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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

Puppy Mill Justice. Finally

Long overdue law now in effect

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It was 2006 when I got that first tip that inhumane puppy mills were operating in Wisconsin. I was finding it hard to believe the despicable conditions that the caller was describing.  I still remember the call like it was yesterday.  The distraught woman told me about dogs in huge columns of wire cages, dogs that without clean water, and poor puppies walking around in ankle deep dog feces.  I just  found it all hard to believe.  I'm a dog owner. I'm a dog lover. I was angry.

My team and I began to look into it. We took our hidden cameras into huge puppy mills throughout Wisconsin. The conditions were shockingly disgusting.  There were dogs with no food and water.  We saw Beagles with their ribs showing. At one farm in northern Wisconsin we saw five Cocker Spaniels in a three foot by three foot pen. At one kennel we even saw dead dogs shoveled into a corner.

After collecting our video I angrily confronted the puppy millers. They were unapologetic.  It was apparent they didn't care at all about the dogs. All they cared about was dollars. Cold hard cash was important, caring for puppies?  Not so much.  We embarrassed a lot of these loser. We raised awareness. But we never able to put them out of business.

Our pieces aired in 2007. It wasn't enough to expose these scumbags. So we began to work with several state legislators to change the law. When we pointed out to them that several puppy miller families had actually moved from Pennsylvania and Georgia because our laws were so lax.  Long story short was that a bill was drafted, passed, and signed by the Governor.  Now a year and a half later it is being implemented.

There is no doubt that it will help save dogs. Well done, Wisconsin. Well done.

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