us know how your state ranks and tell us how you intend to help elevate your state for next year’s ranking!
You can find the ALDF report here.
Episode 72: USDA Violations – First Quarter 2022
We’re doing a new thing! This week we discuss our new USDA Violation Reports, which we will be releasing every quarter to bring awareness about all the puppy mill breeders and dealers who had violations on their USDA inspections. So far in 2022 the USDA has issued at least 229 violations to 72 licensees across the country. We have records showing that at least 28 of those facility sell to pet stores. Of the licensees who received violations, several of them have received official USDA warnings.
Listen in to learn how and why we will be releasing these reports!
View our Quarter 1 USDA Report here.
Episode 71: Animal Care Expo – Attending Conferences
We are starting to find our “new normal” as in-person conferences and events are happening across the country. Tune in this week to learn about the value advocates will find in attending these events, and how important it is for our small-but-mighty organization to have a strong presence at the Animal Care Expo and other events happening this year.
Take note of our shared feelings of awkwardness and hesitancy as we all become acclimated to educating about puppy mills in-person again.
Check out our new Merch store here.
Go here to support us.
Episode 70: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
April is national Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, so our first episode this month focuses on what it means to go “up stream” to prevent animal cruelty in our communities. Listen as we discuss ways we can all collectively do better to address and support both human AND animal well being.
Episode 69: Daniel Gingerich: The Final Chapter
This may be the final episode we dedicate entirely to Daniel Gingerich, the worst USDA licensed breeder we have ever seen, but we will never stop talking about this case and using it to create change.
Tune in this week to learn about the charges and the plea deal given to this horrible breeder, who was responsible for the torture and death of countless animals, while he sold puppies to pet stores across the country.
Episode 68: I Am Bunny – Interview with Alexis
Tune in this week to learn all about the origins of Bunny, the famous talking dog, and her brother Otter!
Learn about the relationship between Bunny and her mom Alexis, and how their social media accounts display the special partnership we share with our companion animals.
Listen to our discussion about reputable and ethical breeders, as Alexis, like the rest of us, continues to learn and grow in her education and her thought process around the breeding and behavior of these amazing sentient beings who we share our lives with!
Find Bunny and Otter on social media @WhatAboutBunny
Episode 67: Operation “Save the Bullies” with Erin Morse
This week we are joined by Erin Morse, Executive Director of Midwest Animal ResQ, as she tells us about a recent puppy mill bust involving a very high profile breeder of XXL bully breed dogs. This horrific and wildly strange case has many unexpected aspects to it, including the price of the dogs before they landed at a city shelter where willing adopters are now few and far between. From breed discrimination in the rescue community to accepting help from unexpected places, every advocate should hear this story. Listen in and learn what you can do to help Midwest Animal ResQ as they work to find homes for these very deserving and loving dogs.
To foster, adopt, transport, or donate, please go here.
Episode 66: Progress Over Perfection
This week we are joined by a couple of Illinois’s finest animal advocates, Peggy and Kerin, as we celebrate the victory of Illinois finally “going humane,” while also remaining vigilant in ensuring that the statewide ban on pet store puppy sales is appropriately enforced!
Learn from these experienced advocates about how they went from being regular people to animal superheroes! Find out why our fight in Illinois is not over and what we (and you!) can do about it!
Episode 65: All About Pet Pigs With Ironwood Pig Sanctuary
Happy (belated) National Pig Day! This year we are celebrating by joining our friend Taryn, Manager at Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, to learn all about these fun loving creatures!
We hope to spread awareness about the plight of pet pigs who, like other companion animals, end up in rescues when unprepared owners purchase them from feed stores or breeders who give improper information. If you, or anyone you know, has ever considered adding a pet pig to your family, listen to this podcast first! To find out how you can help our friends at Ironwood Pig Sanctuary, click here.
BONUS: Update on Petland vs Illinois
Listen to our bonus episode as we give an update on the puppy mill industry’s latest attempt to try to stop the state of Illinois from banning the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores!
Learn about what happened in Federal court this week as we discuss the challenges we face across the country, even as we are on the winning side of this issue!
Tune in to find out the answer to the most frequently asked question we get EVERY TIME advocates successfully pass a new humane ordinance or state bill!
Episode 64: Petland vs the State of Illinois
We want to start this week’s episode by sending all of our support to our shelter friends at Midwest Animal ResQ, as they are in the midst of managing a very difficult cruelty case involving a large-breed puppy mill. It has been a very expensive and horrific case and they need all the support they can get, so please donate here if you have the means.
Tune in this week to hear about the potential delay of the Illinois pet store law, due to go into effect the day this episode airs, which would ban the commercial sale of puppies in pet stores in the state. We are on pins and needles as we wait to see whether or not a federal judge will grant pet stores a temporary restraining order. We discuss why we think this lawsuit will likely not get very far, as it is riddled with old talking points that have failed in previous court rulings.
Follow our social media accounts for the most current updates on the situation in Illinois!
Episode 63: 2022 Legislative Update
This week we sit down with Amy Jesse, Policy Director for the Humane Society of the United States Puppy Mills Campaign, to discuss legislation across the country that would help us on our mission to end puppy mills.
Tune in to find out which proposed laws are still making their way through city councils, state legislatures, and congress to crack down on the puppy mill industry.
For information on current bills, and to sign up for our Action Alerts, click here.
Episode 62: Petland Breeder Raided, Animals Seized
This week’s episode brings you the breaking news that a puppy mill breeder used by Petland pet stores was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and a charge of 2nd Degree Terrorist Threat.
**WARNING – GRAPHIC DETAILS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE**
Petland breeder, Campbell Bee, was arrested after police responded to concerns from neighbors about stray animals coming from his property. Authorities then discovered a horrific scene. Nearly 60 dogs and several cats were rescued from extremely cruel conditions at his property. Upon facing the charges against him, he proceeded to threaten to blow up the police department.
While Petland pet stores across the country claim that they visit their breeders and don’t use puppy mills, cases like this prove what we have always said — that you cannot trust what they say to customers or to lawmakers. Licensed or unlicensed, you cannot trust that pet store puppies do not come from puppy mills.
Episode 61: Illinois Cracks Down on Predatory Puppy Financing
Join us once again with our special guest, Marc Ayers, Illinois State Director of Humane Society of the United States. This week we discuss puppy financing and how Illinois became the first state in the country to ban the financing of dogs and cats in pet stores. Learn about the horrifically high interest rates we have seen at pet stores across the country who sell puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting customers. Find out how you might be able to stop the puppy mill pipeline while also protecting consumers from these predatory payment practices!
Episode 60: An Illinois Update with Marc Ayers of HSUS
This week we are joined by Marc Ayers, Illinois State Director of the Humane Society of the United States, to find out how the state of Illinois finds itself on the frontlines in the battle against the puppy mill industry.
Learn what is currently happening in Illinois, how local advocates can help, and what the battle there might have to do with our nationwide fight against puppy mills!
Episode 59: Adopt or Shop Responsibly
We all advocate for adopting from rescues and shelters, but many are shocked to hear that we also advocate for people to “shop responsibly.”
It’s a controversial topic in animal welfare, but this episode focuses on educating about breeders who truly love dogs and are on the same mission to ensure that dogs everywhere are healthy, happy, and safe.
Listen with an open mind as Kelley describes her “breeding program” and gives a real world example of how we can work together to take the cruelty out of someone’s choice to buy a dog from a breeder.
While many animal advocates would never consider buying a dog from a breeder themselves, many people in the general public will still choose to buy a puppy rather than going to a shelter or rescue. We simply do not live in a world where everyone will adopt their family pet, for a variety of reasons. This is why educating about “preservation breeders” is an important component of our mission toward ending puppy mills.
Tune in to find out how someone might “do their research” in finding a breeder that is reputable and NOT a puppy mill. Perhaps you can open your mind to reputable breeders and learn how we can work together to make the world a better place for the dogs!
Episode 58: Meet our Texas Team!
Tune in to Texas and learn about all the amazing work being done by Paula, Shannon, and other advocates to help bring an end to the puppy mill industry in their state!
Find out how these fierce leaders got involved and went from regular people to Bailing Out Benji superstars. Become inspired by their hard work, tenacity, and fresh enthusiasm for becoming a voice for the dogs trapped in puppy mills!
Listen to the answers to some common questions they and many of our teams across the country get asked about the puppy mill industry.
Episode 57: Why 2022 Will Be a Bad Year for Puppy Mills
It’s a New Year and we couldn’t be more excited to see how far our amazing volunteers will take Bailing Out Benji towards our goal of ending puppy mills!
Tune in to find out which laws go into effect and how those laws will impact the puppy mill industry! Learn about the upcoming laws to watch out for in the coming year, and find out how you can start changing laws in your own city or state!
Listen as we share our personal goals to take on the puppy mill industry, as well as goals to avoid burnout and practice some self-compassion this year.
It’s a New Year, but our resolve to end this cruel industry remains just as strong!
Episode 56: RICO Suit Filed Against Broker JAKS Puppies
This week we discuss a new lawsuit filed against notorious puppy mill broker, JAKS Puppies, and their associates, alleging a deliberate and coordinated effort by them to establish a sham rescue scheme in order to circumvent humane pet store laws.
Learn about the different ways in which our research helps to provide the basis for this lawsuit and others, in order to try to hold puppy mill dealers accountable. Listen as we discuss the small world of puppy mill dealers and their interconnected networks.
To learn more about this puppy mill broker, click here.
To view the full complaint, click here: 2021-12-16 -JAKS-RICO – Complaint
Episode 55: Puppy Store Employee Breaks Her Silence
Disclaimer: Parts of this episode were redacted to protect the anonymity of the employee. Some descriptions may be too graphic for some listeners.
Tune in to hear firsthand stories of what it’s like to work for a pet store that sells puppies from puppy mills. Listen to this honest and, at times, gut-wrenching emotional account from inside the puppy mill industry’s storefront.
Learn about how this former pet store employee was able to discover the truth about her place of work thanks to Bailing Out Benji’s research. Follow her journey from pet store employee to animal advocate.
To learn the truth about pet store puppies, click here.
Episode 54: 2021 Year End Wrap Up
This week we look back at 2021 and review all of the work Bailing Out Benji and animal welfare advocates across the country did to help #EndPuppyMills. From research, to legislation, to education, we showed up in full force to help put an end to this cruel industry.
As we look forward to 2022, we can rest assured that we are on the right track thanks to the hard work of so many volunteers and advocates who continue to speak for the dogs who cannot speak for themselves.
If you are interested in signing up for our mailing list, so that you can be ready to act on behalf of puppy mill dogs in 2022, click here.
Episode 53: Rescue: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
On this week’s episode we sit down with Erin Morse, Founder and Executive Director of Midwest Animal ResQ, to discuss ethical rescue practices. We also discuss the reason the Gingerich puppy mill rescue involved a few large rescue groups rather than many small organizations. And we attempt to untangle for advocates the red flags of fake rescues, unethical rescues, and rescues who have simply lost sight of the cause of saving lives in their adoption policies and practices.
If you have discovered that it has become increasingly difficult to navigate the rescue world on yours or your loved ones’ journey towards choosing adoption, then this episode is for you!
To learn more about Midwest Animal ResQ, go here: https://www.midwestanimalresq.org/
Episode 52: Giving Tuesday
Bailing Out Benji is a small organization that does really big things!
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the largest animal welfare organizations in the country and we have proven ourselves to have just as big of an impact with a fraction of the budget.
Every dollar you donate to us is truly stretched to have the greatest impact on directly ending puppy mills and carving out a solution to the puppy mill problem.
We are on track to educate millions of people this holiday season, but we still need your help! Please consider making a donation this Giving Tuesday and throughout the year to help us offset these costs.
Episode 51: Dogs Rescued From Daniel Gingerich
Join us for our 1-year anniversary episode as we give a much-anticipated update to the Daniel Gingerich puppy mill case!
Learn about the rescue of over 500 breeding dogs from the country’s worst puppy mill. Find out just how big of an undertaking it is to rescue that many dogs from such horrid conditions.
We also discuss the reality of adopting a puppy mill survivor with our very special guest and newest Bailing Out Benji family member – ELEANOR!
Episode 50: Hispanic Heritage Month Discussion with CARE
For our special 50th episode we wanted to highlight equity and inclusion in animal welfare by publishing an important discussion with Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), featuring Bailing Out Benji’s own, Nicole Galvan.
This important discussion took place in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and was hosted by Mike Bricker, Director of CARE Centers, and also featured Alana Yañez, Executive Director of Animal Shelter Assistance Program and José Ocaño, Senior Director of People and Culture for Best Friends Animal Society.
Episode 49: Daniel Gingerich Case Update
This week we give an update on the dramatic and infuriating case of the Daniel Gingerich puppy mill as the USDA and Department of Justice lawsuit against him unfolds.
Tune in to hear what has happened in the courts and understand exactly how and why the laws need to change so that a case like this never happens again.
If you would like to help us continue to track, report, and raise awareness about puppy mills, then please consider supporting us.
Our current Spalloween fundraiser and silent auction is underway and can be found here.
Episode 48: The Canine Condition with Jacqui Piñol
This week we sat down with actress and documentary filmmaker Jacqui Piñol to talk about her passion for animal rescue and how she is using her voice to help save animals across the country. Jacqui has been in movies and shows like Bosch, Spider-Man, Coco and American Horror Story, but her most powerful project yet has been “The Canine Condition” documentary and Podcast.
Join us for the conversation and learn more about Jacqui’s amazing animal rescue series that will be coming to a streaming service near you!
Episode 47: How Can Small Businesses Help End Puppy Mills?
This week takes a lighthearted turn, as we are joined by our fabulous podcast sponsor, Cassie, Owner of East Village Spa in Des Moines, Iowa. Tune in as we discuss the mutual benefit that occurs when small businesses support small non-profits like Bailing Out Benji!
Learn to pitch the animal welfare cause to the small businesses that are near and dear to your own heart!
Click here to attend our Spalloween fundraiser at East Village Spa in Des Moines, Iowa on October 28th.
Episode 46: United States v Daniel Gingerich
Tune in to this week’s episode as we talk about the USDA lawsuit against Daniel Gingerich, the Department of Justice investigation and what the state of Iowa is doing to crack down on this horrible facility. We also breakdown the timeline of what happened and talk about all of the familiar puppy mills that are involved, like notorious mill owner Steve Kruse.
This episode is not an easy listen. We discuss some of the horrendous violations that Gingerich had over the last few months, as well as express our frustrations over this entire ordeal. This case is still ongoing and Gingerich has hundreds of animals that the USDA is trying to locate and get veterinary checks for.
Episode 45: National Puppy Mill Survivor Day
September 30th is officially National Puppy Mill Survivor Day thanks to Bailing Out Benji! For this week’s episode, we kick off the very first Puppy Mill Survivor Day by telling the stories of our listeners’ puppy mill survivors, as well as some of the ones who have inspired us!
Tune in to listen to our special guest – who might be the (Foster) Mom of one very famous puppy mill survivor!
Episode 44: Advocating With Kindness & Integrity
On this week’s episode we discuss the viral Gingerich puppy mill case and the effect it has had on young people learning about puppy mills for the first time on TikTok.
Learn why typical internet “cancelling” tactics won’t work on this puppy mill breeder and tune in as we discuss the advocacy actions that WILL work to hold horrible puppy mill breeders accountable for the laws they break.
As internet activism becomes the norm, we remind our listeners that there are people on the other end of your computer screen. Be kind, and help us create change with compassion and integrity in the forefront!
Episode 43: What Can You Do for Puppy Mill Awareness Month
September is Puppy Mill Awareness Month! This week’s episode offers advocates an abundance of activities anyone can do to help #EndPuppyMills! Listen in for ideas and tips for being a successful advocate for this month and beyond!
Episode 42: Buyer Beware- Daniel Gingerich
This week we share more details about one of the worst USDA licensed puppy mills in the country! Learn how you can help us ensure that puppy mill breeders like Daniel Gingerich get shut down for good! And take note as we list the New York and Florida pet stores who sell his puppies!
We also share an inspiring update on one of his victims, a shy Golden Retriever named Eleanor, whose story we shared in last week’s episode.
Learn how you can help us educate by joining us for Puppy Mill Awareness month!
Share your puppy mill survivors’ stories with us, and we may feature them on a future episode!
Email audio files, photos, videos, and/or written stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Daniel Gingerich and his horrific puppy mill, click here.
Episode 41: Eleanor’s Story
This week we focus on Eleanor, a resilient Golden Retriever who survived a horrific ordeal at the hands of one of the worst puppy mills in Iowa.
We discovered Eleanor’s story after exposing breeder, Daniel Gingerich, for receiving 89 USDA violations in 2021 alone!
Eleanor is now safe in the hands of HavaHeart Rescue, where she is finally receiving the care she needs. Carol, Co-Founder of HavaHeart Rescue, joins us to tell Eleanor’s story to anyone who will listen.
Dogs like Eleanor are why we must continue to speak up for the dogs and why we need law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws!
Most important, Eleanor is why we must never buy a puppy from a pet store or online without seeing the conditions where that puppy came from.
Episode 40: Impersonation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Someone tried to portray themselves as a Baling Out Benji “supporter” and tried to ruin our reputation by making veiled threats against a city council in Renton, Washington. We suspect someone involved in the puppy mill industry is behind this.
Today we discuss what happened and what we are going to do to get to the bottom of it!
Episode 39: Fighting Puppy Mills with Elizabeth Oreck of Best Friends Animal Society
The puppy mill industry is in big trouble when organizations like Best Friends, Bailing Out Benji, and many others work together as a team to end puppy mills once and for all!
This week we speak to Elizabeth Oreck, National Manager of Best Friends’ Puppy Mill Initiatives. Elizabeth tells us how she began working in Animal Welfare , gives great tips for organizing and planning pet store protests, and we discuss the many victories and few defeats we have had recently against the dying puppy mill industry.
Episode 38: Puppy Mill Free Wisconsin- Meet our Team!
This week we sit down with one of Bailing Out Benji’s oldest and most active Teams in Wisconsin. Meet Team Leaders Peggy Race and Christin Schubert and listen as we discuss the puppy mill-selling pet stores, puppy mill breeders, state regulations, and local ordinances in Wisconsin.
Learn about Peggy and Christin’s WORLD FAMOUS puppy mill survivors, Deputy Paws and Lamb Chop, and hear about their triumphant stories.
Bonus – you also get to hear about Mindi’s latest foster pup, Inspector Gadget!
To follow our Wisconsin Team, click here:
Episode 37: Saving Small Animals with Lala’s Playhouse and Rescue
Be sure to listen to this podcast BEFORE you impulse-buy that small pet store pet for your child!
Tune in to learn all about the level of care and attention different small animals require, and find out why you should consider adopting a small pet from a well-informed rescue instead of buying from an ill-informed pet store!
Kayla from Lala’s Playhouse & Rescue in Washington sat down to educate us and our listeners about all things SMALL animal!
To learn more about Lala’s Playhouse & Rescue, click here.
36: Buyer Beware: PuppySpot
Through our records requests, we were able to obtain hundreds of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection connecting some of the largest commercial breeders in the country to PuppySpot, an online broker that sells thousands of puppies annually to customers who are not told where their puppy was born until after purchase. PuppySpot, much like the pet stores, boasts to have a ‘no puppy mill promise’ and claims to have ‘rigorous’ standards for their breeders. Sadly, our research has proven that isn’t always true.
To view the details of our Puppy Spot investigation, click here.
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.
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!