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Blog the Change – Help Fight Minnesota Puppy Mills today!


Blog the Change
Blog the Change is a chance for bloggers to write about something they are passionate about. I am passionate about a lot of animal welfare-related issues, but always at the top of my list are pet adoption and stopping puppy mills. Having adopted two former puppy mill breeding dogs and a former pet store puppy (who also came from a mill),  I tend to be a little passionate about this issue.

Is it fate that caused Blog the Change to fall exactly one day after two new breeder bills were introduced in the Minnesota State House and Senate? I prefer to think not.

Yesterday, January 14th, 2013, Minnesota Senate by Senator John Marty (D-66) introduced S.F. 36 and House by Representative John Lesch (D-66B) introduced  H.F. 84 . These two files (bills) address inhumane dog and cat breeding (also known as puppy/kitten mills) in Minnesota.

While Minnesota may not have the most puppy mills (Pennsylvania and Missouri claim those infamous positions), we are one of the top states to mass-produced puppies and kitties. We have some of the largest breeding kennels in the nation – many of them housing up to 300, 600 or over 1,000 dogs and puppies in one facility or “puppy mill.” I know of one facility o=in southern MN that has over 600 breeding pairs and only 7 people to care for them. Can you imagine? And yet, under current state law that is perfectly legal.

Clearly, we have a problem in Minnesota and now is the time to take action.

So what can you do?

1.  Join me at the rally in support of  S.F. 36/H.F. 84, the Minnesota Dog and Cat Breeder Bill on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY. 19, 2013, from 3-4pm at the STATE CAPITOL in ST. PAUL, MN.

2.  Ask your vet to sign the online petition to ask our legislators to pass the breeder bills. Our goal is 500 signatures by the end of January!!! Ask your veterinarians, vet techs and vet assistants to sign the petition. The petition has been very effective in the past in garnering legislator attention on this issue. We would like to present a list of 500 signatures or more to our legislators as soon as possible. Please call your vet and ask them to support!

3.  Educate your own State Senator and Representative on what goes on in Minnesota breeding facilities. This year there are many new legislators who have not heard from us. So, please, contact them. Even if they are back and heard from you last session, contact them again. The problem did not go away and new bills were introduced. Don’t Know Who Your Legislator is? Go to http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/ 

Be sure to tell them the bill numbers and authors’ names because conflicting bills may be introduced this session. Support S.F. 36 (authored by Senator John Marty) and H.F. 84 (authored by Representative John Lesch).

4. Learn more about the problem and sign the petition at: www.animalfolksmn.org in support of the breeder bills.

5.  Add your name to a list of Minnesotans who want to take action on the legislation to regulate commercial breeders. You can email stopthesuffering@yahoo.com and ask to be added to the database. You will be alerted when you should contact legislators asking them to support these bills.

6. Print out this PDF and share with all your friends and family and ask them to support the Minnesota breeder bill.

Now is the time to take action!

Without your help dogs like Daisy, Cupcake and Jasper will continue to suffer in Minnesota puppy mills. We need your help!

Puppy mills-24 hours

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  1. Will and Eko
    January 14, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Great post for an amazing cause. Thanks for sharing, I will definitely pass it along to my MN friends to make sure they know.

    • Mel
      January 15, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      Thanks Will and Eko! I so appreciate your help and support!

  2. January 15, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    The way we factory produce animals in this country sickens me. I sure hope you get your 500 signatures Mel! I will share on my facebook page, I know I have at least one friend in Minnesota. 🙂

  3. peggyspetplace
    January 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    You’re right…couldn’t be a coincidence! The problem is so big, I sometimes get overwhelmed. But breaking it down into smaller parts, and state by state, helps. You laid out very specific steps we can take as well, and that helps too. I look forward to hearing about the petition and the bill results. If there was ever a cause worth all of our collective efforts, puppy mills is the one. Thank you for sharing this today.
    Peggy Frezon
    Team BtC4A

  4. January 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    This post is a great call to action!!! I hope, for the sakes of the dogs and cats in the mills, that a difference can be made and the laws can be changed!!

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:41 AM

      Thanks Oz! Yes. I am quite passionate about this issue. I hope it motivates people to get involved.

  5. January 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Being a volunteer at Missouri’s largest no-kill shelter and rescue resource, we see far too often the victims of these mills when the Dep’t of Agriculture calls on us to be there when they shut a mill down to rescue the poor animals and find them a home. Question: does it matter if the vets who sign the petition are NOT Minnesota residents…?

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      I can only imagine Maxwell. We didn’t see these dogs often at our shelter (although 2 of my 3 mill dogs came from there), but I certainly see it more being involved with Sheltie rescue. Certainly vets from other states can sign the petition, but the ones that will matter most to Minnesota legislators will be the Minnesota vets. However, if you know any vets in MN please do share with them. We need as many signatures as we can get.

  6. January 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Two topics guaranteed to make me cry (and see red): dog fighting and puppy mills. The common theme: inhumanity. However, while the dog fighters hide in the shadows, the puppy millers are right out here in broad daylight doing business and creating pain and suffering. But, you already knew that I’d support your cause, Mel.

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      Yup. Me too Sue. Great synopsis – inhumanity indeed. Thanks for your support Sue.

  7. January 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Living in Pennsylvania, the puppy mill capital of the East, I know about the horrible existence these dogs live. If anyone can do anything to fight puppy mills in their area, they should do it! Call your state representative or send a send an email – it only takes a few minutes, but it can make a HUGE difference in the lives of the dogs! Thanks for participating in Blog the Change Day and for being a part of Team BTC!

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:32 AM

      Thanks Vicki! It definitely makes a difference. One call. One email. One letter. It can do so much more than people think. My representative lives down the street from me and I will definitely be speaking with her about this issue.

  8. January 15, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    We have a big problem with puppy farms ove rhere in the UK as well. Glad to see people are fighting them in the US too 🙂

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:33 AM

      Thanks Arden! Yes. They are a problem almost everywhere. In fact, my friend Leo is in Denmark and is fighting to shut one down and save the 40 dogs who remain there right now. You can read more about his fight at Kenzo the Hovawart. We all do what we can don’t we? 🙂

  9. January 15, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Ugh, I can’t imagine the horrible life those poor dogs have. Thanks for this important post! I think if people only knew, they wouldn’t be so quick to get a puppy from just anywhere. Thanks for helping spread the word!

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      Thanks Jackie! I would hope they wouldn’t, but I know some people will still buy from pet stores or online. I think as Pamela pointed out so well in her piece, we need to help the 50% understand why it is in their best interests to stop buying from these places. The expenses paid out of pocket to make these sick dogs well is just one area that I hope we can start to influence.

  10. January 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Thanks for posting about this. I really had no idea there were so many puppy mills throughout the country. I really need to learn if they have these in Florida. I haven’t heard of any.

    christie from lifewithbeagle.com

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:12 AM

      Thanks Christie. I guess we both learned something in this blog hop because I learned from your post too. Florida is actually much better with animal welfare issues than I thought. But, as we both know, our states can still make improvements. MN has to improve it’s puppy mill laws. Sadly, we are only one state, and puppy mills exist in every state, but I am focused on making a difference here. All 3 of my dogs came from puppy mills.

  11. January 15, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    You go Mel! Those puppy mills are going DOWN! And you are definitely part of the change!

    • Mel
      January 15, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Thanks Lori! I sure hope so! I will be at the rally!

  12. January 15, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Great and important post Mel! Best of luck to Minnesota on getting this bill passed and put into action. I love that vets are being called to take action with this too! So important!

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:10 AM

      I do too Jen. I think vets and vet techs and assistants are key. They see the dogs that come from these places. They know the care that is often needed and the expense involved. Protecting consumers and the dogs and cats should involve our vets, vet techs and vet assistants.

  13. January 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Good luck with your cause Mel – I wish I knew more people in Minnesota!!

    • Mel
      January 16, 2013 at 6:08 AM

      Thanks Julie. I so appreciate the support. I am hoping this year will be the year. Some of the key people we needed to be in place are this year, so I have high hopes.

  14. January 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Oh, Mel, I so hope this is the year for Minnesota!! Anyone in their right mind can comprehend that those mills you speak of are not. possibly. okay. – on any level. At least I sure hope so.

    I haven’t read the bills, but I’m going to assume that if YOU endorse them, they’re good ones. Now let’s just get them passed…and shut down these mills once and for all!

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
    Kim Thomas
    Team BtC4A

  15. January 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    I love serendipitous timing! And this is a wonderfully laid out call to action. Go Minnesota! And while Minnesota is the focus of your post, so many people in this comment section have been inspired to look into their own state practices. Isn’t that a total kick?! Way to go, Mel Freer!! Way to Blog the Change!

  16. January 18, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Could you please explain what these bill mean, in simple language? I was a bit overwhelmed looking at them, and didn’t know what bits I specifically should be looking at.

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