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Meet Amanda Hearst, Founder of Friends of Finn (now Humane Generation NY)

  • Amanda Hearst started Friends of Finn to fight against the cruelty of puppy mills.

  • Amanda's dog Finn is her inspiration to help other dogs from puppy mills. Jerritt Clark

  • Amanda's efforts to end puppy mill misery took her into the field on an HSUS puppy mill rescue. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

  • Amanda's dog, Finnegan Hearst. 

My love for animals is what brought me to The HSUS (or perhaps what brought them to me!). After all, it was quite serendipitous how this all came about.

I had recently bought my dog Finnegan (Finn for short) from a local New York City pet store. I had grown up with animals - dogs, cats, even some goats and donkeys - and now I had Finn, my very first pet, who inspired me to do something meaningful- I just didn't know what yet. And then The HSUS rang: they wanted a mother/daughter team to chair their first-ever gala in New York City. It was perfect timing! I immediately said yes and enlisted my animal-loving friends to join.

Shortly thereafter, I flew down to Mississippi to visit animals rescued from a horrible puppy mill. (Watch the video of my visit with dogs rescued by The HSUS.) I was finally engaged with the work. It was difficult, challenging and enormously rewarding. Then a thought crossed my mind: was Finn from one of these puppy mills? The pet store had given me his birth certificate and paper with his family tree, assuring me that he was not a "puppy mill dog," but from a breeder who treated his animals kindly. However, after seeing those little dogs in cages, with looks of fear and anxiety in their eyes, hair knotted, bodies weak and emaciated, I had to know the truth.

With the help of The HSUS, we did some research and the news hit me like a bullet in the chest: yes, Finn was, in fact, a "puppy mill dog." He had come from a puppy mill with countless citations and that had, at one particularly low point, housed 900 dogs in the same vicinity.

It was then that Friends of Finn was born. I knew I could make an even bigger impact by aligning my friends (all of whom have pets that they adore) to raise awareness and funds to stop the cruel industry of puppy mills.

I am astonished by the success of our committee. It is gratifying to know that we have not only raised money to rescue animals but also helped raise awareness of the problem. This is an exciting moment in the campaign against puppy mills, and I am so proud to be a part of this movement.

We hope you enjoy learning about this incredible cause. We look forward to your support and we'll keep you posted on everything from upcoming events to current committee news.

Sincerely,

Amanda Hearst

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