Posted on May 10, 2015
Students Organize Puppy Mill Awareness Week
Puppy Mill Action Week begins on May 6th. It is a time to contemplate what we can do to make a positive difference. For some time now, I’ve believed that the very best way to eradicate puppy mills is by educating kids. A child who is aware of the reality of puppy mills can rattle the family conscience, particularly when Mom or Dad are thinking about purchasing a puppy on line or from a pet store. This is the reason a recent story about eighth grade students at Courtenay Language Arts Center in Chicago put a big smile on my face.
When these students learned about the suffering of dogs in puppy mills, they were determined to make a difference. Here’s what they did. After researching puppy mills and speaking with experts on this topic, they brainstormed ways that they could make a difference.
The culmination of their efforts occurred just last month. They organized an entire week devoted to increasing awareness about puppy mills within their school. This Puppy Mill Awareness Week included:
- Daily morning announcements with facts about puppy mills
- Visits to classrooms of younger students to read Ruby’s Story, a children’s book about a dog from a puppy mill
- A basketball game fundraiser for a local animal shelter
- Posters hung to educate students about puppy mills
- An assembly created by the eighth grade students and featuring speakers from The Puppy Mill Project and Found
It appears that the Courtenay Language Arts Center Puppy Mill Awareness Week was a huge success in terms of raising awareness. As one student stated,
I will keep informing others about the situation in case they’re buying from a suspicious place. Finally, if I get a puppy I’ll make sure to get it from an animal shelter and not a pet shop or puppy mill.
It just doesn’t get any better than that! Now, I challenge you to educate kids about puppy mills. If you need some ideas, check out “Puppy Mills Exposed” and “A Happy Home for Every Dog and Cat” in HEART’s Humane Resource Guide. For older kids, I recommend that together you watch, “What is a Puppy Mill” created by HEART and the ASPCA. This video is just about guaranteed to stimulate some important discussion.
Are there children in your life who can learn about puppy mills?
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.