Designer Dogs = Expensive Mutts

Cavachons, Dorkies, Yorkipoos, Buggles, Goldendoodles, Cockapoos, Bowzers, Porkies, Baskimos, Puggles.

What do they all have in common?  

They are all mutts… Really really really expensive mutts. By slapping the “designer dog” label on them, unscrupulous dog breeders and puppy mills are able to sell them at outrageous prices so the consumer feels like they are getting something “special” and “new”. When really, they are getting a high-priced mutt, that more than likely isn’t recognized by the AKC.

Some even tell buyers that these new “breeds” like yorkiepoos, buggles or  jugs will be recognized by the AKC some day very soon. But people in the market for a new puppy  need to realize that a cute name doesn’t turn a mongrel into a  purebred. If you fall for the hype, you could pay more for a mutt than you would  for a registered, guaranteed purebred.

Creating a New Breed Using Existing Dog Breeds

Ever heard of a Chusky? Yeah, me neither, not until I started doing research for this article. According to many sites, I own an expensive “designer dog”. My beautiful dog Zeppelin is a 100% purebred Chusky (sarcasm very much intended) and I got him for the low, low sale price of $0.  Had his previous, abusive owners known that, they wouldn’t have surrendered him into my care at no cost! This beautiful Chow-Husky mix is absolutely one of a kind, and he is just that… One of a kind. Which is why most designer breeds haven’t been accepted by the AKC. When two purebred dogs are put together, you don’t always know what is going to come out the other end. You can’t know which traits it is going to get! It is like breeding two people. You can’t possibly know if it is going to get dad’s work ethic, or mom’s artistic abilities.

Doodles are another hot, new breed — except they aren’t a breed, either. They are  a mix of Poodles and Labradors or Golden Retrievers. Most doodles you see for  sale are just first generation crosses of retriever to Poodle. They are mixed  breeds! There is a puppy mill owner in Altoona, Iowa that will sell you a “GoldenDoodle” for $400, while the shelter down the road will adopt it to the right family for less than $100.

Another fun fact: The “oodles” of Poodle mixes like yorkiepoos, pekapoos, schnoodles (and so on)  have absolutely no breeding standards, no club, no standardized breeding records, and no plan  for the future–which means no AKC acceptance letters for these doggies. So what is the point? Why go to a pet store and spend $1000 on a designer mutt, when you can go to your local shelter or www.petfinder.com and find something that is just as adorable, SO much cheaper, and that is going home with all (or most) of its vet work done?

Here is my thought for the day… If rescues and shelters started putting these designer labels on their dogs, would they be adopted more quickly? I am really curious about what you think!

If you “like” this article, PLEASE “like” our facebook page 🙂

–Mindi

And as I always say… “Don’t Shop, Adopt!”  

Want to know More? Read it here:

Shelter dogs aren’t broken!.

How much is that doggie in the window?.

Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe, Ames, Iowa… A store NOTORIOUS for selling Puppy Mill puppies.

“Puppy” isn’t just an age

It is a learned behavior!

It wasn’t me!

How many times have you seen a puppy nipping at hands, jumping all over the furniture and going to the bathroom where ever they please? How many times have you heard the excuse, “Oh she’s just a puppy…”

… Until that puppy is a giant black lab and her cute little antics aren’t so cute anymore.

What starts off as a cute puppy habit turns out to be supremely annoying. No one wants a dog that tears up  your brand new heels!  It’s never too early to start training your puppy. Just like raising children, whatever behavior is allowed from an early age, is a learned behavior your puppy will think is acceptable in to adulthood. It’s easier to teach your puppy from an early age what is acceptable behavior, and to nip bad behavior in the bud before it’s too late!

It is my belief that there are no bad dogs… only untrained dogs! And these dogs are more likely to end up in a shelter, because of their supposed “high maintenance”… Which means that they are more likely to wind up euthanized and that is something that no one wants for their pet!

My advice to you is to study up! Read dog training articles, read dog books and just educate yourself! Your dog gets all of their cues from you, even when you don’t know you are giving them! There are so many dog trainers out there and their whole job is to just help you get your puppy to listen. Even if you aren’t sure that you need one, call the trainer. Talk to them and tell them what is going on. They will tell you exactly what you need!

It was the cat…

One trainer that I have been following on facebook is the Canine Connection LLC and it is in Dubuque, Iowa. I recommend them 100%. They follow my “positive reinforcement” beliefs and they do it all: puppy training, group classes, private classes, an in-home sessions! If you are in need of any training tips, please contact Canine Connection LLC 🙂 Also, feel free to “like” them on facebook! They are great about giving dog training tips!

Email
getconnected@mchsi.com
Phone
Website

Do you have any trainers that you recommend 100%? Please leave their info in the comment box! It doesn’t matter which state you are in! People ALL OVER need advice.

-Mindi

And don’t forget to “like” us on facebook!  🙂 

 

Did you buy your puppy? Are you 100% sure the breeder you used is reputable?

Read here about puppy mills 

Read here about my experience at a Dog Auction

Is “Faux Fur” really that fake?

“I love animals and would NEVER wear real fur- 

faux fur should be safe, right?”

Shockingly… no. There are many reports out there that claim that most garments claiming to be made of “faux fur” actually tested positive for dog fur. In one test, the Humane Society of the United States tested 25 different jackets and of that, 24 of them were not labeled correctly.  3 of them came from a domesticated type of dog, twenty came from a type of raccoon dog that is  native to the Asian and northern European forests, and one of them was made from wolf fur. These “faux fur” products are no safer for consumers to use than actual fur coats. What is the difference, you ask? How do they get away with this?

Since the products are less than $150, no label is required to inform the public that it is made of actual fur. Most of these products came from China. There is a thriving dog- and cat-fur industry in Asia. Most of this fur is falsely labeled as “rabbit fur” or simply not labeled at all. Dog and cat skin is made into fur coats, fur figurines, and leather shoes, which are sold to unsuspecting consumers in America.      Outraged? So am I. I have compiled a list of stores and brand names that take advantage of this loophole. Personally, I don’t even wear fake fur, but I want to educate consumers so they make an informed decision while shopping.

Department Stores that sell (sold)  these products include: Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory , J.C. Penney, Nordstroms, Younkers

 Designers/ Brands  include Sean John, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Andrew Marc’s MARC New York label, Marc Jacobs

Miss Leppert, a spokeswoman of the HSUS reported that “There is no suggestion that the retailers knew Chinese
suppliers were substituting dog pelts for fake and other types of fur. But they should know this. They are not properly policing
themselves on this issue. Millions of these animals are coming out of China and being passed off under the wrong labels all round the world. There is a lot more the big retailers could be doing. They have a responsibility for the products they bring to market.” 

On a good note, both Tommy Hilfiger and Nordstom tried to handle this new information the best way they could. Hilfiger stopped selling the fur-trimmed coats immediately and said that they would look into the matter because they are concerned with the findings. While, Nordstrom called 62 of its customers who had bought waistcoats trimmed with dog fur and offered them  a full refund.

However, an executive of Andrew Marc, disputed the HSUS findings and insisted that all fur on his coats labeled as raccoon contains “only farm-bred raccoon fur from Finland”… Ummm that still isn’t faux fur in my book!

Retail giants Macy’s and J.C. Penney were also discovered selling coats with raccoon dog fur labeled as raccoon. J.C. Penney initially removed the offending garments from its stores — but eventually had employees scratch out the ’raccoon’ label with black magic marker and put the coats back on the shelves. Macy’s, however immediately pulled the items from its shelves.

Burlington Coat Factory also pulled some coats with mislabeled fur from their shelves. Rap artist Sean “Diddy” Combs stopped producing and selling coats from his Sean John line that had raccoon dog fur, and rapper Jay-Z pulled coats with raccoon dog from his Rocawear label.

Another fun fact: Importing domestic dog and cat fur was outlawed in the United States in 2000. Intentionally importing and selling dog fur is a federal crime punishable by a $10,000 fine for each violation.

Don’t forget UGG boots. Yes, they are made from wool and (usually) the sheep are alive and shaved down humanely- however- after much investigation, it was proven that UGG boots are made from sheep that have been discarded because their wool isn’t good enough to sell. These animals are kept in awful conditions and, ultimately, slaughtered in very inhumane ways. I am NOT advocating that you go and buy the knock-offs though… Those shoes are made from the same raccoon-dog fur that I talked about above. These animals are beaten and skinned alive, after living their lives in tiny cages. 

 

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As always, your comments are always welcome. And please share with your animal loving friends!

Click here for a list of companies that still test their products on animals

Read more at: http://articles.cnn.com/2007-02-07/politics/dog.fur_1_dog-fur-fur-products-raccoon-dogs?_s=PM:POLITICS

http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/Uggs/default.aspx

Dog Auctions

Dog auctions are a painful and despicable fact of life here in the Midwest, maybe not Iowa as much– but definitely our neighbors to the south. As I am sure you have all realized by now, the importance of educating as many people as I can about animal-related issues is my passion.  Dog auctions are certainly no different. They go on almost every weekend… Thousands of dogs are switching from owner to owner, never knowing the love that they deserve.  I recently went to an Iowa dog auction, please read my story here …. 

 

 

How many of you haven’t ever heard of dog auctions? Let me give you this scoop!  

Picture this…

Large rooms filled ceiling high with wire cages, stuffed full of dogs whose sole purpose in life  to make puppies.  I say “was” because by the time the dogs are brought to these auctions, they are unwanted by the owner for various reasons. The term for this is “cull”. These “culls”, more often than not, can’t even breed well anymore. Each dog is identified with a number tattooed on the inside of the ear, or the inner thigh. They are almost all purebreds of  every breed and the ever so popular “designer dog”. I should tell you that it is usually impossible to tell which breed it is because of the terrible health conditions. The fur is always grown out and matted, filled with ticks and clumps of blood. Not to mention the fact that the nails are so long the dogs can barely walk. The saddest part about all of this is, the rooms are usually so quiet because the dogs are too terrified to move, let alone bark. This is the first time a lot of them have ever been out of their usual cages. It all sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

But what can we do to change this? The people who visit these types of auctions aren’t your run of the mill (no pun intended) dog customer. These are the other puppy mill owners that are either looking to get some new blood lines into their stock or the local rescues that go in to try and save as many as dogs as possible.

 Here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Boycott puppy mills.  This means never ever  ever buying a puppy from a pet store or from a website. If you want a dog, please please please go to your local shelter or rescue. They have so many dogs that need loving FURever homes! And so much of the public doesn’t even realize that over 35% of dogs in the shelters are purebred. Don’t believe me?! Try it… Go to petfinder.com and search for a breed, I am certain you will find just what you are looking for.

2. Talk to your veterinarian and let he/she know how you feel about dog auctions and puppy mills. Try to encourage him or her to take a public stance against them.  In my experience, the vets that are near these mills know exactly what is going on, and they almost always turn a blind eye to it. Each USDA breeder must have a veterinarian that looks over their dogs once a year… That means that with the 300+ puppy mills in this state, there are that many veterinarians on their payroll… Sad, isn’t it?

3. Share this blog with your friends… Share it on facebook, twitter, email it to your coworkers, link it to your blog– I don’t care! It is just so important that we reach as many people as possible with this message. I can talk and talk all day long, but I am almost always preaching to the choir. Until we can get our neighbors, coworkers, and friends to realize that buying a dog is bad for everyone then we all fail.

As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated. Please, if you have ever been to a dog auction, share your story. You can remain nameless, but it is just one more way for people to see that these things DO happen.

Horrible video that shows exactly what I am talking about… If we don’t stop these atrocities, who will?!

–Mindi

Teach your children how to behave with animals. Adopt a pet.
Don’t go buy one. Please. That’s a sin. Let’s get these puppy mills out of
business.

They can’t all be that bad….

I had someone argue with me today about puppy mills…

His exact words were, “Not all puppy mills can be that bad, right?”

This frustrated me… Because this seemingly intelligent individual doesn’t even see the difference between a breeder and a puppy mill. This is why people get so frustrated with the word “puppy mill”. Half of them don’t understand what it means and the rest don’t use it properly. And this is also why so many people get offended and annoyed by animal welfare groups… SO let me clear things up a little bit.

Just because a person is a dog breeder, does not mean that they have a puppy mill. In my life, I have met so many wonderful breeders! In high school, I would help a family friend with his whelping. He only had two female dogs, Babe and Sierra, and he would only breed them once a year. These dogs were so loved. They lived in an air-conditioned building, they had outdoor runs and they were able to go out and run the fields while we did farm work. Every single day… And each of those puppies was equally loved. Randy only sold his dogs to the best homes. And he didn’t charge $600 for a “champion bloodline”, purebred puppy. No. He charged $150 with all shots, not to mention, each puppy could come back and train to be a hunting dog on his land. FOR FREE, with him as the teacher… We all cried each time a puppy left the house. That is what a good breeder means to me. Randy didn’t breed his dogs for the money. He bred them for the love of what he was doing. He had two amazing purebred german wire-haired pointers, and he wanted to keep their blood lines going.

It is a sad fact that on the other end of the spectrum there are unethical breeders that many refer to as puppy mills. A puppy mill is a breeding facility that produces purebred (OR DESIGNER) puppies in large numbers. The puppies are sold either directly to the public via the Internet, newspaper ads, at the mill itself or sold to brokers and pet shops across the country. Puppy mills have long concerned the Humane Society of the United States, as well as many other animal welfare groups. The documented problems of puppy mills include over breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To anyone that really cares about this, you can go to the USDA website and find any information on any USDA licensed breeder. You can see for yourself what it going on, like I have. The inspectors, although there aren’t enough of them to actually do their jobs, must take pictures of every thing that is against the code. These pictures are also able to be accessed by the public.

To the person that argued with me, I really hope that you are reading this… I want you to look up the Hunte Corporation in Missouri, or the Kruse family in West Point, Iowa. These are what puppy mills look like… Because I wrote about one of the bad mills I visited, doesn’t mean that there was only one bad mill. There are over 400 in Iowa. Some are worse than others. But I dare you to actually look into the world of a puppy mill dog. If you don’t want to believe the “propaganda” spread by animal welfare groups. I suggest that you Browse the USDA website and google the names I just gave you. Or go to this site: http://www.caps-web.org/ These are real people who go undercover to show people like you what is really going on. The videos aren’t altered, and the names aren’t changed. I really invite you into this and then I will gladly welcome your CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, after you are educated on this topic.

To the unwitting consumer, the situation frequently means buying a cute puppy from the store and then later facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically born diseases that do not appear until years later. The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes the sale, through pet shops and similar outlets, of puppies and dogs from mass-breeding establishments. Even though I don’t feel like I need validation from anyone reading this… To the person that felt the need to argue with me about my one-sidedness… I suggest that you really do your research before you say that I am uneducated. Yes, I am very, very passionate about this, and no, passion is NOT a bad thing.

The way that we get things changed in this state is to use your voice, petition, protest, write your legislators, call your legislators, boycott things that you disagree with. I am not some silly girl with a pipe dream… I am a silly girl with 100,000 other silly Iowans that want the same thing as I do. Together we will help end the suffering that is going on in our state– Whether it be in puppy mills, the dog chained up next door, or the dog left in a hot car. Enough of us care about this and things will change. Because we are the change that we want to see in our state. By attending these free puppy mill presentations and spreading the word, we are changing the future. By asking our friend to think about adopting before buying, you are saving the life of that shelter dog. And by calling animal control when you see an animal that isn’t being treated humanely. All of these small acts do make a difference in the big picture.

To anyone that I have offended by my blog, I sincerely apologize. If you are a legitimate breeder and you are sick of getting labeled as a puppy mill, speak up! Do something about it! I suggest contacting the Iowa VCA. They want to hear from the legitimate breeders, because we are all fighting the same fight. No one is trying to take your rights away, we are just trying to give rights to the pets that you are keeping on your property. I have said it in previous posts, and I will gladly say it again. NOT ALL BREEDERS ARE BAD. Yes, I would always push for adoption. But as long as you are taking care of those animals in your care, then I have no qualms with your business…

As usual, I am always glad to hear your thoughts! Please leave me any comments

–Mindi

Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe, Ames, Iowa

Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe in Ames, Iowa sells puppies from known puppy mills. 

As an animal lover, I am asking everyone reading this to please think twice before you shop at Dyvigs Pet Shoppe in Ames, Iowa. Every Saturday morning (and some other days)  animal lovers from central Iowa gather to educate the citizens of Ames about the pet store/puppy mill connection.  Dale Dyvig, owner of the pet store,  knowingly purchases his puppies from a “family breeder” in  the “Waterloo area”, or so he tells his customers… Century Farm Puppies is located in Grundy Center, Iowa and they are the definition of a puppy mill. Dyvig also forgot to mention that he also uses New Design Kennels in Rockwell City, Iowa.  As you can see below, the CFP breeder will even tell you that the puppies are not kept in the home! 

DyvigsCFP

The owner of the store and the employees have been feeding their customers that same line for over ten years. (The pet store here in Ames is not his first pet store, he has owned at least two more in recent decades- all while using the same breeders). Now is the time for people to learn the truth about where those puppies really come from. Keep in mind, when we talked with Dale before the protests began, he said that he had visited Century Farm Puppies and was okay with everything he saw.  Here is the handout Dale was giving his customers when the protests began.

CENTURY FARM PUPPIES, GRUNDY CENTER, IOWA

This is a direct excerpt from the Century Farm Puppies website. 

Dyvigs

Below is the most recent dog count from the USDA . As you can see, Century Farm Puppies has 155 adult dogs and 48 puppies. In recent years, they have had as many as 560 dogs on their property. While their numbers are dwindling, they still have far too many dogs in their care.  It should be stated that Dale Dyvig still used and approved of these breeders when they had all of those dogs and numerous violations. 

cfp (1)

Below are a few of the violations that they have had in the past which include: a build up of days old feces, on all of the flat surfaces of their buildings there was severe buildup of hair, dirt and other debris (which affected approximately 532 dogs at the time!!) Again, see for yourself. These are screenshots of the USDA reports.

 

cfp2

 

Century Farm Puppies has been downgrading in recent years due to public pressure and the fact that more people are “waking up” about puppy mills. In recent years they had over 500 adult dogs on their property, which is an insane amount of dogs to care for. Many people have criticized us for quoting previous USDA reports, please keep in mind that Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe has used this breeder for several years and has always known what is going on in the puppy mill. Here are some of their most recent numbers. 

DyvigsUSDAA local radio station decided to look into Century Farm Puppies, what they saw and heard there were very troubling. They were not only able to see inside of the “honeymoon suites”, but they confirmed that there were over 125 dogs living inside of the sundowner buildings within the metal barn, the barking was unbearable, and there was an overwhelming smell. Not only did this confirm to us that it is a puppy mill- but what the owner, Rex Meyers, said ON AIR about the puppies he sells to Dyvigs- “…we don’t sell Teddy Bears, so those I send to the pet store.  Because they’re a cheap dog. We’re known for Cavachons.  I’d rather sell Cavachons.” 

Straight from the breeder’s mouth. The dogs he sells to Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe are cheap. For more information on Century Farm Puppies, click here. 

 

 

NEW DESIGN KENNELS, ROCKWELL CITY, IOWA

Nancy and Tom Carlson of New Design Kennels are very deep in the puppy mill world. Not only do they have a huge puppy mill of their own, they run under TWO names so the public doesn’t see that they breed several breeds of dogs (New Design Kennel and Illusion Japanese Chin) but they sell their unwanted dogs at terrible dog auctions. Most recently, In May, Nancy and Tom helped out at another dog auction that I attended. These “reputable breeders” have no problem breeding dogs that aren’t healthy. If you read the article above, you will note that many of her dogs were missing teeth, eyes and had open wounds AT THE AUCTION! Below shows you an approximate number of dogs that she sells on her property and, below that, we highlight some of her violations. For more information on New Design Kennels, please click here. 

NDK2

newdesign

 

If the inspection reports aren’t bad enough. Look at how these dogs are forced to live. 

Please remember, that the owner of Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe has been to both of these places and approved of how these dogs are kept. I am not okay with how these animals are living… Are YOU? 

NDK

Sadly, Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe also buys their small animals from a large supplier of small animals.  Yes, there are small animal (and cat) mills too

ApetTransportMill.jpg

How can you help?

 

Call or stop in!

(515)233-5625 If you feel strongly enough (and are brave enough), contact him this way. Ask him directly about the puppies and the welfare of the  parent dogs.  We do not want to see a local business close down, instead we want the owner to choose a more humane business model by  either not selling puppies at all, or choosing to help shelter dogs instead! 

Visit us on Saturdays! 

A small group of us stands in front of the store every Saturday morning (the time varies) and Sunday afternoons , educating the citizens of Ames about the pet store/puppy mill connection. Whether you join us for the full two hours or just stop by to show you support, we would love to see you! You can find out when we are at the store, through our facebook page! 

THIS NEXT PART GOES FOR EVERYONE, IN EVERY CITY, IN EVERY STATE

Don’t give your business to pet stores that sell puppies and kitties. Pet overpopulation is a terrible problem in our country and only the consumers can help change that. If you are looking for a new pet PLEASE visit your local shelter. Over 35% of dogs in shelters are purebred, they are just overlooked. If you can’t find what you are looking for at your local shelter, please try www.petfinder.com It is a tremendously helpful site! You can search for ANY BREED anywhere. Don’t breed or buy while homeless pets die! 

 

 

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“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

 

 

Actual Dogs Sold from Dyvigs <—-> The “Sundowner Buildings” that the mill owners refer to as “honeymoon suites” There were three of these in one building at the mill.

How much is that doggie in the window?

How many of you have walked by the pet store and saw the adorable puppy with big eyes and a wagging tail? The puppy that is just pawing at the glass for your attention. All of us animal lovers have such a hard time just walking away because we want to save them all.. Out comes the money, and there you have it- another pet store puppy is sold to the first person with $600.

While it is partly true that we saved this dog from a life unknown, at the same time,  we have  just supported a puppy mill. Almost every time someone buys a dog from a pet store or online, the dog has come from a home in which the parents are merely thought of as property.

The  fact is that in the US there are almost 10,000 puppy mills operating today. This means that there are hundreds of thousands of dogs bred in conditions that are completely appalling. These unfortunate dogs receive no human contact, no exercise or veterinary care and are often kept in tiny wire cages trapped in their own filth. Many of them, once rescued, are unable to walk properly when removed from their cage and placed on solid ground. The only concern of the puppy mill breeders is the bottom line profit they can make at the expense of the health, safety and disposition of their “product”. These mills do not have heat or air conditioning, so in the winters many of the dogs freeze to death, and in the summers, the dogs die from heat stroke.

Even more alarming is the fact that the ASPCA (who did a survey of 800 U.S. adults from across the US), the “vast majority of people surveyed -78% of them- told interviewers that they believe that puppies sold in pet stores come from such places as shelters, or private owners whose pet had litters, or they really had no idea where these animals came from.” That is just appalling to me! I can’t imagine that 78% of Americans have NO IDEA what a puppy mill is. This has got to change!

My goal with this post is not to use scare tactics to educate people. I just want to lay out the facts so I can raise awareness for the Pet Store/ Puppy mill connection. Education is the key. When people stop buying puppies in pet stores or through online internet ads, the puppy mill industry will no longer be in demand and the misery will end. Please join me in this fight.

How can you help right now?

NEVER EVER buy a dog. Whether it is directly from a breeder or online. You are putting money into the pockets of people who are helping the high numbers of euthanized pets each year in shelters.  Do you want a purebred dog? Well statistics show that 33% of dogs in shelters are actually purebred. AND most backyard breeders aren’t selling purebred puppies! You are dishing out $600 for an adorable APRI registered dog, and that means nothing! APRI is a national registry that only has the breeder send in a photo of the dog and they take a look at the face and body. Then they decide whether or not it is purebred. There are no blood tests done. APRI also doesn’t ask that you screen the dogs for genetic defects. ANY DECENT BREEDER always wants to know exactly where the dog is going. They will want references and proof that you can have the dog where you live.

ALWAYS ADOPT from an animal shelter or rescue. These pets are not “broken” or damaged. They are simply hearts that need to be loved. I have heard so many people say that they are worried about the behavioral problems and training of a shelter dog. This frustrates me. Who is going to need more training than an 8 week old puppy?

NEVER GIVE YOUR MONEY TO A PET STORE THAT SELLS PUPPIES OR KITTENS.  Not for an animal, not even for food, treats or toys. By giving this store your business and time, it is letting the owner believe that he is successful. It is important to let the owner know that you are offended that he/ she sells these animals and that your  money will never go to his business. I suggest that you write a letter (make sure it is decently respectful) that explains your reasoning for not going to their store anymore. If they feel as though their business is being threatened, they might just back down!

ALWAYS try to educate. If someone you know wants to buy a dog, please tell them what their money is really going to. Even if you “do the research” and you have “seen the parents”, you likely haven’t. So many mills today have adult dogs set aside that look pretty and healthy, so buyers are relieved to see where their puppies come from. What you aren’t seeing are the dogs stashed away in that barn 100 ft. to your left. IF you are hell-bent on getting a purebred dog, go to petfinder.com. You can search for any kind of dog and it won’t cost you nearly as much to adopt him/her as it would to buy.

**I want it to be said, again, that I do not hate all breeders. If you have a small operation and you take great care of your dogs, then I am happy to see you around. It isn’t my intention to make enemies with this. I am just trying to get the world to see that by purchasing a dog from a pet store, then you are aiding in the suffering of its parents. NOT ALL BREEDERS ARE THIS WAY. But the great breeders do not sell to pet stores. I strongly suggest you look at the USDA reports for the Hunte Corporation in Missouri and the Kruse family in West Point, Iowa. These are the breeders that need to be stopped. These are the ones that clearly put profit over the welfare of the animal. **

Again, thank you friends for always reading what I have to say. I always love to read your feedback (whether it is negative or positive). And please PLEASE share with your friends! It is so important to get this information out there! Email it to family, coworkers, facebook it, tweet it… I don’t care! I just want to someday live in a world where we “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” and where people never ask, “What is a puppy mill?”

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For more information:

Designer Dogs  http://wp.me/p1xvZr-4h

Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe Ames, Iowa http://wp.me/p1xvZr-2w

–Mindi

“The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals”

A Rare Breed of Love

* William Baldwin  * Paul Harvey   * Lindsay Lohan     *Amy Sedaris     *Moby       *The New York Mets          *Joel McHale      *Montel Williams       * Steven Tyler       *Noah Wyle              * Judge Judy                  * Barack Obama

What do all of these people have in common? Baby, a three legged poodle. These famous men and woman have had the life-changing opportunity to have crossed paths with this puppy mill rescue.

A Rare Breed of Love, by Jana Kohl is a terrific book and very moving story of Baby who has had two very different lives. Before she was nine years old,  Baby was kept locked in a filthy cage and produced litter after litter of puppies to be sold for a profit.  Her owner, a California puppy mill owner,  was incredibly cruel.  To cut down on barking, every dog on site had its vocal cords cut (this usually happens by someone jamming a metal rod down the throat)  Baby’s only value to the mill owner was her ability to produce puppies.  When she was too old to breed anymore, the mill owner was going to have her and some other mothers killed because they were no longer useful to the owner. This is the day her second life began.

A good Samaritan rescued the dogs, and Baby was later adopted by Jana Kohl, the author of the book.  Jana and Baby wrote the book to bring attention to the terrible puppy mill problem here in the US.  The rest is history. Baby traveled across America, meeting so many people, and changing so many lives on the way.

This book gives us an amazing look into the world of puppy mills, and the life that can be given to a dog that was once treated like property. The reason I am writing this blog is because I have been in contact with Jana Kohl and not only did she give me 25 copies to sell (with all of the proceeds going to any organization that is working to fight puppy mills), she gave me my very own autographed copy!

So there you have it. A Rare Breed of Love by Jana Kohl! Please read it, or at least flip through and look at some of the entertaining pictures! 🙂

–Mindi

Bailing out Benji

For this, and more, I thank you

Every day I hear the stories… We all hear them.  The stories about beaten or starved animals that somehow survive terrible owners. The stories about perfect strangers falling into the equation, and making their lives better — whether these strangers take the abused animal straight out of the horrific home, or if they give them a second chance by adopting from a shelter.

Everyday I sign on to my facebook page and I see so many posts from all of you, trying to spread the word about animals that need adopting or animals that need transporting.

Every day I see everyone caring so much. I know that I am not the only one that wants to cry when there is news of an animal that needed put down because we couldn’t find it a home.

Everyday I am reminded more and more that I am not alone in this fight. There a millions of us that just want the world to be a better place for our pets. For this, and more, I thank you.

Thank you all so  much for supporting “Bailing out Benji”. You are helping to save the lives of those that need us.

Thank you even more, for giving a voice to those that have none. Because if we don’t speak up for them, no one will.

But mainly, thank you all for reminding me everyday how important this all really is.

–Mindi

Puppy Mills in Winnebago County, Iowa

I have noticed that over the last week, someone (or a few someones) keeps using that search phrase and keeps coming across this blog. Whether you are a friend or foe, I feel as though I must bring some attention to this!

In Winnebago County, IA, there are technically ten breeders that could most definitely fall into the puppy mill category. Not having gone to visit any of these myself, I can only speculate… I shall do so  now.

It is my opinion that, since there are only seven actual towns in Winnebago County, that it is the perfect place to have an operation like a puppy mill. It is pretty secluded and right along the Minnesota border! According to various sources, of the seven actual towns in the county (Buffalo Center, Forest City, Lake Mills, Leland, Rake, Scarville, and Thompson) , Leland and Rake are the only two without citizens that could even be considered puppy mill owners. Those aren’t very good odds.

Now that being said, I want to explain to you where my “sources” get their information. Most people who are licensed with the USDA to breed dogs, tend to have conditions that the regular Joe off of the street would find terrible. This is because they have been given permission to breed dogs and then sell them to pet stores. Now, breeders who sell puppies to pet stores must hold a USDA dealer license, and many states also require breeders to obtain a license to have a dog breeding kennel. However, the standards they must follow are little more than simply requiring food, water and shelter for the dogs. It is perfectly legal for a licensed breeder to:

  • Own hundreds, or even thousands of dogs
  • Keep all dogs in cages for years at a time
  • Breed dogs as often as possible, and to churn out as many puppies as possible

These standards set forth by the US government are not meant to make sure that any of these dogs lead a long, happy life; they are meant to impose the only bare minimum of care requirements. That being said, there are only a few inspectors in each state for the hundreds—sometimes thousands- licensed kennels. So you can find names and information about potential mill owners on the USDA website.

Now, because I have been accused of spreading propaganda, I would like to list off a list of things that send up RED FLAGS. Meaning, when you encounter these things, the breeder might more than likely be a puppy mill.

How can you tell the difference between a puppy mill and a “good breeder”?
In order to make money, a puppy mill operates differently than a responsible, humane breeder.

  •         The Mill Owner has several breeds of dogs for sale at the same time.
  •         The Mill Owner offers to ship dogs to new owners, without meeting you first.
  •         The Mill Owner will not allow customers to view their property or kennel. (OR they will, but you can’t see the living quarters of the adults, you are only allowed into the showroom to see the puppies)
  •         The Mill Owner does not require an application or references from people buying a puppy.
  •         The Mill Owner does not ask buyers to return the dog or contact them if at any point in the dog’s life if the owners cannot keep the dog.
  •         The Mill Owner has a very large kennel. Owning fifty to several hundred dogs is typical.
  •         The Mill Owner breeds females every time they come into heat.
  •         The Mill Owner is USDA-licensed so they can sell puppies to pet stores. A USDA license is a red flag that a breeder is in the business to make money.
  •         The Mill Owner does not screen his or her dogs for genetic defects

These are the facts. I am not trying to accuse every breeder of neglecting their dogs, and I am certainly not condemning every breeder in Winnebago to the puppy mill category. If you can honestly, 1000% say that you give each of your dogs the care and love that it needs, then awesome. But if you can’t, then maybe you need to reevaluate your situation. I firmly believe that there are good breeders out there. Breeders that care about each dog and puppy that puts its paws on their property… It is the other breeders that I worry about. Then ones that never let the paws touch the ground.

Again, i welcome any comments on this. Criticism or praise.

–Mindi

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