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WISCONSIN PUPPY MILL PROJECT

A Message From Bentley

By Bentley and Kelly Beauparland

Bentley the Puppy Haven throw-away asks everyone NOT to buy pets from petstores.

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Bentley, a former puppy mill discard, at a 2008 Puppyworld petstore protest in Milwaukee, WI.

Tiny blue paw print bullet pointTiny blue paw print bullet pointHello! My name is Bentley.

       This is a picture of me at my first pet store protest, Puppyworld in Milwaukee, in April 2008. I got to tell all sorts of people about puppy mills, and why they shouldn't buy animals from pet stores like Puppyworld. Some people thought I was so cute and well-cared-for that I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about, but I do. I was born in a Wisconsin puppy mill, and because of my paralyzed back legs, I would have died there if fate had not stepped in to save me.

       I was born May 16th, 2006 at the Puppy Haven puppy mill. I was born with paralyzed back legs. Because Puppy Haven couldn't sell me to a pet store, I was doomed to be one of their "throw aways". I would have been killed or left to die if it were not for the kindness of a wonderful woman who BUYS the unprofitable puppies, and older breeding stock Puppy Haven is done with.

       I was taken to a rescue, and listed on Petfinder.com, a web site dedicated to finding good homes for all kinds of pets all over the country. Many rescue groups and Humane Societies post animals there for adoption.

Bentley and his adopted "brother," Chewie.       Meanwhile, my future Mom was looking for a companion for her dog Chewie. She had found him on Petfinder, so she went back to find him a friend.

       It was my profile and picture that caught Mom's eye. She really wanted to know more about me, and to try to adopt me. The procedure can be rather long. She had to fill out an application with lots of information on her home, lifestyle, family members, and how she would care for a "mobility challenged" new dog. Then there was a home visit. It may seem like a lot to go through, but when you stop and think about it, the rescue group has the dog's AND the family's best interests in mind. They want to be sure to match the dog with just the right "Forever Home", and be sure to match the People with the best addition to their family.

       Puppy mill owners are not willing to take a dog back if something happens and the adopter can no longer take care of it. Mom had to sign a contract saying she would give me back to the rescuer if she could no longer provide for me, for any reason.

       Puppy mill owners are quick to sell puppies that are too young, or dogs that are sick. I was taken to the vet by the rescuer for an examination, shots, x-rays, and a micro-chip. All this was done at the expense of the rescuer. Mom paid a fee for me which covered the vet bill and the $50.00 the rescuer had to pay Puppy Haven to get me out of there. That fee was nominal compared to the outrageous and extravagant amount pet shops charge. The rescuer is not out to make money on the puppies and retired breeders she rescues. She only wants to save their lives, provide them with good homes, and let them live the rest of their lives happy, as they should be.

Bentley asks that you please not buy puppies from pet stores or newspaper ads!       Please -- Do not buy a puppy from a pet store!

       Do not buy a puppy from an ad in the paper when there are multiple breeds listed!

     Beware! These could be puppy mill dogs. Insist on seeing Mom and Dad. Get as much history and background on your new family member as possible. After all, he will be with you for a lot of years to come. Try adoption, either from a rescue group or Humane Society. There are many, many wonderful pets out there that need homes. Not just puppies, but older dogs too. There are a lot of benefits to adopting an older dog. Do a little research and become educated, then educate others, just like I'm doing.

       Mom calls me her little ambassador for rescued dogs. Whenever she takes me someplace, people comment on my legs and ask "Why?" It gives Mom the opportunity to tell them about the horrors of puppy mills, and make them aware of the many puppies who don't make it.

       Please, consider a rescue dog! There are so many who need good homes. By adopting a rescue, you can help stop the mass production of puppies in puppy mills.

Thank-you,

Bentley's Paw-tograph

Bentley

Further Resources:

 

       NOTE: Wallace Havens, Bentley's "breeder --and formerly the largest "commercial breeder" in Wisconsin -- no longer in business! In a press conference on 18 July 2008, the Wisconsin Humane Society announced that it had purchased the assets of Puppy Haven Kennel in Greene Lake Co., WI. Former owner Wallace Havens says he wished to retire; he sold just the dogs and the equipment used in his breeding operation but not the 20 acres of land the kennel occupies. For more details, please click here.

 
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Article and Photos Copyright © 2007, Kelly Beauparland. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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