The Puppy Mill Project - Don't Shop, Adopt
This week's episode will highlight an important event that addresses puppy mills. Our guest today is Cari Meyers, Founder & President of The Puppy Mill Project and Co-Founder of the National Puppy Mill Project. Puppy Mills has been widely scrutinized as adding to the problem of dog overpopulation, but how much do we really know? Cari Meyers has achieved great strides in educating and influencing the public as well as the law in puppy mill operations. In this episode, Cari will discuss some of the things the public may not be aware of and how we can contribute to putting a stop to unethical practices.
Cari Meyers has worked tirelessly for the past five years to help put an end to puppy mill cruelty and the horrifying abuse that puppy mill dogs endure. Cari had been serving on the board and volunteering for a large no-kill animal shelter in Chicago when she had her "A-ha!" moment. She looked at the shelters and rescues and saw how many dogs in their care were from puppy mills, yet no one in Illinois was talking about this. That propelled her to take action. In 2009, she founded The Puppy Mill Project (TPMP), a nonprofit grassroots effort in Chicago to educate the public and raise awareness about puppy mills and their direct connection to pet stores, Internet sites and newspaper ads that sell dogs.
Under Cari’s leadership, TPMP has convinced pet stores in Naperville, Evanston and Chicago to stop selling "puppy-mill" animals and move to an adoption model. Cari’s work has also influenced public law. She supported the Pet Store Disclosure Act passed in Illinois in 2010, and the Pet Lemon Law in 2013. Cari worked with City Clerk Susana Mendoza and Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey to help pass landmark legislation (The Companion Animal & Consumer Protection Ordinance) that banned the retail sale of commercially sourced puppies, kittens and rabbits from pet stores. The ordinance passed in March 2014 in the city of Chicago, and in April 2014 in Cook County.
In addition to her work in the Chicago area, Cari has traveled throughout the country to help rescue puppy mill dogs and to expose and shut down puppy mills. She has worked very hard to help find “forever homes” for puppy mill dogs that have been rescued and given a second chance. National Puppy Mill Project (NPMP), which arose from Meyers’ vision that ending puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of dogs used as breeding stock could be better accomplished as a collaborative effort, was founded in 2014.
Cari’s achievements have been recognized locally and nationally. In 2012, Cari was a winner in the Examiner.com’s ‘America Inspired’ Contest, which celebrated extraordinary people making a difference across the United States. And in 2014, Cari was named one of Today’s Chicago Woman magazine’s ‘100 Women of Inspiration’, an honor she received for her tireless work to put an end to puppy mill cruelty.