Blog the Change for Animals is an online event in which bloggers bring awareness to a cause that is important to them. There are so many people that are working to make a difference everyday in the lives of the animals here in Northeastern Pennsylvania that I wanted to highlight them and their effort and inspire others to join in.
Let me introduce Susan Makowski who is working to make a difference for dogs in puppy mills.
How do you work to make a difference for animals?
My husband and I do puppy mill awareness at adoption events. We recently joined Tracy’s Hope Rescue Animal Rights Team. I also help with the fundraisers if I have the weekend off. At work I put pictures of dogs rescued from puppy mills with their stories on the bulletin board. When someone hangs up a sign with puppies for sale I put my information by it.
I have always adopted rescues. In November of 2009 we adopted Toby, a puppy mill rescue that came to our local shelter. He was physically and emotionally damaged. We never owned him, he owned us. He was an 8 year old Shih Tzu mix from an Amish puppy mill in Lancaster. He was never out of a cage and just used for breeding. The undercover video of the puppy mill investigation showed how they were taken out of their cages by the ears and tossed in with whatever dog they were supposed to mate with. They were put back the same way.
A puppy mill is defined as a commercial breeder that puts profit before the dogs health and welfare. These dogs go through hell being bred every time they come into heat. Their bodies are never given a rest. They are kept in filthy conditions, fed minimal substandard food as well as filthy water. They freeze in the winter and roast in the summer. Puppy brokers buy the pups and sell them to the pet stores. The pups parents are not given vet care and many of them are born with health issues that show up as soon as they are purchased or a couple of years down the line. I have heard stories on both ways.
We had Toby two years when he died from congestive heart failure shortly before Christmas. He was on three heart medications. We were staying on my sister’s farm for two nights to take care of my dad while she was out of town. Toby passed away in his sleep our first night there. We had to put his body in a trash bag and put him outside in the cold to keep him in the best condition until we could get him to the vets the next day. Toby’s ashes were my Christmas present that year. He was home for good.
I was very angry from not being able to give Toby at least five good years of life. I also physically ached from the pain of losing him. I literally had my heart ripped out and nothing anyone could say made me feel better. I made it my mission to help put puppy mills out of business by sharing Toby’s story and educating people before they go to a pet store.
No reputable breeder would ever sell to a pet store….PERIOD!!!! The owners of these stores are only interested in the profit. They do not give a damn about the puppy they are selling or about you. When they tell you their breeders are certified they also know the laws are not enforced to take care of the parents of these pups. Pennsylvania is not kind to dogs.
What is the one thing people can do to make the world better for animals?
Spay and neuter!!!!!!!!! I can not stress this enough. I cringe every time I see an un-neutered dog or cat. Stray cats are so rampant from people not spaying and neutering. I have four cats that I rescued from our backyard and the neighbor’s back yard. I can’t even tell you what I think about seeing “free kittens” in the paper everyday!
Rescue, don’t go to a pet store. Check out your local shelters and no kill rescues. They are loaded with “designer dogs” aka mutt. Sorry to bust anyone’s bubble, but that is the truth. A lot of your shelter dogs started out as pups in a pet store.
Thank you Susan for sharing Toby’s story and how he inspired you to bring attention to the horror of puppy mills. For anyone interested in learning more about puppy mills, Susan shared this video with me and keep an eye out for her and her husband at local adoption events.
Puppy Mills by Hooverfamily-Productions
Are you making a difference for animals in NEPA or know someone who is? I would love to include you in an upcoming Be The Change for Animals. Just contact me at email@example.com
Read how others are making a difference for animals by visiting the blogs featured in the blog hop below.