Written by: Susan Banach (event planner for the Puppy Mill Project)
Recently a friend told me she had bought her dog from a pet store. The store clerk claimed it came from a “reputable breeder” and gave her the dog’s papers and a photo of his mother and father. The store is part of one of the major corporate pet store chains, who routinely source their dogs from puppy mills, aka mass commercial breeders. When she took her new puppy to her veterinarian she was told that her new pet was ill. She contacted the pet store and was told that the store was no longer responsible because she had broken the contract by using an outside veterinarian.
Puppies that are sourced from puppy mills are frequently not healthy and the breeding parents live brutal lives with little if any veterinary care and no affection from humans. The only goal of many of these operations is puppies and the excellent profit they can pocket with no consideration for the breeding pairs except what they can produce during their lifetimes.
The Puppy Mill Project exists to create awareness about the inhumane treatment of dogs who live in puppy mills, advocate for humane legislation and, ultimately, to put cruel puppy mills out of business.
We do not operate a shelter but we do help shelters and rescues by offering financial assistance for the medical treatment of puppy mill survivors. We do this through Millie’s Mission Fund, named for The Puppy Mill Project’s founder Cari Meyer’s dog Millie. Mille was rescued during a puppy mill raid.
The Puppy Mill Project has an education program and offers a classroom kit to educators. The kit is designed to educate children, in age appropriate ways, about the cruelty of puppy mills and the right ways to adopt a pet.
Another goal of the organization is advocacy and outreach to entities like City of Chicago Aldermen, Illinois legislators and other stakeholders in the community. Previously, we helped develop legislation like Chicago’s Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance, and we are working to influence additional legislation across the state.
Please visit our website to learn more about our work. Among other things you, can find recommendations if you have an unhealthy puppy mill dog. And, if you have some free time, please join our volunteer program. Take a look; there are so many ways you can help put an end to puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of these poor animals.