When I read about a giant puppy mill bust just north of Seattle in January, I was surprised. I had the mistaken impression that my little corner of the country was immune; that puppy mills thrived in the Ozarks, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now, the local papers were detailing how 600 Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers and other small breeds were being liberated from shocking conditions. The dogs, crammed into cages, were sick, covered in feces and urine, dehydrated and starving.
Former newspaper reporter and dog lover Jan Rodak, who lives in my same corner of the world and read the same reports, volunteered to help the survivors. In her story about the aftermath, "Busted" (The Bark, May 2009), she engages both her journalist brain and activist heart, which means good information with a distinct point of view. Fellow Seattle resident and Air America radio host, Ron Reagan will be talking to Jan about her story and puppy mills on The Ron Reagan Show, Monday at 7 p.m. eastern standard time. I’m thrilled this important information will be reaching beyond the choir, and I’ll be tuning in. (You can also hear the interview via a live online stream or later as a podcast.)
Meanwhile, Jan intends to continue independent advocacy journalism. Inspired by our blog about fundable.com, a grass roots funding site that some guardians are using to pay for expensive veterinary bills in hard times, she’s asking for help with travel expenses, public records request fees and incidentals as she muckrakes her way through the puppy mills of America.