Posts Tagged ‘Blog the Change’

Blog the Change – Help Fight Minnesota Puppy Mills today!

January 14, 2013 27 comments

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 

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: 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 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


Raise $5000 for Rescue Pets This Week – Just Tweet and Post! #BTC4A

October 22, 2012 10 comments

For every tweet and blog post featuring the #BTC4A hashtag (short for Be the Change for Animals) from October 22-27, Petco will donate $1 for rescue pets – up to $5000 – at BarkWorld!

Roxie – Available for adoption through Minnesota Sheltie Rescue

Now this is a fundraiser I can get behind!

Rescues don’t see donations of this size every day. Heck, they are lucky to even see it in a year!

Having worked with my rescue group, Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, for over a year now. I can vouch for the impact a donation like this would have on one rescue, much less three.

I know, first hand, how much my small, local rescue does in my community. So many small rescues are doing the same thing across these United States. They help so many animals in need and could help so many more if only they had the money to do so. I understand the impact generous donations have on the work they do.

The money you donate pays for spaying, neutering, vaccinations, dental care, heartworm testing, and treating injuries or illness. Why not make these goals as easily attainable as possible?

Roxie was saved just over a month ago and is now ready for her new home. Her story can be the story of many other rescued pets with your help. It’s so easy!


  • Tweet this now through Saturday, October 27th at 11 AM (EST) :

Rescue pets receive $1 from @Petco at @BarkWorldExpo for each #BTC4A tweet from Oct 22-27! Learn more:

  • Blog about what rescue means to you, now through Saturday, October 27th at 11 AM (EST). Add #BTC4A to your post title. Add your post link (not just your domain) to the blog hop list below to be counted. Bonus: Each time your post is tweeted, you’ll earn more money for rescue pets!
  • Nominate your favorite no-kill 501(c)3 rescue or shelter at the Petco booth through Friday, October 26th! (BarkWorld Attendees only.)

Why It Matters

Animal organizations need funds for food, vaccinations, spays, neuters, treatment of injuries and illness – expenses that adoption fees don’t fully cover. General donations allow an organization to address their most pressing needs. Together, we can raise $5000 to assist local, no-kill rescues and shelters!

We animal lovers at Be the Change for Animals, BarkWorld, Petco, and Two Little Cavaliers believe that helping rescue pets is important. We know you do too. Make the difference. Be, Blog and Tweet the Change for Animals!

The BIG WINNERS will be announced this weekend during BarkWorld’s Petco session on Saturday!

You DO NOT need to attend BarkWorld to participate.
Simply tweet or post and help us raise $5,000!
We’ll let you know who wins, right here!!

Blog the Change – Spay and neutering your pet: Two personal stories

October 14, 2012 28 comments

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 this is one I haven’t written about before – spaying and neutering your pet.

I know. It’s not a sexy topic. It’s not exciting or drama-filled.It’s something everyone has heard before.

Most people have heard many of the reasons why someone should spay or neuter their pet, like …

  •  3-4 million pets die in shelters each year, we don’t need any more to die.
  • It decreases the chance that your dog will get mammary or testicular cancer
  • Less marking by your male dog
  • Zero chance that your female dog will have an “Ooops!” pregnancy
  • It’s better for your dog’s health.
  • Your male dog will likely mark less after he is neutered.

But, I’m not going to do that today. Instead, I thought I would share just two stories of my own. Both are about family pets who were impacted by our decisions not to spay or neuter. The first is about my dog, Alicia, the second about my brother’s dog, Remy.

How I nearly lost my dog

When I was 15 years old, I got my very first dog of my own. Her name was Alicia. She was a Sheltie, a puppy, and absolutely adorable. We were the very best of friends. We did everything together. We walked together. Trained together. Shared each others’ secrets. She was there with me through some of the most difficult times of my life, including the death of my father. She was everything to me.

When I had to leave to go to college, it broke my heart. I hated to leave her and my family behind. But, I knew my mom would take care of her while I was away. It was during my freshman year, probably when Alicia was 6 or 7 years old, that she got very, very sick and nearly died. She had developed something called Pyometra.

Pyometra is a bacterial infection of the uterus that mostly occurs in middle-aged or older unspayed female dogs. It can result in the accumulation of infection in the bloodstream or abdominal cavity, which can rapidly lead to systemic infection, shock, and death.

Thankfully, a vet saved her life, but I will never forget how guilty I felt knowing that I would have prevented it.  A stupid decision not to spay my dog nearly cost me her life.

Lest you think my experience is unique, another blogger shared her very own experience with Pyometra, in the last Blog the Change. It’s not something to fool around with. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Spay your dog.

Testicular cancer is a reality if you choose not to neuter

My brother’s dog, Remy, was the most awesome dog. Everyone in my family loved him. He was a Chow-Lab mix and was beautiful. He may have looked like a Chow, but he was all Lab in personality. There wasn’t anyone who didn’t love Remy. He went everywhere with my brother. He was a part of every family gather. Who doesn’t want to hang out with a giant teddy bear all of the time.

Remy was also intact. He had never been neutered. My brother always joked that he didn’t want to make him less of a man, but I suspect that he loved Remy so much he wanted to breed him so he could have another awesome dog like him.  Like Alicia, Remy had been his dog from the time he was a young man. The two were inseparable.

When Remy was around 10 years old, he developed testicular cancer (it’s the second most common type of cancer in unneutered male dogs). It could have killed him. It didn’t, but I think that was due more to luck than anything else. A vet recommended Remy be neutered in hopes that it would not spread. Like me, my brother was lucky. He had Remy for a few more years.

You could read my own personal stories and come away thinking that every dog survives. I hope you won’t. The truth is my brother and I were LUCKY. That’s it. If you choose to not spay or neuter your dog you are playing Russian roulette with your pet. You are placing a bet on your pet’s life in hopes that he/she won’t be the one who gets sick. Maybe you’re comfortable with that. I’m not. Every pet of mine will be spayed or neutered. I might have been lucky the first time around, but I’m not betting on the chance I will be again.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about spaying and neutering (e.g., it makes them fat, they are less likely to have problems if they have one litter first, it’s expensive, etc.), but they are just that, myths. I recommend checking out the links I shared below before making a decision to rely on lady luck. Please spay and neuter your pet.

Blog the Change


Bacterial infection of the uterus (pyometra) commonly afflicts older unspayed dogs and cats. As pyometra advances, bacterial poisons enter the bloodstream, causing general illness and often kidney failure. If the uterus ruptures, the dog or cat will almost certainly die. Pyometra requires emergency spaying, which may fail to save an animal already severely weakened. The best preventative is to spay dogs and cats while they are young and healthy.

Blog the Change – Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling All Dog Bloggers!

July 14, 2012 29 comments

Blog the Change

Today, July 15, 2012, bloggers and blog readers are blogging about a big event that will occur on Monday, July 23rd. The event? Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue. We are asking all dog bloggers to participate in a special online global event designed to bring attention to dog rescues. is proud to partner with Blog Catalog, Dog Rescue Success and YOU to harness a global online community to help save the lives of dogs in need.

Every day dog bloggers bring attention to a variety of animal issues – puppy mills, dog health issues, pet safety, missing dogs, Breed Specific Legislation and pet adoption. On July 23rd, we are asking all dog bloggers to bring attention to the importance of dog rescues and dog adoption.

As consumers we make decisions that impact the lives of animals every day, but perhaps the one that has the most impact is the one we make when we first choose to get a pet. Buy or adopt? That is always the question.

Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—is put down in U.S. shelters each year. Only 20-30% of the homes in the United States have a dog that was adopted from a shelter or a rescue. (The rest are coming from someplace else – responsible breeders, backyard breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores; but the majority of them come from a family friend or neighbor who chose to breed their dog or who’s dog became pregnant when they got out of the yard.)

As dog bloggers, we can bring attention to this issue, educate people on the the importance of pet adoption and encourage them to adopt from a local rescue. There are so many wonderful rescues out there who do such good work, and most them do it with very little funds. Thankfully, many of them have a small core of dedicated volunteers who are willing to foster, train, promote, vet and care for these dogs. Without these rescues so many more dogs would die.

Let’s give these unsung heroes the recognition they deserve!  Join us on July 23rd as we Unite for Dog Rescue.

Tell others! Post this to Facebook and Twitter:

SPREAD THE WORD – BLOGGERS UNITE FOR DOG RESCUE – Promote dog adoption on July 23rd! #BtC4A

This is Matt – He was hours away from death when a local rescue stepped up and offered to take him in (Wags & Whiskers). Thanks to his foster mom, Anne, for offering to foster Matt and for making him feel at home. You can follow Matt on his Facebook page – Adventures of Matt.

Get involved!

  • Blog about a Dog Rescue related topic on July 23rd, 2012
  • Add one of the badges below to your blog and help spread the word
  • Interested in adopting a companion? Visit Petfinder or The Shelter Project.
  • Donate to a local dog rescue organization
  • Foster a dog
  • Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue organization
  • Share this post across all forms of social media and encourage others to participate!
  • Post one of these badges to help promote this event. Copy and paste–help yourself!

Learn more:

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

Pet Adoption Resources

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

A direct link to Matt’s page – Adventures of Matt

Blog the Change – Don’t Shop, Adopt

January 14, 2012 29 comments

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 a puppy mill dog, a former pet store puppy (who also came from a mill) and a rescue from a hoarder, I tend to be a little confused by people who choose to buy a dog from a pet store when they can adopt a loving pet AND save a life at the same time.

I thought I would address some of the common reason why people choose to buy a dog instead of adopt and address them head on.

1. I don’t want a shelter dog. There must be a good reason that someone gave them up. They must have behavior problems.

The reality is that many of the dogs sitting in shelters don’t have huge behavioral issues. Having volunteered at a shelter for 8 years, I can tell you that one of the most common reasons a dog was surrendered at a shelter were moving and financial difficulties. We also had dogs that were surrendered because the owner died or had cancer.

Did we occasionally have those dogs who needed more training? Yes. And, we worked with them. Some of the best dogs that left our shelter were dogs that came in with little training and let us with set of skills that impressed many an adopter.

2. I want a puppy.

Lots of people want puppies. They’re cute, they’re funny and they’re fun. I am always surprised when people assume they can’t find a puppy at a shelter. So not the case! We got puppies all of the time at our shelter. Big puppies. Little puppies. Purebreed puppies. Mixed puppies.

They almost always get adopted quickly, but if you watch a shelter or rescue’s website on a regular basis, you will see an announcement about new puppies that are available for adoption. Why not save a puppy from a possible death by adopting one vs. buying one?

3. I want a purebreed dog.

This one actually makes me laugh. Not because I think it’s funny that someone didn’t know that they could find a purebreed dog at a shelter or through a rescue, but because I’ve almost always gone for mixed breed dogs and yet, somehow, I ended up with 3 purebreed dogs – 1 yellow Lab and 2 Shelties. All of them adopted from a shelter or a rescue.

Almost every breed you can think of has a rescue dedicated to it. Sheltie Rescue? You bet! Wheatens? Yes! Shih Tzus? Yup! All you have to do is look. There are hundreds of rescues out there just waiting to help you find the breed you want.

4. I don’t want to have to go through all the stuff a rescue or shelter requires – paperwork, a home visit, etc.

Personally, I welcome the paperwork and home visit. It means the rescue really cares what happens to their dogs.
Do you think there might be a reason why you don’t have to go through the same rigamarole with a pet store? There is. They don’t care about the puppy you are buying form them. They only care about the sale. That’s it.

Have you ever tried to return a puppy to a pet store? Good luck. You see they count on you falling in love with the puppy so that by the time you go to bring it back all they have to say is “Okay. We’ll take back the puppy and refund you your money.” and they know they’ve got you. Why? Because most people won’t take the money and give back the pup. They can’t stand leaving this cute little furry thing they fell in love with being left behind to be killed or sit in a pet store window again.

5. It’s so cute! I want it!

Puppies are cute, especially the small breed ones they frequently sell in pet stores. Pet stores also count on you falling in love with all that cuteness. That’s why they only sell puppies.

Getting a puppy is not like a buying the latest fashion accessory. All that cuteness also leads to chewed up shoes, poop in the hallway, biting, barking and vet bills. Before you fall in love with that cute little puppy ask yourself “Can I commit my life, time and money to this pup?” If not, pass on by and get yourself a stuffed animal.

6. I just can’t stand the thought of leaving that puppy here in this place.

Many a pet store customer has fallen into this trap. In fact, Pet stores depend on you feeling bad about leaving the puppy behind. But there are two reasons why you should stop yourself from buying a pet store puppy.

First, you are supporting the continued cruelty and suffering of both the mother and father of this puppy by purchasing the dog. You might feel guilty leaving the puppy behind, but how would you feel knowing that buying the dog just continues the cycle of pain and suffering for both the mother and father? They will be left behind too – to suffer in wire cages, living in their own feces and suffering unbelievable misery and suffering.

Second, puppy mill puppies that are sold in pet stores often have health issues that end up costing their owner an unbelievable amount of money. You can read one owner’s story about her pet store dog at CindyLu’s Muse.

7. I don’t want to have to wait to get my dog. I want it now.

Most people spend more time finding the right car than they do getting a dog. They research it, they ask their friends and family for advice, they take it out for a test drive. All this for a car they might have for 10 years. So why is getting a dog so much more urgent?

In this world of immediacy we can get pretty much what we want, when we want it, and where we want it, but most of those things are just that “things.” A dog is a living, breathing being with emotions and a need for love. It SHOULD take more time to get a dog than a purse or a pair of shoes or the latest video game.

Perhaps the most important reason to not to shop and adopt is this one fact – 3-4 million cats and dogs die in shelters every day. By buying a pet store puppy you are perpetuating the continued killing of these pets. First, by buying a dog you help to continue a puppy mill’s ability to keep churning out more and more puppies. Second, your choice to buy a puppy means that somewhere one more dog will die today because there is no more room at the shelter to give him a place to stay until he’s adopted.

Please don’t shop. Adopt.

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