Imagine spending your entire life barefoot on a wire floor. Your feet are always sore, and often bloody. There are three (or more) other living beings in your cramped, dirty cage with you. There is little protection from the sun, rain, wind and snow. You are constantly forced to breed, and your offspring are taken from you and sold, except for the babies that die from lack of proper care. You are exhausted, starving, and sick. The large male shut in with you attacks you when you try to eat or drink. You have infected bites and scratches all over your body, and you are always afraid. You may die from any number of ailments, and if not, you might wish you did. Such is the fate of thousands of dogs in our country, and Iowa ranks as the second worst state in the entire country for puppy mills

Our Iowa legislature was sent a very simple bill asking that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship be allowed to inspect the Iowa puppy mills that had received direct violation citations from the USDA – Nothing more than that. The bill would have, quite simply, provided a tiny bit of additional oversight of the worst of the worst Iowa breeders. Most of the final language was actually proposed by the IDALS, and they informed the House and Senate leadership that they would register in support of the bill when it came forward. Then, House leadership decided to bow to a request to send the bill to the House Ag committee where it was left to die. It never made it to the floor for a vote. It appears that the House Ag Committee is where all animal welfare bills are sent to die…this has happened before, and documentation confirms that it has happened to other animal welfare bills.

Don’t our legislators care about the welfare of our puppy mill dogs, or the national publicity that Iowa receives for being on the Horrible Hundred List that reveals the very worst puppy mills in the entire nation (based on the analysis of USDA inspection reports)? Iowa is getting better at being worse! I am not a political activist, but apparently our ability to get laws passed that will provide any protection for Iowa’s puppy mill dogs is totally dependent on the people we vote into our Iowa state legislature. This November every House seat in our state legislature and every even-numbered Senate seat is up for election.

Talk to your candidates about this issue. Let them know that animal welfare is important to you, and that having the second largest number of the nation’s worst puppy mills is shameful. If you REALLY want to make a difference, but need facts and figures, Iowa Voters For Companion Animals, a non-radical grass roots organization, is a great contact. Go to , for updated information , and ways that you can make a difference in the lives of Iowa dogs. (Even if you don’t live in Iowa, they would appreciate hearing from you!) The power of animal lovers joined together can change animal protection and welfare. Let’s use our power to help the animals.

There they languish, huddled in dirty, cramped cages; frail bodies shiver in defeat, sadness reflected in their pleading eyes. Because of man’s callous greed they are ripped from their mothers far too soon. They long to love and be loved, but no one seems to care. The mills consider them property to be bought and sold. Only you can help these animals in need, and end this awful greed.