Puppy mills: let’s put an end to them

Puppy mills: let’s put an end to them

If you’re a dog lover, please join in and help stop puppy mills. I’m not going to share a lot of nightmarish pictures or stories, but I do want to let you know why it’s more urgent than ever to stop puppy mills now, and how you can help.

Puppy mills: just the facts

  • There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States
  • Over 2 million puppies bred in mills each year
  • An estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year, thanks to simple overcrowding and oversupply of dogs
  • Estimated number of puppies sold annually who originated from puppy mills:  2.04 million puppy mill dogs are sold online and at pet stores
  • Estimated number of puppy mills in the U.S. – 10,000
  • Estimated number of dogs kept solely for breeding purposes – 167,388

*from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) 2014 Puppy Mill Facts and Figures report and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Pet Statistics

How to stop puppy mills now:

the top 10 things you can do today

1. Starve them out. If you don’t buy your puppy from an Internet seller or from a pet shop (where puppy-mill puppies are sold), puppy mills will go out of business.

2. Adopt first. Check shelters, rescues and the websites below.

3. Think long and hard. Before you get a puppy on impulse, think about it. Is your lifestyle now – and for 15 years — suitable for a dog? Can you afford a dog? Do you have the time for a dog?

4. Shop local. If you make the decision to go with a Morkie breeder, stay local. You MUST check the breeder’s background and VISIT. Visit the home where the mother dog and her puppies live so you can be sure it is an ethical breeder.

5. Speak out! Tell friends, family and social networks about the evil of puppy mills.

6. Know the law. Check your state’s dog breeding and selling laws. If you have a puppy from a puppy mill, know how to protect yourself and enforce the laws that are already on the books. Start here: www.animallaw.com

7. Change laws. Support and recommend legislation that regulates the breeding and selling of animals.

8. Support front lines. Organizations that act as watchdogs over breeders are so important. Consider supporting them with your money, time (volunteering for shelters and rescue groups) or talents (writing letters, organizing events, vaccination programs):

9. Write letters. Write to your state and federal legislators. Write letters to editors of newspapers local and national. Express how disturbed and appalled you are by the unethical breeding practices and inhumane treatment of dogs kept in puppy mills. Leverage your position as a voter to make change happen.

10. See it? Report it. If you see something unethical or abusive, tell your local animal law enforcement agency and follow up.

Boycott groups who condone puppy mills

AMISH and MENNONITES are among the biggest offenders when it comes to puppy mills


The website Snopes.com, which tracks down rumors and innuendo on the web, has been trying to prove something that’s been going around:

that Amish own 20% of the nations’ puppy mills in the USA

The Amish community is a relatively small and isolated group of Christians who live throughout the American Northeast and Midwest and abide by the lifestyle and technology of a bygone era. Their beliefs include the idea that dogs and puppies are livestock. That’s especially concerning because many Amish are not known to treat livestock well.

While it hasn’t been proven conclusively that Amish own 20% of puppy mills, it is known that Amish people make up a small percentage of Americans, with an estimated population of roughly 300,000. But, according to animal welfare groups, the Amish are prolific dog breeders.

Here’s how most Amish treat their horses: like dirt


Read more

Lest Canadians feel they have the market on ethical treatment of animals…

From “Well they don’t happen here in Canada right?” WRONG. They do 80% of puppy mills in Ontario are owned/operated by the Amish & Mennonite Communities – they don’t just have “quite a few dogs,”  they have hundreds if not thousands.

When you are buying that cute little puppy from an Amish or Mennonite, you are not seeing the tops of the barns or outbuildings where the breeding adults are being kept. Most often, they will only bring out a few puppies for you to view, so you cannot see the conditions in which the breeding adults are being kept in.

While many puppy mills are located in Quebec, puppy mills operate from coast to coast in Canada. Animal protection groups believe that the vast majority of puppies sold in pet stores in Canada come from puppy mills.


Puppy mill dogs are not only sold in pet stores, but also through the internet, at flea markets or advertised in local newspapers. They can also be sold directly from the mill although visitors are generally not allowed inside the facility to see the conditions in which the breeding dogs are kept.


Humane Society International report 

Holier than Thou???

Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) is a worldwide Amish and Mennonite charitable organization run by volunteers that log in over 200,000 hours of work a year. Annual donations made by mostly “plain people” are $116,168,060, according to Charity Navigator. BUT 98.8% of this money actually goes toward relief efforts in the US and around the world. (Some charitable organizations give less than 70% to their actual cause)

“CAM is run by a volunteer board and has only three paid positions, the top CEO making $45,895 a year. CAM has staff, bases and distribution networks in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Haiti, Nicaragua, Liberia and Israel. I don’t know? I was blown away completely. CAM is doing a top-notch job.”

Read more about Christian Aid Ministries 

Consider boycotting any and all efforts of Christian Aid Ministries until they clean up their act.

In Canada, the Mennonites support a charity called MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE.

Resources to help you take a stand

another puppy mill protest

Great sample letters: NHES sample letter

Scroll down to bottom of the page, “Find Your Officials” on this page to find your local representative.

How to organize a peaceful pet store protest

Paws for Hope sample letter

Letter to the editor sample

Who does this!!?? STOLEN MORKIE!

Who does this!!?? STOLEN MORKIE!

Teddy, an 11-year-old Maltese and Yorkie mix, is blind and needs life-saving diabetes medication. His owner says time is running out.

“He now has missed four shots. He’s in dire need of his medication and he needs constant water,” said his owner, Tara Cameron Harris.

Police believe Heather Ryan, 48, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is the thief.

Teddy was taken from the Petco store on Legacy Drive, The Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, around 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21, just minutes before Harris’ family arrived to pick him up from grooming.

Meet the suspect, HEATHER RYAN, 48, of Palm Beach Gardens


Police are looking for Heather Ryan, 48, of Palm Beach Gardens.

It is believed that Ryan may be in Broward County as her personal belongings were found abandoned at the Cypress Creek Tri-Rail Station.

Stolen Morkie is blind and diabetic and can’t survive long without his medications.

More details here at WPTV

Contact Palm Beach Gardens Police if you have any information

Go Cruelty Free – Why not!

Go Cruelty Free – Why not!

Beagles in testing lab

Beagles in testing lab, scheduled to test (and suffer for) mascara.

I started to put together a little blog about animal testing, after I received a lengthy email describing the plight of Beagles used in testing cosmetics and some medications. Up to 70,000 die each year in this cause, in the United States alone! You can read  more here at the Beagle Freedom Project but I just couldn’t summarize all the horror.

BUT, what I can do, is give you a great list of cruelty free skincare, makeup and household free products. They’re made without animal testing.


But wait, isn’t animal testing necessary for OUR safety?

Not at all say experts. Animals are used because they’re cheap and it’s easy. Systems are already in place to use animals to test products. And the industry, happy to make HUGE profits, defends itself with cheesey advertising [propaganda] like this:

I call B.S. on this one – who would you rather see die, a rat or a girl? Pathetic exaggeration!


But from a scientific stance, animal testing doesn’t translate to people.

In addition to being cruel, these experiments are irrelevant to humans.

Studies published in prestigious medical journals have shown time and again that animal experimentation wastes lives—both animal and human—and precious resources by trying to infect animals with diseases that they would never normally contract. Fortunately, a wealth of cutting-edge non-animal research methodologies promises a brighter future for both animal and human health. The following are common statements supporting animal experimentation followed by the arguments against them.  — Peta


Get a downloadable list from PETA

Companies that dont test on animals; click for the list from PETA







Cruelty Free app!

This is exciting – Cruelty-Cutter is cruelty-free shopping made simple! Cast away any doubts when purchasing items by using Cruelty-Cutter to scan an item and have an immediate response about its animal testing status.

Share your results with friends on social media and also share your concern or praise with the company itself.

Read more or get the free app here: cruelty-cutter.




Dog napping with a happy ending

Dog napping with a happy ending

When this cutie went missing in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, owners acted fast to get him back.

sage-stolen-dogWhile a couple enjoyed a Saturday lunch downtown, dognappers got to work and stole this Lab/Shepherd cross who’d been tied up outside. The owners were aghast; they flagged down a passing police cruiser and explained the situation.

The officer told them to go back to the restaurant — the scene of the crime — where police could get more information and interview potential eyewitnesses. He also suggested the owners use the power of social media, and post to both Twitter and Facebook. Besides doing that, the owners directed their posts to a local Lost Dog group, and the message spread fast.

The police officer’s third recommendation hit pay dirt: he told them to call nearby pet supply stores and pet food outlets. A clerk in one of these stores recognized the description of the dog and after viewing the store’s security video, the couple immediately identified Sage as their missing dog.  The dog was returned within hours, unharmed but “quite a bit more clingy” according to the owners.

What they did right

checklistWhile leaving their dog outside the restaurant, out of their site while they ate, was clearly a careless mistake, the couple did several things very well:

  • they reacted very quickly, contacting police at once
  • they leveraged the power of social media, posting on Facebook  and Twitter, and sharing their posts with other animal lovers in the area
  • instead of randomly running all over the neighbourhood, they returned to the restaurant so the police officer could interview potential witnesses
  • they called nearby pet food and supply stores looking for the suspect


Rise in dog theft

Dog theft is definitely on the uprise, Why are pets stolen? Besides being sold to research labs or pet stores, they are used in bait and for dog fighting rings, in puppy mills to breeders, for fur (yes fur!), as breeding partners for dogs, and by sadistic individuals. This is definitely something you DO NOT want to think about for your little Morkie. So please take more care than ever, in this strange new world.


Another way to protect your Morkie

Amazon.com and other outlets, offer pet GPS devices which help you track exactly where your animal is at any given moment. One which comes highly recommended is shown below – the XCSource Pet GPS. It’s a little on the larger side for really small dogs (2″ disk), but check it out. There are others as well.

They work by tracking your Morkie in four dimensions: Realtime tracking,GSM quad band network, all global GPS location. You can see where he is, by checking the company’s website, using an App for your phone, or by having a message sent to your phone’s text.

For more resources, please check out Adopt-a-Pet’s Lost and Found Guide here.





Dognappers and other Dirtbags

Dognappers and other Dirtbags

In Toronto, Canada there have been two shocking dognapping crimes within days. What can we learn from them to help us protect our Morkies?


Incident #1

dog napping victim

This man was punched in the face and a knife was held to his neck, during a dognapping in a Toronto park.

4 thugs on bikes stole a small dog from the owner at knifepoint in a North York park on November 15th.

Police say a man was walking his dog when he was approached by four men, all riding bicycles. They say one of the men punched the dog owner, another put a knife to his throat, then the group took the dog and fled.

“Charlie,” a white female Shih Tzu-Pomeranian mix, has  not been seen since and the owners are absolutely distraught. Charlie is four years old, has long white hair, weighs 10 to 15 pounds and was wearing a blue Maple Leafs sweater and a black harness.

Missing dog

Charlie, the missing Pom-Shih Tzu mix who was stolen at knifepoint from her owners.


Incident #2


Two of the missing 16 dogs in Toronto. All were quickly recovered safe and sound, when the thief abandoned the van holding them.

Just 3 days later, a white Ford panel van containing 16 dogs was stolen outside a condo in the Fort York area of Toronto! The dog walker who owns the vehicle says the van was left running, but was locked.

This city of nearly 3 million went crazy. Social media went crazy. Who would steal a truck full of dogs? And did he want the truck and just got the dogs? Or the other way around?

This incident has a happier ending than our first story; within 24 hours, all 16 stolen dogs (and the dog walker’s van) were found. All dogs are safe and sound, and very happy to be home.

The thief hasn’t been found yet, but Toronto’s finest are not giving up.



cute morky puppy

An adorable Morkie like this could net a thief lots of money on the resale market.

What can we learn from these two very different incidents?

Police say purebred and designer dogs are prime targets — especially smaller breeds like Pomeranians, Yorkies and Boston Terriers — but even larger and mixed-breed dogs can be vulnerable. An adorable Morkie would make an ideal victim.

The ugly trade of pet theft is a serious problem. It is an organized, multimillion dollar business that lurks in shadows and goes unnoticed until it strikes your community, your home, your pet. Protecting your dog takes due diligence.


  1. First, never ever leave your dog outside a store or restaurant. It takes a thief just a moment to grab your pet.
  2. Second, think twice about leaving him alone in your yard – even if it’s the back yard, unless the fence is at least 6 feet high and padlocked. Again, thieves can jump a fence quickly and grab him. The safest place for your pets when you’re not home is INDOORS. This includes cats, too!
  3. Third, if in doubt, treat your dog like you would your child. NEVER! — leave your dog unattended in a public space. Just as you wouldn’t dream of leaving your child locked in the car while you shop or tied to a pole while you stop to get coffee, it’s never safe to do these things to your dog, either.
  4. Fourth, always check references. If you are considering hiring a pet sitter, dog walker, groomer or even a trainer, do your due diligence first. Ask for references and call them. Read online reviews. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a professional he or she knows and trusts. Criminals can easily pose as professionals.
  5. Fifth: get your dog some form of permanent identification, like a microchip, and make sure you have all of the documents necessary to prove ownership of your dog in case he or she ever does go missing and is recovered. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for dogs to be stolen by a former romantic partner or roommate. Some experts suggest that you never put your dog’s name on his tag. The thinking is, that a dog is much more likely to go to (and with) a stranger who calls him by name.
  6. Six: Spay or neuter your Morkie. While your veterinarian will probably recommend that you do this anyway for good health, spaying or neutering your dog will help make your best friend less desirable of a target to thieves, since they won’t be able to produce — and profit from — offspring.


Next: a happy ending for one dognapping – and the lessons learned.

6 ways to help animals this winter

6 ways to help animals this winter

6-things-you-can-do-to-help-animalsPETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has a great list of things we can do to help animals in 2016.

It’s horrible to think of, but every now and then, we need to look into that big bad world where all animals are not treasured likes ours. Thank you for reading today’s post and giving it some thought.  (And I promise the next post will be on happier topics).

1. Be a nosy neighbour. 

amish puppy mill dog

Uneasy about what you’re seeing at your neighbour’s? Call someone. You don’t have to give your name.

Watch how your neighbours treat their animals. See something that makes you uncomfortable? Don’t hesitate to intervene. In most areas you can report anonymously.  You might be that animal’s last hope.

Even reporting stray pets is a very important part of helping animals – we all think someone else will call. But no one does.

You can start at your local municipality level (public health, SPCA, police) and work your way up to regional and national groups.  Just google “report animal abuse” to get started.

2. Pledge to help end animal homelessness

Adopt from shelters; don’t breed or buy until every pet has a home. Always spay and neuter, since overpopulation is the number 1 cause of homeless pets. If you can’t adopt, consider fostering.  As a foster parent, you care for the pet while he grows, or recovers from illness or surgery. Meanwhile, you’ve freed up another spot in the shelter.

3. Scour social media

Sick as it is, many animal abusers are proud of their cruelty and post videos online. Others are just plain ignorant as to what constitutes abuse.  No matter, if you see evidence, speak out and report it. www.PETA.org/CID

Spotting and reporting animal abuse not only helps the animal, it might save a human life.

A recent study in Milwaukee, based on data from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys is quite shocking. 76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. The premise is that if more people can be convinced to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse (an act generally considered to be easier than reporting domestic abuse), then the police will then have the opportunity to uncover a higher number of domestic violence cases.

4. Stay alert in parking lots

Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs in warm weather. If you see a dog alone in a hot car, get the owner paged and/or call local humane society staff or the police. Don’t leave until the situation has been resolved.

And like spotting abuse, your sharp eye might help a child. Last summer, 19 children died in the United States because they were left in hot cars. Speak up and encourage giant retailers like Walmart to start posting highly visible signage in parking lots — warning customers that they should not leave children or animals in unattended cars — no matter how quick the trip to the store may be.

snowy-yorkieIt doesn’t stop with warm weather. Where temperatures drop below freezing, you can bet there are forgetful or unaware owners leaving their pets to suffer and freeze.

5. Keep cats safe and indoors

Letting cats roam outdoors is just plain dumb. They are a danger to native birds and other wildlife – and they can easily be hit by a car. Keep all animals safe by keeping your cats inside.

6. Support all cruelty investigations, including PETA’s

Cruelty investigations rescue all types of animals from crisis situations including overcrowding, cruelty, abuse and even torture.

Your financial support assists these dedicated workers, inspectors and agents on the frontline of animal protection. 

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