About thepuppymillproject

Educating about puppy mills and their connection to pet stores, internet websites, and classified ads.

The City of Chicago Grants Permit for Puppy Mill Awareness Day March

Earlier today The Puppy Mill Project got word that the City of Chicago has granted the permit to march for Puppy Mill Awareness Day!

On Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 12:00pm, The Puppy Mill Project and its supporters will peacefully march down Michigan Avenue to celebrate Puppy Mill Awareness Day and honor The Mothers in the Mills.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day was created ten years ago by Carol Araneo-Mayer, a national and international advocate for the breeding stock locked in commercial kennels and puppy mills.  Celebrations and vigils will be held throughout the country in late September, the largest being held in Austin, Texas.

“Chicago needs to follow the cities across America that have banned the sale of dogs in retail locations. Puppy mill dogs are being tortured this very minute and it must come to an end.  Lawmakers and government officials need make the right decisions to end this animal cruelty”, stated Cari Meyers of The Puppy Mill Project.

When the Puppy Mill Project supporters assemble on Michigan Avenue this September, they plan to peacefully march from the Chicago River down Michigan Avenue to the Hancock Building and back.  They will be spreading the word and educating the public about puppy mills.

You can help support The Puppy Mill Project’s cause by registering for the event.

Visit our website at www.thepuppymillproject.org for more news.

Why We Do What We Do

For all of those that wonder why we do what we do:


I received a call yesterday morning from a very distraught woman who had purchased a Bulldog puppy for almost $3000 at Petland in Crystal Lake, Il. She was able to get “credit” to buy this…dog from a credit company right down the street. She has two children and another dog and did not know about puppy mills until now. The now was when the puppy that they all fell head over heals in love with for only a short two weeks, died of pneumonia. The vet that checked him(Petland’s vet) said he was fine. Petland said “Sometimes that happens, he did not get sick here”. I won’t go into the rest of the details but he went to a second vet who confirmed the pneumonia diagnosis.

The “breeder” Rosemary Woods of Missouri, is the “reputable” breeder Petland told her the puppy came from. We all know the truth here. She is a USDA approved breeder with hundreds of dogs on her property.
Yesterday afternoon they buried that little guy in the yard. His name was Murphy. Another family who had to explain to their little children what happened to their new puppy.Another family with huge vet bills and credit card bills that will last longer than Murphy’s life. Every day over and over this scene is played out across this country. Textbook case. What did Murphy ever do to deserve this? What about his mother in Rosemary Wood’s mill ? She’s still churning out more puppies until she dies. What did this loving family ever do to suffer like this?
This is animal cruelty in it’s largest form.  Thousands of dogs suffering and dying every day at the hands of greedy, cruel monsters.  Please help us raise awareness and stop the cruel world of puppy mills. Do it for Murphy.

Act By Monday To Stick Up For Mill Dogs!

The USDA has officially announced a draft of their new rules that would require Internet breeders selling multiple puppies and kittens to be federally licensed and regulated by the U.S.Dept of Agriculture. This is the first time any kind of Internet regulation has been proposed.

The new rules require large-scale dog and cat breeders selling their unseen puppies and kittens who sell over the internet, phone, or mail to be licensed and regulated.  This is to to make sure they have been provided with humane standards of care.

Please send in your comments to the USDA in support of these changes by Monday.  Please hurry, this is your last chance to submit comments!

Submit your comments online to tell the USDA that you support stronger regulation of internet puppy mills or at the following address:

Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003-0001
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Learn More

What do I say?

1. The proposed rules are necessary to ensure that all breeding animals are monitored for their health and humane treatment regardless if their puppies are sold in pet stores or over the Internet.

2. The proposed rules will protect consumers who purchase a puppy sight unseen over the Internet and will help ensure that they receive a healthy puppy.

3. These rules will help encourage dog breeders to open their doors to the public so buyers can see the conditions in which their new puppy is raised or be subject to inspections by USDA.

4. These rules will help concentrate the regulatory efforts of USDA on those facilities that present the greatest risk to the welfare of the animals.

5. These rules will hold breeders accountable to normal sensible regulations that good reputable breeders are already doing and will not place an undue burden on any responsible breeder.

6. Thank USDA for proposing these rules and encourage them to implement them as written.

This is your opportunity to truly make a difference for the animals.  You can be assured that the dog breeders and their allies will be swamping USDA with letters of protest.  We need you to refute any such attempts to weaken USDA’s proposed new rules.

Creating a Compassionate Future

This summer, The Puppy Mill Project is giving a series of nine presentations at various animal shelters to educate young people about the issue of puppy mills.

The children, ages ranging from 6-12 years old, are learning in an age-appropriate manner about puppy mills, adoption, rescue, and what dogs need to live a happy life.  Since we never want to leave with unanswered questions, we always have a question and answer session at the end.  With a powerpoint presentation and interactive activities, TPMP is teaching the younger generations in the hope that they will be future compassionate consumers.

Taking place during camps, we are giving presentations at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin and DuPage Animal Care and Control in Wheaton.

These presentations are crucial for children to understand what puppy mills are, where puppy mill dogs are sold, how mill dogs are treated, and that the children/families can make a difference simply by adopting/rescuing instead of shopping.

We are trying to help the children understand how inhumane mills are and how they can take action.  They are the future consumers who will hopefully make compassionate choices when they become adults and can impact their parents by sharing what they learned in the presentation.  These partnerships with the humane education camps are a win-win for all parties involved.

So far we have recieved rave reviews about these presentations and the children highly enjoy them.  At the same time, they are taking home a valuable lesson that will influence their choices in years to come and they leave the presenations knowing they can make an immediate difference by spreading the word.  The best part?  We educated 180 young people who will in return educate their family and friends.  The power of youth outreach is outstanding!

Help Support TPMP!

Fields Auto Group is running a simple online event to bring awareness to their new Facebook presence and to donate to a worthy cause. To support TPMP, all one must do is simply “like” their Facebook Page and tell them that we are your favorite charity. If chosen Fields Auto Group will donate $1,000 dollars to us.  Thank you for supporting TPMP!

Click HERE to go to their Facebook page.

Join us in this year’s pride parade!

Join us and invite your friends, neighbors, and family members to join us in this year’s Gay Pride Parade!  March with TPMP’s float to educate millions of parade-goers about puppy mills.
When: Sunday, June 24, 12 noon
Where: Montrose/Broadway area.  Exact line up location to be announced.
Contact: Please RSVP to stacey580@comcast.net to let us know how many will be attending.
This event draws millions of people from all communities, many of which live in neighborhoods that have pet shops in operation.  Therefore, we need a presence in the parade.  The parade is a great time and our float looks amazing, with a sound system pumping music to add to it.  Can you handle the challange of having fun and spreading our message all in the same day?  Walk with us to make a difference!
Please no children or dogs at this event. Our walkers will be passing out our TPMP beads and carrying banners.  Please wear TPMP t-shirts and comfortable shoes for walking (no one will be riding on the float).  Also, bring water and the spirit to celebrate a day of diversity, acceptance, and puppy mill education.  The mill dogs are depending on us!  Come out and have a great time.
Some pictures from last year’s parade…


Many have done it.  Walked into that pet store and gawked at those cute little puppies on display.  Played with them behind the glass, remarked about their adorable puppy-dog faces, and then left the store with a feeling of wanting.  Although those dogs behind the windows look quite healthy and hearty, most do not even give a thought towards where these animals came from and what conditions the parents are in.  Actually, most forget these dogs even have parents.  The fact of the matter is, 99% of pet store puppies come from large and small scale commercial breeding facilities called puppy mills.

Breeding stock dogs or the mothers the in mills receive no pleasures.  They are simply treated like livestock.  Although they are often pictured on websites in a warm family environment, most do not even receive the gentle touch of human interaction or do anything that is natural to them.  The dogs are bred every heat cycle, or six months, until they can no longer produce.  Once no longer profitable, these poor animals are often shot, drowned, or poisoned.  Very few get rescued.

Despite how deplorable these facts are, this is not even the truth of it all.  Many mothers in the mills are housed in wire cages, often causing medical injuries to their feet.  Often exposed to extreme temperatures or kept inside dark buildings, these dogs do not get veterinary care or grooming.  Often, they are kept in their own waste.  Because of these facts, dogs that breed are often extremely matted and sick.  As long as they are profitable, it does not matter what condition they are in.  The puppy mills will force them to breed.

The people who manage the puppy mills only care about the money gained.  Unfortunately, they are missing the fact that dogs are living creatures who can feel pain, loss, and happiness.  In the puppy mill industry, there is no regard to life.  This does not even include the sick dogs sent to pet stores and sold online that are often the results of these breeding businesses.

Thankfully, there are many ways to avoid supporting this industry.  There are countless animal shelters in any given area and even more dogs looking for a permanent home.  If you are looking for a specific breed, there are many specific breed rescues.  A quick internet search will do the trick.

If you absolutely would like a breeder, finding a responsible one is a must.  A responsible breeder will allow you to meet the mother, see where the dogs are kept, and will be interested in how you will care for the dog.  If they do not meet these expectations, it is best to walk.

Although some may get lucky and receive a healthy pet store dog, it is extremely important to make the connection between the puppy and its mother suffering in the mill.  For each face behind the glass or in that picture online, there is a mother, which many forget.  Please, take some consideration of the origin of the dog before buying.  There can be change for these dogs and this change can start with you.  Adopt, don’t shop.

Mothers in the Mills Benefit a Huge Success!

We are happy to say that our second annual “Mothers in the Mills” benefit was a huge success.  Over 250 people showed up to support TPMP and had a great time doing it.  A great location, great dinner, and great presentation added even more to the benefit.

After a half hour of socialization, #19, a slide show presentation created by two of our members was shown.  #19 followed the story of a dog named Ruby, who was rescued from a puppy mill.  Read from Ruby’s view, it brought our guests right into the story emotionally and empowered them to take action.

After the presentation our first ever “Kindness to Animals” awards were given out to four deserving people.  Greg Gordon, owner of the Dog Patch pet store in Naperville, received our first ever award for converting his store to a humane business-model.  Following his award were three Chicago officers who busted a puppy mill truck to a local Chicago pet store. Truly a great way to honor those who do good in the community!

After the slide show, dinner was served.  Veggie patties, fish wraps, veggie hot dogs, mac n’ cheese, and fries were brought out.  A delicious meal, the deserts only added to the tasty food at the benefit.

Throughout the entire event, a silent raffle was going on.  We had many amazing items donated by our supporters.  We thank them very much for their donations.  Along with this, raffle tickets were also purchased for a prize of Starwood Hotel points.  One lucky winner took home the prize.

A great band was there, proving entertaining music for all to dance to.  Altogether, it was an amazing night of bringing recognition to those forgotten mothers in the mills.  We hope to see you next year!

Happy endings await mother dogs rescued from puppy mills

Usually on Friday’s, my adoption feature focuses on one or more of the weekend adoption events by featuring some of the pets set to make an appearance. This week, I’m doing something a bit different in honor of The Puppy Mill Project’s annual benefit.

Tomorrow, the organization honors the mother dogs left behind in the puppy mills at their annual Mothers in the Mills benefit.

One of the highlights will be a new presentation called Number 19 about a mother dog rescued from the mills that finally gets her happy ending.

View slideshow: Mothers from the Mills

Chicago has numerous breed rescues that have done great work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs rescued from puppy mills. Today, in honor of Number 19 and the others left behind – we’ll focus our adoption feature on some of the dogs that have survived a puppy mill and are looking for homes here in the Chicago-area. We’ll also look at a happy ending for a surviving mother of the mill.

Chicago French Bulldog Rescue

On April 28, Chicago French Bulldog Rescue stepped up to rescue 19 Frenchies and a Pug from a mill auction in Southern Missouri calling the rescue Operation Frenchie Freedom. Like the dog in the presentation, these dogs were also tagged and known by number, not name. Number 93 and 96 are looking for families.

Number 96 was up for auction because her mill was no longer breeding French Bulldogs. That mill had been sited with 13 USDA violations including inadequate vet care, expired medications, indoor and outdoor housing violations and pest control issues. This poor girl has chronic ear infections that caused her ears to thicken. She was branded, had a hernia, bite scars from flies, an untreated ulcer in her eye and burns on her body from when the breeder used motor oil to treat mange. Her selling point is that she was a good mother. She’s now settling into foster care and finally getting the medical help she needs. This six-year-old is now looking for home.

Number 93, now known as Chloe, is a five-year-old dog that was advertised at the auction as – due to be in heat in July. She also came from a mill with lots of violations. Despite living in those conditions, she doesn’t have any medical issues. Many dogs rescued from mills are frightened of the unknown, especially being out of their cages. Not Chloe, she loves her freedom and her favorite thing to do now is to explore her new surroundings. She is blossoming very quickly in foster care.

These two dogs have recently been vetted and are looking for homes. Of the 19 rescued, seven of the dogs have transferred to two other rescues and the rest (including the pug) are with CFBR. 

Chicago English Bulldog Rescue

The Chicago English Bulldog Rescue kicked of the year with a major puppy mill rescue of their own – Project Hope 2012. The organization saved eight dogs – six mothers and two young males – from three different puppy mills. Lexi was the most heartbreaking case of the group. She was covered in mange and open sores, terrified of people and afraid to look people in the eyes. She had an eye-swollen shut from an ulcer and was in pain from a severe infection (see the slideshow). Today, you’d hardly recognize her.

Lexi has blossomed in foster care and this two-year-old dog has now channeled her inner puppy to make up for all that lost time in a cage. She loves nothing more than to play and romp in the yard and has earned the nickname “Tigger” for bouncing when she plays. Lexi is full of mischief and has discovered the joy of dragging blankets around the house. After a hard days play, she crashes for a major nap and serenades her family with her cute snore. Lexi continues to grow and would love nothing more than to find a forever home.

Happy tails from Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue

At puppy mills, dogs are often bred to death. That was almost the case for Hope. A rescuer was at the mill loading up dogs that the mill had decided to release to rescue. The miller walked by with a very sick, very pregnant dog and said that he was about to put her down. The rescuer pleaded and left with the dog, putting in a call to Crossroads Shih Tzu Rescue on her way home. Although the rescue was full, they took Hope under their wing and sent her to a foster home.

Hope had Dermodex mange and skin infections. Just a week later, she gave birth to three puppies, one of which died. The remaining two also battled mange a few weeks after they were born. Under the care of a loving foster home, the mom and two remaining babies recovered. Today, they are healthy, happy and beautiful.  They also didn’t need go far to be adopted. Hope’s forever family turned out to be her original foster home. Puppies Kelsee and Destiny were adopted by a member of their foster mom’s extended family.

Learn more about The Puppy Mill Project and the Mothers in the Mills event tomorrow online and on Facebook..

Kathy Mordini is a public relations specialist and former journalist. She is passionate about educating the public on pet adoption, pet rescue and the many local pet businesses that support animal rescue. She has volunteered in the past as community outreach coordinator for Heartland Animal Shelter where she wrote educational stories about adoption, pets of the week and a variety of fundraising events for the shelter. She also writes articles about pet health care. Her work has been a regular feature both online and in print for TribLocal.com, on Patch.com and the Pioneer Press.  Read the original article here.