Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PMA Four Years and Counting!

Happy Anniversary Fellow Meetup Members,
Another year has brought 84 new members! Welcome and thank you for supporting our important cause. We are always looking for great people with an advocacy spirit and passion to raise awareness. Indeed our seasoned advocates are attracting the right kind of people. I am particularly excited to have collected some awesome new protesters during our Westland Campaign over this past year.

Photo Gallery
Enthusiastic new members are invited to our 4 year Anniversary Picnic in Royal Oak – Saturday August 25th. We will be pot-lucking it and recognizing members with some serious team spirit and dedication.
So what has happened over the last year? 

We have been busy on many so many fronts from lobbying Lansing to writing letters to the USDA to combat internet sellers.

I will have to say our Lobby Day in Lansing for the Puppy Protection Act and Pet Lemmon law was one of the biggest highlights of the year. It was HUGE success with the ASPCA joining in. Meeting the House of Representatives from the balcony in the old capitol was certainly another highlight for me. Working at a state level hasn’t been exactly easy with strange roadblocks in our way, but the Michigan Humane Society will help us navigate around them. Currently, we are waiting for hearings in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Call Sen. Joe Hune, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, at 517-373-2420 to request a hearing on the bills.

The Allegan Bust (350+ dogs) brought much attention to the problems here in Michigan. I recently finished a study on this case to see what went wrong – how did this happen? I will publish it soon. I was pleased that the owners received jail time. Most convicted abusers only receive a two-year probation. The media coverage was incredible. This was the largest puppy mill bust according to my records. Thank you Mindy and Nicole for assisting at the shelter. 

In May, the USDA proposed a new rule to regulate internet sales and public comment ends today. The introduction alone sends a strong message to the entire nation. The laws are outdated and public pressure is on to end the cruelty. I published my comment.

We have seen signs the industry isn’t growing as the number of USDA licensed dog breeding kennels has dropped and the largest broker (Lambrair) close its doors. Kathy Bauck, the mega mill in Minnesota closed as well.
Seventeen cities have banned the retail sale of cats and dogs. Even shopping malls are instituting humane policies. 

On the home front here in southeast Michigan, we have made some progress.

One year ago at this time, we were kicking off our Westland campaign with years of experience and some new ideas. We checked off all the approach ideas and completed some serious outreach with local media coverage. We also kicked off our Utica Pet Supply campaign this spring. 

The arrest of the Pet Station owner on cruelty charges, followed up by the manager’s arrest for invasive species probably tops the charts locally. The case is going to trial at the Wayne County Circuit Court (Judge Thomas Jackson) on August 27th.

Lastly, our Family Puppy campaign went all the way to Indiana – the store’s primary supplier’s backyard shops are in Lagrange and Elkhart counties. We exposed unlicensed kennels and brought much needed media attention to the hidden Amish puppy farmers. Elkhart county has agreed to set up a task force to address the lack of oversight. The Family Puppy’s local Flint Veterinarian helped our cause with his testimony to the MDA. He stated the puppies were coming in underweight and urine stained from a broker and the store had puppies come in with parvo. He quit. Other local Flint vets have boycotted the store. Shipments are down and we are still protesting bi-weekly.

I am looking forward to another year of advocacy for animals.

Pam Sordyl
Founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan

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