© The HSUS/Michelle Riley
A cramped cage at the Tenn. puppy mill.
We’ve had lots of feedback on the Tennessee puppy mill raid, and the subsequent efforts to adopt out all of the rescued dogs in a number of communities where they were transported. If you haven’t seen the videos, you must take a look—they’re more inspirational than saddening, largely because we’ve done something about the problem. These dogs are starting a new, brighter chapter in their lives. Caring people across the country are opening their hearts and homes—in Atlanta and Broward County, Fla. residents have flocked to the shelters as these puppy mill survivors begin to be placed up for adoption.
I am so pleased that we were able to respond to this deplorable mill, and that we had such cooperation with law enforcement and other animal protection groups in conducting this animal rescue operation. But I am still upset that these places are even allowed to exist under the law. And that’s a question on the minds of countless supporters of The HSUS: "Why are these puppy mills allowed to operate?"
The answer is, they shouldn’t be. But we haven’t been able to pass sufficient laws at the state and federal levels to put an end to these dens of dog misery. These are factory farms for dogs, and it’s just not acceptable and we’ve got to do something about it. Some segment of the breeding lobby and the American Kennel Club have resisted any meaningful legislative reforms to the domestic puppy mill industry. But with the "Oprah" show; our busts of major mills in Tennessee, Virginia, and other states; our banning of the import of puppy mill dogs from foreign puppy mills, which we achieved as part of the Farm Bill; and some real legislative progress in the states, the momentum is on our side. Now is the time to take our fight to the next plane. We need to halt the long-term, permanent confinement of dogs on puppy mills and put a cap on the number of dogs people can have for commercial use. And we need the Animal Welfare Act amended to direct the USDA to license and regulate breeders selling direct to the public. Until we do that, we are going to be chasing our tails and investigating and raiding more of these deplorable factory farms.
Below, I’ve provided some of your reader comments.
Thank God for the HSUS and the hundreds of rescue groups who day in and day out confront this puppy mill evil. I am proud, PROUD to support the efforts you make on a daily basis. This evil must and will end. —Jonathan Gilbert
The work The HSUS does is so incredibly important and lifesaving for these poor, defenseless animals. Shutting down this one puppy mill will save thousands of dogs from horrible lives of misery, filth, depression and cruelty. The HSUS needs to be commended for their tireless efforts in protecting theses moms, dads and puppies and let everyone know to stop buying puppies from pet stores (which they are doing). I personally support the HSUS 100 percent because they never stop fighting for the animals, protecting the animals and are instrumental in changing laws that will save countless animals from cruelty, mistreatment and horrible deaths. HSUS rocks! Forever a supporter. —Jamie M Downey, publisher of The Colorado Dog magazine and The Chicago Dog magazine
How do we even begin to thank you all for what you have done to rescue these animals!! God Bless You!! —Kim Perry
I am from Manchester, Tenn. and I saw this story on WSMV news about half an hour ago. I bawled when I saw those poor, poor babies being treated like that. My heart goes out to all of you, and I am planning to donate dog food, and hopefully adopt one of those poor fallen angels. The work that the HSUS does for animals amazes me, and after I graduate college, I hope to one day work for the HSUS. Keep up the fantastic work!!! —Susan Hudgens
Every rescue operation your organization conducts brings me to tears of sorrow to see the horrid conditions these animals live in daily and tears of joy in knowing their lives from this day on will be forever changed. If every one of us sent in just one-hundred dollars instead of purchasing trivial items that make our lives a little more comfortable, your organization could provide immeasurable comfort to thousands more suffering animals. Thank you so much for your work and for the stories. My hundred dollars is en route. Ten thousand more of you should do the same thing today. —Connie Pugh, Sunnyvale, Calif.
Good for you for raiding this place. I am passing this blog onto many of my friends in the hope they will pass it on to others. —Rivka A. Strom
I’m sure those dogs thought angels were descending upon them as the cages opened and they were let out of their suffering place. Does The HSUS have a program where we can learn how to rescue and fly to these places in times of need? I would love to go there and help or anywhere else you may need volunteers. God bless you for your tireless work for those who cannot release themselves from these horrors. —Pamela Bertsch Plano, Texas