Hello! My name is Bentley.
This is a
picture of me at my first pet store protest, Puppyworld in Milwaukee, in April
2008. I got to tell all sorts of people about puppy mills, and why they
shouldn't buy animals from pet stores like Puppyworld. Some people thought I
was so cute and well-cared-for that I couldn't possibly know what I was talking
about, but I do. I was born in a Wisconsin puppy mill, and because of my
paralyzed back legs, I would have died there if fate had not stepped in to save
I was born
May 16th, 2006 at the Puppy Haven puppy mill. I was born with paralyzed back
legs. Because Puppy Haven couldn't sell me to a pet store, I was doomed to be
one of their "throw aways". I would have been killed or left to die
if it were not for the kindness of a wonderful woman who BUYS the unprofitable
puppies, and older breeding stock Puppy Haven is done with.
I was taken
to a rescue, and listed on Petfinder.com, a web site dedicated to finding good homes
for all kinds of pets all over the country. Many rescue groups and Humane
Societies post animals there for adoption.
Meanwhile, my future Mom
was looking for a companion for her dog Chewie. She had found him on Petfinder,
so she went back to find him a friend.
It was my
profile and picture that caught Mom's eye. She really wanted to know more about
me, and to try to adopt me. The procedure can be rather long. She had to fill
out an application with lots of information on her home, lifestyle, family
members, and how she would care for a "mobility challenged" new dog.
Then there was a home visit. It may seem like a lot to go through, but when you
stop and think about it, the rescue group has the dog's AND the family's best
interests in mind. They want to be sure to match the dog with just the right
"Forever Home", and be sure to match the People with the best
addition to their family.
owners are not willing to take a dog back if something happens and the adopter
can no longer take care of it. Mom had to sign a contract saying she would give
me back to the rescuer if she could no longer provide for me, for any reason.
owners are quick to sell puppies that are too young, or dogs that are sick. I
was taken to the vet by the rescuer for an examination, shots, x-rays, and a
micro-chip. All this was done at the expense of the rescuer. Mom paid a fee for
me which covered the vet bill and the $50.00 the rescuer had to pay Puppy Haven
to get me out of there. That fee was nominal compared to the outrageous and
extravagant amount pet shops charge. The rescuer is not out to make money on
the puppies and retired breeders she rescues. She only wants to save their
lives, provide them with good homes, and let them live the rest of their lives
happy, as they should be.
Please -- Do not buy a
puppy from a pet store!
Do not buy a
puppy from an ad in the paper when there are multiple breeds listed!
Beware! These could be
puppy mill dogs. Insist on seeing Mom and Dad. Get as much history and
background on your new family member as possible. After all, he will be with
you for a lot of years to come. Try adoption, either from a rescue group or
Humane Society. There are many, many wonderful pets out there that need homes.
Not just puppies, but older dogs too. There are a lot of benefits to adopting
an older dog. Do a little research and become educated, then educate others,
just like I'm doing.
Mom calls me
her little ambassador for rescued dogs. Whenever she takes me someplace, people
comment on my legs and ask "Why?" It gives Mom the opportunity to
tell them about the horrors of puppy mills, and make them aware of the many
puppies who don't make it.
consider a rescue dog! There are so many who need good homes. By adopting a
rescue, you can help stop the mass production of puppies in puppy mills.