Petition Update

Pam Sordyl
Clarkston, MI

May 11, 2011 — Puppy Mill Mothers Not Forgotten in Flint

Flint area dog advocates
share a moment of silence at
the Genesee Valley Center

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100,

On the eve of Mother’s Day local dog advocates came together in a moment of silence for the 130,000+ breeding mothers caged in Midwest puppy-factories. A vigil, hosted by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, was held at The Family Puppy pet store in Flint.

Among the participants were former breeding mothers. Storm, a fluffy Pomeranian, was rescued after being put on an auction block for puppy millers to bid on. “She was a poor breeder and no longer useful” said Julieann Lotridge of Lapeer. Storm, like many commercially bred dogs, has two grade 5 luxating patellas, a serious genetic flaw.

“Because of Storm and my other puppy mill survivors in my life I have made it a mission to fight for the end of commercial-factory breeding of animals for sale.” said Lotridge.

Puppy mills are mass-breeding facilities that raise dogs in shockingly poor conditions. They operate with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare. Breeding mothers are often destroyed or discarded after their fertility wanes. Why is this legal? There is minimal supervision of puppy mills by the United States Department of Agriculture, whose investigators look for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Commercial breeders are supposed to be licensed and meet minimal standards of care. However, if a breeder operates without a license or fails to meet minimum standards, it is often not until he is reported that he gets inspected or cited. Penalties are substantially less than what would be required to encourage improvements.

“The best way to stop puppy mills is to refuse to buy from them and their distributors – the pet stores. If we take away their profits, they have no reason to continue.” said Pam Sordyl, the group’s founder.

“We are encouraging The Family Puppy and other puppy-pet stores to stop supporting the cruel puppy mill industry through puppy sales, and instead create an adoption program similar to other large pet supply retailers like PETCO and PetSmart” said Sordyl

Last fall Puppy Mill Awareness revealed the results of a five-month investigation of The Family Puppy chain store. The investigation revealed that The Family Puppy is Michigan’s retailer purchasing dogs from puppy mills. This spring, a boycott including weekly rallies and a petition were launched keeping the spotlight on the highest volume retailer.

• There are more than 50 puppy-selling pets stores in Michigan, with 30 in the Detroit area.
• Approximately one-third of the nation's 9,000 independent pet stores sell puppies.
• The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States.
• Puppy mill puppies often have health problems, genetic defects and behavioral issues.
• Documented puppy mill conditions include over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor food and shelter, crowded cages and lack of socialization.
• Dogs kept for breeding in puppy mills suffer for years in continual confinement. They are bred as often as possible and then destroyed or discarded once they can no longer produce puppies.
• Pet stores and puppy mills use attractive websites to hide the truth and to dupe the public into thinking that they are dealing with a reputable breeder.
• Reputable breeders never sell puppies over the Internet or through a pet store and will insist on meeting the family who will be purchasing the dog.
• Puppy mills contribute to the pet overpopulation problem which results in millions of unwanted dogs euthanized at shelters every year.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness