The Puppy Mill Project
Published by Luna Topolski on September 7, 2012
With much of society moving in a direction of sustainability, I think one of the best opportunities we have to put this practice into action is through pet rescue and adoptions. It is irresponsible to excessively breed new pets when there are so many who already need homes. For every new puppy born, a shelter dog will remain orphaned or be euthanized. There is no better form of recycling than to rescue our four legged friends, so when I find organizations whose ultimate purpose is in the interest of humane treatment for these animals, I am especially motivated to help share their message.
I recently encountered one such organization, notably,
The Puppy Mill Project. This Chicago based non-profit was founded in 2009 by Cari Meyers, an animal lover who previously served on the board of a no-kill rescue shelter and felt strongly moved to take a bigger step towards eliminating the puppy mill problem. The mission of her organization is “to educate the public and raise awareness about puppy mills and their direct connection to puppies sold in pet stores, newspaper ads or online through disguised web sites.” While most people are familiar with the adorable little puppies in pet stores, most people are unaware that there is a dark secret surrounding the journey of those puppies from conception to store window.
Puppy Mills, as defined by the Puppy Mill Project, are “legal dog breeding facilities where dogs are constantly bred and puppies are mass produced purely for profit.” The website makes known, “The breeding dogs live in deplorable conditions. They are kept in wire cages, denied adequate exercise, medical care and more. The cages are filthy and the dogs must sit, eat and sleep in their own mess. They are not bathed or cleaned.
The adult dogs are bred every heat cycle until they can no longer produce puppies or are no longer profitable. Then they are disposed of by poisoning, drowning or by gunshot. A few get rescued.” The reason this assembly line of animal cruelty is legal is because the USDA classifies dogs as livestock. The fact is, if more people knew the truth about this horrendous practice, they would not be as likely to buy a puppy or any item from suppliers that profit from this.
This is where Cari Meyers comes in. Through The Puppy Mill Project, she’s helping to educate people and change legislation. She visits schools and raises awareness of this problem. Her website provides the name and details of breeding facilities and brokers for every pet store in her state, ensuring that the community knows who is selling puppy mill dogs. She also provides information to help people adopt from responsible organizations. She organizes peaceful protests outside of puppy stores and has successfully closed down four stores so far! Even so, Cari is happy to help the store owners who are willing to change to a humane approach in their business practice. She also recommends two very powerful documentaries on this subject,Madonna of the Mills and I Breathe. In everything that she does, she works to carry out the mission of the Puppy Mill Project.
I am truly inspired by Cari Meyers, who is a glowing example of the positive impact one person can make. The power to stop this abusive practice lies in our hands as consumers and pet parents. If we truly want to live in a more sustainable world, we must do our part to make it happen. It’s unacceptable to pay high prices for cute puppies while breeder dogs suffer the cost and shelter dogs remain alone. We must be responsible in our actions and educate others to do the same. Visit The Puppy Mill Project here where you can learn more and make a contribution to the cause.
Luna Topolski originally studied Massage Therapy and Energy Healing in Asheville, North Carolina. Although she later found her niche in marketing and advertising, she never let go of her love for natural living. She is a self-proclaimed “happiness technician” aiming to inspire others to live healthier, more balanced lives. She loves exploring everything from yoga, to vegan baking to urban gardening and has found the best way to experience a little bit of everything is by meeting, documenting and helping spread the word about cool people who are doing interesting and progressive things in the realm of wellness and eco conscious living. She is presently a Relationship Builder with Modern Hippie Mag, helping companies expand their reach in educating conscious consumers.