Pet People: Companion animal advocate, Jessica Ellis

By on April 6, 2015

Educate yourself.

That’s what Jessica Ellis wants each of us to do. Whether it’s about your pet’s diet, learning where that cute puppy in the window comes from or discovering how you can be a more responsible pet owner, she’s here to help. In fact, there may not be a better resource or animal advocate around.

Her love for animals has progressed over the years, taking her from a job at PetSmart to now being the owner of her own thriving business in the pet industry. She’s also President of the Nebraska Rescue Council and Pug Partners of Nebraska, a pug rescue she started eight years ago. She’s come a long way, but is far from finished making an impact on the lives of people and animals.

Jessica got her first pug, Rocky, nearly 10 years ago and little did she know, he would change the course of her life. Rocky not only inspired Jessica to start a pug club, but he also paved the way for her to start Pug Partners in Nebraska. It is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that rescues and rehabilitates pugs in need and have rescued over 550 pugs since its founding.

Her love for pugs and healthy, environmentally-conscious living has been the basis for opening her store, The Green Spot. Since college, she and her business partner Jennifer Haines have been hashing out and executing their plans for the store. It took many months, a lot of hard work and rejections from various banks, but their persistence paid off and they received a business loan through Centris Federal Credit Union to begin their business in January 2012.

Now, their store is flourishing.

“The Green Spot provides a fun and edgy twist to the traditional pet store experience by offering the highest quality, natural, organic and eco-friendly pet care products,” she says. “Along with fostering an environment conducive to promoting sustainable living and enhancing the human and pet bond, all of The Green Spot’s products are carefully selected to ensure that the quality and the environmental impact are in harmony with the store’s values.” The store believes in enhancing and extending the lives of companion pets through a natural lifestyle. Besides carrying the best products possible, The Green Spot is an interactive and colorful social setting for pets and their parents.



The Green Spot’s mission statement includes educating the public on the benefits of healthy living for companion pets, being a community resource for consumers interested in living more environmentally-healthy lifestyles and emphasizing the belief that pets truly flourish from natural, organic and eco-friendly living.

If you visit the Green Spot, you’ll see every aspect of its mission seep through its customers- two or four-legged.

“We as human beings created the dog breeds we know and love today,” she says. “It was because of us and our selective breeding that we have what we do now. It is our responsibility as humans to treat them properly and provide them with the life they deserve- not to live out their entire lives in a cage.”

Jessica wants all pet parents to educate themselves about providing their pets with nutritious and beneficial foods, necessary mental and physical stimulation and a loving, nurturing environment.

She urges all pet parents to be aware that not all “natural” or “organic” products are created equal. “Marketers for a lot of big box brands have done a really good job of convincing the public that their food is ‘healthy’ and ‘natural,’” she says. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, but you can trust that the products available at The Green Spot pass their rigorous qualifications.

Caring for our animals in a natural way is a learning process, she says. We have to be willing to educate ourselves on what is healthy and what is not for our animals. Then, we need to take what we have learned and actually make a difference in their lives.

Not only is Jessica an advocate for healthy living but also for the “adopting and not shopping” push that’s so important to pet lovers and the animal world. A very important mission of Jessica’s is to eradicate puppy mills and encourage people to adopt animals instead of buying them from pet stores and those who exploit animals through purely-for-profit breeding practices.


“Any reputable breeder will not sell their puppies to a pet store. Those puppies come from puppy mills,” she says.



Consumers support puppy mills when they buy pet store puppies. Jessica is trying to get our local leaders to understand this and is excited to see that changes are starting to come. She’s had a private meeting with an Omaha City Council member and aims to have more. A trip to Washington D.C. inspired her to work hard towards shutting down puppy mills. She’s dedicated to enacting change in pet culture by advocating for better legislation and regulation of industries tied to animals.

“They are starting to listen to the horrible injustices being done to animals across our state and nation,” says Jessica.

But unfortunately, Nebraska has not yet come very far in shutting down puppy mills. She has been working with our state in her free time for the past three years. It wasn’t until this year that Jessica has felt that our lawmakers are beginning to take the necessary steps toward animal rights issues. Jessica hopes that within the next few years, conditions will improve for all animals and more puppy mills will be shut down.

“If I could wave a magic wand and fix something, it would be The Nebraska Department of Agriculture,” says Jessica, “I don’t feel like they are enforcing the laws put into place for regulating the laws regarding our companion animals. Commercial breeding laws need to be worked out.”

Jessica has plenty of hope and determination, though. In my short time interviewing Jessica, her passion for animals shined through with everything she said. She is certainly someone to look up to and is changing the world we live in, one day at a time. She can’t do it on her own, though. She needs help from all of us.

Jessica’s biggest mission is “to communicate the importance of adopting, not shopping.” Tell your friends. Spread the word. Be a responsible pet owner and advocate.” Being a responsible pet owner starts from the very beginning of your relationship with your pets and that means not buying a puppy from a pet store. She says to provide your pets with good nutrition, be their biggest advocate and don’t just rely on information from your vet or what the internet says. Educate yourselves.

Thanks to Jessica for allowing Pets in Omaha to highlight her work in our city and state. Be an advocate. Be responsible. Spread the word. Be like Jessica.



To follow the Green Spot click here for its Web site or check it out on Facebook.

Click here to find the Nebraska Rescue Council Web site.

Want to know what the Pug Partners are up to? Find them at these links:

Web site:


You can also follow Jessica on Instagram here.

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