So you bought a puppy…

So you bought a puppy from a pet store…

Congratulations on your new family member! Let’s make sure you have everything on the “new puppy checklist”.

  • Puppy Food
  • Water/Food Dish
  • Age appropriate toys
  • Kennel
  • Puppy Training pads
  • Leash/Collar
  • A VERY good Veterinarian.

Did I forget to mention that the puppy you bought came from a puppy mill? And the last thing on that list will be the first number on your speed dial in the future? 99% of all pet shop (and online) puppies come from puppy mills. If you have never heard of a puppy mill, please read more here:  How much is that doggie in the window? .

I know, I know, their puppies are different. Their puppies don’t come from puppy mills, but from wonderful local breeders– “Outstanding Citizens”, in fact. Let me ask you one question… Do you believe your car salesman too? That is the connection here, both are just trying to make a quick buck.

The reality is that no responsible breeder would ever place one of their puppies in a pet shop. If you truly care about the dogs that you are breeding, then you want to know exactly where the puppies are going! You wouldn’t just sell them to the first person with $400.  Any breeder who has placed a puppy in a pet shop has immediately disqualified himself as  “responsible”. Before I get too far in to this, I want to share my definition of a puppy mill. Puppy Mill- A commercialized breeder (or breeding facility in general) that values their profit over the welfare of their dogs.

Why is this, do you ask?

Because, as a commercial establishment, pet shops are legally required to sell a puppy to anyone who can pay. Legally, they are not allowed to “screen” buyers for suitability, because they are a store and not a rescue/shelter! Let me ask you, if you raised puppies, would you want to know exactly where they were going to spend their lives? Wouldn’t you want to know if they were in the right home– their forever home? Exactly… Any RESPONSIBLE breeder wouldn’t be able to sleep at night wondering where their puppies went.

But the  pet store says…

We buy our puppies from ONE responsible breeder.”

Yes, the employees are told to say that.  But virtually every pet store puppy comes from commercial breeders (puppy mills), no matter what the employees say. Do you think the store owner takes each and every employee to the breeders house and gives them a tour? I highly doubt it.  

“Our breeder is USDA-licensed.”

This is a huge red flag. If the breeder is USDA licensed, then it means they are allowed to breed as many dogs as they want AND sell to pet stores. Oh, and if you don’t know– USDA stands for the United States Department of Agriculture. AGRICULTURE! Their business is farming and livestock. What do they know about dogs?A USDA license is not something that should reassure you. On the contrary, it is warning sign that a breeder is cranking out lots of puppies. One more thing to be weary of… Designer Dogs. They ARE NOT AKC recognized breeds. You are likely paying way too much for a mixed breed dog. Read more about Designer Dogs = Expensive Mutts.

“We have a health guarantee on each puppy!”
Ah, yes… The comforting pet store guarantee. This reassuring statement is how pet shops and puppy mills are able to get around testing the breeding dogs for genetic defects. Oh yes, if you are a Instead of preventing these diseases in the first place by requiring the breeders to do genetic health tests on every parent dog used for breeding, the pet shop offers to replace your unhealthy puppy. And why do they do it this way?
  • First, they are almost certain on you becoming attached to the puppy that you have had for weeks. Why would you want to return your new family member. They know that most of us  would keep a sick puppy and pay the  thousand of dollars in vet bills and endure the heartbreaking months (or years)  nursing it back to health.
  • Second, many genetic health problems don’t show up for months or years. Either the guarantee has expired by then, or you (and your children) would never dream of giving the dog that has been in your life for that long. The health problems that I am talking about are inherited. If your puppy has inherited those genes, these health problems WILL show up eventually, long after you’ve brought the puppy home and fallen in love with it. Most health tests can determine (with 100% accuracy) whether a puppy has inherited a serious health problem. The other tests that can predict the risk. Responsible breeders do these tests. Breeders who sell to pet stores don’t. Why is this? Because it is too expensive to test the 350 dogs on your property for genetic defects! Why not just refund the money IF the dog is returned!

My honest opinion is that you need to IGNORE everything pet stores tell you.  Don’t be gullible. Would you buy a car without looking under the engine? No… Then don’t buy a dog without insisting to see the parents (and their health records)! This whole thing is a giant scheme to get your money, and guess what– it works!  See my experience with a local pet shop/ puppy mill connection: Dyvigs Pet Shoppe, Ames, Iowa.

Finally, the main disadvantage of buying a pet store puppy is . . .

You’re supporting the worst kind of industry. Think about it. In what other line of work can 2 animals make you over $5000 a year, while requiring little to no care? Think about it… Farmers (in a sense) have to care for their livestock. They cows and pigs need to be plump for the sale. But the parent dogs do not require this. No matter how much you abuse them, starve them, deny them vet care- their puppies will still come out fluffy and adorable.

Sure, you’ve emptied one cage – but there is another puppy just waiting to take its place. That is why it is a puppy mill, they are able to constantly churn out puppies to keep the pet store stocked up! Even if you are lucky and your puppy turns out okay, a large percentage of the others will not, and YOU helped provide the incentive for them to be born by buying the one who came before them. Not to mention, those parent dogs are still suffering. They will never be able to step outside of their cage. They will never feel love. They will never be pet. They will be bred until they die (or are killed).

Because of purchases like these, you are adding to:

  • The misery of female dogs who spend their lives in a cage, being bred again and again so people will have that “quick and convenient”.
  • The misery of future puppies born with inherited health problems.
  • The misery of your own family who have to cope with all the health and temperament problems.
  • The misery of Rescues and Shelters who have to deal with all the pet store puppies dumped on their doorstep when frustrated families give up on them.

*If you recently purchased a puppy from a pet store or a breeder and it is sick, please contact me! I will put you in touch with the right people. It might not just be your dog… Please speak up and be the voice for your pet!* It is my firm belief that Shelter dogs aren’t broken! and you should always choose to adopt instead of shop!

I want to leave you with this thought… When you adopt, the adoption fee goes straight back to the dogs for vet costs, food, and toys…. Where does the money go when you buy from a pet store?  

 

 

–Mindi

Please also visit www.petfinder.com if you are interested in ANY BREED of dog and also our facebook page for updates and more info about puppy mills. 

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.

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

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?”

Don’t forget to like us on facebook

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

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

Bailing out Benji, like us on facebook

Perfect Example!

This blog is, obviously, just my opinion… But I am going to add a link to what I FIRMLY believe is a dog breeder that falls under the puppy mill category. If I receive flack for pointing fingers, then so be it.  But again, you are reading my blog….

Here is the link

http://www.iowapup.com/

Yep… As you can see, you can buy a puppy like you would buy a pair of jeans… or a book. .. or a freaking lamp from IKEA… This is horrendous! This “Breeder” is from Altoona, Iowa… (I am trying SO VERY hard not to write his name down and just bash him…) But I do feel the need to educate as many people as I can.

I hope that you can all see why this is wrong. This “family man” doesn’t even care who his puppies go to. He accepts VISA or a Walmart Money-gram. He will ship these puppies anywhere, for the right price. I called the number, acting as though I were interested in buying a puppy. I wanted to travel the short 40 minutes to see a few, but he wouldn’t let me. He insisted that we meet somewhere halfway, because he didn’t want me to make the whole trip… RED FLAG ANYONE?! I can’t say it enough… These people are just terrible… I knew that people were money hungry, but spitting out puppies like a chicken spits out eggs? Really…. And that is how these dogs are treated… Kept in thin wire cages like a couple of hens…. Bred and then put back until they give birth…. Rinse… and Repeat…

I cannot stress this enough… ADOPT… ADOPT… ADOPT… Don’t give these breeders another way to make money. I know that the puppies in the window are so cute, trust me… But their parents are suffering so these people can make a quick buck. In what world is a tiny dog worth $600? Don’t get me wrong, I would pay as many vet bills as necessary to keep my babies alive and healthy! But why put a price like that on a dog just to simply own them? Because they are “purebred”? That makes no sense… I know many respectable breeders who truly love their dogs, and care about where their pups go. Their prices are low and they check on them from time to time… But shipping them because someone wanted to fork over money via mastercard? This man is seriously demented… And seeing how he treated me on the phone, he knows that what he is doing is wrong.

This is Minnie… She is listed on his site… Are those the eyes of a happy puppy? Or simply a puppy wondering why the human actually picked her up? You can always tell that the puppy isn’t in a healthy home when the pictures of said puppy have a weird blanket-type background… And you never see pictures of the litter together… Just one by one…

I had a man email me to tell me that I was spreading propaganda and that I was uneducated. I couldn’t help but laugh… I may not be the most knowledgable person on this topic, but I am no idiot… And this breeder is a puppy mill… through and through… Please help  me stop this! Email me… Comment on this… Share the link on facebook… DO  something…

Don’t forget to like us on facebook

–Mindi

Bailing out Benji <3

You may say I’m a dreamer

BUT I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!

(pictured are Zannah and Gabby)

There are so many people in Iowa that simply want the best for our pets! We want harsher punishments for when they are abused, we want mills to stop making puppies daily, and we want the dogs in the shelters to get adopted so they can know what a loving family is! I don’t think that these “wants” are out of the question. I feel like every living being deserves to be fed, to be healthy, and to be loved.

“I don’t believe in killing whatever the reason!” John Lennon

That is why  I started “Bailing out Benji”. This Blog is just trying to gain awareness for the vastly growing problem in Iowa. That problem is animal abuse, pet overpopulation and puppy mills. In the first two months we have reached over 2000 people and gained their support! Who knows what will happen in the future!  All I know is that we are working so hard to make this a better place for our pets. If you are reading this, and you have any questions, please either comment on this blog or email me at peopleforanimals2011@hotmail.com. I will reply to you very promptly! It is so very important that we education as thoroughly as possible! Please help us to reach the rest of Iowa. Together we can educate the state on animal abuse!

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” John Lennon

If you want to help… Please let me know! I have many small projects that I am working on, and I would love to get more help with them! For example, I am starting a letter writing campaign to a local pet store that sells puppies (that come from a known puppy mill)! That is such an easy way to help! Email me or comment for more information on the subject!

Just remember, we are the voice for the voiceless… Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about things that matter.

Mindi <3

Background information

What is “Bailing out Benji”?

Because this is my first post, I must first ask everyone for forgiveness.  I am  definitely really new to this blogging thing, but I felt like I had to use the voice that I have to speak for those who are voiceless… Our Pets

The goal of my blog is to inform, educate, and update the public on the horrors that are going on in our own backyard, while gaining more for this very important issue.

As for my “cause”: I have recently realized that Iowa is within the bottom 6th in the US when it comes to animal cruelty laws. IOWA! I was so shocked upon hearing this; the state that prides itself in being fair, hard working, and being “something we can be proud of.” But when I look at how well our citizens treat our animals, should we really be holding our heads so high? Our pets are not able to speak for themselves, and if we’re not willing to speak up and DEMAND more of each other, who will?

Back in April many people listened and/or read in disgust of the lady in Urbandale who had ten dogs in a motel room.This is the story that finally pushed me over the edge and forced me to start Bailing out Benji….  This lady had 2 female, adult dogs, as well as 8 puppies in which she starved and neglected to the point of the dogs eating cigarette butts! We listen to this in disgust, and if you’re like me, you could even bring yourself to wish harm on this woman, or some type of retribution for her cruelty. Instead, the lady gets off on one count of animal neglect, which under Iowa law is a $65 fine, and 30 days in jail. These are 10 dogs that may never be able to trust humans to take care of them again, and 10 lives that were carelessly neglected. This lady, whose only excuse was she was “down on her luck,” has the audacity to say in the end she wants her dogs back!! Sadly, she is only one case of a growing trend in mistreatment of our pets.

I also learned that Iowa is the SECOND WORST state when it comes to puppy mills. For those of you who aren’t sure what puppy mills are: they are commercialized breeders who are USDA licensed (which means they can breed as many dogs as they want and sell to pet stores). They are referred to as mills because they always have 20 dogs on their property that they breed and can constantly be selling puppies at any given time. For the most part, here in Iowa, the breeders have upwards of 100 dogs on their property (not including the puppies) and  there is one notorious mill owner who has over 1000 dogs that he is constantly breeding. These breeders breed their females every heat cycle and keep all of the dogs in small, wire cages with inadequate shelter. And don’t even get me started on the food/water that they are given. The whole puppy mill industry is atrocious! This is why Iowans need to take a stand on commercialized breeding!

Fortunately, Iowa does have some great citizens who often feel the same way as I do. Upon doing all of my research, I have met so many kindred spirits along the way, and, for that I am thankful!

If you want to get involved comment to this blog, Facebook group “Bailing out Benji”, or email peopleforanimals2011@hotmail.com.

-Mindi

“The Greatness of a nation and its

moral progress can be judged by

the way its animals are treated.”

Ghandi