Iowa’s puppy mill problem

To?the Editor:?

Each year the Humane Society of the United States puts out the “Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill” list in early May for “Puppy Mill Action Week”. They comb through thousands of USDA inspection reports in order to expose the worst puppy mills in the nation. Sadly, as you can probably guess, Iowa and Missouri are consistently two of the worst offenders not only for the number of mills, but the sheer number of dogs and conditions of the facilities. Of the 100 worst puppy mills in the WHOLE country, Iowa has 15 on the list.

Translation: Out of over 10,000 puppy mills, Iowa has 15 of the worst.

These puppy mills have repeatedly been cited for violations against the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and are constantly overlooking the health and well-being of the dogs they are profiting from. Since the USDA and IDALS keep looking the other way, Bailing Out Benji is dedicated to raising social awareness about the problem so that we, as a community, can demand change. The only way we will see an end to these puppy mills is buy refusing to buy their product. Remember, reputable breeders would never sell to pet stores or ship to you from some website. When buying a puppy, always demand to #ShowMeTheMommy and visit the facility. If you see something that you aren’t OK with, run – don’t walk- the other way. Iowa currently has over 220 puppy mills, so it is important to do your research to make sure you aren’t supporting one.

And please remember, there are thousands of homeless animals needing a home, please consider adoption as your first option.

Mindi Callison

Ames