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Fierce in Seattle: Dog Days


a blogumn by Kelli Bielema
Just one of the happy faces that now has a home!

Just one of the happy faces that now has a home!

There’s nothing like a purr or a wagging tail to remind you that someone, no matter its life form, will be there for you, always. Kitty cats and puppy dogs give the best advice: love. Just love.

Because pets want nothing but love and to give love (not necessarily true of all cats I’ve known!) I cannot fathom why anyone could ever be cruel to animals. While some pet parents feed their canines & felines better than entire third world nations, the polar opposite is happening at puppy mills. The individuals who run these operations have no regard for life whatsoever, including any respect for the people looking to adopt a new member into their family. We’ve become a disposable society—it’s come down to making a buck and not really about having this great addition in your life.

I’ve been volunteering with the Seattle Humane Society for about 6 months and it’s been incredibly rewarding and fun to work with dogs who were found as strays, owner-surrendered, or puppy mill victims. I fall in love with a different mutt that I would love to take home about every week. While that’s a challenge of my own, a new one has arrived for the entire animal-loving community. Last week, the Humane Society of the United States conducted a raid on a Kennewick, WA puppy mill full of about 400 miniature American Eskimo dogs. The conditions were some of the worst this rescue group has seen, and I challenge you to watch the video here without crying.

While at the Seattle shelter for my shift this past weekend I visited the kennels containing up to 100 of the dogs from the seizure. For the first time since coming to SHS, and during that time witnessing another influx of a different puppy mill raid, I lost my shit (special thanks for Aunt Flo for being in town to expedite the meltdown! Holla!).

While in the kennels with the foster coordinator I said to her “I really don’t know how you do this every day.” These little white faces stained yellow, their tiny bodies frail and shaking, it was the saddest thing I think I’ve ever seen. When you walk through the other kennel areas there’s barking, jumping and carrying on from the dogs. When walking past these sweet babies, it’s relatively quiet, which makes it so much more upsetting because dogs should be barking and jumping and happy! As heartbreaking as it was, they all seemed to be relieved. They are already steps above their lives at the puppy mill and soon they will all receive loving, caring homes that are several steps above a life in a shopping cart.

For more information on how you can help in the Seattle area, click here, and on a national level, here.