As we ring in the year 2017, I can't help but feel grateful and so very blessed for the year 2016.
When my husband unexpectedly passed away in 2013, I wondered if the dream we had of offering care to mill dogs would be something I would have to give up. Fortunately, with much support from family and friends and a lot of grit and determination on my part, the dream was not lost. In fact, it blossomed into something bigger than we ever imagined.
We now offer sanctuary, rehabilitation and adoption for mill dogs right here in our home. We are a licensed 501 c 3 organization with a $15000. budget in our first 6 months of operation. We have a wonderful group of volunteers who have spent over 650 hours in a variety of areas from groundskeeping to dog care to adoption events to website management to hosting fundraisers. We have rescued 20 dogs from dire situations, placed 11 of them with families and have grieved the loss of 2 of our senior dogs.
Our Canine Rehab Team has excelled in coming alongside our rescued dogs and modeling dog behavior for them. Sooner, Ruby, Marley, Marina and Suzie you are the BEST pack ever!!! We have also grieved the loss of our littlest Rehab Team member this year, Maverick.
A big part of our mission is to educate the public about the puppy mill industry. After all, Missouri is the #1 worst state on the Humane Society's Horrible 100 list once again. In previous years, Missouri has held that spot with 20-24 worst puppy mills in the nation. In the last report the state of Missouri bumped up to 30 of the worst puppy mills in the nation! That is 30 out of 100! Almost 1/3 of the worst puppy mills in the nation are in Missouri! That is simply unacceptable!
As citizens of Missouri, we need to step up and be a voice for these precious souls who have no voice. We must legislate for tougher standards, but we also must provide funding and accountability to our government agencies so they can enforce the standards we currently have. We also must spread the word about not buying dogs in pet stores AND on line. This industry is truly a supply and demand industry. No demand the supply will stop. Please do not support with your hard earned dollars ANY store which sells dogs.. Do not buy ONE THING from them...not one treat...not one bag of dogfood...nothing! Do not walk in their doors! Only support pet stores that have a humane adoption model. Please...please do not buy your dogs from on-line sites. This has opened a whole new avenue of revenue for mill breeders. Please consider adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter. You can find purebreed dogs in shelters and rescues. If you decide you must buy a puppy from a breeder, never purchase a puppy without meeting the dogs parents, seeing where they live and contacting their vet for a reference. A quality breeder will be happy to show you these things and share with you this information and more. A quality breeder will be asking you questions about your lifestyle, what you are looking for in a dog, and want the dog back if it doesn't work out.
Please share the #adoptdontshop message with everyone you know!
People often tell me they couldn't do what we do, how do we do it? While we know to well the realities of where our rescued dogs come from, we also know it's through no fault of their own. They didn't ask to be used to breed puppies for profit and human greed. They didn't ask to be housed overcrowded in a wire cage with no human contact, vet care, exercise or even sunlight. They had no choice in the life they have lived. We feel they deserve to know what a real home is and the joys of life outside the cage. They deserve to know the feeling of grass beneath their feet, the feeling of the wind blowing in their face, the joy of running and sniffing and smelling and playing! The joy of feeling love from a human...the joy of being petted, of snuggling, of feeling good because they have had proper vet care...the joy of being a dog!
We are proud to be able to focus on providing those things to the rescued souls we serve.
We will never be a Wayside Waifs or Great Plains...frankly, we don't want to be. We take great pride in doing whatever we can in our corner of the world to make the world a brighter place for both canine and human beings! We may be small but we are making a difference...just look at the rescued lives we have saved and the volunteers and adoptive families whose lives they have touched!! We look forward to continuing our life saving mission and sharing our message in 2017!!! We do hope you will join us!