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Stomping Out Puppy Mills With Style

Stomping out Puppy Mills with Style

My mom was in her office yesterday with a bad case of the winter blues and decided to do some online browsing of summer fashion to cheer herself up. I prefer a more “au naturale” approach to fashion, so I was napping on my bed in the kitchen. But suddenly she called me to see something that would interest both of us.

Soludos, a New York-based company has just introduced a new line of summer shoes that will not only make good chew toys, sales will benefit Friends of Finn, a foundation created to stop the inhumane practices of puppy mills.

Friends of Finn was created by Amanda Hearst, a market editor for Marie Claire magazine. A few years ago, Amanda and her new puppy, Finn, were asked by the Humane Society of the United States to host an event in New York City. She then traveled with the HSUS to Mississippi to visits dogs that had recently been rescued from a puppy mill.

Amanda was not only horrified by what she saw, she also became curious about where her beloved Finn came from. She had his birth certificate and was assured by the pet store that he came from a humane breeder, but with the help of the HSUS, they learned that it was all a big pile of dog poop.

That’s when Amanda and Finn got to work. They contacted their friends and fellow animal lovers and founded FOF with the mission to raise awareness and hopefully put an end to puppy mills.

After we purchased two pairs of Soludos (one for mom to wear, one for me to chew on), we sat together and did a little research into what puppy mills are and what is being done to stop them. I thought I had a pretty rough time living on the streets before I was adopted, but that was nothing compared with what these other dogs have to go through.

They live in cramped wire cages and are starving and scared every second of the day. No one takes them for a walks so they can clear their heads and relieve themselves properly. No one pets their heads or rubs their bellies. No one brushes their fur when it gets matted and dirty or gives them clean water when they are thirsty.

It was a little more than I could take, so my mom turned off the computer and took me for a stroll around the block to calm me down. We talked it over and decided there were a things we could to do help Finn and his mom with their mission.

My mom has posted a link to Amanda and Finn’s page on her facebook page. I decided to dedicate this week’s column to the FOF mission. And together, my mom and I are going to spread the word to our friends that if they are planning to buy a puppy, do some homework and be sure  to work with a humane breeder.

Or adopt a rescued dog like me. Hey, I grew up on the streets and look how good I turned out. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go explain to my mom why I dug that left over chicken out of the trash.

Comments

Congratulations to Amanda and Finn for your great work!

We have 3 little fur babies (Spuntie, Tigger & Mimi) who are all rescues. The conditions in puppy mills are even worse than you can imagine. Our "newest" rescue, Mimi, came from an ASPCA/Sherrif's Dept raid in TN. There were over 250 poodles and small breed dogs rescued that day. Many had to be euthanized because they were in bad shape from neglect or were so physically deformed from inbreeing that they could not survive. Video of the raid was played on the local TN stations. Through the kindness of rescue groups and foster "Moms", Mimi managed to make her way to us in CT. 

Mimi has no teeth, a deformed mouth and an injured hip that had healed badly, so she limps and runs on 3 legs, but she is beautiful to us. It's taken almost 3 years and  of lots of love, but she has finally blossomed with her own doggie peronality. She has learned how to play with our other pups, runs to the door when "Daddy" comes home and is very, very sweet. But what a guard dog! Instead of curling up with the rest of our pack, she vigilantly stands guard at the entrance of whatever room we are in, priotecting her family-- all 7 pounds of her. She is literally all bark & no bite!

Recently, I was able to contact someone who had rescued a poodle from the same raid. We exchanged photos and noticed that Mimi & Zippy looked exactly alike-- same coloring, same way of standing. Zippy is younger, so we think she may be Mimi's puppy. It is such a small world.

The work that rescue groups do is truly amazing, they rescue thousands and thousands of pets each year. If only states would regulate "breeders" (puppy mills) more effectively. Breeding is mostly regulated under the USDA, so breeders are allowed to keep dogs in the same conditions as cattle or chickens. And in most states, a pet is not recogized to have any economic value unless it is a service animal. The only way we can put puppy mills totally out of business is by better regulation, education and more pet rescue and adoption.  

 

What a nice note from mmperr2, and it's loving people like her who help undo the horrors of puppy mills.

But I am NOT a fan of the Humane Society of the US, which has been taken over by animal rights groups and which has a president who has said that he'd be happy if no one ever owned a pet.

Here's a reasonable and accurate presentation of the other side of the argument:  for responsible breeders.  Worth a read: http://thewholedog.org/wholedognews/responsiblereputable-dog-breeders-ar...