Before I get into the title subject of this blog post, I am sharing a link to a review I wrote of Ann Keniston’s newest poetry collection Somatic. It was published in the beautiful journal Under a Warm Green Linden: Review of SOMATIC by Ann KenistonThese poems are sometimes historical and public and sometimes about her private grief for her mother and father. The poet works with the forms ode and elegy in a way that questions how the forms function.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day (was September 19, 2020)

When my daughter was young she became aware of puppy mills and was horrified by the plight of especially the breeder dogs, the mamas. After that, every argument paper she wrote for school was an argument against puppy mills in one way or another. She came at it from a different direction each time. I wish I had thought to save the papers and put them together into a binder. The thing is: she was right. Puppy mills are horrid places, especially for those mother dogs because they never get to leave until they have been “used up” and thrown away.

While Puppy Mill Awareness Day was technically two days ago, I wanted to post this today to suggest that every single day should be puppy mill awareness day.

Tell your friends: if they are set on a certain breed dog, have them search for rescues that focus on those breeds.

The only dogs I’ve ever owned have been mutts literally found on the street–or in the case of my childhood dog, in the lake. Three of my granddogs are rescues. Two are mixed breed and both cute as a bug’s ear. One of them is a “purebred” Jack Russell whose original owner was going to march him off to the county kill shelter when he was sixteen years old. Both purebred dogs and mixed breeds need rescuing.

These are my “granddogs.”


Riley is the baby. She’ll be a year old at the beginning of next month. She lives with my daughter and her fiance and her sister, kitty Izzie.


Gary is the senior. He’s 18 1/2 now and acts like a puppy. He lives with my son and DIL and his brother, doggie Theo, and brother, kitty Meesker, as well as sister, kitty Lily.


Theo is an adorable and fur-challenged piece of work who lives with Gary, Meesker, Lily, and his mom and dad.

Here is some important and fascinating information copied from the Puppy Mill Awareness Day website HERE.

What is a Puppy Mill?

1. The term, Puppy Mill is a slang term. It defines a place where dogs are bred for profit. Little or no thought is given to the health, temperment, or quality of the breeding dogs or offspring. A commercial breeding facility would be such a place.

Commercial breeding facilities are USDA regulated and the dogs are defined as livestock. Being the fact that they are livestock, they do not have to be cared for as we care for our personal pets. They live in small cages, or hutches much like a rabbit hutch and never stand on solid ground. Many dogs live their entire lives like this with little human contact. When the dogs no longer “produce” they are usually destroyed.

2. When did this practice start?

Soon after WWII, when the midwest crops failed, the USDA presented the idea of breeding pure bred puppies as a cash crop. The number of puppy mills have been growing ever since.

3. How are these puppies sold?

Many commercial breeding facilities sell their puppies through a “Broker” or Class B dealer. Breeders will sell litters to brokers, such as the Hunte Corporation.
The broker will then ship orders to pet stores. It is their job to make sure the puppies are in that adorable 6-8 week old stage so the pet store can make the most money selling them. Other methods are internet sales, classified sales, farm markets or simply a sign out front.

4. If my puppy has AKC papers, it means its healthy right?

NO. It means that the breeder registered the litter with the AKC. AKC is a registry body. A registration certificate identifies the dog as the offspring of a known sire and dam, born on a known date. It in no way indicates the quality or state of health of the dog. Just because your puppy has AKC papers does not mean that your puppies parents are healthy or kept in a humane manner.

5. When it is time to look for a family dog, where should we look?

PMAD always promotes adoption. Our country shelters kill 6-8 MILLION dogs and cats each year, not because they are sick, or aggressive, simply because there are not enough homes. Many are housebroken, trained and excellent with children. They end up in the shelter because of family problems, such as divorce, loss of job, relocation, death in family, allergies, etc.

We suggest adopting from your local animal shelter, your local animal rescue, Or petfinder.org when adding a furry companion to your home. By adopting, your teaching your children that life is important. You are teaching compassion.

New subjects:

Daughter and her fiance have rescheduled their wedding, hoping to get it far enough out from the pandemic. Now it is scheduled for 2022!!! That’s a long time to wait, but the upside is that I have plenty of time to find a dress and shoe combo that will work for all my ailments, complaints, and preferences LOL!

Have you read the latest Louise Penny Armand Gamache mystery, All the Devils Are Here? Wow, I loved it. I’ve read each book, all in order (thank you,  WJ), and the one before this, A Better Man, was a stinker IMO.  But now she is back on track! I hope her next book will be a quarantine Gamache.


Filed under #amrevising, #AmWriting, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Writing


  1. I support your Puppy Mill Awareness Day efforts Luanne. All our dogs come from rescue organizations. Lucy came from Austin Boxer Rescue. Twiggy was inside her mother when the rescue organization bought her at auction from a puppy mill. Daughter now has a Doberman puppy from the same rescue group. Thanks for spreading the word. All the grand pups look terrific.

  2. Daughter’s puppy is a pit bull rescue. She was kept in a cage, and when they first got her, she was skinny and scarred. She didn’t know how to play.

    I haven’t read the latest Louise Penny book. I have to decide if I want to buy it. My library only has e-book copies with a long, long wait (like months!)

    • Aw, I bet your daughter has taught her puppy how to be a beloved family member!!! I’m so glad she took on a dog so in need of love and attention.
      I get too antsy to wait for Penny books from the library. My library has NOTHING I want by ebook. It’s gotten awful. So I sprang for it and glad I did. I loved this one. The writing style was so much better than last time, and the story was captivating to me. I loved seeing Gamache’s relationship with his son and with his godfather Stephen.

      • Helena is lucky she is so darn cute because she’s the most expensive dog ever. She’s had ER visits, surgery, but she’s a cutie. 😀

        Maybe I’ll splurge for the book. The library thing is weird. I’ve been doing contactless pickups from a library, but I have to go to one that is farther away because of a county/town library thing. I miss just going in and browsing. And there are so many books that I look for that they don’t have.

        • I miss the browsing, too, because every book I try to order is not available, but if I were in there I would see things that interest me.
          Helena is lucky to have your daughter!

  3. In one touristy beach town in Mexico I spoke to a (tourist) woman who had a tiny dog in a big purse. She told me she had bought the dog from the local vet who was breeding these dogs because tourists loved to buy them. He presented them as dogs that needed rescuing. So the soft-hearted tourist was being exploited and the tourists were encouraging the puppy mill business by providing the demand by being willing customers.

    • That is horrific. What a scummy vet. I was looking at vet webpages recently, and there was one office that looked really good except that the vet came from a family of breeders and his parents are involved in the practice. I just couldn’t deal with a vet into breeding.

      • He saw and opportunity and all the soft-hearted tourist buy into it because we can’t stand to see animals suffering. In Mexico most people don’t have that same empathy for animal life that we Americans and Canadians have.

  4. I don’t know why people buy dogs when there’s so many homeless dogs needing love and attention. Some of my friends have said that it’s important to know what breed you’re getting. I think they’re objectifying dogs. I have other friends who participate in rescues and I really admire them. Good for you, Luanne, to put a big spotlight on puppy mills. Love ya!

    • Personally I think it’s dumb to NEED to know the breed of a dog because they are all individuals. But if someone is set on a certain breed, there are so many good rescues for the various breeds. And of course shelters get those dogs as well because even those dogs find themselves without a home. Love you, too, Marie!

  5. I agree! Let everyday be puppy mill awareness day. I knew very little about the subject years ago. I know a lot more now and agree, mutts are the best dogs in the world. You have triggered so many memories here. I hate to see dogs, cats and children without families. Time to put an end to it.

    • Here we are at Puppy Mill Awareness Day again! Kind of like groundhog day hahaha. I am so like you about homeless animals and children without families. My daughter and I used to write an adoption blog and I found myself more and more drawn to the issues of foster children as time went on.

      • Now an adoption blog sounds interesting. I thought of fostering too but circumstances were never quite right. I ended up marrying a man with children left to raise. I learned a LOT there.

  6. Your granddogs are adorable! And I agree–puppy mills need to be put out of business. They’re awful for the dogs and we humans should be kinder and know better . . .

  7. Shresth Ansh

    You guys are doing a good job

  8. There’s no excuse or justification for puppy mills, so well done for highlighting them. Gorgeous Granddogs! I started reading Louise Penny’s books last winter and just finished A Better Man last month. I enjoyed them but was starting to get a bit tired of them, so it’s good to know the new one is good.

    • Maybe you were getting tired of them because you read them so quickly. My reading has been dragged out over a few years. But also A Better Man was so ick. Each paragraph was so bogged down with emotions explored over and over. This new one is so much better!
      Thank you re my granddogs :)!

  9. Now it is Sept 23 – still Puppy Mill Awareness Day. What a wonderful post!

  10. Congratulations on the publication of your review, Luanne! I just read it. Is the women’s hysteria along the lines of what Charlotte Perkins Gilman was “treated” for and wrote about in “The Yellow Wallpaper”?

    I couldn’t agree with you more about puppy mills. There is no excuse for that kind of cruelty to animals. All of our dogs have been rescues. Your granddogs are adorable. I’ll bet they are very sweet and loving!

    • Liz, they are so sweet!!! Puppy mills should be a thing of the past by now!
      Yes, like The Yellow Wallpaper. The texts written about Charcot and hysteria are chilling, as are the photographs!

      • I wrote a story with a main character who underwent the forced bedrest treatment. I found a nursing textbook from the time period, and the details of the forced feeding regimine were particuarly horrendous.

  11. I wasn’t sure I could bear to read this post, the inhumanity of man not just to dogs, but chimps in captivity ( Wenka still there at 64) donkeys, bulls, you name it, is so unbearable.
    we had seventeen rescue dogs – three at a time, and each one was speyed or neutered so as not to release more little creatures into a world where we couldn’t guarantee their happiness…
    Love to Perry, you wonderful animal lover XXXX.

    • Valerie, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’ve been ill. It’s so unbearable to think of all their suffering. I don’t understand humans as a species. Hugs to you, Valerie.