For more than 38 years, Dog Patch worked hard to avoid large commercial breeders (Read puppy mills.) by visiting the breeders before we purchased our puppies. There’s really no other way to know. We got it right most of the time and when we missed, we learned from it. We moved forward and didn’t repeat the mistake again.
We earned our excellent reputation. In 2010 I took over the store after the passing of my mentor Craig Allen. I took us in a different direction.
With the help of the Puppy Mill Project, a small Rescue named Annie’s Little Angels and a private person doing transport on her own from Indiana, we started finding shelter and rescue dogs homes.
I personally could not be a part if an overpopulation problem that is so out of control. In addition, we were being lumped in with the bad guys from whom we had tried so hard to separate ourselves. Additionally, it was getting harder and harder to find good dogs from good people. Frankly, it was time.
Our first year we placed 50 dogs and more than 100 cats; year two, over 190 dogs and nearly 150 cats; year three, 386 dogs adopted and well over 100 cats.
We’ve become successful. We’re proof this “humane” model can work.
I’ve been speaking around the country about what we do. Our partnership with A Place To Bark, an amazing rescue based in Tennessee, has resulted in nearly 1,000 animal’s lives saved. This model of a success story can be done. Politicians can legislate, but only if the consumer is educated. The truth will drive the market to my way of thinking. Things need to change.