Puppy Mill Protesters Out To Educate Plus Shocking Video
Protesters of typically inhumane puppy mills gathered in Ames this weekend to advocate for animal rights as part of Puppy Mill Awareness Month.
Mindi Callison, founder of the nonprofit organization Bailing Out Benji, said she’s dedicated to raising social consciousness of various animal welfare issues, especially puppy mills, as Iowa breeds the second-largest amount of puppy mills in the country with more than 220 throughout the state.
The Humane Society’s annual list of 100 worst dog breeders in the country shows that 10 are from Iowa.
“You just don’t sleep at night when you know that there are dogs suffering,” Callison said. “Reputable breeders want you to meet the puppies. They want you to meet the parents, and they want you to pick the right match for you.”
But with puppy mills, protester Nathan Arentsen of Bondurant said, “Mothers are kept in awful cages for their entire lives, forced to breed again and again and again in order to make money for the puppy mill owner.”
Scott Wilson, animal welfare intervention coordinator at Animal Rescue League of Iowa, said he’s removed nearly 300 dogs from puppy mills and that U.S. Department of Agriculture and state standards for puppy mill owners are not strict enough.
“The animal has X number of square feet to live in,” Wilson said. “They never see sunlight. They’re never out of their cages. They don’t receive the most basic veterinary care.”
Laura Brander, who volunteers for Bailing Out Benji, said her goal is to teach potential dog owners the proper way to take care of their dog.
Bailing Out Benji workers seek to educate dog owners on how to properly care for their animals and to first purchase a dog from a shelter or an adoption agency.
“They don’t sell to pet stores because reputable breeders care about where their puppies are going,” Callison said. “They want to make sure it’s a forever home, not just because you have the cash or the credit card.”