Tag Archives: Chicago

Tails: March Until Heard

This Sunday, I will march down Michigan Ave. in support of National Puppy Mill Awareness Day, September 27th. It will be my first march, but my fight started 7 years ago when I walked into my first Amish barn and saw lifeless dogs bought and sold like junk.

Seven years ago, I estimate that 1 in 100 people knew what I meant when I said the words “puppy mill.” Today, I estimate that to be 1 in 25. The message, long in the making, is quickly becoming louder. We are being heard.

84 cities across the nation have bans on the retail sale of puppies unless they come from rescues and shelters. More cities and counties are in the process of adopting similar ordinances. The message is strong and it is simple, but it is not without contention.

I believe that we are on a precipice of enormous change for mill dogs everywhere. I believe that we have reached the 2nd stage of truth as quoted by Arthur Schopenhauer, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

For years, those of us fighting for mill dogs were ridiculed, often ostracized for caring more about dogs than kids. We overcame such initial scrutiny and as our fight has grown momentum and tripled in strength, we are being met with anger, often pure rage.

Recently, we have been called controversial, as if exposing the horrific reality of mill dogs is questionable.   The people we are fighting are running out of options. They have gotten mean and nasty.

It can be frightening to go up against such violent and irrational individuals, but we cannot show fear. We cannot succumb to their tactics. We must march on…

That is what we ALL need to do on September 27th National Puppy Mill Awareness Day. We will walk together – unified in our mission and strong in numbers. We will march and show we are here to educate, to bring awareness, and to fight for the dogs who have no voice.

Fierce opposition based on greed and cruelty is opposition we are more than willing to take on… For the love of dogs of everywhere,  for the freedom of mill dogs locked away in dark barns and for the future of canine companionship, we will walk and we will be heard.

What we speak will soon be the self-evident accepted truth.

*** For information about the Chicago March visit the Puppy Mill Project.  For information about other events on National Puppy Mill Awareness Day or how to get involved visit The National Puppy Mill Project.   Here are some events around the nation:

San Diego Humane Society Adoption Event
www.sdhumane.org California

Protest, 1 PM National City Puppy & Min Toy Puppies
https://www.facebook.com/events/136106673403868/, San Diego, Ca

Awareness Day Proclamations
Brower County and Maimi Dade County Florida

Paws For A Cause Meet and Greet
www.facebook.com/PFACG Georgia

Indiana Puppy Mill Project, Tails on Trails, Fort Wayne
www.facebook.com/inpuppymillproject Indiana

Legislative Meeting on Puppy Mills
www.wp.iowavca.org Iowa

Bailing out Benji 30 protests days 30
www.bailingoutbenji.com Iowa

The Puppy Mill Project, Chicago March
www.thepuppymillproject.org Illinois

Petland Protest, 12-4 PM Roundlake, Il

Harper College Animal Rights Club, leafleting Palatine, Il

Maine Citizens Against Puppy Mills, Protest Tropic Pets, Waterboro
www.facebook.com/mainecitizensagainstpuppymills.com Maine

Boots Place Against Puppy Mills, Protest, Rockville
www.bootsplaceagainstpuppymills.com Maryland

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Micigan, Human Chain through Novi
www.michiganpuppymills.com/ Michigan

Protest Amaze’n Farmyard/Clearview Kennels, Minn, Mn

Petland Protest 11-2 PM 6131 Ronald Regan Dr, St Louis, Mo
more info: “leannefritsch@yahoo.com”

Residents Against Pet Stores in Cherry Hill, Protest
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1597746227155105/?fref=nf NJ

Ohio Voters for Companion Animals Ohio

Boycott The Family Puppy Store – Human Chain Toledo
https://www.facebook.com/tfpboycott Ohio

Leo’s Helping Paws, Puppy Ribbon Project, Lancaster, PA

Puppy Mill & Backyard Breeders Awareness Day 9/26
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Puppy-Mill-Backyard-Breeders-Awareness-Day-2015/481388368730540 Peach Bottom, PA

Puppy Mill Awareness Austin, Festival
www.pmadtx.com, Tx

Wisconsin Citizens Against Puppy Mills Protest 9/26 Wi
Wisconsin Citizens Against Puppy Mills

Petland Protest off Milton Ave, Janesville, Wi
1-5 PM

International *****

Puppymill Awareness Working Solutions, Ottawa Ontario
9/19 Awareness Event Pet Value Kanata

Puppy Farm Awareness Walk, Penang, Malaysia

Tails: Dog Left in Van for 6 Days Without Food or Water

Headlines like this one make news and find animal lovers outraged.  However, this dog wasn’t left by her owner for 6 days without food or water, she was left by Chicago Animal Care and Control!  She was left by an agency whose only mission is to care for the city’s animals.  What does that say about the agency?

Maybe if the police forgot about her in the car or the tax assessor’s office forgot her outside, but animal control?

CACC took 14 dogs to a Chicago Wolves game to be adopted.  One of the dogs, Missy, wasn’t comfortable at the event, so someone put her back in the van.  All the other dogs found homes that night.  A CACC worker drove the van back to the shelter and never took Missy out of the van.  Days later, another CACC employee moved the van and still failed to notice the dog.

I tossed and turned last night thinking about this situation.  I even considered offering some benefit of doubt.  Maybe something like this…after the excitement and success of the adoption fest, the tired worker gets in the van, the dog is sleeping and quiet, worker parks the van and overlooks the dog in the back.  That is possible.  God knows people have left children in carseats and gone into work before…

But, here is where it gets sticky for me… If that were me, and I did manage to initially forget the dog, I KNOW that in the middle of the night I would jump out of bed and remember the dog!  How could I not?  I work at a shelter, I should love animals, right?  I should care about who I am responsible for.  I should not forget they ever existed.

Let’s say I am a totally incompetent and I never remember the dog.  Then, someone else should have noticed Missy’s kennel was empty.  At some point there had to be protocol to take all of the paperwork of the dogs who were brought to the adoption fest and process them into the system.  Either the dogs would have adoption paperwork or their kennel cards would be put back on their kennels. (remember the dog was in the van for 6 days… certainly paperwork must be completed in 6 days)

And, what about the people who feed and water the dogs each day?  I worked at an animal control facility and every time I came in to feed the dogs, if a dog was missing, I found out where it was.  Is that just because I cared?

This entire situation infuriates me!  I do think that whoever drove the van back to CACC should be immediately fired.  But, I also believe that the shelter director should be fired.  There are obvious huge gaps in the protocol of the shelter that leave dangerous issues looming.

Is there any accountability for all of the 6000 dogs who enter into CACC?  How many other instances like this have occurred without public knowledge?  Knowing the many black eyes of CACC, I hardly believe this is the first incident an animal was left for dead.

Robert Herguth reported on the situation in A Dog Gone Shame – City Pound Leaves Pooch in Van for Five Nights.  In the article, he details two other tragic deaths at CACC in the last year which only demonstrate further incompetence and a complete lack of compassion.

When Enron and the other banks collapsed, the CEOs were held responsible, that is how it should work at CACC.  The management of the facility needs to be replaced immediately.  And by replaced, I mean completely replaced by people who do NOT already work there.  Shelter professionals with outstanding track records for creating no kill shelters.  People who are excited about the world of animal welfare and are compassionate about the animals who seek shelter and homes.

CACC is a government agency, but it needs people who are specifically passionate about animals.  Not people who are just looking for a government pension.  It is the city of Chicago, for God’s sake, certainly, it can afford a professional with these qualities!

On a side note, I will be very interested to see if any criminal charges are filed.  Leaving a dog without food or water for 6 days certainly warrants animal neglect.  The police are investigating.

If a dog isn’t safe in a facility that is specifically financed, designed, and trained to care for her, is she safe anywhere?

It will be up to the taxpayers of Chicago to find justice for Missy and to demand that CACC become a shelter that a large city can be proud of.