One of the important steps in helping to end the demand of puppy mill dogs is choosing to adopt instead of shop. So many times people think they can’t find the exact dog they want unless they buy a puppy. And it’s not really true. We’re Janie and Diane of Stop Online Puppy Mills. It was dogs that brought us together, meeting through rescues that we’ve both been involved in for many years. And through rescue, we have found that our homes are full of the kind of dog love anyone would want. Although we both have a love of smoochie faced dogs, you really can find what ever dog you want through breed rescue and through your local shelter or rescue groups. Dogs in rescue don’t deserve to be there because of anything they have done. Somewhere along the way, a human has let them down. And that makes giving them forever love even more special. Our dogs all get along and love to play together. And each has a puppy mill story to tell. So, let us introduce you to the Stop Online Puppy Mill dog family. The matriarch of the group and the Stop Online Puppy Mill mascot is Ruby, lovingly known as “The Rubes”. For 5 years she suffered in a Sugarcreek, Ohio, Amish puppy mill. After being bred 9 times, and having over 30 puppies, she was carted to Missouri and sold in “as in” condition at a dog auction. Most likely she would have been sold to another mill where she would continued to be bred until she was no longer profitable. Thankfully, she found her way into the loving hands of the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue. It is dogs like Ruby that we are fighting for. She was force bred at every heat cycle, lived in an overcrowded wire cage and received no vet care. She was viewed as nothing more than breeding stock to the Amish miller and her puppies were the cash crop. The Amish farmer even performed c-sections on her without a veterinarian. It took years for Ruby to trust and relax enough to enjoy life. Her fear of open spaces, human hands, and loud noises were just a couple of her worries. What she endured in that mill is horrifying. The mill was featured in theUSDA’s 2010 Inspector General Report of Problematic Dealers. We are happy to say, Ruby is thriving now. She is about to turn 12. Ruby is living her life as a dog should be. And reminding us every day of the others like her suffering in mills. Ollie is Mr Sweet and was lucky to have fate intervene in his life. His pregnant mother was rescued from a mill and he escaped becoming a puppy mill puppy. Instead of being shipped off to a pet store at 7 weeks, he was safely born into a home and got to know only the love of humans. He is a smart, happy, well adjusted boy. He is in love with his girl friend Pippa. Clyde’s life was destined to be something that no one could wish on any dog…. a puppy mill stud. He spent the first four months of his life alone in a cage. At four months old, he was taken to auction in Missouri to be sold to the highest bidder for a life of breeding. Fortunately, rescue was attending the auction and saved him from that horrible fate. Clyde is now 3 and is very well adjusted but he does not like to be alone. Whether he is awake or asleep, Clyde is always next to his humans or the other dogs. Clyde’s life now is nothing but play and hanging out with his family, where he is the life of the party. It makes us shudder to think that this guy could be living in a cage in a mill without love or soft human touch. It also makes us fight harder to save the others. Pippa is an all to common pet store puppy story. She was an impulse buy by a woman at a Petland. She was purchased at 10 weeks as a gift for her elderly mother. Without researching the breed and understanding that French Bulldogs are very hard to potty train and require a lot of time to teach basic commands, her mother was completely frustrated with the puppy and wanted to give her away. So Pippa went from being born in a puppy mill in Iowa to a retail store to a family that had no idea what to do with her. Not a good start in life. Fortunately, they made the right decision and surrendered her to rescue. Like many puppy mill puppies, Pippa has some anxiety issues from being taken from her mother too soon and a mild case of epilepsy. But she’s a goofy little girl and loves life…. and her boyfriend Ollie. Baxter’s story is also one that started out rough but has turned out to be magical. He is the sweetest dog ever. He started his life out as a puppy from a backyard breeder. The breeder was going to keep him for stud but realized he had some severe digestive issues and dumped him at the county kill shelter. A local rescue pulled him and placed him with The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society to help figure out his medical issues. Since Diane had Boston Terrier experience, she was asked to foster him. He suffered from a lot of anxiety and food intolerances. But once he felt at home and he found the right food… he’s been a happy boy. And a foster fail. With his 10th birthday quickly approaching, Baxter is still doing great and loves life. He just can’t figure out why all his friends speak French.