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A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of
the wicked are cruel." ( The godly are concerned for the welfare of their
"Even the animals...know their owner and appreciate
his care." - Isaiah 1:3
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and check out their many information sheets with solutions on common dog and cat
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There are many deplorable and shockingly cruel things happening to dogs every day. Yet, countless volunteers are doing everything they can to rescue and find homes for dogs. They are indeed ascribing to the following:
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Whatever way you can make a contribution to the effort to save more
wanted pets will also be helping to over come evil
"God is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to hope or ask."
"Look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others."
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DID YOU KNOW that
PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION
FURTHER BELOW ON THE PUPPY PROTECTION ACT.
PLEASE take time to WRITE TO SEN. DICK DURBIN, co-sponsor of the Puppy Protection Act, & SEN. PETER FITZGERALD in SUPPORT of this essential legislation. (scroll down for contact info.)
READ about current legislative action at the end of this page under LEGISLATIVE UPDATE.
While Congress provided an additional $800,000 in FY 03 to help improve enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, there are still ONLY about 100 AWA inspectors to monitor about 10,000 SITES.
Just imagine the work overload of 100 people trying to watch over 10,000 sites, which include puppy mills, zoos, circuses, laboratories and other facilities. No wonder there is such cruelty and neglect of animals. Write your senators, representatives and the president to ask for an increase in funding. How can the AWA be enforced if there aren't nearly enough people to monitor sites?
Puppy mills are in the business of mass producing dogs for the most money, in the fastest time and cheapest way under the cruelest, most filthy conditions. Dogs are bred over and over with no consideration of breed standards or genetic or health problems...until they die. You could liken puppy mills to Auschwitz for dogs. Puppy mills then wholesale dogs to the pet industry. Puppy mills are legal and licensed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Many fine groups continue to battle hard against puppy mills. Yet,
these places of living hell for dogs will remain in business until enough public
and media pressure are put on lawmakers to make them illegal. The public's
All pet stores that sell puppies use puppy mills. Read below about just one national pet store chain and its use of puppy mills.
There are some excellent web sites on puppy mills with detailed info. (A list with description of each appears at the end of this page.) A good place to start is . (A list with description of each appears at the end of this page.) A good place to start is www.puppymills.com.
Another good site is www.unitedagainstpuppymills.org
The following information on IDA (In Defense of Animals) is from www.puppymills.com.
P E T L A N D
IDA has launched a national boycott of PETLAND in conjunction with Dateline NBC's puppy mill investigation and subsequent expose. (IDA is an international California-based animal advocacy organization dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals.) IDA reports the following on the puppymills.com website:
"Being USDA licensed is hardly a guarantee that puppies were born and raised in clean, healthy or humane conditions," said Marshall Smith, a former USDA Investigator and current Director of Investigations for IDA. "USDA officials agree that a high percentage of facilities fail to meet minimum standards. Petland supports the vile and pernicious puppy mill industry with their aggressive marketing of puppy mill bred animals. And that continued support clearly demonstrates greed rather than a concern and love for the animals."
"Noticeably omitted from Petland's literature are descriptions of
'factory farms' housing hundreds of breeding animals in cramped, hutch-style
cages until they die. The public needs to be made aware of Petland's
contribution to this heinous and cruel industry."
Petland not only operates out of greed and total lack of concern for the
dogs' welfare, but also directly takes homes away from millions of
shelter dogs that end up being euthanized. Petland also breeds dogs
haphazardly with no concern for meeting breed standards. So if your pure
breed doesn't look like he's supposed to and you bought him at Petland, that's
why. Improper breeding also results in
Those of us at Adopting a Dog have talked to many people who have bought dogs at Petland and ended up with very, very sick puppies. Two women we spoke with recently (one had a Papillon; the other a Yorkie) said they weren't sure their dogs were even going to live. One woman had over $500 in vet bills, and only after haggling with Petland for a long time was she able to get them to pay.
Petland operates 123 stores in the U.S. and 57 more in other countries.
BEWARE too of backyard breeders, who advertise in the news- paper.
They're the mom and pop operations. Your chances are very high of getting
a dog that hasn't been bred correctly according to breed standards; a dog
that has health and/or temperament problems (due to conditions kept in as well
The reality of the situation is that only public and media pressure can bring about changes to the law and eliminate puppy mills. Write and call your senators and representatives (see #9 below) as often as possible.
If you see poor conditions or abuses of any kind at a pet store, puppy mill, backyard breeder or even at a neighbor's house, take action immediately. Doing something is better than nothing.
Remember, the dogs have no voice to protect themselves.
1. Call the police. If need be, call 911.
2. Call the local Health Dept., which will send out an inspector.
3. Call the Animal Welfare Dept. and file a complaint. It's also a good idea to send a letter reiterating your complaint and documenting the date, time, contact person of your phone call. The Bureau of Animal Welfare said they will send an inspector to investigate. There are local inspectors, but they must be dispatched from the Bureau of Animal Welfare (see info. below on the shortage of inspectors. But call anyway!)
Dr. David Bromwell
* You can call or write to the above bureau for a free copy of
* The Bureau of Animal Welfare is under the IL Division of Food Safety and Animal Protection (217) 785-4789; both are part of the IL Department of Agriculture.
4. Don't buy a dog at Petland, any pet store or backyard breeder.
5. Write and call your local Petland saying you're against their puppy mill practices and you will never buy a pet at their store.
6. Write/call Petland's corporate headquarters.
Petland Corporate Headquarters
7. Call your local newspaper and talk to any reporter in the newsroom. Report your concerns and ask the newsperson to investigate. Ask the newsperson to do a story on the problem of puppy mills and to publicize the shelters/rescue organizations available. Media spotlighting and pressure on the people who promote puppy mills can make a difference. Stories in the media can also put pressure on politicians to change the laws regulating puppy mills.
8. Talk to your attorney to see if a lawsuit can be filed. The only way to fight some of these people and their companies is in their pocketbooks.
9. Write to your senator & representative asking them to sponsor a bill outlawing puppy mills. (Sample letter available soon.) If you don't know your legislative district:
*Go to the State Board of Election's Web site
*If you don't have Internet access, contact your county's
If you don't know your current state representative:
*Go to the web site of the IL General Assembly for
*Or go to www.house.gov/writerep
If you don't know your state senator:
*Go to the following web site
In Illinois contact:
U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin
*Senator Durbin, co-sponsor of the Puppy Protection Act in 2001
U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald
10. Talk to as many people as you can to educate them about puppy
mills. (See www.stop-puppy-mills.com
The public doesn't realize how it is supporting puppy mills.
Politely ask people to consider adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization. It' amazing how many people never consider adopting a dog. They're misinformed about shelters and the dogs or simply aren't aware how many rescue groups there are even for pure breeds.
11. Tell people about this website and others on puppy mills. This is the simplest thing of all. Tell people about the site you're now on: www.adoptingadog.com. Tell them they can find out about LOTS of rescue groups and shelters where the perfect dog is just waiting to be found. Remind them that this site also features links to other sites on puppy mills.
"Puppy mills are mass dog-breeding operations run for
profit, usually at the expense of the dogs' well-being. Breeding animals
are often caged in shocking conditions and bred over and over again for years --
with little human contact or hope of ever joining a family. And hundreds
of thousands of puppies -- many with behavior and health problems --
This site is brought to you by "Dying for Love" -- a group of friends against puppy mills. Go to their section "Want to help fight puppy mills?" You'll find an easy-to-follow list of things you can do to help. The information is concise, well-organized and provides addresses and phone numbers as well as links where you can easily find other contact information.
It bears repeating from the above web site and others, please write to NBC's Dateline to encourage them to re-run and/or update their April 26, 2000 "Puppies for Sale" piece that investigates the horrors of puppy mills.
A detailed site chock full of important information such as: what is a puppy mill; genetics directory; breeders/brokers; pet shops; the regulators; registries; dog auctions; broker prices; AKC suspensions; research a pet shop puppy; search for USDA breeders; research a newspaper ad; your state; press releases and much more.
This site reports that in a recent complaint to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the USDA said:
"Our inspectors are stretched pretty thin with 65 inspectors nationwide and almost 11,000 facilities to inspect each year."
(That would be 169 facilities per year or 14 a month to be inspected.)
Take advantage of the tremendous work that's been
put into www.nopuppymills.com by
clicking on their section "The
You can also locate brokers and breeders charged with violating the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) by going to their section "Press Releases." To research a breeder, go here first!
At this site you'll also find make-a-statement
t-shirts, mugs, caps, sweatshirts and more. They're tastefully done but to
Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS ) has
On this site, learn the proper terminology and definitions for puppy mills, pet wholesalers, pet breeders, hobby breeders, commercial breeder, broker, buncher, backyard breeder.
This site also has a helpful guide to related articles and books.
Hearts United for Animals operates a nationwide rescue operation and works diligently against puppy mills, which they accurately term "are a disgrace to this country." Check out their "Bark Alert" for current news on puppy mills. The site also has a sample letter you can use to write to NBC Dateline asking that they re-run "Puppies for Sale," first broadcast in April 2000.
Read the Dateline story from April 2000 on
NBC's 10-month undercover investigation of puppy mills. Easily link up
with other sites (such as the Companion Animal Protection Society, CAPS,
Another great site to "inform you the puppy buyer of ways to protect yourself and insure that when you do buy your puppy that you are getting one from a reputable breeder." Their info. includes what is a puppy mill, how to find a good breeder, buying from the newspaper, responsible breeders, contract for buying a puppy, contract for buying a dog for pet only, state laws for the sale of dogs, ads on the web -- Beware, questions to ask a breeder, what is coccidiosis, progressive retinal atrophy, dog stories, warning on anesthetics, letters received and more.
Want to know the difference in characteristics between puppies from a reputable breeder and those from puppy mills? Just click on this site.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - THE PUPPY PROTECTION ACT
"KENNEL CLUB CRITICIZES PROPOSED FEDERAL PUPPY LAW"
(Daily Herald, Friday, April 5, 2002, pg. 4, section 1A)
Hardly a whimper was heard when the Senate approved a Puppy Protection Act specifying how often dogs can be bred and how their puppies are to be treated. Happy puppies make better dogs, said backers of the rules.
But the American Kennel Club is lobbying to stop them from becoming law, arguing that federal inspectors would be unleashed to poke around private homes all over the country. The group wants the rules stripped from the final version of a bill overhauling federal farm programs.
"If the people who are currently closest to dogs -- breeders, veterinarians and animal behaviorists -- don't have a consensus as to how is the best way to raise a dog, then how can the federal government have a way?" said American Kennel Club spokeswoman Stephanie Robinson.
The Puppy Protection Act, which the Senate passed on a voice vote, is one of several animal welfare provisions that were added to either the Senate or House versions of the farm bill, and they are all in trouble as negotiators write the final legislation. One measure would ban trafficking in bear parts, and others would forbid the interstate shipment of fighting birds and stop the marketing of sick and injured livestock.
The Agriculture Department regulates 3,400 breeders of dogs and other animals and inspects them about once a year to ensure they meet sanitary standards and other requirements.
The Puppy Protection Act would limit how often dogs could be bred and require that puppies be properly socialized by exposure to people.
There's also a three-strikes-you're-out provision that would revoke a breeder's license after a third violation.
"We're talking about establishing a safety net to protect dogs, puppies and the consumers who care about them against the poor treatment practices of the really bad dealers," said Sen. Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.
USDA regulates only breeders whose puppies are sold through pet stores. But the rules could potentially be imposed on many more breeders if animal welfare groups are successful in winning a lawsuit. A federal judge ruled last year that the department should regulate breeders who sell directly to the public as well as to stores. The case is on appeal. There would be an exemption for people who keep fewer than four female dogs.
On its Web site, the American Kennel Club urges dog breeders to contact members of Congress about the legislation, warning it could require USDA "to go into hundreds of thousand of individual homes to inspect and regulate" how breeders and even ordinary pet owners treat their dogs.
Animal welfare groups say that rules are aimed at "puppy mills" that mass-produce puppies.
"It's real important that animals be properly socialized and be able to fit within the family setting and the community," said Lisa Weisberg, a senior vice president for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Although congressional aides and some lawmakers have been meeting on the animal welfare issues, it's premature t say what will happen to the measures, said Keith Williams, a spokesman for the House Agriculture Committee.
The American Kennel Club, which collects fees for registering dogs, says people who are considering buying a puppy should visit the breeder to check on the conditions.
END OF ARTICLE. To see the heartbreaking
photo of dogs crammed into small cages that went with this story, go to
How Do I Support the Puppy Protection Act?
PLEASE WRITE TO SENATOR DICK DURBIN & SENATOR PETER FITZGERALD TO VOICE SUPPORT OF THE PUPPY PROTECTION ACT. U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin, Klucznski Bldg., 38th Fl., 230 S. Dearborn, Chicago 60604; 312-353-4952. U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald, 230 S. Dearborn, #3900, Chicago 60604; 312-886-3506.
Letter I received from Dick Durbin dated May 24, 2002:
"Thank you for contacting me about the treatment of dogs in commercial puppy mills. I appreciate hearing from you. I share your interest in this issue. It is important to avoid unnecessary harm to animals. Dogs that are bred or raised in puppy mills are often subjected to substandard conditions, including being warehoused in stacked wire cages with poor sanitation, being denied adequate veterinary care and having little or no contact with humans. Puppy mills supply hundreds of thousand of puppies to pet stores every year." (Bold face is my emphasis.)
"To address these problems, I joined Senator Rick Santorum in introducing the Puppy Protection Act of 2001 (S.1478) on October 1, 2001. This bill addresses the chronic problems associated with the exploitation of dogs in commercial puppy mills. Among other things, this bill would enhance the U.S. Department of Agriculture's enforcement abilities under the Animal Welfare Act. Specifically, this legislation would create a 'three strikes and you're out' enforcement policy for those breeders covered by the Animal Welfare Act. S. 1478 would also ensure adequate time for breeding females to recover between litters and provide opportunities for new puppies to socialize with other dogs and people so that they will grow up to be friendly pets. Specifically, a female dog could not be bred before it reached at least one year of age or bred more frequently than three times in any 24-month period. S. 1478 would also revise temporary license suspension provisions and require mandatory license revocation if an individual violates humane animal treatment requirements on three or more occasions in an eight-year period."
"On February 8, 2002, Senator Santorum and I introduced the Puppy Protection Act as an amendment to the Farm Bill (S. 1731). This amendment passed by voice vote on February 12, 2002. This measure was not included in the version of the Farm Bill passed by the House of Representatives."
"Members of the Senate and the House convened a conference committee to reconcile their different versions of the Farm Bill. The Conference Committee's reconciled version, which President Bush signed into law on May 13, 2002, unfortunately did not include the Senate-passed provision regarding puppy mills."
"Please be assured that I will continue to support enactment of the Puppy Protection Act. I appreciate knowing of your support. By working together, we can avoid unnecessary harm to many animals around us."
NEW STATUS OF THE PUPPY PROTECTION ACT AS OF OCTOBER 16, 2002
(A portion of a letter to me from Senator Peter Fitzgerald, who you can contact at the U.S. Senate, Washington DC 20510-1305)
"On February 8, 2002, Senator Santorum offered an amendment to the Senate's version of the Farm Security Act of 2002 (H.R. 2646) that is similar to S.1478. This amendment would have also called for improved standards of care and treatment of breeding female dogs and would have created provisions for the suspension or revocation of the license of any dealer, exhibitor, or operator or an auction sale that is in violation of the bill. Sen. Santorum's amendment was passed by the Senate without opposition on February 12, 2002. However, this puppy protection provision was removed from the final version of H.R. 2646 by a conference committee that reconciled differences between the Senate and House-passed versions of H.R. 2646. The final version of H.R. 2646 that was approved by the Senate on May 8, 2002 and signed into law (P.L. 107-171) by President Bush on May 13, 2002, did NOT include the puppy protection provision.
PLEASE take a few minutes out of your day to write to SEN. DURBIN and Sen. Peter Fitzgerald in support of the Puppy Protection Act and to request that the Senate reconsider S.1478.
OTHER LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Humane Activist (March/April 2003) reports that passage of the fiscal year 2003 spending bill in February by the federal government included an $800,000 funding increase to improve the USDA's enforcement of minimum standards of care at about 10,000 facilities, including zoos, laboratories, PUPPY MILLS, circuses and airlines. The inspections program received $16.4 million in 2003, a significant jump from the $9 million level during the 1990s. This has resulted in an increase from about 60 inspectors in 1999 to about 100 in 2002. The spending bill also contains a $160,000 funding increase to follow up on inspections with intensive investigations. (The Humane Activist is published by the Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037)
"Buddy Beat," Daily Herald (July 14, 2002) reported "New Laws Can Help Deter Animal Abusers." Here are a few key paragraphs from Kathy Farrell's report.
In January 2002, a significant Illinois law addressing animal abuse and neglect became effective. This new law mandates higher penalties for defendants convicted under the existing laws that govern the mistreatment of animals in Illinois.
Animal neglect is now a Class B misdemeanor. Cruel treatment is now a Class A misdemeanor and a Class 4 felony for a second offense. Animal torture is now a Class 3 felony. This new law will also allow police to establish a fund to pay for investigation of animal cruelty and neglect complaints.
It is up to responsible citizens and animal lovers to report to the police any incident(s) of animal abuse and be wiling to testify in court if necessary.
If you are aware of a pending abuse case, come to court to show your support for the prosecution and more importantly, the poor, abused animal.
Animals have little or no ability to protect themselves from irresponsible and abusive owners. We implore you to care and to help animals out of circumstances where they are being abused or neglected! This is everyone's responsibility -- not just the police, prosecutors and judges. This is a matter of knowing right from wrong, humane from inhumane.
This is in response t our letter about Peg, our pup whose leg needed amputation after abuse. Unfortunately, the police only charged the abuser with a local ordinance violation, which did not allow for jail time. He was found and told to pay our medical bills (and has not done so to date).
Pass along this information to your neighbors and friends. It is necessary to have community involvement so the laws in effect can be enforced and our concerns can be made known to our local officials and police departments.
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"LARGE-SCALE RESCUES COSTLY"
(The Humane Society of the U.S. Regional Report, Spring 2002; Central States Regional Office serving Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin)
Central States Regional Office (CSRO) regularly receives reports from humane societies and animal control agencies faced with the overwhelming task of handling large-scale animal rescue operations. Cases involving puppy mills, fighting dogs and animal hoarders have increased, and often involve several hundred animals in one location
Last year in Bedford County, Tennessee, CSRO assisted a small humane society in its efforts to remove and care for more than 200 abused and neglected animals. CSRO Director Phil Snyder provided expert testimony, an on-site assessment and other assistance throughout the case. The case is still pending, and the cost of caring for these animals has exceeded $25,000. In a separate case in Tennessee, a judge ordered the removal of 40 neglected, injured and diseased dogs from an alleged puppy mill in Wayne County. In addition to the dogs who were removed, more than 200 dogs remained on the property while the case went to court. Because there was no humane society or animal control shelter in the county, a representative of a neighboring county's humane society offered to assist. The HSUS provided financial assistance, as after only one month, the cost to the humane society exceeded $6,000.
Thee HSUS serves as a resource in cases where large-scale animal rescue may be involved. In addition to testimony and on-site assessments, we provide reference materials to be used in court, procedural recommendations, workshops for animal care workers and emergency funding when possible.
END OF ARTICLE.
"Join the Humane Activist Network" (Taken from the same Spring 2002 newsletter)
By Phil Snyder, Director of the Central States Regional Office
Legislation that protects animals and the environment is vital to the animal protection movement. Effective laws give individuals, law enforcement officials and the court system a tool with which to work when dealing with animal-related cases. Grassroots activism can make the difference between a good federal or state bill passing and becoming law, or failing and leaving a void.
Whether you consider yourself an animal advocate or an activist, you can help make a difference by becoming involved in legislative efforts. One effective way that allows your voice to be heard is to become a member of the HSUS Humane Activist Network (HAN). The network consists of individuals who contact legislators in their area, urging support of or opposition to specific legislation, sending letters to the editor to educate the community, and exchanging ideas with other network members. HAN members recognize that through unification, their voices have enormous impact in evoking positive changes for animals.
The efforts of the network were critical this past year on numerous federal bills. An anti-cockfighting bill designed to prohibit the shipping of fighting birds across state lines was reintroduced in 2001. Current law allows them to be bred, raised and shipped from states that prohibit cock fighting into states and countries that allow it. In the Central States region, Tennessee has banned cockfighting but allows the breeding, raising, and selling of game birds. Although the fight is far from over, we are encouraged by the reintroduction of this bill and increased support for its passage.
Additionally, the Puppy Protection Act, a federal bill actively supported by the HSUS and HAN members, was introduced in 2001. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois co-sponsored this bill. If passed, the Puppy Protection Act will improve the conditions under which dogs and puppies at puppy mills are bred and kept. It will also regulate the number of times a female can be bred and at what age, will require the socialization of dogs with other dogs and with people (this will make for a healthier, more well-behaved dog), and will improve the effectiveness of the Animal Welfare Act by revoking the licenses of those breeders who violate the law three or more times.
Locally, this regional office also relied on the network for
help with state bills, including successful efforts on Animal Hoarder (S.B. 629)
and Humane Euthanasia in Animal Shelters (H.B. 2391) bills in Illinois.
These laws will undoubtedly improve the humane treatment of animals in Illinois.
For more information, contact our office:
The Humane Society of the U.S.
/Central States Regional Office
The Humane Society of the U.S. Central States Regional Office, 800 W. 5th Ave., Ste. 100, Naperville, IL 60563; phone 630-357-7015; fax 630-357-5725 Publishes The Humane Activist.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.