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Deaf and Blind Dog Joins Advocates

A puppy mill survivor helps tell the story to MI legislators

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Dog

    Rudolph is now a beloved pet—and persuasive lobbyist.

by Jill Fritz
Michigan State Director

Heavy snow in Lansing didn't deter 51 Humane Lobby Day participants from arriving to learn about advocating for animals in the legislature. We began the day with a "Lobby 101" presentation and outlined priority issues: Ssupporting a bill to prohibit the ownership of primates as pets, and the need to strengthen protections for dogs in puppy mills.

Pam Sordyl of Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup presented the results of a new study on Michigan's dog breeding industry, showing problem areas around the state. The information proved valuable when participants later spoke to legislators about breeding kennels in their own districts. Representative Eileen Kowall then welcomed everyone to the capitol and gave some lobbying tips.

The morning's highlight was the arrival of Marcia Fishman and her tiny dog Rudolph, a deaf and blind dachshund who is a puppy mill survivor. Marcia discussed how Rudolph has overcome his disabilities to live a happy life in a loving home—something that most puppy mill breeding dogs never find.

Participants then met with their legislators and their staff, toured the state capitol, and visited the legislature in session. Rudolph even joined in to lobby House and Senate members for puppy mill reform. Who could resist him?

What better way to wrap up the day then to have Representative Rebekah Warren introduce – and the House adopt -- House Resolution 210 to declare February 23, 2010, as Spay Day in the state of Michigan.

Want to get involved and make a difference for Michigan's animals? Join our HSUS Michigan Group on Facebook.

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