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February 18, 2009

Talk Back: Puppies, Patriots, Downturn and Dairy

More than ever, animals are in the news, and the items that I’ve written about on the blog are attracting your comments and observations.

Many readers had much to say about our latest puppy mill raid, in North Carolina, where we saved nearly 300 dogs.

Yes, we absolutely agree: the puppy mill industry is out of control in this nation. Thank you for all the incredible work that you do to end this hell on Earth for so many caged and tortured dogs. We appreciate all that you do. —Erlyn, Mark and Katie

I watched the video and I am heartened that there are wonderful rescuers out there saving these dogs, yet I am sickened that this is allowed to occur. How can people be treating these dogs with such disregard and disrespect, yet somehow profiting from them? I hope these dogs can be rehabilitated, and given loving forever homes. Thank you, HSUS, for saving them! —Gabrielle

Stop the suffering of these animals and shut down these disgusting mills! —Jennifer

God bless the men and women who save these precious dogs and puppies. How can any human allow an innocent loving dog to live in squalor? It’s appalling ... horrendous and they need to be punished to the maximum allowed by law. That dog that was being held at the end by the loving rescuer says it all. May all these dogs and puppies find loving homes. —R

I just wanted to say thank you so much! I was lucky enough to be called in by UAN to assist during this horrid event and spent five days with these wonderful dogs. I cried like a baby last night saying goodbye to them and wishing them well on their journeys to becoming a pet instead of a means for profit. It breaks my heart that any animal would be treated this way, but makes me sooo happy when groups can get together to make a much-needed positive change in their lives, ensuring that they will never face a life like the one from which they came. Again thank you so much for helping them and I am always willing to assist. Just knowing that I was able to make some tails wag in this kind of situation means the world to me! —Lisa Wrzesinski

Thank you, thank you for saving these animals! I am not far from where this happened and am so thankful for the authorities and for the Humane Society. I would love to adopt one of the precious dogs. —klyn

I am so glad that this puppy mill got busted. As an owner of two dogs and one cat I cannot believe that someone would let these animals get in this kind of condition. I hope that these animals all find a loving home, someone to love and care for them. Please stop mistreating animals, they don't deserve it and they especially don't ask for it!!! —Lisa Lassiter

I would like to ask the HSUS to send this video to the AKC and suggest that they please use their lobbying power to close these places down. I personally would like to see all breeders put out of business because our shelters are full of homeless animals. I know that's not practical. It seems to me that if reputable breeders want to save their industry they should become more vocal about the animal torture chambers like this in your video. They should be leading the outcry against places like this that put a black mark on anyone in their business. —Barbara

Thank you for making North Carolina aware of this issue. I do hope SOMEONE has contacted our government officials! Bless you all! —Susan Williams

Many folks were moved to comment on our Capitol Hill ceremony recognizing lawmakers who helped rescue dogs from Iraq who had been the companions of fallen service members.

I am immensely touched and moved by this. Thank you so much for thinking of us, Wayne, and making sure we get to share in this loving tribute. Bless our soldiers and bless our pets. Beautiful, beautiful. —Maria

So often we hear of the bad, cruel things of war; it's what makes the news, but ever so often stories like this come alive and bring back the "heart" of what we in America strive for every day, compassion. Thank you Cpl. Lee, Spec. Rollins, Sgt. Cann, Rodriquez and many others that gave the ultimate for my family and others. God Bless you all. —David

There is much agreement that the economic downturn is bad for animals, and poses special challenges for us.

Like many others, I lost my job this fall. We are luckier than most, as my partner is still working, and I have unemployment and some freelance. I am trying desperately not to give up my monthly giving, but may have to because one of our cats has chronic renal failure and is going to the vet twice a week for shots to combat anemia (we are doing a lot at home with our vet's help). But giving up my charities will be the last resort, as I know donations are needed now more than ever. Keep up the good work—and thank you for leading by example in taking a salary cut. Being in the nonprofit world myself, I know that you are already not overpaid in relation to many other nonprofits, and truly respect what you are doing. —Roberta

Your executives (and you, I’m sure) are very generous people. —D

And on the heels of Prop 2, readers, including farmers, are excited about the effort to ban tail docking of dairy cows in California. I’ll keep folks apprised on our progress.

Just when you think you've heard it all people find yet another way to strip away the rights of animals and deny them humanity. Every time I learn about something like this it feels like a punch in the gut. Please do what you can and thank you so much for your work to help cows. —Maria

I'm a Calif. dairy farmer and agree to the ban on tail docking. No dairyman could have that good of fly control! I love cows; that’s why I'm in this business. I save cows on a daily basis. I buy cows at the beef cow sales yards in the Central Valley that other dairymen send there because they think they don’t turn a profit. Well I'm proof they’re wrong—about 50 cows a week and that’s at only two sales a week and there’s at least 10 per week; wish I could do more. I milk about 1,500 head and all these cows were on their way to slaughter before their time. Also have a waste business for food manufacturers in the Bay Area; we pick up food byproducts to feed to our cows. Fifty percent of our cows’ feed is the byproducts which are tofu, brewer’s grain, tortillas, sweet potatoes and produce. Our cows eat healthy!  Hope you put an end to tail docking. —Mark

The pain these animals endure is never-ending. I must be very naive because I am always shocked every time I learn of things done to the animals. —Lisa J.

Can we work on the tail docking without anesthesia on our pigs too? —Jennifer

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