Life after the mill

Posted by: Kathy Powelson Tags: | Categories: News


We are a country full of passionate dog owners horrified by animal abuse cases like that involving Michael Vick. So why do we turn a blind eye to suffering inflicted upon animals in puppy mills nationwide? Why have supposedly “dog-friendly” organizations, government agencies, politicians, and the public at large allowed these dog breeders to continue their unsavory practices year after year? These are the questions we will confront in our new documentary” Christopher Grimes, director of Dog by Dog

On November 12 we are hosting the Canadian Premiere of Dog by Dog, a documentary that follows the money trail behind puppy mills. While this documentary is about puppy mills in the United States, it holds a great deal of relevance to British Columbians. Many of the dogs sold in pet stores across the province are brokered through the Missouri-based company, the Hunte Corporation. And all of the puppies they broker come from puppy mills across the United States.

For years, our Pets Are Not Products campaign has aimed to ban the retail sale of animals and to educate consumers about the animal welfare issues associated with this inhumane business practice. Through our work, people will share their stories with us. Stories about dogs they have either unwittingly purchased online or from a pet store or, as in the story we share with you today, intentionally rescue from a puppy mill.

Here are the stories of two survivors.



Denver was in a puppy mill in Montana (born approximately 2005) and the court ordered it shut down. The sheriff seized the dogs and they were taken to a county shelter in October 2011, which meant he spent his first six years in a puppy mill. Denver spent 4 months there but they couldn’t adopt him as he had stereotypic behaviours (constant pacing). Hoping to find him a home they transferred him to Denver, Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue. He spent 3 months with a foster but his behaviours did not improve. His new family have worked every day on his fears and although it is still a work in progress he has come so very far. He enjoys life now and can cope with most things (with the exception of vets).

His favourite things? food – car rides – cuddling on a big comfy bed. A gentle soul who had the misfortune of experiencing cruelty (the puppy mill operator was convicted) but now knows only kindness and love.”



Callie was a breeding dog (born approximately 2008) who was dumped in a shelter (May 2014) when her health gave out. She had obviously just had a litter but no pups were surrendered with her. Callie had been severely neglected. She had urine burns all over her belly and pressure points (face, shoulders, bum, etc) as well as yeast and bacterial infections. Her front teeth were worn and broken and were a classic case of a bar biter. Since she’s been with her family (September 2014) her broken teeth have since been removed and they have managed to keep her skin issues under control.
She also has a fabulous new wardrobe of capes to help with weather! She had to be taught how to greet other dogs and now absolutely loves her off leash romps in the Endowment Lands or at the beach (especially low tide). We go every day and watching her is an absolute joy. She also loves people and handles all the “can I pet your dog?” for Denver – much to his delight“.


Join us, and director Christopher Grimes on November 12. For all the dogs like Callie and Denver who remain in the mills, let our voices be heard and let’s demand change!

When: November 12, 2015 7pm
Where: SFU Goldcorp Theatre, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver
TicketsPurchase online


Comments are closed.