A Different Kind of Classified Ad in Yesterday’s Des Moines Register

By on August 24, 2015

Ask a shelter, rescue group or informed pet advocate where to new companion animal. You’ll find they direct you towards an adoption counselor at a shelter, an adoption application for a rescue, or maybe a reputable breeder if you’ve got a super-specific desire about breed. Adoption will always be the first recommendation (and the only one for most you ask).


You’ll notice that Craig’s List isn’t a choice. The classified ads? Not on the list. The pet store? Please. The animals you see listed there are often from backyard breeders, puppy mills and other places much less concerned for the animal’s well-being and future than a shelter, rescue or reputable breeder.


Knowing this, an ad was placed in the Classifieds of the Des Moines Register Sunday in the Animal Adoption section. It read: “Puppy mill dogs are bred until they drop. Why buy a puppy when you can adopt?”


The little rhyming blurb is an attempt by Bailing Out Benji, an Ames, IA, non-profit, at redirecting people who are looking for animals to buy to the adoption section of the paper. Also, it gives a link to the educational Bailing Out Benji web site where one who is looking in the newspaper for a dog will be affected after seeing who puts dogs for sale in the paper.


From Mindi Callison, founder of Bailing Out Benji: Our reason for the Des Moines register ad is to catch potential puppy buyers and educate them before they make rash purchases. Far too many puppy mills are using the classified ads to sell their puppies. Buying from a pet store, website or newspaper ad is a sure fire way to buy from a puppy mill or less than reputable breeder. Adopt from a rescue or do your research and find a reputable breeder.” Mindi also advises that when you are thinking of buying, always demand that the seller “Show You The Mommy!” A popular hashtag for social media, #ShowMeTheMommy, can be seen all over BoB and its supporters’s posts. Bailing Out Benji will have the ad running in the Sunday classifieds for a few weeks, hoping desperately they can get some donations to keep it going longer.


The group has also placed bus ads around Central Iowa which direct people to adopt, not buy. The Bailing Out Benji web site is also listed on the signs, hopefully directing people to a place where they can learn a bit more about puppy mills and responsible ways to find companion animals.


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