Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gearing Up for Puppy Mill Awareness Day

Carol Araneo-Mayer, one of the founders of Puppy Mill Awareness Day, has been in animal rescue since 1967. She started with the Nutley Animal Welfare League and has worked with Companion Animal Welfare and People for Animals. She has worked with Adopt-A-Pet, which specializes in handicapped animals and puppy mill dogs, for the past 14 years. She is a vegetarian with three dogs and two cats, who is married to a wonderful man who supports her causes. She believes that dogs should not be chained or penned and that farm animals should be treated with kindness and compassion.

We interviewed Carol to find out more about Puppy Mill Awareness Day:

HTB: How did you come up with the idea for Puppy Mill Awareness Day? When?

CAM: In early 2004, Kathy, Walter and myself (co-founders), decided to hold an event in Pennsylvania to educate the public regarding the plight of the breeding dogs held in the barns and sheds in Lancaster and the surrounding areas. We had been to an event previously and wanted the public's education to continue.

HTB: Are you working with people around the country to host Puppy Mill Awareness Day in locations other than Lancaster?

CAM: Yes. We are urging everyone who cannot be with us in Pennsylvania to hold their own PMAD, to bring attention to the plight of the breeding dogs held in cages across the country and in other countries whose only value is for the puppies they produce. Presently we have a link on our site called "One Day One Voice" the events being held are listed there. New events are coming daily and there is one being held in England, as they have a "Puppy Farm" problem as well.

HTB: What is your favorite thing about the event?

CAM: Meeting the puppy mill survivors and their owners. Those dogs and their families are our best educational tool. Once a mill survivor moves into your neighborhood most people are never the same. For each survivor there is a story and that story needs to be told time and time again. Those stories are what we hope will keep people from buying pet store puppies and internet puppies.

HTB: What has been the most challenging thing in putting the event together?

CAM: Coordinating all the groups and guests, and worrying that the public will come out and join us. Presently we have over 40 rescue groups registered for this years event. This year we are honored to have Victoria Stilwell world renowned dog trainer and star of Its Me or The Dog and Rescue Ink, they will be staring in their own Nat Geo show shortly.

HTB: What are three things people can do to help fight against animal cruelty (and puppy mills in particular)?

CAM: 1. We ask that everyone boycott pet stores that sell pets. Not only should you not buy a puppy but should not buy supplies or food at these stores. 2. Adopt your next pet, go to a reputable rescue group or shelter. 3. Spay and Neuter your pets. The shelters are filled with homeless dogs and cats, there aren't enough homes to go around.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day will be held in Lancaster, PA on September 18th. I'll be there. Will you? Find more information at

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