DO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS (BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL) TO
LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU SUPPORT HUMANE CARE STANDARDS AND LAWS TO PROTECT
years, the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project has been working for tougher state laws
governing the breeding and sale of pet animals of all species. At one point, an
excellent Pet Facilities Law was passed, but it was gutted of its self-funding
provisions and finally eliminated. The
Facilities Law website provides details of this excellent anti-puppymill
law, its well-thought-out administrative rules, and the story of why it failed
to pass the Wisconsin state legislature.
our new Contacting Your
Elected Officials page for tips, Talking Points, and a sample letter to
help you contact Wisconsin legislators to ask them to introduce or sponsor a
new ground-breaking Pet Facilities Law.
And if your
legislator seems to have a history of ignoring or voting against humane
legislation, respectfully state your displeasure and ask him why he has voted
the way he has.You can find out who your Wisconsin state legislators are by
visiting http://www.legis.state.wi.us./ Click on "Who
Represents Me" in the middle of the page.
always, ALWAYS be courteous and respectful when dealing with
legislators. Abusive or unreasonable letters, phone calls, or emails do
more harm than good for the animals you are trying to help!
Pet Facilities Law website Contacting Your Elected
IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE OF WISCONSIN, DO READ WHAT OTHER
STATES ARE DOING TO PROTECT PETS, AND SEE IF YOUR STATE HAS LEGISLATION
You can find
this information in the
Laws and the
Citizen Lobbyist sections of the Humane Society of the
United States (HSUS) website, and the
Lobby section of the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty To Animals (ASPCA) website. These links contain a wealth of information
concerning pending state and federal legislation, including
How a Bill Becomes A Law. They will also list your
legislators, and their voting records on animal welfare issues
the new restrictions being proposed in Pennsylvania and supported by their
your state does have pending legislation listed, contact your state
legislators, and thank them for supporting the legislation or ask them to
co-sponsor it. If not, contact your legislators and ask them to consider bills
such as (name other states) are working on, or to sponsor ground-breaking
legislation of their own.
Wisconsin, if you don't know who your State representatives are or how to
contact them, you can easily find out by clicking
Legislation/Laws HSUS: Citizen Lobbyist
ASPCA: Lobby ASPCA: How a Bill Becomes A
Law PA Iniatives
DON'T BUY A PET AT A PET SHOP!
stress this enough. Never, never, never buy an animal of any kind at a pet
Responsible breeders NEVER supply animals to pet shops
where they cannot thoroughly check out prospective new owners, regardless of
what the pet store employees will try to tell you. Pet shop animals are either
from pet mills, backyard breeders, or other types of
note that many, if not most, pet store kittens, birds, reptiles, small mammals,
etc. come from the same type of '"factory" breeding facility.
economics state that if nobody buys, the store will quit selling, and the Pet
Profiteers will have to cut back on "production" or go out of
Responsible breeders What Are Pet Profiteers?
IN FACT, DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM A PET OR PET
SUPPLY STORE THAT SELLS LIVE ANIMALS!
treats, toys, food, greeting cards, coffee mugs, sweatshirts, or even a candy
bar from the rack by the counter.
the place completely--stay away! Write a clear, concise, but polite
letter to the owner or manager of the establishment to inform him/her of your
boycott and the exact reasons for it. If possible, send him a copy of the sales
receipt from a competitor who doesn't sell animals and let him know how much
money he's losing!
If the pet
store is in a mall, you might even consider boycotting the entire mall, and
letting the mall management (and possibly the managers of other stores that you
would otherwise patronize) know why you just drive on by.
DO PATRONIZE PET SUPPLY
STORES THAT DON'T SELL LIVE ANIMALS.
even take a moment to drop the managers of those stores a note letting them
know why you're patronizing them instead of their competitors, and thanking
them for not supporting pet mills.
supply stores that don't sell animals DO strongly support rescue efforts,
providing local shelters and rescues an invaluable venue to showcase homeless
animals. (See our GOOD Pet
Stores page for more.)
GOOD Pet Stores
DO ASK PET SUPPLY STORES TO REFUSE TO ALLOW "FREE TO
GOOD HOME" OR "PETS FOR SALE" ADS TO BE POSTED ON THEIR STORE
Let them know
that responsible breeders NEVER sell puppies through bulletin board ads, signs
in front of their homes, etc. Refer them to our
Identifying a Quality Breeder
page for details.
who advertise 'Free' pets generally do have the pets' best interests in mind,
those who take pets free may have questionable motives. Unaltered pets may be
obtained for breeding by backyard breeders or puppy millers; please see the
article "Free To Good Home?"
for other possibilities.
store owner or manager instead to post photos of pets for adoption from
local shelters or rescues and information about local spay/neuter initiatives
(rebate offers, low-cost clinics, etc.).
Identifying a Quality Breeder Free To Good Home?
DON'T BUY A PET ON
THE INTERNET, THROUGH A CLASSIFIED AD, FROM A NOTICE ON A BULLETIN BOARD, OR AT
A SWAP MEET, AUCTION, OR
breeders NEVER sell their animals through these venues. You are taking a huge
risk by buying a pet this way.
That is not
to say that many resposible breeders don't have informational websites and/or
ads about themselves and their dogs, but they will not list specific puppies
for sale in any of their advertising, including any type of commercial
'puppyfinder' site or in online classifieds.
Click here to read about our
experiences at the Thorp Dog Auctions, which advertised "Now accepting
QUALITY consignments. Only quality breeding stock or healthy and marketable
puppies will be accepted."
10 March 07 Thorp Dog
DO CONSIDER ADOPTING A HOMELESS PET FROM A SHELTER OR
moment, hundreds of thousands of wonderful dogs, cats, birds, small animals,
and even reptiles are looking for their Forever Homes through rescues and
shelters all over the country. There is a rescue for every recognized breed of
dog and cat, as well as Macaw rescues, ferret rescues, pot bellied pig rescues,
horse rescues -- you name it. The only fault these animals have is,
irresponsible former owners who abused, neglected, or just didn't want to be
bothered with them.
adoption organizations stand behind their pets. If you have questions they will
be there to help you with information about the pets' temperament, health and
general needs. Shelters and rescue groups care about the pet and they care
many resources for finding a shelter or rescue near you, including
Pets 911, a coalition of
many major national organizations, and
PetFinder, sponsored by
the ASPCA. If you are looking for a particular breed or species, just do a
search through any search engine using the key words your breed and
"rescue" -- for example, "great Dane rescue" or
"Persian cat rescue." You will be astounded at how many choices you
Pets 911 PetFinder
DO UTILIZE YOUR LOCAL
NEWSPAPERS AS AN EDUCATIONAL FORUM.
letter to the editor about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores.
Keep your writing clear, concise, and to the point. If you have a personal
experience with a pet store or puppy mill dog, include the anecdote to further
If you have a
lot to say, you might want to make it a series of letters, one for each point
you wish to make. Some newspapers will even allow a guest editorial. Check with
your local newspapers to find out their policies.
Society of the United States has an excellent webpage on
Tips on Writing Letters to the Editor that is geared toward
animal issues. Another outstanding resource is
Writing Letters With I-M-P-A-C-T (pdf) from the Kinship
There is also
an online resource called
that makes writing a letter to a newspaper or magazine editor as easy as
choosing the newspaper or magazine from a dropdown list, filling out a website
form with your contact info and a 250-word letter, and hitting
"send." The site has a general page with Tips For Writing Letters to
the Editor as well.
HSUS: Tips on Writing Letters to the
Editor Letters With I-M-P-A-C-T
DO PLACE AN AD IN THE CLASSIFIEDS.
Check out the
"Pets" section of the classified ads in your local newspaper. Are
there a lot of ads for puppies/kittens? Chances are, most of these people are
pet profiteers -- either puppy millers or backyard breeders. Place your own
educational ads in the newspapers where people are "shopping" for
pets, and let them know the facts about pet profiteers vs responsible breeders.
here for some sample ads placed by
the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project.
Sample Classified Ads
DO FUND AN AD IN THE CLASSIFIEDS FOR A LOCAL SHELTER OR
or rescues just don't have the funds even for classifieds to advertise their
adoption events, fund-raisers, general contact info, or wonderful pets for
adoption. Most would be thrilled with the offer of a one-time or ongoing
"sponsorship." Click here for a few examples from actual classified ads.
the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project Classified Ads Campaign are also cheerfully
accepted! Please see our Donate to
WPMP or Classified Ads pages
for details, or click on the PayPal link below!
Donate to WPMP Sponsor a Classified
DO REPORT CASES OF SUSPECTED ANIMAL ABUSE OR NEGLECT TO
LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND YOUR AREA HUMANE ORGANIZATIONS.
local humane society, animal shelter, animal control facility, or law
enforcement agency immediately. You may do this anonymously, but many animal
abuse/neglect cases have gone unprosecuted because witnesses refuse to sign a
complaint or testify in court against the abusers.
our Reporting Animal Abuse
page for details on whom to call, what to say, and why investigating reports of
animal cruelty should be important to law enforcement authorities.
Again, always, always, ALWAYS
be courteous and respectful when dealing with law enforcement officers, animal
control representatives, and the people in the prosecutor's office.
Reporting Animal Abuse A Successful Abuse
DON'T TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS.
investigations have been compromised because well-intentioned people have
provided food, water, and bedding to the animals being investigated. If the
animal has these things when an investigator arrives, it doesn't matter who
provided them -- the investigator has to report that the needs are met and the
neglectful owner is "off the hook" once again.
Do NOT, yourself, "confiscate" an animal you
believe to be abused or neglected. There have been cases of
well-intentioned would-be rescuers ending up before a judge for pet theft, and
the animals have gone back to their abusers. Even if the owner doesn't report
you for stealing his pet, you have done nothing to stop him from immediately
getting another animal and treating him/her the same way.
DO SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS, and urge your friends,
collegues, and acquaintences to do the same!
pet can never be used for pet mill breeding stock, and altered pets
are much healthier and easier to live with. Spaying and neutering is the single
most effective way to combat the problem of pet overpopulation. And if you
don't believe there is a problem, please see:
An Animal Shelter Story and view their movie. (Note: images on this link
may be disturbing.)
In Hope, An Animal Shelter Story
DO research and support community spay/neuter
Donate if you
can, or volunteer to help out at clinics and "neuter-a-thons,"
shelter/resuce informational displays at fairs, community awareness events,
Offer to help
set up an informational
table at a fair, pet-themed event, etc. and educate people about conditions
that the pet industry deems "acceptable," or join a peaceful protest
of a pet store or dog auction.
Or -- Find a
shelter or rescue near you, and offer your services. Help people adopt rather
Informational Table at Oshkosh Pet
surprised at the number and different types of volunteers who all come together
to create a successful organization in addition to dog walkers & cat
socializers. Here are just a few:
Crafters to help with
bazaar items or catnip bags for fund-raisers;
Cooks to prepare goodies for
bakesales or work on fund-raising pot-lucks;
Typists who know their way
around a database for shelter tracking, reporting, or putting together mailing
Amateur photographers to
snap pics for websites and publicity;
Writers to help put together
fund-drive letters, educational materials, newsletters, press releases, ads,
Folks to enter pets for
adoption on one of the listing websites;
liaison" volunteers who build relationships with newspapers, radio and TV
stations -- and aren't afraid to appear on camera to showcase a pet, publicize
an event, or discuss an investigation;
Volunteers to present humane
education programs to school children and/or civic groups;
Set-up and tear-down
volunteers for events and fund-raisers;
Youth groups for service
projects such as putting together adoption "goodie bags" for shelter
Use your imagination
if you have a talent, create your own niche!
about puppy mills -- and cleaning up after millers when mills are actually
"busted" -- is expensive. Costs of outreach materials (flyers,
factsheets, brochures, etc.), the price of gas to get to events, and, of
course, the veterinary, food, grooming, fostering/sheltering, and sometimes
rehabilitation costs of already over-burdened shelters and rescues caring for
puppy mill survivors add up VERY quickly!
Donations are always
appreciated. However, many people cannot afford to give as much as they'd like
to, so imaginative fund-raisers are a perfect solution.
Fund-raisers need not
be complicated, formal affairs. Our supporters have planned garage sales and
"Paw-ties" and "jeans days" at work to combine education
with fund-raising and have some fun besides. Crafters have set aside portions
of their craft show booths for pet-related items whose sale benefits a rescue
or shelter -- or made hundreds of small toys such as the crocheted
Catnip Balls pictured in the
Spay/Neuter section, above, to sell for $1 apiece at participating
veterinarians' offices, groomers, pet supply stores -- even beauty parlors and
Catnip Toys Garage Sale
goods or services, or set aside certain days when a percentage of profits will
be donated to an animal organization.
Young people get
involved by choosing to do a food drive for local shelters or rescues instead
of having traditional class holiday parties, or by asking guests to birthday
parties to bring a donation for a shelter in lieu of a birthday gift.
such as Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, are also registered with online funding
resources such as GoodSearch (a search engine powered by Yahoo) and
GoodShop (with links to
hundreds of online stores), where all you have to do is visit the
GoodSearch/Goodshop sites, choose the organization of your choice, and click
"verify" for them to receive donations from your searches and
Amazon.com, from which an
Associate organization will receive a referral fee from every purchase made
through a link on the organization's website. That way, supporters can donate
at no cost to themselves, just for doing something they would anyway!
Please note that
rescues, shelters, and other animal organizations are generally overworked and
understaffed; they will be delighted to help you however they can, but may not
always have volunteers who can help staff outside fund-raisers.
And they'll tell two
friends, and so on, and so on, and so on.... Give them this website URL and let
them see for themselves. You may also download our
Brochure and some
printer-friendly fact sheets to
hand out, or order a bumpersticker.
Take any opportunity that presents itself to educate
people. The more people who know and understand what is going
on, the better chance we have of stopping it!
Printer-Friendly Fact Sheets Bumperstickers, Buttons, Window Signs,
WPMP Brochure (PDF) Acrobat Reader
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Mill? * What YOU Can Do * Laws/Legislation * Action Alerts
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Guide to Finding a
Pet * Breeders With Pride * Drive To Save Lives!
Copyright, 2008. The Wisconsin Puppy MIll Project
P.O. Box 926 * Sheboygan, WI
53082-0926 * info@NoWisconsinPuppyMills.com
Some Photos Copyright ©
Pat Crean, Pictures By Pat. All Rights Reserved. Used with
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