I realize that many of you do not live in Iowa, but I encourage you to find an animal welfare group within your own state, and become involved… and if you would prefer to not receive our weekly Paw Prints, sign up by: using the “Join our PawPrints Weekly Newsletter” on the right.
There are many wonderful animal welfare groups, and I appreciate them, but I feel that it is vital to support groups that directly impact the treatment of our own dogs, and the sad fact is that an estimated 20, 000 adult dogs are currently suffering in horrific conditions in Iowa puppy mills. Several Iowa breeders have more than 400 dogs, and one keeps more than a thousand, with our state laws providing very little protection for these poor animals. Iowa Voters for Companion Animals is an active group that was formed in 2009 to address issues associated with Iowa’s commercial dog breeding industry which makes Iowa the #2 puppy mill state in the entire country. Iowa VCA has successfully lobbied for passage of important legislation, and has been instrumental in improving USDA’s inspections of inadequate facilities. They need more animal welfare advocates all across the state to join them in their ongoing grassroots efforts to advocate for better state-level animal welfare laws, encourage and support the enforcement of the animal welfare laws that we already have, and support the election of city, county, and state law makers and law enforcers who will work to protect our companion animals. To receive more information, or receive regular e-mail alerts, sign up at www.iowavca.org . If you have specific questions, you may contact group president, Mary LaHay, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 515-556-5949. The group is already pursuing new legislation, and it is important that their grassroots support grows. Together it is possible to change laws, and stop the incredibly cruel situations that flourish in our state. PLEASE GET INVOLVED!
The plight of the thousands of Iowa dogs is graphically described in Before I Die, by Jim Willis, in recognition of the millions of animals who never knew the sun and fresh air, those regarded as property, and who profited human bank accounts:
It’s lonely here in prison. I dream of sun, of fields.
I saw them from a window once, but I don’t know how they feel.
I’ve never known a caress, a friend, a bone, a toy.
I yearn for companionship of a human girl or boy,
I long to have someone talk to me and maybe play a game.
I know it will never happen, but I wish it all the same.
Because some humans have decided, with selfishness and greed
That my fate shall be existing in a filthy cage, where I’ll live and breed.
They regularly bring another dog and toss him in with me,
Another litter I must bear; there’s no end that I can see.
I sit and watch day after day, so many puppies being born;
Where do they go, what happens to them, when they are torn from their mom?
The sleet is continuing on this cold winter night,
My bones ache, my body sore as I shiver in this tiny cage.
I whimper, but there is no way to get warm or find shelter from the storm.
What did I do to be in this place? My paws are numb, my pads are bleeding.
Who profits from this folly? My friends and I may cry in vain;
Does no one care or even know of our horrendous pain?
I have lost my will to live, I can no longer cope.
If only I could run and play just once before I die.