Thursday, October 4


I know what you are going to think.

"Four posts a week, and he's gonna waste a post on something non-cycling, non-elitist, non-industry insider douchebag, non-funny, non-beer, non-'What's in the big blue bins?'"

I apologize.  While I normally woulda tried to stay the course, sometimes things happen that overwhelm my brain..

Meet Gretchen.

I'm gonna get all Sarah Mclachlan on your ass...

Gretchen is another puppy mill rescue.  She was used as a puppy making machine. When they busted the puppy mill recently, her hair was so matted that she lost circulation to her right front leg.  There was only one solution to give her a chance at a happy dog life.

And that's the shit that pisses me off so much I can feel my blood boil.  The vet decided the leg had to go in order to save a dog that's lived a shitty life so she could have a chance to enjoy her remaining years as someone's loved pet.  What's amazing is that just day's later, she's running around and last night she jumped that gate behind her (ooops).

It's like she just said, "You took my leg?  Fuck it, I got three more."

Puppy mills.  If you don't understand how matted hair can cut off circulation, here's an image (re)posted on facebook yesterday by the Belmont County Animal Rescue League in Ohio.

Puppy mills.  I understand people's desire to own a certain breed.  You want certain attributes, personality traits, the ability to chase a raccoon into a tree, to impress your neighbors and friends... whatever.  Your reasons are valid if they are yours.  The only thing I ask is that you go to a quality breeder.  If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Puppy mills.  Dogs like Gretchen are treated like livestock... or worse.  At least livestock gets mercifully killed once it's grown big enough to eat.  The breeder dogs spend their entire lives in a cage covered in filth doing nothing but reproducing until they die.  No vet care, no grooming, no love, nothing.

Puppy mills.  Inbred.  The owners do not worry about inbreeding.  The end result is that the puppy you saved $500 on initially can be pretty fucked up. Congenital defects, weak bones, compromised immune systems... you may not know it until the money is long gone and you are heart broken with a suffering, young animal.

Puppy mills. North Carolina loves our puppy mills... well, actually we don't.  We have lots of them because our laws are so lax.  Mostly because agribusiness doesn't want laws in place that may affect how they treat pigs, cows, chickens, etc.  Legislation could be introduced next week that finally addresses the issue.

Puppy mills.  Pet shops.  Read up on them.  It may change your mind the next time you decide to ad a pet to the family.

And finally...

Support your LOCAL Humane Society.  Saints.  I can't imagine walking into a seized puppy mill, sorting out the ones who could be saved, putting down the ones that can't...  If you don't have to have a specific breed, adopt.  If you have a place in your home, take in an older dog. If you have a few free hours on the weekend, volunteer.  If you have $10 you can spare, donate.  I know some of you don't want to give money to a large organization filled with bureaucracy, so keep it local if you must.

Do something.  If I haven't convinced you yet, come over to my house and spend five minutes with Gretchen.  I bet you'll change your mind.

I can never get through this whole commercial without wanting to cry.


Colleen ONeil said...

This post made me want to cry a whole lot more than that Sarah McLachlan song.

Rob said...

It's pretty fecking sad when livestock are treated better in many states than pets in these situations.

Anonymous said...

Good post! Hi to your three-legged fighter! She's a cutie.

Anonymous said...

Some kind of sign that after reading this post I next went to lacemine29? Check it out. I just went across the room and scratched both dogs behind the ears. They just smiled and said thanks, as dogs always do.

John Parker said...

not just ranting about something being a mess (and no doubt it is) but doing something about it to make it better....good stuff

tammy said...

You just jumped to absolute HERO status in my opinion - you have a wonderful soul. And Gretchen is beautiful. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Rich. You're definitely among the growing clan of folks who love our stray/shelter mutts and couldn't imagine getting a pet any other way.

TheMutt said...

We rescued 6 (now 5) animals over the years, with only one of those not coming out of a shelter. That one wandered in off the street because someone dumped it off in the neighborhood.

Thank you for this post. It makes me want to rescue more critters.

dicky said...

Remember folks, The Pie leads the charge in my house. I just follow.

Jennoit said...

Thanks for writing this. And for following the Pie.

Greg D. said...

Hey Dick - great post! You pointed out a very important thing. If you really want to help these animals you have to donate to your LOCAL shelter. If you donate to the tear jerk commercials on TV, that money never truly gets to the animals in need. Do the research people!

Adventure Nell said...

Yahoo to Kim and to all of those who adopt from shelters. All my cats have been rescue cats and been amazing. Found one under a porch and she was amazaballs. HUGS

Anonymous said...

"It's pretty fecking sad when livestock are treated better in many states than pets in these situations."

It's also pretty freaking sad when the household dog gets gifts under the Christmas while the "livestock" that so many people enjoy for Christmas dinner is livestock that also lived in the same terrible conditions as these dogs live in puppy mills.

My point is just that "livestock" are also animals, just like dogs, but alot of people don't seem to care while eating their double BACON cheeseBURGER.

I like cows and pigs and chickens, just the same as dogs.

dicky said...


Pigs are smarter than dogs. Had they been slightly better looking, they'd probably be the most popular pets.

I did think of the hypocrisy of my post whilst typing.

My wife has similar standards when she watches me buy meat.

Where did that salmon come from?

Are those free range organic eggs?

Grass-fed beef...

William Repsher said...

Keep it up with the doggy-centric posts. Great stuff. Inspired me to skip the bike ride today in favor a long walk with my four-legged friend. Time well spent.